TaylorMade R11 Driver Review
By mustang6560 on 12/14/11

Ratings Key
10.0 - 9.5   Would Help Tiger
9.4 - 8.5     Awesome
8.4 - 7.5     Very good
7.4 - 6.5     Above Average
6.4 - 4.5     Solid
4.4 - 3.5     Below Average
3.4 - 2.5     Save Your Money
2.4 - 0.0     Pay NOT to own


I know I’m a little late on this one, but it’s better late than never, right?

Anyway, TaylorMade debuted the R11 driver at the 2011 PGA Merchandise Show and it quickly gained popularity among professional and amateur golfers alike. The most distinguishing feature of the R11 (and its sister driver, the Burner Superfast 2.0) is the milky white crown. Sure, TaylorMade was not the first equipment company to offer a white driver, but it’s the first company (to my knowledge) that made it successful.

From TaylorMade:
The more a driver is tuned to you, the farther you'll hit it. With R11's 3D Tuning, you can independently tune loft, face angle and flight path to your swing to maximize your distance. Only R11 is this adjustable. Only R11 gives you this much control over your distance.
The R11 is available in two different lofts (9 and 10.5 degree) and four different flexes (M, R, S and X). TaylorMade sent me 10.5 degree R11 with a stiff shaft.

To learn more about the R11, visit www.taylormadegolf.com.

Like many of TaylorMade’s products, the R11 seemed to polarize the golf world with its white matte finish. You either loved the look of it or you hated it. Not many people I spoke to about the R11 were neutral about it. I am one of those who liked the look of the white crown because I think white is classy and distinguished (I wore a white tuxedo to my senior prom). I will say though, the problem with the white finish is it stains easier. I’m not quite sure how it happened, but I managed to get grass stains on the top of the driver during my testing.

Before the R11, all hosel based adjustable drivers had a fairly significant limitation - you couldn’t adjust the loft without also adjusting the face angle. So TaylorMade added the new Adjustable Sole Plate to the R11 to add a third "dimension of distance". So golfers can now adjust loft, face angle and flight path separately.

I took the R11 to the driving range at Deerfield to test the "3 Dimensions of Distance" (as TaylorMade calls it) to see if I could find the right R11 for me. To start, I hit it without adjusting any of the settings. The first thing I noticed was how easy it was to hit. My first five drives on the range went right down the imaginary gut and the trajectory and ball flight matched my typical shot shape (isn't it funny how the first few shots with any new club are always awesome?). I hit a few more drives and then decided it was time to experiment with the first dimension of distance - loft.

The loft of the R11 is controlled by Flight Control Technology, which is built into the hosel. With FCT, you can increase or decrease loft by one full degree, so you really have three drivers in one (9.5, 10.5 and 11.5 degrees). I used the wrench (it's included) to add one degree of loft because I wanted to see what it would be like to hit an 11.5 degree driver. And the results were what I expected. My trajectory instantly increased well beyond the recommended 45 degrees so I dropped the loft down to 9.5 degrees, which provided the optimal trajectory for me. Now, it's time to adjust the second dimension - face angle.

No matter how hard I try to "work" the ball off the tee, I tend to hit my best drives when I just aim straight so I was pretty excited to see how closing and opening the face angle would affect my drives. As mentioned previously, the face angle is controlled by the Adjustable Sole Plate and it provides two degrees of variation in either direction. I used the wrench again to adjust the face angle and I tried both settings, "Open" and "Closed". If I could pick any shot to play off the tee, I would play a slight draw so I settled on the "Closed" setting.

The third and final dimension of distance is flight path, and it's controlled by the Movable Weight Technology (anyone else notice how TaylorMade brands everything?). MWT consists of two weights, a 1-gram weight and a 10-gram weight, that tunes the center of gravity. With the 1-gram weight in the heel and the 10-gram weight in the toe, the center of gravity moves toward the toe and promotes a neutral ball flight. If you switch the weights around, you'll see a right to left ball flight. To be honest, I switched the weights around a couple of times and didn't notice much difference in my ball flight so I left the setting on neutral.

So after my experiment, I played a practice round with my customized R11. And the results were good. I did find the matte white finish helped to reduce glare off the top of the driver, which is part of the science behind it. I still managed to hit a fade on a few holes even though I closed the club face two degrees. The trouble with adjustable drivers, in my opinion, is people think it's a fix all. If you cup your wrist at the top of your swing and/or have a hitch in your giddyup, you're still going to slice the ball even though you close your face angle and set your ball flight to a draw.

That said, I give the TaylorMade R11 an 8.4 on the patented oobgolf Rating Key. If you like to tinker with your clubs and you have an eye for detail, I think you would enjoy the flexibility of the R11. I really like the fact you can adjust the loft plus or minus one degree and you don't have to worry about subsequently affecting the face angle. You can pick up the R11 at www.golfsmith.com for $299, or you can join Addict or Addict+ and possible win yourself one in the near future!

Learn More About TaylorMade R11

[ comments ]
dottomm says:
I'd like to read Wedge Guys review of this driver.
Banker85 says:
screw this i want the RBZ!
homermania says:
Yeah, why play this when there's RocketBallZ?!
SteveMM says:
Who cares if it's not brand new. I want to win one! Gimme gimme gimme!
Dusty23 says:
Just don't get the fascination with painting everything white, have used TM products in the past, R7, 200 steel FW's, 320 Irons, Great Stuff. But every time I pick up one of these White things (woods & putters) they just don't appeal to me. Just me.
frankteo714 says:
You can actually adjust it 1/2 a degree at a time. You can go as low as 9 and as high as 12 degrees.
sepfeiff says:
I've had mine for a few weeks, love it. It is not as long as my old Nike VR Str8fit but it holds its own on the course. It has a much better sound to me than most drivers, kind of muted.
Panerai111 says:
RocketballZ! RocketballZ!
mjaber says:
When the sole plate is adjusted to "open" or "closed", does it change how you align/address the ball? I always (try to) square the face to the ball at address. How does the "open" or "closed" affect this process?
stedar says:
It's a great gimmick. Have seen quite a few new R11's on courses I've played. What I noticed was when someone used it for the first time, they made great contact and the ball flew a lot further and straighter than they were hitting usually. Then, I noticed the same hook appeared, or fade/slice. Topping the ball happened as well as the odd drop kick. What was it that allowed these same players the ability to hit the ball so well when they first used the club and then seemed to revert back to their old problem - I know, it wasn't the tool, but the user, that made the difference. As a new club in the bag, they tried to make contact with the ball and swing steady. Then they wanted to hit it better and further, that is when the trouble started and the ball went all over the place.

Not one, or two players, but over 1/2 a doz, all with the same issue. Seams to me that the WG is on to something. Better to make solid contact than to try to hit the skin off the golf ball.
couz22 says:
Or would all involved be better served in spending that $300 on a few lessons? ... Na, that's no fun.
tmallgolf says:
The TaylorMade R11 Irons is tuned to perfection. Precision CG placements, ultra-thin faces, a tour sole design and Inverted Cone Technology make R11 our most powerful, playable and refined iron ever.
billy b says:
For a great review on the R11 check out www.golfreviewguy.com/taylormade-r11-s-driver-re
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