Every year original equipment manufacturers (OEM) in the world of golf tout new products to consumers claiming improved distance and better accuracy. It's the go-to marketing pitch every year, with every new release and it never ends. The problem is every golfer is different and no matter how great the new club is, there are so many factors that actually go into determining whether or not these promises can be realized. I was given the task of testing out some of these new clubs from TaylorMade and this is part two of that series. Each club was hit at the driving range and played for at least 18 holes.
I never got the opportunity to play the original R11 driver, but based on the positive feedback it got from golfers at every level, I was more than excited when the R11s showed up on my doorstep.While I didn't have any real expectations for the Rocketballz driver, the buzz of the R11 over the past year made it seem like the Holy Grail of drivers and just having it in my bag gave me extra confidence. Very rarely does a single club do that for you.
One of the best things about the R11s is that confidence it provides and it carries over from in the bag to standing over the tee. Aesthetically, the R11s is the best looking driver I've ever seen and looks menacing sitting behind the ball waiting to strike. Kudos to the designers and engineers at TaylorMade because they've managed to create a driver that looks both stunningly beautiful and incredibly mean. Like the RBZ, the club head is pure white and takes a bit of getting used to.
I felt very little difference in the weight and balance of the R11s as opposed to the RBZ and, for me, that was a good thing. The club head of the R11s may not actually be bigger than the RBZ, but with a slightly different shape and geometry to it, it feels bigger. Does bigger mean better? Not necessarily, but it does give the impression that you've got more room to work with on the club face and that if you connect, the ball is going to fly a couple miles.
What I loved most about the R11s wasn't the look of the club though, it was the sound of the impact between club and ball, and the pending results thereafter if it ended up being a good drive. You wil get a little more distance out of this driver, no question about it, but for me, it came at a little bit of a price. I simply wasn't as accurate with the R11s as my personal driver or the RBZ. I made tweaks where it seemed appropriate using the Flight Control Technology tools, but was unable to get the driver tuned in as well as the RBZ. With the option to tune the loft, flight angle and flight path, you can spend quite a bit of time trying to get it just right. I would presume as time went on that this process would become much less time constraining.
In terms of accuracy, it wasn't quite as good as the RBZ, but it was better than any other driver I've played or tested at the range. I suspect part of that result stems from not being able to really get the driver tuned to the fullest extent. Chalk it up to 90% user error and 10% having too many tuning options that are hard to comprehend without some research.
And of course the other key word is distance. I really hit this club a long way and at times was getting about 15 yards over average on drives when I really let it rip. On average, I was getting at least 6 more yards off the tee. I was able to hit the R11s farther, but had more consistent results with the RBZ.
Final Verdict: You won't be disappointed if you buy the new R11s, that I can guarantee. My advice would be to spend some time working with the Flight Control Technology adjustments or take it into your local pro shop and ask for some help with it if you need it. The R11s will make you feel powerful off the tee and has the ability to really prove that you drive for show. The only thing I would stress is to try out the R11s and the RBZ to see which one better suits you.