TaylorMade SpeedBlade Iron Review

TaylorMade SpeedBlades (1)

50 Words or Less

Truly easy to hit.  These irons make the ball go a long way and land softly.

Introduction

Prior to the BMW Championship last year, TaylorMade unveiled the SpeedBlade iron.  While not their first iron with Speed Pocket technology, it is the longest and widest Speed Pocket yet.  TaylorMade claims that this offers golfers more ball speed, higher launch, and more distance.

In February, I had the opportunity to be fit for my own set of SpeedBlades at the TaylorMade Performance Lab (story HERE).  I was blown away by the technology used in the fitting, but today we’re going to answer the most important question: will these clubs lead to better golf?

TaylorMade SpeedBlades (13)

Looks

The TaylorMade SpeedBlade is a good looking game improvement iron.  The top line is not razor thin, but it’s not overly beefy either.  The overall size of the blade promotes confidence without totally enveloping the golf ball.  At address, I particularly like the way the contrast between the middle of the face and the heel/toe areas frames the ball and hides some of the club’s bulk.

At the end of the day, these are pretty good looking clubs.  They’re not going to fill the forums with drooling emoticons, but the looks shouldn’t turn anyone away either.  The SpeedBlades look like what they are: game improvement irons packed with technology.

TaylorMade SpeedBlades (24)

Sound & Feel

Since I’ve played nothing but forged irons my entire golfing life, you might expect that I would rail against the feel of the cast SpeedBlades.  You’d be wrong.  Cast or not, the feel of the SpeedBlades on a pured shot is very sweet.  It may not be “buttery soft,” but anyone who says that it isn’t satisfying would be lying.

Where the difference between the SpeedBlades and my current irons becomes more apparent is on mishits.  With the SpeedBlades, there is far less feedback about the location of the mishit and the feel is very firm.  The trade off is that mishits perform much more like centered shots.  I think most golfers would take that trade.

TaylorMade SpeedBlades (22)

Performance

Let’s start with the one performance trait that everyone cares about: distance.  To no one’s surprise, the TaylorMade SpeedBlades are long.  Compared to my current irons, the 6-iron is about 13 yards longer and the 5-iron is even longer than that.

I hear you, haters.  “The lofts are just jacked up and the shafts are too long.  They just stamped a ‘6’ on a 5-iron.”  Here’s the problem: you’re wrong.  If that were the case, I’d be the first one to run to the presses with a boldfaced review skewering TaylorMade for bamboozling golfers too dumb to know the difference, but it’s not.  These irons are really special.  

Here’s the first thing that no one’s talking about: shots from these irons land softly.  If this iron was just about “jacked up lofts,” the shots would be rolling out like a driver down a burned out fairway.  They don’t.  On average, shots from the SpeedBlades landed 1-3° more steeply than shots from my current irons.  That means these irons go farther and hold greens better.

The second thing no one’s talking about: the distance in these clubs has been added intelligently.  You’ll notice that the 8-iron through PW don’t have Speed Pockets.  That’s because they don’t need them.  The PW from my forged “players” irons goes 135 yards, so does my SpeedBlade.  The SpeedBlade 9-iron is 2-3 yards longer than my current gamer.  The 8-iron is 5-6 yards longer.  You see where this is going.  TaylorMade didn’t just make all your clubs longer, they improved the gapping between the irons so that they will connect to your fairway woods and hybrids better.

Finally, these clubs are really forgiving.  Hit the ball anywhere on the light grey portion of the face and you’re going to get a decent result.  I was lucky (?) enough to have a horrid ball striking day during my first session with the SpeedBlades, and this magnified the difference between them and my old irons.  Thin shots in particular benefit tremendously from the Speed Pocket.

Overall, these irons are long, the shots land softly, and they are very forgiving.  What’s not to love?

If you’re interested in getting more info about the Speed Pocket technology in the SpeedBlades, check out this video from TaylorMade and Sports Science HERE.

TaylorMade SpeedBlades (10)

Conclusion

I’ve long been skeptical of distance irons, but the TaylorMade SpeedBlade has made a convert of me.  TaylorMade added distance in a way that makes sense and doesn’t require you to buy 4 more wedges, regardless of what the “experts” on the forums would have you believe.  Moreover, these clubs are extremely consistent and forgiving.  Regardless of your handicap, if you want to hit your irons longer and get more forgiveness, the SpeedBlades should be the first club you try.

Buy the TaylorMade SpeedBlade irons HERE

Watch the Video

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Matt Saternus

Co-Founder, Editor In Chief at PluggedInGolf.com
Matt is a golf instructor, club fitter, and writer living in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Matt's work has been published in Mulligan Magazine, Chicagoland Golf, South Florida Golf, and other golf media outlets. He's also been a featured speaker in the Online Golf Summit and is a member of Ultimate Golf Advantage's Faculty of Experts.

Latest posts by Matt Saternus (see all)

32 Comments

  1. If I have any chance to curb my club ho’ing I really need to stop reading stuff like this!

    Thanks for the review!

  2. Thanks for the nice write-up. I’ve actually added the 4-7 into my bag to go along with my Nike Coverts. Yes a 4 iron. I’ve never EVER been able to hit a 4-iron unless it involved killing fairway gophers. But this 4 goes high and long (for me).

    • Matt Saternus

      Nice! I took my 4I out of the bag a while ago, but I’m thinking of adding the SpeedBlades 4I, too.

      Best,

      Matt

  3. Ordered a set ( 5-gw) on 1st October, nothing was said to me at the time except I would have to wait 7-10 days for delivery. Since then I have been fobbed off with ” they don’t have heads for the seven iron or sand wedge” and ” you are in the queue “. Finally last week I was told that they were being made and now guess what . ( now don’t laugh this is serious ) I have to wait until 11 November for them to start making them because they have run out of stock shafts. Well they can stick them because if their clubs are as good as their customer service I will be shanking them all over the place.

  4. chuck reeves

    Hi. I enjoy your articles and reviews. I particularly enjoyed this video on the Taylormade Speedblades. As for me, I am 63 and still a 10-12 handicap although I was under 10 for much of the last 20-some years. Now, I have put away all of my blades and been trying out game improvement irons the last couple years. This year I picked up a set of Calloway Apex irons with a new composite shaft I can not remember the name of right now. I have liked them okay, but think their distances can be inconsistent. I would love to find a set to move into and stick with for the next several years or so. I have never owned or even hit Taylormades, and I would love your comments and any recommendations on where I should turn.
    Thanks,
    Chuck

    • Matt Saternus

      Chuck,

      Thank you!
      Let me start by asking a bit about your Apex irons. What kind of range are you seeing in terms of the distance inconsistency? Have you checked out the distances on a launch monitor in a controlled setting? Are you finding that the distances are inconsistent on good shots, or are you just unhappy with the difference between good shots and mis hits? If it’s the former, I might look at the shaft as being the problem more than the head.
      I think the SpeedBlades are a really nice iron, and I’m also intrigued by the new RSi irons by TaylorMade (we’ll be testing them soon).
      As I often say, the most important thing you can do is get fit by a qualified fitter. They can get you into the right shaft and from there you can pick whatever head looks good, feels good, and produces the distances you want. I always recommend checking out a Club Champion fitting first because I have a long relationship with them and know that they do exceptional fittings.
      I hope that helps. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

      Best,

      Matt

    • The Badger

      TaylorMade Speedblade Irons are Awesome…I’ve had Pings, Callaway and now the Speedblades…

      Strongly recommend and does not take second to Pings or Callaway…

      The Badger

  5. I want irons that add length, feel, and ease (in other words, everything). 11 handicap. Whats the best all around performer?

    • Matt Saternus

      For your handicap range, I like the Nike Vapor Pro Combo very much. I also like the PING i25 (my gamers).

      Best,

      Matt

  6. Kevin Walsh

    I am in the process of changing my irons, my handicap is 14 .which clubs would be of most benefit to me. I like speedblade and I like rsi irons your expert opinion would be appreciated. I am a leftie and I am 72 years old. Thanks for your help. Kevin. Ps my current irons are adams.

  7. Hi Matt,

    I had a set of Taylormades R7’s that I purchased from Costco in 2011ish. They were recently stolen and I’m looking for another set of Taylormades. I’m in the 15+ handicap and haven’t been out in ages due to work related moves and a new baby. I loved how forgiving the old R7’s seemed to be. Would you recommend these in my instance?

    • Matt Saternus

      Scott,

      Yes, I think the SpeedBlades are one of the irons that’s worth considering. If you want forgiveness, the PING G30 is hard to beat also.

      Best,

      Matt

  8. Thanks Matt! I’ll take a look at the Ping’s as well. I really appreciate the site and the work you guys do!

    Cheers,
    Scott

  9. Bought a set of speedblades with stiff steel shafts. These clubs are very forgiving and have amazing launch height. Very straight as well. Great set for anyone looking to improve you’re game.

    Cheers!

  10. Thanks for the review Matt!

    I play g15 irons right now, and while I do love the forgiveness of them I am thinking of trying something ‘not so chunky’.
    How would you say these would compare to my current gamers?
    Forgiveness would be pretty equal do you think?
    I have been a long time Ping user, kind of nervous to go out and away from ‘my brand’ lol. Any advice would be greatly appreciate, thanks!

    • Matt Saternus

      Willis,

      I think they’re in the same general category, but from person to person the difference could be substantial. As always, I’d recommend a fitting if you’re thinking about switching.

      Best,

      Matt

  11. BTW I am a 16hcp

  12. Hi Matt

    I am one of the pluggedingolf big fan fromThailand. Been reading your articles and they are really accurate and straight to the point. Good Job^_^

    Now I am considering to gaming the speedblade instead of my blade irons.What I am really afraid of that whether they are too much offset on and I cannot fading the ball. Please give me some idea.

    Thanks
    Chula

    • Matt Saternus

      Chula,

      Thank you!
      Going from real blades to the SpeedBlade would be a big jump. If you’re looking for more forgiveness while still keeping offset low, I would recommend the PING i irons or i25 or the new Ben Hogan Ft. Worth 15 irons. You can find reviews of all of them on this site.

      Best,

      Matt

  13. Nice write up. Just purchased these irons along with the 3 & 4 hybrids and they feel great! I formerly was playing RAC OS2’s and I took my 7 iron with me to compare. On average I was hitting the Speedblade 7 iron 15 yards longer then my current 7. Can’t wait to get out and play!

  14. Hi, Love your review. I agree with everything you said. I am a 12 handicapper. I bought my speedblades used and absolutely love them. I have gone from Callaway X2 Hots, Adams XTD’s, Mazuno JPX EX Forged, thinking that my Speedblades were older and the newer tech “MUST” mean they are better. I have sold everything but my Speedblades. I have not found anything that gives me the same feel, distance, look as my Speedblades.

  15. Ryan Steiger

    I dont know my exact handicap, but id say im between a 16-20. Ive had TaylorMade Burner 2.0s for about 6 years now. Do you recommend these clubs as an upgrade? striking the ball consistent is probably my biggest weakness. Im not familar with some of the terminology you are using such as “blade” irons or “game improvment” irons. Any feedback would be great. Im a self taught golfer. I just go out and start hacking. LOL

    Thanks,
    Steig

    • Matt Saternus

      Steig,

      The SpeedBlade would be a fine choice, but I can’t guarantee it would be much different than what you’re currently playing. I would suggest working with a qualified fitter like Club Champion to find a head and shaft combination that can help your consistency issues.

      Best,

      Matt

  16. Hi Matt,
    What is the weights on these shalfs? It said uniflex

  17. Kevin Chester

    Hi Matt
    I have a set of Speedblade irons 2014 and for the first time I decided to have the loft and lies checked. Most of them were out. The net result is that the club fitter wants to increase the lofts 2 to 2.5 degrees from the factory suggested settings on my irons ( 5 thru to 9) 1 degree on the PW. I already hit a very high ball ( early release issue ) so my question is what benefit do I derive if I go to the increased loft or should I change the lofts to the factory settings.

    • Matt Saternus

      Kevin,

      When you say increase, are you talking about going from, say, 40 degrees to 42 or from 40 to 38? Assuming you’re talking about going to higher lofts (40 to 42), you will see the ball go even higher with less distance.

      Is there something you’re unhappy with about the irons now? The answer should lead you to the right course of action. If you want more distance, the factory specs should give you that.

      Best,

      Matt

  18. Scott Johnson

    What’s the best low offset iron ? I’m a 6 ,68 years old .need distance ,offset with one eye left is tough on aim.thanks

  19. Stuart Lennie

    Hi Matt, I’ve just acquired a new 50 & 55 degree t / made speedblade wedges, both under $30 each. I know these clubs are a few years old. I’m looking for the 60 degree. New ,old stock..if you have any idea of where I should look I’d appreciate it. Thanks .stuart.

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