Why would I want to review TaylorMade R7 irons? After all, they've been discontinued for a few years now. Several lines of irons have been released by TaylorMade since the R7s, including the R9s and the recently-released TaylorMade R11 clubs.
Well, as I've mentioned elsewhere on this site, TaylorMade is one of the premier golf club makers in the world. The company's clubs have always used innovative designs and advanced materials, and they're built with a high level of craftsmanship. They are, however, also fairly expensive.
If you have a limited budget but you want a forgiving set of irons that feel solid even on off-center hits, you might want to consider getting a used set of TaylorMade R7 irons. Even though they've been out for several years, they're still sweet-hitting sticks. And, it's not too hard to find a good used set for less than half their original cost.
But other than their price, what makes these irons appealing?
For one thing, they feature the advanced design and high-quality construction that the company's clubs are famous for. They were engineered to last, and they've stood up quite well over time. I know, because I've played several rounds with TaylorMade R7 irons, and not that long ago, either.
Okay, I like these irons. But what about their design makes them sweet even though they're several years old? Here's what it was like the last time I played a set of them, just last month.
TaylorMade targeted these clubs primarily at low- to mid-handicap golfers, and I fall right into that range (the company's Burner series is designed more for mid- to high-handicappers). They're designed for golfers who want the look and workability of a better player's club but also want irons that are easy to get in the air and provide some forgiveness. There are two versions of these clubs: the regular version and the R7 TP ("Tour Preferred"), but I'm reviewing the regular R7 irons here.
These clubs have fairly large heads, and that made me feel confident standing over the ball. The club face is thin and feels "hot" to me. Like many game-improvement irons, the backs of the irons have deeply cut cavities which lower the clubs' center of gravity and move it back to promote launching the ball long and high. However, the backs of these irons also use TaylorMade's "Inverted Cone Technology," a design which the company claims makes the sweet spot larger and promotes greater ball velocity on off-center hits. Vibration-dampening inserts on the back absorb shocks at impact and produce a sweet, soft feel.
One thing I didn't like about TaylorMade R7 irons is the amount of offset they have. I've seen irons with more, but I have a natural draw so I'd rather not see any offset at all. I believe every one of my misses with these clubs went left. However, you might appreciate the offset if you often slice your irons.
The clubs I tested had regular flex RE*AX 65-gram graphite shafts, but graphite shafts are also available in several other flexes. They are also available with "T Step" 90-gram steel shafts in extra-stiff, stiff or regular flex (senior flex is not available in steel).
The standard grips on these clubs are a bit different from most of the grips I've played with. They incorporate hundreds of little "cells" that are intended to make the grips more comfortable while providing more traction and feel. Supposedly all those cells running parallel to the shaft help it conform to the player's hands. I could never quite decide whether I liked them or not, but maybe I just didn't play enough rounds with the irons to get used to them.
The Bottom Line: I've played several rounds with TaylorMade R7 irons and I always liked their soft feel. The sound at impact is satisfying, as is the long, high ball flight they promote. I didn't care for the offset, but that's because I normally hit my irons to the left even without any offset. Full sets originally sold for an MSRP of $1080 for graphite or $840 for steel, but you can find used sets of TaylorMade R7 irons much cheaper than that on eBay, Amazon and a number of online golf club retailers, including www.taylormadegolfpreowned.com.