TaylorMade R15 driver review

TaylorMade R15 driver features a new Front Track System with two sliding weights

Andy Roberts's picture
Thu, 13 Nov 2014

GOLFMAGIC received a first look at the brand new TaylorMade R15 driver at Hersham Golf Club in Surrey earlier this week.

Watch our video review above to see what we made of it

The R15 driver's standout features are unquestionably the new Front Track system that brings the revolutionary Speed Pocket to the 'R' franchise for the first ever time, as well as two new sliding weights to fine-tune and dial in ball flight.

The new double sliding weights (12.5g each; 25g total), as opposed to the one 20g sliding weight used on the SLDR drivers of the past 12 months, present the golfer with every possible ball flight imaginable at the touch of a wrench. Simply place both weights in the heel for a draw, toe for a fade, centre for maximum distance or split for maximum stability.

In terms of the crown's appearance, testing out in the white version (also available in black), it reminds me very much of a larger R11 from several years ago with its all-white appearance and simple, yet neat alignment aid.

The majority of Tour players will adopt the white version, while a smaller 430cc option is available for those who favour something a little more compact.

First Look: TaylorMade R15 family

The sound at impact is better than any TaylorMade driver I've tested before with a real hearty sound on centre hits. It also offers terrific levels of feedback on off-centre hits.

The standard options are also superb because this driver comes with an easy-to-control Speeder Evolution 57 shaft and very comfortable Lamkin UTx grip.

In terms of performance, the R15 driver is a beast. I've been using the former SLDR driver for the past year because it offered me the best combination of distance and accuracy, but that was before the R15 came along.

Placing both weights in the toe to ensure I was getting my desired fade and to hide my one bad 'pull' to the left, I received plenty of accuracy and decent distance gains when pitting it up against my fitted SLDR and using Trackman.

I enjoyed a 4-yard gain in carry and 6-yard gain in total distance. Nothing monstrous but gains nevertheless, and all with an unfitted driver shaft. Spin was also down by 150 RPM and launch was a tad higher.

My numbers during testing were as follows: average carry distance 243 yards, average total distance 274 yards, spin 2700 RPM, launch 14.1-degree and ball speed 148.6 mph.

There's no question the biggest distance gains came when placing both weights in the centre of the Front Track System, but I found offline dispersion wasn't as tight. Splitting the weights provided a very stable ball flight but distance wasn't quite as long, and given my bad shot is a pull, I was never going to be favouring the weights in the heel.

One slight niggle was that a small amount of debris was getting stuck into the Front Track system on several drives. It wasn't permanently getting jammed in there as I was able to remove it by simply sliding the weights around to flick it out, but it was a small hassle. 

Verdict

If my first hits with the new TaylorMade R15 driver are anything to go by then this has the potential to become one of my favourite ever drivers.

The R15 driver ticks all the boxes from start to finish with its lovely, large, appealing white crown to look down on at address, innovative new Front Track system with the Speed Pocket that expands the sweet spot and reduces spin, as well as the new double sliding weights that take control of trajectory to the next level.

Not the cheapest driver in the world at £369 when it flies onto the shelves on January 9, 2015, but it's not as if you'll ever have to walk back to the shop with this one. You can 'tinker' all day, every day.

Without doubt, one of the longest and most consistently solid drivers I've tested ahead of the new season and I can assure you if you can stomach the price tag, you are unlikely to be disappointed.

Click here for our TaylorMade AeroBurner driver review

 

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