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Why the RBZ fairway is long

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It's been bugging me as to why the RBZ was longer than other fairway woods. I did some research to figure out what the RBZ did differently:

 

1) High COR (8.22) nearly reaches the 8.3 limit. I'm assuming Taylormade intentionally didn't hit the limit so that RBZ 2.0 could claim to be longer.

 

This COR value is very difficult to reach in a fairway wood because the size of the face of a fairway is relatively small compared to a driver, which have all reach the COR limit for some time.

 

The RBZ achieves this in two ways: 1) by using a specialty face material (Carpenter 455) rather than stainless steel and 2) the speed pocket, which is essentially a compression channel. What's interesting is Wishon pioneered using Carpenter 455 steel back in 2004: http://wishongolf.com/technology/design-firsts/fairway-wood-designs/

 

2) Change the location of the CG of the club head to the bottom center rather than the bottom in the rear. There are a few high COR fairway woods out there, but as far as I can tell, only the RBZ does this. This reduces spin on the ball for a lower ball flight.

 

3) For the regular version, the RBZ uses a Matrix XCON 5 shaft, which is described as high flight/low spin. As is pretty typical nowadays, the grip they use is lightweight (I assume 25g), the shaft is 60g, and the length is 43.5 (.5" longer than standard). Finally, this version has a pretty large face (197cc) for forgiveness.

 

http://www.taylormadegolf.com/products/fairways/Rocketballz-fairway/product-detail-specifications

 

The tour version has a 170cc face and a Matrix XCON 7 or Matrix RUL 70 shaft. The tour version uses the same grip, but the shafts offer some nice customization for higher swing speeds.

 

http://www.taylormadegolf.com/products/fairways/Rocketballz-tour-fairway/product-detail-specifications

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WD. I hate to break the news to you but the RocketBallz is not longer than any other fairway wood. At least for me and I found out this afternoon two of my golfing buddies also went and tried the Rocketballz this week and we all came back without them. The rocketballz was 1 yard longer than my 909F. I think that the 910F was 2 yards longer but I know that the Callaway RazrHawk was 3 yards longer than my 909F. That makes the RazrHawk 2 yards longer than the Rocketballz. Of course I was not particularly interested in spending $200 for 2 or 3 yards. Not real sure I would have made the switch for 17 yards on a 3 wood. I liked the feel of the 909F and the Rocketballz better than the other 2 but still..... I wrote more about it on Pass the TM Koolaide, I hit the Rocketballz. I bought a Ben Hogan C455 3 Wood in 2004 made from the 455 Carpenter Steel, so this is not a revolutionary new steel.

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WD. I hate to break the news to you but the RocketBallz is not longer than any other fairway wood. At least for me and I found out this afternoon two of my golfing buddies also went and tried the Rocketballz this week and we all came back without them. The rocketballz was 1 yard longer than my 909F. I think that the 910F was 2 yards longer but I know that the Callaway RazrHawk was 3 yards longer than my 909F. That makes the RazrHawk 2 yards longer than the Rocketballz. Of course I was not particularly interested in spending $200 for 2 or 3 yards. Not real sure I would have made the switch for 17 yards on a 3 wood. I liked the feel of the 909F and the Rocketballz better than the other 2 but still..... I wrote more about it on Pass the TM Koolaide, I hit the Rocketballz. I bought a Ben Hogan C455 3 Wood in 2004 made from the 455 Carpenter Steel, so this is not a revolutionary new steel.

 

Not all fairway woods are made with a high cor. I'm not entirely sure why this is other than the cost of carpenter steel is higher than regular stainless. I'm trying to find a better answer, but for reference the 909F uses 275 carpenter steel. They don't publish the COR of the 909F, but it's probably pretty high (again, manufacturers have known how to get fairways to max COR for over 7 years now). Also, don't forget how much customization Golfspy T had to go through in order to get his spin numbers down to gain the distance he saw with the RBZ. You've said yourself you tend to swap out shafts, so your club is pretty customized for you. Do you remember your launch/spin/crush factor numbers when you tested the RBZ?

 

I'm not arguing the RBZ is better than others, I am simply trying to understand the hype. I'm willing to bet many clubs out there can be fitted perfectly for any individual golfer. Based on what you've said about your game, I really doubt an off the shelf model would fit you well. For me, however, the off the shelf standard added about 20 yards to my fairway. When I see those kind of numbers, I really have to know why before I spend that kind of cash. Even so, I'll probably get custom fitted if I do decide to buy it.

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thats v interesting to knw.

 

does the tour version also have a high cor ? close to 8.3?

 

I didn't see numbers for COR specific to standard vs tour version. I assume both have around .822, but that's pure speculation.

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Not all fairway woods are made with a high cor. I'm not entirely sure why this is other than the cost of carpenter steel is higher than regular stainless. I'm trying to find a better answer, but for reference the 909F uses 275 carpenter steel. They don't publish the COR of the 909F, but it's probably pretty high (again, manufacturers have known how to get fairways to max COR for over 7 years now). Also, don't forget how much customization Golfspy T had to go through in order to get his spin numbers down to gain the distance he saw with the RBZ. You've said yourself you tend to swap out shafts, so your club is pretty customized for you. Do you remember your launch/spin/crush factor numbers when you tested the RBZ?

 

I'm not arguing the RBZ is better than others, I am simply trying to understand the hype. I'm willing to bet many clubs out there can be fitted perfectly for any individual golfer. Based on what you've said about your game, I really doubt an off the shelf model would fit you well. For me, however, the off the shelf standard added about 20 yards to my fairway. When I see those kind of numbers, I really have to know why before I spend that kind of cash. Even so, I'll probably get custom fitted if I do decide to buy it.

 

Actually in order to keep it an apples to apples test, I did not take my 3 wood. I used a 3 wood off of the test rack. My 3 wood is also a 15.5* and I was comparing it to 15* stock 3 woods. There is no doubt that you can gain 17 yards through custom fitting. But that is probably not specific to a certain brand. I know with my 909H I tested several shafts before I found one that gave me the distance that I wanted. As far as the COR gains with the RBZ, I bet that the COR on the Titleist and Callaway and many other brands are about 8.2. As you said, COR is not new. If you look at the Titleist site archives, you will see where they were singing the praises of COR 8 to 10 years ago. It has been out of advertising for a few years now, because it was old news but it is certainly not beyond Taylormade to resurrect the COR and if they have a 0.001 increase than they well print it on a cap.

 

I have hit some Taylormade clubs recently and really like there stuff, but they come out with the latest and greatest thing about twice a year and if I gained 20 yards every time they said I would I be driving the greens from my back porch.

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WD. I hate to break the news to you but the RocketBallz is not longer than any other fairway wood. At least for me and I found out this afternoon two of my golfing buddies also went and tried the Rocketballz this week and we all came back without them. The rocketballz was 1 yard longer than my 909F. I think that the 910F was 2 yards longer but I know that the Callaway RazrHawk was 3 yards longer than my 909F. That makes the RazrHawk 2 yards longer than the Rocketballz. Of course I was not particularly interested in spending $200 for 2 or 3 yards. Not real sure I would have made the switch for 17 yards on a 3 wood. I liked the feel of the 909F and the Rocketballz better than the other 2 but still..... I wrote more about it on Pass the TM Koolaide, I hit the Rocketballz. I bought a Ben Hogan C455 3 Wood in 2004 made from the 455 Carpenter Steel, so this is not a revolutionary new steel.

 

It's funny that you mention that since I found out the exact same thing comparing RBZ to my 3 metal. I have a 4 year old Callaway FT with a Mitsubishi Javlnfx stiff shaft. I've loved this 3 wood and have never found another that I hit as well. Going up against the RBZ with stock S shaft was basically a wash. I hit the RBZ, on average, 1, count 'em, 1 yard longer! Slightly higher ball flight (by a smidge) and basically the same spin. Ballspeed 1 mph faster. Keep in mind the Mitsubishi shaft is a mid launch, low spin shaft which I love. So I basically find their claim of 17 extra laughable since my 4 year old 3 wood is basically the same. Part of that speaks to how good the FT was and possibly how well it fits my swing. I was expecting more from TM though. My next comparison will be the Adams Speedline XTD which, from all accounts, will be a beast. I fully expect it to be longer than my current 3 wood. At least more than one yard, anyway! :rolleyes:

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I saw serious improvement in terms of forgiveness when I went from a Titleist 980 to the 909. But I did not see significant improvement in distance. My opinion is if you want to see significant improvement in distance, take lessons, diet and exercise, and practice. If you currently are not playing clubs specifically fitted for you, you can improve by buying a new club. To be honest, I tried to replace my three wood on several occassions, I tried the Callaway FT and the Callaway Diablo Tour and the Titleist 909F. I never got any significant distance increase with any of these. Since I only use the 3 wood 2 or 3 times per round, I saw no reason to spend a couple of hundred dollars. I was able to buy the 909F for $50 bucks or so, I decided to make the change, the forgiveness was worth that to me, and to be honest, I was very tired of that 980F. I got a simular deal on a 909H and I list it as in my bag but honestly, I have yet to find a shaft that makes it BETTER than my Hogans. It certainly looks better, but performance wise not really.

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ill b putting my g15 up with the rbz on tuesday lets c hw many yards i gain if it lives up to its hype i shd c 237 on the monitor

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ill b putting my g15 up with the rbz on tuesday lets c hw many yards i gain if it lives up to its hype i shd c 237 on the monitor

 

The G-15 is made of 17-4 stainless steel, so this would be a very interesting comparison (someone please correct me if there's not difference between 17-4 and Carpenter alloys)

 

http://www.ping.com/clubs/fairways.aspx

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It's funny that you mention that since I found out the exact same thing comparing RBZ to my 3 metal. I have a 4 year old Callaway FT with a Mitsubishi Javlnfx stiff shaft. I've loved this 3 wood and have never found another that I hit as well. Going up against the RBZ with stock S shaft was basically a wash. I hit the RBZ, on average, 1, count 'em, 1 yard longer! Slightly higher ball flight (by a smidge) and basically the same spin. Ballspeed 1 mph faster. Keep in mind the Mitsubishi shaft is a mid launch, low spin shaft which I love. So I basically find their claim of 17 extra laughable since my 4 year old 3 wood is basically the same. Part of that speaks to how good the FT was and possibly how well it fits my swing. I was expecting more from TM though. My next comparison will be the Adams Speedline XTD which, from all accounts, will be a beast. I fully expect it to be longer than my current 3 wood. At least more than one yard, anyway! :rolleyes:

 

I wasn't able to find what sort of steel they used for the Callaway FT, at least not from a reliable source. I read something about it having a Tungsten stainless steel face.

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I wasn't able to find what sort of steel they used for the Callaway FT, at least not from a reliable source. I read something about it having a Tungsten stainless steel face.

 

 

The Callaway FT and Titleist 909F and hybrids all have a 17-4 stainless steel body and a C455 Carpenter Steel Face. The FT also has tungsten sole plate. Callaway has used Carpenter Steel Faces at least since they purchased Hogan. The X Hot, and all of the Diablo seriese have used this steel in the face. Callaway also uses in the face of the XHot irons and the FT irons.

 

 

Carpenter stainless steel is hardened with a different process than 17-4 stainless. C455 is a harder stainless and can therefore be made thinner and have a higher COR. Titleist, Callaway, Hogan, and many others have been using this in faces of hybids and fairway metals for year. Taylormade may also have used it, but just because it has been around a while will not stop Taylormade from yelling as loudly as possible that theirs is better. Just because they were not first does not mean they are not best. Of course, just because you say you are the best does not mean you are.

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Thanks for finding that RR. These comparisons make me more and more tempted to try out the new Maltby BM3 fairway over the RBZ, which also uses Carpenter 455, can't wait to hear about the G15 vs RBZ comparison

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I think there is much more to it than the material the head is made out of, and all that. It is all about the right head, shaft, and swing combination. I had a Fubuki shaft in a Hogan hybrid and it was a beast. I put it in a Titlest hybrid, with the same loft. It is horrible. I took a Project X shaft out of a Nike hybrid and put it in the Hogan. It was great in the Nike but sucks in the Hogan, so now I have to but the Blueboard back in the Titleist because that is the best shaft for me in that head, These are all great shafts, and heads, that work great with my not so great swing, but the wrong combination does not work. And I am not talking a marginal difference. It goes from uncontrolable/unhitable to 200+ yards right down the middle. It has to do with spin numbers also but we do not have launch monitors out his at the edge of the planet.

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I think there is much more to it than the material the head is made out of, and all that. It is all about the right head, shaft, and swing combination. I had a Fubuki shaft in a Hogan hybrid and it was a beast. I put it in a Titlest hybrid, with the same loft. It is horrible. I took a Project X shaft out of a Nike hybrid and put it in the Hogan. It was great in the Nike but sucks in the Hogan, so now I have to but the Blueboard back in the Titleist because that is the best shaft for me in that head, These are all great shafts, and heads, that work great with my not so great swing, but the wrong combination does not work. And I am not talking a marginal difference. It goes from uncontrolable/unhitable to 200+ yards right down the middle. It has to do with spin numbers also but we do not have launch monitors out his at the edge of the planet.

 

I've heard that "COR isn't everything in a fairway wood head", but I haven't gotten a sense of why that statement is true. My guess as to why you've found different shafts work well with different heads is simply the positioning of weight in the head and the actual loft of the club. The more forward, the less spin it will produce, therefore possibly requiring a high launch shaft.

 

For example, with the RBZ, the stock, high launch shaft felt great to me. With the Maltby, the weight is fairly far back and the weight port and exaggerate this, but it's a 14* club, so I would probably also put on a high launch shaft. With my current 3w, I have been able to look at the numbers and I hit it pretty well with a mid launch shaft. The only explanation I can make as to the difference in distance is the COR value.

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When I took the RBZ Challenge, what interested me was ballspeed. I agree 110% with all the people who are saying, "It's not longer off the rack" because I would never encourage someone to buy off the rack. All I was interested in is whether or not the RBZ created more ballspeed than my current head. If it does, then when both are properly fitted, the RBZ will be longer. That's where COR matters.

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There were 5 of us, all of us lower handicaps (2 scratch), and every one of us had gains in ball speed and distance, with a standard "off the rack" model. I saw the biggest gains (about 20yds on the average), but I was also the only person playing a 3W that is 10 years old. Three of the guys had 909F's, one had a Cally Razr Hawk, and I had my Cobra SS; they all had fitted shafts in their 3Ws, which is probably why they didn't see a bigger difference. As I said in the "my RBZ experience" thread, I had a "made for" Matrix XCON 6 in my 3W (same as the RBZ), so the numbers were pretty legit and I'm sure they'll only get better when I get a "real" shaft in it.

 

One interesting thing that I did notice was that the higher handicap guys that wanted to hit it after they saw my numbers, didn't get any gains at all. One guy even said "I think this machine is broken", because he was hitting it about 70yds shorter than I was. I came to this conclusion after seeing those guys take their turns.....if you don't have enough swing speed, you aren't going to get the performance from this club. I'm not saying that you have to be in the 110mph area, but the guys that weren't getting any gains were in the 80-90mph range.

 

When they say "17 yards longer for better players", they mean "17 yards longer for higher swing speeds".

 

Just my theory.

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JB, I would not disagree with this theory. I do not have a fast swing speed. I rely on center of the face contact and straight shots, and I did not hit a single straignt shot with any club while I was doing the test. I was overswinging, and making poor contact and for some reason (well the actual reason was I was pissed off at the people who worked there and could not get over it and get down to business.) I did not have my good tempo. But I was consistantly bad with all of these clubs.

 

We forget that this is advertising talk where they might say "better player" = "lower handicap" = "higher swing speed" = "more distance". This is absolutely not true. Friday before a round, I was warming up using my swing speed meter. Of course the guys wanted to play with my toy. For the record my swingspeed is only 102, One of the guys averaged 108. He had some white TM Rsomething driver. In theory, he should have out driven me all day long by 15 to 20 yards. He did not. We were very close all day but I was in front of him by a few yards every hole. At the end of the day he paid me $25 and lost 3 bets. He lost two on the first 17 holes and then tried to get some of his money back on the last hole.

 

I honestly do not think that there is 10 cents worth of different in terms of distance in TM vs Callaway vs Titleist vs Adams etc. All these people already make driver faces as close to the limit as possible. Everything else is about whatever fits your swing better. They differ in CG, forgiveness, workability, and things like that. In order to gain distance, that change the loft, of length of shaft or CG which effects spin which adds or subtracts things.

 

 

But here is my take on this whole gaining 17 yards on a fairway wood. Taking nothing else into account other than loft and length. If I hit a 52* 35.5" wedge 100 yards, then with the same hand speed, I would hit a 9.5* 45" driver 251 yards. A 15* 43" 3 wood would be 225 a 19* 41" Hybrid is 202 and the 4 iron is 184. Let us assume that we have a12 yard increase with each club. This leaves the 5-p the following, 172, 160, 148, 136, 124, 112.

 

These are nice even gaps between the clubs with longer gaps the further from that hole.

 

Now let's get the Rocketballz 3 wood and add 17 yards, so now I have a 251 yard driver, and a 242 yard 3 wood. To close the gap between the 3 wood and hybrid, I now need a new hybrid, so I buy a 229 yard hybrid, but I now have a huge gap to my 4 iron so I need another, Which created another gap. So I guess I will by a whole set of RBZ irongs, and have a 17 yard gap between my wedges. Oh, I guess I will get some new wedges also.

 

I have played with some of these yardage improving clubs, adjusted loft and longer shafts, and actually have a set, but the bottom line is, there is more gaps closer to the hole. Yardage gaps should be out in the 200 yard range where you are more likely to miss anyway than the 100 yard range where you need to score.

 

I do not believe it is easier to hit a wedge than a 4 iron. It is the same swing. It is however, much harder to convince yourself that you need to swing that 4 iron at the same tempo as you do they wedge.

 

Yesterday, I was going to have a 3 wood shot to the green. While waiting for it to clear I grabbed my wedge and took some practice swings like I was going to hit a wedge shot. Then grabbed my 3 wood and tried to hit the same shot. It worked great. I had a 3 putt par, but that is a different story.

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The gaps don't bother me, for two reasons. One, 99% of the shots I hit with my 3W are off the tee, I use it out of the fairway maybe once every 10 rounds. Two, I can bend it like Bubba; if I needed it out of a fairway and had an odd distance, I can hit a 60yd slice or hook. I'm actually more comfortable hitting those shots than trying to hit it straight, because I KNOW what it's going to do.

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After saying all that above, in order for me to hit my 3 wood, I have to have a perfect lie, no trouble around the green and no water or ob near by. Otherwise, lay up and use a wedge, this is my strength anyway. So if I have a bigger gap between my hybrid and 3 wood, big deal. I do not even carry a 3 wood in the summer. I carry more wedges.

 

I am playing the Tribute in Dallas on Thursday. This has replica holes from the great old courses in Scottland, but with much nicer weather. I have been debating on a 3 wood or 64* wedge. Probably take the 3 wood because these are a lot bigger greens than I am used to but judging from the satallite images I will be better off distance wise using a hybrid on the par 5's.

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