TaylorMade Rsi1 – an unexpected surprise encounter which prompted a review

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A few weeks ago my friend Simon and I were playing host to my Canadian born Chairman at Woburn G.C. in Bedfordshire.

Simon, who as a member kindly booked us all in to play at the Marquis course (a review of that spectacular layout in another post), and we were all suitably pumped, despite the jet lag, at the prospect of playing one of the best inland courses in the UK.

Now if you have ever had to rent clubs at courses in the UK, you are usually in for a surprise especially if you are used to golf in the US.

Golf is hard enough at the best of times, without having to rely upon a 25 year old set of Ben Sayers blades as rental irons, but hey I like a challenge – 7,214 yards of densely populated pine trees, and pin placements that make climbing the North Face of the Eiger in brogues, a breeze! I was therefore pleasantly surprised to receive a brand new (and I mean brand new) set of RSi1 TaylorMade irons from Jordan Bazzone one of the professionals, with matching (brand new) carry bag, tees, balls, the whole gamut. Nice!

So off we trundled.

Set within 200 acres of mixed woodland, and designed by Alex Hay and Peter Alliss, the Marquess’s course overlaps the county boundary dividing Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire and presents a variety of rolling and undulating terrain. There are trees EVERYWHERE!!! Predominantly pine, spruce, sweet chestnut and oak, while there are a number of rare specimens such as Corsican pine, yew, rowan and beech.

OH DEAR……arrow straight are not two words normally found together when referring my game.

Could I do this magnificent layout justice playing with a set of rentals? The answer (although I say so myself) is yes, although in no small part thanks to my equipment.

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The RSi irons (including the RSi2 designed for the better player) are all about increasing performance on your poor shots or mis-hits. Something that particularly resonates with me as old age and swing defects slowly and surely seep into every aspect of my game.

I may still think like a single figure handicap player, but the hand eye movements and the no fear attitude all seem to be in short supply these days. To quote Stinger from TopGun “Son, your ego is writing checks your body can’t cash.”. Quite right….

Anyways, back to the review.

The RSi 1, is a replacement for the SpeedBlade and is designed for most standard of golfers. Not that this should put you off.

The Speed Pocket technology or “slots”, introduced in previous models has now been expanded to the face of the golf club with the new RSi 1 and RSi 2 and is called “Face Slot”. With a deep slot behind the clubface that allows the face to flex and rebound faster, thereby increasing ball speed and launch angle, this model range is being marketed as a “forgiveness iron”. Boy does it work, albeit slightly offputting at first.

TaylorMade has also combined their “Inverted Cone”, “Thru Slot”, and “Deep Undercut Cavity” technologies as part of the RSi model range, all helping to make that slightly wayward strike angle, feel and perform that much better than normal.

But hey don’t take my word for it, this guy knows a thing or two about hitting a decent iron shot…

Results gathered by TaylorMade from thousands of club fittings revealed that 76% of all iron shots are mis-hits struck outside the centre of the face (where the fastest ball speeds are produced). This discovery led the company to the development of a revolutionary new technology designed to improve consistency and distance on off-centre strikes.

Whilst over a year old, Face Slot Technology (3- to 8-iron) is the first time technology like this has been incorporated into an iron. TaylorMade claim that the RSi represents their longest ever iron, and that’s even when missing the sweet spot.

An improved Speed Pocket with ThruSlot Technology (3- to 7-iron) provides ball speed protection on shots below the centre of the face and increases launch angle and ball speed on all shots.

Is this all yet another gimmick though?

Not in my book. It works! These irons are extremely hard to fault.

Interestingly, I prefer the RSi1 version rather than the RSi2 option designed for a better player (I am still managing to cling onto a single figure handicap, so just about qualify in that bracket). Having hit a few shots with a RSi 2 five iron, whilst it is a little better in terms of overall appearance, and the feel you get with the KBS Tour shaft means you can shape shots more easily, I like the fact that hitting the ball slightly off centre with the RSi1’s delivers a more consistently high feel and performance than the RSi2’s.

In terms of distance, both variations 1 & 2 outperformed by some degree my Miura blades. Probably 15 yards further with each iron, (although the five iron was the only RSi2 club I tested). This is remarkable given my Miura’s are custom fitted, and had been subjected to hours of trackman data enhancement. Makes you think how much technology within golf clubs has moved on in the past five years or so.

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Here is a link to TaylorMade’s specifications for the RSi1 irons.

Not exactly cheap at $649.99 in standard steel shafts, but given the better ball striking and distance you’ll obtain from these irons, it is clearly worth the investment.

RSi1 Irons 3 – pw $649.99 – Available at Amazon

Specifications provided by TaylorMade

  • NEW Face Slot Technology in the 3-8 iron provide uniform flexion across the face protecting ball speed and generating more consistent distance on off-center hits.
  • Improved Speed Pocket with ThruSlot Technology in the 3-7 iron: Provides ball speed protection on shots below the center of the face and increases launch angle and ball speed on all shots.
  • Advanced Face Design—our thinnest face, deep undercut and Inverted Cone Technology combined promote maximum face speed and consistency.
  • Improved sound and feel through advanced construction & multiple dampening systems.
  • New Reax 90 steel shaft from True Temper helps to optimize ball flight for ultimate distance and performance.

    TaylorMade RSi1 loft view

    TaylorMade RSi1 loft view

TaylorMade RSi1 face on view

TaylorMade RSi1 face on view

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