It only takes a glance or two to see there is a lot going on with the new TaylorMade R11 driver.
Start with its appearance at address, where the unusual flat-white crown provides a stark, visual difference to the black club face as well as a stylish, spats-like look that is designed to help golfers better aim their tee shots. Next, turn over the head of the R11 to check out the adjustable soleplate, which is red in color. That bit of technology enables players to change face angles independently from lofts for the first time. And when combined with the adjustable hosel and movable weights that have become staples of the TaylorMade driver line in recent years, it gives golfers the ability to customize their clubs even more precisely. In fact, they can create a total of 48 different settings with these three features.
TaylorMade officials are particularly enamored of what the new ASP (for Adjustable Sole Plate) can do. “Previously, golfers have been challenged by the fact that they could not adjust face angle independently of loft,” says Tom Olsavsky, senior director of product creation for TaylorMade. “If they wanted lower loft in order to optimize their launch conditions, for example, they also had to make do with a more open club face angle that may not have appealed to them visually. With ASP, they can now have both, better launch conditions that will help them hit the ball farther and a more pleasing look at address, which will allow them to swing more freely and comfortably – and to boost their distance even more as a result.”
According to TaylorMade officials, the new driver is a better player’s club that is faster aerodynamically than previous iterations and comes in two versions – the R11 and the R11 TP. Each has a 440 cc head in what the company calls a modern-classical shape, slightly triangular to produce more inertia and with a deeper Center of Gravity position for greater stability and forgiveness. Both measure 45.75 inches in length, and they come in right-handed (9 and 10.5 degree loft) and left-handed (9.5 and 10.5 degree) models. The difference is simply in the shafts, with the R11 equipped with a Fujikura Blur that boasts a medium-firm tip profile, and the R11 TP with the option of 19 additional shaft choices. The R11 is available at retailers as of early February.