Published on April 24th, 2012 | by Jeff Shelman3
RocketBallZ Dominate the Market Early
While this golf season is still very young – especially here in Minnesota – there seems to be an early leader in the equipment game. That leader? Rocketballz.
It has been difficult to miss TaylorMade’s new line of clubs. There is the name that sits somewhere between brash and slightly inappropriate. There is the claim of 17 yards gained versus older fairway woods. And there is the seemingly endless marketing push.
But there has been just as much buzz about the clubs – especially the fairway woods and the hybrids. I have hit the 3 wood and I’m interested in hitting the hybrids. While no club is right for every golfer, the overwhelming consensus is that the Rocketballz certainly delivers distance gains. The ball gets up in the air with ease and seems to hang up there forever.
I’ve seen players hit Rocketballz 3 woods distances that are usually reserved for drivers. I’ve seen guys shake their heads and laugh while watching the ball fly through the air. I’ve seen more and more guys put these white-headed clubs in their bags with each passing week. And even I have the driver in my bag.
While there are certainly a number of other hot new products on the market including the Ping’s i20 and G20 irons and Callaway’s Razr Fit driver, but the Rocketballz hype is big.
How much hype is there around Rocketballz? Well, there’s enough hype that Businessweek has checked in with a story about TaylorMade’s new hot club.
The story is an interesting read that talks a little bit about TaylorMade’s research and development process, why this fairway wood is different than others and what the club is doing in the marketplace.
In this case buzz has translated to sales? Consider this paragraph from the story:
“According to Golf Datatech, RocketBallz is leading all categories of woods after just one month on the market. More than 20 percent of the 261,600 woods sold in pro shops and golf specialty stores during the month of February were RocketBallz, with the 3-wood leading the way. At Golfsmith (GOLF), the nation’s largest golf specialty retailer, sales of RocketBallz fairway woods are up 275 percent over TaylorMade’s previous line during the same time last year. And Sven Kessler, vice president of retail operations for the Edwin Watts Golf chain, is seeing new life in a long-dormant category. “Our fairway wood numbers are up considerably this year, while driver sales are pretty flat,” he says. “TaylorMade has done a phenomenal job on the marketing end, and having a product that works is very important. It’s incredible the numbers we’re seeing on our launch monitors. That 17-yard claim they’re making? That’s not BS.””
In case you don’t want to do the math, that is more than 50,000 woods sold in February.
Why is this club different? Why are people seeing yardage gains?
The center of gravity is low and forward in the club. That allows the ball to launch high and spin less. In addition, the “speed pocket” adds flex in the bottom of the clubface (something that Adams has also featured on some clubs), that seems to trampoline the ball off of the clubface.
Will Rocketballz change the way that fairway woods are made and sold moving forward? Will it set off a huge shift in club design the way TaylorMade’s R7 driver did? It certainly seems possible.
While I’m all for hitting the ball a long way, each golfer has to decide for themselves what is the best way to add Rocketballz to their bag. I’m certainly considering giving a fairway wood a little more testing, but my initial thoughts would be to get something other than the long-hitting 3 wood. I get why some people want the distance and like the idea of being able to use it as somewhat of a driver replacement.
I, however, would likely lean toward getting something with a little more loft, maybe something more along the line of a 4 wood (or in Rocketballz-speak, the 17 degree HL 3). I would like a little more of a gap between my driver and my fairway wood and a little more loft usually means a little easier to hit off of the turf. It also might be a little straighter.
Have you hit anything in the Rocketballz line yet? Have you bought any of the offerings yet? Are you adding 17 yards to every fairway wood shot? And if you haven’t seen the Rocketballz yet, you will. The way things are going it seems simply a matter of time until someone in your group shows up on the first tee with Rocketballz.
For more info on RocketBallZ and TaylorMade
Jeff Shelman writes his own golf blog, go to OnlyGolfMatters to read more from Jeff!