TaylorMade R9 Iron Review

The R9 are said to be longer, more forgiving, have a better feel, and be more workable than any other game improvement club on the market. Do you believe the hype?

TaylorMade R9 Iron HeroTaylorMade seems to have made it its mission in recent years to reinvent what the phrase “classic golf club” means. For example, they have taken the pear-shaped driver and morphed it into a geometrical tinker toy that looks both modern and classic at the same time. Now, their researchers and designers have turned their attention to creating a classic/modern iron.

Given the success of the r7 line, the expectations for the TaylorMade R9 line could not be much higher. Is it possible for a club to gain 10% of distance over the already long r7? Can the R9 improve its forgiveness while incorporating several characteristics of a classic golf club? Can a game-improvement club have a soft feel? Since the initial announcement, the forum has been buzzing with golfers interested in whether the R9s can truly live up to those expectations. Read on to see some the answers that I found to those questions.

PING G15 Iron Review

If the G10 provides maximum forgiveness then what do you call an iron that provides even more forgiveness? PING calls it the G15.

G15 Iron HeroWhen you are setting up to a “classic” iron, what kinds of thoughts run through your mind? For me, I imagine the silky smooth feel of the sweet spot. I visualize the ball curving through the air at will. I can almost see the ball falling to the green with just enough spin to bounce twice and then stop. However, put a blade in another player’s hands and the reaction could be entirely different. They might look down desperately searching for that microscopic sweet spot, trembling at the thought of the painful reverberations of a mis-hit.

Karsten Solheim may not have been one of those golfers who feared the sweet spot but he certainly empathized with them. In fact, PING’s innovations were so significant that in 1966 the USGA outlawed all PING irons claiming that they provided golfers with an unfair advantage (due to a bend in the shaft beneath the grip). Nearly 40 years later, the USGA may want to reopen that claim.

PING G15 Driver Review

Ping prides itself as the most forgiving club in golf. Has the Ping G15 continued that tradition?

G15 Driver HeroAmong the giants of the golf industry, PING has always remained one of the quietest in the business. You never see commercials on TV. They only have a select number of pros which they endorse. They rarely even release new clubs. It seems like the word “hype” just isn’t a part of PING’s vocabulary.

But something felt different when PING announced it would release two entirely new lines of clubs. PING actually seemed excited. In fact, PING was going out of their way to tell anyone and everyone that would listen that its new clubs had monumental improvements. Even if you didn’t like PINGs in the past, you start to wonder, what did they come up with?

After putting the driver through a full battery of tests it has certainly made an impression on me.

Frank Razzaia Analysis

Frank has an incredibly solid swing but he is missing one key component: lag.

Swing CheckFrank Razzaia is a 4.0 index golfer hoping to build a more reliable, tournament ready swing. At normal speed, I am a big fan of Frank’s swing. However, watch his swing frame by frame and you will notice he lacks one of the most important attributes in golf: lag.

Read on to see Frank’s swing and the fixes I’ve outlined for him.

Joe French Analysis

Working on lag can be tough… especially when another swing fault makes it nearly impossible to create it.

Swing CheckJoe French is what I would consider your slightly above average player. He consistently shoots in the mid-80s. He hits the ball an average to above-average distance. He even has days where he can hit as many as nine fairways and 13 greens. However, he has reached the point where it is time to take the next step. It is time for Joe to start consistently shooting in the 70s. With a few changes, I think we can get him there.

You could probably freeze frame at any point in Joe’s swing and identify a problem. Even at full speed you could say that he takes the club back too far inside, creates no pivot, crosses at the top, casts during his down swing, comes inside, and then nearly jumps off the ground at impact. Ultimately, making a check list of faults is not going to help Joe. Our job is to identify which problem must be addressed next in order for him to achieve his goals.

Read on to see Joe’s swing and the fixes I’ve outlined for him.

Dave Koster Analysis

Think you would be satisfied with your swing after you win a club championship. Not David.

Swing CheckDave Koster is very different than many of the players we analyzed in previous articles. Dave hits the ball 290 yards with a slight draw. He plays scratch golf. He has won his club championship. Simply stated, Dave Koster is not a beginner. The catch is that like all of us – including Tiger – as he can definitely improve.

Identifying problems in Dave’s swing is not very hard. However, given the fact that several of his problems are clearly offsetting each other, our challenge will be to identify what problem is holding him back from going even lower.

Read on to see Dave’s swing and the fixes I’ve outlined for him.

Patrick Conley Analysis

Put a driver in Patrick’s hands and there is no telling what will happen next. Our job is to change that.

Swing CheckPatrick Conley has has been playing golf since he was 12 years old and has now reached a point where he is asking for help. He typically scores in the mid to high 90s but he is absolutely mortified of his driver. On his best shots, his drives will go 280 yards; on his worst, they will slice off the planet and go only 230 yards. His goal, like many golfers, is to improve.

For a golfer that shoots in the mid-90s your first thought might be that he has a pretty darn good swing. Unfortunately, in slow motion, you notice some enormous flaws that are truly holding Patrick back.

Read on to see Patrick’s swing and the fixes I’ve outlined for him.

David Baker Analysis

Sometimes the biggest problems with your swing occur before you even take the club back.

Swing CheckDavid Baker has been playing golf for nearly nine years but golf was never his primary sport. David’s first love was baseball, at which he excelled enough to play in college. Now, for the first time, he is devoting himself to golf setting goals of playing competitively in tournaments and eventually winning his club championships. It will take a lot of hard work but I think we can send him in the right direction.

For an eight handicap, David has built himself a swing that I would describe as overcomplicated. Lots of players can survive with a swing like this but if you are truly looking to lower your handicap quickly, you need to give yourself a solid set up first.

Read on to see David’s swing and the fixes I’ve outlined for him.

Simon Johansson Analysis

This golfer has some ambitious goals, and I’m going to try to help him achieve them.

Swing CheckSimon Johansson has been playing off an on for 20 years and has only recently rediscovered his passion for the game. Now, he practices for close to 20 hours a week hoping that he can one day:

  1. become a scratch golfer.
  2. win at least local tournaments.
  3. turn pro.

Considering his ambitious goals I certainly have my work cut out for me.

I would describe Simon’s swing as being very deliberate. He has a nice setup and hits a lot of good positions but his swing plane definitely leaves some room for improvement.

Read on to see Simon’s swing and the fixes I’ve outlined for him.