Touted as the most "tune-able" driver in golf, the R11S Driver from Taylormade Golf is the company's most technologically advanced driver to date. This all-white beast features a USGA maximum 460cc club head, a 1.5 degree Flight Control Technology (FCT) sleeve, and a new 5-way Adjustable Sole Plate (ASP) which allows the golfer to find their optimum address set-up. A few weeks back, thanks to our friends over at Taylormade Golf we were able to test and review this monster for ourselves.
Before we jump into review mode, here's a few close-ups of the 2012 R11S to get you juices flowin'...
Design: (9 out of 10) There is a buffet of adjustable drivers to choose from these days, but none of them provide as much fine tuning as the R11S. The movable weighting, flight control technology, and adjustable sole plate are integrated seamlessly and from what our testing would indicate, all work as advertised. From a purely cosmetic aspect, this club is HOT, white hot! And it's not all in vein either. There's actually science backing up the R11S white paint job, which states that it's white finish in-fact promotes focus and concentration when standing over the ball. We could explain this in great detail, but wouldn't you rather hear it from a German engineer? We thought so. Danka!
Feel: (9 out of 10) This driver feels excellent straight out of the box! And with a little fine tuning, believe it or not... it gets even better! The paint job for some can take some getting use to, but overall it's a we loved it and felt very confident with this driver in our hands.
Tuning: (10 out of 10) We've tested several adjustable drivers in the past, and they all pretty much have the same standard settings (open, closed, neutral) the R11S has that, and much more to offer. The adjustable sole plate allowed us to open or close the the club head up to 3 degrees in either direction. For some of the participants of our testing session, this setting was crucial, and often with all 3 degrees the sole plate offers being utilized. Beyond the sole plate you can also adjust the heel and toe weighting of the R11S. The rear of the driver is fitted with two small adjustable weights one weighing 10-grams and one weighing 1-gram. Proper placement of these weights in our testing sessions with the R11S proved change trajectory and even straighten drives. The final adjustment opportunity Taylormade has jammed into this driver is the flight control technology, which can adjust the clubs launch angle and spin rate. When tuning the R11S we suggest you actually start with the flight control, tweak the sole plate, and then finish with adjusting the rear weighting if necessary. If you take your time and dial each of these tuning options you realize exactly what we did... this driver is awesome!
Distance: (10 out of 10) After fully tuning the R11S to my ideal specs I personally gained 18 yards on average from it's stock settings. On average I also gained 13 yards when compared driving distances with similar drivers. The R11S is no joke, it's crazy long and will leave your playing partners scratching their heads. As my fishing buddies would say "she's a keeper!"
Accuracy: (9 out of 10) This is where Taylormade's patented adjustability comes in handy. If you commonly play a draw or fade and would like to hit the ball straighter with out having to spend hundreds on lessons, you can! Keep your same swing and begin adjusting the R11S settings. From our experience this driver is extremely accurate when tweaked just right. Though if you don't decide to spend the time dialing it in, the results aren't always pretty.
Value: (8.5 out of 10) At nearly $400, the R11S is one of the most expensive drivers on the market today. If you can find it on-sale somewhere we say buy it! It comes packed with a lot of Taylormade patented technology, so yes the value is there, but for the average weekend hacker the retail price could be a smack in the wallet and a little hard to explain to the old lady!
The Bottom Line: This driver was produced with serious distance and tuning in mind. If you're a golfer who either struggles with distance or keeping the ball in the fairway, we suggest you give the R11S from Taylormade Golf some serious consideration when upgrading your driver. It's exceptional tune-ability makes it the ideal driver for all swing types, and with a little fine tuning you should be hitting the ball on target more often... one of the main goals of golf after all. As always, we suggest you get this club in your hands yourself before taking the plunge and purchasing it. Get over to your local pro shop or sporing goods store and give it a test run. Sometimes it's the only way to truly appreciate a product of this high caliber. If you're hyped up on the R11S as much as we are, then you'll want to make sure you check out the embedded video below of Dustin Johnson getting fitted with his very own R11S.
May 7, 2012 5:59 AM | Golf