Although we're quite literally on the eve of the official U.S. announcement of the R15, TaylorMade's newest flagship driver, the guys at TaylorMade Japan were kind enough to spill the beans a little early.
The Return of the R-Series
If you've been following along on Social Media you may have noticed TaylorMade engaging in a bit of retro-styled love for the R-series, so it doesn't come as any real surprise that the SLDR fork of TaylorMade's flagship franchise is one and done.
As is plainly obvious (and as many of you already knew), TaylorMade is bringing back the R-Series. It's bringing back white. And if all of that wasn't enough to generate lustful feelings, it's doubling down on the SLiDing weights.
SLDR (and SLDR blue) may be dead, but the signature slider system lives on.
Here's what we know:
Compared to the SLDR, the center of gravity has been pushed more forward (with SLDR the track system for the SLDR was behind the hosel adapter, with R15 it's level with it). The one-weight system has been replaced by two 12.5g weights, which creates 25 grams of total adjustable movement.
TaylorMade has committed to this low/forward thing for at least another year.
Continue to Loft Up, you must.
It also appears that TaylorMade's adapter has been tweaked slightly such that it will now offer 2.0° of oft adjustability (in either direction). Previous (non-R1) adapters offered 1.5° of hosel adjustability. At least that's what I think this graphic is telling us.
Why Two Weights?
There's the obvious part...you know, two is more than one, and certainly gives helps validate what every contention TaylorMade makes that it has done something fundamentally different.
While you can theoretically put the weights anywhere you want, functionally it's a six position system.
- Max Draw
- Max Fade
The Japanese guys made this awesome graphic that gives you the Nell (tree in the wind) version of the configuration options.
Contrary to the most obvious interpretation, moving one weight to fade and the the other to draw does not allow one to dial-up the elusive draw-fade for those double-dog leg holes. Instead, the stability setting appears to be TaylorMade's way of addressing the MOI (or lack there of) issue with SLDR.
The official story from TaylorMade may eventually say otherwise, but it doesn't appear that the gains will be anything substantial, and in a practical sense, may not be worth raising the CG (that's what happens when you slide weight to the perimeter) to justify using the setting.
If MOI is an important consideration for you, R15 will almost certainly NOT be your best option in 2015.
If our translator is right, the R15 460 is being labeled high launch with low spin, while the 430 is mid launch with low spin. Both will be available in TP models.
Our guess is the red ferrule collar won't be part of the US offering (sorry).
Fairways and Hybrids
I'm not going to dig too deep into the fairways and hybrids. Worth a quick mention is that unlike SLDR, the R15 fairway will offer single-weight adjustability.
They hybrids appear to have some sort of slot story to offer, and it's worth mentioning that the shaping of the hybrid (box toe) looks to have its roots in the Adams lineup.