Connect with us

Driver Reviews

2013 TaylorMade R1 Driver: Editor Review

Published

on

TaylorMade, the king of drivers, has done it again. Bold moves visually and performance tweaks make what was a great driver perform better. It’s hard to do but fitters around the country support our opinion that the 2013 R1 Driver can stand proud. Below you will see GolfWRX tried to stay as objective as possible and also add a lot of technical information to describe the differences over last years R11s.

Pros: The TaylorMade R1 improves on the company’s premium driver from a year ago, the R11S, offering slightly more ball speed and less spin thanks to a lower, more forward center of gravity. It’s also quieter than the ear-ringing R11S, and more forgiving on misses low on the face.

Cons: The racing stripe on the crown isn’t as bold as TaylorMade’s decision to go white, but it will still irk purists. A “real deal” stock shaft offering is absent, as is a stock shaft option over 65 grams. A new “loft sleeve” means previous TaylorMade driver sleeves won’t fit in the R1.

Bottom Line: TaylorMade has crept ahead with the R1 with more adjustability and more performance, but word is out on how golfers will receive the graphic-infused crown. Golfers upgrading from the R11S should expect to add 0.5 degrees of loft or more from their current setup, which will give them the high-launch, low-spin conditions necessary for more distance.

R1 Driver Review

The paint on the crown of TaylorMade’s R1 driver will get all the buzz early in 2013, taking the focus off what’s really impressive about the new driver unrivaled adjustability.

EditorsChoice_13

According to TaylorMade, data from the company’s MATT club fitting systems across the country showed that 80 percent of golfers were playing the wrong loft in their drivers, and that 35 percent of them were 2 degrees or more away from their optimal loft.

That’s why the new R1 driver has a 4-degree range of adjustability, from 8 degrees to 12 degrees, giving golfers no excuse for having the wrong loft.

The wide-range of lofts are possible through through the company’s revamped loft sleeve (formally called FCT), which is adjustable  in 0.5-degree increments to give golfers 12 different loft settings.

r1 driver review

That’s an improvement over R11S, which came in three different lofts — 9, 10.5 and 12 — and only allowed golfers to adjust the loft 1.5 degrees higher or lower.

The loft sleeve was designed in conjunction with the driver’s revamped adjustable sole plate, which has seven different settings that can change the R1’s face angle as much as 3 degrees open or closed in 1-degree increments. This is another another upgrade over the R11S, which gave golfers 5 settings that adjusted in 1.5-degree increments.

7 face angle options: N/square, open, medium-open, maximum-open, closed, medium-closed, maximum-closed

The added loft settings are extremely important because of the R1’s lower, more forward center of gravity, as most golfers will underestimate the amount of loft they’ll need for optimal launch conditions. And the face angle adjustability is a necessity as well, because a 1-degree change in loft on the R1 will result in a 2-degree change in face angle.

The R1 is shipped with a standard loft of 10 degrees and face angle that is designed to be “visually square” at address (TaylorMade says a visually square face angle actually measures 2 degrees open). If 1.5 degrees of additional loft is added, the face angle will close 3 degrees. But by wrenching the face angle adapter to the 3-degrees open setting, a golfer can return the face angle to visually square.

2013 taylormade r1 driver

Like the R11S, the R1 has two adjustable weight ports that give golfers even more control over their trajectory. Golfers can adjust the driver’s two interchangeable weights (10g and 1g) to give their driver a draw bias (10g in the heel, 1 g in the toe) or a neutral setting (10g in the toe, 1 g in the heel). Most big-box golf retailers sell additional TaylorMade weights to help further tune trajectory and swing weight.

Performance: Faster ball speeds, lower spin/launch

Todd Beach, assistant vice president of R&D for TaylorMade metalwoods, said engineers made the R11S bigger than the orignal R11, but they weren’t weren’t able to get the center of gravity as low as they wanted. On the R1, engineers were able to move more weight lower and closer to the face thanks to the driver’s thick-thin crown, which is as thin as 0.4 mm in certain areas, creating a driver that has faster ball speeds in the middle of the face as well as more forgiveness on shots hit below the sweetspot.

“Golfers weren’t getting full flexibility on shots hit in the center of the face on the R11S,” Beach said. “With the R1, the sweetspot is lower — closer to the center, which gives golfers more of a hot face. The transfer of energy is also more efficient, since the CG is closer to the face.”

We tested an R1 and R11S with the same specs on TrackMan. Both drivers had UST Mamiya VTS TourSPX 75X Red shafts (installed straight in), and were 45.5 inches long with swing weights of D6 (the R1’s standard swing weight is D4). Prior to testing, I hit both drivers to find the most optimal loft/face angle setting. After the drivers were tuned, I hit 15 shots with each club and compared the three shots that were most similar in smash factor, swing speed and dispersion.

The R1 required an extra 1 degree of loft (from 9 degrees to 10 degrees) than the R11S to create optimal launch condition. While the launch and spin numbers were nearly identical, the average ball speed of the R1 was 168.8 mph, 1.1 mph faster than the R11S, which is in line with TaylorMade’s claims of increased ball speeds of 1-to-2 mph. Those numbers gave me an added carry distance of about 1 yard, and an average overall distance increase of 2 yards.

The differences are subtle, but the R1’s ability to dramatically reduce spin in higher loft settings will be pay dirt for golfers who have struggled to lower their spin rate with TaylorMade drivers in the past.

Looks: Bolder look, taller face

TaylorMade’s decision to go all-in with white drivers in 2011 boosted sales, as golf fans watching from home saw an explosion of white-painted drivers on their television screens. Since that time, other companies have entered the colored-driver arena — Ian Poulter first used Cobra’s white ZL driver in late 2010, although most Cobra staffers opted for the black version. Last year, Adams released its Fast 12 driver in silver, and Cobra has since expanded its product line to include orange, red, blue and silver drivers. Last month, Nike unveiled its Covert driver in red, which offers a modest-sized white Nike swoosh on the rear-portion of the crown near the heel.

2Y9G9969

As colored drivers become the norm and not the exception, TaylorMade’s Executive Vice President Sean Toulon said company leaders saw an opportunity to stand out from the pack with the bold crown graphics that made their way onto the R1. Toulon knew the graphics would be controversial, but trusted the input he received from tour player testing — as long as crown designs left the top line of a driver uninterrupted, they were OK with crown graphics.

A grey, orange and black racing stripe extends diagonally from the driver’s hosel to the rear-toe section on the crown, and is is accented with a white R1 logo on the heel section. A matte silver section on the toe meets the three-colored stripe to form a triangle alignment aid a few inches behind the familiar TaylorMade “T” logo that is positioned on the front center of the crown. Our first impression of the graphics resulted in a verbal “wow.” But after about 20 minutes, the crazy-looking graphic started to settle in.

Looking at the R1, we couldn’t help but think of the racing stripes on the Ferrari F430 Scuderia, which Ferrari made to showcase its racing technology in a street car. Just as racers ignore the aesthetics of cars when they’re driving, we forgot about the graphics during testing, turning our to the front of the crown. There, the black “T” logo helped us find the sweet spot, and the white crown and black face provided a strong perpendicular contrast that assisted us while squaring the face to the target line.

Don’t forget the first time you saw a TaylorMade white driver, which caused a lot of eye rolling from consumers in 2011. But most golfers grew to like the matte white finish, and TaylorMade’s record-setting sales numbers since are proof of that.

black r1 driver

The face of the R1 driver is deeper (read taller) than the R11S, giving golfers a slightly larger face area. The heel-to-toe lengths of the drivers are very similar, but the rear-portion of the R1’s crown isn’t quite as round as the R11S, appearing more bulbous at address. The face angle adjuster on the sole is also much more prominent on the R1, adding more logos and textures that will give the driver a techy look on the shelf.

Sound/Feel: Powerful feel, quieter sound

Feel and sound are very personal and widely debated topics, but most will agree that TaylorMade’s recent drivers have felt hot off the face. But last year’s R11S was criticized for being a little too loud and feeling “pingy,” which Toulon said was caused by the company’s tendency to err on the side of “shock value” when it comes to sound. When designing the R1, engineers dialed in the frequency and duration range of the driver’s acoustics to offer a more muted sound than the R11S, while keeping the “pop” feel golfers like.

Shafts: 0.25 inches shorter shaft length

The R1 as two stock shaft options:

  • Aldila RIP Phenom 55 — X, S, R, M and L Flexes
  • Aldila ROP Phenom 65 TP — X, S and R Flexes

The R11S came stock with a 45.75-inch Aldila Phenom 60 or 65, so by comparison the R1’s shaft is 0.25 inches shorter and a little lighter. Last year, TaylorMade reported the lie angle of its R11S driver as 59.5 degrees, which technically was the driver’s lie angle when adjusted to the flat setting. This year, the company is reporting the lie angle in the standard setting, which is why stock lie angle is listed as 61 degrees — 1.5 degrees higher, but it’s actually the same.

Upright lie angles can be used as anti-slice measures, as 1-degree upright adjustments generally cause a 2-yard variation in left tendency (for a right-handed golfer) in robot testing. Tom Olsavsky, senior director of product creation for TaylorMade, said that adjustable face angles make driver lie angles less relevant, as robot testing has shown that closing the face angle of a driver 1 degree will cause a 10-yard increase in left tendency. This means that for the R1, a 1-degree change in upright lie angle is five times less meaningful than a 1-degree change in closed face angle.

The Takeaway

Do you like the crown graphics? That question won’t be as important as driver purists might think. The R1 is one of three super adjustable drivers that will be available in 2013, none of which are black. The others are Cobra’s AMP Cell drivers, which offer the industry’s brightest color scheme, and Nike’s Covert Drivers, which are red with a white Nike Swoosh. That speaks to the current driver marketplace, where bold colors and graphics are becoming commonplace.

TaylorMade is offering the boldest graphics of any OEM with its R1 driver, but it is also the most battle-tested design, offering slight improvements over the extremely popular R11 and R11S models. For $399, the same price as the R11S, consumers are getting a driver with more adjustability, more ball speed and for good or bad — more paint.

Click here for more discussion in the “Tour/Pre-Release equipment” forum. 

Your Reaction?
  • 49
  • LEGIT9
  • WOW14
  • LOL2
  • IDHT4
  • FLOP14
  • OB2
  • SHANK4

Zak is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX.com. He's been a part of the company since 2011, when he was hired to lead GolfWRX's Editorial Department. Zak developed GolfWRX's Featured Writer Program, which supports aspiring writers and golf industry professionals. He played college golf at the University of Richmond (Go Spiders!) and still likes to compete in tournaments. You can follow Zak on Twitter @ZakKoz, where he's happy to discuss his game and all the cool stuff that's part of his job.

Continue Reading
154 Comments

154 Comments

  1. Pingback: Golf Drivers Reviews Keith | Golfing For a Break Through

  2. great post to read

    Feb 7, 2015 at 6:23 pm

    I feel that is among the so much significant information for me.
    And i’m satisfied reading your article. However want to remark on few common issues, The
    web site style is ideal, the articles is really nice : D.
    Just right activity, cheers

  3. Pingback: Callaway Golf X Series Drs Jv Hybrids

  4. Pingback: TaylorMade SLDR Driver: Editor Review | GolferNexus

  5. MichaelC

    Oct 18, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    I have been happily playing an R7 with 10.5 loft and an R shaft for years and always hit it longer than my buddies who always go buy the newest TM driver that comes out. On a whim I finally bought an R1 with an R shaft. OMG! I set it to 12 loft and 1 degree closed face and draw weighted. Welcome to 20-25 more yards off the tee with a little cut or a little draw every time.

  6. Josh

    Oct 9, 2013 at 3:00 am

    To add another perspective: I’m a relatively new golfer. New, as in I only recently got re-interested in the game. Relatively, since I first swung a club 20 years ago, and played quite a bit in my early 20s. Now my father is in his 60s and golf is one of the only things that gets us out and active together.

    For those reasons, and because I’m remembering how much I love golf, I’m playing a lot these days. I bought a full set with hybrids (had never even seen those before), irons, and woods. I’ve been hitting them well but the Tight Lies driver that came with the set just isn’t cutting it for me anymore. I need something new.

    In my situation, I want to buy something that can not only be fit to me now, but re-fit to me easily every so often as I improve. I couldn’t care less what people will think about the colors on my driver, I’ll just hit it and hopefully hit it well.

    I want a new driver that will last me years. I might as well get the best available now. That appears to be the R1. Given the level of adjustability, the amount of technology in this thing, and the quality that I know TM can produce… it seems like a perfect fit. Looks aren’t important to me, but I like them anyway. I’ll be buying one this week and maybe playing it this weekend.

    I just don’t get why people are so furious about this driver. You all do realize that you’re not required to buy it, right?

  7. Billy

    Sep 21, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    I switched the the R1 earlier this year from a 910D2 with a Pro force V2 and picked up 10 mph in ball speed and then upgraded to a custom Graphite design DI-6 in a stiff flex and added another 5 mph but after shortening it to 44.5 inches to play a touch stiffer and have more control I’m averaging low 170 mph in ball speed at a reduced spin rate to any other driver I have tried this year. Picked up about 10-15m but mostly just consistency in control of my flight and shape. The graphics everyone wined about when it first got released aren’t that bad once you hit the driver a few times either.

  8. Simon P

    Aug 21, 2013 at 11:44 am

    Changed to the R1 driver 4 weeks ago having previously always been with Callaway drivers, razr fit and razr x black which were very solid and I have to say this driver is an absolute fire cracker, easily 15-20 yard gains from previous driver and very straight. I had the the golf pro set it up for at the store based on my swing type and have not needed to adjust anything since. Cant recommend it highly enough

  9. Lincoln

    Aug 6, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    I threw a Fujikuru vc 7.2 Tour Spec in my R1….Beast!My Son Stew did the same to his Black R1,at 6’4 1/2″ he’s at 310 to 320 on the fly.Natural beast!

  10. Ricky

    Aug 5, 2013 at 10:31 am

    I was very excited about this club after using a Callaway Razr Fit for the last year. I hit it well in the shop but once I got out to the range found it surprisingly hollow to hit. A good 20 metres shorter! Most disappointing was the black face was easily scratched and it looked 6 months old after that outing and one round. I asked Drummond Golf to return it to Taylormade as I thought it might have been a defective face and they said that is the way they all are, especially if you hit a dirty or scuffed ball (which it wasn’t). I was not impressed at all. Going back to the Callaway and really cannot recommend this Driver.

  11. Bill

    Aug 3, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    In my 2nd year with my R-11s. Was thinking of changing to a Fujikura Blur shaft. Didn’t really like the white club head so I laminated a photo of my ex-wife on it & immediately gained an average 15yds off the tee. So I figure I saved $150. which I used for new Pro V1 balls instead of a new shaft.

  12. Bruce

    Jul 29, 2013 at 4:40 pm

    I love my new R1. No it isn’t pretty on the bottom, but who cares. Traded up from an old Burner Tour and now I am considerably farther on my tee shots and right down the middle. At first I was very skeptical about all the adjustments, but now I see the value in dialing in what works for me. This is a fantastic club!!

  13. mangler

    Jun 29, 2013 at 10:26 am

    Just bought the head only, love my 913 D2 but will give it a try anyways, because I can….

  14. Chad Harding

    Jun 16, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    How does it compare to the Callaway Razr Fit?

  15. Mark

    Jun 14, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    Just bought one after trying several on the range. Agree with many of you that it ain’t pretty, but to be honest it worked for me. Call me old fashioned but I’m more bothered about my game than how pretty / ugly my gear is? It’s a nice driver believe me!!!

  16. glenn kirk

    Apr 12, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    gone from titleist 913 to r1 put premium shaft in r1 yeeeeeew awesome less spin and looooong love the look and wen u up loft on 913 face closes not good r1 up loft and open face from sole plate awesome this taylkor made.

    • Dick Nuggets

      Dec 22, 2013 at 1:31 am

      Ummmmmmmmmmmmmm, what?

    • Jeff

      Nov 10, 2014 at 4:28 pm

      He’s coming from a Titleist 913 to an R1. With a premium shaft, wow is it awesome. It has less spin and it is long. He loves the look. When he lofted up on his 913, the face closes. This is unacceptable, no bueno, he’s not having it. On the R1, you adjust raise loft, and open the face angle from the sole plate. Dude loves his new Taylormade.

      I’ve been interpreting bad writing for years.

  17. Byron

    Mar 14, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    I have an R1 and ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT. It is very forgiving and goes farther than my RBZ from last year. I adjusted it to 1 degree open and added .5 degree loft and all I can say is WOOOOWWWWWW

  18. Jack

    Mar 12, 2013 at 2:05 am

    With all these tech improvements year over year, are we averaging 400 yards per drive yet?

  19. isellclubs

    Mar 5, 2013 at 11:23 pm

    try the Cobra Amp Cell pro…its long, feels great and sounds better than R1

  20. Desmond

    Mar 5, 2013 at 5:47 am

    Demoed the R1. Good sound and feel, Shaft … meh. Graphics on the crown were fine. Easy to aim.

  21. JW

    Mar 3, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    Who gives a rip what it looks like. All I know is that it is straight and I am pounding drives to 300 yds. Nuf said1

  22. Cj

    Feb 21, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    Quick Question…
    If I put a LEFT HANDED adapter on my RIGHT HANDED R1 will it go FLAT instead of UPRIGHT???
    If so, what position would be the MOST OPEN and FLAT?
    Thanks

    • isellclubs

      Feb 26, 2013 at 10:17 pm

      it cant go flatter, the lofts will just be switched.

  23. Jeff

    Feb 18, 2013 at 8:30 am

    The R11TP with an Aldila RIP alpha shaft was my first adjustable club. I had the shaft shortened to exactly 45 inches. I absolutely crushed it. The ball flew straight and long, just about every time I hit it. Last year, I had to buy the R11s. I bought it stock off the shelf. The shaft was too long and it’s high torque didn’t help my open to closed wrist cock. For every drive I caught, I’d hit 10 weak spinner fades, and 10 weak spinner hooks. Needless to say, I gave my R11 a go this year, and crushed it again, right down the middle. So my advice to anybody in search of a driver, get fit, not just for lie and face angle, but for shaft type and length. It’s probably more important than the r number of your driver.

  24. isellclubs

    Feb 17, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    I sell golf clubs at a store call, lets just say, Moger Gunn, and The R1 is the lowest spinning head in golf right now. The longest driver I have ever seen. Coupled with being able to adjust it up to 168 ways, it is the most complete driver on the market if you find the shaft that’s right for you. You get over the graphics right away when you hit it 20 yards further than anything else.

  25. blopar

    Feb 11, 2013 at 8:49 am

    the graphics DO defintely suck—-but I bought an RBZ Stage 2 16.5 degree fairway, a perfect adjustability option for 3-4-5 wood flexibility if you know what you need on a given course, and I can tune out the graphics mentally by looking at the ball and face alignment. Set at 16.5 degrees it’s actually 4 yards longer than the original RBZ Stage 1 3-wood.

  26. Rob

    Feb 11, 2013 at 1:14 am

    I just bought the R1. I have not played with it yet, but I have hit balls at the range. My old driver was a ping g20 with a 8.5 loft. I notice with the R1 set the loft at 9.5 and a neutral setting I was getting the same height on my drives with it. When i put the the 10 gram weight in the toe I was hitting a nice fade with it. With the 10 gram weight in the heel i hit it straight with a slight draw. I cant say yet as far as total distance I get with this club, but At the range today I was carrying it close to a 255 yard flag on some miss hits either on the toe of the club or slightly thin shots. When I made solid contact I was carrying the past the flag. With my ping I would get 260 to 270 on average. As far as the graphics are concerned, yeah they look funky, but when you start drilling them down the middle of the fairway they start looking pretty good.

  27. Byron

    Feb 7, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    Im actually in the market for a new driver. I have been using the original Cleveland launcher 400cc for 11 years. I’ve used it in college golf but haven’t played in any “competitive golf” in years. I still hit the launcher 290-300 yards consistently but, with not using any of the new technology in 10 years, I am looking to gain some more yards and see whats out there. I don’t care if it has racing stripes, crazy colors etc. if it helps me out drive the guys I used to 4 years ago then, I am for it!

  28. andy

    Jan 30, 2013 at 11:49 pm

    why bother. they haven’t improved enough. r11 r1 not enough improvement over my supertri with nunchuk shaft

  29. Simon

    Jan 30, 2013 at 3:51 am

    I jsut walked into a store today and bought the R1 without even hitting it. Not sure what all the fuss is about the graphics, just hit the thing and if it goes for you who cares about graphics…if it doesnt go, throw it in the bin and buy a Covert or G25 and give them a whirl.

  30. Shaggy

    Jan 30, 2013 at 2:48 am

    Well,… I gave in and got me a new R1. I agree, that I too thought that the new graphics were pretty ugly. I hit the R1 on a 3D launch monitor a good bit and made the necessary adjustments for “my swing” and my take on the graphics are that they were really a non issue and they actually kinda helped with face alignment. Some, things I noticed are, that I needed .50 degree more loft with the R1 than I did on my R11s, but I was able to maintain a lower spin rate with the R1, and that my shot group was noticeably tighter with the R1. My distance on the R1 was only slightly better than with the R11s, but I seemed to be able to better dial in accuracy with the R1, which was most important to me. DISCLAIMER: I’m a 14 handicap and only drive the ball around 255-260 yards,…. So i’m sure some will say I’m not qualified to give a review, but “MY” final opinion of the R1 is that its a really good driver. It’s not much longer than the R11S, but if a person takes the time on a really good launch monitor you can dial in alot of accuracy, but don’t expect a ton of extra yards in distance. I bought it because I wanted it,…. not because I needed it.

  31. cg

    Jan 29, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    I want to see the new G25 Ping, the Nike, The Cobra before any decision is made. If they are not much better than my current G10, I will stick with that. It finds the middle of the fairway almost all the time.

  32. Bob

    Jan 29, 2013 at 3:33 pm

    I have an old R7 Superquad that looks well used. Stumbled onto this looking at reviews for the new TM drivers. Graphics don’t bother me a bit. I’ll get the R1 (assuming I hit it well when I try it) just because I’m due for an update and this is the latest model.

    And lol at ppl crying marketing gimmick. If they kept the same 2012 look it’s still a better driver (tiny bit), but you can read the changes they put into it to make it better. The graphics are immaterial to me, I’d use hello kitty graphics and get some good chuckles along the way.

    If you hate it that bad, vote with your wallet. They are in business to make money and won’t let a graphics decision drive business to competitors for long.

  33. Marty

    Jan 28, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    LMAO watch all the haters will be running to get the R1 in June or July. You’re going to get tired and pissed when others using it are out driving u. Oh and its looks great!!

  34. Eric

    Jan 28, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    I would not call it ugly because the designs are actually cool looking, but I would definitely agree that I don’t want the designs to take up the entire top of my club.

  35. Bob

    Jan 20, 2013 at 2:18 am

    who cares how it looks
    as long as it does the job and make you hit better shots.
    looking forward to test it
    until then my r11s does the job perfectly

  36. Troy Vayanos

    Jan 19, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    I’m not a huge fan of the racing stripes on the clubhead. But I think like everything new I would probably get used to it.

    The adjustable loft drivers are certainly the way of the future. The key is to find out what loft is right for you. These drivers make this possible which was a lot more difficult so many years ago.

    I’ve no doubt I will begin to see a lot of these drivers at my local golf club in the coming months. Look forward to testing one of the new TaylorMade’s when they come out.

  37. Dan

    Jan 19, 2013 at 11:08 am

    09 Superdeep TP-Can’t touch it!!!

  38. John

    Jan 17, 2013 at 7:36 am

    I am glad I switched from my R11 to the new Titleist 913 D3, and believe me when I say that it is a much much more superior club and technology compared to the rubbish that Taylor made is producing, I was a big fan but after paying almost $400 for my R11 in 2010 and in 6 months it almost dropped to half and when the R11s was on the way out, the R11 was even cheaper so Taylor made buyers always get shafted and ripped off, better to buy second hand. Will never ever go back to TM very happy with my Titleist Blades and driver, if I was to change I would look at Ping or Callaway.

  39. Joseph

    Jan 14, 2013 at 2:02 am

    Geez, love the shape of the driver head, the stripes don’t bother me but the bottom arghhh yuck. Doubt i’ll be changing from he TM burner superfast (which is awesome)

  40. NG

    Jan 10, 2013 at 11:08 pm

    Here’s a question for all those that are complaining about it not being much further…when did TM ever say it was further or faster???

    That’s right, they didn’t…TM will openly admitt that to gain additional length from drivers is becoming more and more difficult, in fact they would say that it has maxed out…1mph (according to testing, not advertising) is alot of ball speed by todays standards of improvement…the only way you can make a driver perform better is through adjustbility, help the player match club face to path.

    If you want distance and no adjustbility, use the stage 2 driver!!!!!

  41. Smitty

    Jan 10, 2013 at 1:26 am

    A+ to Taylor Made.

    Whether you like it or hate it, at least TM has the balls to try something new.

    I just wonder if anti-lock brakes and 20in rims will be standard.

  42. Endural

    Jan 9, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    Why is the lie angle so ridiculously upright, 61.5 degrees is absurd.

    • Andy

      Jan 10, 2013 at 4:34 am

      From the article above…

      “TaylorMade reported the lie angle of its R11S driver as 59.5 degrees, which technically was the driver’s lie angle when adjusted to the flat setting. This year, the company is reporting the lie angle in the standard setting, which is why stock lie angle is listed as 61 degrees — 1.5 degrees higher, but it’s actually the same.”

  43. pbrmeasap

    Jan 9, 2013 at 9:17 am

    Funny……This is exactly the same tread as a few years ago when TM introduced the white crown. All the old “country clubbers” gaffed and said how golf was ruined. Fast forward a couple of years and you see TM by far as the best selling, (arguably) best rated equipment. I saw DJ looking into the camera this weekend praising his new TM equipment as he made a mockery of the Plantation course. Call it marketing or what have you, but I think the biggest golf equipment manufacturer in world knows what they are doing. Just watch, by the end of summer the amount of R1’s you see in your buddies bags.

  44. BizMark

    Jan 8, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    Are you kidding me? Look, Taylormade has been the king in innovation, tracing back to their Burner woods with the Bubble shafts. Over these couple recent years though, they’ve fallen off the throne. The compass-looking tool on the bottom looks ridiculous, and the lines on the top look tacky. They hit a homerun with the Rocketballz and R11 drivers, and I’d like to see REAL IMPROVEMENTS, whether it’s through looks or performance.

    • Andy

      Jan 9, 2013 at 4:30 am

      Unless you hit the ball in a very unusual way, how on earth does the “compass” on the bottom distract you ?

      The red paint on the R11 and R11s face adjustment dial came off very quickly though, so it would be genuinely nice if TM had addressed this going forward.

      There aren’t going to be any “extra 20 yards” now (unless someone changes the governing rules) so it’s definitely time to get used to small improvements and new designs.

  45. jgpl001

    Jan 8, 2013 at 4:56 pm

    Pathetic – TM you are a joke, and now confusing innovation with nonsense.

    We the public are not fooled anymore – you have crossed the line

    There is not ONE redeeming feature of ugly bucket of nails and I guarantee not even a 0.1% increase in actual performance over an R11S

    Anyone who parts with hard earned cash to look like an idiot with this on the first tee needs tablets, and lots of them

    I gave up on TM several years ago and this RUBBISH has validated the decision – PERMANENTLY

    • Mark63

      Jan 12, 2013 at 7:41 pm

      More fool you if you gave up on TM drivers years ago, they are number 1 on Tour for a reason and what ever people say its not because they pay the most- I know that for a fact. It’s because they are ahead of the game and being a club fitter it’s the easy option for me- its very rare I can out perform a TM with any other manufacturers driver and RBZ out performs every other fairway wood bar none!!
      Speak for yourself on the R1, I personally think it looks classy and modern. My only critique would be that they bring out too many clubs too quickly

    • youstink

      Apr 24, 2013 at 8:49 pm

      jgpl001

      Actually you are wrong. I gained 6-8 yrds of carry on average and decreased my spin 250 +. My launch, peak height, and decent angle also improved. Looks like your dumb and ignorant.

      Not only does the shape look better, but the sound and feel are better, from TM’s previous driver models… Including the R11s

      you sound bitter. just a heads up..

  46. Joe

    Jan 8, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    I Hate the Graphics. Don’t want to see it.

  47. Dav

    Jan 8, 2013 at 10:42 am

    I think its hilarious that everyone looks at adjustability as something people will tweak every round. That’s not what it was built for, ever. Its a fitting tool, nothing more. The club isn’t built to be tweaked before every round, its built to cover the needs of MOST golfers and if a company can do that with one product as opposed to 3, their retailers are overjoyed. Hate all you want on graphics and finishes, but for god’s sake use your heads before posting such nonsense… sheesh. EVery brand is doing this. There’s a reason for it.

  48. Guru

    Jan 7, 2013 at 7:11 pm

    I like it. It looks like it’s packed with technology. I would feel simultaneously both confident I’m rocking a cutting edge driver and silly that my driver stands out like a sore thumb. I’m not sure who the “major” companies are targeting when they release a “new” driver year in and year out, but my guess is it’s not the guy that just bought a R11s. Maybe it’s people like myself that until a few months ago was still rocking a 2006 Nike Sasquatch. I wouldn’t buy it (out of my range), but I do admire that they are trying to distinguish themselves from the rest. I guess I’m not part of the “traditional” crowd.

  49. Karl Williams

    Jan 7, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Thanks, GolfWRX for this valuable information. I recently upgraded my woods to an R11S driver and Rocketballz 3 wood. I’m hitting longer and straighter than Ever and will keep this setup for the following reasons: 1. The extra money for 1-2 extra driver yards and 10 extra 3 wood yards is ludicrous. Why pay more when you’ll end up in the same area? 2. The new crown graphics are pretty, but solid white is more pleasing to me. 3. TaylorMade, or any other manufacturer will need to advance distance technology/performance for me to switch. So, I advise R11S and Rocketballz users to keep swinging what you have and enjoy it.

  50. Andy

    Jan 7, 2013 at 7:14 am

    Loving reading the hating. But it will sell like hotcakes so I’m not really sure what the point of all the hating is. Here’s a bandwagon, lets jump on it ?

    Right now we’ve pretty much reached the limits of what technology can do with a driver within the strict limits that have been set, so what are you all expecting to happen next ?

    TM have realised that there aren’t going to be any 20 yard gains on their already excellent R11 series, so they are now testing out bold head designs along with their very latest tech. Whether it works for you or not is almost irrelevant (because they will sell regardless) but TM should be applauded for boldly risking all to push boundaries. They created the White clubhead and now they are pushing it even further.

    If all golf companies were frightened to do something new then we’d all be playing with shiny black clubs and I guess that would would suit lots of you down to the ground… Golf needs dragging into the future and companies like TM, Nike, Cobra, Loudmouth, etc are the ones doing it !

    Whether I buy one or not… Well done TM for pushing the envelope of what’s “accepted”.

  51. katie

    Jan 7, 2013 at 4:05 am

    leaving the hackers to work out from game to game which loft their swing needs….just ain’t gunna work. We need it good and simple.

    • Andy

      Jan 7, 2013 at 10:34 am

      Agreed Katie.

      I have an R11 and have only adjusted the lost a couple of times due to data on the trackman taken during lessons, I would never adjust any driver on the day before playing a round.

      However I think the big plus of all this adjustability is when getting fitted. It allows TM (and Nike / others) to just make one club head and then adjust it with great control to the owners swing. Once done I’d be tempted to leave it at those settings unless there were a big reason to change.

      • Bill

        Feb 16, 2013 at 2:25 pm

        Good point, Andy. Just got fitted with the Callaway Xtreme and switched loft, club face to open and reversed the weights to a fade bias and was all set. Doubt I’ll change it from there but if I need to, nice to know I can (aside from the loft, which doesn’t matter to me. By the time that changes for me, I’ll probably want another shaft also). But for the fitter, he gets to tweek the club at the simulator level where you can see instant improvements. It’s a great selling tool as well as making the game more enjoyable for the player.

  52. Will

    Jan 6, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    And 1 more thing, the absence of a heavier shaft is worthless to me. I had a TM 360ti with a 90g shaft and loved it, Now my supertri with 65g & 75g options. This whole sub 50g shaft thing isn’t for me. I tried my friends RBZ and it felt like a heavy head on a twig. I need it more even weighted or I lose control & feel & that’s half the game is feel

    • Andy

      Jan 7, 2013 at 10:29 am

      Hi Will,

      Surely you’d get custom fit for any driver you purchased and therefore could select from a multitude of shafts that fitted you better than the standard offering.?

      The RBZ is definitely the “whippy” fast swinging club in the range, but again it would be fitted to your swing.

      It’s a shame that the sleeves are no longer compatible, but the old one lasted for many years and I doubt TaylorMade would go out of their way to irk some of their fans without good reason. In order to achieve 2deg up and down it had to change.

      The SuperTri is a great driver, so nothing out there is going to outperform it hugely, as are the R11 and the R11s. However you can’t expect TM to stop trying new things and leave these on sale. Drivers can’t hit the ball much further now, so club makers are trying everything else they can to better their old (and already excellent products). Nike are going Red, Cobra are going bold in every colour, if you sit still then you slip behind…

    • Taylormade Rep

      Jun 9, 2013 at 4:55 am

      well if you don’t like 50 gram shafts get TP shafts, they are 70 grams

  53. Will

    Jan 6, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    This is a joke. I have a Supertri with 2 shaft options. Now if I want to upgrade I can’t without resleeving these shafts?? And for what 1 more yard? No thanks. As for the looks its hideous. I will stick with the Supertri and next upgrade will be a Titleist. I don’t like the 1 loft option. Adjust this, turn that, its going too far. If I can go out and hit my 975D just as far as my Supertri, then technology is not improving, it has reached it’s apex. Now it’s just about profit. Bad move TM

  54. Roger

    Jan 6, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    Gain One Yard……………………………

    Love TaylorMade products, but i
    love my black 910 D3. I’m 51 and it
    made my day last tuesday to out drive the 20 year old and his R11 S
    in our group.Rolling Stones say Paint It Black. Happy New Year.

  55. William

    Jan 6, 2013 at 4:04 am

    I bet most people who have a R11 don’t want this
    I MEAN ITS THE SAME THING!

    • Andy

      Jan 7, 2013 at 10:43 am

      I have an R11 (original – heavily used for almost 2 years) and I’m certainly tempted.

      It’s not because of the differences , or the style of the head. It’s simply that my R11 was purchased at a Pro Shop almost off the peg, with only simple questions and data discussed.

      Now (having improved a lot with my driver) I’d like to be custom fitted and have booked a session on the MATT system in February. As I can no longer buy an R11 I’ll be getting data on both the R1 and RBZs2 to compare against my current club.

      Without seeing in person, I like the deeper face of the R1 and the promise of a larger sweet spot centred lower on the face. I initially thought the graphics were very bold, but will hold off any verdict until I see it in real life. At the end of the day though I can’t see them when I swing the club and hit the ball…

  56. Ben Alberstadt

    Jan 5, 2013 at 7:48 pm

    Reaction here is, what, 95% negative? Pretty overwhelming consensus from WRX’ers on the R1, it seems.

    • Mark63

      Jan 12, 2013 at 7:30 pm

      Was the same when TM first brought out white drivers if you remember, and they turned out pretty popular!!

  57. Jonathan

    Jan 5, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    I don’t understand how people can justify spending money on new equipment every time a new model comes out. I guess if you have a lot of money to burn and you’re bored as hell you might fit into this category, but most of us work for a living and might want to consider saving some dough. Especially if a previous generation model works perfectly fine. If every new club truly added distance, I would be hitting my 7-iron 300 yards and my driver 500 yards by now.

  58. David

    Jan 5, 2013 at 2:34 pm

    This is just a joke. Don’t you see it?
    I used to say that Callaway and TM are very good Golf club manufacturing companies, but they are exceptional marketing companies.
    Remember how the Big Bertha changed golf forever. Oversize heads, titanium steel, longer shafts, and the price of a full set of clubs for one driver?
    The products that they made were revolutionary and became must-have for the everyday golfer. More forgiveness, cool to look at and a feeling of confidence when you held them in your hands.
    Now TM, in my humble opinion, has taken one step over the edge and they expect us to jump with them.
    And many of us will. And that’s fine,
    to each his own and whatever makes you happy. I just cannot comprehend making a change for change’s sake.
    If what you have works than why?
    I love the white head on the R11, so I bought it.
    Advertising on the head of a golf club isn’t for me.
    Pure and simple, if everyone stuck with what they had then there’s no way companies like Callaway, TM, Adams, Addidas could fulfill their promises to their stockholders, or meet their financial forecasts.
    Someone said that they know what they’re doing. Yes they do. They know every time they release a new set, or a new club, or a new ball that there are thousands and thousands of us who will buy them. They know that for sure.
    Anyone need an Iphone 6?

  59. jayh3

    Jan 5, 2013 at 1:36 am

    A can of black spray paint might solve the problem that I can see. Too many gimmicks!!!
    Not worth changing over from the
    R9 or even the R11 for that matter.

  60. Curtis

    Jan 4, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    I just pre-ordered the head with the Matrix 7M3 shaft and I can’t wait. I’d prefer plain white or black, but the graphics don’t bother me at all,

  61. john

    Jan 4, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    how can you buy based on all lofts built in? any loft change will change face angle. the sole plate may “change face angle” but wont change loft if you actually believe in it. so if you want this driver, which they say comes 10* and is already open 2*.. which in reality makes it like an 8.7* driver, you then have to shut the face down from what it comes as to get up to 10* when itll say youre playing something more? very confusing. Ill buy a 9.5 razr fit xtreme with very simple adjustablity and great stock shaft options

    • Mark63

      Jan 12, 2013 at 7:26 pm

      Not sure where your getting your info from!? With the loft set at 10deg it is in fact 10deg, not 8.7 like you are suggesting! Although the face will be open slightly as standard- all the tour drivers I’ve measured sit between 1.5 and 3.25 open as standard across all manufacturers. But it’s only you making it confusing!
      Go buy your Callaway, I’ve never come across one that matches up to ball speed of a TM in recent years, so as long as your happy being a few yards behind….

  62. Joe Smo

    Jan 4, 2013 at 11:34 am

    Who the hell is keith Partridge?! Don’t care enough to Google. You people need to relax! As with anything in the marketplace, you don’t have to buy it. But if the white driver tells us anything is that acceptant just needs time. Then it will be the norm. TM knows what it’s doing and you guys don’t… They make Millions and all you guys have is your two cents. Again TM knows what they are doing.
    Finally one driver with all the lofts build in. I am buying based on that alone…

    • Jason

      Jan 6, 2013 at 12:03 pm

      Think someone said.. Finally.. One driver with all the lofts built in… Think we saw pics and release dates for the Amp Cell way before the R1… So….. Not finally… I would say… At least they got the technology right….at least.

    • steven

      Jan 9, 2013 at 9:04 am

      Go spend your money. TM makes millions by making YOU believe YOU need the ability to go from 8* to 12*. I bet the sharks LOVE seeing you show up at the course. #easymoney

  63. deelee

    Jan 4, 2013 at 3:59 am

    They should have stuck with the R11s for another year like Titleist did with the 910. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, the need to come out with a new driver every year yields drivers like this……fugly graphics on crown and hideous sole plate and technology can only get you so far. Sole plate is useless if you hover anyways!

    • canuck2099

      Jan 4, 2013 at 2:49 pm

      Exactly, the sole plate is useless if you hover. It’s also pretty much useless unless you have totally flat, greenlike tee decks and your grip is taken after the club has been grounded. The sad thing is that the majority of golfers don’t understand this and I’m pretty sure the TM booklet doesn’t mention it.

      • NG

        Jan 6, 2013 at 3:09 am

        Didn’t realise golf clubs could float before gripping them…

        • canuck2099

          Jan 8, 2013 at 1:18 am

          Good one wiseguy !

          • rod

            Jan 9, 2013 at 4:58 pm

            And Taylormade WINS. You’ve already spoken more about the R1 than you ever would about the Acer Leggera Driver, EVER. If you owned TMAG you’d do the same thing. History has proven all of you very wrong. Wish I could pull up wrx Archives from the 1st R11 with white crown, they’re identical. If you need me I’ll be R1 air mailing all of you whiners!

          • NG

            Jan 10, 2013 at 10:59 pm

            Spot on Rod!!!

      • Mark63

        Jan 12, 2013 at 7:15 pm

        I’m a club fitter from the UK and I can tell you that the sole plate technology certainly works! Sure I’ve fitted guys that hover their driver but I’ve not come across one guy as yet who doesn’t ground the club to grip it. Once it’s grounded and gripped, regardless if they hover the club head the sole plate has taken effect.
        I’m sure there are guys out there who grip it in the air but I haven’t seen one as yet so as far as I’m concerned the sole plate technology works for 99.9% of golfers

        • cg

          Jan 29, 2013 at 8:48 pm

          if you read any leadbetter book, he tells you to grip the club while it is poiting at your belt buckle. I have done it for years. It keeps you from letting the grip get too high in the left hand.

        • blopar

          Feb 11, 2013 at 8:35 am

          dude–you just met somone who grips it in the air–I grip it as I point it down the target line while I am in the Annika “think box”, then float it and waggle ala Nicklaus in the “execute box”. The sole plate technology is for morons who think they can return the club to the position it “appeared to be in” while sitting on the ground before taking a mighty swing at it. Drink some more Kool-aid suckers!!!

    • Taylormade Rep

      Jun 9, 2013 at 4:50 am

      well its not like they didn’t make technology breakthroughs, they moved the CG to create a faster club head. They also made the sweat spot hotter by tweaking with the CG

  64. Ned Kelly

    Jan 4, 2013 at 3:57 am

    It’s something Keith Partridge would use…

  65. Blanco

    Jan 3, 2013 at 11:14 pm

    I started playing golf as TM was coming out with the original SF in white. I bought into it (and got a fairway and a the corza ghost mallet with the big hole in it) but within 3 months, I started to feel like a clown on the course pulling out these flashy-as clubz (with a z); . These are just like white pants, only pimps and pro golfers can pull them off.

  66. Fred

    Jan 3, 2013 at 10:58 pm

    The club looks real nice.. Can’t wait to get one.. Say what you want about looks. It has great features and if I can add more workable options to my game, then that’s a plus.

    • steven

      Jan 9, 2013 at 8:59 am

      10 to 1 says you get rid of it within 2 months of getting it. Unless you’re a club fitter, you probably don’t understand how horrible this ability to ‘adjust’ the club really is.

    • Ryan

      Jan 18, 2013 at 4:55 pm

      Fred, if someone cant break 100 then they have no business with adjusting their club each round… this will make their game even worse unless they they are club fitting experts. Also 98% of golfers do not break 100… this marketing scheme is most likely ruining more golfers games than improving… if im wrong please let me know.

      • Taylormade Rep

        Jun 9, 2013 at 9:40 pm

        im a scratch handicap from blues and im 13, I play the r1 stiff flex matrix ozik x-con 7 shaft, until you try it I wouldn’t trash it

  67. bootscrilla

    Jan 3, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    I love how every single comment is negative…Doesn’t TM listen to what people think about it before it’s made?!?

  68. RC

    Jan 3, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    Modern-day snake oil salesmen

  69. mike

    Jan 3, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    Uggggglllllllllly!!!

    • mike

      Jan 3, 2013 at 8:58 pm

      Correction: “SUPER” Ugggglllllly!!!

      • Taylormade Rep

        Jun 9, 2013 at 4:46 am

        well just ignore it when your looking down, maybe focus on the ball?

        • jeremy

          Jul 27, 2013 at 10:55 am

          damn right!! focus on getting that ball in the fairway instead of what the crown of your driver looks like while shanking your penta into the forrest

  70. xhooper

    Jan 3, 2013 at 8:28 pm

    What’s next? Polka dots?

  71. old school harry

    Jan 3, 2013 at 8:27 pm

    Shouldn’t have to wait very long, there won’t be much of a line. The graphics belong on skis not drivers.

  72. yo!

    Jan 3, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    demo day … here I come
    I’m sure I’ll be standing in line waiting to hit this thing

  73. pinhigh18

    Jan 3, 2013 at 5:40 pm

    I have to side with the negatives on this. I am not a TMag hater and believe me I understand where they are coming from. I think these graphics are over the top, but they are not marketing this to me. When we (general golfing public) see enough of our favorite pros gaming something like; we’ll consider it. Clever marketing (backed by research…they know what they are doing)…keep pushing this stuff and keep putting it in the pros bags and we’ll start to imagine ourselves with it (and upgrading our bags and gloves, etc. to reflect the color scheme).

    • Bill

      Feb 16, 2013 at 2:10 pm

      You are correct on every count, pinhigh. It’s clever marketing. Not my taste. People buy the Toyota Prius, despite giving the Pontiac Aztek a run for the money the in ugliest car ever made department. It has performance that many desire and “the right people” are driving them. It has therefore derived a certain status all it’s own. Just like this club will if it’s any good.

  74. TB

    Jan 3, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    WTF! All the money I have invested in additional sleeves & shafts & now they won ‘t work on this one! TM has lost a great customer.

    • steven

      Jan 9, 2013 at 8:54 am

      Until more people react by dropping a company’s products like you, they(companies) will keep providing us with expensive ‘junk’. I know its not really junk, but can anyone justify the money?

    • Desmond

      Mar 5, 2013 at 5:41 am

      New sleeve?

      Really, OEMs have no obligation to keep the same sleeve, and if they can’t incorporate new tech into the old sleeve, you’ve got to change.

  75. NG

    Jan 3, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    Wow, so much negativity….I love the way this driver looks. This is how golf needs to look and head…golf is just plain boring otherwise…

    • Brandell

      Jan 5, 2013 at 8:19 am

      Just Terrible… The Nike looks way better! Simple red. Racing stripes on a driver! NO WAY! What a joke!

    • Ryan

      Jan 18, 2013 at 4:50 pm

      NG, you obviously love men…

  76. Gazza

    Jan 3, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    LMAO – when will Joe Public the golfer wake up and smell the coffee!!!!!!!!
    This TM club looks awful; will be very expensive and will be obsolete in 6 months. I stopped with the mainstream £300 clubs a year ago and would put my Acer Leggera driver up against any ANY driver out there.
    AND another thing ….what is it with this adjustable nonsense?? I know may friends at my own Club who have been conned with it – as of yet I do not know one of them that adjusts before he goes onto the course to assist his swing of the day. 99% have it neutral END OF.

    For gods sake people, stop buying into this garbage from these rip-off ‘major’ companies.

  77. Jason

    Jan 3, 2013 at 2:30 pm

    5 stars…4.5 stars…5 stars…

    Love or hate em graphics. With ALOT of people chiming in on the hate em side…4.5 for the looks of the driver might be a little high. And I swear I read that ALL of your existing shafts will need a new adaptor … A lot of visual controversy, new adapters for those who don’t like that stock crap they come with… The aldila shafts are all whippy IMO…hate em. So far all of the unknowns that this things brings with it and according to the review…2 extra yards…. 2 more yards… The graphics…spending money for new adapters… And a performance review that makes it seem like NO GAIN in genuine performance over the R11s…. 5 stars…. 4.5 stars….5 stars. Now that’s Kool-aid.

  78. Chris

    Jan 3, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    Fugly, and no decent stock shaft. How cheap can thy get? Ain’t touching this thing….

    • NG

      Jan 3, 2013 at 5:18 pm

      I’m sure they will have plenty of custom options in shafts…

    • Taylormade Rep

      Jun 9, 2013 at 4:44 am

      Well they have over 10 stock shafts you can choose from, they even have the Oban Kiyoshi white shaft. Also hit in a launch monitor and compare it to whatever driver you currently have.

      • Alton

        Oct 10, 2013 at 11:54 am

        Are their custom regular shaft options for the R1 not just the R1 TP

  79. Donal

    Jan 3, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    The new Totra xhlk7 is the one we all are waiting for it has rhythm sensors and pressure sensors in the grip it automatically corrects the path and face angle just before and at impact even the club head speed is increased by 18% in the xhlk8 model this is achieved by using a pure Uranium glass shaft how do you think Europe won the Ryder Cup nudge nudge wink wink go on you know it makes sense treat yourself

  80. yo!

    Jan 3, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    Lots of bells and whistles.

    • Ryan

      Jan 18, 2013 at 4:47 pm

      Agreed, and whats kills me is everyone is complaining about a bad economy and they waste their money on this… I mean a new driver every year or even every other year is excessive for 98% of golfers.

  81. tom

    Jan 3, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    Looks like the golf clubs you’d find at Costco or Walmart. As the American public gets dumber by the year, we will just start seeing more and more of this. Watch the movie Idiocracy if you haven’t already.

  82. dj

    Jan 3, 2013 at 11:16 am

    keep in mind that the consumers are eating this up, so golf companies have no choice but to test the limits each and every cycle. TM tried the white crown last year with a lot of resistance initially – but they sold well and other companies had to follow suit. graphics on the crown is this year’s fashion statement, lights will probably be next year’s…

  83. reggiej

    Jan 3, 2013 at 11:06 am

    oh and I forgot to mention, just like Titleist the new heads can’t be used with “old” shafts because they’ve changed it just enough so people have to buy all new gear. A ball can only go so far so how about using truth in advertising for a change, hell we’re big boy’s (and girl’s) we can handle it. Find an older model of whatever you like and hit well and stay with that one, forget all the hype.

    • canuck2099

      Jan 3, 2013 at 1:12 pm

      The shafts on the Titelist 910 and 913 drivers are interchangeable, just not on the hybrids and fairway woods.

  84. reggiej

    Jan 3, 2013 at 11:03 am

    Good Lord what is wrong with golf companies these days. They’ve ran out of real technology so now they’re conning people with these wild colors and gimmicks. I don’t like the R1 at all. The sole of the club looks like a UFO. And forget the crown. Companies are just re-hashing old technology in hopes of making more money. To me if I don’t like the looks or the sound of a club I won’t own it.

    • Taylormade Rep

      Jun 9, 2013 at 4:42 am

      Actually the crown graphics isn’t the only thing that has changed. Besides the sole plate the CG ( Center of Gravity) is lower and forward, promoting a faster club head and therefore giving you the extra 5-10 yards

  85. Larry

    Jan 3, 2013 at 11:02 am

    How did Bobby Jones ever do it?

    • Double Mocha Man

      Feb 26, 2013 at 9:18 pm

      Bobby Jones would crush this driver!

  86. canuck2099

    Jan 3, 2013 at 10:36 am

    Hmmm…don’t like the look. It looks like it was designed by Tommy Hilfiger in collaboration with Ralph Lauren . I don’t care how good a club feels or how far it hits the ball, i still have to like the look of it.

  87. Trevor

    Jan 3, 2013 at 10:28 am

    What the heck is this? This is by far the ugliest thing I have seen in a long time.

    • Simon

      Jan 3, 2013 at 11:35 am

      You obviously haven’t seen the Nike Covert ? monstrosity that Tiger and Rory are apparently going to play.
      But I do agree this R1 does look like some you would see to a 70’s disco.
      A 1 yard gain over the 11s. Really not worth the embarrassment.

      • Trevor

        Jan 3, 2013 at 12:41 pm

        I’ve seen the Nike Coverts as well, I don’t understand why all this colorful design stuff is being put into the heads; Cobra too. 🙁

      • blake

        Jan 20, 2013 at 2:57 pm

        All you conservative old people should just stop bickering about how you want your clubs to look like they were made in the 30s, and get used to the stylish new golf!

        • Tom

          Jan 24, 2013 at 6:47 pm

          I agree with you on the stylish looks of all the new “woods” my god look at what John Daly and Ricky Fowler wear on the golf course!!

          • Bill

            Feb 16, 2013 at 2:01 pm

            Some young people will like the graphics, most older people and purists won’t. I don’t like the Taylor Made graphic package but the Cobra AMP looks fresh and updated. The TM has an 80’s feel to it (IMO). To each their own. If it puts me long and in the fairway, put Sponge Bob on the crown pointing to the hole,I don’t care. OK, I just lied. I still lean towards classic beauty but I don’t begrudge those that like the latest color splash.

    • tj

      May 20, 2013 at 2:48 pm

      you wife must be on vacation

  88. Square

    Jan 3, 2013 at 6:01 am

    By the way, I like the car….this is not a car.

    • Robert H

      Feb 1, 2013 at 12:19 pm

      I have bought the stage 2rbz. I was getting 7 yards extra than my rbz driver . Both stiff shafts at neutral 9.5
      The R1 is 4 yards shorter than rbz1 on the simulator. The staff in the store who I know we’ll said rbz always further than r1, r11s as the rbz head on club is lighter.
      The hybrid is better than stage 1 on rbz as well..

      • Scott H

        Feb 10, 2013 at 9:50 pm

        Not for me. I am not sure who the “staff in the store” is, but maybe that is the case for your club head speed. If you are a higher spin player, the R1 is longer as is reduces the spin more. I have the stats which shows the R1 longer than the RBZ2. That is why they make multiple versions.

        • Scott

          Feb 20, 2013 at 7:47 pm

          played with the club a little a Sports Authority> the regular flex seems a little to wimpee. Im a 50 year old man and hate to go to stiff any suggestion on someone that has regular in my age bracket.
          Im a 10 handicap at my course

          • Taylormade Rep

            Jun 9, 2013 at 9:41 pm

            go to a golf galaxy to fit you, they have shafts which make it stiffer while staying in the regular flex range.

  89. Square

    Jan 3, 2013 at 6:00 am

    Should have considered the additional graphics and allowing a golfer to customize that at well. Why not use a “skin” technology and allow me to remove the god awful R1 from the rear if I choose. I just can’t look at it.

    • rod

      Jan 9, 2013 at 4:42 pm

      keep your eye on the ball then tough guy.

    • David Haggerty

      Mar 26, 2013 at 8:02 am

      Hi Bill, I was a sceptic like yourself. I used the R11S and wasn’t fussed by the R1, that was until I went for a TaylorMade fitting session with a TaylorMade technician. We compared my R11S to the R1 and once the R1 had been tuned in to my swing I wax hitting it longer and straighter. I gained on average 2mph swing speed, got my ball spin rate to 2938 rpm and gained on average 7 yards more carry. As for the graphics on top, they actually helped with ball alignment and after a few hits you forget all about it.

      Don’t get me wrong, I still love my R11S but this R1 has certainly won me over.

      • Stephen Seibert

        Jul 7, 2013 at 4:33 pm

        How and where do you get a taylormade technician fitting? This is not a cheap club and I don’t want to waste time with the average trained golf fitter. Also, does the R1 style have metal fairway woods to complement the set?

        Thank you for the help!

        Stephen

    • David Haggerty

      Mar 26, 2013 at 8:04 am

      Hi Square,
      You can buy customisable skins online for any driver.

  90. Square

    Jan 3, 2013 at 5:52 am

    Overdone

    • steven

      Jan 9, 2013 at 8:48 am

      Way overdone… agreed

    • bill

      Jan 10, 2013 at 4:18 pm

      My R11s Never Looked Better!

    • Regis

      Feb 6, 2013 at 1:28 pm

      I must say these comments look markedly similar to the shock and outrage expressed when Taylor Made first introduced the original R-11. Same being said with loft and lie adjustability.Now look at the market. TM is clearly the market trend setter and their products perform

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Driver Reviews

Review: Ping’s G400 and G400 LST Drivers

Published

on

I still remember the first time I hit Ping’s G30 driver. It was July 2014, and I was at Ping’s HQ in Phoenix. Super low-spin drivers were all the rage at the time. With their forward center of gravity, they were helping golfers optimize their launch conditions beyond their wildest dreams: crazy high launch, ridiculously low spin. Many in the business, including myself, had one of these drivers and spent many launch monitor sessions trying to figure out how to get more distance from these high knuckleballs. The bad news was that forward-CG drivers, by nature, were really unforgiving. Bad shots were really short and crooked.

Before I knew the G30 was a big deal, Marty Jertson, Ping’s Director of Product Development, explained to me his vision for the perfect driver inside a conference room at Ping Headquarters. In his eyes, the perfect driver didn’t have the low, forward center of gravity (CG) that was being touted at the time. Its CG was located as low and as rearward in the driver head as possible, which he said would offer the best of both worlds: optimized launch conditions on good shots, as well as the best possible forgiveness on bad shots.

Building the perfect driver was a long way off (and still is), but Jertson was excited where Ping had landed with the G30. When it was released, the driver was a powerful testament to his vision. Its rear-CG design created great distance on good and bad shots, and it was also a very straight driver. The G30 sold incredibly well and, as a result, the industry mostly shifted away from forward-CG drivers.

It’s been nearly three years since the release of the G30, and Ping has just made another counterintuitive driver release. The company shrunk the size of its new G400 drivers in a climate where full-size drivers have become the norm. Granted, it’s only 15 cubic centimeters smaller, but it’s noticeable at address. Compared to the Ping G drivers they replace (which replaced the G30), the G400’s look like they cut carbs.

Despite their slimmer frames, however, the G400 drivers are actually more forgiving than the G drivers (which were even more forgiving than the G30). That’s why Ping representatives say smaller is actually better in the G400’s case. The drivers have the lowest, most rearward CG of any Ping drivers ever, and their smaller size is said to improve their aerodynamics so golfers can swing them fractionally faster. The other big change is a new face material made of T9S+ titanium, which is thinner and more flexible to help golfers generate more ball speed.

Ping_G400_LST_2

For this review, I wanted to put the G400 and G400 LST to the test against the G and the G LST drivers that they replace, so I took them to the Launch Pad at Carl’s Golfland in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. I hit five shots with each driver on Trackman IV, and to ensure as much of an apples-to-apples comparison as possible, I tested each driver head with the same shaft. Each driver head was adjusted to the same loft, or as close as possible.

Note: The G, G LST, and G400 drivers I tested were 10.5-degree heads adjusted to 9.5 degrees. The G400 LST had a loft of 10 degrees, and it was adjusted to 9.4 degrees.

The Test

PingG400_2017

In my personal driver tests, I don’t usually see a huge uptick in distance or accuracy when comparing the latest drivers to the most recent models from the same manufacturer. Improvements generally come in the form of improved head shaping, a better feel, or enhanced adjustability. That’s why I was surprised to see such a big change in my launch conditions and dispersion with the G400 drivers.

G400 Test Results: With the G400, I launched my drives an average of 1.6-degrees higher than I did with the G while dropping spin an average of 416 rpm. That led to a significant improvement in distance. With my swing speed and ball speed staying about the same, I added an average of 7.2 yards more carry distance and 8.7 yards more total distance.

G400 LST Test Results: First, a note about the G400 LST. It has a CG that’s slightly lower and more forward than the standard G400 driver to help golfers reduce spin. Like the G30 LST and G LST, it’s still very much a rear-CG driver, but its design helps high-speed golfers who can consistently find the center of the club face maximize distance without highjacking forgiveness. When I test Ping drivers, the LST is generally the model that creates the best performance, and the G400 LST was no exception. I saw an average of a 1.2-degree higher launch angle with all other things staying about the same when I compared it to the G LST. The result was an average of 6.6 yards more carry distance and 3.1 yards more total distance. It was the longest and straightest driver I hit in the test.

Note: Ping also sells a G400 SFT (Straight Flight Technology) driver, which has added draw bias. To learn more about it, click through to tech story on the G400, G400 LST and G400 SFT drivers. 

Dispersion

G400_Dispertion

One way to explain the improved launch conditions is that I hit the G400 drivers more consistently. As you can see in the Trackman dispersion chart, I hit the G400 and G400 LST drivers straighter on average than the G and G LST. Is that its slightly enhanced forgiveness shining through? Maybe, maybe not.

To me, the changes Ping made to the look and feel of the driver were just as important as the performance difference I saw on Trackman. I’ve always preferred smaller driver heads, or at least 460-cubic-centimeter drivers that appear smaller than their size. For that reason, I felt more confident with the G400 drivers in my hands. I didn’t mind that I didn’t see any added swing speed or ball speed from the smaller driver head. I was sold on the looks alone.

I also preferred the sound of the G400 drivers to the G drivers. There was definitely much more of a “thwack” than a “ping” at impact, which made the G400’s feel more powerful. Looks and feel are subjective, of course, but to me the improvement was night and day. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that my fondness for the looks and feel of the G400 was at least a contributing factor to my improved performance in the test, if not the most important factor. When I like the way a club look at address, I tend to hit it better, and I know I’m not alone.

I do want readers to keep in mind that this was a one-person test and I hit a limited amount of balls. Yes, it’s a great indication that the G400 driver can be measurably better than a G driver, but it’s not a guarantee.

I also want to address the weaknesses of the G400 drivers. While they’re few, they could push golfers into another driver model in a fitting. Unlike Callaway’s GBB EpicTaylorMade’s M1 or Titleist’s 917 drivers, the G400’s don’t have CG adjustability. That means there’s no way to fine tune ball flight outside of a shaft or loft adjustment. A bigger deal for some golfers might be the G400 crowns. Despite their smaller size, there’s still a lot to look at address, as was the case with the G drivers.

Ping_G400_LST_4

Aerodynamic features on the front of the crowns, “Turbulators,” have been thickened for the G400 release. There’s also Ping’s “DragonFly Technology,” a geometry on the back of the driver crowns that helps push CG lower and more rearward in the driver heads. I personally think the G400 crowns give the drivers an old-school, muscle car-like look, but there’s no question they won’t fly with all golfers.

Whatever your thoughts about what’s on top of the G400 drivers, there’s no question that what’s under the hood can offer something the G and G30 drivers did not. Maybe you’ll like the smaller head. Maybe you’ll prefer the quieter sound. Maybe the improved forgiveness will show up on a launch monitor or on the course. Or maybe you’ll just flat out rip a G400 farther and straighter down the middle like I did.

If that last bit happens, try not to second-guess it.

Your Reaction?
  • 512
  • LEGIT60
  • WOW32
  • LOL11
  • IDHT7
  • FLOP19
  • OB10
  • SHANK47

Continue Reading

Driver Reviews

Members Choice: The Best Driver of 2017

Published

on

What determines the best driver on the market; is it the opinion of professional club fitters, professional golfers or testing results from a group of amateurs?

At GolfWRX, we believe all three sources can lead golfers to an answer. Being a website founded by passionate golfers with a mission to serve passionate golfers, though, we place a special emphasis on the opinions of our GolfWRX Members — the most knowledgeable group of golfers on the planet. No other group of golfers in the world tests golf clubs as frequently or as extensively as GolfWRX Members. So who better to poll to get an initial indication of the best performing drivers so far in 2017?

So we asked them, “What’s the best driver of 2017?” They voted for the three drivers they felt most worthy of the title and provided feedback about their selections in our special forum thread. You can see the results below (as of the first three weeks of voting), as well as quotes we pulled from GolfWRX Members about the drivers from our forum.

Remember that our polls will remain open for voting throughout the year, and we’re going to keep an eye on the percentages as more and more golfers have an opportunity to test these drivers. We’re also working on another Best Driver list, which will evaluate clubs in another important way. Stay tuned!

Keep in mind that there’s no single driver on the market that is the absolute best option for every golfer: that’s why nearly every manufacturer makes at least two different models. As this list indicates, however, some drivers are working better than others this year. Happy Testing!

Note: Forum posts were minimally edited for grammar, style, spelling and clarity.

Cobra King LTD Black (3.00 percent of votes)

3f7f45629f386b15ed7bbbaa529e0826

  • The General: All-black LTD is really clean looking. I’m about to cover up the orange on my LTD with lead tape. Orange is played out
  • mh7vwLove my LTD, but wish the black finish (or even this gray) didn’t have that subtle checkering you see in some like. Prefer plain black.
  • dbleagI am a fan of the black/orange combo. The performance and sound of the LTD is very appealing to me. I also like that the standard length is 45 inches. For me, that helps it be super-accurate. With the low-spin design, I hit it longest of the current offerings and can’t remember the last time I missed a fairway. Straight, solid, low spin and nice.
Further Reading

Mizuno JPX-900 (3.20 percent)

Mizuno_JPX_900_Driver

  • johnnythundersJPX goes straight. Best real-deal shaft and is long and very adjustable.
  • KT35That blue head looks awesome sitting on the ground. I hit balls off the toe and heel and didn’t see the big drop off in distance like the previous models.
  • nmortonThe JPX-900 is definitely more forgiving compared to the JPX-850, and sounds much better. Though they did sacrifice a bit by going with a little larger profile, but it’s easy to get used to. The graphics are so so, but this driver performs. I’m really digging the Evo II (shaft).
  • jay65I can see that Mizuno is really making a decent effort with its drivers/fairways in terms of tech and aesthetics, and they compliment the new JPX-900 line of irons really well, but if they’re going to make any inroads they really have to address this issue of their custom shafts options. It’s rubbish.
  • bok006The JPX-900, after being properly adjusted by the fitter, gave me an extra 20 yards just like that. My swing speed suggested I was borderline S to X (flex), but the fitter said unless I was fighting a hook I should stick with the S.
  • bubbagump: …the JPX-900, when properly fit, is just as long on a consistent basis than all the new models I tried in real life situations. It looks great, sounds solid and just knows the way to keep the ball in play.  
  • ChazbI’m 69 years old, have a swing speed of 91 mph and played nine with the JPX-900 this morning. It was in the 40s with a brisk wind hit it around 220 to 230 yards. It was a fairway finder, has great feel and is one of the easiest to control drivers I have ever hit. I can’t wait ’til it is warmer and can dial it in more. So far I have the two weights all the way forward for a lower flight and the other set with a draw bias with 10.5 degrees of loft. This driver is the real deal; it may not be the longest or the shortest, but it is a fairway finder which IMO makes it a winner.
Further Reading

Ping G (3.80 percent)

7adaa1412b79ca8c7cc5a0b788f55058

  • Wesquire: Ping G is the most forgiving so it wins.
  • bopper53: Ping G hands down. Great distance and the most forgiving.
  • Dannydubbbs: The Ping G series is just too forgiving. The distance is comparable between most models, but Ping always seems to win out with forgiveness.
  • Bruin BearThe Ping G is going to be overlooked because it’s looked at as “game improvement,” but this driver is a beast. I liked the LS, but it requires a faster swing to get results and in the cold outdoors I just don’t have that all the time. I think the G is the perfect blend of performance and forgiveness.
  • cmrl1986Only reason I switched from the Ping G25 was that the G felt less harsh off the face. Same distance just about.
Further Reading

Cobra King F7+ (3.90 percent)

cec33621c8ab9450c778e79b3b280da1

  • EntourageLife: Ball really flies off face. Driver head controls spin well. Not one drive “ballooned” and trajectory was high and best of all… very easy to work ball right to left for a confident draw.
  • GollieThe F7+ is another great offering from Cobra… I didn’t get the “MAN, this is gonna take my LTD out of the bag” feeling, but it has very good sound, feel and performance.
  • J13F7+ is a great offering from Cobra and IMO is in the top-3 drivers this year. Epic is the standout for me numbers wise, then M series and F7+ are right behind it. Love the Agera (shaft) in there!!! Such a great shaft; I can’t seem to get mine out of the bag.
  • Golfer from MOHit both Cobras lefty and as a lefty the LTD is the shizzle. Last year it was the LTD and Big Bertha down to the absolute wire… the F7+ is more workable than the LTD, but not longer and a little worse on mishits.
  • BoognishI took a few swings with the F7+ at Golf Galaxy yesterday. 9.5 degrees with heaviest weight forward. The stock shaft is actually the same model I play in my GBB (albeit in smoked black instead of yellow). Ball flight and distance were similar to my GBB with good consistent sub-3000 backspin. Sound was OK, feel was harder than the GBB.
  • thechief16Just from the range (no LM), I didn’t see a noticeable performance improvement with the F7+ over the original King LTD. And I like the look and sound/feel of the LTD better.
Further Reading

Ping G LS Tec (4.90 percent)

463210496f8e1487a5ff2fdcf38109a1

  • drvrwdgeI played the G LS with the Ping Tour 65X (shaft) tipped an inch for about a year. Just put the HZRDUS Yellow 75 6.5 tipped an inch and never thought it was possible, but it’s longer and straighter. Best driver shaft combo I’ve ever hit. You can feel that HZRDUS throughout the entire swing. Really gives you a solid connected feel.
  • Mtngolfer1: I am not sure that I would consider this a 2017 Driver, but my vote went to the Ping G LS Tec. The fact that my G is still holding its own against the latest 2017 releases has me very excited to see what Ping will release later this year.
  • 3woodvt: Fairway finder and plenty long.
  • pitchinwedgeI’ve found the LS to be nearly as fade biased as the M family. I get pretty good results with the LS by making a conscious effort to make more of an in-to-out swing. Any lapse in concentration and everything goes right. The M’s require even more effort, which is the reason I stayed with the LS instead.
  • 3 Jack ParAfter an up and down year with the G LS, I’ve actually recently gone back to my G30 LS head. I only have a couple of rounds as a sample so far, so I can’t really draw a conclusion about whether one or the other is better, but with the same shaft it seems like my G30 head might be a little longer. Honestly, the performance differences are pretty minimal if you really compare the two generations.
Further Reading

Titleist 917D3 (5.30 percent)

f5830abf21efeb00cab7cbe4329a9972

  • GavaThe 917D3 is in my bag now, and I’ve found it incredibly long with a recently purchased Graphite Design Tour AD MJ 7TX shaft. Feel and accuracy has been a real improvement as well.
  • Togatown22I find my 917D3 to be just as forgiving as my 915D2 was, and man do I prefer looking down at the head shape and color versus the 915. Very confidence inspiring.
  • NIxhex524I would definitely give the D3 a whirl. I feel like Titleist has made great strides at making the smaller head way more hittable for us ams.
  • KPH808So in conclusion, I was hitting the ball about 9 yards further on average and 3-4 mph faster ball speeds with the 917D3 vs. the 915 D4. The biggest thing for me was the forgiveness between the two; the 917D3 was more forgiving on mishits.
  • brushieThe 917D3 head feels soft like the 910 and sounds great. I never had an issue with the 915 sound; it wasn’t great, but it didn’t bother me too much. This is much better, though. The 917D3 head shape is perfect to my eye as well. The area where the 917 shines is forgiveness. 

Further Reading

TaylorMade M1 440 (5.35 percent)

TaylorMade_M1_440_Feat

  • Tigermatt31: The M1 440 is best driver I’ve had ever.
  • TollBros: The M1 440 is definitely lower spin than the M1 460 or M2 from last year. Launch angle isn’t really any lower, but spin is lower for sure.
  • specimania: This year’s 440 is more forgiving.
  • MCozYes, this 440 is more forgiving, and yet it also appears to be more workable than both of the previous M1 and M2s.
  • nitramTo save you a bunch of reading and crunching numbers, I quickly concluded there was a little more forgiveness and exactly +0.4 mph ball speed with the 440. By forgiveness I simply mean this: A 1.48 smash 440 will give you the same ball speed and distance as a 1.49/1.50 430. But if you get a 1.50 from both there is no measurable gain. Side-to-side dispersion was better by 4.7 feet with the 440. Workability was a wash between them, although the 430 seems a bit more fade biased whereas I’ll describe the 440 as a scosche more neutral.
  • tj24: I hit the M1 440 with my Aldila RIP at an 80-gram X-flex. For me, the spin numbers were around 1700 rpm which is probably to low for my swing. I did, however, like the shape of the head and I felt like I could easily work the ball both ways.
  • halfsumoI really think they nailed it with the shape of this 440 head. Nice pear shape, no weird bulges or ridges that you have to get used to.
Further Reading

Titleist 917D2 (6.65 percent)

4edf1bce10b81caa57e8ccc4079bd3fd

  • tsletten: Love the sound of the 917D2.
  • bladehunter: No doubt the 917D2 is an accurate, forgiving driver that doesn’t look as big as it is and sounds fantastic.
  • JStangMaybe it’s just me, but I find the face to be more shallow (top to bottom) with the 917D2 than other drivers that I’ve tried lately.
  • LuckyLowbrowI was actually spinning it too low with the D4. Going up to the D2 normalized my spin rate, but led to such an improvement in consistency across the face.

Further Reading

TaylorMade M1 460 2017 (11.81 percent)

TaylorMade_M1_460-Feat

  • Ereim: I ended up going with the M1 460. It gave me a slightly tighter dispersion, and I liked looking down at it slightly more.
  • jdenham15: The 2017 TaylorMade M1 is a great driver, but I tend to miss wide right and struggled to turn it over.
  • ZBigStick: The M1 460 gave me the best results. Was able to increase launch without much added spin with the (T-Track) weight. Feel is good and felt forgiving; dispersion results backing that up.
  • BillMurrayGolfingThe face is hot, receptive, thin and makes a nice sound. I like that.
  • JStangSound and feel were both fantastic. I couldn’t ask for much more in the sound and feel department than what this club offers. Plenty of feedback was provided based on impact as I would expect. I could easily tell where I missed based on feel.
  • tnordJust as another tester found, moving the weight back and forward absolutely does impact how the club sounds. I’m much more a fan of the weight back.
  • chickenpotpieMoving the slider to the draw position made the feel of the driver a little harsher. Feel was much much smoother with that weight in the middle. I didn’t see any such changes with the front/rear slider.
Further Reading

TaylorMade M2 2017 (11.86 percent)

M2_Speed_Pocket

  • ZBigStickI liked the feel of the new M2 but seemed to get better results and numbers with the new M1. Could be the extra 5 grams of head weight?
    It was dynamite with the GD TP-6 (shaft)!
  • erock9174On Trackman it didn’t put up the most ball speed, but counting all shots the M2 had the longest average distance.
  • gripandripThe M2 seems to have a little bit of a fade bias for me. And the head is HUGE. Maybe it’s a mental thing to be able to turnover a head that large.
  • Bomber_11M2 has very big shoes to fill, as the 2016 M2 was arguably one of the best drivers of the last 3-4 years.
  • LONG&STR8It’s hard to ignore the sound of the new M2. That may be TaylorMade’s biggest fail with that driver, as the sound and feel was one of the best things about the first version that I’ll have in the bag until something better comes along.
  • Z1ggy16The new M2 was terrible for me, not sure why. Unsure if it was the shaft I used but it spun up like a monster and ball speeds weren’t any better than previous M2.
  • Peanut191I don’t really think that the new M2 was much of a step backward, probably more that it doesn’t seem like a big step forward compared to last year’s model. I was hitting my 2016 M2 against a 2017 M2 indoors (which usually amplifies the louder, more obnoxious sound) and I didn’t notice that much of a difference in sound. It could have been that I might have just happened to get a hold of a head that was more muted than normal with the new one, but I just didn’t notice much difference. Performance wise, I could tell that the 2017 was slightly more forgiving than the 2016 model, but I was basically getting the same ball speed and spin numbers, so I didn’t see the need to upgrade.
  • gioguy21: Played 54 holes this weekend. The M2 was as reliable as it could get. I hit 11/12 fairways Friday, 10/12 Saturday and 5/9 or so yesterday (windy). Controllable, just wants to go straight. The sound no longer bothers me. I think it’s when hitting indoors or in range bays that it gets unbearably loud. Makes a different sound when hit on the screws I’ve found, similar to last years M2/M1 with less high-pitched ring. The forgiveness is very obvious, as I hit a couple that were close to center of the face but either high or little out toward the toe that flew similar trajectory and distance to how a well struck shot would react. I think where this driver really shines is the ability to either tee it high and hit it with higher trajectory or the ability to hit it lower with a low tee (3/4 of the ball under the crown) and hit laser beams that don’t move left or right.
  • G-BoneFrom what I’ve seen on Trackman, 2017 M1 was a big jump from 2016; however, 2016 M2 was so good, 2017 is a minor jump.
Further Reading

Callaway GBB Epic (14.91 percent)

GBB_Epic_Hero

  • HDTVMAN: I hit both the Callaway Big Bertha Fusion and Epic with a 44.5-inch UST Recoil F3 shaft and the results were very close. From customer testing, it appears the Epic is longer for those with higher (95+) swing speeds. I have also seen that 44.25-44.5-inch lengths promote tighter dispersion with customers, no loss of distance and better over-all drives.
  • mbbrewer: Tried them all and for me Epic was the one. Fastest ball speed, lowest spin and tightest dispersion.
  • Ereim: Epic felt great, looked great and the numbers were basically 99.9 percent optimized for my swing.
  • johnnylongballz72There is Epic and there is the M series… then there is everyone else. The votes here show it, the PGA Tour use shows it and launch monitors everywhere show it.
  • misplacedtexan83: GBB Epic/Sub Zero pushed the envelop in design and materials to produce increased ball speed and gains. For once a driver did what a company said it would do.
Further Reading

Callaway GBB Epic Sub Zero (16.91 percent)

GBB_Epic_Sub_Zero_Hero

  • jdenham15: I tested the Epic Sub Zero and Epic against my 2016 TaylorMade M1 and the ball speed was 5 mph higher on average, which gave me about 10 yards more carry disstance. That was great, but the part that sold me was the forgiveness. I love my Epic Sub Zero. I feel like it’s easier to turn over and I can work it both ways.
  • Z1ggy16Sub Zero was hands down the best, including my gaming M1 (yeah, not even top-3) due to the combination of lower spin, good forgiveness and feel and looks.
  • jimhaire: I had a 2016 M2 and went with the Epic Sub Zero. The look at address suited my eye and the feel off the face was better for me. And the club went straight.
  • Sef: I have tested a lot of these drivers and for me the Epic Sub Zero was so much better than everything else. I wish I could just apply all three votes to it.
Further Reading

Members Choice 2017

Your Reaction?
  • 581
  • LEGIT81
  • WOW33
  • LOL29
  • IDHT13
  • FLOP35
  • OB27
  • SHANK225

Continue Reading

Driver Reviews

GolfWRX Members Gain 7 Yards on Average with 2017 TaylorMade M1, M2 Drivers

Published

on

5 GolfWRX Members
Gamer vs. 2017 TaylorMade m1/m2 Drivers
+7.01 Yards Distance Gained on Average
-615 RPM Spin reduction on Average

What can the new 2017 TaylorMade M1 and M2 drivers do for your game?

Five GolfWRX Members found out last week when they pitted their drivers against TaylorMade’s latest models at The Kingdom, the custom-fitting facility at TaylorMade’s headquarters in Carlsbad, Calif.

The event was the first of #TaylorMadeTuesdays, a series of TaylorMade-sponsored events that are exclusive to GolfWRX Members. The five members received Trackman 4 fittings for their drivers, which were built immediately afterward so that they could test the clubs the next day at Aviara Golf Club, home course of the LPGA Tour’s Kia Classic.

12_things_TaylorMade_2017_M1_M2_drivers-1021x580

Our editorial team was present to observe and document the fittings, where they saw the five GolfWRX Members add an average of +7.01 yards to their drives with a new TaylorMade driver. Key to the success of TaylorMade’s 2017 M1 and M2 drivers was their ability to remove excess spin from the drives of each GolfWRX Member (-615 rpm on average). As a result, each player was hitting longer drives on their best shots, while achieving a straighter ball flight that was less affected by wind.

Every GolfWRX Member gained yardage with a new TaylorMade driver; the largest distance gain was an impressive +10.1 yards, while the smallest was a very respectable +4.8 yards.

TMDrivers2017_groupshort

Our testers were better players, but they covered a range of handicaps (+1 to 7.1) and swing speeds (95 to 117.5 mph) within the better-player category. Learn more about the five GolfWRX Members, their new drivers and their experiences in our individual recaps below.

Andrew Harveson (drewtaylor21)

Andrew_WRX_Aviara-4864

  • Distance Gained: 4.8 yards
  • Handicap: +1
  • Swing Speed: 117.5 mph

New Driver: M2 D-Type (9.5 degrees, set to 9 degrees)
Shaft: UST Mamiya Elements Prototype PT6F5 (65X)

Old Driver: TaylorMade SLDR (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: UST Mamiya ProForce VTS 6X Silver

Andrew Harveson brought a TaylorMade SLDR (10.5 degrees) driver with him to his fitting, which was already optimized for his game. He fits into a group of golfers who are often hard pressed to see distance gains from new clubs. The former college golfer, now 34, has an ability to consistently contact drives in the center of the club face. He also has an upward angle of attack with his driver (+3 degrees on average) that helps him maximize the distance of his drives.

Nonetheless, TaylorMade’s fitters helped Andrew find an average of +4.8 yards with a new TaylorMade driver, but it took some experimentation and outside-the-box thinking.

TMDrivers2017_andrew

Andrew’s SLDR driver was set to a neutral loft and lie setting, but to combat his tendency to hit shots that slid to the right his SLDR’s front weight track was shifted to the max draw setting. According to TaylorMade fitter Jason Werner, the SLDR is a more draw-biased driver company’s current M1 460, M1 440 and M2 models. After seeing the ball fade too much with those drivers, Jason had Andrew try the company’s M2 D-Type driver (9.5 degrees), which is designed with more draw bias to help golfers eliminate excessive left-to-right curvature.

Andrew’s Dispersion Chart

Andrew_Harveson_Dispersion

Andrew achieved slightly more left bias with the 2017 M2 D-Type, which was what he wanted for his tee game.

The M2 D-Type gave Andrew the confidence to play his preferred cut shot off the tee without fear that it would drift into the right rough. Actually, it created a bit too much draw bias for him, which is why the loft setting was lowered 1-click to 9 degrees. The change helped him lower his spin rate -553 rpm on average, while also opening the club face slightly to take the left side out of play.

“While the averages don’t really look better with the D-Type compared to SLDR, I had a few mishits in the D-Type grouping that, if removed, would have shown a more accurate picture of the results,” Andrew wrote in the forums.

The last piece of the puzzle for Andrew’s fitting was finding the correct shaft. He tried several low-launching shafts that proved to have too little torque for his swing, exacerbating his rightward miss. He ended up seeing the best performance from his gamer shaft, UST Mamiya’s ProForce VTS Silver 6X, which has a mid-torque design. TaylorMade’s Tour Department also provided him with a similar alternative that they thought he might like, UST’s Elements Prototype PT6F5 (65X), which proved to be a winner on the course the next day.

“[TaylorMade] gave me the newer [better] UST Elements Chrome Platinum Prototype PT6F5!” he wrote. “Supposed to be a very similar profile to the [Aldila] Rogue [Silver] 125. I was a bit anxious to see if it would hold up as the right fit, but after just a couple swings on the range at Aviara, I was convinced! It’s a bomber.”

With the M2 D-Type, Andrew’s good shots got better. His peak ball speed went from 175 mph with his SLDR to 178 with the M2 D-Type, enhancing his distance potential. He was also seeing a lower ball height from the new driver — his peak height was reduced from 135 feet to 122 feet — that he “really liked.”

“It was a bit amusing though, everyone at [TaylorMade] seemed shocked that I got put into the D-Type,” he wrote.

You wouldn’t expect the fastest swinger and most accomplished player in the group to be a fit for TaylorMade’s most draw-biased driver, as the model is generally reserved for slower swingers. As a traveling +1 handicap, however, Andrew’s needs were very specific and met perfectly by the 2017 M2 D-Type.

In Their Own Words: See what Andrew said about his experience

Brian Ussery (BCULAW)

Brian_WRX_Aviara-4252

  • Distance Gained: 5.5 yards
  • Handicap: 6
  • Swing Speed: 106 mph

New Driver: TaylorMade M1 460 (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD-DI 6X

Old Driver: Titleist 915D2 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Rogue Black 60S

Brian Ussery arrived at The Kingdom with a Titleist 915D2 (9.5 degrees) driver that he knew wasn’t right for him. The 43-year-old was aware of the fact that his low-launching, high-spinning drives were costing him distance, but he wasn’t sure how to improve.

As it goes in a lot of fittings, Brian didn’t swing as well as he wanted to at The Kingdom, but his outlook on the game of golf allowed the fitting to be a success. “Golf is my therapy and my chance to find peace, quiet, time away and fun,” he wrote in the forum. Spending time with the former minor league baseball player who’s now a lawyer, his commitment to improving his game was immediately apparent. On this day, getting better required patience with his swing and an open mind to the recommendations of his fitters. He was up to the task, and in the end he was rewarded with a new solution for his tee game.

TMDrivers2017_brian

The TaylorMade fitters started Brian with an M2 D-Type (9.5 degrees) driver, but he struggled to hit it high enough to be effective. He found much more success with an M1 460 that had more loft (10.5 degrees). Excessive spin was still an issue, however, especially with the added loft, but the M1 460 had a solution. By sliding the driver’s Back Track weight all the way to the front of the driver, he achieved a lower-spinning trajectory that not only allowed him to hit straighter drives but achieve more roll-out, too. It helped negate his negative angle of attack of -4.5 degrees, which was the main culprit for his low-launching, high-spinning trajectory.

It was at this point in the fitting that Brian had to make a decision. Did he want to continue to chase more distance or did he want a driver that would help him hit more fairways? With his busy work and family schedule, he’s only able to play nine holes of golf per week. That made the choice obvious; he was going to target consistency.

The TaylorMade fitters recommended Brian try a shorter driver. His 915D2 measured 45.25 inches on TaylorMade’s ruler, and he was advised to try a driver that measured 44.75 inches. With the shorter driver his consistency was immediately improved, and it was time to dial in the right shaft.

Brian’s Dispersion Chart

Brian_Ussery_Dispersion

Brian hit most of his shots with Fujikura’s Pro Tour Spec 73X shaft, which produced good results, but in the end he made the decision to go with Graphite Design’s Tour AD-DI 6X. It provided the stiffness he needed for straighter drives, but offered a smoother feel (Note: since Brian hit limited shots with the AD-DI 6X, the data displayed in the chart above shows his performance with the Fujikura shaft). His fitter, Jason Werner, supported his shaft decision. And as Brian put it: “Based on my on-course play … it would seem he is pretty spot on.”

With the M1 460, Brian saw an additional 5.5 yards of total distance over his gamer, but more important to him was the increased accuracy. Even at a higher loft, he was able to reduce his spin rate an average of -744 rpm. So now when his drives hit the fairway, they will keep rolling. And Brian expects to be hitting a lot more fairways.

In Their Own Words: See what Brian said about his experience

Chris Scheeweiss (Schnee)

Chris_WRX_Aviara-4802

  • Distance Gained: 10.1 yards
  • Handicap: 3
  • Swing Speed: 112 mph

New Driver: TaylorMade M1 460 (8.5 degrees, set to 10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Black 65 (6.0 flex)

Old Driver: TaylorMade SLDR (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Tour Blue 75TX

Chris Scheeweiss was the biggest gainer of the five GolfWRX Members, finding +10.1 yards on average when compared to the TaylorMade SLDR (10.5 degrees) driver he brought with him to the Kingdom.

Key to Chris’ success, a 3-handicap with ample club head speed (112 mph), was reducing the spin caused by his big miss, which was high and to the right. While that isn’t Chris’ typical miss, it’s what showed up at the Kingdom. TaylorMade’s M1 460 proved that he could handle that miss, as well as any other miss he might encounter on his journey to improve his game thanks to its wide-ranging adjustability features.

TMDrivers2017_chris

During the fitting, the M1 460 scrubbed -627 rpm of spin off Chris’ drives. To do so, TaylorMade Fitter Jason Werner gave Chris a 8.5-degree M1 460, but he increased the loft of the driver to 10.5 degrees, maximizing the full range of TaylorMade’s 4-degree Loft Sleeve. Adding two degrees of loft closed the club face, which helped eliminate Chris’ slice spin.

Jason made the adjustment without telling Chris, however, and he was glad when Chris said he didn’t notice the change at address.

The reason Chris didn’t notice the more closed club face? The crowns of TaylorMade’s 2017 drivers are engineered to look as square as possible at address regardless of what setting is used due to their cleverly designed black-and-white graphics. Chris had recently been fit at a local club fitter for a 2017 M2 driver (10.5 degrees), but this setup was “much better than the combo I was previously fit for,” Chris wrote in the forum.

Finding the right shaft was a faster process that Chris expected. Project X’s HZRDUS Black 65 (6.0 flex) offered him the lower trajectory and added stability he needed to hit his best drives.

Chris’ Dispersion Chart

Chris_Scheeweiss_Dispersion

“Jason … didn’t think we had to go much further,” Chris wrote in the forum. “I wasn’t completely sold on the combo, but I deferred to his knowledge. It wasn’t that I didn’t trust the combo itself, it’s that I wasn’t hitting ANYTHING all that well, so I didn’t know how it would perform on course when my swing was better. I’m glad I trusted him, because it was AMAZING on course.”

As Chris works to eliminate the right tendency in his swing, Jason recommended that he try lowering the loft of the driver, which will open to face to reduce left bias. They agreed that at some point in the future Chris may be able to return to the 8.5-degree loft setting, which could net him even more distance. And if he needs more spin to optimize his launch conditions at that point, he can gradually slide the Back Track’s weight rearward to achieve it.

In Their Own Words: See what Chris said about his experience

Darrin Sloan (DNice26)

Darren_WRX_Aviara-4675

  • Distance Gained: 7.1 yards
  • Handicap: 1
  • Swing Speed: 110 mph

New Driver: TaylorMade M2 (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Yellow 65 (6.0 flex)

Old Driver: Ping G (10.5)
Shaft: UST Mamiya ProForce AvixCore 69 Red (Tour-S flex)

Darrin Sloan, 36, knew exactly what he wanted from a new driver. He arrived at his fitting with a Ping G (10.5 degrees) that was giving him the height he wanted, but he was looking for a straighter ball flight.

The 1-handicap, former college golfer started his fitting with a TaylorMade M2 (10.5 degrees) with a Project X HZRDUS Black 65 (6.0 flex), a combo that significantly lowered his launch angle and spin rate. While it was giving him more distance, the ball flight was too low for his needs despite his 110 mph swing speed and average angle of attack of +2 degrees.

TMDrivers2017_darrin

Darrin told TaylorMade Fitter Jason Werner he needed a higher ball flight to cut the corners of the doglegs at his home course, where he plays 95 percent of his golf. So the two starting experimenting with different heads and different shafts in search of a more familiar trajectory, as well as more distance.

He actually preferred liked the look and the feel of TaylorMade’s M1 460 driver, but there was no denying the performance of the M2. It offered him nearly +4 mph of ball speed on average over his gamer, an incredible improvement.

Once the M2 (10.5 degrees) was linked up with a Project X HZRDUS Yellow 65 (6.0 flex) shaft, it was clear Darrin had a winner. The counter-balanced shaft helped him launch his drives higher, giving him the trajectory he needed to tackle his home course. It also helped him eliminate his miss to the right and easily execute his preferred right-to-left ball flight.

In terms of distance, Darrin was also able to sightly increase his carry distance (+0.6 yards) while significantly increasing his roll out (+6.5 yards). His total yardage gain with the new driver was +7.1 yards.

Darren’s Dispersion Chart

Darren_Sloan_Dispersion

The takeaway for GolfWRXers is that TaylorMade’s new M2 driver can offer more ball speed than the company’s M1 driver for certain players. And if you’re struggling with either a ball flight that’s too low or a rightward miss, a counter-balanced shaft like Project X’s HZRDUS Yellow can help.

In Their Own Words: See what Darrin said about his experience

George Cellette (GC70)

George_WRX_Aviara-4360

  • Distance Gained: 7.6 yards
  • Handicap: 7.1
  • Swing Speed: 95 mph

New Driver: TaylorMade M1 460 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD-BB 6S

Old Driver: Callaway XR (9 degrees)
Shaft: Fujkura Speeder Evolution 565 (S-Flex)

Like a diesel engine, George needed some time to warm up during his fitting. But once he did, he began pounding drives down the left center of The Kingdom’s range.

At first, it looked as though George might post a ridiculous distance gain with a TaylorMade M1 460. He increased his distance more than 30 yards over the Callaway XR ’16 he hit at the beginning of the fitting. As he and TaylorMade Fitter Jason Werner dialed in the loft, shaft and CG setting, however, Jason noticed that George’s swing speed had jumped nearly 10 mph from 85 mph to 95 mph since he first started hitting balls. He asked George to retest his Callaway to make sure that the final data would reflect a fair comparison of his old and new drivers.

TMDrivers2017_george

The result was a smaller average distance gain with his new TaylorMade, but still an impressive one.

George first tested TaylorMade’s M1 460 with 8.5 degrees of loft, but because George was fighting a slice he closed the face to 10.5 degrees to create a left bias. As George loosened up, however, his slice turned into a gentle fade. For that reason, he switched George from the 8.5-degree head to a 9.5-degree head in a neutral setting.

While George’s warmed-up swing was the biggest contributor to the improved trajectory, a new shaft and weight setting also helped. At first Jason gave George a Project X HZRDUS Black 65 (6.0 flex) shaft, a low-launch shaft with ample stability to help him reduce spin. It would have been a good combo, but George wanted to test a few more shafts to see if there was more distance available to him. The winning shaft ended up being Graphite Design’s Tour AD-BB 6S, which gave George an even lower-spinning trajectory.

The adjustable weight settings of the M1 460 further optimized George’s ball flight. Since he already had enough height on his drives, Jason was able to slide the M1 460’s Back Track weight all the way forward to decrease spin. He also slid the driver’s Front Track weight all the way to the heel to maximize draw bias. The two changes had George hitting high-launching, low-spinning bombs that barely had any curvature.

George’s Dispersion Chart

George_Cellette_Dispersion

When all was said and done, George was able to scrub an incredible -908 rpm of spin off his drives. And along with his straighter trajectory, he walked away with +7.6 yards of added distance.

In Their Own Words: See what George said about his experience

Your Reaction?
  • 115
  • LEGIT20
  • WOW12
  • LOL8
  • IDHT1
  • FLOP6
  • OB5
  • SHANK161

Continue Reading

19th Hole

Trending