As many readers on the THP forum know, I have played the Taylormade R9 since our review of the TP model well over a year ago. Over 50 drivers have come into my hands for review during that time and after the review was done, I always went back to my trusty R9. Was it comfort? Performance? Looks? I do not know the answer to that, but I can tell you that for my game the driver just flat out worked.
After the 2010 Driver Shoot Out, I was convinced that the newest technologies in the driver could help me and I set out on a quest to find the next driver for my bag. After weeks of testing a familiar face came out of the crowd and the sole of the club said TAYLORMADE!
From the company:
First came the R9 driver, which combined Flight Control Technolog (FCT) and Movable Weight Technology™ (MWT®) with three movable weights in a 420cc head. Next came the R9 460 driver with FCT alone, only in a larger and more forgiving 460cc head. “Those two drivers were created because TaylorMade didn’t yet have the ability to combine both FCT and MWT in a 460cc head,” said Todd Beach, TaylorMade’s senior director of metalwood development. “A year later, we do.” Introducing the R9 SuperTri driver, which combines FCT and MWT with three movable weights in a 460cc head, marking the ultimate unification of TaylorMade’s major driver technologies with maximum size to deliver massive distance and forgiveness. The R9 SuperTri was made possible by two crucial developments by TaylorMade engineers that saved enough weight to allow FCT and MWT to coexist in a 460cc head. The first is better, more widespread use of TaylorMade’s Ultra-Thin Wall technology throughout the clubhead. The second is a new, lighter FCT sleeve that does everything the former one did while weighing three grams less. FCT + MWT + 460cc = Supreme Adjustability, Distance and Forgiveness
The impact of incorporating FCT and MWT into a 460cc head is enormous. The larger head is more forgiving, and its CG is two millimeters farther back in the head than the R9 driver, making it easier to launch the ball higher and with more spin, helping players gain more distance. At the same time, the inclusion of MWT with three weights promotes a side-to-side trajectory change of up to 75 yards. Inverted Cone Technology (ICT) is also a crucial piece of the R9 SuperTri’s makeup. Though it’s milled onto the back of the clubface where it’s out of sight, ICT plays a critical role by dramatically increasing the area of the clubface that delivers fast ball speed, promoting more distance on off-center hits. R9 SuperTri Features Reshaped Crown, Lighter Shaft
The R9 SuperTri’s clubhead is sleeker than previous R9 driver heads, thanks to a reshaped crown that reduces wind resistance. Though the shape is more aerodynamic, the face is the deepest (62mm) TaylorMade has ever incorporated into a driver with MWT, and is deeper than most other competitive drivers currently on the market. Visually, the R9 SuperTri clubhead is a killer, thanks to its new shape and its black-on-black color scheme, including a black PVD clubface last seen in the r7 SuperQuad. The R9 SuperTri is equipped with a Fujikura Motore 60-gram shaft, which is five grams lighter than the Motore 65 used in the R9 driver. In addition to being lighter, the Motore 60 makes it easier to launch the ball on a higher launch angle and at a higher spin-rate, which helps many players achieve longer carry for increased distance. R9 SuperTri: The Most Advanced TaylorMade Driver Ever
The R9 SuperTri unites four viable performance technologies: FCT, MWT, UTW and ICT. Never before have four such impactful, performance-enhancing technologies been combined so effectively in a single driver. Plus, there’s the superior aerodynamics of the new crown shape. The R9 SuperTri and R9 SuperTri TP are the most advanced, highest-performing drivers TaylorMade has ever developed. The distance-producing power and shot-straightening abilities created by their combined clubhead size, clubhead design, performance technologies and shaft specifications make them clubs that no golfer should be without.
Range Testing the R9 SuperTri
Have you ever been walking through a mall or store and see a couple with their child and the child is simply adorable, but the couple looks “so-so” at best? Well, not to take anything away from the Taylormade R9 or R9 460, but the SuperTri looks like that child. Equal parts golf club and supermodel make this club stand out from the crowd.
At the range we set up our VectorX launch monitor and began to hit balls with both my original Taylormade R9 driver and the new R9 SuperTri. While it was not immediately apparent, the launch monitor did not lie and the newer beautiful child called SuperTri was outperforming the original and it was not even close. Each and every year we as consumers hear claims about adding X amount of yards to our drive, and so on and so forth. Well, when comparing my current driver to that of the new SuperTri, I was adding between 8-10 yards with each shot. Hype? Apparently not in this case. Is it the longest driver out there? Not according to the Driver Shoot Out THP conducted, but it is very close and certainly outperformed my current model of choice.
After spending some time with this model, I made a rather longwinded forum post about my thoughts and comparing them to other drivers I had been testing. Here are those thoughts and what others had to say as well.
On the Course
The love affair with the Taylormade R9 SuperTri continued on the course and we have put this driver in play for 11 rounds of golf and with each time out, the driver continues to make us say “Where have you been all my life?”. More distance as was previously mentioned was routine with this club, but more accuracy was as well. The added forgiveness in the head is apparent on mis-hits as the ball still seems to travel high and straight. This was most noticeable on the drives that were missed out on the toe than any place else.
As with all the clubs from R9 wood line, this is a tinkerer’s dream. We won’t go into details about the abilities here, as they were outlined above, but it is safe to say that you can make yourself crazy (in a good way) with all of the different setups available. Being familiar with the R9 setup made it a breeze for me to find exactly what setting I like and making the switch even easier of a transition.
Was I hitting more fairways during play? Check! Was I longer off the tee? Check! The fact that my scores were not going down was puzzling to me and then I realized that it was because at my home course, I was so used to hitting the same approach shots for the last year, that changing to this driver put a different club in my hands and it was something that I had to get used to. Easy problem to have and something that I wish was a problem more often.
It took 18 months for me to find a new driver and I hope that it takes another 18 months for me to replace this one. It is a rare case when something we review ends up being in my bag permanently and in this case, it is 2 times in a row for one company. Something that had not been done before and based on the track record will be another 18 months before it happens again. When you combine incredible looks (perhaps the best we have seen to date), solid distance, and an overall performance that makes your head spin, you have something special on your hands. But to top that, it is a rare case today when companies put out a product and the marketing hype lives up to it. With the Taylormade R9 SuperTri driver, it is not hype, and the proof is in the results. For more information on this driver or any other Taylormade Golf products, check out their website at www.taylormadegolf.com.
Till Next Time