TaylorMade-adidas golf introduced its latest iron innovations on Monday in an event in Chicago, unveiling a new set it calls SpeedBlade.
The primary feature of the iron is the Speed Pocket, a handle-bar-shaped slot in the sole of the 3-7 irons that the company says allows more of the clubface to rebound at impact, imparting more energy on the ball and launching it higher.
The Speed Pocket has been enlarged since the RocketBladez line, hoping to extend the ideal launch conditions the technology aims to generate wider through the face of the club.
In the Chicago event, company head Mark King said the sweet spot of the club is about the size of a half-dollar piece. That's about 1.2 inches. With the golf ball coming in at 1.62 inches, it's practically impossible to miss with it, which is good news for most golfers that rarely hit the ball flush.
“Our research indicates that 72% of shots by 5-25 handicap golfers are impacted below the center of the face," said Brian Bazzel, TaylorMade’s director of iron, wedge and putters development in a release. "That typically results in low-launching shots of inconsistent distance. The Speed Pocket helps you launch those low-impact shots on a consistently higher, longer carrying and softer-landing flight.”
The SpeedBlade also sports some visual features that are not only aesthetically pleasing, but also aim to improve a player's mental approach. The iron's paint job combines a two-tone, satin nickel-chrome plating with dark-smoke satin ion-plating.
Each iron in the set has also been shaped for confidence. The short irons have a thinner topline and sole for workability and control. The longer irons widen both to make those more-difficult-to-hit clubs not seem so intimidating.
The SpeedBlade irons hit store shelves on Oct. 4, retailing for $799 in a steel shaft and $899 in several different graphite-shaft styles.