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TaylorMade R9 - Is this a good beginning driver?


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So I've been following divot.com since getting a great deal on some visors. Today they have a TaylorMade R9 driver which seems like a good deal. I just started playing golf a couple months ago, the people helping me said I don't need a driver at first. I can finally hit my irons pretty straight and consistent and I really want to start hitting the long driver. Is this a club I can start out with, or is there something better for beginners? I don't want to grow out of the club too quickly and TaylorMade seems to be a really good brand. What do you think?

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TM drivers tend to be rather good. I couldn't hit the R9 for beans personally (went with the burner instead) but with the customization, it'll be hard to go wrong with it.

I laught at your claims to fight a zombie apocalypse when most of you can't stand up to a Spider

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Your best bet, even as a beginner, would be to get fitted to make sure. The driver head is important, but not nearly as important as getting the right shaft. Without knowing much about your swing, its hard for anyone on here to give you advice as to the right club for you. A PGA professional would be your best bet, plus they could get you on the right path before you start any bad habits.

Nothing helps you find a lost ball better than a provisional hit straight down the middle.

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Well I never acted on it and the deal has passed. I guess I will keep hitting my irons. I'm told it's tough to be fitted for a club if you don't have a consistent swing, so I thought I would need something to start out with, that I can practice with, before buying a professionally fitted driver. Am I wrong?

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With the R9, you can be fitted now for it and with it's adjustability and the r9 tip for shafts being readily available, get fitted again with te same club later.

In The Bag
Driver: TaylorMade M2 (2017) w/ Project X T1100 HZRDUS Handcrafted 65x 
Strong 3 wood: Taylormade M1 15* w/ ProjectX T1100 HZRDUS handcrafted 75x
3 Hybrid: Adams PRO 18* w/ KBS Tour Hybrid S flex tipped 1/2"
4 Hybrid: Adams PRO 20* (bent to 21*) w/ KBS Tour Hybrid S flex tipped 1/2"
4-AW: TaylorMade P770 w/ Dynamic Gold Tour Issue Black Onyx S400

SW: 56* Scratch Tour Dept(CC grooves) w/ Dynamic Gold Spinner
LW: 60* Scratch Tour Department (CC grooves) w/ Dynamic Gold Spinner
XW: 64* Cally XForged Vintage w/ DG X100 8 iron tiger stepped
Putter: Nike Method Prototype 006 at 34"

Have a ton of back-ups in all categories, but there are always 14 clubs in the bag that differ depending on the course and set-up. Bomb and gouge. Yes, I'm a club gigolo.

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Your best bet, even as a beginner, would be to get fitted to make sure. The driver head is important, but not nearly as important as getting the right shaft.

 

 

That's not entirely right. The head is the most important factor. No shaft, whether it's $10 or $400 will help a golfer if the head isn't right for the golfer. There's no point for a slow swinger to use a 10* head- they'll put too much backspin on the ball, which will lead to many ballooned shots. The shaft is important, but not as important as having the right head, club length, swing weight and grip size. For the great majority of golfers (and definitely the beginners) just getting the right flex will suffice.

 

When the game comes around, it would be smart to reevaluate the shaft- torque corresponds with the head's gear effect (helping to mitigate misses) and maybe look at something like bend point (AKA kick point). There's only ~1* launch angle difference between a "high" and "low" BP shaft, but there are feel differences.

 

(paraphrased from "The Right Sticks" by Tom Wishon, with personal experience thrown in)

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Well I never acted on it and the deal has passed. I guess I will keep hitting my irons. I'm told it's tough to be fitted for a club if you don't have a consistent swing, so I thought I would need something to start out with, that I can practice with, before buying a professionally fitted driver. Am I wrong?

Fitting will help. Don't worry about your swing being perfect, very few swings are. The fitter can help you find what will work best.

You may be able to find some deals too. Look for older models like the Ping G10, Rapture V2, Adams Fast 10, as well as the TM offerings.

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That's not entirely right. The head is the most important factor. No shaft, whether it's $10 or $400 will help a golfer if the head isn't right for the golfer. There's no point for a slow swinger to use a 10* head- they'll put too much backspin on the ball, which will lead to many ballooned shots. The shaft is important, but not as important as having the right head, club length, swing weight and grip size. For the great majority of golfers (and definitely the beginners) just getting the right flex will suffice.

 

When the game comes around, it would be smart to reevaluate the shaft- torque corresponds with the head's gear effect (helping to mitigate misses) and maybe look at something like bend point (AKA kick point). There's only ~1* launch angle difference between a "high" and "low" BP shaft, but there are feel differences.

 

(paraphrased from "The Right Sticks" by Tom Wishon, with personal experience thrown in)

from my own experience and from what Ive read in multiple sources, the shaft is more important, but I will just agree to disagree on that. Your statement about getting the right flex is a large part of what I was talking about. When I started out, I got a 10.5 degree driver with a regular flex shaft and my swing speed is almost 110. Needless to say, I wasted my money.

Nothing helps you find a lost ball better than a provisional hit straight down the middle.

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That's not entirely right. The head is the most important factor. No shaft, whether it's $10 or $400 will help a golfer if the head isn't right for the golfer. There's no point for a slow swinger to use a 10* head- they'll put too much backspin on the ball, which will lead to many ballooned shots. The shaft is important, but not as important as having the right head, club length, swing weight and grip size. For the great majority of golfers (and definitely the beginners) just getting the right flex will suffice.

 

When the game comes around, it would be smart to reevaluate the shaft- torque corresponds with the head's gear effect (helping to mitigate misses) and maybe look at something like bend point (AKA kick point). There's only ~1* launch angle difference between a "high" and "low" BP shaft, but there are feel differences.

 

(paraphrased from "The Right Sticks" by Tom Wishon, with personal experience thrown in)

 

 

Really? A high swingspeed player won't benefit from going higher than 10 degrees? I game a 10.5 degree 9032LS with a Matrix F7M2 LTD in it in strong flex(at the recommendation of Matrix). My swingspeed is 117 on average(High was 124.3, low was 114.9, most were right around 117) (verified by Trackman). The loft really doesn't matter that much when the shaft is right. My launch angle is 13.2 degrees on average and spin rate is 2487 on average. Shouldn't I be ballooning shots under your theory? I hit my driver 303.7 on average, again all according to Trackman. I carry 10.5 degrees of loft. But, the head is a low spin head and the shaft is a low launch, low spin shaft. The combination of those factors create ideal launch conditions for me. Why did I go to a higher lofted head and a lower launching shaft? Simple, to mitigate misses. Lower spin (from both the head and the shaft) means more roll after it lands. The higher loft mitigates sidespin, meaning straighter drives that are more consistent. Your theory doesn't hold water.

 

Wishon, while I like a lot of his stances on things, I don't agree with on this one. He's also contradicting some of his earlier writings.

 

The statement that higher swingspeeds creating more spin with a higher loft are baloney. Why? Because of the technology available today allows manufacturers to create low spin heads (Adams products are notorious for low spinning heads. The old black Tour Burner TP was also a fairly low spin head. There are others I can name as well.) How do they accomplish this? Distribution of the weight and COG. It's all variable dependant upon design. Just ask Ralph Maltby, the author of the PGA certification bible.

 

The shaft is the most important part of a golf club, especially a driver. Why? Because it's the lever that's used to drive the mechanical forces. If it doesn't fit the swing, I don't care what head is on the end of it, it's not going to work. The head, truly, is fairly inconsequential. A clubhead is a few things, a set shape, a set loft and a set bias. That's it. From there weighting can vary spin characteristics.

 

The shaft on the other hand, is a set weight, set flex, set launch condition, set spin condition, specific length, and specific flex point, and a specific portion of it is the stiff portion. More variables, more importance. You can vary flight more with a shaft than you can with a clubhead.

 

The head is important, don't get me wrong, as you have to get certain things right, but the shaft is more important because you need to get everything right on it.

In The Bag
Driver: TaylorMade M2 (2017) w/ Project X T1100 HZRDUS Handcrafted 65x 
Strong 3 wood: Taylormade M1 15* w/ ProjectX T1100 HZRDUS handcrafted 75x
3 Hybrid: Adams PRO 18* w/ KBS Tour Hybrid S flex tipped 1/2"
4 Hybrid: Adams PRO 20* (bent to 21*) w/ KBS Tour Hybrid S flex tipped 1/2"
4-AW: TaylorMade P770 w/ Dynamic Gold Tour Issue Black Onyx S400

SW: 56* Scratch Tour Dept(CC grooves) w/ Dynamic Gold Spinner
LW: 60* Scratch Tour Department (CC grooves) w/ Dynamic Gold Spinner
XW: 64* Cally XForged Vintage w/ DG X100 8 iron tiger stepped
Putter: Nike Method Prototype 006 at 34"

Have a ton of back-ups in all categories, but there are always 14 clubs in the bag that differ depending on the course and set-up. Bomb and gouge. Yes, I'm a club gigolo.

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from my own experience and from what Ive read in multiple sources, the shaft is more important, but I will just agree to disagree on that. Your statement about getting the right flex is a large part of what I was talking about. When I started out, I got a 10.5 degree driver with a regular flex shaft and my swing speed is almost 110. Needless to say, I wasted my money.

 

 

Sounds good! :huh:

 

I will say, though, that everyone from Summit's "Total Clubfitting in the 21st Century" (p. 79), Sheets's "The Perfect Fit" (p. 106), Wishon's "The Right Sticks" (all over the place, but Myth/chapter 2 focuses on it), to Maltby's "The Complete Golf Club Fitting Guide" (p. 48) all state that loft of the driver head is most important, with Wishon and Sheets both referring to it as "Physics 101". You can tweak here and there with shaft weight, flex, bend point and whatnot, but loft is, at the very least, the starting point from which all other decisions are made. Maltby even lists the order of importance:

 

1. Loft

2. Lie

3. Center of Gravity Location

4. Shaft Flex Point

5. Shaft Flex

6. Hosel Offset (again, p. 48)

 

Do I agree with this as a set-in-stone deal? Yes and no. While I think it's smart to have a "blueprint", everyone is different with differing needs and swings, so it'd be (quite frankly) stupid to be so rigid. You do what you have to, within the Rules, to fit a golfer to their best club possible while taking into account ALL factors- not just swing speed; but swing mechanics, expectations of said new club, budget, etc., etc.

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