TaylorMade’s R1 driver gives players lofty expectations

TaylorMade-adidas Golf, which originated adjustable driver technology more than a decade ago, is offering its next generation adjustable driver – the R1 – that will be available Feb. 1 at a suggested retail price of $399.

TaylorMade's new R1 driver

TMaG says the R1 gives the golfer 12 loft-sleeve settings and seven face-angle positions, as well as two movable shot-shape weights. The R1 also allows loft and face angle to be adjusted independently of each other – a critical benefit for a player trying to fit a driver himself. It’s also a nice aid for club fitters helping golfers dial in their correct specs.

The R1’s three adjustability technologies, according to TMaG,  allow it to be tuned 168 different ways to specifically fit a player’s swing to optimize distance and accuracy.

Unlike most drivers, the R1 lacks a loft number stamped on the head, because TMaG says its “Loft-Sleeve Technology” offers a 12-loft sleeve settings to deliver a 4-degree range of lofts, meaning the golfer can play anywhere from an 8-degree driver to a 12-degree driver.

“Offering a wide range of loft settings is imperative, because our research indicates that 80 percent of golfers are playing the wrong loft, which costs them distance,” said Dr. Benoit Vincent, chief technical officer for TMaG.  “The R1 offers 12 positions to help golfers find the loft that delivers the launch conditions that deliver maximum distance.”

Vincent said a low-lofted driver typically costs the average player carry and distance by promoting a too-low launch angle. Changes to driver design during in recent years to promote lower spin (such as moving the CG location lower and forward) has made it possible for many players to switch to a higher loft that promotes more carry and distance by achieving a better combination of high launch/low spin launch conditions.

The R1’s wide range of lofts and face angles, along with its movable shot-shape weights, Vincent said, allow this single driver model to be “tuned to fit” the widest range of players, from Tour pros to high handicaps.


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