Equipment

ClubTest 2015: TaylorMade R15 Driver

On The Range: TaylorMade R15 Driver
ClubTester Gary Seal talks about one of his favorite drivers at ClubTest 2015, the TaylorMade R15.

TaylorMade R15 Driver

 

Category: Better-Player Drivers
Price: $429
WE TESTED:
9.5° (adjusts 7.5° to 11.5), 10.5° (adjusts 8.5° to 12.5°), 12° (adjusts 10° to 14°), 14° (adjusts 12° to 16°) with Fujikura Speeder 57 Evolution graphite shaft
KEY TECHNOLOGIES: The R15 comes in 460 cc and 430 cc sizes and a choice of black or white.

PROS

 

DISTANCE: One of the longer models tried—plenty of distance, just what you’d expect from a TaylorMade; not uncommon for testers to be longer than with the SLDR driver.
ACCURACY/FORGIVENESS: Among the highest-rated drivers; with two 12.5-gram movable weights at the heel and toe, contact almost anywhere on the clubface gets the ball in the fairway; extremely easy to take a healthy rip and catch the good part of the face.
FEEL: A tester favorite; solid hits are very satisfying; ample feedback lets you know where on the face you missed; almost perfect weighting—can a club feel any better than this?
PLAYABILITY: One of the best TaylorMade drivers to date, and that’s saying something; high-flying, low-spinning drives are the norm; the R15 lets you shape shots as easily as any club; two moveable weights help you to tweak ball flight.
LOOK: Head shape is about as good as it gets; the white head is back and still looks great; TaylorMade knows how to make a driver that looks right at address.

CONS

 

A few testers mention that they actually hit shots too straight—for them, it’s not too easy to curve their balls; one or two guys say it’s not a significant enough improvement over the SLDR.

BOTTOM LINE: With the R15, TaylorMade does it again. One of our top-ranked clubs, it’s long, looks and feels great, and offers plenty of forgiveness and playability.

HOT STIX'S TAKE: Best for players who want to manipulate their ball flight with a relatively low-launch, low-spin, 430 cc clubhead. Face angle adjusts +2°/-2°.Launch - Mid; Spin - Low

BUY THE CLUB: Get your own TaylorMade R15

NEXT REVIEW: Titleist 915D3

Photo:

TaylorMade R15 Driver

MORE INFO ON THE TAYLORMADE R15 DRIVER

From Golf.com, November 13, 2014

Look no further than the R15 driver if you like to tinker with loft and weight. A pair of 12.5-gram sliding weights (25 grams total) in the sole track provides five grams more movable mass than the single 20-gram weight in the current SLDR driver. Shifting weights to the heel and toe will increase the club's overall forgiveness, moving one of the weights to the heel and positioning the other one in the center adds draw bias, and so on.

A new adjustable hosel design enables you to increase or decrease loft by as much as 2° from the stated loft. (The loft sleeve in previous driver models offered +/- 1.5°.) Besides that, the 40-gram sole track is 12 millimeters closer to the leading edge than in the SLDR. This creates a lower, more forward CG. Company testing reveals that a more forward, more flexible track system (it acts like a "speed pocket") produces shots that launch 0.7-degrees higher, spin 100 rpm less, and have a marginally higher peak height than with the SLDR 460. That's even more impressive when you consider the club is nine grams lighter than its predecessor.

The R15 comes in white or black in 460cc or 430cc heads. Lofts: 9.5°, 10.5°, 12° or 14°.

From the February 2015 Issue of Golf Magazine

Tinkerers rejoice. The R15 driver has a pair of 12.5-gram sliding weights in the sole, providing five grams more movable mass than the single 20-gram weight in the current SLDR. Splitting weights between the heel and toe increases the club's forgiveness; moving both weights in the same direction adds shot-shape bias; and placing them both in the middle produces the fastest ball speed. A new adjustable hosel lets players increase or decrease loft by as much as 2°. [The loft sleeve previously offered +/-1.5°.]

 

What's more, the 40-gram sole track is more flexible and 12 millimeters closer to the leading edge than in the SLDR. This creates a lower, more forward CG. Company testing reveals that the new track system—it acts like the "speed pocket" in JetSpeed drivers—produces shots that launch 0.7° higher, spin 100 rpm less, and have a marginally higher peak height than shots hit with the SLDR 460. It's more impressive when you consider that the R15 is nine grams lighter than the SLDR. The R15 comes in white or black and in 460 cc or 430 cc heads. Lofts: 9.5°, 10.5°, 12° or 14°.

Hands On With TaylorMade's New R15 Driver
Look no further than the R15 driver if you like to tinker with loft and weight.

NEXT REVIEW: Titleist 915D3

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