This week at the Bag Drop, we've got the lowdown on some new irons and a new putter from TaylorMade, both of which have basis in some previous models.
We'll be taking a look at the new Burner SuperLaunch irons, which take dead aim at the higher handicapper and give them everything they need in a SGI iron. Once we're done there, we'll shift gears and see the latest creation from master putter craftsman Kia Ma, which is called the Rossa Monza Spider Vicino. Bet you can't say that five times fast! Can someone call the guys in marketing and tell them they're getting a little carried away with the names? Of course, I'm just kidding, but don't my bad jokes stop you from following along as we see what the latest from TaylorMade has to offer.
Burner SuperLaunch Irons
The new Burner SuperLaunch irons were designed exclusively with a certain type of player in mind; one that has a slower swing and needs help getting the getting the ball higher in the air. Centered around the higher handicapper, the SuperLaunch irons were made to be not only as long, but also as forgiving as possible.
For starters, the amount of offset found in theses irons can go a long way in helping the player straighten out a slice, and possibly even give them a soft draw to their arsenal of shots.
The height assistance comes from a very low and deep center of gravity, which comes as a result of the wide, multifunctional sole found on the bottom of the SuperLaunch head. Usually, the result of a fat sole is the tendency for the club head to get stuck in the turf. The engineers at TaylorMade overcame that issue via the use of a strategically beveled sole, which TaylorMade says makes it play like a much smaller, narrower sole.
Upon approaching the ball, the abundant offset isn't the only thing telling you this club is meant for maximum forgiveness; you'll also quickly notice the healthy topline. This topline is one of the key factors in producing the stability and forgiveness found in the Burner SuperLaunch. Knowing full well that a large segment of players prefer a thinner topline, TaylorMade's engineers cambered the backside edge of the topline, giving it more of a downward slant and overall more dynamic form.
Thanks to TaylorMade's marketing campaign, which claimed that "the set is dead," a lot of you are probably aware that with previous lines of Burner irons, the engineering team took separate design approaches between the long irons, mid irons, and short irons. According to TaylorMade, this is clearly evident, especially when comparing the lower profile of the long irons to the rest of the set. The shape along with the previously mentioned wide sole and deep cavity, make them very easy to launch long and deep.
The shape progressively gets smaller from the long irons through to the short irons. Along with that progressive reduction in blade size is a reduction in face thickness as well. This face is thinnest in the long irons, effectively raising the COR and producing faster ball speeds and improved weight distribution. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the short irons have a thicker face which is said to improve the feel.
Adding to the overall forgiveness is the use of TaylorMade's Inverted Cone Technology, which effectively expands the hot area of the clubface for better distance on off-center contact.
Options and Availability
The standard set is composed of a 4I through attack wedge, with your choice of RE*AX SuperFast 85 steel or RE*AX 60 graphite shafts. Also for sale are a matching 3I and sand wedge which can be had for $75 each. The full set will cost you $599.99 for the steel shafted irons and $799 for graphite. They're available for both right-handed and left-handed players, and a ladies set is available as well. The new Burner SuperLaunch irons are available at your favorite retailer now.
Rossa Monza Spider Vicino Putter
The new TM Rossa Monza Spider Vicino putter is the newest model in the line of premium flat sticks crafted by Kia Ma. In fact, this new generation of putter is even reflected in it's name, as Vicino means near or next in Italian.
The original Monza Spider was designed with one single purpose - to create the most forgiving, best rolling putter possible. Because of that, there wasn't much regard to the aesthetic qualities of the putter. While a lot of players enjoyed success with the original, they also weren't quite as happy with the appearance.
The new Rossa Monza Spider Vicino seeks to give those players what they want - the performance of the original, with a more pleasing appearance. Of course, it's not quite so easy creating a putter with a great deal of MOI and forgiveness that performs well and looks good, but TaylorMade's engineers get paid the big bucks to solve problems just like this one.
Tour players' number one request was to tuck in the "aft wings" (which house the weight ports) closer to the body in order to streamline the appearance. The problem is, the location of those weight ports was integral to the mass amounts of forgiveness in the original, and bringing that weight back towards the center would surely roll the MOI back significantly. Or at least that's what they thought at first.
In the long run, they figured out how to achieve what their players were asking for. By using a lighter material for the central core of the putter head, while using a denser material in the wings, they could prevent the loss of a significant amount of MOI while giving players an appearance closer to what they wanted.
Another fundamental improvement is the new crown design, which ditches the busy "basketball court" alignment aid found on the old model in favor of a thin, silver layer of steel with a single black alignment aid that is a stark contrast to the black PVD finish of the surrounding steel frame.
This new putter also has an updated composite AGSI face insert as well, that is said to promote a significant increase in the amount of forward spin compared to the previous Titallium alloy insert used on the original Monza Spider. The new insert, composed of carbon fiber and resin (much like materials found in graphite shafts), improves upon the previous insert by flexing and holding the ball in its grooves more effectively at impact, and producing that increase in forward spin that was mentioned earlier.
Keeping in line with previous models, as well as some TaylorMade drivers and fairway woods, the new Rossa Monza Spider Vicino features their Moveable Weight Technology (MWT), which allows for customization of the head configuration by increasing or decreasing the weight on the inside and/or outside of the clubhead. Those interchangeable 4 gram weights are compatible with ones used in other TaylorMade products, ensuring that if you purchase extra sets of weights, they can be used across all clubs that make use of MWT.
Options and Availability
The TaylorMade Rossa Monza Spider Vicino putter is available in center-shafted, heel-shafted, and jumbo models for right handed players, while lefties only get the option of a heel shafted model. The center shaft model employs a straight shaft with no offset, while both the heel shafted model as well as the jumbo come with a single bend shaft with 1/2 shaft of offset. Ladies models are available as well. They are in stores now, selling for $199.