Checking out the new TaylorMade R9 Driver
Just got the new TaylorMade R9 Driver late Tuesday, and dude, it is a hot piece of machinery! Don’t bother running down to your local golf shop to get it, either. It won’t be in stores for at least a couple weeks, or as TaylorMade so succinctly put in their promo material, “3.06.09.”
I’ll be test driving it Wednesday, before Tiger Woods enraptures the golf world with his comeback at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club at Dove Mountain in Marana, Ariz. A more detailed review will come later.
With its clean lines and aerodynamic shape, if this driver were a car, it would be a BMW. It’s got a high-tech Motore shaft by Fujikura, with a two-tone red and silver/gray shaft color design.
It also has the adjustable shaft tip (Flight Control Technology, according to TaylorMade), which can twist/click open/close the head into eight different positions. Like the R7 before it, the R9 has moveable weights to change the clubhead’s center of gravity. Combined, it gives you all kinds of trajectory options.
Or as the packaging sticker on the face says, “8 head positions, 3 movable weights, 75 yards of left to right adjustability.”
I could probably make do without most of the adjustability. But here’s the thing about the R9 (and=2 0the R7 before it). Suppose you get a case of the hard left pulls (like I’ve recently had). Instead of fidgeting with your stance, messing with your swing and overcompensating your aim, etc., you could adjust the head a click or two, maybe move a weight, and try that with your natural swing (and swing thoughts). I think it beats trying to adjust your whole body in order to correct what should be a minor hitch. It’s an aid, and it makes for basic options in your game. Who doesn’t want that?
TaylorMade chose not to unveil the R9 at the recent PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, although the buzz was certainly there. I got a sneak peak at lunch from my new best pal, Harry Arnett, senior director of equipment for TaylorMade/adidas. He gave me a quick tutorial on how to adjust the shaft tip and weights, and although he was great in explaining it, I have to admit it can be intimidating. But once you’ve got the R9 in your hands, it’s really easy to understand and do.
I hit all the new drivers at the PGA Show’s Demo Day. I love the new Cleveland Launcher, another great brand name that’s been re-released. Nike has a new driver with an adjustable shaft tip. The new Titleist drivers are excellent, of course, but mostly single-digit handicappers tend to favor those.
I asked Arnett if the trend with these click-and-go shaft tips might be too much technology and might malfunction in the hands of the average hack. “Hey, it’s a lot more durable than glue,” he said with a defusing smile.
Overall, I had to agree with Arnett when he said to me, “It’s a touch-and-feel product. Regular golfers can really get the look and ball flight they want.”
Can’t wait to grip it and rip it!
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I'm a Taylormade fan (loved the R5) so looking forward to testing this out soon.
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