From Golf Magazine ClubTest 2013 (March 2013)
TaylorMade R1 Driver
Category: Game-Improvement Drivers
WE TESTED: 10° with Aldila RIP Phenom graphite shaft
DISTANCE: Adequate or better length for the majority of players; consistent from shot to shot; shines on the course more than on the launch monitor.
ACCURACY/FORGIVENESS: One of the best of the bunch—lots of fairways hit; easy to make solid contact; very good correction on heel or toe hits—mis-hits are seemingly rewarded.
FEEL: Firm sensation with very good stability through the impact zone; muscular feel and good feedback lets you know when you hit it solid.
PLAYABILITY: One of the higher-rated models; testers are able to alter trajectory and shot shape with relative ease; excels on shots into the wind.
LOOK: Large graphics on the crown help many testers with their alignment; pleasing Tour-proven shape and contrast of white crown and black face works well.
To some testers, the crown graphics cross that fine line between innovative and just too busy; a too firm (hard) feel at impact and relatively high-pitched sound isn’t everyone’s favorite.
BOTTOM LINE: One of the top-ranked drivers. Scores very high for playability and forgiveness.
HOT STIX'S TAKE
Launch: Low to mid
Adjustable loft, lie, face angle and weights. Can fit almost every player.
From Golf.com (December 2012)
With last season’s R11S driver, TaylorMade offered golfers a white-crowned club that let them independently change the effective loft, face angle and weight bias. With the new R1, which hits pro shop shelves in February, TaylorMade has ratcheted up nearly every feature of one of the most popular drivers on the PGA Tour.
The R11S had two moveable weights—a 10-gram and a 1-gram—along with a sole plate that allowed golfers to open or close the face angle up to three degrees. The R1 has moveable 10- and 2-gram weight plugs and the face can be set up to 4 degrees open or 4 degrees closed at address. Combined, TaylorMade says that adds up to 120 yards of left-and-right adjustability.
But the biggest difference between the R11S and the R1 is loft adjustability. After studying swing data collected during thousands of club fittings, TaylorMade designers concluded that about 80 percent of golfers use a driver that has the wrong loft, especially golfers who were not custom fit. "When we looked into the numbers, what was really alarming was that 35 percent of the golfers we studied were off by 2 degrees or more," says Sean Toulin, TaylorMade's executive vice president. "The other thing that really surprised us is that people who have adjustable drivers aren't adjusting them."
Every R1 driver comes pre-set at 10 degrees, but TaylorMade hopes to solve the loft problem by allowing you to adjust the R1 down to as little as 8 degrees or up to as much as 12 degrees. A small dial on the hosel allows you to change the loft in half-degree increments.
Because the loft, moveable weights and face angle of the R1 can be changed independently, Toulin says you can experiment with one variable at a time and learn exactly what effect each change has. That kind of tinkering could help you find hidden yards. To increase your overall distance, should you add loft or create a draw bias by moving the 10-gram weight to the toe? With the R1, it’s easy to find out.
With diagonal orange-and-black stripes going from 2 o'clock to 6 o'clock across the crown, the R1 is sportier than previous white-crowned TaylorMade models. The company says the prototype was popular with pros. They still found the R1 easy to align because the leading edge of the crown is still plain white and the face is still black. At address, TaylorMade says, most golfers concentrate so much on the ball and face that they are not distracted by the designs in back.
The R1 driver will come standard with a 55-gram Aldila RIP Phenom shaft and cost about $399.