TaylorMade R1 Driver Review

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Good afternoon everyone, today we’re going to share with you a review of the much debated TaylorMade R1 Driver.  This new driver got blasted for its appearance by many on the web, but still managed to garner a rather large tour following – is it simply sponsorship dollars t work? In this review we dive a little deeper into the TaylorMade R1 with our independent review.  We hope you enjoy this review of the TaylorMade R1 driver. Let’s get to it.

 Look

Based on research conducted from thousands of club fittings, 80% of golfers are playing the wrong loft on their driver.  TaylorMade introduces the R1 driver, which comes with 12 different loft combinations.  In addition, the R1 allows users to alter loft, face angle and design their shot shape.  The only thing golfers need to worry about is selecting the correct shaft flex (and discovering what actual loft, face angle and weight distribution is actually right for their game).

The appearance of the R1 features an athletic and flashy look.  The black club face, white club head with orange and gray stripe pattern looks sharp and does a nice job of framing the ball at address.  The club features adjustable weights on the heel and toe with the adjustable face angle positioned towards the back of the sole.  The loft sleeve allows for 12 adjustable settings between 8 and 12 degrees.  In my opinion, the appearance of the R1 is one of it’s best qualities.

Performance

The R1 is TaylorMade’s most technologically advanced driver and can be extremely difficult to understand.  TaylorMade designed an app called R1 tuning available for download on smartphones.  The app is extremely easy to use, just enter the current settings, follow the prompts by selecting shot options and the tuning app will recommend settings to achieve the desired results.

I tested the TaylorMade R1 with the stock Aldila RIP Phenom 55 stiff shaft.  In addition, testing utilized a draw bias in the 9.5 degree with the face angle in a neutral, 2 degree open and 2 degree closed position.  In the neutral position, shots were generally a mid ball flight.  Poor shots tended to miss off to the right and good shots resulted in a straight or right to left ball flight.  Altering the face angle produced different trajectories and results.  The closed club face caught my eye as the most attractive setting.  Closing the club face 2 degrees generally resulted in a higher ball flight with a slight draw.  Again, missed shots typically ended up to the right of the target.  Opening the face angle 2 degrees produced the worst and most inconsistent results.  Ball flight was typically low and resulted in several snap hooks.  Even on good hits in any setting, the club felt like it lacked any pop and never produced long or exciting drives.  Overall, I was not very impressed with the results of this big stick.

Feel

The slightly heavier club head and lighter shaft feels fantastic.  The Aldila Rip Phenom shaft weighs 58 grams with 3.4 degrees of torque with a overall swing weight of D4.  Impact produces a dull sound with a hard feel across the club face.  In my opinion, the highlight of the R1 is the weighting options, but the drawback could be the firm feel at impact.  On that note though, I was also able to test the TaylorMade Stage 2 driver and it produced a slightly louder sound at impact a much more desirable softer feel across the club face (we’ll get into that review soon).  So overall, I felt the feeling of this driver left something to be desired.

Value

The idea behind the R1 is outstanding.  Buy one club and make any adjustment necessary to help produce a desirable ball flight.  The R1 will be one of the most popular drivers available for it’s versatility (and the fact that TaylorMade is behind it).  The expensive $399 retail price is in line with other technological advanced drivers.  While I think it is an improvement from the previous R11s, I personally did not get that excited about the performance.  With the expensive price tag and average performance, I would recommend people give some serious consideration before forking out the dough for this driver.

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