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Gear Review: TaylorMade Burner Driver

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Gear Review: TaylorMade Burner Driver

Price: $399

What They Say:

-SuperFast Technology reduces total club weight to 299 grams from average of 320 and promotes faster swing speed for added drive-crushing distance

-Advanced bullet-shaped clubhead incorporates far-back CG location to launch the ball high and super-deep

-Massive 460 cc clubhead combined with TaylorMade’s Inverted Cone Technology produces an extremely-high eMOI* that exceeds 5800 (USGA conforming)

-SuperFast RE*AX 50g shaft by Fujikura is exceptionally lightweight and stable to promote greater distance and accuracy

[photopress:burner1.jpg,full,alignleft]What We Say: The Burner offers a great launch angle with the ball moving a little less side-to-side. For the average player, that’s exactly what they want.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve hit pretty much all of the woods TaylorMade has issued to the public. I tried the original moveable weight drivers, and last year hit the TP model of the R7. I had moderate success with each, though pros and strong drivers of the ball seemed to love the clubs with their weights that could be switched to promote a draw or fade.

So it was with some cynicism that I began hitting TM’s new “Burner” driver. It appeared part of the latest fad — MOI or “moment of inertia.” This year MOI was the buzz, with Callaway (FT-i), Nike (Sumo2) and several others unleashing their version of the new type of driver. The goal was the same — MOI was designed to keep the ball straighter, promoting less of a draw and less of a fade.

I’ve had the good fortune to play more than a dozen rounds with the Burner and have found the club delivers on its promise. It promotes a strong high ball flight and there is something to the MOI concept. That said, if you have a swing that is different every time and the ball flight is unique to every swing, the Burner will take out some of the extremes. But it can’t make you hit the ball straight — only you can do that. It is something I know first hand.

Sound:

The sound a driver makes is always an important factor for those chosing a new driver. Not that it should matter — after all, the sound a driver makes has no impact on the way a ball flies. That said, unlike Callaway’s FT-i, which sounds a bit like hitting a golf ball with a pop can on the end of a stick, the Burner has a consistent, bright tone off the clubface that is not unlike what one would traditionally expect from TM’s drivers.

Feel: The feel off the face of the Burner is firm — this is no forged driver — but it didn’t take long to get used to it. The clubhead is large, which will take some time to get accustomed to.

Overall: The TM Burner pleasantly surprised me. I wasn’t expecting much. Instead I found a club I’ve put in my bag and have been hitting almost all year so far. The club is consistent and relatively long off the tee. In many ways the response to the club has also surprised TM who expected their new Quad driver to be the hit of the summer. Instead more tour pros have gravitated to the Burner. Surprising, the Burner is a club that should actually translate well to amateurs. The Burner may not be a huge step forward, but it won’t disappoint either.

Our Gear Head Rating: ****

Gear Head Rating System:

* Dont bother
** If you really need this, go ahead but we warned you
*** You will neither be disappointed or thrilled
**** Money well wasted. This should be one of your final choices
***** Buy this now!

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

36 CommentsLeave a comment

  • I THINK THAT THE BURNER LOOKS LIKE YOU WOULD BUY IT AT WALLMART. IT LOOKS LIKE A 2 YEAR OLD DESIGNED IT. I DONT NO WHAT TAYLOR MADE WAS THINKING. THEY MAKE GOOD GEAR EXCEPT FOR THE BURNER.
    NO ONE BUY THIS CLUB IT IS NOT AS ADVERTISED!!!!!!!

  • Callawaykid36, I think that you are a two year old. Lets get serious here who in the world spells wal mart wrong, also you should know the difference between the no you used out of place in the sentence and the know you use when you know something. In fact after reading your review I believe you are the two year old. I’m willing to bet that you have never touched any TaylorMade gear. If so name some of the good gear you believe they’ve made.

  • I purchased a TM Burner 10.5 five days ago and played 72 holes this weekend. I missed 3 fairways. I am a 18 handicap that now can hit a ball 220 consistent. Previous club was a R5 ,12 degree. The most forgiving club in the bag. I love this thing.

  • hey david i can hit the consistently 220 yards with a wal-mart driver and i just turned 14 and just started playing golf a month and a half ago.

  • Ethan, just because you’re young and flexible doesn’t mean you should be dissing others who hit your same distance… can you hit 39 of 42 fairways like David? He’s an 18 hdcp and that’s why he intelligently posted his distance as a reference to others of his ability, not as “bragging rights” like you seem to think you should do.
    Well done, David.
    Callawaykid…. typical blogger: nothing to say of any value and ridiculously lame at saying what you did….
    As for me…. I’m a 7.5 index and the first time I hit the new TM 10.5 Burner Stiff-flex at the course yesterday I went 285, right where I aimed, with most of it carry distance. The rest of the round went great, too. I never mis-hit one all day and I really think it’s the forgiveness of the club and not just a “hot day”. This is the most amazing driver I have EVER hit. The MOI isn’t hype or over-rated… every impact felt solid and just went huge. I have about 6 name-brand drivers in my garage that I have used off and on and now I have definitely replaced my old trusty 9.5 degree 580XD. I have never hit a ball so consistently high, deep and straight as with the new Burner.. Before my total distance was about 280 on a pure hit, but it was always with a very low trajectory, about 235 carry and all the rest roll- I’ll still keep it handy for extremely windy days out here when I want the ball to stay low, but every other day I’ll be burning candles at the Altar of Burner…
    Wow- Thank you, TaylorMade- you really have developed an outstanding model to help us common golfers!

  • I personally think the Burner looks great. It was obvious with a name like “callawaykid” – the post was going to be negative.

    At any rate, i’ve been playing the R7 460 since it came out and i loved it. But i can’t wait to get my hands on the Burner and launch balls even further. I’ve heard nothing but good things about this club and i can’t wait to bomb it past hacks that use Callaway (oh did i just insult you?!?).

  • I’m a mid high handicap. I’ve always hit my drives a long way but not since I bought the Callaway FT5. I’m coming over the top and can’t seem to feel the club head in the swing. My swing speed is in the I know the Burner has a 5 swing wt. and the TP a 6 along with a different head. Am I gonna be overmatched with the TP? How forgiving is it v the regular Burner?

  • I don’t know if Callaway(KID) hit the same TM Burner I hit but after trying this club from a buddy of mine on the golf course, I immediately purchased one myself the very next day and haven’t been dissapointed. Not only am I hitting the ball 15-25 yards farther than my old driver but it straighter than ever. With my previous driver (Callaway Big Bertha), I would get my lower body turned to quickly to generate speed and end up leaving the face of my club open and end up pushing the ball right or even slicing the ball. But with this club I’d have to say it’s heaven sent. Thanks Taylormade you’ve made it so much more enjoyable to to tee off!

  • What a great Club

    I currently play off 13 and had a Cobra club that was on the illegal list so time for a new driver!

    I was hitting the Cobra pretty well but tended to draw the ball and my bad shot was a hook every now and then (maybe 1 in 9 drives) so wanted to be more consistant.

    I decided to get a proper club fitting using the new vector system that measures everything from spin rate, launch angle, club speed and distance. Tried all the main drivers and the Burner was by far the best, not only consistant but also long.

    Had it fiitted with a lighter (50) shaft that increased my swing speed and stiffer shaft to aid in hitting it down the middle every time. Always hit it well but have never been a mega long driver but with my swingspeed of around 95 mph the ball would carry about 240 through the air.

    Burner certainly the best for me but I would recommend paying the £15 to get the club fitted on one of these machines as it was amazing the difference results from club to club and shafts. I wanted a Nike driver when I went and hit it consistant but was at least 20 yards behind the Burner.

  • Wow. I am 59 years old with a rapidly expanding waistline. Not in bad shape, but I’m no candidate for Fitness Magazine, either. I was hitting the Cleveland Hi-Bore about 240 somewhat consistantly. I bought the Burner about two weeks ago and what a driver it is. I am hitting it about 260 on average, but I had one over 300 and another just about 290 yesterday. I am thoroughly impressed.

  • Played a round with the Burner 10.5 demo , really liked it. I currently have a 580 XD 9.5, which is the best driver I have ever owned(yet). Any suggestionsopinions on Burner 10.5 vs 9.5?

  • I also have the TM Burner, a previous owner of the 580XD, and the R5 Dual, I knew ahead of time that the Burner would be a good club. I bought it without even hitting it and have loved it. I have a question if anyone can answer it. Have any of you changed the shaft on the Burner yet, was just curious what it might due with a lower torque and kick, if you have please post your results, thanks.

  • I’d go with the 9.5 as well. My 10.5 is a little too much loft. However, it’s still a great club with my current configuration.

  • I bought this club after a demo day at the range & after hitting the ft-i & sumo2 it was clear that this was the winner. Previous driver was a cleveland launcher 9.5 stiff shaft that was great fun to hit (230-245 with carry), but the burner was more consistent on mis-hits & average distance was 20-30 yards more. The launcher felt like I was swinging a battleship compared to the light weight burner. It did take about 20 balls to get it dialed in with the longer-lighter shaft, so give it a little time & don’t try and kill it, just normal swing & watch the ball fly. I only tried the 10.5 R shaft & purchased it used (demo-like new ghost tape applied so no marks for $179.00 out the door) yowza, best club-deal I ever got!

  • Just bought this sucker in draw format with 50 weight stiff shaft after testing v Callaway FT-1, Cleveland, Ping G10, Cobra at local store with driving range attached. This club had the best feelgood factor and was consistently straighter and felt better than all the others( I had my heart pretty much set on the FT-i). I don’t know about length, but I put more balls out of the end of the range with this, and it “just felt soooo good”- melted credit card. The moral has to be test them all together, you’ll soon find one that fits you. I’m in love, and my new partner is a burner!

  • Hello Guyz,

    I have brand new Taylor Made burner with Fitting.

    here are the details

    Taylormade Burner

    10.5 R-80

    Burner Dr Reax SF 50 10.5/Rh R

    I am ready to sell it for $360 with fittings if anyone interested let me know.

  • I bought the burner TP 8.5 stiff 65 grams. previous club was TM 580xd 9.5 stiff. My swing speed is 115mph with a high (sometimes to high) launch. I love the look of the this club. It helped my launch, unknown if the degree change or the TP design is what helped. I was driving approx. 280yds w/580 now 305 and straight. brought my cap down from a 9 to a 6 just by being closer to the green. the only problem i have it tring to shape the ball, but the extra distance offsets any hardship i have towards this club. I would recommend this club to anybody that just wants to “grip and rip”. That TM i’m more then pleased to yell “fore” to the group ahead alittle more.

  • I bought this driver and really love it so far. It’s the first really good name brand club I’ve purchased and it really shows. My drives are much more consistent and after getting my swing measured I’ve switched from a regular flex to a stiff shaft which may have helped to.

    BTW – Anyone know what that circular dial is for on the bottom rear of club head?

  • I tried the burner in Hawaii a week ago. One of the guys in my foursome had one and I asked to try it. Holy Komoly, Bat Man!

    My first swing went right down the middle about forty yards further than I had been hitting my own G 5! I tried it several more times during the round and didn’t miss one fairway. He offered to sell it to me after the first hit for $350.00 Each time thereafter that I hit it, the price went UP!! We had fun, but I loved the driver……

    I’ve ordered one on Ebay and can hardly wait to get it in my bag.

  • I’m 68 and only have a swing speed around 80. I switched from a Callaway X to the Burner, regular shaft. While it is no magic wand, I do like it better than the “X”. Does it hit it further? Maybe. Does it hit it straighter? Yes, thank goodness. It certainly does look good at address and the sound is excellent. I plug my ears everytime my playing buddie hits his Cobra. I’d buy it again in a minute. By the way, i saved some money and bought it on eBay.

  • I’m a little disappointed with the Burner. The club carries 240 yards each time i hit it… the trouble is that i don’t get anything more than 10 yards of roll on the driest surfaces around… and believe me, the fairways on the Golf Course i play on are so dry at this time of the year that my friends get between 80 to a 110 yards of role while their drivers carry the same distance as mine does.

    The Burner takes off as if it’ll carry 300 yards and all my friends go WOW!!!… and then it lands at 240 and sits still. My friends have all tried the burner i have and are extremely puzzled about it.

    Can anyone help me understand whats up?? This is causing a great deal of heartache to me.

  • Dwane…Try and teeing up in the middle of your stance, that usually helps me keep it low. Or try and trading it for a lower degree. Both these could help.

    I havent hit the Burner yet, but i have read the reviews. I had 6 clubs for me to choose from. Hi-bore xl, R7 Superquad, Callway 460, Callaway x-tour, Nike sasqu 2 and the Burner.

    I read alot of reviews and decided to go with the Burner. I previously owned a Big Ben driver, but my regular flex got to whippy on my, so i needed to upgrade. My friend just bought the new Hi-bore XL, and the first time i hit it, i hit it so far, and so straight, i couldnt believe it. Im hoping that the Burner i ordered will do more that the XL has done….I was going to go XL, but my friend had it, i cant copy a friend…

    What do you guys think of the Burner?

  • 10 years ago, I purchased a Titleist 975 K Driver 9.5 with a Graffaloy regular Blue shaft.
    3 years ago I purchased a Taylor R7 9.5 with a regular shaft. I purchased it because I figured new tech was better than old tech. I went back to my K driver.
    This year I purchased a 9.5 Burner with a regular shaft. Still breaking it in. I like it better than the R7 driver but I am not convinced that I like it better than my Titleist K driver.
    I am 64 years old with an index of 12.8 and seem to hit my Burner about 225 yds. I hit my K driver longer than 225 but ,perhaps, not as straight. I like the fact that I can hook the K driver when I need to and have not experienced that ability with the Burner. The pro who looked at my swing with both the K and the Burner told me that the modern drivers were designed to go straighter than the older drivers but, in terms of distance, they were about the same for the average golfer. The average golfer could shape the flight of the ball more easily with the older designs.
    Longer distance and greater accuracy will be accomplished with a better swing and not necessarily new equiptment ( though the newer clubs will be more forgiving than the older designs )
    Just because the adds say new equals longer does not mean that it is true.
    You might wonder why I am looking at a new driver if I am in love with my old one. If you do wonder, you are not a true golfer who is always looking across the road thinking the grass is greener on the other side.

  • I bought a taylor made burner draw with a regular shaft. this thing is amazing . i would suggest it to anyone who like me , slice like a maniac 🙂 . I used to drive with a burner (old generation) kind of a orange color with a smaller size head. the new version is so much better. Im a real newbie when it comes to golf but with this club i hit between 220 and 250 on really good shots . if u got a few dollards to spend plz buy this club its amazing . p.s i also like the big bertha just cause its huge 😉

  • i just bought a burner with a green aldila NV shaft that was 65 grams, i have a swing speed of about 110 mph, but i’m only 14, but i tend to hit the ball 200 with my old driver, a 10 degree tour edge driver, but with great accuracy, i hit all the fairways with my old driver yesterday, i was just wondering is this burner right for me?and is this shaft right for me?

  • I picked up a Burner this morning, played a round today, only missed 1 Fairway. I have a Titliest 907D1 8.5 that I just couldn;t get a hang of. Picked it up cheap, and let me tell you, this new Burner is hands down….a better club for ME. I won;t make the long drive championship, but keep it straight like I did today, I won’t be buyin anymore beers at the 19th!!!

  • Hi
    I just ordered a Burner Draw off a Chinese website for $140 which is only around €90 so im happy about the price and im hoping i’ll be just as happy with the results

  • Casey, I’d have the driver authenticated. Many bargain Chinese golf clubs are counterfeits made of cheap steel and not titanium. You can go to the TaylorMade website and read their statement on counterfeiting. Ebay also has a page on fake golf clubs. allaway claims that 80% of their returned clubs are in fact counterfeits. Most legitimate club components are now manufactured in China, but many club makers figure as soon as they design a new clubs copies of the molds are out within a week.

  • Hi,

    I am a big hitter (365 yards with my calloway FTi xstiff) but when my swift goes wrong my driver stays in the bag (bad push); but that has now changed after i started to use the TM burner Draw, its no way as long (about 55 yards shorter) as the FTi but puts the ball on the fairway, even on poor swings.

    I love it, and now carry two drivers, and aways revert to the TM when on tight fairways, or when not happy with swing.

    Its also better to use on the range, as the FTi makes your ears ring after a few hundred balls!!!!

  • I tried a friends burner today, what a difference! I can hit a long drive but as we all know, if the swing is not perfect there are going to injuries in the gallery, ha ha. But seriously the Taylor Made burner is going to soon be in my golf bag, great club!

  • Just bought mine today, clearance stock and cant afford the R9
    Does anyone know the diffs between the one with the black sole and red flames and the silver one?

  • I just bagged my 20+ yr. old standard metal driver in favor of the Taylor Made Burner Draw. Based on all the very positive reviews, I bought it without testing. (Dunham’s Sports= $149.

    I got home, teed up 4 old range balls, aimed thru a 20 yd.wide tunnel in the woods and drove all 4 staight out of sight down the middle….,and the sound was solid, no cheapy beer can ping.

    This is obviously not the definitive test, the course is for that, but I am impressed. I have never hit as straight or as far “right out of the box”. That translates to confidence in the club and letting it do its job. Good bye bad slice and hello Burner Drive.

    Today the woodland, tomorrow the course.

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