Taylormade Burner SuperLaunch Irons Review

In 2009 Taylormade Golf had a lot of success reaching different levels of golfers with their irons and one set that intrigued a lot of the players looking for more forgiveness in an iron was the Taylormade Burner Plus irons. The set was geared towards players with slower swing speeds looking for assistance both in forgiveness and ball flight. The irons were loved by many, but at THP we always thought they left a little something out. While there was nothing wrong with the set necessarily, our testers were not in love with them and when you set the benchmark as a company with the Burner irons, it is hard to live up to that bar each and every time out.

The performance of TaylorMade’s Burner irons has made it the best-selling iron model in the United States, and has helped thousands of golfers elevate their games to an entirely new level. The golfers that struggled with a low ball flight seemed a little left out in the dark with this new technology, but not for long. The Burner SuperLaunch is entering the marketplace for that very reason. The iron is designed specifically for this golfer and will allow maximum forgiveness and a club that is incredibly easy to get in the air.

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Technology
From the company
Burner SuperLaunch irons are engineered to deliver tremendous forgiveness from end-to-end (heel to the toe) and top to bottom (topline to leading edge). In fact, it’s the most forgiving iron ever from TaylorMade. That makes it a great iron for high-handicappers with patterns of inconsistent ball-striking. In fact, Burner SuperLaunch irons boast the highest MOI of any TaylorMade iron, ever.

Multifunctional, Beveled Sole Promotes High Launch
The first thing you notice about Burner SuperLaunch irons is that each features a wide, multifunctional sole, which is key to establishing the low and deep CG location that makes every one of these irons so easy to get high in the air. However, each sole is strategically beveled to reduce the degree of interaction with the turf. That means you get the low-deep CG-positioning benefits of a large sole, yet it plays like a much smaller, narrower sole. When you rest a Burner SuperLaunch iron behind the ball, you’ll notice the substantial topline, which contributes to the exceptional stability and forgiveness. TaylorMade engineers cambered the topline’s rearward edge to give it a downward slant, resulting in a more dynamic appearance.

Individually-designed Long-irons, Mid-irons and Short-irons
Like the Burner irons, the Burner SuperLaunch long-irons, mid-irons and short-irons were designed separately, which is clear when you see the long-irons, which boast a decidedly low-profile shape compared to the rest of the set. This shape, when combined with the wide sole and deep cavity, help make Burner SuperLaunch long-irons so much easier to launch at lower swing speeds. The low-profile shape also makes the long-irons look easy to hit, too. On the opposite end of the set, Burner SuperLaunch short-irons have a traditional face-height and profile, while the middle-irons are of medium-profile, about halfway between the traditional profile of the short-irons and low-profile of the long-irons.

Progressive Face Thickness throughout the Set
Progressive face thickness throughout the set has the thinnest faces in the long-irons for higher COR, faster ball speed and better weight distribution and thicker faces in the short-irons for better feel. Inverted Cone Technology in every Burner SuperLaunch iron helps expand the area of the clubface that delivers fast ball speed to promote more distance on off-center hits. Of course, the most critical performance benefit of Burner SuperLaunch is how easily they launch the ball and how high they launch the ball. Slower swingers will find it a breeze to launch these irons on an extremely high flight and with the spin necessary to keep the ball in the air long enough to achieve significant added carry, and when the ball comes down it will land steeply and softly.

New Grooves Design
Burner SuperLaunch irons incorporate a new TaylorMade groove design that conforms to the USGA’s new ruling on grooves, which will be enforced in high-level competition starting in 2010 and in recreational golf starting in 2024.

Availability and Pricing for Burner SuperLaunch
The standard set of Burner SuperLaunch irons includes 4-iron through attack wedge, and will be offered at a street price of $599 with steel shafts and $799 with graphite. A 3-iron and sand wedge are also offered separately. Burner SuperLaunch irons are offered in four shaft flexes – S, R, M, L. The Burner SuperLaunch ladies’ set features its own unique purple color palette. Burner SuperLaunch irons will become available starting on April 1, 2010.

Range Testing
THP was able to gather up 12 testers to try out the Burner SuperLaunch irons and upon first glance they all commented on the looks. Mainly, thoughts such as “those things are huge” were being heard, but each player was still eager to get their hands on them. When selecting testers, we were careful to select golfers that have handicaps over 18 and found no issue in finding them eager to hit irons that could in fact help their game quite a bit. THP gave each golfer a scorecard and asked them to hit balls with their current irons and compare them to the Burner SuperLaunch irons from Taylormade Golf. Each scorecard has categories on it labeled Looks, Feel, Ball Flight, Accuracy, and Overall.

Looks – Only 2 of the 12 golfers preferred the looks of the Burner SuperLaunch to that of their current irons. Most just felt it was a little too thick on the top and bottom of the club head.

Feel – 7 of the 12 testers preferred the feel of the Burner SuperLaunch to that of their current irons. The main reason given was because although feedback was muted, it was not hidden too much.

Ball Flight – 11 of the 12 golfers preferred the ball flight of the SuperLaunch irons. High and straight was described over and over again. Mis-hits were far less noticeable in terms of flight for most.

Accuracy – 10 of the 12 golfers were more accurate with these irons than their current set. THP gave each golfer 5 balls each for this separate drill and they went after flags at 125 yards and 150 yards and we measured accuracy.

Overall – Despite the less than stellar feedback on the looks of the club, all but 1 of the golfers preferred this set over their current set. The reason behind it was the same as the scorecards say, “High and Straight”.

Course Testing
After watching the testing on the range and practice green over the course of 2 days, I was eager to take these out on the course. I have never played Super Game Improvement Irons (SGI) and was going to put them into play for the 1st time right on the course. Over the course of this review I was able to play them on the course for 6 rounds of golf and countless range sessions. Unlike the testers, I kind of liked the looks of them. While they are huge, I have never suffered from “the topline is too thick or the sole is too thick” thoughts, so it worked for me just fine. However if thick toplines are an issue for you, the Taylormade R9 irons we reviewed in November might be better suited for your eye.

On the first hole I hit a drive that left me about 135 yards from the green and pulled out the irons for the first time. I grabbed the 9 iron and hit my first shot. It landed on the green and I was ready to move on to putting. But two things came to mind when hitting that first shot. One, the ball gets up in the air really high and really fast. It reminded me of the first time I hit a 64* wedge as I thought it was going to hit me in the face. Second, I missed the shot way off the toe and the ball flew the same and lost virtually no distance.

Throughout that first round I found myself struggling with my ball striking (not a problem with the irons), yet my score was the same as it normally is. A true testament to the forgiveness that goes along with these irons. For the next month I played these in my bag and the forgiveness is something that any player that struggles with a slice should take a look at. With that being said, if you play a draw already, or struggle with a hook, these irons will probably not be the best choice for your game. The offset is pretty noticeable and could really get into your head after a few shots. When I hit my normal straight ball, it becomes a slight draw and that was something that was very much liked and appreciated.

Working the ball high and low and left and right, is not really an option with these, however that is not what they are geared for at all. I found myself being able to slow my swing speed down to a comfortable 75% on all swings without losing any distance and the ball flight was remaining the exact same. The progressive set was a pleasure to use as long irons became as easy to hit as hybrids, however as you move up to the shorter, scoring clubs, the set plays close to traditional.

Overall
If you are looking for maximum forgiveness in an iron, this set could be exactly what you have been waiting for. Easy to hit, extremely forgiving, and more importantly forgiving in the right areas. Missing on the toe, heel, or high on the club face did not disturb the high and straight ball flight at all. Something we have rarely seen in an iron, but was a pleasant surprise. The ball flight of these should be what every amateur golfer works to achieve and with a little help from technology, it can be easier now than ever before. For more information on this set of irons or any other Taylormade product, check out their website at www.taylormadegolf.com.

Till Next Time

Josh B.

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