TaylorMade R15 v AeroBurner: review

Which of TaylorMade's new drivers for 2015 performs best?

Andy Roberts's picture
Fri, 13 Mar 2015

TaylorMade R15 v AeroBurner: review

TaylorMade R15 and TaylorMade AeroBurner are two of the hottest new drivers in town, but which one really performs best?

Is it the one favoured by Justin RoseJason Day and the "tinkerers" out there (R15), or the one preferred by Dustin Johnson and those "attitude" golfers (AeroBurner)? 

We used launch monitor GC2 with HMT (head measurement technology) to see which of the two big dogs performed best. 

Both drivers were in 10.5 degree loft, with the standard shaft provided in stiff flex, and the moveable weights of the R15 centred.

After warming up, we hit five balls with each club under test conditions.

Distance

When it comes to the driver, most people would agree distance is rather important.

During our test, R15 delivered an average of 252 yards carry and 273 yards total distance, with a best drive of 287 yards, in comparison to AeroBurner's 245 carry, 267 total distance, and best drive of 283

R15 therefore proved the longer of the two drivers by averaging seven yards longer in carry and six yards longer in total distance. 

Accuracy

Using GC2's shot-dispersion graphics, the R15 (white lines) was seen to produce better accuracy than the AeroBurner (blue line).

Of the five drives with R15, the average offline dispersion was two yards off centre (i.e. the big white target line), while the five drives with AeroBurner were averaging 30 yards off centre

The R15, therefore, proved more accurate than the AeroBurner by 28 yards.

Spin

Spin rate is the amount of backspin imparted on the ball at impact, measured in revolutions per minute (RPM).

Less spin is sought with the driver because the objective off the tee is to promote distance and roll. 

The spin rate of a driver generally ranges between 2,000 and 4,000 RPM, and the current PGA Tour driver spin rate average stands at 2686 RPM. 

The clubs were hard to separate in terms of spin rate, with marginally less spin for the R15 at 2547 RPM against AeroBurner's 2569 RPM.

Clubhead and ball speed

AeroBurner generated an additional 0.7 mph of clubhead speed on average at 105.3 mph, but much of that had to do with the lighter shaft. 

R15 pipped it by 0.9 mph when it came to ball speed at 148.3 mph.

Launch angle

Along with ball speed, launch angle is a primary component in determining the height and distance of a shot.

High launch and low spin is the holy grail for maximising distance. The R15 launched at an average of 15.6 degrees and AeroBurner at 14.2 degrees.

By comparison, driver launch angle for PGA Tour players is 11.2 degree.

Looks

Both drivers appeal to the eye in their matte white finish and simple alignment aids in the centre.

The crown of the R15 is reminiscent of the R11 from several years ago, while the AeroBurner presents something different with its rounder toe and raised centre crown.

There are plenty more gadgets on the R15, however, with a new Front Track system and two sliding weights to help fine-tune ball flight.

The AeroBurner takes advantage of a larger "Speed Pocket" and new "aero" hosel to reduce drag during the downswing.

Feel

The R15 provides a hearty "thwack" sound on centre hits and offers terrific levels of feedback on off-centre hits, while the AeroBurner was a little more vociferous. 

The standard Speeder Evolution 57 shaft of the R15 felt much more balanced and easier to control than the AeroBurner's Matrix Speed RUL-Z 50 shaft.  

Conclusion

While both drivers provided us with improved distance, clubhead speed, ball speed and backspin, the R15 proved the more consistent of the two in their standard specs. 

With a correctly fitted shaft in the AeroBurner driver, however, as Dustin Johnson has done with a Fujkura Speeder 661X shaft, things may have been slightly different.

At approximately £100 cheaper than the R15, too, the AeroBurner also represents good value for money.

But if it is all-round performance you are looking for, and are not too fussed about getting custom fitted, the R15 in standard is well worth splashing the cash on.

Now check out our video reviews...

TaylorMade R15 driver
TaylorMade AeroBurner driver

For more information about Foresight Sports GC2, visit www.foresightsports.com