Each and every year more and more clubs are coming out promising longer and straighter drives. The Burner bloodline runs deep at TaylorMade. The first Burner driver was introduced in 1983, and was quickly embraced by golfers of all skill levels for its remarkable blend of power and forgiveness. The Burner Plus driver followed in 1986, then came the Burner Bubble in 1995. In 2007 TaylorMade introduced a new Burner driver, which was the best-selling driver for the 2007 full year and 2008 season to date. The Tour Burner was launched in 2008, which Sergio Garcia used to win the year’s Players Championship and was the most played driver on tour last year. Most of our readers here at The Hackers Paradise know how I felt about the 2008 and that I simply thought it was a step backward for Taylormade and how good the 2007 model was. Would 2009 bring THP reviewers back to “Burner Land”?
Despite this driver being out for quite some time now, we wanted to go back and revisit it for our readers. The Taylormade R9 Driver review really opened up our eyes to the new equipment that they were putting out this year.
We contacted Taylormade and they sent over a loaner for us to try out and review. First impressions are a big key with clubs today and especially drivers. Our initial thoughts with this one were a little different. We loved the look of the head and really got excited about trying it out. The club is noticeably longer than the drivers we have been testing and that worried us a little bit. The Headcover needs some work. It is too simple for all the technology inside these drivers.
The newest Burner driver ingeniously combines the SuperFast technology of the 2007 Burner with the Dual Crown technology of the Tour Burner. The result? In theory a driver weighing less than 300 grams that promotes faster swing speed, a higher launch angle and lower spin-rate, equaling a dramatic boost in distance. The first day it came in we took it out to the range for a demo session with a couple of really long hitters and our resident THP Teaching Professional. We all warmed up and then took turns beating this driver into range balls and in a rare scenario, we all had very similar feedback. At first glance, the driver looks so long that it could cause problems, but within 4-5 swings, nobody even noticed the extra length of it. However we all noticed the extra length we were getting in terms of distance. All of the early testers felt as though this driver was as long as any driver we have tested this year. The 2nd thing that stood out for us was how low spin the driver was and it had a nice penetrating ball flight. We all came away very impressed.
With our initial day of testing behind us we decided we wanted more feedback. Armed with the driver we went over to a crowded range on a Saturday morning and let all kinds of players give it a run out there. Almost every one of the golfers commented on the head shape and how it is not really traditional but because of the creative graphics placement, when you setup you get the feeling that you are standing over a traditional shaped head. One by one each golfer tried their current driver and then the new Taylormade Burner. The results were what we expected given our first day results. We had 23 golfers hit the club and 19 of them preferred the new Burner. To be fair, of the 23 golfers that participated, only 12 had drivers that were newer than 2006. But 19 out of 23 was big number. Feedback was very similar across the board. Most thought it would be hard to control initially, but once they took some swings with it had no problems. In fact the high handicappers seemed to enjoy the club and the control more than any of the other clubs they have tried. People that fought control off the tee reported back that they were hitting the ball straighter than before with the Burner.
I decided to personally take it out on the course for a couple of weeks worth of rounds and see what the verdict was on a course with very tight fairways. I play a fade with the ball off the tee and still had that, but with the Burner it was much less pronounced. It seemed as though I was also picking up some distance like the others were reporting. However I did not see the 10 yards or more that some were seeing. So after about 5 rounds, I was pretty much sold on the driver. You combine certain elements in a driver, you are sure to get a winner. I was extremely happy with how the stock shaft performed. It seems as though Taylormade has really stepped up their stock shaft offerings in recent years and the Burner is equipped with a lightweight grip and SuperFast RE*AX 49-gram graphite shaft. It seemed to work perfectly with the club head and my swing to produce one good drive after another.
Overall we think that Taylormade has put out two great lines for the 2009 season. We thought the R9 was great when we reviewed it last month, and now that we have revisited the Burner, we are sold so far on their new drivers for this year. If you are in the market for a new driver and your criteria is long and straight, then you will be glad that you checked out the Taylormade 2009 Burner. Lofts include 9.5Â°, 10.5Â°, HT (high trajectory). Available in men’s right-handed and left-handed; ladies’ right-handed. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price is $400, and it is available now in stores everywhere. You can read all about this one at Taylormade Golf.
Till Next Time