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TaylorMade SuperQuad and Burner Drivers, Fairways Unveiled

Feb. 5, 2007     By     Comments (17)

With the 460cc limit on head volume now routine in drivers, the next frontier is MOI or "moment of inertia." It would seem TaylorMade now leads the race.

Bag DropOver the past few weeks we've covered the latest driver introductions by Callaway and Nike, Tour Edge, and Cleveland. Except for Tour Edge, every company brought out two different models at the same time… one more conventional and workable, the other more radical and forgiving.

This week and next we'll be taking a look at the latest driver and fairway wood offerings from TaylorMade. TaylorMade has also followed the "two model" format.

What's so interesting about the TaylorMade unveiling of its SuperQuad and Burner drivers at last week's PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando is that their stated MOI number for both is very near the USGA limit. And they're not shaped like a science fair project. Here's the story…

MOI by the Numbers
High moment of inertia does more than just resist twisting on off center hits. It effectively means there's a much bigger sweet spot on the clubface so you lose less distance and gain more accuracy when you don't hit it absolutely pure.

MOI is measured in g*cm2 (grams centimeters squared, whatever that means). As with driver volume, the USGA has set a limit: 5,900 g*cm2. Interestingly, not every club manufacturer chooses to publish that MOI measurement as part of their drivers' specifications or promotional hype. Of those that do, here's the current scorecard:

Maker/Model             MOI (g*cm2)
-----------             -----------
TaylorMade SuperQuad       5,800
TaylorMade Burner          5,800
Nike Sumo2                 5,300
Adams Insight BUL          5,000
Tour Edge Geo Max          5,000
Nike Sumo                  4,950
Adams Insight BTY          4,350

As I've written before, not being an engineer, it's difficult to quantify just what difference 300 or 500 g*cm2 actually makes. Maybe someone out there can tell us. But in the meantime, I guess we can assume that more is better. And, if so, TaylorMade may have just taken a bite out of Nike's hype for the Sumo2 which Nike currently claims has the highest MOI in golf.

The SuperQuad Driver
Taylormade SuperQuad DriverThe new drivers don't officially launch until February 23. But from what we've gleaned so far, we know that the SuperQuad will be a 460cc titanium head with 26 grams of moveable weight in four ports that will deliver six different possible launch conditions.

Billed as the driver for players who want to work the ball, the moveable weights promote as much as a 28-yard lateral trajectory change and a 1.5° launch angle change.

The SuperQuad sports new cosmetics… an all black Darth Vader-like finish that even shrouds the face. Like the Cleveland Hi-Bore XL that has this finish on the sole, you have to wonder a little about durability. But it does give the club a sort of menacing, weapons-grade aura.

The head shape in the address positions mirrors that of past R7 driver offerings. The face, however, looks to me to be incredibly deep. It's this depth that must help give it the volume and MOI claimed for it. It will be interesting to see how high better players end up teeing the ball to get the best launch conditions.

Taylormade Superquad Driver Views
Talk about a deep faced driver. Wow. I just wonder if the lack of contrast between face and crown will make this a little more difficult to align at address. These shots are of the regular model. You can bet the TP version won't have that closed face.

Speaking of better players, the SuperQuad will be offered in both regular and TP ("Tour Preferred") versions. The standard shaft will be a TaylorMade RE*AX 65 gram number made by Fujikura. We can guess the TP version will have a more open face, different lofts, premium shaft options, and a heftier price tag.

The standard version will be available in four lofts for right handers: 8.5°, 9.5°, 10.5°, and 11.5°. Left handers have a choice of 9.5° and 10.5°.

The Burner Driver
Taylormade Burner Driver CrownTaylorMade is billing the Burner driver as the club for players who want to just flat out bomb the ball. As such, it's built for speed. It has what they're calling a bullet-shaped head. Much more conventional than square-headed drivers, it sort of recalls the SasQuatch with it's extended trailing edge without being nearly as extreme.

The Burner appears to also be an all titanium 460 cc head, but with a shallower face than the SuperQuad. Both drivers feature TaylorMade "inverted cone" technology.

The graphic treatment on the top of the club seems meant to either mask the shape or enhance it. I can't decide which. But it isn't just the head shape TaylorMade has played with. It's going to come with a longer, lighter 46-inch shaft and a lighter grip that weighs in at a svelte 43 grams. As they claim, it truly seems meant for speed and, thus, distance.

Taylormade Burner Driver Views
As these views show, the ultra light and long Burner has a much shallower face than its SuperQuad cousin.

Like the SuperQuad, it too will come in both regular and TP versions with a proprietary RE*AX SuperFast 50 Fujikura shaft as the standard. By the way, that "50" stands for its weight. At 50 grams it is indeed at least 10 to 15 grams lighter than most driver shafts today. The regular version will come in lofts of 9.5°, 10.5°, and HT (13°). The HT loft will not be available in left hand.

The Burner Fairway and Rescue Clubs
Seemingly not content to overwhelm us with four different new driver options, TaylorMade also is going to be launching a series of fairway woods and a rescue club under the Burner moniker that again offer many options.

Taylormade Burner Fairway-Rescue Soles
From left to right we have here the regular steel Burner fairway wood, the Burner TP fairway, the titanium Burner fairway, and the Burner Rescue. All feature extremely light graphite shafts and grips.

The Burner fairway woods will come in three flavors: a larger all-titanium clubhead and a smaller more compact head shape in both regular and TP versions.

The non-TP steel version, which sports 30 percent greater MOI than the previous r7 fairway clubs, will come in lofts of 15°, 18°, and 21°. Standard shaft options are a RE*AX SF 50 in graphite (that's very, very light for a fairway club) or a steel Dynamic Gold Lite at a more conventional weight of 91 grams in stiff.

The Burner rescue club, like its sibling fairway clubs, also sports the new line's graphics on its crown and, perhaps more importantly, the very light shaft and grip technology that seems to be the underlying theme in this line. It too will come with both graphite and steel shafts.

The rescue club will be available in lofts of 19°, 22°, 25°, and 28°.

Availability and Pricing
Edwin Watts is currently accepting pre-orders for both the SuperQuad and Burner drivers that they say will ship on March 1. The SuperQuad is priced starting at $399.99 for the regular model and $599.99 for the TP model. The Burner starts at $299.99 and $399.99 for the TP version.

The TaylorMade fairway woods will ship on May 15 and will start at $179.99 with a steel shaft and $199.99 with graphite shaft. The rescue club is priced at $149.99 in steel and $169.99 in graphite. It should ship from Edwin Watts by May 1.

In the End…
After all the talk about square drivers, it seems TaylorMade has proven high MOI doesn't necessarily have to come at the expense of a more traditional head shape. As we'll cover next week, neither do Adams Golf's new entries.

In fact, TaylorMade President Mark King boldly asserted in an interview at the PGA Merchandise Show that all the buzz about square drivers would be over in 90 days. We'll see about that. But it does reveal that TaylorMade is very serious about maintaining their market share in the driver category.

For we golfers, such competition is truly a great thing. It gives us choices and it gives us a chance to find the best club for our swing. I can't wait to try out these clubs.

Discussion

  1. Mohun says:

    Jack: Thanks for the info. I was looking to move to the r7 460 a few months ago, but stopped short when I saw the limited edition Superquad. I am hoping to hit the Superquad (non-TP) once it's released. I'll demo the Burner as well, but just by looking at it, I'm not too excited about the top of the club...distracting in my opinion.

  2. Ummm says:

    The TM driver numbers you listed are actually TM's own made up "eMOI", and NOT MOI. The MOI of the burner is 5100.

  3. Jack Waddell says:

    Mohun:
    I sorta agree on the Burner graphics. But if I could kill it with that club, I'd probably be able to look past it. Might even consider it beautiful. :wink:

  4. Jack Waddell says:

    You may be on to something, Ummm, but we take the numbers we're given and those in the chart are what the respective companies are claiming. I also don't see TaylorMade referring to their number as "eMOI" in the blurbs we've received from them.

    On another note, I happened to notice in the Nike spots running this weekend that they referred to their MOI as "true MOI." So it would seem there may be, indeed, different ways of expressing that number.

    Further complicating (or simplifying) the question is the 5,900 limit imposed by the USGA. Given a limit, there must be some standardized method of testing. Since TaylorMade claims 5,800+ MOI "within USGA guidelines" I have a hard time believing they're not basing their claim on that USGA standard.

  5. Jason says:

    The TM driver numbers you listed are actually TM's own made up "eMOI", and NOT MOI. The MOI of the burner is 5100.

    I'd love to see the IP log for this comment -- is it Beaverton, or Rutherford Rd. in Carlsbad?

    Here is what TM says in the press release:

    TaylorMade defines effective MOI as the positive influence on ball speed on off-center hits that's exerted by the combined effects of a driver's MOI and clubface technology (versus constant-thickness clubfaces). eMOI in TaylorMade drivers is dramatically higher, and more valuable in terms of its affect on ball speed, than MOI alone, owing to the benefits of TaylorMade's patented Inverted Cone Technology.

    How much forgiveness does Burner's extreme eMOI provide? The combined positive effects of its high MOI and ICT allow it to deliver the type of high ball speed and distance on mis-hits that's equivalent to a driver that measures higher than 5800 MOI with a constant-thickness clubface, if not even better.

    I'll let everyone else sort out what that means...

  6. I'd love to see the IP log for this comment -- is it Beaverton, or Rutherford Rd. in Carlsbad?

    It's a health care company in Peoria, Illinois.

  7. Marty Strumpf says:

    MOI is very important. However is it as important as the following?

    PF- Proper Fundamentals
    PG- Proper Grip
    PA- Proper Alignment
    PBP- Proper Ball Position

    I think the new technology in Drivers gives rise to the most important measurement of all:

    ITL- Increased Testosterone Level

    Yes, it's always fun to get pumped up about the new stuff coming out. I just wanted to have a little fun with y'all.

  8. Paul Pierce says:

    With all this MOI talk and the Burner being built to be lightweight for speed, when is someone going to make a club with all this tech in a lower volume? If the club is smaller, than surely it will be lighter I would assume. Depending on the shape, the surface area for a given volume (hence the amount of wall material) declines by the cube for spheres, but by the square for cubic shapes (contradicting terms there I know). So the weight-saving benefits would be more effective building a smaller Sumo Squared than one of these Taylors.

    But I wonder why no one is doing that, at least for the their tour versions? Granted, hitting something the size and shape of a Rubic cube on a shaft seems unappealing, but if you want the best numbers and can consistently hit it pure, the natural evolution seems to be smaller cubic drivers, not bigger ones - at least for speed and MOI stats.

  9. John Stern says:

    Does anybody know what the MOI is for the Callaway FT-i driver?

  10. Mohun says:

    Pulled the trigger on the R7 Superquad. My course had the TM rep in last week - he suggested the 10.5 in this club would give me a similar launch to my current 425 11.5.

    Yes, I know I should have been fitted, but I wanted the club so bad.....

    Now, if it only stop snowing, maybe I could actually hit the club.

  11. Robert says:

    I demo-ed the Burner Driver at Golfsmith and the computer said, "What are you waiting for; buy this club." So, I did. And, four days later (two hours on the range and three rounds on the course), I'm VERY glad I did. This club keeps the ball straight, even with a slightly open face that used to fade with my original R7 Quad. And, it's LONG. The feel is definitely lighter; the computer showed I was getting faster clubhead speed, and the result is obvious on the course. (No, I don't work for TM!)

  12. rich says:

    :neutral:
    hey guys im rich and im 14 and play golf for my high school. My r7 425 got snagged last year along with my r7 3-wood. I have been hitting a little bit of a slice lately but once in awhile i hit a good drive. Does any one have any suggestions??

  13. A.J L says:

    Yea im 14 also try rolling your wrists at impact bro

  14. Don C says:

    Aloha,
    In Hawaii we tend to put more miles on our equipment...at least that's how I justified my latest addition to my bag, the Burner (Non-TP), 10.5, Reg Flex. Per Robert's comments above, the club is long, forgiving, and the graphics are not distracting (at least in my opinion). Albeit the shaft is 46", I did not make any adjustments to my swing or set-up. I'm not a bomber, but I did gain approx 10-15 Yds. What also impressed me was how easy it was to hit off the fairway. So, from my knothole, it's a great club considering the price, TM quality, and of course results. I'm not affiliated with TM... unfortunately!

  15. Travis says:

    The TM driver numbers you listed are actually TM's own made up "eMOI", and NOT MOI. The MOI of the burner is 5100.

    hey, out of curiosity, honestly, because im an avid golfer, looking for forgiveness, considering, i pull hook 30 yds. offline every time.....how do u know its 5,100?? The 5,800# is what set me out to buy this and not a other 5,000 driver, because it was 800 more, please mail me...thank you!!

  1. [... Over the past few weeks we've covered the latest driver introductions by Callaway and Nike, Tour Edge, and Cleveland. Except for Tour Edge, every company brought out two different models ...]

  2. [... Over the past few weeks we've covered the latest driver introductions by Callaway and Nike, Tour Edge, and Cleveland. Except for Tour Edge, every company brought out two different models ...]

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