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The Big Review – John Letters T9+ Driver and Fairway Woods

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John Letters may not be a familiar to many but there was once a time when they were one of the greatest brands on the planet. At their peak, John Letters supplied a record 8 out of 10 of the British players in the 1949 Ryder Cup – a record that still stands to this very day.

In fact, in Sam Torrance and Bernard Gallacher John Letters have two players who went on to captain Ryder Cup teams and John Letters' clubs are found in the bags of more than a few players on the European Seniors Tour. Their recent announcement at the PGA show that they are opening a workshop in St Andrews in Scotland showed that they are on the way back into the limelight. Bag Chatter got to try out the T9+ driver and fairway woods over the winter period to see how they performed.

So what are we told about these clubs; The T9+ Beta Titanium driver features a head made from strong but lightweight titanium to allow for a redistribution weight across the clubhead and towards the heel and toe areas to provide more stability and extra forgiveness on every drive.

The fairway wood uses discretional weighting to push more weight in the heel and toe areas for maximum forgiveness and stability on off centre strikes. A special Maraging steel face transfers more energy at impact whilst 'Feel Cell' technology in the sole of the clubhead helps to disperse vibrations at impact, giving an improved sound and solid feel.

Appearance

The T9+ clubs are good looking in a fairly understated way. The glossy pure black finish and the chrome and blue sole is not as lurid as some (and it's certainly not all white!).

The driver is not quite as appealing as the fairway woods. With it's broad face it's functional rather than pretty and the closed face will mean that slicers will love it but it will look wrong to those that fear the left side of the course.

With their shallow profile and square face the fairway woods are another matter. They set up beautifully at address and ooze class.

Performance

The driver is a good honest club without excelling in any one area. Forgiveness is probably the category where it scores the strongest where the heel and toe weighting means that strikes away from the sweetspot still travel almost as far. Distance as a whole is good, coming from a high trajectory launch and the spin levels are pretty much middle of the range. You can tell from the straight flight that this driver is aimed squarely at the sort of golfer who struggles to hit the ball straight and who is not interested in working the ball. With the face being so strongly closed, there is a definite tendency for the ball to go left and given that the sort of golfer that this club is aimed at more often struggles with a slice than a hook, this makes perfect sense.

The fairway woods are top notch. The shallow face means that it works as well from the fairway as from the tee. You can even use them in light rough where the sole allows you to glide through the grass. In fact, the low profile head is reminiscent of the iconic Adams Tight Lies fairways both in appearance and in performance. With the low COG, it's very easy to get the ball up in the air but there is no ballooning. These really performed beautifully throughout a rather grotty winter period in less than ideal conditions. Even when the fairways were soft and heavy, it was easy to clip the ball off the turf and send it arcing towards the green. With the high launch and mid spin, these are very good for approaching the green on par 5's and longer par 4's.

The review clubs came with Project X graphite and Aldila RIP shafts which did a great job at controlling spin levels as well as offering a superb sense of location throughout the swing.

Conclusion

While the driver does not have the changeable hosel technology that golfers have come to expect in the big dog, the solid performance at only £149 means that for the budget conscious golfer it deserves some consideration.

The fairway woods are excellent whichever way you look at them. Fantastic performance and good looks make them a real surprise package that should be considered whatever your price bracket but for under £70, they are probably the best option in their price bracket.

For more information, visit www.johnletters.com

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Tempo Power

    Aug 20, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    I would enjoy seeing a review of their forged irons.

  2. David

    Jan 4, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    Once you mentioned that the driver appears closed at address I knew that I couldn’t get it. I was interested in the 15 degree loft available in this club.

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Tour Mash: Rahm wins in Dubai, Cook sizzles to victory

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Two more points races reached their end this weekend. The LPGA season culminated in Florida with the Race to the CME Globe, while the European Tour concluded its Race to Dubai in, where else? Dubai! The PGA Tour played its final event until the new year, in Georgia, while the Ladies European Tour played its Sanya Open in China. Before American Thanksgiving revelry and remembrance set in, it’s time for one more tour mash.

LPGA Tour: A day of twos ends in a win for Ariya

Ariya Jutanugarn birdied her final two holes to win the CME Tour Championship. She was given the opportunity to win in regulation when Lexi Thompson pushed a 2-foot putt for par at the last. Although Thompson did not win the year’s final event, she captured 2 titles of her own: Vare Trophy for low scoring average and Race To CME Globe, the season’s points race.

How Ariya Jutanugarn tasted victory

The power game has arrived on the LPGA Tour, in case you missed it. Golfers such as Lexi, Ariya and Sung Hyun Park obliterate the orb, leaving little yardage to the green. When her game is firing, Ariya Jutanugarn is unstoppable. After bogey at the first hole on Sunday, the young golfer from Thailand etched six birdies into the final 17 holes, for a second-consecutive 67. Her birdie at the last came from 23 feet, an amazing putt to hole with victory on the line. Down it went, and up went the smile of a champion.

How the rest came up just shy of a win

With eerie similarity, Lexi Thompson’s card was the flip side of Ariya’s. Thompson made six birdies over her first 17 holes, but the hiccough at the last, her only bogey on the day, dropped her to 14-under par and opened the door for Jutanugarn. Thompson was on absolute fire on Sunday, hitting all 14 fairways and using the putter 28 times. Ariya, Kim Kaufman, Michelle Wie and Suzann Pettersen stood tied atop at 10-under, heading into round 4. Pettersen’s 72, Kaufman’s 71 and Wie’s 70 were simply not enough to keep pace with those coming from behind on Sunday. Ariya, however, was up to the challenge.

European Tour: Rahm wins in Dubai and Fleetwood breathes again

For a time, it seemed as though Justin Rose would win his third consecutive event in Europe and would squeeze past Fleetwood for the season points title. The former Englishman was in the midst of the greatest scoring run of his career, while the later Englishman seemed to have little petrol left in the tank. Then the back nine on Sunday happened, and everything changed.

How Jon Rahm won the DP World Tour

Shane Lowry made 10 birdies on Sunday, but he had one bogey. Rahm had half as many birdies and zero bogeys, and that last number made the difference. The young Basque played a stellar 132 over the closing 36 holes, eclipsed only by Lowry’s 131. Rahm fearlessly navigated his way around the Jumeirah Estates course, eeking out a one-shot win over Lowry and also hard-charging Kiradech Aphibarnrat.

How the others went home trophy-less

We all want to know about Rose. four birdies on the outward 9-holes staked him to a lead, and the greatest season comeback on a major tour was nearly written. With only three bogeys in his first 63 holes, Rose proceeded to bogey 12, 14 and 16, with only a birdie at the last to bring him to 17-under. He ended up two behind Rahm, and in second place in the Race to Dubai points race. It was a glorious campaign for Rose, and cements him as world player to watch in 2018. The Englishman tied for fourth with Sergio Garcia, Dean Burmeister and Dylan Fritelli, both of South Africa, on 17-under par.

PGA Tour: Cook collects First Tour win in Georgia

Fall is a time for young aspirants to make a mark on the PGA Tour. Austin Cook followed the script, birdieing 3-of-his-final-4 holes to stretch a single-shot lead into a four-stroke triumph. J.J. Spaun, a Web.Com tour graduate in 2017, was in the mix for the second consecutive week. He played well down the stretch, and earned a runner-up finish.

How Cook caught fire

Austin Cook played a veteran front-nine, with one bogey and one birdie. None of the chasers caught him, so the Arkansas alum continued to manage his game in the fairways-greens style. On the inward half, Cook took charge, with birdies at 15, 17 and 18, to move well in front of the runner-up. With the precision of a surgeon, Cook took apart the Sea Island course in impressive fashion. After his second-round 62, many expected him to have one weak round on the weekend, but 66-67 showed the his mettle.

How the others flamed out

Spaun really didn’t flame out, not like last week, when he caught the double-bogey train. A proven winner on other tours, Spaun should win in 2018. His game was solid, mixing in more birdies than bogeys, and his second-place finish was well-earned. Brian Gay might have been more comfortable than any other golfer this week, but he was just as erratic. Case in point: back nine. From holes 13 to 18, Gay made one birdie, two eagles, two pars and one double. Still, his numbers were low enough to secure solo third, one stroke behind Spaun and two in front of the fourth-place finishers.

Ladies European Tour: Boutier sizzles on back nine for win

Celine Boutier imagined a top-10 or top-5 when the third day dawned at Yalong Bay, in China. After bogeys on holes 4 and 5, she needed to gather herself in order to preserve her standing. From this day forward, “gather herself” in the dictionary will forever show a picture of Celine Boutier. Her six-birdie finish vaulted her past all challengers, to her first European Tour victory.

How Boutier bloomed

The recent Duke University graduate posted three rounds in the 60s, the only competitor to achieve that distinction at the Sanya Open. The Frenchwoman didn’t make a bogey until the 15th hole of her second round, but she was stuck in neutral from that hole through the 9th hole on Sunday, making only pars and bogeys. Something clicked at the turn, and Boutier regained the confidence that had produced 10 birdies during the tournament’s first half.

How the others gave chase

Solar Lee was in good standing on Sunday’s outward nine. She bounced back from an opening bogey with three birdies through the 9th, and held the top spot on the leader board at 7-under. Lee reached 9-under through 13, but made bogey at 14 to drop to 8-under. Then came the blossoming of Boutier, and Lee had to be satisfied with the runner-up spot. One spot behind Lee was Valdis Thora Jonsdottir, Iceland’s reigning professional golfer, at 7-under.

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Wednesday’s Photos from The 2017 RSM Classic

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GolfWRX is live this week from The 2017 RSM Classic at Sea Island Golf Club — the Seaside course plays as a par 70 measuring 7,005 yards — in St. Simons Island, Georgia.

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Headlined by last week’s OHL Classic champion Patton Kizzire, and 2015 RSM Champion Kevin Kisner, this week’s field is filled with notable names including Ricky Barnes, Zac Blair, Luke Donald, Ernie Els, Harris English, Tommy Gainey, Bill Haas, Beau Hossler, Zach Johnson, Smylie Kaufman, Matt Kuchar, Davis Love III, Graeme McDowell, Ollie Schniederjans, Brandt Snedeker, Hudson Swafford, Bubba Watson and others.

In last year’s RSM Classic, Mackenzie Hughes won in a five-man playoff to secure his first PGA Tour victory. He’s back in the field this year to defend his title.

Check out out photos from Sea Island G.C. below!

Wednesday’s Galleries

 

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos in our forums.

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Tuesday’s Photos from the 2017 RSM Classic

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GolfWRX is live this week from The 2017 RSM Classic at Sea Island Golf Club — the Seaside course plays as a par 70 measuring 7,005 yards — in St. Simons Island, Georgia.

Related

Headlined by last week’s OHL Classic champion Patton Kizzire, and 2015 RSM Champion Kevin Kisner, this week’s field is filled with notable names including Ricky Barnes, Zac Blair, Luke Donald, Ernie Els, Harris English, Tommy Gainey, Bill Haas, Beau Hossler, Zach Johnson, Smylie Kaufman, Matt Kuchar, Davis Love III, Graeme McDowell, Ollie Schniederjans, Brandt Snedeker, Hudson Swafford, Bubba Watson and others.

In last year’s RSM Classic, Mackenzie Hughes won in a five-man playoff to secure his first PGA Tour victory. He’s back in the field this year to defend his title.

Check out out photos from Sea Island G.C. below!

Tuesday’s Galleries

Special Galleries

 

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the photos in our forums.

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