The naysayers were wrong. Many predicted, in 2011, that a white driver wouldn’t fly given golf’s conservative roots. But, fly, it did. TaylorMade’s R11 turned the golf biz on its ear and precipitated an unprecedented run for the company. TaylorMade would never go back to the days of black drivers, would it? Sure, it would. The fully loaded, adjustable R1 Black has all the bells and whistles as the original R1 but in a more conventional-looking, toned-down package. The only difference, really, is its paint job. Both versions pack in a ton of adjustability features for loft (8° to 12°), face angle (4° open to 4° closed), and shot shape (removable 1-gram and 10-gram weights).
Why black, why now? “We want to stay connected with authentic, low-handicap golfers,” says Tom Kroll, product evangelist, at TaylorMade Golf. “We get a lot of feedback from people saying they want to play a black-headed R1. We want to give them what they say they want.” Understood. We all know golfers who won’t try a club based simply on appearance.
One more thing: The R1 Black will be available in limited quantities only. "They'll account for less than 20% of all R1’s built this year," adds Kroll. "Once they’re gone, they’re gone, and we have no plans to do a second ‘limited edition’ run."
R1 Black will be at retail starting on Monday, June 10. Both the R1 and R1 Black are $399.
Finally, the R1 Black will debut on the PGA Tour next week at the FedEx St. Jude Classic in Memphis, Tenn.
(Photos: Courtesy of TaylorMade)