Each year more and more drivers are coming to the marketplace and it can leave consumers dizzy with all the choices. Every club promises longer distances off the tee, more accuracy than ever before, and the ability to make amateurs take that next step towards lowering their handicap. One company decided to step outside the box in their latest release of drivers and put a new driver out that was unique looking, made all the promises, and was shunned by consumers when pictures were first leaked months ago. It seems that when it comes to clubs, and drivers in particular, some golfers are extremely dependent on the look at setup to make it work for their game.
Back in January when Taylormade Golf announced their two newest drivers, the Burner SuperFast and the R9 SuperTri our forum members and consumers around the internet everywhere balked at the appearance of the new Burner SuperFast driver (you can see actual responses by clicking the highlighted portion). On message boards everywhere it seemed unanimous that, based on appearance alone, the Burner SuperFast was not a hit.
Rumors started to swirl that the guys on tour were falling in love with this driver based on pure statistics and THP decided to do some investigating. While at Doral this year, we got a chance to speak with a number of PGA professionals that have made the switch and were astonished with their reasoning and the numbers behind it. Here is an example of one of our conversations as we sat down to speak with PGA Tour Superstar Mike Weir about this new driver.
Since that time the THP investigation has continued and we recently came across a few statistics that put it all into perspective on just how many players have made the switch to this driver. Nearly 50 PGA Tour professionals have played the Burner SuperFast driver this year in competition on the PGA Tour, and the driver has been used in three worldwide victories (going into the Travelers Championship). On average we are seeing around 20 Burner SuperFast drivers in play each and every week on the PGA Tour. Still curious as to the ultimate reasons behind it, THP decided to continue its investigation and bring the PGA Tour Manager for Taylormade Golf onto the THP Radio show In The Rough W/ JB & Golfer Gal and get his perspective on why so many are making the switch and what results the players are currently seeing (click the green portion to hear that show).
At this point, myself and the rest of the staff at THP were fairly astonished with the findings that we were getting.
Increased club head speed
Increased ball speed
Overall distance gain
THP decided to contact Taylormade Golf about conducting our own impartial testing with 12 golfers that are not affiliated with THP or Taylormade Golf and have them hit their current driver and the Burner SuperFast driver on a launch monitor to see if the claims are true and what the overall outcome would be with regular amateurs.
We put a sign up in our local pro shop asking for testers and had no shortage of responses and then also invited a THP Forum member so that he could see the results first hand and report on them as well. We had certain criteria for the testers and those were:
1. Have an official handicap
2. Currently play a driver that is less than 24 months old
3. Have a consistent swing to measure on the device
Here is a list of the 8 drivers currently being played by the testers, and as you can see the choices were all over the place.
2 Callaway FT-9
1 Nike Dymo2
1 Taylormade R9
2 Taylormade R9 460
1 Ping G15
2 Cobra ZL
1 Cobra S2
2 Titleist 909D2
Each golfer was given ample time to warm up and then were asked to hit 18 tee shots on the monitor, alternating between their current driver and that of the Taylormade Burner SuperFast. We kicked out the high and the low numbers to make sure that the testing was fair.
Tests were done using stock shafts at standard length and either 9.5 or 10.5 depending on what the golfer was currently using.
The Burner SuperFast comes standard with a 46.5-inch Matrix Ozik XCon 4.8 shaft.
Winn Grip that weighs in at 30 grams
The Burner SuperFast driver is available in three lofts (9.5°, 10.5° and High Trajectory) and five shaft flexes (L, M, R, S, X)
THP does a lot of testing like this each and every year for both the website and our print publication and this one was more unique than any we have done previously. During our 2010 Driver Shoot Out, the Burner SuperFast won the distance category and we were pretty enamored with what we were seeing, but the purpose of this testing is to get right down to the scientific “nuts and bolts” and see numbers as the indicator after hearing the rave reviews from the tour players and having the Taylormade Tour Manager explain the technology on THP Radio recently.
Each player was put on the launch monitor and in the end it was a unanimous victory for the Taylormade Burner SuperFast Driver in terms of ball speed and distance. Every single tester saw an increase in ball speed on average compared to their current driver, regardless of what their swing speed was going in. That translated into longer drives ranging from as little as 2.6 yards on average to as much as 11.4 yards on average, but not a single player involved in this testing did not see a ball speed and overall distance increase. The THP Forum Member that was involved in this test saw an overall distance increase of 6.3 yards and has already made the switch and purchased this driver after a fitting (pictured above is his swing on the monitor and him getting a distance increase is flat out scary!!!).
It seems to be a rare case when marketing and hype translate into actual findings and this one stood out with collected data. Watching ball speed and overall distance continue to climb for every golfer that tested out the new Taylormade Burner SuperFast was an impressive feat to say the least. We want to thank AccuSport for supplying the new VectorX Launch Monitor to THP for use in all of its equipment testings and it worked perfectly in collecting data in this review. For more information on this or any other Taylormade Golf product, check out their website at www.taylormadegolf.com. You can also find this driver and other TaylorMade gear at Blind 9 Golf online.
EDIT: Right after this writing, the Burner SuperFast gained another win on tour with Justin Rose winning the AT&T National.