By Brent Kelley
But first things first: That look. The R1 driver's crown graphics will strike some golfers as cool, perhaps some as busy, but everyone can agree it's a different look.
The crown look is in two parts: The white finish, which reduces glare and presents a contrast to the dark clubface, has been used by TaylorMade through several generations of drivers now. But added to the R1's crown is an orange, black and gray graphic that does, the company says, serve a purpose.
The graphics, TaylorMade says, provide "linear reference cues" to help golfers square the face at address. For example, the graphics frame a triangular white space behind the clubface, and that white space serves as a frame against which to position the ball - "helping to heighten focus," TaylorMade claims.
Regardless, you might just think it's a cool look.
As for the adjustability of the TaylorMade R1 driver: Golfers can change the loft angle, the face angle, and use movable weights to affect shot shape. To wit:
The stock shaft in the TaylorMade R1 driver is the Aldila RIP Phenom 55, an ultralight graphite shaft for some extra "oomph" in clubhead speed. While it weighs only 55 grams, its design gives it the feel of a 65-gram shaft. It has a stiff tip and firm grip end, but a softer center for added kick.
The TaylorMade R1 Driver reaches retail outlets on Feb. 1, 2013, priced at $399. taylormadegolf.com