TaylorMade R15 Driver
Price: $429; $499 with TP shafts
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°. Available January 9, 2015.
TaylorMade AeroBurner Driver
Price: $299; $369 with TP shafts
The AeroBurner boasts subtle yet significant aerodynamic upgrades to help you generate faster clubhead speeds off the tee. During the swing, airflow attaches to a fin-like piece along the hosel [see photo, right], while the rounded toe design and curvature of the crown (from topline to peak height) also reduce overall drag. Besides that, the club’s overall weight is sub-300 grams.
Testing conducted by TaylorMade shows that players swing the AeroBurner 1 mph faster than the JetSpeed and SLDR drivers. In addition, the updated “speed pocket” extends the length of the sole, which increases face flexibility on shots struck low on the face and in the heel or toe, and expands the club’s sweetspot by 10 percent compared to the JetSpeed driver.
It’s worth noting that the 460cc AeroBurner has a fixed (glued) hosel. According to company officials, an adjustable loft sleeve in the sole would’ve negatively affected the speed pocket’s performance. Lofts: 9.5°, 10.5°, 12° or HL (17°). Available January 9, 2015.