Yesterday, TaylorMade “Officially” announced the new, soon-to-be released R9 Irons. I use “Officially” because our friends over at The Hackers Paradise have known about and written about them for a while now.
I was able to see first hand these clubs in action (or perhaps second hand, considering, I couldn’t hit them because they were righty’s) and not surprising JB issued me a pretty sound thrashing that day… Whether it was his TaylorMade R9 Irons against my TaylorMade Burner Irons his superior game vs my hackery that did it, who can say?? 🙂
Reading about the R9’s briefly made me wish I had held off on purchasing clubs a little longer, but then I recall that the Burners rock and the R9’s are a modeled after the Burners and we all know that sequels are NEVER as good as the originals! hehe..
Hope you have a great weekend!
TaylorMade introduces R9 irons
Distance and Control-Enhancing Technologies in a Classic Shape R9 Irons
Carlsbad, Calif. (October 1, 2009)– TaylorMade has introduced the R9™ iron, designed to deliver modern performance and tremendous distance in a more classic package.
“Whereas our Burner irons deliver extraordinary distance in a modern design, the R9 irons are aimed at the technician, and so are rendered in a player’s shape with a clean and conventional look,” said Harry Arnett, TaylorMade’s senior category director of metalwoods, irons and balls. “However, a ridiculous degree of performance-enhancing technology is packaged within each oversized clubhead. The result is an iron that’s phenomenally easy to play despite its classic appearance, and extremely controllable and accurate as well.”
Like the Burner irons, the new R9 long-irons and middle-irons were designed separately from the short-irons to optimize performance in each club. The result is that the 3-iron through 6-iron are extremely long and easy to hit, and the short-irons are engineered to promote great feel, control and accuracy.
Velocity-Control Chamber in the Long- and Middle-irons
Each R9 long-iron and middle-iron (3- through 6-) houses a large and fully enclosed compartment positioned behind the clubface, underneath the cavity badge. Called the Velocity-Control Chamber (VCC), it makes it possible for an immense area of the ultra-thin (2.0 mm) clubface to exist unsupported. We call it a wrap-around clubface because it acts like a face that wraps around the top-line and the leading edge, which gives the face more freedom to flex and reflex at impact, much like a thin-faced driver.
The VCC makes it easier to launch the ball with the long- and middle-irons, yet TaylorMade engineers have gone to great lengths to ensure that the R9 irons deliver controlled power by incorporating Inverted Cone Technology on the inner side of the clubface. In addition to promoting higher ball speed on off-center hits, the Inverted Cone has been carefully calibrated to eliminate “hot spots” so that ball speed is consistent across the clubface, resulting in keen and consistent distance control in all of the R9 irons.
Although the R9 long- and middle-irons don’t immediately appear to be perimeter-weighted they are, given that the VCC is occupied by a nearly weightless foam, as well as a silicone shock absorber positioned directly behind the center of the face; both serve to absorb unwanted impact vibration. The foam starts as a powder sealed within the VCC; heating the clubhead turns the powder to foam that expands to completely fill all open areas of the chamber, ensuring that the sound and feel at impact is soft, agreeable and consistent across the face.
Deep Undercut Cavity, Broad Low-CG Sole and Heel-Toe Weighting in the Short-irons
R9 short-irons are engineered to deliver increased playability, control and feel in the scoring zone. The simple, straightforward teardrop shape and clearly delineated leading edge make it easy for any player to aim these irons target-ward and fire the ball at the flag. Each compact clubhead incorporates a deep undercut cavity and broad, low-CG sole that makes it easy to make solid, spin-inducing contact to get the ball in the air and stop it quickly upon landing. R9 short-irons also incorporate a vibration-quieting layer sandwiched between the backside of the clubface and the thin, protective black badge in the cavity. The vibration-quieting is a visco-elastic adhesive made by 3M that also absorbs unwanted vibration and sound. The result is a solid and satisfying sound and feel, which is critical to good short-iron play. Additionally, at the bottom of each short-iron cavity (hidden behind the badge), more weight has been concentrated at the heel and toe to more stability and forgiveness on mis-hits.
Beveled Sole in Every Iron Promotes Solid Contact and Playability
We’ve received a lot of praise from golfers for the sole designs of our recent irons, including the Tour Preferred® and Burner®. That’s no surprise since our product creation and R&D teams have dialed in a process for working together that’s resulted in the finest iron designs in the game. Our depth of understanding allows us to create soles that interact optimally with the turf to promote crisp club-to-ball impact, swing after swing. The trick is in how the edges of the sole are contoured, or “beveled.” The sole of every R9 iron is specially beveled to reduce turf resistance, helping the bottom of the club glide through impact and apply maximum force to the ball. There’s an art and science to designing a high-performance sole, and we’ve done our best work in the R9 irons.
New and Conforming Grooves for 2010
The R9 TP irons incorporate a new groove design that conforms to the USGA and R&A ruling that goes into affect in 2010 for high-level competition.
KBS Steel Shafts
R9 irons come equipped with KBS 90-gram steel shafts, available in S and R flexes. KBS, which is quickly growing in popularity on the PGA Tour, incorporates several new enhancements into their steel shafts to promote improved performance. One is that the wall thickness of each shaft increases proportionately as the shaft diameter decreases, which promotes added stability. The KBS steel shafts in the R9 irons are a lighter version of their popular tour shaft to promote greater swing speed, higher launch and increased distance. In addition, the KBS shafts in the R9 irons share a structure and step pattern with the tour shaft that promotes tighter dispersion for greater consistency and control.
The R9 iron is also available in one graphite shaft model, the Fujikura Motore, in 75-grams in S flex, 65-grams in R flex and 55-grams in M flex.
The R9 Irons: Classic Technology-Fueled Distance and Control in a Classic Shape
Each R9 iron combines high COR and high MOI, making them longer and more forgiving than their classic-looking clubhead shape implies. Thus they’re ideal for the technician who wants a powerful, easy-to-hit iron that suits his preference for a more classic-looking shape. Adding to their beauty is their nickel chrome-plated stainless steel and pearl finish, which helps make them stand out on the shelf. There’s no doubt that these irons are worthy of the name R9 and that they’ll serve as a terrific complement to the Burner irons in the marketplace: Two great irons, R9 for the technician, Burner for the bomber.
The standard set of R9 irons includes 3-iron through pitching wedge at a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) of $999 steel and $1,249 graphite. An attack wedge and sand wedge are available separately. R9 irons become available starting on November 1, 2009.