The crown will divide opinion and it did so among our testers. Four out of the five referenced the Marmite analogy – you’ll either love it or hate it. Despite the look of it, performance was impressive across the board. Graeme hit his two longest drives of the day with the R1 and ended with an average dispersion of just 12 yards.
Three out of the five commented the club felt heavy and that it made them swing it harder; but the face was so forgiving, dispersion was barely affected. Both Joel and James especially noticed how little difference off-centre hits made while Kit was stunned at how hot the ball seemed to come off the face. The R1 is currently Chris’ driver of choice, but he ended up closing the face by a degree to prevent it going right.
Pitting the R11S and the new R1 against each other on our GC2 launch monitor was a real eye-opener. Ball speed remained consistent between the two, but the big difference was the launch angle, distance gains and forgiveness on off-centre hits with the R1.
The average R1 carry was 272 yards compared with the R11S’s 265. The ball curved much less on off-centre hits with the R1. The lowest carry with the R1 was 264 yards and 251 with the R11S. On average the R1 launched 0.4º higher.
Features and benefits of the TaylorMade R1 Driver: