First Impression: TaylorMade R9 driver

Rolls Royce with its own mechanic

Bob Warters
Wed, 11 Mar 2009

Looking for a new driver? We've been waggling and walloping some of the latest on behalf of Golfmagic.com members. Here's another of our current favourites .

TaylorMade R9 driver (10.5 deg)
Contact: www.taylormadegolf.com
Specifications:Flight Control Technology (FCT) with eight options for the position of the face, using a special white wrench and three different moveable weight combinations - a total of 24 different ways to set up the club to your own specification. The R9 driver is offered in 8.5, 9.5, and 10.5 degree lofts (9.5 and 10.5 left-handed), and four shaft flexes .
Price:£349 (R9 TP £399).


Profiles of the R9 driver

TaylorMade were renowned as one of the first offering golfers the power to change a clubhead's centre of gravity to promote different types of ball flight with moveable weights, now with the twist of a free wrench supplied with each driver, the golfer can change the face angle, and that means upto 24 different ball flight options. By changing a clubhead's characteristics (face angle, lie and loft) engineers effectively provide a DIY trajectory facility for every golfer prepared to spend 400 quid for the privilege.

Having taken the club straight out of the box and on to the course - well you wouldn't test drive a new motor round Sainsbury's car park, would you? - I had little chance to do any more than change the neutral factory setting to draw mode because, guess what I'm a power-fader! First tee, first swing - a low, powerful flight soft-draw into a stiff breeze...Bingo!

Looks: Having recently tried the Cobra S9-1, Cobra L5V and ear-bashing Cleveland Monster, the R9 looks more compact at address with its classic pear-shape and 65-gram Fujikura Motore shaft in maroon and silver. A word, too for the ample headcover in black, white and silver livery - distinctly TaylorMade.

Feel/Performance: While sound and feel of other drivers could confuse a blind-folded golfer, the solidity and accoustics of the R9 are distinctly TaylorMade - there's a soft crunch at impact that's unmistakeable. All day I missed only one tee shot - a smothered effort from an elevated tee - but that was more down poor alignment on my part than any blame attached to the club. Can't wait to tinker with the lofts and weights to see if I can squeeze even more out of this Rolls Royce of drivers that comes with its own 'mechanic'!




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