TaylorMade Releasing R9 and R9 TP Irons
TaylorMade successfully launched the new Burner irons in early 2009, touting them as the longest, most-powerful irons the company had ever produced.
Those clubs will continue to be available in 2010, but for players who are looking for more workability and control, TaylorMade is releasing the new R9 and R9 TP irons in November.
One of the most unique features of the R9 irons is something you can't see—a chamber behind the face of the club that is filled with an almost-weightless foam and a silicone shock absorber positioned directly behind the center of the face in the 3- through 6-irons (above). While the foam and shock absorber help to soak up unwanted vibration, TaylorMade claims the design also leaves the face more free to flex at impact and rebound—like a thin-faced driver—for added distance.
The heads of the long- and mid-irons are large, with a low center of gravity to help players get more distance and height on shots. The heads of the short irons are slightly smaller to increase playability, but they still have an undercut channel in back to add height and spin.
The R9 TP irons (right) feature the same foam-filled chamber and silicone shock absorber in the 2- through 5-irons, but the heads themselves are smaller through the set. Although the heads are about the same size as TaylorMade's Tour Preferred irons—a popular choice for accomplished players—the company says the R9 TP has a larger hittable face, so they should be more forgiving.
Both the R9 and R9 TP irons will come standard with KBS steel shafts in stiff and regular flexes; the TP version will also be available in an extra-stiff flex. Custom shaft options will be available, but look for the R9 irons (3-PW) to cost around $999 in steel and $1,249 in graphite (Fujikura Motore) when they hit pro shop shelves on Nov. 1. The R9 TP will cost about $1,125.