The Hackers Paradise recently got some requests to review fairway woods as some of our readers were having a tough time finding information on them. Drivers seem to get all the coverage and like we found out in our last fairway wood review, not all fairway woods act like their driver counterparts. Last year was a perfect example of this, we did not care for the R7 driver at all, but the 3 wood was one of our favorites of the year. Last week we did a thorough testing of the R9 TP Driver and came away extremely impressed.
So after testing that one out we could not wait to reach out to Taylormade and see if we could review the 3 wood as well. In less than 5 days a packaged arrived with the fairway metal inside. The R9 fairway has the same technology that THP fell in love with in the driver. This year Taylormade has added “Flight Control Technology” (FCT) to many of it’s clubs. FCT gives you the power to adjust the face angle, loft, and lie angle of the R9. FCT will allow you to change the characteristics to make the club look better to your eye and perform better with your swing. You can choose from eight different positions to promote eight different trajectories. Left, Neutral Upright, Neutral, and Right are all labeled on there, plus four different positions in between each of the ones mentioned above.
We will not go over a ton of the technical specs in this review as we covered most of them in the driver profile just last week. We were anxious to get this one out to the range and were able to assemble a few testers the first day the club arrived. On this day we had four golfers ready and eager to take some hacks with this new toy. Myself, our THP Teaching Professional, a scratch golfer, and a 6 handicap. All of the players other than myself played the R7 3 wood and were eager to check this one out.
Each golfer warmed up with their own equipment for 15 minutes or so and one by one we hit the R9 3 wood. We all started with the head in the neutral position, and each one of us tinkered with it until we felt as though it was in the proper position for our swing. A couple of things to note here. First, with 8 positions all of us were able to find the spot we thought was perfect for us. Second, it still amazes me each time, that when you tinker just a little bit with the setup of the club, how much that dictates the ball flight and performance.
The feedback was pretty much what we thought it would be. It was a big hit for the first day players. All of us loved the club head and felt as though it was a nice step up from the R7’s that these golfers were using. The shaft that they chose is the Fujikura Motore and it was also a huge hit. We rarely get to see a club that comes with a shaft that we feel is “perfect” for it. The R9 club with the Fujikura Motore are like a happy marriage. All of us agreed that this one was a keeper. A couple of things to note here. As with most of the clubs we review, the grip that comes stock with the R9 fairway is not my cup of tea. I personally found it to be a little slick, but I was the only one of us that had any issues with it. The headcover is something that we are starting to talk about in each review. Taylormade got it right with this one. It is simple yet stands out and does the job well. Something to add here is that they even have a little plastic indicator that says “3” or “5” to tell you what club it is. Why is this unique or important? It isn’t necessarily, however if you lose a headcover you do not need to search for a “3”, they are universal and it makes replacement a little easier.
As has become standard practice with our club reviews here at THP, the next day we decided to take the R9 3 Wood out to a local range for a little public demo and see what all different types of players thought about it. We were able to get 13 people to try out the club. We got this one down to a science and were able to really get some spectacular results. We had each player hit their current fairway wood for a few shots. Then we gave them the R9 in Neutral to hit for a few shots. Then we adjusted the club to assist with their game and they were able to hit a few more balls. Each of the 13 people were able to find a setup that suited their game. 10 out of the 13 people that tested out the R9 Fairway preferred it to their current club. We found that especially on this day that this club can really be perfect for a wide variety of players.
Overall, we think that Taylormade has a winner here with this one. We felt strongly about the R9 Driver and so did the people that got to hit it. The fairway wood was no different. We even had one equipment tester say “Call Taylormade and ask them how much to keep the club and not send it back?”. Personally I loved the club and will keep it at or near the top of my list when shopping for 3 woods. The equipment testers agreed as well. Most of them were R7 people and think that this blend of shaft technology and head design is a big upgrade and look forward to its release on March 6th, 2009. The R9 fairway wood will be available in lofts of 13, 15, 17, and 19 degrees for right handed players and 15 and 19 for left handed players. For more information on this or other products check out their website at Taylormade Golf.
Till Next Time