It gives the golfer 12 loft-sleeve settings and seven face-angle positions, as well as two movable shot-shape weights. The R1 also allows loft and face angle to be adjusted independently of each other - a critical benefit - while its three adjustability technologies allow it to be tuned 168 different ways to specifically fit a player's swing to optimise distance and accuracy.
Unlike most drivers, R1 lacks a loft number stamped on the head, because its 'Loft-Sleeve Technology' offers a 12-loft sleeve settings to deliver a 4°-range of lofts, meaning the golfer can play anywhere from a 8° to 12° driver.
"The R1 offers 12 positions to help golfers find the loft that delivers the launch conditions that deliver maximum distance."
"Offering a wide range of loft settings is imperative because our research indicates that 80 percent of golfers are playing the wrong loft, which costs them distance," said Dr. Benoit Vincent, Chief Technical Officer. "The R1 offers 12 positions to help golfers find the loft that delivers the launch conditions that deliver maximum distance."
Why are so many golfers playing the wrong loft?
Well, golfers typically choose the wrong loft when they buy off the shelf, usually opting for too little loft because of a long-held belief that a lower-lofted driver will promote long distance. In fact, a low-lofted driver typically costs the average player carry and distance by promoting a too-low launch angle.
Also, changes to driver design in recent years to promote lower spin (such as moving the CG location lower and forward) has made it possible for many players to switch to a higher loft that promotes more carry and distance by achieving a better combination of high launch/low spin launch conditions.
R1's wide range of lofts and face angles, along with its movable shot-shape weights, allow this single driver model to be tuned to fit the widest range of players, from Tour pros to high handicaps.
The R1 has a white, glare-reducing crown colour, and also an eye-catching new orange, black and grey crown graphic that offers two important performance advantages:
Firstly, the R1's crown graphic design helps the golfer to square the face to the ball accurately at address. That's important because golfers can still use the contrast of white crown and black face to align the club face, but studies carried out by TaylorMade have indicated that golfers benefit from the linear reference cues of the R1's new crown graphic to help align the face accurately.
And secondly, the 'V' shape of the preserved white space behind the leading edge provides a frame to position the ball against, helping to heighten focus.
The R1 Driver is equipped with an Aldila RIP Phenom 55-gram shaft, which is ultra-light to promote faster club head speed, yet strategically weighted to deliver the feel of a heavier, 65-gram shaft. The shaft also features Aldila's Hyberbolic Flex Technology to promote optimal launch conditions, ball speed and feel.
The R1 will be available at retail 1st February 2013 for an RRP of £349 (499€) and an RRP of £399 (599€) for the R1 TP.