Review: TaylorMade R7 TP Irons

What They Say: [photopress:TMag_r7TP_brand.jpg,full,alignright]

» A tour-caliber player’s iron targeted at tour pros and low handicappers seeking workability along with consistent yardage from shot to shot – even on mis-hits

» Inverted Cone Technology expands the COR zone for increased average ball speed for consistently greater distance

» Minimal offset and flatter lie angle give players with tour-caliber hand action maximum control over direction and trajectory

» Classic TaylorMade TP iron shaping delivers an authentic, tour-proven look that promotes confidence at address

» Shallow cavity creates a higher CG, making it easier to work the ball left, right, high and low

» Tour-configured sole incorporates a specially-ground leading edge and softened trailing edge that discourages digging and glides smoothly through turf

[photopress:tpr7irons.jpg,full,alignleft]What We Say:

I’ll admit it — for most of the past couple of years I’ve hooked the ball. Not a casual yank to the left. No. A good, ol’fashioned hook.

With the help of a swing change, the hook diminished to a draw. But sometimes, like indigestion, the hook reared its ugly head.

That’s about the point where TaylorMade sent me a set of their relatively new TP R7 irons. These are sort of a good player’s game improvement clubs. Nationwide Tour pro Chris Baryla was hitting them at the Canadian Open a couple of weeks back and commented, “I hit these because I’m not a good enough golfer to hit blades.” He was speaking in hyperbole, but I understand where he’s coming from.

I’m in love with these irons. There I’ve said it. I’m a low handicapper who though forged progressive blades were the way to go for years. And they were for a while. But the increased forgiveness in the Tp R7s has led to some significant improvements in my game when it comes to consistency, and the set up of the clubs, done through TM’s MATT system has led to a set of irons that allow me to cut the ball, something I haven’t been able to do in several years.

Additionally the irons look great. I know this shouldn’t be that big a deal, but I find it very difficult to wrap my head around clubs that look like they are aimed at high handicappers. Sure it is snobbery, but it is true just the same. The TP R7s have a sharp top line, not too thin, and though they are full cavity backs throughout, they have a fine straight forward appearance without much of a hint of offset.

If there’s a drawback to the clubs, it is that I don’t get the same ultra-soft feel I received from my old forged irons that I played for the last four years. But what I’ve lost in feel has been replaced with the sensation of actually cutting the ball once again and hitting consistently at the pin. Even when it feels like I’ve thinned the ball with the TP R7s, I find the result is pretty solid.

Certainly companies involved in selling irons are now catering to all facets of the market. Callaway used to dominate the “game improvement” category, but truthfully every manufacturer seems to have a club aimed at that segment these days. Similarly Titleist used to be the one good players turned to. But that’s also a crowded market. What you end up with is club manufacturers that cater to every category.

But TM seems to have tapped into a unique niche with the TP R7s. They are clubs aimed at good players who still want some of the elements found in so-called “game improvement irons.” It is an intriguing mix and one that works. I’m convinced.

Since putting these irons in the bag for a recent trip to Newfoundland I’ve had little desire to put my old irons back. In fact, the old ones are making the dreaded move to the closest, and won’t likely make a reappearance any time soon.

Canadian Retail Price: $999

Ontgolf’s Gear Head Rating: ****

* Dont bother
** If you really need this, go ahead but we warned you
*** You will neither be disappointed or thrilled
****This should be one of your final choices and you will happy you spent the money
*****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.

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