What Is the Better Golf Club by TaylorMade: The R7 or the R9?

Golf Ball and Iron

TaylorMade Golf Co. was formed in 1979 and initially sold one innovative product -- a club then known as a metal wood. In the 21st century the company has grown into one of the world’s largest golf manufacturers and sells a complete line of equipment including, of course, clubs. TaylorMade’s R9 and larger r7 series both included a variety of irons, woods and drivers. They were sold between 2004 and 2010.

The R9 Series

TaylorMade sold its R9 series of clubs -- including a fairway wood plus several drivers and iron sets -- in 2009 and 2010. The drivers and fairway woods are all versatile tools to suit many golf styles, featuring movable weights and/or adjustable club heads. The irons are blade-like in appearance, but each features a small cavity in the back of the club head.

The r7 Series

TaylorMade’s r7 clubs, which officially were part of its 2005 line, were introduced in 2004 and manufactured through the 2009 model year. The r7 quad drivers made a particular splash in 2004 because they offered four movable weights on the club head’s sole. The golfer’s selection of weights affected the ball’s likely trajectory and its path to the right or left. The r7 irons had large cavities and some featured movable weights. The r7 line also included hybrids designed to replace long and medium irons.

Driver Comparisons

The key difference between r7 and R9 drivers was the addition of TaylorMade’s “flight control technology” to the latter series. In addition to movable weights, the R9 featured adjustable face angle, lie angle and loft, giving players a total of eight orientations. For players seeking maximum adjustability, therefore, the R9 is the superior club. Players looking for a larger, more forgiving club head, however, will prefer the r7’s 460 cc head over the R9’s 430 cc head. "Golf Magazine" found that some R9 shafts weren’t well-suited for medium-fast swing speeds, making the r7 a better choice for higher-handicap players. The magazine's club testers preferred the R9’s “pleasing, crisp sound” to the noise the r7 made when striking the ball.

Looking at the Irons

As with the drivers, the R9 irons are intended for lower-handicap players, although the club testers for "Golf Magazine" still classified the R9 irons as game-improvement clubs. The R9 club heads are perimeter-weighted and include a foam-silicone layer behind the face. As a result, more accomplished players will likely hit the ball farther with R9 irons than with r7 irons. The r7 series’ larger cavities, meanwhile, make them more forgiving of mis-hit shots and the superior choice for beginners or high-handicappers. Some r7 irons -- such as the CGB Max -- feature small, movable weights behind the club face, near the sole. As with the drivers, players adjust the weights to match their swings. Golfers looking to correct slices and hooks, therefore, will likely prefer adjustable r7 irons over the non-adjustable R9 models. Players interested in hybrid clubs have no choice between the two lines, because only the r7 series includes hybrid clubs.