Royal Collection has released their all new Next Generation BBD 305V fairway wood. Today I received 4 demo clubs and headed out right away to test them as they simply looked awesome. Unlike the SFD lineup, the BBD line like the TRC line, is made for the better golfer who wants max performance and feel in a more compact and stable club. The BBD 305V come in 14, 15, 18 and 21* lofts and are dubbed the Next Generation by RC thanks to a change in design compared to traditional RC fairway woods with its new V Sole.
Year in and year out, even though Royal Collection is a very small company, they continue to produce top notch fairway woods and utilities. It is this segment of clubs that they excel in and are best known for thanks to their driving cavity and twin rail cavities. The new BBD 305V's main design points are a new V sole which helps the club cut through the turf at impact, reducing friction and lost swing speed resulting in better impact and better performance.
The sole of the 305V still features RC's driving Cavity which is now a weighted part of the club extending deep into the back of the head. While big back weighting is nothing new (see Ryoma) I like the way RC incorporated the weight into its driving cavity hence the name driving cavity weight. More weight in the back of the head of a club typically creates higher launch but to keep trajectory down, RC shortens the CG in the 305V. This results in an easy and higher launch but strong and penetrating overall trajectory for more distance and control.
The back weighting on the 305V also increase MOI and the sweet spot of the club which I am glad to say is quite big and noticeable. The face and head is a slight departure from past BBD models in that it is not quite as deep and more of a mid height or semi shallow face. This allows the 305V to make more consistent center impact off the deck but still allows for it to be tee'ed of with.
There really isn't anything I do not like about the head visually. The face shape and head shape are great as is the straight face angle which is on every loft. Even though the face is shallower than past models the heads are still compact and traditional. We see a lot of modern shallow faced FW's with very large heads as they get flattened out and to create very very low CG points. The 305V sets up wonderfully and the better player will like how the smaller head frames the ball for a draw or fade.
In my morning session here at Kiminomori, I tested all 4 lofts which vary in size from 160cc to 146cc. 160cc is not tiny by any means but because of the 305V's shape it makes my 165cc egg Spoon look quite large. For an average golfer like myself that can be quite intimidating but I am please to report, that the 305V is not hard to hit. With advances in design and manufacturing, the line separating clubs for the average golfer and athlete/better golfer has become more and more blurred in recent years. Even better player models are becoming more and more forgiving which is a good thing. One can never have too much forgiveness. The great thing about the 305V is it still maintains all its athlete qualities, a compact square faced head, strong trajectory, workable stable shots with very very good feel.
Royal Collection's move to a custom 455 stainless face a few years ago was a superb choice and while the same materials are used on this years TRC models, the face of the 305V feels even hotter most likely due to the back weighting. The 14 and 15* produce very strong trajectories with ample run and even the 18 and 21* while they are easy to launch, do not go overly high which is a good thing. The stock shaft is as usual made for RC by Graphite Design and is a Tour AD designated model meaning high quality and stable performance. Once again, RC offers shafts in various weights and flexes depending on the players swing style with 50 60 and 70g stock shafts available. The stock shafts (I had all 60g models here), have pretty good feel and are easy to load. For the very aggressive or faster swinger, RC also offers the 305V with all the latest shafts including the Tour AD BB DI DJ SF series, Fubuki K ahina FW, ATTAS3 and Motore Speeder FW.
I have to tell you I am torn, I'm in the midst of testing the Ryoma F and I also finished testing the ONOFF Fairway Arms. Now throw in this new BBD 305V and we have some very amazing choices here for a wide variety of golfers in the coming season. I honestly can't make up my mind which to bag for the new season and my egg Spoon probably is not happy that I am thinking this way! I hgihtly recommend the 305V to the better player wanting a compact square faced head and very good feel with a penetrating trajectory. For the mid capper and improving player, this club is certainly forgiving enough and can definitely be an option if you prefer a smaller head.
I hope to add the new BBD 305V in the Pro Shop this weekend so make sure you check for it!