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For those who are more than okay with paying up, TaylorMade has another model of the R9 to tempt your wallets. The R9 TP, which represents Tour Preferred features manufacturer's suggested retail price for a standard set, is $1,125. Its unclear how much of a difference in cosmetics, be it minor on the surface, will result in change in score to justify the premium over its sibling. But if it fits your eye or budget, then it might be the one for you.
The R9 TP iron's come in a classic shape and size characterized by a compact head featuring a semi-straight leading edge, semi-
square toe, thin topline and thin, cambered, beveled,
multi-functional sole. Staff member, Nick Faldo
influenced the hosel blends with the leading edge
and the face, TaylorMade said. The irons also have
mirror nickel-chrome plating topped by a pearl finish.
The VCC is incorporated in the 2- through 5-iron
versus the 3 through 6-iron in the kissing cousin
model. The TP is engineered with progressive face
thickness throughout the set starting at 2.0 mm in
the 2- through 5-iron, 2.3 mm in the 6- and 7-iron,
and 2.5 mm in the 8-iron through pitching wedge.
This creates a progressively higher COR, according to TaylorMade. With this particular set, TaylorMade said it is expecting a lot of players to put the 2- and 3-iron back in their bags. The R9 TP irons are equipped with KBS Tour Series steel shafts, versus the modified version in the R9. The TP version also incorporate a new groove design that conforms to the USGA and R&A ruling that goes into affect in 2010 for high-level competition.
"The new R9 TP iron is a perfect example of how TaylorMade has successfully infused meaningful performance technology into a better player's iron," said Brian Bazzel, TaylorMade's manager of iron creation. "You'll notice that fewer of our Tour Staff players are using muscle back blades anymore because of the benefits of our improved cavity designs, Inverted Cone Technology and now the Velocity Control Chamber and sound-management systems."
The standard set consists of 3-iron through pitching wedge; 2-iron and attack wedges are available separately. R9 TP irons become available starting on November 1, 2009.