From The Shop Blog (July 31, 2011)
TaylorMade’s new R11 irons (available in September) are disciples of both the Burner 2.0 and Tour Preferred irons.
The one-piece stainless steel cast heads boast a thin, lightweight face design like the Burner 2.0. The weight removed from the clubface has been shifted low and back to create a higher launch angle, faster ball speed, increased distance and more forgiveness. The result is comparable launch, ball flight and length to the Burner 2.0, as well as 15-yard distance gaps between clubs. (Company testing with low handicappers indicates that the R11 and Burner 2.0 4-irons produce identical carry distance; the R11 6-iron is 1 yard shorter than Burner 2.0.)
The “Precision Weight Port” system (a plug similar to those found in Tour Preferred irons) is used in the R11 irons to dial in desired head weights and swing weights, and to ensure each club’s center of gravity is in line with the sweet spot. The fixed (red) plugs—2.5 to 17 grams—are made of aluminum, steel or tungsten and can not be adjusted by consumers.
In addition, a light and lively face combines with “inverted cone technology” to deliver more consistent ball speeds and forgiveness on mis-hits. At impact, the R11 feels and sounds more muted (quieter) than the loud-ish Burner 2.0 because the R11’s clubface is slightly thicker in the impact zone and where it connects to the sole.
Lastly, the R11’s short irons have a shallow undercut channel between the face and rear to control feel and CG location, the mid-irons have a moderate undercut, and the long irons have a progressively larger undercut that pulls weight farther back from the face for added forgiveness.
$799 (steel); $999 (graphite)
• The Shop blog: TaylorMade pros and clubs