It seemed inevitable that the success of its R11 driver would compel TaylorMade to produce an iron line under that same name. And the California equipment maker has done just that. But technicians there insist the move was borne of more than good marketing sense and that these clubs (which are not colored white like the driver) are the best irons the company has ever made.
TaylorMade officials say they utilized several technologies to do that. For starters, they employed the precision weighting port first used with the Tour Preferred MB irons to ensure that the Center of Gravity (CG) in the new R11s was located in exactly the right position in each club as they also made swingweight uniform. Then, they added ultra-thin face construction, which increased the COR in the middle and longer R11s to promote faster ball speed and distance. The new sticks also took on the manufacturer’s Inverted Cone technology, which is fashioned to create a bigger sweetspot in an effort to bolster distance on off-center hits.
At the same time, TaylorMade gave the R11s what it describes as progressive shaping, making the longer irons more forgiving and the shorter ones more compact. And officials say they worked extensively with staff professional Nick Faldo to develop top lines that blended into the hosels for what they feel is the best possible look at address.
In addition, they created a “multi-functional sole” for the R11, with those of the short and mid-irons being moderately thin – and the leading edges moderately sharp – so the R11s could enter and exit turf more quickly and smoothly, and be more playable form a variety of lies. As for the longer irons, the TaylorMade engineers gave them wider soles to pull the CG lower for easier and higher launches as they increased Moment of Inertia (MOI) for enhanced forgiveness and stability.
Finally, the clubmakers incorporated an aluminum badge in the cavity of all R11s to absorb sound and vibration in an effort to improve acoustics and feel at impact.
“We have taken everything we know from both a performance and game improvement standpoint and put them into the R11,” says Bret Wahl, TaylorMade’s senior director of iron development. “Some of those technologies we learned in the development of the R11 driver, and the result with the irons is a high-performance club that has the clean shape and refinement better golfers prefer but is also long and forgiving.”
The irons are available September 1.