Welcome to the forum. Happy that you found us.
Although I am glad that you have an iron you like, the MPF is not an error on the R9. The numbers are the numbers and the mass and dimensional characteristics on this iron do not lend themselves to a high playablity rating based on our formula. Even though the MOI is high, that is only about 10% of the equation on irons, if not less. You can have an iron from the 1600’s with a high MOI because of its size, or length of the hosel, or whatever, but I can guarantee you it is not very playable. Ralph explains this in his book with regards to “good MOI” and “bad MOI”. A high MOI combined with a low actual vertical cg is a positive for performance. A high MOI combined with a design with a higher actual vertical center of gravity is not a net positive to performance. On the R9 specifically, the C-dimension is relatively short at 1.207″ and the actual vertical cg is almost an inch, at .940″. It is also heel side of center. These facts in the measurements are a true detriment to playability.
Every Maltby iron we have will have a higher playability than the R9. Significantly higher, and significantly more playable. If you like a traditional profile, you might look at our TE Forged (our all time best selling forged iron), the DBM (the black finish version of the TE with 1 degree stronger lofts), the TS1 (which is a true 3 piece forging with traditional blade profile and modern stronger lofts) or the TS2, which is also a forged cavity back iron with a little more offset and modern stronger lofts. We also have been getting great reviews and performance from our newest offering, the STi2 irons. It is a heat treated Stainless Steel modern design with progressive offset and the modern stronger lofts.
I honestly believe that if you give it an honest assessment and if fit properly with the correct shaft and grip, length and lie angle, etc., any of our irons will perform better than the one you have been playing. That being said, I do understand that we golfers are very sensitive and if there is a club we have had success with, not matter what the “rating” is, it is difficult to change or convince us there is something that might work better. I still beleive that if given an honest and true test, the higher playability irons will always win out, whether they are our models or another companies. That is why Ralph developed the Maltby Playability Factor for irons – so the end user, the golfer, can compare the expected performance of different types of iron designs based the factual data contained in the mass and dimensional characteristics of the design.
Hope this helps and again, welcome to our community.
Nevertheless, there is something wrong with the ranking of the TalyorMade R9 clubs. Imagine a HCP36 player who would play with these clubs and, for example, with Titleist MB Forged 718 (total blade). Titleist clubs should be much easier (MPF 343) than TaylorMade sticks (MPF 97). Really, it would not be so. This player could quite effectively play with TaylorMade R9 clubs and with Titleist MB Forged 718 clubs could not. I think either there is some technology in these clubs (TM) that does not follow the MPF pattern, something unusual (foam-filled compartment, Inverted Cone Technology?). They are actually not trying clubs, a few golf bloggers seem to confirm this (np. https://thesandtrap.com/b/clubs/taylormade_r9_iron_review). You can find out about it by bouncing on the driving range a few times – and it guarantees that you will be surprised how forgivable the MPF 97 clubs can be. At ebay auctions these old clubs (2010) get good prices, better than the next R11 model (2012), because they are very successful clubs.
Looking from a different perspective (the most popular standard models):
2003: TaylorMade RAC OS: MPF: 677.
2006: TaylorMade R7: MPF: 632.
2009: TaylorMade Burner Plus: MPF: 532.
2010: TaylorMade R9: MPF: 97.
2011: TaylorMade Burner 2.0: MPF: 607.
2012: TaylorMade R11: MPF: 508.
Could the engineers at TaylorMade make such mistakes that they designed a club for 2010 that is so unplayable compared to others? Could they have designed such a bad MOI you write about? 16th place out of 955 in terms of difficulty?
I greet you sincerely from Poland.
Ps. I really like the Maltby company and the clubs it produces and your highly technological approach. I’ll find out about it in a few days. I will place an unusual order: all 10 different club heads no. 7 and test them. I think I will have more fun with this purchase than the next set of golf clubs, and my friends will also benefit – and I hope we can order our best sets.