Welcome to the Leading Edge, where the GolfChannel.com team and Golf Channel talent will regularly file thoughts and opinions on the world of equipment.
TaylorMade Golfs new adjustable fitting R9 driver is in hot demand on the PGA and European Tours, prompting TaylorMade to move up the public launch of the driver from March 20 to March 6. The R9 was the No. 1 driver played on the PGA Tour at the Bob Hope Classic two weeks ago, making it the first driver to debut at No. 1 on the Tour. Thirteen were also in play at last weeks FBR Open, and 28 at the European Tours Dubai Desert Classic. Sergio Garcia, No. 2 in the Official World Golf Ranking, played the R9 at Dubai for the first time and finished tied for 11th. Its just amazing how well it goes, Garcia said at his post-round press conference on Friday. Im not only hitting it straight, but Im hitting farther than I was before.
The R9, which combines the moveable weight technology youll find in the r7 with its brand new Flight Control Technology, or FCT, will retail at $399; $499 with TP shafts.'David Allen
According to a recent GolfChannel.com poll, the countrys economic woes will have a strong grip on golfers wallets in 2009, especially when it comes to purchasing new equipment. Fifty-four percent of readers polled said they would spend under $500 on golf equipment, with 11 percent saying they would shell out nothing at all. Fifty-three percent said they would take at least one golf-related trip/vacation, whereas 30 percent said they wouldnt leave their home course. The good news is that the economy doesnt seem to be diminishing peoples enthusiasm toward playing golf, with 36 percent saying they expect to play anywhere from 26 to 50 rounds in 2009, and 44 percent playing as many rounds as their other half will allow. The poll was conducted the week of the PGA Merchandise Show.