TaylorMade RocketBallz Stage 2 fairway woods

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

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

Last year, TaylorMade capitalized on such advances, reaping success with its RocketBallz fairway woods. For 2013, the company is back with a sequel – adjustable fairway woods and hybrids under the RocketBallz Stage 2 Tour name.

The TaylorMade RocketBallz Stage 2 fairway woods are old in two configurations, standard and Tour; the Tour model is adjustable for loft and lie. The standard 3-wood is 15 degree and 17 degree, with an MSRP of $249.99, while the Tour version comes in lofts of 13, 14.5 and 16.5 degree with an MSRP of $279.99.

TaylorMade is using a face material called RocketSteel in its fairway woods and hybrids. RocketSteel is a high-strength, lightweight alloy that provides a faster, more flexible face. (As for adjustability, golfers can raise or lower the loft of these clubs by as much as 1.5 degrees in either direction.)

For the first time, companies have to be widely concerned about the possibility of 3-woods exceeding the USGA limit for spring-like effect. Red-lining, or pushing boundaries to the max, isn’t just a practice in auto racing. Club designers live it every day, and there has been a concerted effort among them to make fairway woods as “hot” as possible within USGA limits.

Equipment makers attribute the bold talk to a series of recent developments: New metal alloys have resulted in thinner, stronger faces. Better casting and welding techniques mean more consistent golf clubs. Engineers have produced more efficient designs.

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