So you are a big Taylormade fan and want to choose a new driver. You’re checking out both the Burner Superfast TP Black and the R9 Superdeep TP driver. Which do you pick? I’ve had a chance to spend a week with both models and I’m ready to give some feedback on both drivers. Both Japan models sport Taylormade’s TP or Tour Preferred badge as they are both meant for the better golfer to pro player. They are in fact rather different drivers, not only in design and appearance but also in the way they perform.
All Black Beauties…
Taylormade Japan first showcased both at the Japan Golf Fair in February and TSG was there to cover the public showing of their two new flagship drivers. The all black Superfast TP came out first in March followed by the all black Superdeep TP this month.
Besides sharing the same IP Black finish and TP Badge, the similarities end there. Right of the bat, one can clearly see the size difference between the two drivers. Even though both sport a 460cc head size, the Burner TP makes the Superdeep TP look a lot smaller, at least from the sole or at address. I tried to think of a way of classifying the drivers, as I typically place drivers in two generic categories, traditional compact heads and modern high MOI style heads. While the Burner TP does have the characteristics of a modern high MOI design with its triangular shaped aerodynamic shallow back head, it is a no frills driver ie no MWT (moveable weight technology), no FCT (flight control technology) which is typical of the Burner line. The Superdeep TP however has a very very traditional pear shaped head and at address it barely looks 400cc because of its very high back design and deep face. Even though the Superdeep TP is traditional and compact it sports TM’s top driver technology in MWT and FCT.
Deepest face on the Superdeep…
At address the Burner TP’s triangular shape and webbed crown may be hard for some traditionalists to get used to. One of my playing partners (who I might add is in his 60’s and playing for 35 years) picked up the Burner TP demo I had and proclaimed immediately while looking at it “I just can’t play these big head drivers”. He then picked up the Superdeep TP and said “now this is more like it… this looks… powerful”. As a better player, it was love at first sight with deep face of the Superdeep TP for him. Deep faces can appeal to better players as they tend to miss high or low on the face but stay right around the center at impact. Shallower faces are better for more average golfers who miss towards the heel or toe. While the Superdeep TP sports probably the deepest face I have ever seen at around 61.5mm (actual face height, TM Japan notes the highest part of the head at 69.7mm), the Burner TP is not exactly shallow with a face around 56mm tall, however it is longer from heel to toe and does look shallow next to the Superdeep.
Quite a contrast at address…
Going back to the looks at address, the Burner TP sports a 2* OPEN face. The Superdeep TP has a 0* face angle in neutral position which changes when you use FCT adjusted right or left (which also alters the loft). As I noted earlier, at address you can really see how compact the Superdeep TP is and the triangular shape of the Burner TP with its webbed crown. Both heads have the familiar aligment marks used on both the Burner line and R9 line.
High back, low back…
Of the two drivers, the Burner Superfast TP has a design probably more geared towards distance performance. Its stretched back head and lower profile allow for a lower and deeper center of gravity producing a mid high launch with low spin. The Superdeep with its compact head has a shallower center of gravity creating low spin low launch trajectory. It is touted as the lowest launching R9 driver and rightfully so as the deep face and low launch tilt the Superdeep towards control performance.
So now on to general performance and feel feedback though I need to note that Taylormade sent me the R9 Superdeep without a torque wrench, so the FCT remained in Neutral position which is fine by me but I was unable to change the weighting in the head which had the 16g in the toe and the 1g in the heel. They also sent me a 10.5* Burner TP and a 9.5* Superdeep TP. The Burner TP has a Fubuki Alpha 60 Stiff shaft in it (actual white Fubuki, not a TP graphics one) and the Superdeep TP has the Motore F1 65J (Japan version) in TP colors. Because these shafts are stiffer than what I typically play I can only give basic feedback on performance and I cannot claim that either one is the longest driver I have ever hit.
Forgiveness OR Max Control?
Right off the bat, I will say, for me the Burner TP was the more forgiving head, it had a higher launch and missing off the toe and heel (I’m typically toe) was not nearly as bad as on the Superdeep. The ball felt hotter or crisper for me off the Burner TP and this is probably attributed to the design of the head and deeper center of gravity, which helps the ball launch quickly. The Superdeep had a more solid feel to it, which is typical of more compact shaped drivers. The open face of the Burner TP was not an issue for me and I can go straight with the driver. The Fubuki is a great match, producing a mid to higher trajectory but still with good run. The Superdeep was harder for me to hit because of the deep face and what I found to be rather low launch. Not to mention the weight configuration pretty much had me hitting a fade every single time. The Superdeep will definitely excel much more for the faster and better player wanting that piercing workable trajectory with that ultra deep face.
Two Solid choices…
I should also note that both drivers are very playable lengths unlike many drivers which I just find way too long these days at over 46″. The Burner TP is a very manageable 45.5″ while the Superdeep TP is 45.25″. At the end of the day, the choice for many golfers at this level may come down to appearance. Both drivers do what they are supposed to for the better player, the Burner offering slightly more forgiveness and distance but still with a degree of workability. The Superdeep gives that compact control and penetrating trajectory that will really excel with hard hitters and fast swingers. As an average golfer, I think I could play the Burner Superfast TP especially with the right shaft in it, though the deeper face of the Superdeep is not my cup of tea. By the way did I mention that they are both all black and pretty good looking?
Both drivers are already shipping and as with typical Taylormade Japan they are fighting to keep up with demand. I guess there are a lot more better players in Japan than I thought or they are simply going over spec. (^_^)
Here are some more pictures I took and you can find both drivers in the Pro Shop!