When I first received the R15 for testing, I didn’t really know what to expect. I have only been playing Titleist drivers since the 983K and currently play the 910 with 7.5* of loft. The R15 460 has 9.5° of loft with the factory installed stiff shaft.
I didn’t think that this club would replace my Titleist for long, but I ended up gaming it for 3 rounds and it only came out of because I had to give it back.
A staple for TaylorMade was missing from last year’s line up. The “R” series took a backseat to a very popular SLDR and SLDR S series of drivers. TaylorMade introduced the R15 back into the line for 2015 and it brings with it an even lower and more forward center of gravity, two new 12.5g sliding weights to aid in shot-shaping, and a Front Track system that is based on the popular Speed Pocket technology.
The R15 460 comes in both black and white, while the R15 430 will only be available in white. As with all of TaylorMade’s offerings a TP model is available that adds the option of upgraded shafts. Last year was about “lofting up” and from what I’ve seen with R15 460 so far you’re able to achieve the same low spin numbers with the benefit a driver that is easier to launch.
MADE OF GREATNESS: OUR MOST TECHNOLOGICALLY ADVANCED DRIVER EVER
R15 also features a lower and more forward center of gravity (CG), to promote higher launch and lower spin. The Front Track system performs like a Speed Pocket, reducing spin and increasing the size of the sweet spot, and the 4° loft sleeve along with new sliding split weights (12.5g each) make dialing in your tee shots easier than ever—slide the weights to center for max distance, heel for max draw, toe for max fade, or split them for max stability.
Only our greatest breakthroughs are worthy of being called an R. 15 years of our groundbreaking metalwoods technologies from the #1 driver in golf have been fused with brand new innovations into a single, game-changing design. We put everything we have into the R15, so you can find out what you have—in you.
First of all, regardless of feel, looks, or technology, a driver has to do its job. This driver does its job and it does it well. After a bit of getting to know each other on the range, I was able to routinely hit the ball over the fence. Keep in mind, the fence was only 5 feet high and the range is only 240 yards long, but I am not a long hitter and this was very exciting for me.
Once on the course, I knew the R15 was doing its job based on the fact that I was going for every single par 5. Even on a few holes where I felt I didn’t make solid contact, the ball still seemed to get plenty of hang time and distance.
I have been ballooning my drives with my Titleist lately, but for the TaylorMade R15 Black, a couple turns of the 4° loft sleeve, combined with the reduced spin from the Front Track system fixed all that. Also, I normally play a cut, but by moving the weights around, I was able to play a slight draw which made me feel like I was ready to go play Augusta.
The R15 460 in black is the cleanest looking TaylorMade driver in a long time. The black color was a refreshing change and they really did a great job in not making the club look too cluttered, even with all of its technology features.
I particularly liked the sliding split weights being on the bottom. Other drivers allow you to adjust the draw/fade settings but you do so by adjusting the shaft and that can be really uncomfortable when you stand over the ball. I also found that by moving out the weights to the outside, I was still able to keep a neutral setting, but increase the sweet spot by a little bit.
If you are a Titleist player you will notice that the alignment aid on the top is relatively closer to the shaft. This was weird to me at first, but I found that by addressing the ball using the alignment aid, I was actually able to turn the club over better. Looks do matter I guess.
I gave the TaylorMade R15 460 is a 4 out of 5 for feel, but it really depends on what your preferences are. It is definitely not as forgiving as some of the other drivers that I’ve played, but to me that’s a good thing. For feedback, the feel is great, but of course the feeling in your hands on poorly struck shots doesn’t feel as good. However, as mentioned above, this driver will still send the ball a long way even on mis-hits.
Now on well hit shots, you will know. It has that classic TaylorMade cracking feel at impact which just reaffirms that you put a hurting on the ball.
If you’re in the market for a new driver, I’d say give this stick a shot. The price point is a bit high, so I would suggest demoing it for yourself and not committing to buy it unless you really have a few good demo sessions.
All in all, this driver is a great combination of design, technology, and performance and you won’t be disappointed if you decide to buy one.
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