TaylorMade R9 Irons
Released to the golf world in late 2009, the TaylorMade R9 Irons are designed with a more traditional, clean look, and are intended primarily to be game improvement clubs.
The clubs feature fairly large oversized heads, which are manufactured with TaylorMades Inverted Cone Technology, intended to give golfers a greater amount of feel and control, in combination with impressive distance.
If you would like to know more information about the technology of the R9 irons, and what specifications are available. You can follow this link to the TaylorMade Golf website, which will open in a new window.
Graphite and steel shaft options are both available, with the R9 irons we tested being equipped with the KBS steel shafts in regular flex.
The clubs do look great, and one of the first things noticed was that the oversized heads actually sit behind the golf ball very well at address, with the top line not appearing too thick or chunky despite the larger heads.
When it got down to hitting the TaylorMade R9s, it was very difficult to not be impressed with the performance. These irons don't just look the part, they back it up with results.
The forgiveness in particular that the oversized heads on the R9 irons give you is excellent, through out the set, many shots seem to be hardly affected by miss-hitting the ball at all.
You do still get some feedback from the club that you haven't quite caught the ball right on a miss-hit. But the clubs are really so forgiving that 9 times out of 10 you would rarely notice this in the shot itself.
The ball flight that the clubs produce despite often being on the high side, is constantly very penetrating and very nice to watch on almost every shot.
When you do hit the ball well though, the feeling that you get is almost as good as you will find in a game improvement iron of this type. The TaylorMade R9 irons are very soft and smooth at impact, it can almost feel like you're hardly hitting a golf ball at all sometimes on the good swings.
The longer R9 irons in particular are very easy to hit in comparison to many other models. This is mainly down to the design, in which TaylorMade have fitted what's called a Velocity Control Chamber behind the clubface in the longer and mid irons, in order to aid performance.
Again full and detailed information on this technology, and the benefits of it, can be found at the TaylorMade Golf website.
But basically we were extremely impressed by how easy the longer R9 irons were to hit, and how forgiving they were, that we wouldn't be surprised if many golfers ended up ditching their Hybrids in favour of playing the long irons instead. Which isn't something that happens very often.
Distance wise the TaylorMade R9 irons are definitely long, but without being uncomfortably so. They do produce very high ball speeds off the face, and in comparison to a lot of other iron sets the R9s generally seem to give players around an extra club. Meaning that shots with an R9 6 iron can travel as far as a 5 iron does in many other sets.
The extra power may take a little time to get used to, but once you do it may not be long before you see your scores begin to drop.
Because we saw that the golf ball responds very well on landing on the green. With the shorter R9 irons especially, regularly producing surprisingly large amounts of spin. Which isn't something that you see very often in game improvement clubs.
Also despite the great forgiveness, it was possible to work the golf ball to an extent when required, provided you know what you're doing.
Admittedly it does take a bit of effort, due to workability not really being something that the Taylormade R9 irons were made for, but reasonable results are achievable.
Overall the TaylorMade R9 Irons are a very, very impressive set of golf clubs. They are almost everything a player would want in a game improvement iron in terms of performance, and on top of that they look good to.
In terms of value for money, the R9s are quite reasonable just now in 2012. The steel shaft versions are priced around £340 or $545, with the graphite models costing around £360 or $577.
|Looks || 9/10|
|Easy To Hit ||10/10|
|Forgiveness || 9/10|
|Control || 7/10|
|Workability || 7/10|
|Value For Money || 8/10|