Gearhead

Golf equipment discussion and reviews with a focus on drivers, irons, hybrids, wedges, putters, balls, shoes, and apparel.

TaylorMade Hits Market with R11

TaylorMade has announced its new R11 driver, priced at $449 CDN. Here’s the scoop:

Now TaylorMade is proud to introduce the R11 driver — the next revolution in golf club adjustability. “By incorporating our new Adjustable Sole Plate (ASP) Technology, along with our proven Flight Control Technology and Movable Weight Technology, into a single clubhead, the R11 gives golfers the ability to adjust their driver to fit their individual needs with even greater precision,” said Dr. Benoit Vincent, TaylorMade’s chief technology officer.
The Introduction of Adjustable Sole Plate (ASP) Technology
When you change the clubhead’s loft using FCT, you’re also forced to change the face angle – increase loft and the face angle closes; decrease loft and the face angle opens. Adjustable Sole Plate solves that problem by allowing you to adjust the face angle independently of the loft, which is controlled by FCT.
The ASP sole plate provides ±2° of face angle change (neutral/square, 2° open, 2° closed). You can create three lofts with the same face angle, or you can further accentuate a face angle or counter a negative face angle. Plus, the combination of ASP and FCT effectively doubles the range of face angle for the club for ±2° to ±4°.
Three Dimensions to Distance (3-D): Combining ASP, FCT, and MWT
Altogether, the combination of ASP, FCT and MWT gives golfers 48 ways to set up the clubhead to promotes up to 100 yards of side-to-side trajectory adjustment, the most of any driver in existence. Combining full FCT and MWT settings promotes a launch-condition range of 2° launch angle and 1,000 RPM.
The FCT system is extremely sleek and streamlined, resulting in less mass and a lower clubhead CG location compared to hosel adjustability systems in competitive drivers.
The R11 includes two weight cartridges weighing 10-grams and 1-gram. To create a neutral bias, install the heavy (10-gram) weight in the toe, for a draw bias, put the heavy weight in the heel. If a more neutral setting is desired, 4 and 6-gram weights are available separately.
Players who prefer a specific face angle setting can bias the weights to adjust trajectory independent of the ASP setting. For instance, a player may prefer an open face angle at address while also desiring a draw-bias performance. With the R11 driver, the player can open the face using ASP and put the heavy weight in the heel, resulting in an open face but a draw-bias weighting.
Understanding 3-D: Three Simple Steps to Fitting an R11 Driver
Metalwoods with TaylorMade’s ASP, FCT and MWT will revolutionize the clubfitting process and promote superior performance. Properly fitting an R11 driver takes three simple steps:
1. (FCT) Select desired loft by setting the FCT, choosing either Neutral, 1º higher loft, or 1º lower loft (or one of the intermediate positions ±0.5º). When you change the loft, the face angle will be modified. A higher loft equates creates a closed face angle, while a lower loft creates an open face angle.
2. (ASP) Rest the club in the address position and decide if you want to change the face angle. If the club looks too closed, adjust the ASP to square or open the face. If the club looks too open, adjust the ASP square or close the face. If the face angle look just right, no need to adjust the ASP.
3. (MWT) Adjust the weights as necessary to achieve the desired trajectory bias. The ball directional tendency goes towards the side that the heavy weight is placed. For example, move the 10-gram to the heel side to create more draw bias.
Modern-Classical Clubhead Shape with White Crown, Black PVD Clubface for Optimum Contrast for Alignment The R11 driver is designed with a new, modern-classical clubhead shape intended to suit the eye of better players, while still providing forgiveness and confidence for average players. The shape is more contemporary appearance than traditional drivers, and slightly triangular to create a modern yet classical address silhouette. The triangular shape creates more inertia and a deeper back CG position for greater stability and forgiveness.
At 440cc, the R11 appears slightly (2%) larger due to its white crown color. Most golfers recognize address size relative to the size of the ball as a key confidence builder.
The white crown color and black PVD face provides optimum contrast against the ground to make the R11 easier to aim. This advantage is even more pronounced in lower light, such as when the tee box is in shade or shadow, on overcast days or when the sun is low in the morning and in the evening. The crown color also eliminates high-intensity “hot spots” caused by reflected sunlight that afflicts gloss-finish metalwoods.
Extensive Tour Feedback Influences Design, Shaft Properties
The R11 was designed with significant feedback from tour players and the unification of three major driver technologies, including ASP, has been extremely well-received; we expect it to be the No. 1 model very quickly after introduction on the PGA Tour. And, like all TaylorMade drivers, it features Inverted Cone Technology for higher ball speed on off-center hits.
 
Click above to watch Tour introduction of R11 driver
The R11 measures 45.75″ and is equipped standard with a Fujikura Blur 60-gram shaft, which features a medium-firm tip profile. The Fujikura Blur features a large weave material in the outer diameters of the layup to provide more stability at impact. As a result, this shaft specification delivers more distance and control without the harsh feel associated with some firmer-tip shafts.
Availability and Pricing
Two versions of the driver — R11 and R11 TP — are to be offered to suit a wide range of players. The R11 driver is available in two lofts right-handed – 9°, 10.5° – and two lofts left-handed – 9.5° and 10.5°. The standard R11 comes in four shaft flexes – X, S, R, M. In addition to the Fujikura Blur TP, the R11 TP comes with the option of 19 additional shaft choices
Availability begins on February 4, 2010 at a street price of $449 CAD for the R11 and $549 CAD for the R11 TP.
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