Yesterday I wrote a post about the best gift for a golfer for Father’s Day — a new set of golf clubs. While you might want to get a whole set of clubs for your dad, I realize that spending that much might not be in the cards right now. So how about a gift of one club? Why not get your father the best club in a particular category?
Let’s start with golf drivers. Since the tee shot is arguably the most important shot in golf, that makes the choice of drivers important. You want one that will work effectively with your swing tendencies to give you the most accurate shot you can produce. Accordingly, adjustable drivers have become very popular, since they enable you to more or less “custom fit” the club to your personal preferences. So, what is the best adjustable golf driver?
The number one golf driver on the pro tour is the TaylorMade R1. And the TaylorMade R1 was also top-rated for amateur players when evaluated by Golf Digest, which has some of the more in-depth and up-to-date golf equipment reviews available.
Okay, so the TaylorMade R1 is a good golf driver — but don’t get the TaylorMade R1 for your dad.
Instead, get him the TaylorMade R1 Black.
The TaylorMade R1 Black is the same excellent driver that the original white-colored R1 driver is — only it comes in black. This driver is so new that it’s not even available yet — it will ship on June 10, 2013. It can be pre-ordered from TaylorMade. Even better, the TaylorMade R1 Black is going to be made in a limited quantity, and when they’re gone, that’s it. TaylorMade is reportedly not going to be making more of them.
So, you have what is perhaps the best golf driver, and it is so new you have to pre-order it (as of today); and it will be built in limited quantities, meaning that it just might become collectable.
Can’t find a much better or more thoughtful gift for a golfer than that.
The TaylorMade R1 Black includes the same adjustment capabilities that made the original R1 so popular — you can select from 5 face-angle positions, 12 different loft-sleeve settings, and two movable weights (1 gram and 10 grams) to help shape your shot.
In its reviews of each type of golf equipment, Golf Digest evaluates four different criteria:
- Performance (45% of total evaluation)
- Innovation (30%)
- Look/sound/feel (20%)
- Demand (5%)
“Performance” relates to how well the club does what it is supposed to do — does the shot go where it is supposed to go — and how pleased the player is with the result. “Innovation” relates to how much the club advances the state of technology in golf equipment. “Look/sound/feel” is the subjective aspect of the club — does it look aesthetically pleasing, does the player enjoy swinging the club, does it make a satisfying sound on impact, and so on. And “demand” has to do with the level of interest generated by the club and how much demand it inspires in the marketplace, where new products are constantly competing against each other.
The TaylorMade R1 made Golf Digest’s “Hot List” for the best gear of the year in 2013. It scored 5 stars (out of 5) in performance, was the category leader (a perfect 100 points) in innovation among all tested golf drivers, rated 4-and-a-half stars in look/sound/feel, and was the category leader (100 points) in regard to demand.
The TaylorMade R1 Black has the same performance as the white TaylorMade R1.
Some of the comments made by the testers at Golf Digest about the R1 include:
“The sound is toward the loud end, but if you can’t get dialed in with this club, you’re not trying.”
“It’s very forgiving; even shots high on the face go a long way, and my slices stayed in play.”
Overall, in making the TaylorMade R1 an “Editor’s Choice” after reviewing over 200 golf drivers, the testers at Golf Digest summarized their review of the club by stating:
A force of substance and subtlety, the equipment industry’s innovation leader has outdone itself again. With 168 possible settings, there’s probably one that fits even your dog.
In other words, when it comes to TaylorMade drivers, it is the best of the best. So you should be able to make this driver work for you (or your dad can make it work for him).
What about the evaluation of pros? After trying the TaylorMade R1 Black (which TaylorMade made available to him a few days in advance of its release to the general public), Dustin Johnson decided to play with the club at the FedEx St. Jude Classic Pro-Am this week, and may use it in the pro tournament.
According to Jonathan Wall at PGATour.com:
TaylorMade’s new R1 Black driver has only been on Tour for a couple of days, but the new club has already received a positive response from a number of notable staffers.
Defending FedEx St. Jude Classic champion Dustin Johnson tested out a 10.5-degree R1 Black (Fujikura 2.0 X shaft, neutral face angle, 7 heel, 7 toe) on Tuesday afternoon and launched drives over the back of the range with ease.
Johnson liked the driver so much during testing that he decided to put it in play for Wednesday’s pro-am. Depending on how the round goes, there’s a chance the seven-time PGA TOUR winner could become one of the first to put the new driver in play during competition.
See the video below for more responses by golf pros to the TaylorMade R1 driver.
So, whether you’re hunting for the ideal Father’s Day gift for your golf-loving dad, or you want a state-of-the-art driver to improve your own game, the TaylorMade R1 Black, with its limited-run status, should fit the bill. When it comes to the best golf drivers this year, it ranks at the top.