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Taylormade R9 Driver - Good Bad & Ugly?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I'm considering spending upwards of $400 for a new Taylormade R9 driver. Has anyone bought one? Do you love it? Hate it? Give me some pros and cons so I can make a decent decision.

I've been struggling with my 10.5* Adams Insight A3 driver for the past season and a half and I'm looking for something to get me over the hump. The problem isn't my driver at all.. it's my swing. But short of spending A LOT more time at the driving range than I have time for and hiring a pro to work with me, that dramatic swing change isn't going to occur anytime soon.

My short game has realllllly taken off lately. I'm hitting greens from 150 yards and in (most of the time). Lately, my ability to get out of a greenside bunker and get it within 2 ft of the pin has been amazing. So that part of my game is coming together. Putting not so much... but that's a different topic of discussion that I'd be happy to have with you as well.

My problem is, my drives are only about 200 yards at most. Which puts me at something like another 210 yards to the hole on most Par 4s.... out of range for me even for my hybrid. A Par 4 may as well be a Par 5 with the way I'm hitting it off the tee. I need a driver that will get me to that magical 250, 275 or 300 yard mark, so I can use a 7 iron or lower lofted wedge to get up and down.

Info: My CHS is around 90 MPH (with control) or 105 MPH if I swing out of my shoes (no control). Average driving distance is about 200 yards (pitiful, I know). I tend to fade on 2/3 of my drives, hit it straight once every 5 tries, and the rest slice like crazy sending the ball into the rough, or OOB. Once in a blue moon I'll even hook. So I'm all over the map. I already know from videoing myself that I have issues with making sure my left arm is straight at impact.

Is the R9 the right driver for me? Can it temporarily "fix" my tee shots until I can find the time (and money) to visit a pro for some serious swing changes? Or am I dreaming and this club, as amazing as it sounds, still won't do the trick?
post #2 of 26

Re: Taylormade R9 Driver - Good Bad & Ugly?

First, I have NOT hit the club.

I'm sure it's a heckuva driver. For what you're looking for, it's probably perfect. Me personally, I'm not into these new overly adjustable drivers. I did use an R7 425 for a long time, with the weights neutral. But this club, and I think some other manufacturers too...are complicating things. I keep it simple nowadays. I've been playing a Burner for a couple of years. Simple, long, and straight down the middle. And a lot cheaper.
post #3 of 26

Re: Taylormade R9 Driver - Good Bad & Ugly?

It's fun to buy new clubs.
Unfortunately, this (or any other) driver will do nothing at all to cure ills which are the product of swing problems. It will not give you any more distance and will not straighten your drives.
Advertising hype aside, the fact of the matter is that if ever a club was made which could do this they could sell them for thousands of dollars.
There is no such thing as a golf club which can transform an inconsistent swing into one which produces good golf shots. Also, if your swing is inconsistent, the LAST thing you need is an adjustable driver.
post #4 of 26

Re: Taylormade R9 Driver - Good Bad & Ugly?

my dad just got it it its okay. I have tried it with all things set neutral and it goes a little shorter than my old sumo. I would say dont get it, it has a high amount of backspin, so unless you need to get the ball in the air its just going to end up hurting you. Also the shaft changability isnt worth the changed ball flight, its a little more of a players club than they market it as.

But, alas, I am not you. I would go and try it for yourself and compare it to some other drivers, like the r 7 limited, same weight set up as a r9 but no shaft change and only 200. I would also try the new nike dymo and titliest D comp
post #5 of 26

Re: Taylormade R9 Driver - Good Bad & Ugly?

Originally Posted by Shorty View Post
Unfortunately, this (or any other) driver will do nothing at all to cure ills which are the product of swing problems. It will not give you any more distance and will not straighten your drives.
I second this. Use the money you're willing to spend on a new driver for some lessons. I know that's not the cliche you want to hear but it's the best way for you to get where you want to be on the golf course. You can easily find an accredited PGA teaching pro to give you a course of lessons for under $200. Even this won't be a magical fix but it will set you on the right path. No club in the world will straighten out a ball hit by cutting across it. The problem is in the mechanics of your swing and until you address that you'll be very inconsistant.
post #6 of 26

Re: Taylormade R9 Driver - Good Bad & Ugly?

You wont gain 50-100 yards with a driver.
post #7 of 26

Re: Taylormade R9 Driver - Good Bad & Ugly?

It won't fix your swing or increase distance. Better spend the money on more coaching and practice. It's the swing, not the club... Just my opinion.
post #8 of 26

Re: Taylormade R9 Driver - Good Bad & Ugly?

Originally Posted by kurtwainwright View Post
I need a driver that will get me to that magical 250, 275 or 300 yard mark, so I can use a 7 iron or lower lofted wedge to get up and down.
Everyone needs that club!

I agree with the pack, it's not (usually) the arrow, it's the Indian.

BUT, If it turns out the R9 is the perfect stick for you, than just wait a few weeks/months and pick one up for 1/3 of that $400 price!

Good Luck!
post #9 of 26

Re: Taylormade R9 Driver - Good Bad & Ugly?

Well figure that lessons from a reputable instructor are about $50 (well for me, at least). With that $400 you could get a solid 8 lessons, maybe less if you progress fast enough, and have some money left over to save up for a club, instead of spending $400 on a quick fix that might not even work the way you want it to.
post #10 of 26

Re: Taylormade R9 Driver - Good Bad & Ugly?

Agree 100% with the above.

It isn't the tools its the carpenter.

You are FAR FAR better off with 200 dollar clubs and 1000 dollars worth of lessons than vice versa.
post #11 of 26
Thread Starter 

Re: Taylormade R9 Driver - Good Bad & Ugly?

I agree with all of you. I know lessons would be a good investment. But I simply don't have the time for that. I work 50 hours a week and if I'm lucky enough to get any time off on the weekend, I'd prefer to go out and play.

So let me walk you through my chain of thought. I'm in need of a new driver anyway. So I was thinking the R9 would be a good decision because I could set it up with a closed face and in the 10.5 degree loft for now, while my swing isn't as good as it could be. Then, later on, if I get some lessons and fix my swing, I could return to a nuetral or some other set up.

However, there is a post in this same forum that has me thinking the R9 may not be for me... ever. Someone made the claim that it's a true player's club and that if you miss the sweet spot by a few millimeters you'll lose mad distance. That doesn't sound good at all for a higher handicapper.

We'll see I guess.
post #12 of 26

Re: Taylormade R9 Driver - Good Bad & Ugly?

I just returned mine to Golfsmith because of the distance lost on mishits. It is not at all forgiving from a distance perspective.
post #13 of 26

Re: Taylormade R9 Driver - Good Bad & Ugly?

Try the r7 ..much cheaper too
post #14 of 26

Re: Taylormade R9 Driver - Good Bad & Ugly?

Originally Posted by kurtwainwright View Post
I agree with all of you. I know lessons would be a good investment. But I simply don't have the time for that. I work 50 hours a week and if I'm lucky enough to get any time off on the weekend, I'd prefer to go out and play.
Most lessons are 30 minutes long. I just finished up a series of 5 30 minute lessons for $150. I took them on a weekly basis and I was very happy with the result. No magic pill, but my handicap has been tracking down and I'm playing some of the best golf I've played in years. I don't want to belabor this point but buying a new driver without addressing the fundamental problems in your swing (and everyone has fundamental problems in their swing, just look at how much the pros suffer from this) is simply throwing good money after bad. Why not schedule some lessons for weekends before or after you play? You might find that you're enjoyment of the game increases dramatically and once you get your handicap down to a level you begin to become satisfied with then you'll know a lot more about what kind of driver will best suit your game.
post #15 of 26

Re: Taylormade R9 Driver - Good Bad & Ugly?

Good: tweaks ballflight to conform with absolutely any course or swing condition, and the FCT is far more useful than just the MWT.
Bad: said tweaks cannot be performed mid-round.
Ugly: The price.
post #16 of 26

Re: Taylormade R9 Driver - Good Bad & Ugly?

I just got the Burner and love it. TM is the way to go. I have not hit the R9, but I've heard great things.
post #17 of 26

Re: Taylormade R9 Driver - Good Bad & Ugly?

I'm a high handicapper and I use the R9. I've gone through a lot of drivers and this one is certainly very straight. My shots have been noticeably short compared to my Hibore XLS that I used last season but the weather here has been awful. Like 5 degrees and cooler awful. For this reason I still can't give a fair assessment concerning distance. I can tell you though that it feels and sounds terrific and has been deadly accurate for me.

You sound like you are very comparable to me. My playing partners hit much longer than I do and it's frustrating to see them hitting 8 iron approach shots when I have to use a 6 iron or even a 5 iron. That's a huge advantage for them.

That said I've decided to worry about my own game and not theirs from now on. I may be short but I'm accurate. I keep the ball in play. I've decided to focus all my efforts on my chipping and pitching this year (I'm already pretty good with the putter) and not worry about distance.
post #18 of 26

Re: Taylormade R9 Driver - Good Bad & Ugly?

I played an R9 for the first time today. It'll take some tweaking. Mishits cost yards, it's not a particularly long driver. The sweet spot is between the middle and top of the club face, if you hit it center to low, it'll go nowhere. Hit it center to high on the face and on the up-swing.
I'm going to fiddle with settings but first impression isn't glowing......
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