TaylorMade Rescue ’09 Review

TaylorMade has continued their line of excellent woods and hybrids with the new Rescue 09.

Bobby JonesA TaylorMade Rescue has been in my bag for the past three years and I haven’t found one to replace it during that time. I’ve tried nearly half a dozen that all had decent results but none could beat the overall performance of the TaylorMade.

When the chance came to review the latest offering from TaylorMade, I jumped on it. My older-generation Rescue has been in the bag since 2005 and has seen better days. While I’ve admired Mizuno and Titleist in the iron area, I’ve had a TaylorMade driver and Rescue or fairway metal in my bag for many years. Their dominance in this area has been the result of superior products, not just marketing.

The TaylorMade Rescue ’09 offers some improvements that are hard to pass up, especially if you’re like me and have skipped a few generations. The question is, though, will this new version be good enough and retain the qualities that I’ve come to love and appreciate about my old Rescue? Read on to find out.

Build and Technology
The basic build and shape of the TaylorMade Rescue has not changed much in the past few years. From the Rescue Dual TP that I currently have in my bag to this model, the biggest changes are inside of the club. The one most promoted and hyped by TaylorMade is that the center of gravity has been lowered by 10 percent over the 2008 model (and probably a lot more over my older one).

TaylorMade Hybrid '09 Dual TP comparison
You can see that not much has changed much from the face of the club. The leading edge is a bit more flat and the size of the face is a bit larger on the new ’09.

The other feature of the ’09 TaylorMade Rescue is on the bottom of the club. There the heel and toe has been recessed promoting two things: reduced drag and more playability. The TP version of the ’09 TaylorMade offers one more piece of technology.

That one piece of technology is the new Flight Control Technology (FCT) that TaylorMade has introduced to a variety of their clubs this year. According to TaylorMade’s website, FCT “utilizes a metallic sleeve positioned over the tip of the shaft. The sleeve can be rotated into different positions, changing the characteristics of the head, by loosening the bolt that secures the sleeve and shaft into the clubhead.” Translation: you’re able to change the loft, lie, and face angle of the club easily to fit your preference.

Look and Feel
If you’ve read any of my previous hybrid reviews, you’ll know that I think that hybrids are a bit strange on the looks. I’ve never been fond of the look of my Rescue Dual TP. The good news is that the ’09 Rescue has shown a vast improvement.

From the top the Rescue ’09 has a solid black look with a straight line that runs parallel to the face, curving away towards the back of the club at the ends. The result is a clean and simple look.

TaylorMade Hybrid '09 Dual TP comparison
I prefer the look of the new ’09 on the right quite a bit more over my old Dual TP.

The sole of the club is equally well done. The recessed heel and toe is painted black against the steel of the rest of the sole resulting in what looks like a claw. There are much harder lines on the bottom of the Rescue ’09, but just as appealing to the eye.

Feel does not disappoint either. First, when resting the club behind the ball the club does not turn at all. Some Rescues or hybrids have a tendency to open a bit, making the alignment a bit open. The Rescue ’09 does not suffer from this. You can easily align yourself and not worry about the club shifting. Throwing your alignment off even by a couple degrees on a club like this can result in some wild shots.

One other good attribute that has been retained in the Rescue ’09 is the feel of the ball off the face of the club. Simply put, it is solid. Since Rescues are truly between woods and irons they can take the attributes of both. The Rescue ’09 has the feel of an iron when striking the ball. There is no hollow or dull feeling. A player gets good feedback with the Rescue ’09 and the sound is more like an iron than it is a fairway wood.

Typically, when I evaluate a hybrid, I have in mind two main features or areas of interest. The first area is the long, high shot that I have never been able to execute with my irons. You have all manner of disaster around the green and have to carry the ball 220 yards to the green. A 3-wood is too low and/or too long. I can’t carry a 2- or 3-iron that far. Any 3 iron that goes 220 yards for me is a low hook that carries 200 and rolls another 20 plus yards. My current TaylorMade pulls this shot off and I won’t consider a hybrid that can’t.

Rescue '09I received a 19° Rescue ’09 which is the same loft as my current hybrid. I chose the TaylorMade because it has a higher launch angle than any other hybrid I’ve tested. After hitting the first set of balls with the Rescue ’09 it was easy to see that it was going to be very similar to what I’ve been using for three years. It produces a higher ballflight than most hybrids but not a ballooning ballflight.

To compare my TaylorMade Rescues more closely, I did a test for the 225 yard shot of death. I hit a series of balls from about 225 out with both clubs. The similarity was once again evident. So much that if the clubs were painted the same I might not even know which was which. Both clubs could carry the ball onto the green without any problems. Distance was very similar as well. The biggest difference was on mis-hits. The newer Rescue ’09 was a more forgiving. After just a couple shots that did not catch the center of the face it was apparent that forgivability was the main thing I was missing by not upgrading sooner.

The second area I like to review hybrids is in its “recueability” – which is the ability get you out of trouble. There are three rescue shot tests I like to run through with any hybrid. The thick rough shot is the first one I tried. There was nothing rough about it though. I was able to get the ball up out of the rough without any issues. The Rescue ’09 had no problems working through the rough and getting the clubface on the ball.

TaylorMade Hybrid '09 Dual TP comparison
Although very similar in size and shape, the new TaylorMade ’09 is more forgiving than its older sibling.

The next trouble area to test was the tight lie. When I first started using a hybrid/rescue club this was one shot I was surprised that it could handle so easily. For some reason I thought the iron would manage it better but the Rescue is a much better option. The TaylorMade Rescue ’09 was no exception. Again, the ball flight was still high and penetrating.

Lastly, I always like to try out a few punch shots. Whether it is getting out of the trees or hitting some wind-cheaters, a reliable low shot is a great one to fall back on. Of all the tested areas this was probably where the TaylorMade performed the most average. It was a bit difficult to control the trajectory and keep it low. Contact was not the problem. Neither was distance control. If I have a low branch in front of me, that might be the problem.

Options and Extras
17°, 19°, 22° and 25° TaylorMade Rescue ’09 models are available. If you’re a lefty, only the 19° and 22° are available. This gives golfers a variety of options if they are not only looking to replace a 2 or 3-iron, but possibly a 4 and 5-iron as well.

As for shafts, there are two options. The first is the standard RE*AX Superfast 85 shaft. This is their “stock” shaft and the one I reviewed. I was more than happy with the stiff model that came with it.

The head cover is very similar to the ones TaylorMade has provided in years past for their Rescue clubs. It is a solid nylon cover with a stretchy section along the back that allows the club to fit tightly around the cover. Unlike the Bobby Jones head covers in one of my recent reviews, I’ve never had to worry about losing this cover. Along with the functionality, the styling and look is good as well.

TaylorMade Hybrid '09 Headcover
I was very happy with the previous headcover TaylorMade provided and glad to see they didn’t change much.

I believe I’ve finally found a replacement for my old TaylorMade Rescue TP. It’s only fitting that it is another TaylorMade. The Rescue ’09 improves in enough areas, most importantly forgiveness, that it was an easy choice.

Anyone looking to replace not just a long iron, but (as in my case) an old hybrid, should give this a swing. I’ve reviewed and tried numerous hybrid and Rescue clubs in the past three or so years and only put ones by TaylorMade in my bag. Others have come close and tempted me to make a switch, but I could never pull the trigger. Only by TaylorMade mixing the old with the new was I willing to make that switch.

20 thoughts on “TaylorMade Rescue ’09 Review”

  1. Dave,

    Couple questions. How many hybrids do you use in your bag? I use three of the Dual Resuce model for 3,4, & 5 iron replacement. For a mid to high handicaper, they’re so much easier to hit.

    Second, can you describe exactly what you mean by tight lie?

  2. I had a chance to try this rescue out for a weekend on demo from my local golf shop. I currently carry the Adams a4 #3 hybrid, and have loved it but you know we golfer’s are never satisfied. I wanted to try the FCT option and tried the rescue in several configurations on the range and during 2 rounds. I really didn’t see a change on ball flight from setting to setting, and still found my a4 to be much more consistent, easier to hit, and most important to me, more effective in controlling the trajectory. I think the new rescue is an improvement on previous TM models but there’s no doubt, Adams is still head of the class in hybrids.

  3. I have read many reviews of non TP models of TaylorMades having a tendency to hook/draw. I have too played the TP rescue dual and found it to draw less than the rescue dual non tp. Did you try both the TP and non-TP models of this hybrid? Can you comment on the tendancy to draw of these clubs?

  4. If you want to replace your 5 iron, which club or degree to get?

  5. If you want to replace your 5 iron, which club or degree to get?


    I use a 25* but I admit it hit it a little furter than my 5i. Still works well. It’s probably going to vary by manufactuer.

  6. Dave,

    Couple questions. How many hybrids do you use in your bag? I use three of the Dual Resuce model for 3,4, & 5 iron replacement. For a mid to high handicaper, they’re so much easier to hit.

    Second, can you describe exactly what you mean by tight lie?

    I only have the one hybrid in my bag. A 19 degree to replace my 2 iron. I’ve considered replacing the 3 iron but haven’t done it yet.

    By tight lie I mean a hard, firm lie…like dirt or really thin grass.

    I have read many reviews of non TP models of TaylorMades having a tendency to hook/draw. I have too played the TP rescue dual and found it to draw less than the rescue dual non tp. Did you try both the TP and non-TP models of this hybrid? Can you comment on the tendancy to draw of these clubs?

    For some reason this non-TP version does not hook that badly. My old TP might have been a bit less prone to a hook, but it is barely noticeable.

  7. I had hoped that this review would have included more of Dave’s thoughts on the TP version of the new 2009 Rescue club, but I am more than contented with the review as it does answer some of the questions that I had. As always, a well written review that offers a lot of value to those interested in this particular club.

  8. Hmmmm… I might try it out although i don’t think I will change from my Titleist 985H (with adila proto) anytime in the near future. The main reason is that i find the 985H more like an iron than a wood and previous taylormade/callaway/cleavland/cobra hybrids I have hit all play more like a wood, as you said you couldn’t keep the ball down with the Taylormade, thats what i have found with every other hybrid I have hit & shot-shaping is much more difficult, I had found with other hybrids that a draw was the only shot (+ my natural shot shape). I can easily hit a small fade with my 985H, I can hit it high, low, get it to climb etc. Another point the new titleist hybrids are horrible 😥 was very dissapointed with them.
    Good review covered all bases, might try the taylormade next time I feel like trying new clubs.

  9. This is brilliant stuff, as usual; by far the most in-depth series of club reviews on the net.

    But, why is the time interval between reviews always so long?


  10. How does the ball flight compare between the TP and non TP version…I was wondering if the internal weightings would be different. TP perhaps slighly more penetrating flight…neutral weighting…non TP maybe a bit higher lauch and favouring a draw?

  11. I have the ’07 Burner rescue/hybrid 3, 4, and 5; I am buying a #6 today. I do like the irons against a “tight lie” just to save the bottom of the Rescue club if nothing else but as a high handicapper I like the confidence these magic clubs offer.

  12. Hey. I need some advise. I currently hit my 5 iron about 145 yards and I carry a 4 iron, but I’m only 13 years old, and I have never hit it well. My next club up is a 5-wood that I can hit 180- 170 if I need to. I am considering buying a TaylorMade rescue club to fill my gap that currently lies from about 150- 165 yards. According to what I’m told, I would want a 4i hybrid to replace my 4 iron, but should I get a 5i if the rescues fly a bit better? Thanks for your help. Really appreciate it.

  13. Rescue / utility clubs are great…and pros use them more and more. However more lofted hybrids are only really used by people who can’t hit long irons. My advice to you…as a 13 year old…is to practice with your 4 iron!

  14. I have both the 19 & 22 degree Rescue 09’s. Traded in my Burner hybrids for these – not sure I’d do that again. For some reason, I simply can’t hit these Rescue’s straight – they hook like crazy for me. The good news is that I picked up the new Burner irons this summer, and even the 4 iron is a piece of cake to hit – I absolutely love it. There is no better feeling than flushing a long iron and with these clubs in the bag, I don’t need to rely on a hybrid as a long iron replacement. I would like to find one that I can hit 3 iron distance and straight. Any suggestions on a good hybrid for a mid-handicap that isn’t overly draw biased?

  15. The TP version has a heavier shaft that will produce a lower trajectory. Plus it has the FCT where you can open or close the face to dial in your typical swing shape.

    Here’s my observation about the pull/hook problem with a hybrid. The ball is too far forward in your stance. Move the ball more toward the middle of your stance, swing the club like you would an iron, hands ahead of the club face, and strike the ball with a descending blow.

  16. The Rescue ’09 is not available in a 6. The ’07 and ’08 Burners came in a 6. I also just picked up a brand new R7 Draw Rescue in a 6 on ebay for right around $40!!!! That is a screaming deal!

  17. I ended up, after a ton of experimentation, with Nickent 4 DX 20 and 23 degree hybrids. They are neutral and for me work great – I consistently hit them straight and solid – something I could never do with the Rescue 09’s.

  18. I just purchased a 3 & 4 Rescue. After my initial trips to the range these clubs are everything I wanted and more. They are: easy to hit, high loft, great distance and look good. My problem comes with the draw/hook of the club. I’m a straight hitter and these babies don’t understand that concept. Every shot has a bend. This must be worked out. Any help out there with this problem?

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