Back in Black: The TaylorMade R1

For the first time since 2010, TaylorMade has introduced a driver that does not have a white crown: the R1 Black.

The R1, which debuted in early 2013, was the latest offering from TaylorMade, “the No. 1 driver in golf,” and it was well received by tour players and amateurs alike.

It featured a white crown with sleek racing-stripe graphics on the crown and was the most adjustable driver on the market.

The original R1 (left) and the new R1 (right)
The original R1 (left) and the new R1 (right)

Some research suggested that eight out of ten drivers that were sold in 2012 had a white crown. These are interesting statistics, but anecdotally people still wanted the traditional black.

Golf is a traditional game.

“Our mission is to make the best-performing equipment for all golfers. We don’t want golfers to miss out on the opportunity to play the R1  just because they prefer a black crown,” says Canadian TMag performance lab manager Cameron Jacobs.

“I’m still a massive fan of the matte white paint-job on the current R1 driver, but I can appreciate how it isn’t for everybody. The R1 Black lets golfers get into the same technology […] but in a paint-job that they prefer.”

As of yesterday, the R1 Black is available for pre-order at specific Golf Town locations across Canada , and in retail June 10.

It will be a limited run of the R1 that will allow golfers – who may have held off purchasing the club due to colour preference – the chance to get their arms around TaylorMade’s leading driver for 2013.

“We like to shake things up a bit every once in a while and keep the industry on their toes,” says Jacobs.

“You’ll continue to see a sea of white drivers on Tour and in shops around the world.”

I was a fan of how the R1 felt, sounded, and performed when I hit it at the MATT performance lab at Glen Abbey this past winter, and this design has just made a fine product that much better.

The video that TaylorMade is circulating around the web is below. And check out the “making of” photos from the video shoot here.


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