American Johnson Wagner is the first Tour pro to triumph using the new discount TaylorMade R11s driver after winning the Sony Open just two weeks after putting it in the bag.
Wagner only put the R11s into play last week at the Hyundai Tournament of Champion where he recorded a top 10 finish and told TaylorMade Tour staff that until using the new club he had “never been able to hit his driver so long, high and straight.” The win secured the third PGA Tour title of his career and gave him the early top spot in the FedEx Cup rankings.
Similar to its predecessor, the R11, the new R11S features a contrasting black face which golfers claim improves their alignment and accuracy off the tee and confidence at address – the clubhead appearing large compared to the ball. It’s triangular shape also helps provide a higher launch, more forgiving trajectory. ASP technology – a raised five-point plate which can be rotated and secured – allows the golfer to adjust face angle independent of loft setting which means the face angle can be adjusted independently to the loft and vice versa – neutral, slightly open, open, slightly closed and closed.
Here is what Wagner had in his bag:
DRIVER: TaylorMade R11s (8°)
FAIRWAY WOOD: TaylorMade Burner SuperFast 2.0 (13.5°)
HYBRID: Adams Idea Pro a12 (18°)
IRONS: Titleist ap2 712 irons
WEDGES: Titleist Vokey Spin Milled (48°, 54°, 60°)
PUTTER: Scotty Cameron prototype
BALL: Titleist Pro V1x
As we all know, the Taylormade Burner 2.0 iron has been engineered to be long. The face is thinner. The toplines are progressive. The shafts are specifically designed for each head. COR and MOI ratings have been maximized.
My first shot with a Burner 2.0 irons was an uphill 6-iron from about 165 yards to a pin tucked behind a bunker short and right of the green. I made far from perfect contact but was pleasantly surprised to watch the ball rise and drop just the other side of the sand, about 30ft from the hole. Quite what was wrong with the ‘set’ wasn’t immediately clear, but it seemed our existing irons possessed the wrong swingweight, were the wrong length, had faulty lie angles, an incorrectly- positioned center of gravity (CG), inappropriate shafts, and unsuitable grips.
I felt sure that wouldn’t have happened with my own set. At the 6th, I hit a discount ping i20 irons from about 135 yards (a few more than I would get from my own 9-iron) that stopped abruptly 15 feet right of the cup. At the 9th, a 200-yard Par 3 with the pin near the front, my not-quite-solid 4-iron came up a yard or two short of the green. This continued for the next three days – instances where I’d certainly be aware of a little extra yardage.
I’m probably too inconsistent a ball-striker nowadays to say much about whether or not the CG location made much difference, but I would say the 4-iron was pretty easy to get up in the air – not quite as easy as a hybrid club with similar loft perhaps, but markedly easier than my g20 irons ping. The short irons did penetrate a little better because of the higher CG which I think is preferable to a high, floaty shot that’s at the mercy of the wind.
Before you can measure performance, you need to assess the look of the club – if you don’t like the shape, color, or graphics, chances are it’s not going to work for you. The blade devotee will likely baulk at the offset (1mm in the lob wedge up to 6.5mm in the 3-iron) and all the techy stuff going on round back, but the average golfer should feel comfortable with a Burner 2.0 up behind the ball.
The discount Burner 2.0 irons is obviously a game-improvement model. For the vast majority of golfers the Irons should make the game significantly more enjoyable.
The TaylorMade Burner 2.0 irons are real game improvement irons for mid to high handicappers. The large head has a big offset and is quite chunky looking, with echoes of old Ping irons in the hosel styling.
The feel from the face at impact was very good and you could feel the ball spring off the face on a high trajectory, but still with a bit of penetration. This iron is all about forgiveness and it certainly delivers and anyone who needs a little help getting the ball up in the air will love the Burner 2.0 irons.
For the past 4 years I have been playing Ping G5′s and have been quite happy with them. They are a good mix of performance and improvement. The obvious choice was to simply get the G20 but I wanted to expand my proverbial horizons. The irons I narrowed it down to, after twelve hours on the internet and 4 golf magazines, were Titleist AP2, TaylorMade RocketBladez Irons, Cobra S2, Mizuno MP 53 and Taylormade 2.0.
While performance is important, I want to fall in love. I figure if you don’t fall in love you have no chance to make it over the long haul. I mean these babies are gonna be in my bag longer than my first marriage, and since not every round is going to be “one for the ages” I do not ever want to question my equipment. Therefore, all of the clubs I initially picked out to demo had already made the first cut in terms of looks. I had no doubt that I was going to be perfectly content to look down the hosel of any one of these beauties.
Overall, it is a good value for money and definitely one to try. If you are in the market for game improvers then the TaylorMade Burner 2.0 irons are worth a try as they are easy to hit and very forgiving.