Golf News for Monday, January 7, 2013 | Equipment

TaylorMade unveils new R1 driver and RocketBallz Stage 2 driver

CARLSBAD, Calif. -- The new R1™ continues TaylorMade's mastery of adjustable drivers by offering the greatest range of adjustability of any driver in the brand's history. R1 gives the golfer 12 loft-sleeve settings and 7 face-angle positions, as well as two movable shot-shape weights. R1 also allows loft and face angle to be adjusted independently of each other - a critical benefit. The R1's three adjustability technologies allow it to be tuned 168 different ways to specifically fit a player's swing to optimize 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.

"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?

1) Golfers typically choose the wrong loft when they buy off the rack, 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.

2) Changes to driver design during 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 features TaylorMade's famous white, glare-reducing crown color, and also has an eye-catching new orange, black and gray crown graphic that offers two important performance advantages:

1) 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 clubface, but TaylorMade studies indicate that golfers benefit from the linear reference cues of our new crown graphic to help align the face accurately.

2) The "V" shape of the preserved white space behind the leading edge provides a frame to position the ball against, helping to heighten focus.

R1 is equipped with Aldila RIP Phenom 55-gram shaft, which is ultra-light to promote faster clubhead 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 2/1 for $399. For more information please visit taylormadegolf.com

Tech Talk

Loft-Sleeve Technology Offers 12 Settings Between 8° and 12°
R1 offers 12 loft-settings to choose from between 8° and 12° (7 settings at standard lie angle, 5 settings at upright lie angle), giving golfers a wide range of choices from which to achieve their optimum launch angle.

7 Face-Angle Settings
R1 offers seven face-angle settings to help golfers get the precise, confidence-building look at address: neutral/square, slightly open, more open, maximum open, slightly closed, more closed and maximum closed. Face angle can be easily changed without affecting the loft, an adjustability benefit offered only by TaylorMade.

Shot-Shape Technology
TaylorMade's movable shot-shape weights allow the golfer to easily shift the clubhead's CG location by 5 millimeters to promote either a draw or a neutral/straight trajectory, helping golfers hit the ball longer and place it more accurately.

Thick-thin Crown Technology
Varying the thickness of the crown allowed TaylorMade engineers to save critical weight that's strategically repositioned to move the CG lower and farther forward. Lowering the CG promotes a higher launch angle, while moving it forward promotes faster ball speed.

Inverted Cone Technology
TaylorMade's famous Inverted Cone Technology significantly expands the area of the clubface that delivers high ball speed, promoting increased distance on off-center hits.

White Crown with New Graphic
R1's white matte finish eliminates glare on the crown and works with the black face to make alignment easy. The new crown graphic acts as an additional alignment aid, while the preserved white space creates a frame to position the ball against and promotes improved focus.

Aldila RIP Phenom 55 Shaft
R1's ultra-light Aldila RIP Phenom 55 is faster clubhead speed, yet is strategically weighted to deliver the feel of a heavier, 65-gram shaft. The RIP Phenom 55 also features Aldila's Hyberbolic Flex Technology™ that incorporates a stiff tip section to promote optimal launch and spin control, a very firm butt section for incredibly stable feel, and a softer center section that promotes an added "kick" through impact for maximum ball speed

TaylorMade Golf Company, the No. 1 driver brand in golf, introduced RocketBallz Stage 2, a driver that combines a lower and more forward CG location, a more aerodynamic head shape and an expansive, 4,100 square millimeter club face to promote up to nine more yards for better players compared to the first generation RBZ driver.

Characterized by its unique crown graphic which enhances alignment, the RBZ Stage 2 driver also features TaylorMade's Loft-Sleeve technology, which gives players the ability to easily tune loft and club face angle to fit their swing.

"It's hard to imagine bringing a driver to market that outperforms the original RocketBallz driver," said Todd Beach, vice president of metalwoods R&D. "Making the head of the RBZ Stage 2 driver more aerodynamic while also making the clubface larger was a tremendous challenge and succeeding was critical to promoting performance that's superior to the first generation RBZ driver."

The combination of a longer, lighter (50-gram) Fujikura RocketFuel shaft and light grip enabled TaylorMade to keep RBZ Stage 2 under 300 grams of total club weight. That, along with balancing the club to a slightly higher swing weight, allows the RBZ Stage 2 driver to promote faster swing speed for most golfers. The lightweight characteristics of the shaft coupled with the RBZ Stage 2 driver's mass properties work together to create a moderate draw bias.

Like the first-generation RBZ driver, the RBZ Stage 2 retains a large address footprint while incorporating a slightly deeper and larger face.

TaylorMade is also offering a RocketBallz Stage 2 Tour model, which has a lower and more forward center of gravity and a stock Matrix 6Q3 shaft to promote a more penetrating ball flight. Availability for the standard model begins 2/1 at $299, while the Tour version is available 2/15 at $349.

To learn more about these drivers and the rest of the RocketBallz Stage 2 metalwoods, visit taylormadegolf.com.

Tech Talk

Loft Sleeve Technology
Loft Sleeve Technology (formerly called Flight Control Technology) allows the player to easily adjust the loft, lie angle and face angle of the clubhead. The RBZ Stage 2 has been updated to offer 12 positions within the window of 1.5° loft adjustment.

Lower, More Forward CG
TaylorMade engineers discovered with the R11 driver that a low-and-forward CG location helps promote faster ball speed and a higher launch angle, both of which promote more distance. The RBZ Stage 2 Tour driver incorporates a CG location that's lower and more forward than the first generation RBZ driver, promoting increased distance.

Expansive Clubface
The RBZ Stage 2 driver's huge and deep clubface (4,100) gives the golfer more area to look at, which inspires confidence to swing faster and more freely for more distance.

Crown Alignment Decals
The white metalwood crown that TaylorMade introduced in 2011 on our R11 metalwoods works with the black clubface to make it easier to align the face accurately at address. We've enhanced that alignment benefit on the RBZ Stage 2 driver with the addition of a prominent crown decal. According to Dr. Steve Hitzeman, Professor of Sports Optometry at the University of Indiana, the additional linear reference features on the RBZ Stage 2 crown benefit golfers by providing additional visual cues for alignment.

Designing the linear reference features was complicated, as we had to manage parallax as well as the rounded surface geometry of typical metalwoods. We used our MAT-T (Motion Analysis Technology by TaylorMade) System to define the visual angular range for most golfers using typical metalwoods' lengths and lie angles. This produced a visual reference angle of approximately 70° from the ground for metalwoods. We fed that information into our Pro Engineer CAD system, which allowed us to define the exact layout of the decal in terms of position and angular orientation.

Inverted Cone Technology
Used in every U.S. TaylorMade driver since the R500 Series in 2002, the Inverted Cone milled into the inner side of the clubface promotes higher ball speed on off-center hits.

Thick-thin Crown Technology
The Thick-thin Crown design employed in the RBZ Stage 2 driver ranges from 0.6 to 0.4 mm thick, allowing TaylorMade engineers to save three grams versus the 0.6 mm Thick-thin Crown previously incorporated in the R11S and RocketBallz Tour drivers (2012).

About the adidas Group
The adidas Group is one of the global leaders within the sporting goods industry, offering a broad range of products around the core brands: adidas, Reebok, TaylorMade, Rockport and Reebok-CCM Hockey. Headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Germany, the Group has more than 46,000 employees and generated sales of over €13 billion in 2011.

About TaylorMade-adidas Golf
Headquartered in Carlsbad, California, TaylorMade-adidas Golf Company sells golf clubs, balls, clothing and accessories under the TaylorMade, adidas Golf, Adams and Ashworth brands. TaylorMade-adidas Golf Company posted 2011 sales of over €1.0 billion.

Media Contacts:
Christa McNamara
Tel: (760) 918.6466
christa.mcnamara@tmag.com

Dave Cordero
Tel: (760) 918.6367
dave.cordero@tmag.com



 
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