It’s no surprise that TaylorMade has followed up the release of the RocketBallz Fairway wood from last year with a new and improved model called the RBZ Stage 2.
These fairways come in a variety of different models including the standard RBZ Stage 2 Fairway (the one reviewed here), the RBZ Stage 2 Tour Fairway, and the RBZ Stage 2 Tour TP Fairway (the tour models are adjustable).
RBZ Stage 2 Fairway Wood
Last year was a very clear success with the RBZ Fairway wood. In review after review and in multiple conversations, it was very clear that many were seeing significant distance increases with the new fairway wood. The offering from last year was a clear success and TaylorMade has made some tweaks that should result in more happy customers with the RBZ Stage 2.
If you hit last year’s model, there are a few differences with the Stage 2 that you’ll likely notice. The first is the obvious addition of the new crown graphics and the next is the lower head profile and shallow face of the RBZ Stage 2. The club has seen some moderate change in both general aesthetics and shape. From a technology standpoint, there are a few differences as well – the net of it is that TaylorMade is claiming an additional 10 yards over the model last year. Yes, you read that correctly. Last year was +17 and this year is +10. Before long you might not need a driver in your bag anymore.
Well, I didn’t play the RBZ fairway last year other than hitting it a few times at various demo days. I did really like the club, I just didn’t ever take it out and put it in rotation for a review.
This year is different. The RBZ Stage 2 has me smiling ear-to-ear and when I hit it for the first time I knew I would really like this fairway wood. I haven’t been let down after having it in the bag for a while – the Stage 2 is excellent.
RBZ Stage 2 Look & Feel
The aesthetics are the first thing you’ll notice – primarily the crown graphics.
While the matte white has been around for a few years now, the Stage 2 (like many new offerings this year) has some very distinct head graphics. This is certainly different than what we’ve seen in the past years and most seem to either love it or hate it. Like the majority of others that I’ve spoken with that have hit any of the new RBZ models, I warmed up to the graphics and was comfortable with them almost instantly.
The engineers at TaylorMade claim that the graphics are primarily for alignment and the graphics live up to the promise. I don’t necessarily feel like I need an alignment aid for a fairway wood, but it isn’t distracting at all. At the end of the day, I do like the graphics – mostly just because it’s something different than I’m used to and it gives the club a distinct look.
The sole of the club has also been updated with new styling and the club has a nice and sleek low-profile feel to it. It’s very easy to hit the Stage 2 off the deck and the lower profile head feels at home in the rough as well.
The club has a very nice and crisp sound when you strike the ball well. Off-center hits don’t sound and feel quite as nice, but the difference is minimal. It wasn’t always apparent to me how well the ball was struck from the acoustics, but sweet spot contact does have a nice powerful feel.
RBZ Stage 2 Performance
The overall performance of the Stage 2 is substantial. The ball flight is piercing and it’s certainly noticeably longer than any other fairway wood I’ve played. Not 27 yards longer, but easily 10 yards longer. Honestly, anything over 10 yards longer would be a dissapointment because of the disruption that it would likely have on a few other clubs in my bag.
I feel like the RBZ Stage 2 is extremely reliable. The shots feel workable and I am consistently striking the ball well. Since day one, the vast majority of the shots that I’ve hit with this club have been very long and very straight. I’m not sure why, but I also seem to be able to hit the Stage 2 Fairway much better off of uneven lies than I have with other fairway woods. Overall, it’s just a really good club for me.
Based on a few weeks and many range sessions with the RBZ Stage 2 Fairway, it’s living up to my expectations. I had pretty high expectations to begin with and the Stage 2 hasn’t let me down. TaylorMade has a very clear winner with this club and I’m guessing you’ll see a ton of these starting to show up in bags everywhere starting on the official release date of February 1st.
If you’re in the market for a new fairway wood, there’s a high chance you’ll be hitting this one. The only decision you’ll likely need to make is which version of the Stage 2 to go with.
Wanna see more pics? Check out our RBZ Stage 2 Fairway Wood Photo Album on Facebook.