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TaylorMade has introduced the R9 iron, designed to deliver modern performance and tremendous distance in a more classic package. Each R9 long-iron and middle-iron (3- through 6-) houses a large and fully enclosed compartment positioned behind the clubface, underneath the cavity badge. Called the Velocity-Control Chamber (VCC and no you can’t make this stuff up!), it is occupied by nearly weightless foam, as well as a silicone shock absorber, which speaks to vibration control. According to TaylorMade, the VCC also makes it possible for the 2.0 mm clubface to exist unsupported.
The performance attributes of the VCC, according to TaylorMade, is that it makes it easier to launch the ball with the long- and middle-irons. The product incorporates TaylorMade’s proprietary Inverted Cone Technology, found in several of its other products, which it believes promotes higher ball speed on off-center hits.
The short irons are built with a deep undercut cavity, a low center of gravity sole, according to the company and heel-toe weighting. Its worth noting that the R9 TP irons 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 stock shaft in the irons are KBS 90-grams in steel, which are said to share a structure and step pattern with the tour shaft, which are heavier, that is intended to promote tighter dispersion for greater consistency and control. The wall thickness found in each of the shafts increases proportionately as the shaft diameter decreases, which is to promote added stability.
The R9 iron is also available in one graphite shaft model, the Fujikura Motore, in 75-grams in S flex, 65-grams in R flex and 55-grams in M flex.
"Whereas our Burner irons deliver extraordinary distance in a modern design, the R9 irons are aimed at the technician, and so are rendered in a player's shape with a clean and conventional look," said Harry Arnett, TaylorMade's senior category director of metal woods, irons and balls. "However, a ridiculous degree of performance-enhancing technology is packaged within each oversized club head. The result is an iron that's phenomenally easy to play despite its classic appearance, and extremely controllable and accurate as well."
The standard set of R9 irons includes 3-iron through pitching wedge at a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of $999 steel and $1,249 graphite. An attack wedge and sand wedge are available separately. R9 irons become available starting on November 1, 2009.