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TaylorMade R11S Driver Review

November 12, 2018 |

One of these days, we’re going to get a club that adjusts from being a driver to a putter and everything in between all in one neat package.

Until that day arrives, consider the TaylorMade R11S Driver, which offers a plethora of face, loft and lie combinations. It has a moveable weight to change the center of gravity, an adjustable sole plate and the  company’s Flight Control Technology that allows settings to be fixed independently.

All that high-tech means there are 80 ways to set launch positions. Any one of them will nail the ball with a big kaboom.

The club’s special sole plate lets a player use five face settings: open, slightly open, neutral, slightly closed and closed. If you get handy with the system, you’ll probably be able to adjust the club on the course depending on what kind of shot you want to make.

The company’s promotional language sounds almost pornographic: “Bigger, faster, longer.” Whew, I need a towel and an Arnold Palmer to cool down.

You will get pumped swinging the TaylorMade R11S, particularly if you’re a short hitter, which most of us are or there wouldn’t be all this technology to help us get the ball down the fairway.

During a driver review, players really appreciated the bounce of the R11S driver’s 460cc club head. It’s manufactured with TaylorMade’s Inverted Cone Technology, which increases launch speed for better distance. It’s almost like hitting a SuperBall off a trampoline.

If you miss the trampoline, don’t worry. The R11S has a big, forgiving sweet spot, the COR point, that puts mishits pretty close to the landing zone. And with all that adjusting, slices and hooks will pretty much fade away.

Speaking of a fade, you can encourage one by putting the 10-gram weight in the toe. If you want a draw, put the weight in the heel. With that kind of science, who needs a swing coach?

The look is pure science fiction at its most subtle. It’s face is black and the crown is white, with a finish that resists glaring hot spots that can get in your eye on a sunny day. The juxtaposition of white on black somehow makes it easier to see what you’re doing and improves aim and alignment.

During the driver reviews, at least one player argued that TaylorMade has gone too far in the adjustment category, but he was shouted down by duffers who would rather fiddle with their clubs than with their swings.

With the TaylorMade R11S driver, you don’t have to worry about where your elbows are or if you’re breathing in or out on your backswing. All you have to do is fix the settings and fire away. That’s worth $399.

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