Saturday, June 1, 2013

Taylor Made R11s review - How good is the Taylormade R11s driver?

For many years I played golf with the same driver. As a matter of fact. In over 24 years of golf I only changed my driver 4 times! So it is clear, that I pick a club and then work with it.
In 2012, after using a Mac Tac driver for 7 years and successfully so, I decided take my game to a new level. For that I needed to change to new technology equipment.
After ready and researching about adjustable drivers I did get a custom fitting at a performance center and then bought what I think is one of the best drivers made.
The r11s Taylormade driver.

There was several reason why I picked this specific club.

1. The looks

I really liked the looks from the beginning. The white clubhead top being my favorite feature. Also the side view ( which is only visible when looking at it on the video or in the bag). Last the club head size. Since it is smaller, it reminded me on my older drivers and the shame was nice and round. Nice to look at.

2. Setting options

Incredible options. 9.5 to 11.5 degree. Neutral, closed, closed+, open and open + club face setting and weight distribution. All that gives you lots of options to get the driver dialed  for your swing and in some cases for a course layout.

3. Reputation, referral

What I read about this driver was pretty much all positive.

My original order was for a stiff RIP shaft by Fujikura.
It took about 2 weeks to get it in the mail directly from Taylormade.

A great looking driver with all the settings on neutral. After checking the club for damage and if the correct shaft was installed, I read the little manual book which came with it to learn how to set the club to the settings we determined at my fitting session.

Using the tool which came with the club, it took me less then 5 minutes to get the club set to the right dial and I was ready to go.

When  going to the range to try it out all my expectations were lived up to by this piece of equipment. Looking at it felt great, feeling it was perfect and my drives actually improved the day I started working with it. It was exciting to see straight drives again and to feel the ball launch of the club face.

The driver was easy to hit right from the start and it did not seem to change. Best I liked the forgiveness of the club. Even with a bad swing and bad contact, I was able to get this ball somewhere in the right direction.

The shaft did not feel stiff I have to say, but fact is that most shafts are not what they say. I would suggest to go to a pro shop and let them check the shaft for you.

I played for a few weeks and then something happened. I was teeing off at a tournament. Hitting a huge drive, the shaft simply broke in two pieces! I was surprised and not happy. My club head speed is not the fastest. I went to the performance center and told them about it.

I was able to get a new shaft. This time I went with a R ( regular shaft) again from Fujikura. The shaft felt good I must say and I was happy to actually gain some distance with it. Playing another tournament a few weeks after that, I was hitting a drive at a par 5 and  heard a strange noise. Looking at my shaft I saw a scratch, but did not think much of it and kept on playing. It sounded different, but I did not give it any further thought.

But to make sure, I showed to the fitter at yet another tournament and he showed me, that in fact this shaft was cracked as well!. Which made it the second shaft. At the same time I was told, that this shaft might not be replaced by Taylormade for some reasons which I did not understand. So I decided to wait and see. But that is a different review.

I got myself a new shaft, this time from Aldila and am again very happy with my driver. It might be to big of an investment for the beginner or even for a golfer who plays more often. The price tag was 400 $, but you can now get it used for a much better price and even new it is not too bad.

This is a great driver and I will again play it for a long time. This is even easier for me now, because of all the different settings I can get out of it.

Overall , I think it is a great driver especially for golfers who want to take their game to a new level and are willing to put some practice in. After all , the driver does not swing itself. r11s Taylormade gets an overall positive rating from me.

Like: Looks, feel, setting options
Dislike: Price, Fujikura shaft

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