TaylorMade R1 Driver Review
16 Jan 2013
by Benjamin Larsen of amateurgolf.com
see also: Equipment Reviews
In the last few months TaylorMade has
made some substantial claims.
With the recent success of U.S. Open
champion and the world's No. 2
player Justin Rose, those claims have been
The golf manufacturer said that its most
recent release of irons --- the
RocketBladez (read our
review here) ---
'changed the iron forever.'
And in the case of Rose, who plays
the brand's RocketBladez Tour irons,
they might be right.
With its most recent driver release,
said that 80 percent of golfers are playing
the wrong loft in their driver.
Don't count Rose, who won at Merion Golf Club
with the R1 in his bag,
While the irons claim will undoubtedly take
some time to become fact, the second is
based off of data from TaylorMade's own
That's precisely why TaylorMade designed
its new R1 driver to include more
adjustability than its previous R11S.
The recently launched TaylorMade R1
driver offers golfers a four-degree range
of adjustability. The increased range
allows for for up to 12 different loft
Now, golfers who choose to play the
latest TaylorMade driver have no excuse
for not playing the right loft --- and
improving their game.
There's plenty of buzz surrounding the R1
driver and much of it is concerning the loft
Different from its predecessor --- the
R11S --- the R1 is full of adjustability.
The additional lofts available in the R1 are
because of TaylorMade's new and
improved loft sleeve, which allows for
adjustability in .5-degree increments as
opposed to last year's R11S, which
allowed for incremental adjustments of
1.5 degrees. The end result? More loft
options, meaning golfers can dial down to
the exact loft that best fits their swings.
The decision to add more lofts is two- fold
for TaylorMade. First, the manufacturer
wanted to remedy the 80- percent issue.
More lofts means more chances for
golfers of varying skill levels to get it
right, I suppose. Secondly, the loft
options keep the R1 down to one model.
That one model can be tuned to fit
touring professionals and amateurs,
So, what do all the new loft options do,
exactly? I'm glad you asked.
PERFORMANCE & WEIGHTING
The TaylorMade R1 driver takes the R11S
from a year ago and kicks things up a
notch, according to most reviews online.
The R1 reportedly generates slightly more
ball speed and less spin than its
predecessor. The improvements are
thanks to a lower center of gravity.
According to the
review on GolfWRX.com, the
adjustability options and the improved ---
and 'more forward' --- center of gravity
work hand-in-hand to improve launch
"The added loft settings are extremely
important because of the R1′s lower,
more forward center of gravity, as most
golfers will underestimate the amount of
loft they’ll need for optimal launch
conditions. And the face angle
adjustability is a necessity as well,
because a 1-degree change in loft on the
R1 will result in a 2-degree change in face
The other major enhancement to the new
R1 drivers involve what TaylorMade is
calling 'shot-shaping movable weights'.
The weights are designed to promote
neutral flight or draws.
The driver has a pair of adjustable weight
ports that control the launch bias. The
technology was formerly known as
Movable Weight Technology, but as this
review of TaylorMade's 2013 offerings on
MyGolfSpy.com explains, the driver's
Shot-Shape Technology is the same tech
with a new name: "It’s semantics…nothing
has fundamentally changed, but the new
name better expresses what the
technology is designed to do."
LOOKS & DESIGN
The latest and most opinionated buzz
surrounding the new TaylorMade R1 driver
is over the way the crown looks.
While not necessarily as bold as
TaylorMade's previous decision to move
to white-crowned drivers, the black and
orange racing stripe and alignment decal
sure will generate some eyerolls.
Word is, however, that the R1 wasn't
designed simply as a marketing ploy or to
'pack a punch.' Rather, the decal is
another tool in the golfer's toolbox in the
form of an alignment indicator. A similar
design can also be found on the RBZ
The crown graphics aren't the only
tweaks to Taylor Made's newest driver
model. The face was also made taller
than in the R11S, which gives golfers a
larger face area.