TaylorMade 09 Burner Driver
Taylormade is not typically associated with Long Drive competitions, but after playing the TM Burner 09 you might think you are ready to join the circuit. LD drivers are a little different than your normal on course driver. They have a much longer shaft and are designed to hit the ball as far as possible. It seems like Taylormade took a few ideas from LD competitions.
The TM Burner 09 builds on the technological advances from the last few Burner drivers. I successfully played the 07 Burner for a couple of months last year. The superfast technology (lightweight grip, shaft and additional shaft length) worked well, but I couldn’t get the spin numbers in the optimal range. The Tour Burner 08 used dual crown technology (Low Center of Gravity) to get the spin numbers down. The Burner 09 uses both, superfast technology and dual crown technology to create Taylormade’s longest driver yet. The TM Burner 09 is mid-high launch w/ low spin.
The Burner 09 visually is a combination of the 07 Burner and the Tour Burner 08. The colors are from 07 and the shape is from 08. I can’t say I am a big fan of the graphics on the top of this driver at address and alignment aid, but those things tend to fade into the background after you hit it a number of times. The Burner 09 leans toward the triangular shape but that doesn’t really matter much to me anymore. I could play a traditional pear shaped driver or the box-on-a-stick shaped driver as long as it works.
My regular driver gives me just about optimal numbers in every category. Yet surprisingly the Burner 09 was longer. The various technologies in this driver gained me about 8 yards, not quite the full 13 yards TM claims. It is seriously one long driver. It produced just about the ideal mid-high trajectory for the 9.5* head. Initial high launch flattens out about 1/2 way down the fairway. It hits the ground running, even on soft fairways, I got decent roll.
Not only is it long off the tee, it is long at address at 46.25” long, it is the longest driver I have ever put in play. Besides being long, the shaft is light at 49g. I thought it played very close to flex(stiff flex), maybe just the slightest bit soft. It didn’t have the feel of a high-end shaft, but it was certainly better than the proprietary shafts of the past. The mid section stiff shaft works best on smooth swings.
The distance gains of this driver come at a price. With such a long shaft, it can be hard to hit the ball in the center of the face consistently. There is a great deal of forgiveness in the head, so it is not impossible to hit numerous great drives, but misses can be all over the place, crown, sole, toe, and heel. Not only is the length hard to wield, the lightweight shaft can be somewhat inconsistent if you really go after one. TM claims this is the biggest, most forgiving face they have made. I found that to be true of the 09 Burner. That kind of forgiveness is necessary with such a long, light-weight shaft
I was pleasantly surprised by the face angle of the Burner 09. The one I have sits almost dead square. This may not be the best for the slicer, but it sure is nice to see something that can be lined up straight without fear of a major hook. Who knows? TM might come out with a “draw” version in the spring along with the TP version.
The one thing that TM does year after year is produce one of the best sounding drivers. The metallic smash is so much nicer than the aluminum bat sound of so many current drivers. The Burner 09 was a bit higher pitched than some of the other TM drivers I have played, but nowhere near as offensive as many other brands. You could actually hit this driver at an indoor simulator this winter without fear of damaging your ears.
This driver is perfect for the smooth, consistent swinger looking from more distance. But if you are an aggressive, sporadic hitter, you will hit some of you longest drives ever with the TM Burner 09, but you may also find some of your worst miss-hits.
Don’t get too big of a head after these long drives; you are probably still not ready for the LD circuit. You will however have fun burning by your playing partners. The TM Burner 09 is one long driver.
For more information: www.taylormadegolf.com