However, that doesn’t mean they do not remain a good option, especially given the drop in the price as the flood of newer models are released. I grabbed a set and headed off to the range to see how they perform.
The R7 is a Game Improvement iron with a deep cavity aimed at mid-high handicappers. It’s super easy to hit high and straight and the lofts are pretty strong, so distance is also good. These are irons built for ease of use and power; so how do they hold up against their younger brothers and sisters?
The R7 iron isn’t bad looking at all. The yellow and black color scheme is classy looking and the cavity is nicely designed and as discreet as it can be for a club of this type.
The topline is quite chunky with some offset but again, it doesn’t seem to be too exaggerated or extreme in anyway. All in all it looks exactly like what it is, a game improvement iron built to get the ball up in the air.
It may be a few years old now but it looks sharp enough and would grace anyone’s bag on that front. It’s not as if you are going to be squirming with embarrassment when your pals eye up what you are gaming. I was fairly impressed with the aesthetics of the R7 iron.
The irons are geared toward high ball flight and long distances. The combination of strong lofts and the head design support those objectives. This was one of Taylormade’s first irons to incorporate their Inverted Cone Technology that maximizes the COR (Coefficient of Restitution) across a portion of the clubface. This basically allows the very thin face to generate maximum performance from a wider portion of the face.
The head also includes a shock absorption bar that reduces the harshness of poorer strikes and gives improved feel from the enlarged sweet spot. It’s a nice touch that gives the cast head a little more feedback for the player.
Stock shafts are the T-Step 90 gram steel or Reax Graphite which both perform well enough.
The irons set up pretty nicely behind the ball and they look like they mean business with their thicker topline. The offset should help higher handicappers without being so much as to become a distraction.
I hit around 20 balls and my initial thoughts were very much as I expected. These are a set of irons that fly straight and high and are excellent on off center hits. They are pretty much what a weekend or casual golfer would want and a good starting set for a newbie. Ball after ball flew straight and true and there is no doubt that these clubs deliver what they promise.
I then had a go hitting a few fades, draws and punch shots. I was able to cut the 7 iron as I wanted but the draw was a little harder to execute for me. That’s largely due to my own swing characteristics though and when I overdid my draw set up it did fly with a nice right to left flight. They aren’t really designed for shot shaping but if your game is up to it there is no reason why you can’t manage it with the R7 Irons. Punch shots were a breeze, just sort out your set up and crunch it away low for a piercing driller down the line. For the type of golfer these are aimed at this is probably a much more useful weapon and the R7 was good here.
So that’s how the R7 does but how much improvement have Taylormade brought in with their newer sets and importantly is the extra cost balanced out by added performance?
I then hit some shots with an R9 iron and the performance was identical to the R7s. The only difference was a marginally softer feel in the R9 and a better stock shaft offering with the KBS 90. The Burner iron was next and again the performance was just about the same as the R7. The Burner was not noticeably easier to hit or any longer than the R7. Like the R9 the only noticeable thing I could find was the softer feel but for what you pay for each set, the sacrifice for feel over dollars seems a good one to take.
The R7 irons really deliver and are a great option for a wide range of golfers, whether they are looking to gain confidence, find a well built set that can save them money or someone just starting out in the world of golf. They look good, feel good and are good value, all in all they are pretty good.
Sure they are a little longer in the tooth than some but they still do what good irons do and remain very comparable to the R9 and Burner models for feel, performance and distance. Not quite a forgotten gem but certainly worth looking into if you want a Game Improvement iron that won’t break the bank.