You want a perfect driver? This big stick puts our team to the test.



MODEL AND SHAFT PLAYED: TaylorMade R9 Superdeep driver with 9.5˚loft fitted with a stiff Aldila RIP (70gram) graphite shaft.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: I quite liked the look of this latest TaylorMade offering but the shape gives the apperance, at address, of it being designed with a slightly open clubface. As a result, I found it wasn’t the easiest driver to align square to the target. That was, until I adjusted the settings.

VERDICT: I played with the settings on this driver for a couple hours before I got the set-up of this driver right. This just goes to prove that interchangeable weight technology and adjustable settings for loft, lie and face angle are not just TaylorMade marketing hooks. This technology really makes a difference.

Once I found the settings to suit my swing, I could not miss with this driver. All I had to do was swing at the ball hard and the resulting drives all had a strong and long trajectory and the ball flight ranged from dead straight to a slight draw.

A fade was seemingly impossible, which was the not the case with the first weight/face angle setting that was dialled in to the driver and resulted in some wayward slices. Moving the weights and settings put my tee shots back on the long, straight and narrow.



MODEL AND SHAFT PLAYED: TaylorMade R9 Superdeep driver with 9.5˚loft fitted with a stiff Aldila RIP (70gram) graphite shaft.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: I have to say I wasn’t enamoured with the look of this driver when I first picked it up. It didn’t quite have the sexy appeal that other TaylorMade drivers, past and present, have.

VERDICT: I found this driver a little difficult to hit really well. But in saying that I reckon if I tinkered with the set-up of the driver long enough I would eventually get the desired results out of it.

With 448 launch condition combinations that can be dialled into this driver – with the weights and adjustable loft, lie and face angle – I needed more time to find the right mix for me.

I think I was close to getting the combo right as some of the drives towards the end of the test had an impressive ball flight and flew a good distance. The feel of these drives was solid and the ball seemed to really motor off the clubface. These drives also came after I realised this club was longer (45.5 inches) than any driver I have used before, which caused me to hit some early tee shots out of the heel.


SUITABILITY: Scratch to low handicap players seeking mid launch angle with low spin.

SHAFTS: Aldila RIP 70g is standard.

LOFTS: 8.5, 9.5 and 10.5.

LENGTH: 45.5 inches.

LEFT-HANDED MODELS?: Yes, but not in 8.5.

HOW MUCH?: $899.

TAYLORMADE SAYS: “The R9 Superdeep TP is a pure player’s driver, descended from TaylorMade’s legendary 300 Tour, 510 TP and R7 425 TP models.

“The 460cc head boasts an ultra-deep clubface at 2.55 inches, while the lower moment of inertia (or MOI) and forward centre of gravity in the clubhead allow for increased workability.

“TaylorMade’s Flight Control Technology (adjustable loft, lie and face angle) and Moveable Weight Technology (two weight ports) create 448 possible launch condition combinations. The Aldila RIP standard shaft is a new, extra-low torque design.”

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