I took time out today to take a look at the Romaro Ray UT. While Titanium is pretty much what every driver is made of these days, and even titanium fairway woods becoming more and more common, Ti utilities are something we still don't see a lot of due to cost and design. Romaro however, decided to design and manufacture their Ray UT with a hot Titanium face and a sturdy 17-4 stainless body.
At first glance the Romaro caught my attention for its aesthetically pleasing visuals and compact looking head. In fact the head is not that compact, it ranges from 122cc for the 18* to 116cc for the 27*. The Ray UT's design hides its size well and this is a big positive. The Ray UT is available in 18 21 24 and 27* lofts all with square face angles and lie ranging from 58.5* to 60*.
The Ray UT is unique in that it offers a forged Titanium CUP face. The cup face allows for a larger sweet spot in all directions equaling less distance lost on miss hits. Romaro decided on a cross like sweet spot thicker in the center and thinner towards the outer walls. This type of design creates more rebound and increases ball speeds at impact. The face is mid height and certainly deep enough for using off the tee without a second thought. I really liked the feel at impact. It's not a metallic tink like some thin faced utilitys or fairway woods sound like but a soft yet solid feel which seems to be used to describe golf clubs. In other words the feel is very good as is the feedback.
Another key aspect of the Ray UT head is the sole. A utility is used in many situations and many different lies and conditions. A versatile sole is a must and the Ray UT has been well thought out. It features a tapered V like channels on either side of the head and a multi level sole all which reduces friction and contact with the ground. This allows for better impact through a variety of conditions and we all know better impact equals more accurate shots and better distance. I tried the Ray UT here on the lush fairways of Kiminomori and in the deeper rough and it performed admirably with the with the sole working its way through to the ball and allowing the club not only create better impact but square impact. It is very straight and right on target.
Looking at the Ray UT at address, you can see what I mean by the head looks compact. It is almost a mini elongated pear shape and the top line and face angle perfectly square. The contrasting score lines frame the ball very well and give a very clear target for the ball to strike. Teeing the ball up I felt very confident, the Ray UT definitely excels off the deck and off the tee and in both cases gets the ball in the air quick but produces a strong and stable trajectory.
Golfers looking for a premium titanium utility don't have a lot to choose from. There is pretty much the Epon AF902 and this Romaro Ray UT. To compare the two, I think I actually prefer this Romaro. The Epon seemed big and longer from heel to toe (thanks to its shallower face) and while it does have a multi level sole as well, it doesn't appear as versatile as the Romaro. Because the Romaro is compact, I felt it was actually easier to hit it center. Teeing off with the Romaro definitely has the edge over the Epon. The Epon's edge is that the entire head is Ti and it really launches high and easy (though some may prefer the more stable and strong trajectory of the Romaro). One advantage that the Romaro has over the Epon is cost, it's a few hundred dollars cheaper. I came away quite impressed with the Ray UT. It will satisfy most better golfers yet is forgiving enough for the average golfer to give it a go. It sets up great and the sole is very versatile. The titanium face provides very good feel and feedback and the 21* I had hit it as far if not further than my RC TRC 20* UT even though the RC is a degree stronger and built a tad longer. I also like how the Romaro is available in 4 different lofts including a 27* meaning for a player playing a strong lofted set of irons, they could actually replace the 5i and 6i in the set with a 24* and 27* (yes I may actually do this).
The Romaro Ray UT will be in the pro shop before the week's end and will be available as head only or built to spec with any top Japan market shaft and grip!