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SPY PICS – 2015 Taylormade R15 Driver

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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

R15-side-by-side

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.

r15-1

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 The one-weight system has been replaced by two 12.5g weights, which creates 25 grams of total adjustable movement.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.

loft-up-japan

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.

2-degrees

 

Why Two Weights?

front-track-system

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.

  • Standard/Neutral/Straight
  • Draw
  • Max Draw
  • Fade
  • Max Fade
  • Stability

The Japanese guys made this awesome graphic that gives you the Nell (tree in the wind) version of the configuration options.

weight-setting-graphic

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.

r15-4

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

R15-fairway-hero

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.

ST271_hero_wide_D3

Full Details Tomorrow

Be sure to come back tomorrow (I don't know...let's 6:30 or so Eastern time) for all of the R15 details.
r15-instgram2

Will the TaylorMade R15 Driver be the #1 Seller of 2015?

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Comments

{ 96 comments… read them below or add one }

FTWPhil November 18, 2014 at 12:18 pm

I love the look of the Burner Superfast 2.0, and they added it to the longest driver of ’13! Hope it feels as good as it looks.

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DS November 17, 2014 at 12:01 pm

At the end of the day you can only generate so much swing speed. If you couple that with an ideal spin rate and the fact that manufacturers reached peak COR numbers years ago, you can likely find a driver/shaft combination that already exists to achieve your maximum driving potential. That being said, golf clubs are consumer products like anything else and people like new and different. Does it make sense from a logical perspective? No, but neither does the fact that I have 38 pairs of shoes, I only really need a few…like 20 something…

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DBS November 14, 2014 at 11:31 am

Ignorance is bliss!!!!! When will the “bells and whistles” stop. This is getting to be a joke.

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Chris Downing November 14, 2014 at 1:28 am

I am amzed that a new club launch causes such a discussion about, “We are getting messed with again, the manufacturers are cheating us, I don’t believe them!” This isba very real crisis of confidence in golfers confidence that the equipment manufacturers are on thier side and offreing up clubs thatdo what they say they will do.

The whole market seems as though it is ready for a new paradym. That may well be in one possible outcome, that players return to an era of custom made clubs where the fitter takes any head and marries it with any shaft to give you the player the best possible driver for your specific requirements. Anotherpossible outcome is layers say to themselves, 3 more yards isn’t the issue, its about my positioning, my short game, my course management skills – Iwon’t invest in new equipment I’ll invest in me – lessons. (I’ll gain mre yardage playing an three year old club but I’ll be a better payer and get more yardage by swinging better.) Lastly, I think some players look at all this new equipment and say, “This game has become too expensive…. I’m done.” Golf loses another player to sailing, or skiing, or horse riding.

Personally I don’t think three yards is a big deal, I think its about the short game. Secondly I have never been into buying new equipment anyway – I think it’s about getting fitted and find the closest match s/h. And lastly, done sailing, done horses, and skiing is 600 miles away – I love golf. I’ll stick with lessons, fitting, second-hand, and ten minutes away.

As someone said earlier in this thread – nobody is making you buy this stuff. Change your buying habits and the market has to change with you – ultimately the customer is in control. The manufacturers are responding to the herd.

Keep repeating this mantra guys …..”We are not victims….we are not victims”

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peter November 13, 2014 at 4:54 pm

hi
over the last threw years I have been watching what all these clud builders do and most of them are just making shit clubs and want the puplic to buy is shit like this new tayloemade to much crap on it I tried the sldr and hated it as it felt like shit and went no where I tried a callaway and they would have to pay me to use one of them more junk no feel sounds like crap we put a 905r against the sldr and the 905r was longer and straighter and the ball felt better coming of the face so it just goes to show you that if you put a good shaft in am old head you will have a better clud as that is what I did with my 970 fairway it goes neally as long as my driver

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Lou November 13, 2014 at 2:57 pm

It’s been talked about and beaten with a dead horse. If the TMags of the world want to keep flooding the market with clubs – let them. I personally don’t care anymore. All it does is devalues their previous clubs to an affordable price for us who can’t afford to buy anything new at full retail.

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smhgolf November 13, 2014 at 1:23 pm

Top of the driver I mean.

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smhgolf November 13, 2014 at 1:22 pm

Do you have a photo of what the top looks like? I want to see what I actually have to look at setting up to the ball

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colin doherty November 13, 2014 at 11:30 am

Lower moi or further forward weighting, Does this mean the ball should be easier to shape?, or why would they move it so far forward? especially as the rest of the industry wont play ball.
What would make this an industry leader or is that the preserve of marketing and not real Benefits to the golfer?
confused of Warwick uk.

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John E November 13, 2014 at 10:13 am

with the advent of this new driver, the angle of the dangle is conversely downward to the
wiggling pin on the wobbling rod!!!

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Andy UK November 13, 2014 at 9:52 am

Very funny to see everyone putting down the R15 before it’s even announced. I wonder if these same people complain then Ford update their new cars for 2015 or Persil change their washing powder after they’ve just bought 2 months supply ? TM are just a golf company trying to sell clubs and they are entitled to bring out as many products as they like, if you don’t like them then don’t buy them.

Personally I have a custom R1 fitted that the TM centre. I didn’t buy SLDR because I was so stunned that White was dropped. Now the R series is back, they are White once more and I’m as happy as Larry.

There will almost certainly be a “no frills” driver coming soon too (the RBZ of 2015) and they may be even more interesting to look at as once I’ve had mine fitted I very rarely change it.

White is back… R series is back. Thankyou TM !

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Gus November 13, 2014 at 8:58 am

My R1 came with 10g toe and 1g heel weight as a standard setting. According to TM manual this setting produces a neutral shot shape as the club head is heel heavy.

I want to know if 1) SLDR or R15 head is neutral or heel bias, and if it’s heel heavy the 2) are the two weights the same weight or different?

Thanks!

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tom S November 13, 2014 at 10:58 am

Gus,
Hit a few shots with them and see.

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michel l November 12, 2014 at 11:21 pm

CAN I JUST GET AN EXTRA BLUE WEIGHT FOR MY SLDR, TAKE OFF THE TOE COVER, AND CALL IT A DAY?

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luv2golf November 12, 2014 at 11:06 pm

I think the new Titleist 915 series will emerge as a contender in 2015. Ping seems to have the market at the moment with the g30. Callaway…. I used to be a fan but, now they are the new Taylormade.

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brent m November 12, 2014 at 10:52 pm

Im so tired of taylormade bringing out new things every other month. I have switched all my clubs from taylormade to ping. A better product that doesnt say they are the best and then under perform and look cheep. So t-made bring out as many clubs as you want and keep loosing golfers to other companies. You may one day relize that your drivers look more like a UFO then a golf driver.

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golfercraig November 13, 2014 at 8:46 am

I got my SLDR in July 2013. This is released at the end of January. This is the SLDR replacement. Yep. Every other month.

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[email protected] November 13, 2014 at 1:38 pm

Hmmmm. Pg.44-This month’s Golf Magazine
PING-TURBULATOR TECHNOLOGY:
THE FUTURE OF FAST
Fueled by patented Turbulator Technology and new face material, the G30 adjustable driver is PING’s longest, most forgiving driver ever. In wind tunnel testing, turbulators are proven….., the G30 is the fastest way to longer more accurate drives.
To paraphrase Val Kilmer in TOMBSTONE “Why Wyatt, your hypocrisy knows no bounds,”

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dick November 12, 2014 at 8:59 pm

I admire capitalism, however this fluff is for dreamers that fit easy in the chair that really fits you, .Nothing that you buy from these people will make you hit the ball any further unless you are playing on fantasy island. Go do some squats or something to actually improve your physical condition. the game is about improving ones self NOT looking for some cheap way to be a “pro” by buying a new piece of junk.

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golfercraig November 13, 2014 at 8:45 am

OK. We get it. All you guys with this message think you have it figured out. Guess what? EVERYONE ALREADY KNOWS THIS. You remind me of the people who couldn’t wait to tell you after seeing the movie “Signs” that “It wasn’t even really about aliens.” Thanks Walter Cronkite. EVERYBODY GETS IT. People buy drivers because they want a new one. Same reason people buy cars and computers. Quit worrying about why,and how, other people spend their money.

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SkipThisAd November 12, 2014 at 7:24 pm

Tonight is Prayers’ nite at our church Wednesday meeting. I will be praying for those of you that are going to waste ,again,$450. in a empty promise or another “Our best driver ever” crap.

Let me help you on some of the phases some of you will say…tomorrow….

– ” OMG !! I love this thing I’m at least 20- 30 yards longer now”.

– ” I have a SLDR that …that…I can’t hit to save my life but this new R15 is longer than all the TM drivers combined”.

– The SLDR was 7 yards longer and this R-15 is 11 yards longer, forget Wawa ,I found my “7/11″.

– ” I was there before they open lol , I’m the 1st guy in …in my county… to get a R-15 lol, I didn’t hit but I got it lol, I can’t wait for the ” R-Sweet 16 ” to come out lol.

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golfercraig November 12, 2014 at 10:05 pm

How very Christian of you to judge strangers. I think Wednesday and Sunday may not be enough trips for the message to sink in.

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DaveMac November 12, 2014 at 7:10 pm

Good to get an advance look at the ‘new’ TM driver. I think a lot of current SLDR players will actually be pleased that the new model seems to offer little over the previous one. Going back to white seems a polarizing choice, it would put me off completely.
I guess it also signals the start of the discounting on the old model, which is good.
2015 looks like a good year in terms of consumer choice as far as drivers are concerned, major negative is the trend in rising prices.
Looking forward to your most wanted test, should be interesting, perhaps a win from one of the underlings (Cobra / Nike) is on the cards.

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William SIMKISS November 12, 2014 at 5:11 pm

Looks great , can’t wait

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Regis November 12, 2014 at 5:10 pm

Different strokes for different folks. I am a slow swinger with good mechanics and I never warmed to either the R11 or R11s. When the SLDR came out I was reluctant to even demo it because I thought it would be too much for my game. Long story short bought the driver, then the fairways and finally the irons. To me they are as forgiving as anything I tried and I am totally satisfied. They give me the feedback I need and I’m comfortable with them and that’s all that really matters I was anxiously waiting to see what the R15 would look like and at the risk of saying “never say never” I don’t see me moving.

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Anonie November 12, 2014 at 5:03 pm

Who are the best reasonably priced independent fitters? I would rather read about that and find someone in my neck of the woods (North NJ) that getting confused by Trackman stats on the internet.

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Simon ACT November 12, 2014 at 4:44 pm

I can’t help but feel that TM ave backed the wrong horse here. I was expecting the R15 to return to a more traditional MOI head, not a LESS MOI one.

Less forgiveness like the SLDR had is a huge no no for the mass market, because most of us have off days and struggle to find the middle of the face. As an example, there is not one person at our club who uses a SLDR driver although plenty have a 3w, and anyone who tried one said it was great on a few occaisions and horrible the rest. They are back with their R1’s or R11’s.

I will be interested see how TM go about marketing this club, to avoid the negative perceptions of those peole who bought a SLDR and found it all but impossible to hit.

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Steve Almo November 12, 2014 at 4:08 pm

Tony…when is your club test 2015?

SA

http://www.geekgolf.com

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eric November 12, 2014 at 3:44 pm

Man that hybrid is awful looking.

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Chris Downing November 12, 2014 at 4:17 pm

I thought t looked just like my Tour TM Rescue.

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Chris Downing November 12, 2014 at 3:10 pm

My son has just done exactly that. Put 20 yards on every club in the bag. Not cheap – new irons with special shafts, new shaft in the 3W, and new head and shaft in the hybrid, new putter – that’s a $1600 bill. But he doesn’t expect to be doing that agin for ten years AND he ups his game with not a single swing change. I reckon he’s taken off four shots from his 3 H/C game in getting those clubs. He also found out that he’d been using almost the worst clubs he could have chosen for his type of swing. He swears he will never ever buy any clubs again without them being fitted.

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Leon November 12, 2014 at 2:57 pm

Serious golfer should go to a qualified fitter (not the golf galaxy, golf smith or dick’s) and find the best head/shaft combination for him. After that, stick with your gear and work on your swing.

Get the “real deal” shaft rather than the $20 stock craps. Real deal shaft is expensive? Yes, it is. But it is much more cheaper than buying a $400 sucker once or twice a year. Plus, you will keep your frustration at a minimum level.

Don’t get your nose pulled by the marketing BS. Educate yourself and enjoy the true happiness of golf.

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John November 12, 2014 at 2:50 pm

Another reason why Taylormade has lost the plot many many years ago, as I said after the R11 they went stupid with releasing a new driver every 6 months,and I don’t give a shit what people say about improvement. Taylormade is copying the Cobra FLY-Z and trying to catch up. Like one post said The G30 is leading the way in everything, Stick now to the 2 Top brands which I believe are the A grade of golf now Ping and Titleist and you will not be sorry you spent your money, Taylormade went downhill, Callaway is copying them and not too far behind, Cobra is neutral, Ping and Titleist release a new club or iron every 2 years.

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Chris C November 12, 2014 at 2:27 pm

TMG, similar to Callaway, appears to have taken a year off from innovation. TMG’s “thing” is SLDR and they’re doubling down. Callaway’s “thing” is a vertical rod and they have opted to expand it’s use. Their new entries seem so very tired compared to Cobra’s and Mizuno’s. I already have a SLDR and currently game a Bertha. I look forward to demoing the new offerings from Cobra ,Mizuno, Srixon and Bridgestone in my search for 2015’s driver Holy Grail.When I find it, I’ll be trading in my Titleist 913 D2 which is currently in the dark of my basement alongside the SLDR and several other latest and greatest talismans.

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Rex November 12, 2014 at 2:24 pm

The “King” is dead…

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scotsman November 12, 2014 at 2:04 pm

golf is a game of confidence
the corporation that produces the club that creates most confidence and self belief
“This club will work wonders for me!”
is the golf manufacturer that will sell most clubs. There is a preponderance of hi -tech babble in the golf industry whereas the reality is golfers buy clubs that emotionally hit their sweet spot. High MOI./Reach for the sky/big blue eyes………. are irrelevant………………it’s all about the club that grabs the golfer by the cojones when they walk into the retail outlet and that is an emotional rather than a rational decision. I read once that there was a psychologist that worked on this , at first I was not sure but …now…I think he may have been right

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brit man November 12, 2014 at 3:17 pm

In the name of business and especially marketing, everything you can think of has been thought of years ago and they have pumped money and man power at these issues like you wouldn’t believe. It’s all about trying to gain even a sliver of competitive advantage. Psychology has been involved in marketing since we knew we our brains thoughts could be shaped in certain ways just by the way things are presented to us.

For instance, you say high MOI is irrelevant in making a purchasing decision. However, in your other reply, you claim to like the stability option. So tell me, which is irrelevant, stability or MOI? Guess what the stability option does? It moves the weights to the outer edge of the club, thus increasing the MOI. They could have called it the MOI setting instead of stability because they are the exact same thing.

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scotsman November 12, 2014 at 1:56 pm

on the other hand………………………..I do like the stability option

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brit man November 12, 2014 at 3:06 pm

How do you know it’s any more noticeably stable with the weights in that position? How do you know it’s any more stable than other drivers, especially with the forward CG. Do you just like it because they say it’s stable?

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TImmy November 12, 2014 at 1:55 pm

Ya know, you could just by an extra after-market weight and add it to the current SLDR and it would be almost the same thing. R15 Black. I’m assuming that will be out by April or so. And then…the R15s by Sept. Predictable to say the least.

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Markb November 12, 2014 at 2:41 pm

I saw a guy who did exactly this. I bought two lower weight aftermarket weights and split them to opposite ends for more stability. He claimed it worked. As for me, I couldn’t get much to work with the SLDR, no matter what I tried.

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Davey November 12, 2014 at 5:30 pm

Except it would be stupidly heavy?! The two weights won’t be double the weight of the SLDR – my guess is they’ll only be a few grams heavier in total 5-10g? They look to have just allowed TM to increase MOI as well as dialing in specific flights for those who need it.

Also, isn’t R15 black coming out at the same time? Although as it’s TaylorMade it will count as two separate drivers … unlike when Cobra bring out the same driver in 5 colours?!

Love the bashing of TM! I’m not their biggest fan, but people start slagging off what they think is the next product before this one’s even come to market … and before anyone says it, didn’t the SLDR first debut in Scotland in 2013? So they won’t have replaced their top driver for like 18 months?! For once, they’ve actually listened to consumers, yet they still get slammed!

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lee November 12, 2014 at 1:48 pm

Hope it is not as heavy as the SLDR. Hit a friends SLDR and had a little trouble
getting my normal straight to baby draw. Played TM up until I hit an XHOT. Had both
on launch monitor with teaching pro/club fitter at course where I work. SLDR 14* A-flex,
XHOT 11.5* A-flex, plus X2HOT A-flex (age 72, 7hdcp). Numbers were similar but
little more carry with XHOT. Ended up with XHOT head, X2HOT tour blue A shaft.
took heads off shafts and weighed heads alone. SLDR gram wieght much heavier than
XHOT. Was a while ago and if I remember the difference was around 20gr. I will stick
with Xhot for a while. Good job

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Paul November 12, 2014 at 1:39 pm

This thing will be a trackman darling just like the SLDR. Hot List will praise it and it will win distance awards. The problem is, for the avg golfer the physics of the driver dont work. Too low of MOI. Im a 12 handicap, not a great player, but not terrible. I hit bombs with the SLDR…. but was so inconsistent with it I abandoned it early in 2014 for an i25.

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scotsman November 12, 2014 at 1:38 pm

Unfortunately, no matter how good the stick, I have discovered that that it is the inadequacies of the idiot holding said stick that are the root of all my problems in golf
No matter how much I spend on a new driver that idiot still manages to utilise it in ways that the designers could never imagine – putting my golf ball in places that even the most sadistic golf course architect would not wish on any player

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Chris Downing November 12, 2014 at 1:35 pm

I play a lot of golf and I play lots of different senior players. I did about 40 competitive games last year. And I have to say that I have never noticed the guys with the new equipment stand out as being longer, more accurate, or indeed the winners. I’m more worried about the guys like me who saw off an inch of their driver and hybrid shafts, reshaft the driver with a non-standard shaft, and use a 30 year old Ping Zing, and no trolley, I carry the bag despite being nearly 68 years old. My stuff mostly isn’t off the rack, its adjusted ‘old school’ for me to play my best.

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markb November 12, 2014 at 1:15 pm

I’m underwhelmed, but it’ll still be the biggest selling and perhaps the longest driver of 2015.

Which leads me to a beef with the MGS Most Wanted Driver test. Next year, when we do the test, can we please include all drivers that were released since the last time the test was done? I’ve noticed that a few off-cycle releases aren’t being included. I’d hate to see the G30 or V series or 815’s get missed since they were released so early, but after the last test like the Optiforces were. Of course, I guess you’re handcuffed to the clubs the mannies send to you and Callaway will have 3 more new drivers by spring.

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Tony Covey November 12, 2014 at 2:00 pm

It’s always tricky to try and include absolutely EVERYTHING especially with golf companies creating an (over)abundance of new drivers. We’re starting to look at our ’15 test and man…

Callaway – 4 models
Nike – 3 models
Cobra – 3 models

My quick point is that we’re at 10 drivers and we’re barely getting started. Sometimes we combine models standard/pro and sometimes we have to drop models (not sure we’ll test FLY-Z XL) to make room for the Geek and Sinister-sized companies.

In the specific case of Optiforce, I suggested it last year, but Callaway chose to exclude it.

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Lou November 13, 2014 at 2:53 pm

@Tony Covey – Maybe then when a new release (in this case R15) comes out, you do the tests with the club it’s replacing (the SLDR). From there, people can make up their mind if it’s worth it or not.

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mygolfspy November 13, 2014 at 2:59 pm

If you did not notice we are actually doing exactly that. Results on Friday 😉

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Lou November 13, 2014 at 3:10 pm

Obviously I didn’t but as they say, great minds think a like lol

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Chris Downing November 12, 2014 at 1:06 pm

Haha Ron. I’m with you. I can still weald a mean G10! I just need a club fitter to look at my swing on TrackMan, choose a club and a shaft for me, and I’ll be all set for the next ten years. All this adjustment is like selling a baseball bat to a player along with a wood plane, a tape measure, and some sandpaper. Its a great baseball bat but here’s the tools you will want to adjust it!! Gees gimmee a break!

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Tom S November 12, 2014 at 1:01 pm

No, the R15 will not be the best selling driver of 2015. The R18 will be, which won’t be released until March (R16 in January). LOL!!!!!

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Rod Fooled November 12, 2014 at 12:56 pm

there should have been the word bought between that’s and all in my comment above. Sorry for the typo.

Thanks:R. Fooled

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RON November 12, 2014 at 12:55 pm

The suckers out there will spill out 400 and buy it.

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RON November 12, 2014 at 12:53 pm

Y A W N OH BROTHER Ive seen everything now Im ready to go to my grave.

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golfercraig November 12, 2014 at 10:01 pm

As opposed to doing that, why don’t you just go somewhere else and complain like the troll you are? I promise you that we are more tired of your idiocy than you are of TM’s release cycle.

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Rod Fooled November 12, 2014 at 12:53 pm

I’m one that’s all of them. This time I’m waiting for one with can opener in the sole.

Thank’s:R. Fooled

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Chris Downing November 12, 2014 at 12:49 pm

Whoa Honcho, hold yer horses – by September next year they might be down to $150. The R15 will have been overtaken by two new models called the R16 and R16Superdooper. Only joking guys I know nothing. But doesn’t it worry you that there’s a thread of credibility about that?.

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Mike Honcho November 12, 2014 at 12:36 pm

I will wait until Sept ’15 and get one off Ebay for $250.

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frank pipolo November 12, 2014 at 1:02 pm

and that right there is the consumer saying enough is enough.

You know would be a good idea? To have these manufacturers come out with a lease program like the cell phone companies now have. Taylor Made NEXT – 20/month for 2yrs you get the new R15 and after a year you can trade it in for the next new version (of course you pay 20/month for the new one). They keep the old driver, sell on ebay (or their outlet store) for $250 and you get a new driver

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Chris Downing November 12, 2014 at 1:23 pm

Brilliant idea. Now who in finance would like to step up and offer that to players?

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Chris Downing November 12, 2014 at 1:27 pm

In fact you might get some club shop pros to underwrite that deal – $20 a month is $240 a year so that’s pretty close to getting the new model every year and you return the old one for them to resell after 12 or 10 months once a year. I know at our club 10% of the membership would sign up for that in a blink.

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Doug Millar November 12, 2014 at 12:17 pm

Distance wins every time, since the SLDR won all the awards last year it will do so this year

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Dave S November 12, 2014 at 12:34 pm

Yep. The problem is that people think that they can fix their swing to be more accurate, but need to buy updated equipment to get more distance. I’d argue that equipment can do more for forgiveness than distance. All in the perception though.

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Paul November 12, 2014 at 12:11 pm

Premium brands come up too often with new models.
However, the R series was the best in my opinion.
The R11S is still in my bag… until 2015!

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hckymeyer November 12, 2014 at 12:09 pm

I’m actually fairly proud of TMaG at the moment. They didn’t drastically discount SLDR after 6 weeks and they didn’t release a new flagship for over a year, kudos to them for actually trying to change their rapid release cycle.

Just from looks I’m not a huge fan of the R15, I guess I’ll wait to hear the whole technology story before making a decision, but I’ve been playing the SLDR for the entire season and I’m not seeing enough to make me want to change so far. Plus after a season of playing that grey colored head I’m not really digging the plain white anymore.

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golf4pj November 12, 2014 at 10:09 pm

I fought the whole SLDR hype for a year. Then I tried it….and WOW, it’s not hype, it performs. I went from a 10.5 degree driver to a 12 degree driver and picked up 10-15 yards all day long off the tee.
I then tried the hybrid – fell in love with the feeling and performance. Couldn’t resist and just bought a SLDR 3-wood two weeks ago – it’s a beast too.
This whole SLDR series is legit. If you haven’t tried it – don’t knock it based upon your personal feelings towards TaylorMade. Don’t buy it, I don’t care either way…as your potential opponent in a tournament, I hope you don’t.

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Keith November 12, 2014 at 12:07 pm

I like it! I wouldve pefered it in the SLDR color instead of white, but yeah me likes!

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Jason S November 14, 2014 at 9:05 am

They do offer a black color way which looks much nicer IMO

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Foz November 12, 2014 at 12:06 pm

From these pics, it appears that TMAG is scrambling to get an offering in for 2015. Titleist & Cobra have already issued decent drivers, with something that actually changes. The R15 looks like it will promote the lower trajectory flight so that’s why they now want you to Loft up.

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Mike Davis November 12, 2014 at 12:03 pm

Ping leading the way with G 30 accuracy, distance, forgiveness .

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Brendan November 12, 2014 at 12:03 pm

The R series never went away. SLDR replaced any chance of a “cursed” club involving the number 13.

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Tony Covey November 12, 2014 at 2:04 pm

Actually, R1 (R-Series) is what would have otherwise been the R13.

2011 – R11
2012 – R11s
2013 – R1, R1 Black (hmm maybe there was a curse).
SLDR was very late 2013 and served as the 2014 flagship.

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Markb November 12, 2014 at 2:43 pm

They simply didn’t want to use the number 13, so they used R1.

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Dave S November 13, 2014 at 10:43 am

Are you implying that the R1 was not a good club or the fact that they made a black version (a la black cat) is the curse?

I have the R1 Black and love it. Think it did pretty well in your driver test too.

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adan November 12, 2014 at 12:03 pm

Looks like fangs. I’ll hit it but at 450, nope!

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Joezilla November 12, 2014 at 11:57 am

Yawn!!

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BL November 12, 2014 at 11:57 am

“If MOI is an important consideration for you, R15 will almost certainly NOT be your best option in 2015.”

It’s impressive how you can make this claim without trying the club.

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Tony Covey November 12, 2014 at 12:49 pm

It’s physics. MOI is a quantifiable data point, not an opinion. MOI is basically an arm. The longer the arm (distance from CG to face), the higher the MOI. Forward CG=short arm. Rear CG=longer arm. Again, not an opinion…physics.

Not everybody agrees on the the significance of MOI, so there’s room for opinion there, but as far as what’s quantifiable. This is a low MOI design.

Comparatively forward CG placement is inherently low CG. The fact that they’ve pushed CG more forward over SLDR suggests an even lower MOI (which is why I suspect the ‘stable’ position exists).

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BL November 12, 2014 at 12:54 pm

OK, since it’s a quantifiable data point, let’s see the data vs. all other 2015 drivers.

My point is not that it may or may not have a low MOI, it’s that you cannot ascertain such information from photographs.

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Chris Downing November 12, 2014 at 1:00 pm

Yep-,I’d like to see some TrackMan data to validate a lot of manufacturers claims. If you are a club fitter, choosing which club and then having to make all these weight adjustments to so many of the new clubs that have shaft and moveable weights must be a real challenge. Would any club fitters like to comment? Every club now seems to be trying to be all things to all players. I just don’t believe the average golfer is competent to make the right adjustments – but we do know just enough to be ‘dangerous’ to our game.

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Tony Covey November 12, 2014 at 1:52 pm

Actually, I can make that claim.

I’ve seen CG/MOI tables from 2014 (and some of the early 2015 stuff). SLDR had the MOST forward CG of any driver on the market. NOBODY else seriously wants to play in the forward CG space.

I’ve seen the Callaway charts. I’ve talked to PING. I’ve talked to Cobra, and I’ve been given some insight by Titleist. None of the above has any inclination (at least not right now) to move CG into extreme forward positions). The industry as a larger group wants to be low and back.

Low can get you closer to the neutral axis – that’s efficiency. Back gets you higher MOI – that’s most of the way to what we call forgiveness.

We’re going to cover this in much more detail (and after everything is on the market we will have charts), but sufficed to say for now it’s much easier to move CG forward to get closer to the neutral axis (TaylorMade calls it CG projection) than it is to move it backwards, but again, the majority believes better performance comes form being further back.

Based on what I’m reading, and what’s clear as day in the photos, TaylorMade has actually bumped the CG forward over SLDR (25 grams in a more forward position is substantial).

I’ll go out on a limb and say that this will be the most forward CG of any mainstream driver this year, and by that fact alone, I can basically assure you that it will have the lowest MOI of any mainstream driver for 2015.

Furthermore, when you look at CG placement across any entire company you’ll see that each has a CG philosophy that’s reflected in those charts. TaylorMade has said it believes low/forward is the path to more distance. There is an inherent MOI trade-off that comes with that.

It’s not necessarily a bad thing if you want to maximize distance on your best shots, but MOI is the indisputable tradeoff for forward CG.

The TaylorMade position is that higher initial ballspeed offsets what you lose because of the relative lack of MOI.

Short story…I can ascertain such information based on the photos, and the well-documented on-the-record design philosophies of TaylorMade and its competitors.

TaylorMade will be the most forward and consequently lowest MOI driver this year, because nobody else is trying to move CG that far forward.

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TomS November 12, 2014 at 2:58 pm

There’s a reason other manufacturers won’t move CG low-forward, and it’s because they can’t due to the patents TM hold. Was speaking to a club builder last month who said that if they could, most of the other manufacturers would have a low-forward option for the high launch and low spin which TM taut.

Not for nothing either as I’m not informed enough to know the answer, but wouldn’t splitting the weights increase MOI? If the weight is stretch out to the far heel and toe, to use your analogy of arms, then surely that’s a ‘longer’ arm?

Looking forward to see how it performs against my R11 anyway!

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MG November 12, 2014 at 9:09 pm

Serious question. If putting the CG as far forward as possible makes a “great” driver and putting the CG as far backward as possible makes a “great” driver does it really matter where the CG is? Seems like somewhere in the middle will give you a combination of distance and forgiveness.

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Joe Golfer November 13, 2014 at 1:46 am

@Tony Covey: Thanks for taking the time to explain it a bit.
It’s too bad you have to go into so much detail for a guy like “BL”, who seems to think you based all your opinions solely on photos. I don’t think he knows too much about club design, or else he would agree with your comments without question, at least on this particular matter.
Apparently it is a secret only to “BL” that moving weight back gives forgiveness while moving it forward takes away some forgiveness, whether it be drivers or whether it be game improvement irons versus muscle back irons.
The basic design tells all, but “BL” wants quantifiable charts. Imagine seeing a car with a 450 HP engine and a second similar car with a 120 HP engine. Do you really need quantifiable data charts to know which car is faster?
@TomS: Yes, splitting the weights apart does raise the MOI somewhat, as mentioned in the article where it says that the “Stability” position is to address the MOI issue, or lack thereof in the SLDR. In other words, yes, it raises the MOI. But apparently it raises the COG, because when you slide the weights towards the sides, the weights raise up a bit since the sole of the club is rounded and higher at the edges, thereby raising Center Of Gravity. Thus, there’s a slight trade off between forgiveness (MOI) and COG height.

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gunmetal November 13, 2014 at 10:58 pm

@TomS

I would call the BS Flag on whoever told you that nobody else is doing low and forward due to patents TM holds. First I believe you would be hard pressed to patent the positioning of weight in such a broad spectrum. Second, what’s going on with Cobra’s Fly Z lineup where you flip the weight to be low and back or low and forward?

The other manufacturers aren’t doing it because the reward of the rare and ever so elusive solid strike for most golfers doesn’t outweigh the risk of the more common mis-hit. TM’s sales model is this: Get as many tour pros as possible to play (and win) our driver. So they design their flagship model (SLDR, R15) with the pros in mind. They tend to hit it solid a decent amount 😉 The pros continue to love it and win with it and TM continues to say #1 driver on tour.

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Chris Downing November 12, 2014 at 12:54 pm

However despite all that, I thought it interesting that Hank Haney in his book about coaching Tiger Woods, talks about modern drivers and how they are primarily set up to fade the ball and how Tiger would have been better to have wound the clock back to a time when drawing the ball was easier than this sort of club. Seems like their are people like Hank who feel new is not always good.

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drjacko November 12, 2014 at 11:57 am

The question is whether it outperforms the SLDR by a substantial margin. If not, it will be like chasing R11s’ after the R1 launched. (I figured that’s why the ferrule/tip change.)

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cullen davis November 12, 2014 at 11:53 am

another new driver? are the guys at taylor made nuts?

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Dave S November 12, 2014 at 12:30 pm

Can we stop with this line of thinking? If you don’t want to buy it, then don’t. There’s nothing wrong with a for-profit company continually trying to create a better product – even if only marginally – and make money. You can cite the Dick’s debacle all you want, but that was more Dick’s fault than anyone at TMaG. Plus, like I’ve said on this comment board before, all this means is that now you’ll be able to get the SLDR (a driver that’s not even a year old) at a reduced price. What’s wrong with that?

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Don November 12, 2014 at 1:44 pm

I’m gonna feel like a stock exchange guy watching the price of the SLDR drop until it reaches my comfort level 😉
You are right. This is the new norm. Don’t buy anything when it first hits the shelves. What is the saying? The best things come to those who wait… a year lol.

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gunmetal November 13, 2014 at 10:48 pm

SLDR was actually released right at the British Open in 2013 so it’s actually well over a year old. Pretty big achievement for TM. I agree with everything else you say except the Dick’s thing being mostly Dick’s fault. For sure Dick’s had issues, but Tmag certainly had a hand in that.

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johnloft November 12, 2014 at 3:37 pm

WHO CARES. And realistically, TM hasn’t released a new original driver since SLDR in fall of 2013… so what’s the big deal? Get over it and this line of thinking. I think TM is finally making some good decisions with products for the first time in a couple years.

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Teaj November 13, 2014 at 4:44 pm

I second this, the guys at the shop were talking about this on how long its been since they have released a new driver. (long for taylormade)

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bernie November 12, 2014 at 6:41 pm

it suck’s

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