There have been a ton of new clubs released in the past few months, and the folks at TaylorMade are jumping into the fray as they have a couple of new drivers, new irons, and a new wedge coming out just in time for spring.
I was able to take a closer look at several of the new offerings while attending the Minnesota Golf Show last month and I think TaylorMade has some pretty nice clubs coming out. I'm looking forward to see if any of their new offerings will knock out my golf bag's current occupants.
So come along as we check out what TaylorMade has to offer.
Tour Burner Driver
One word can describe the new Tour Burner driver: light. By utilizes what Taylormade calls "Dual Crown technology" where the crown is smaller than the sole and comes in 12% lighter that the Burner driver. Additional weight was saved using their Ultra-Thin Wall casting technology, which allows the walls of the clubhead to be a minuscule 0.55 millimeters thick.
All of the weight saved was moved to create a center-of-gravity (CG) 40% lower "in relation to the center of the clubface than the Burner TP." The high moment-of-inertia (MOI) of the Tour Burner makes it more stable and forgiving for those of us who don't always hit the center of the clubface.
Add in TaylorMade's Inverted Cone technology, which is "characterized by a shallow cone milled directly onto the inner side of the clubface, changes the way the face behaves at impact so that a larger area of the face delivers higher ball speed." That combination produces an "effective MOI" that comes close to USGA's limit on MOI.
To help increase your swing speed and give you more distance, the Tour Burner features a 60-gram Superfast shaft with lower torque, a lighter grip, and a club length of 45.5 inches. The Tour Burner is available in April and will carry a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $499 but a quick check of some online retailers shows a price of $399.
The Tour Burner TP has a few differences from the regular Tour Burner such as having a 2° open clubface (compared to square), your choice of three shafts such as the Matrix Ozik Xcon-5 (55-grams), Mitsubishi Diamana Whiteboard 65 (65-grams) and Fujikura Rombax Z 75 (75-grams) and a standard weight grip.
Like the Tour Burner, the TP version will be available in April but you'll pay a bit more for the upgrades as the manufacturer's suggested retail price comes in at $699 with a street price of $599.
Tour Burner Irons
The Tour Burner irons have a thin clubface that "delivers high COR for increased ball speed and distance" as well as the Inverted Cone technology featured in their drivers which "enlarges the portion of the clubface that delivers high ball speed, allowing Tour Burner to promote improved ball speed and distance on off-center hits." More weighting on the toe and heel increases the MOI of the Tour Burner irons for better stability on those pesky off-center hits.
TaylorMade also incorporates something called a "multi-functional sole" which is "beveled at the back to make it perform like a much thinner sole, which increases playability from a variety of lies. The multi-functional sole also features a low and deeper center of gravity that makes it easy to launch the ball on a powerful and penetrating flight.
The Tour Burner irons feature a "tour-inspired clubhead shape" (is everything now "tour-inspired?") with a medium top-line and moderate offset as well as a chrome-plated satin-buff finish. Also, there is a "badge" that is in the back cavity that due to it's design and the adhesive used to stick it there helps "to tune the feel and sound at impact." To me, they are a bit too funky to look at but I typically don't like a lot of pizazz going on with the back of my irons.
The Tour Burner irons are available from a 2-iron through 9-iron plus a 46° pitching wedge, 55° sand wedge, 50° "attack" wedge and a 60° lob wedge and can be yours in April. A set of Tour Burner irons (3-PW) will run $840 (MSRP) for steel ($699 street) and $1,040 (MSRP) for graphite ($899 street). Individual clubs are available in steel for $105 MSRP (under $90 street) and $135 MSRP for graphite (under $113 street).
Z TP Wedges
The new Z TP wedges feature the new "Z groove that promotes increased spin to help stop the ball more quickly". Why Z? Well, its because the R&D team "uses letters of the alphabet to name the grooves it develops." Whatever their reasoning, Z TP wedge sounds pretty cool and it looks good to boot.
The Z groove has 10% more volume than its predessor, the Y-cutter groove, so it has more room to "channel groove-clogging, spin-killing obstacles such as grass, debris and moisture." Sounds like something I would like in a wedge.
Sharp edges on the Z grooves also help promote "shot-stopping bite." Like most of the newer wedges out there today, I'm sure the Z TP will gladly eat up a few of your softer-covered balls for lunch. Like previous TaylorMade wedges, the Z TP has the feel pockets on the backside of the clubhead to help lessen vibration from impact to give you a soft and smooth feel. I liked the rac TP wedges so I'm looking forward to giving these a try.
The "smoky-looking PVD" finish looks pretty cool as well. The Z TP wedge is offered in five lofts: 52°, 54°, 56°, 58° and 60°. The 54°, 56°, 58° will feature TaylorMade's C-grind sole which was developed with input from TaylorMade's tour staff.
You can add a Z TP wedge to your golf bag in April for a MSRP of $140 and a street price of $120.
r7 CGB MAX Limited Driver
Well the folks who introduced you to Movable Weight Technology (MWT) have raised the bar a bit higher as they have now added SelectFit technology to now allow you to change the shaft of your club. If the number of choices you had before with MWT made you a bit crazy, the 1,071 sets of different launch conditions offered by the r7 CGB MAX Limited will leave you totally befuddled.
The titanium head is slightly different from the standard r7 CGB as it is more rounded than triangular and the red color looks much nicer as well. Your "Tour Van in a Box" comes with the new clubhead with three movable weight ports, three shafts which include the Matrix Ozik Xcon-5 (55-grams), Mitsubishi Diamana Whiteboard 65 (65-grams) and Fujikura Rombax Z 75 (75-grams) as well as a magnetic headcover, nine movable weights, two shaft-securing bolts and a special torque wrench specifically designed for the Limited. All of this fits nicely in it's own "beautifully designed box." I'm not sure if the kitchen sink is included, but it very well could be.
I like choices as much as the next guy but I'm not sure if the average golfer has a clue about what shaft is the best for them unless they have spent some quality time on a launch monitor and giving them three shaft choices with the same club seems to be a bit excessive.
Of course, the average golfer probably isn't going to shell out the $999 it's going to cost you to put the r7 CGB MAX Limited in your bag either. Don't get me wrong, its a beautiful looking club and it felt nice when I took a couple swings with it at the Minnesota Golf show but it seems to be marketed for the ultimate "driver geek" who had a lot of extra cash laying around.
It will be interesting to see how TaylorMade uses the SelectFit technology and whether or not it remains just for use in a limited series club or something that will benefit golf retailers as they now don't have to stock quite as many demo clubs to find the perfect one for you.
I always had a thing for TaylorMade drivers as I've gone from the 200 Series, the original r7 and last year to the r460 TP so they always are high on my list when I get the urge to check out new drivers. Last year's Burner didn't appeal to me too much but the new Tour Burner is one for sure I'll test out on the launch monitor and the range.
I'm also looking forward to trying out the new Z TP wedges to see how the Z grooves perform. They certainly are some of the nicer looking wedges out there today. Spring can't get here fast enough.