TGB Goes Clubbing: Review of TaylorMade R5

mulligan, 01 August 2005, Comments Off on TGB Goes Clubbing: Review of TaylorMade R5
Categories: Uncategorized

As previewed here, The Golf Blog is to begin reviewing clubs on occasion starting now with TaylorMade’s R5 dual driver. I had a chance to use the driver through four rounds last week in Myrtle Beach, which I think provided me with enough experience to share my thoughts. First a little background: I am a single-digit-handicap golfer who hits the ball fairly straight and not all that long. When I am swinging well, I tend to hit a power fade off the tee; when I am not swinging well, that power fade can become a weak slice. I have long wondered whether the right drive might help keep my slice in check and also add a few extra yards. I think the R5 might be that driver.

I was skeptical about the R5 at first: it has a big head (though perhaps not unusually big for the latest breed of drivers), and I struggled when trying out a big-headed driver a few seasons ago. Also, on my first few swings with the R5, I was surprised to discover I was often pulling the ball left. However, after I got used to the look and the feel of the R5, I started hitting the ball pretty straight and pretty far on a consistent basis. And, excitingly, even when I felt I made a swing that should result in a weak slice, the R5 helped keep the ball very much in play.

Because I was playing unfamiliar courses, I cannot say with certainty whether the R5 added distance. I do not think the club added a lot of length, but I was pleased that the club seemed to deliver a lot of very good misses when I did not make my best swing: even when I felt I hit the ball a bit off the toe or the heel, my drives flew pretty straight and pretty far. (Indeed, when I felt I really smoked a drive, I was disappointed to discover that the ball did not go much farther than my good misses.) I was using the “Type N” version of the driver, which has a square face, with a 9.5 degree loft. I tended to hit the ball a bit higher with the R5, which also pleased me because my launch angle has always been too low with other drivers.

Interestingly, the TaylorMade’s R5 dual driver website suggests that the “Type D” version of the club would be even more forgiving for players who struggle with a slice because it has a closed clubface. But, as suggested above, I found even the “Type N” version helpful in this way. The website about the R5 has a lot of additional information about the club, although the site does not directly compare the R5 to its big brother, the R7 quad driver. (The R7 has the adjustable weight system, while the R5’s weights are preset and fixed.)

I could go on, but let me sum up with a simple thought: I want to keep the R5 in my bag.


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