Today we will be having a closer look at the TaylorMade Burner XD irons. I’ll be looking at the stock, retail irons with the Steel Superfast shafts in a stiff flex.
TaylorMade Golf has at last made the announcement that so many golfers have been excitedly anticipating: the introduction of a new iron, called Burner XD, that incorporates the distance-enhancing technologies that have made the Burner driver such a huge success among tour professionals and amateur golfers.
- Thin, flexible and fast titanium face promotes increased ball speed
- SuperFast Technology for faster swing speed and more distance
- Inverted Cone Technology promotes faster ball speed and more distance on mis-hits
- Extra-large (oversized) and stable clubhead is extremely forgiving and easy to hit
Look and Feel
At first glance, there is no denying the radical look of this particular set of irons. I can almost picture James T Kirk playing in the holodeck with a set of Burner XD irons. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Some people may be put off by the look, but honestly, at a address, you’d never notice the bright red and little metallic disc thing. They definitely grew on me.
At address, the Burner XD irons look like most game improvement irons. Relatively thick line, that has been slightly disguised with a contrast finish. In the image below you can see the Burner XD topline compare to the topline of the R7 CGB Max and Callaway X-20 irons. They all look pretty similar.
You can also see the relatively large amount of offset in all of these irons. The R7 CGB Max and Burner XD irons have the same offset across the board. Visually, it almost looks as if the Callaway X-20s have a tad more offset in the 7 iron at least, but that may just be an optical illusion kind of thing going on. If you have a problem with slicing the ball, not being able to turn it over, the offset should help straighten things out for you, especially in the longer irons. If you’re accustomed to playing with little to no offset, you may pull and/or hook the ball a bit, until you can adjust to it. Not a huge deal.
As you can see above, the shaft has an interesting color scheme. The top third of the shaft is white, with some Burner graphics on it, the rest of the shaft is grey/steel type color. For me, I would rather have had that Burner logo facing down. It was a little distracting to look at, at times. The shaft also does not really ‘look’ like a steel shaft. I had several people ask me if they were graphite shafts. No real deal breakers there though.
As for the feel. These are a cast iron, with a titanium face. This is wonderful for ball speed and distance, but don’t expect Mizuno or forged iron feel off these irons. A few years back I had played TaylorMade RAC OS2 irons. The feel off these Burner XD irons is similar. It’s hard to tell how far off the center of the face you are when you have missed the sweet spot. So often times, you’ll swing, you aren’t really sure how well struck the ball was, but you look up, and it’s high, long and relatively straight. The titanium face does seem to launch the ball fast though. The ball really does jump off it.
Wow. The first ball I hit with these irons was a 145 yard PW that just seemed to fly forever. Normally I hit my PW about 135..in the summer. It’s a little colder now, the ball doesn’t fly quite as well. I put a decent swing on the club, certainly nothing perfect, the ball rocketed off the face, pretty high, landed around 145. Crazy. Now, that being said, the lofts on the Burner XD irons are jacked up a bit. At 44*, you’re almost playing a 9 iron that has been labeled a PW. The ball did still get way up there though, and stopped very quickly. So, while the loft may be the loft of a 9 iron, the shaft/iron combination still produced a shot with the PW height I would expect.
Speaking of the shaft, the Burner XD steel irons are fitted with the SuperFast ReAx steel shafts. Weighing in at around 90 grams, they are approximately 25-35 grams lighter than a typical Dynamic Gold steel shaft. This translates into faster swing speeds, and thus, more distance. The light weight was balanced nicely with the weight of the club head itself. I’ve tried swinging my wife’s irons before, and they are just far too light. These clubs had a nice weight to the head, where you can really feel the head in your swing. The stiff rating of the shaft is probably a little on the weak side of stiff, at least compared to say a S300 Dynamic Gold shaft. They did work pretty well for me though. When I’m swinging well, my tempo is pretty smooth, and my 6 iron swing speed is around 88mph.
As for the forgiveness of these clubs, yeah, they are definitely very forgiving. If you’re moving from a players set of irons to a set of clubs like this, be prepared to get away with a lot of poor swings. No, it will not cure the a huge over-the-top move that results in a 30 yard slice, but thin shots, toe hits, heel hits, all seemed to still get a lot of distance and were not too far off line.
I played 9 with them this afternoon. On the 3rd hole, a par 3 – marked at 135, with the pin in the back right location, probably playing 145. I hit the PW, nice easy swing, carried at least 140, took a hop or two and ended up about 10 feet from the hole, right on line. It definitely was not a center of the club face swing. Looking at the ball mark on the face, it was a little out toward the toe, and a little high. I can live with that kind of forgiveness.
The sole of the club isn’t overly wide. Definitely wider than a players club. But I was still able to play some punch shots, and knockdowns with it pretty easily. The leading edge seemed to resist digging, but I was still able to take some small, shallow divots. When I play with the Mizunos or Adams Idea Pro irons, my divots are generally deeper and much longer.
Maybe you’re put off by the looks, maybe you like them. Either way, there is no denying the shear ball launching power of these irons. If you’re looking for some irons to bomb the ball with, and aren’t looking for the feel and precision of a player type club, be sure to check out the Burner XD irons. Everybody loves to hit the ball long, and the Burner XD certainly won’t disappoint you. Sure you may actually be hitting something closer to a 9 iron when you pull the club marked PW from your bag…but do your playing partners know that?
In the coming days I will have a follow-up review on the TaylorMade R7 CGB Max irons. These are even MORE forgiving, but, do not have the explosive distance of these irons.