Royal Collection has long dominated the fairway wood and utility market here in Japan especially for the better player and professional. Compact, wonderful feeling and top performing woods have been their for over a decade. This is no small feat for as compared to most brands, RC is a very small company with only 20 employees dedicated to designing and producing golf clubs that look great and perform great. Many golf enthusiasts in the West may be familiar with their Driving Cavity design which began in 1995 with the CV-1 head. Many of these designs were borrowed by the now defunct brand Sonartec. Sonartec has long been a popular choice of many PGA and LPGA professionals for their superbly designed and super performing fairway woods and utilities, most of which were passed down from Royal Collection years after their model release in Japan.
Earlier this year Royal Collection released their all new BBD 305V fairway wood (you can read the review here), made for the better golfer wanting a more compact head. The 305V fit in alongside the TRC Fairway woods which are also aimed at the better player to improving player who wants a mid sized head with some forgiveness. At the golf fair, RC showcased two new fairway woods called the Pro TX and Pro TR both aimed at pro level type players and scratch golfers wanting a compact head with a strong and stable penetrating trajectory. At first glance the two heads look very similar and its hard to tell them apart besides their slightly different color accents. Both heads use RC's famed driving cavity sole and both are very compact. On the sole of each head is marked Tour Trajectory and the model, either Pro TX or Pro TR. Both models come in either a mirror finish or black IP and as you can see in the picture above I received two black IP heads for testing.
(All pictures feature the TX on the left and the TR on the right)
Even though these heads are aimed at the pro level and single digit handicapper, I was very excited about hitting them. I have always liked RC fairway woods for their more traditional look and their solid but hot feel off the face. These two heads are well above my level of play but that did not stop me from testing them out for feel and ease of use though it admittedly is hard for me to gauge their true performance. I actually like a deep faced fairway wood though for me, a shallow face is probably more forgiving. The TX which is the smaller of the two heads (146cc 13 14 15* heads while the TR has 153cc 14 and 15* heads), has a slightly deeper face. Both fairway woods have very nice pop off the face but are in now way loud sounding. Both can excel being used off the tee and still are reasonably versatile off the deck thanks to its channeled driving cavity which reduce friction at impact.
Both heads being compact sized, feature pear shaped and more traditional shaped heads. The TX is a tad shorter face to back and features a 1.0* open face angle while the TR features a 0.5* open face. Both look small at address and frame the ball well. The open faces allows for stable control and I actually hit little fades with both models (BB6 stiff - a bit too stiff for me) but when turning on the clubs could force a little draw.
Both produce very strong penetrating trajectories that will excel in the wind and produce good run. The testers I had were 15* models so I can only imagine the 13 and 14* heads would launch even lower and spin less. As you can see from the image above, both feature high back head designs which allow for a higher CG placement. Also because the heads are small the CG is reasonably shallow. These designs are what create the much stronger than usual trajectory. Many fairway woods today feature very shallow faces, mid to bigger heads and shallow back head shapes all designed for higher and easy launch. The Pro TR and Pro TX buck that trend and so they should since their target audience is not very mainstream. That said, the TR with its slightly shallower head design did launch higher than the TX.
Both the Pro TX and Pro TR could satisfy any pro or better player wanting a compact fairway wood with a powerful stable trajectory. The TR with its shallower face and head may actually provide the best all around performance of the two thanks to it being a tad more forgiving and its slightly higher launch. But for those who want to hit bullets and love the deep face, the very compact and high back TX is the way to go. Both models are built by RC with upgrade shafts only and because of this they are made to order with a 3-4 week wait time. You can check them out here in the pro shop!