TaylorMade: New 3-wood will go 10 yards farther

The TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2 fairway wood (left), rescue wood (center) and fairway wood at address (right).

TaylorMade is extremely bullish about its new Rocketballz Stage 2 fairway woods and Rescue hybrid clubs for 2013.

How bullish? Consider this little numbers game:

RocketBallz fairway woods and Rescues gained so much popularity in 2012 - their first year of existence - that TaylorMade decided to make Rocketballz Stage 2 its one and only line of fairway woods and Rescues for 2013.

TaylorMade is about to tell the world that its 2013 Rocketballz Stage 2 3-wood will hit the ball 10 yards farther than last year’s RocketBallz 3-wood. Last year the stated distance gain was 17 yards. Add 10 yards this year, and that’s a 27-yard distance increase from 2011.

Stated distance claims aside, there is little chance of separating some golfers from their TaylorMade fairway woods and Rescues.

Take Leslie Henry of Dallas, for example. After shooting 75-76-73 in the Central Texas Women’s Amateur and beating a bunch of players half her age, the 60-year-old Henry repeated a theme from 2012: “There is no way you are getting this RocketBallz fairway wood away from me. No way. It has changed my game.”

Todd Beach, vice president of metalwood research and development for TaylorMade, said the success has come because the RocketBallz family pushed the envelope of technology.

What’s in that envelope, anyway?

For Stage 2, increased playability and ease of launch, according to Beach. He said this was accomplished with a lower profile for the clubhead and a lower center of gravity.

An important change to this year’s Rocketballz Stage 2 lineup is adjustable versions for the fairway woods and Rescues. Golfers can raise or lower the loft of these clubs by as much as 1.5 degrees in either direction.

The face material in the fairway woods and hybrids is called RocketSteel, which is a high-strength, lightweight steel that provides a faster, more flexible face.

In addition, all the fairway woods and Rescues have TaylorMade’s Speed Pocket cut into the sole. Beach said the Speed Pocket has been substantially improved this year. It is intended to boost ball speed and distance.

The standard version of Stage 2 fairway woods ($249) will be available in lofts of 15, 17, 19, 21 and 22 degrees. The adjustable TP version ($279) will come in lofts of 13, 14.5, 16.5 and 18.5.

Meanwhile, the Stage 2 Rescue ($199) is available in 3, 4, 5 and 6 designations, meaning those are the irons designed to be replaced by the Rescues. The adjustable Tour Rescue ($229) will be sold in 2, 3, 4 and 5 designations.

All fairway woods and Rescues are scheduled to be available at retail Feb. 1.

• • •

The new Lethal golf ball from TaylorMade ($45.99 per dozen) features five-layer construction.

The hallmark of most multi-layer balls is maximized spin and feel, and the Lethal ball, with its urethane cover, is no different. Furthermore, TaylorMade is touting a “penetrating, wind-defying flight” for this professional-quality ball.

The 332-dimple pattern is coupled with TaylorMade’s Low-Drag Performance. The ball will be available the last week of February.

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