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TM’s Big Launch: New Burner Driver, Irons and Z Wedge

A ton of stuff just announced from TaylorMade, including a new take on the ultra-successful Burner driver, new Burner irons and a new wedge line:

TaylorMade Golf, the No. 1 driver brand on every major professional golf tour in the world, has introduced a new driver called Tour Burner, targeted at all players who want longer, tour-like distance.

“Tour pros hit the ball long because their launch conditions are comprised of fast ball speed with a high launch angle and low spin-rate,” said Sean Toulon, TaylorMade’s executive vice president of innovation and product creation. “The Tour Burner driver is engineered to help the average golfer generate tour-caliber launch conditions in order to promote tour-caliber distance.”

Crucial to the Tour Burner driver’s performance is TaylorMade’s new Dual Crown technology, wherein the size of the crown is noticeably smaller than the large sole. A clearly delineated groove encircles the extra large clubhead, separating the crown and sole. The smaller crown is 12% lighter than the crown of TaylorMade’s Burner driver. Also crucial is TaylorMade’s Ultra-Thin Wall casting technology, which allows the clubhead walls to measure as little as .55 millimeters thick.

The weight saved by the Tour Burner driver’s Dual Crown and Ultra-Thin Wall technologies is redistributed to create an exceptionally low CG location “ among the lowest ever in a TaylorMade driver. On a vertical axis, the Tour Burner’s CG is positioned 40% lower in relation to the center of the clubface than the Burner TP.

The Tour Burner driver head’s exceptionally high MOI makes it extremely stable and forgiving on off-center hits. That benefit, combined with the advantage provided by TaylorMade’s renowned Inverted Cone clubface technology, results in even higher ball speed on off-center hits. Inverted Cone Technology, characterized by a shallow cone milled directly onto the inner side of the clubface, changes the way the face behaves at impact so that a larger area of the face delivers higher ball speed. The combined benefits of the Tour Burner driver’s high MOI and Inverted Cone Technology result in what TaylorMade calls “effective MOI,” or “eMOI,” that exceeds 5800 (the USGA’s limit on MOI is 5900).

TaylorMade’s definition of eMOI is the positive influence on ball speed on off-center hits that’s exerted by the combined effects of a driver’s MOI and clubface technology (versus constant-thickness clubfaces). eMOI in TaylorMade drivers is dramatically higher, and more valuable in terms of its affect on ball speed, than MOI alone, owing to the benefits of TaylorMade’s patented Inverted Cone Technology.

The Tour Burner’s large sole serves a second valuable [photopress:driver.jpg,full,alignright]purpose by creating an expansive address footprint that promotes increased confidence, and the advanced clubhead geometry delivers the kind of great impact sound and feel for which TaylorMade drivers are famous.

The Tour Burner also features TaylorMade’s SuperFast technology, embodied by the combination of a SuperFast 60-gram shaft that combines low torque (2.8) with a stiff .350″ tip, an extra-light grip and a club-length of 45.5″. Together these components promote faster swing speed for increased distance.

Availability begins at TaylorMade’s retail partners in April at a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $499. The TP model will retail at $699.

Now the irons:

TaylorMade-adidas Golf Company has introduced the Tour Burner® iron, engineered to deliver improved performance to players of all levels, from tour pros to weekend players. “Occasionally a golf club comes along that appeals to the broadest possible spectrum of players,” said Sean Toulon, TaylorMade vice president of product innovation and creation. “The Tour Burner iron belongs in that group. Our testing indicates that it offers a rare combination of attributes that appeal to highly skilled golfers as well as average golfers.”
Tour Burner irons feature a variety of technologies that allow them to live up to the Burner family reputation for speed and distance, starting with an ultra-thin, 2.2 millimeter clubface that delivers high COR for increased ball speed and distance. In comparison, the average competitor’s face thickness measures 2.8 mm. Tour Burner irons also feature TaylorMade’s Inverted Cone clubface technology, visible on the backside of the clubface. Pioneered in our drivers, Inverted Cone Technology enlarges the portion of the clubface that delivers high ball speed, allowing Tour Burner to promote improved ball speed and distance on off-center hits.

Distinct heel and toe weighting is visible on the back of Tour Burner irons, which increases MOI for greater stability and performance on off-center hits. The large “multi-functional” sole is beveled at the back to make it perform like a much thinner sole, which increases playability from a variety of lies. This “multi-functional” sole is critical to promoting a performance difference that helps separate the Tour Burner from other irons of its type. The multi-functional sole also features a low and deeper center of gravity that makes it easy to launch the ball on a powerful and penetrating flight.

The Tour Burner irons’ substantial technology is packed into an extremely appealing, tour-inspired clubhead shape. At address, the Tour Burner iron’s medium-thin top-line looks clean, substantial and inviting “ a look intended to please all levels of players. The moderate offset is finely contoured to look less substantial than it actually is. The new chrome-plated satin-buff finish looks clean and classy while also increasing durability.

TaylorMade engineers also positioned a badge in the back cavity; the badge’s design and the specific adhesive used to affix it to the back of the thin clubface together help to tune the feel and sound at impact, contributing to a more satisfying experience.

The Tour Burner is equipped with the TaylorMade Tour Velvet® grip by Golf Pride® and is available in a choice of two shafts: Burner 105 steel made by True Temper®, which offers a similar flight and dispersion pattern to the Dynamic Gold® but at 105 grams is lighter, helping to promote added clubhead speed. The second shaft option is the graphite Burner REAX® 65 (65-grams, S, R and M flex only).

Tour Burner irons are available in 2-iron through 9-iron, plus 46-degree pitching wedge, 55- degree sand wedge, 50-degree attack wedge and 60-degree lob wedge. Availability begins at TaylorMade’s retail partners in April for at a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $840 per set (3- to PW) in steel; $1,040 in graphite. Individual clubs carry an MSRP of $105 in steel and $135 in graphite.

And lastly, the wedges, which to my eye look very similar in style to the TM wedges currently in my bag:

[photopress:wedge.jpg,full,alignleft]TaylorMade-adidas Golf Company has introduced the Z TP wedge featuring the company’s new Z groove that promotes increased spin to help stop the ball more quickly. The Z groove is so-named because TaylorMade’s R&D team uses the letters of the alphabet to name the grooves it develops. TP stands for Tour Preferred®, and delineates those TaylorMade clubs that have been designed with the express input and feedback of tour professionals.

The Z groove features 10% more volume than TaylorMade’s Y grooves, also known as Y-cutter grooves. The Z groove’s larger volume equals added room to channel groove-clogging, spin-killing obstacles such as grass, debris and moisture. Z grooves also incorporate strong, sharp edges designed to deliver added traction on the ball’s cover to promote more shot-stopping bite.

Like all TaylorMade wedges, the Z TP combines a classically beautiful teardrop shape with large rac„¢ Feel Pockets on the back side of the clubhead. The size, shape and position of the Feel Pockets help to channel impact vibration to strategic areas of the clubhead to promote the exceptionally soft-yet-solid feel at impact that TaylorMade wedges are famous for delivering.

The Z TP wedge is offered in five lofts: 52°, 54°, 56°, 58° and 60°. The 54°, 56°, 58° feature TaylorMade’s C-grind sole, which was developed on tour to make it exceptionally easy to open the face to play a variety of different greenside shots.

The Z TP wedge also features a smoky-looking PVD finish that’s as durable as it is beautiful, as well as TaylorMade’s eye-catching TP logo on the back of the head between the Feel Pockets.

“The Z TP wedge does it all,” said Brian Bazzel, TaylorMade’s manager of iron and wedge creation. “The Z grooves succeed at grabbing the ball and spinning it in all kinds of conditions, and tour pros love the classy look of the new PVD finish.”

Availability begins at TaylorMade’s retail partners in April at a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $140 per club.

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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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