Generation next: new steel is big; TaylorMade’s RAC wedge begets a new iron – Equipment: inside looks – Brief Article
The new steel: Recent advancements have allowed steel-head clubs to check in at a titanium-like 300 cubic centimeters, or more than twice the size of the first steel drivers (center). New steel offerings include (clockwise from top left): Tour Edge’s Hypersteel 300 ($179), ADVANCED GOLF TECHNOLOGY’s Supernova 313 ($259), DYNACRAFT’s Dynafire ($75, head only) and NIKE’s Forged Steel ($299).
Is the new steel better than titanium? Steel alloys, like Carpenter 450, 455 and 465 used in the Tour Edge and Nike clubs or the Aermet used in the Dynafire and Supernova, are stronger than titanium, usually less expensive and can have a COR approaching the USGA limit. But titanium is much lighter, and it has the potential for springlike effect across a wider area of the face. Less weight also means increased perimeter weighting and a larger, more forgiving clubhead.
Inherited traits: One of the ideas behind TAYLORMADE’s “RAC” wedges came from a seismologist who theorized about diverting vibration from the impact area. Hence, the two milled pockets toward the heel and toe of the RAC wedge. That same idea (and a few others) has been applied to the RAC OS iron (RAC stands for “Relative Amplitude Coefficient,” which is geekspeak for “we would like your shots to feel as soft as butter”). The RAC OS is designed to combine the feel benefits of the wedge with distance (hence the larger-size head and the 45-degree loft on the pitching wedge). A hidden weight cartridge in the sole is designed to increase stability on off-center hits ($599 steel, $799 graphite; 800-888-2582; www.taylormadegolf.com).
COPYRIGHT 2003 New York Times Company Magazine Group, Inc.
COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group