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taylormade r11
weekend warriors
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The New Taylormade R11 Driver - Marketing Hype Or Must Have?
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Taylormade is well known for its drivers and driver technology. Taylormade actually introduced the first metal wood in 1979. Taylormade drivers are the most used on the professional tours, 450 players worldwide. Taylormade's technical divsion has been outproducing and outlasting other golf makers for many years. I just have to wonder if the new R11 driver is marketing hype to sell more drivers or is it a legitimate customizable driver? Each weekend tournament on television it seems you see more and more players using the new white R11 driver. There must be a reason, but what is it?

So here's Taylormade's ideas and purpose for the new R11 driver: With the adjustability of the driver in three main dimensions, the player is able to make the driver fit the player's swing; not the normal way of having to adjust your swing to the driver. The adjustments make it easier and provides more consistency for the player to flight the ball higher or lower; with a draw or a fade, and with more distance. Three adjustable positions are; loft, face angle, and flight path. There are tools that come with the driver that allow you to make the adjustments. Taylormade offers "tuning" tips and instruction on how to optimize the driver for your swing. There are 48 possible adjustment combinations. The previous Taylormade 'adjustable' drivers (R7 & R9) were only adjustable at the shaft which changed the face angle and loft (one of which you may not want changed) but with the R11 they can be changed individually.

The white color of the R11 was created for two purposes. The first, make a driver that is unique to the viewing public. It's no secret that the touring pros dictate what we, as the weekend warriors, purchase. When you see the pros on television using a bright white new driver, you want one too. This is part of the marketing hype for this driver but Taylormade is not ashamed to admit it and purposely wanted to stand out from the crowd. The second purpose, to help the player easily set up and align the driver to the ball. The face has a black insert which creates a contrast. The white surface of the driver is clearly visible in all lighting conditions whether you're in the shade, sun, or clouds. White is also the easiest color for your eyes to see; white sends 100% of light to your eyes. The white color also makes the R11 look bigger giving you more confidence over the ball. The R11 is actually smaller than most drivers today; 440cc compared to the standard 460cc.

It seems with all of the adjustments possible on the Taylormade R11 it would be more geared toward the average player, not a touring pro. It is telling though when you read the reaction to the driver from the pros. One of the longest drivers on tour, Dustin Johnson said, "Knowing I can make adjustments if I want to, that's something else. The white didn't bother me at all. It sets up great, and it looks great. I've been killing the ball lateley with this driver." LPGA star Paula Creamer said, "I almost can't even look at another black driver because it just doesn't look right anymore. It's always hard to change things that aren't broken, but the white didn't bother me and I found that I'm longer with the R11 and I still hit it just as straight. I've gained about 10 yards."

I've read dozens of reviews and comments from other players and have found that everyone seems to love this driver. Many testers favor the white color and rate it above average in feel, playability, forgiveness, and distance (golf.com). With the Taylormade R11it seems you can get a better golf swing without changing your swing! Golf Digest gave the R11 a gold medal for their annual hot list review.

I initially thought the R11 was all about making more sales for Taylormade with its flashy white color and paid endorsements from the tour pros. But now I'm convinced that the Taylormade R11 driver is a legitimate customizable driver that will improve anyone's game from the tee box. I think this will start a trend, and standard, in the golf industry and it won't be the last adjustable driver, or golf club for that matter, that we'll see.


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