Final Verdict: Swinging with Bespoke TaylorMade
I’ve had time to practice with them. I’ve had time to play with them. Now, it’s time to pass judgement on my new set of bespoke TaylorMade golf clubs.
A few weeks ago, TaylorMade flew golf writers out to San Diego and Torrey Pines to try out the company’s entire line of clubs. Then the assembled throng underwent the entire professional fitting process to find out what would work best for this particular golf writer.
Below you’ll see what bespoke clubs I ended up with in my bag and my reaction to the clubs after both practicing and playing with them.
Driver: The fitter and I went with the R15 Driver over the TaylorMade Aeroburner because the former includes the ability to adjust the center of gravity to encourage draw or fade. I swing fast and hit the driver hard, which can encourage a strong slice. By adjusting the center of gravity on the club for a lot of draw.
In play, it’s been a mixed bag. While I find the R15 more forgiving so far than the Big Bertha Alpha 815 I’ve also been testing. But, the adjustments haven’t killed off that slice yet. Time will tell.
3 Wood: With the driver proving less than fully reliable, it stays in the bag often unless I’m teeing off on a par 5. That makes my new R15 Fairway 3 Wood my stand-in driving club of choice. If I hit this R15 right on the sweet spot, it’ll clear 220 on the roll. It seems to play best out of favorable lies. So, for trouble spots, I’m going to be keeping my Adams Tight Lies in my bag.
Rescues/Hybrids: Amongst the amateur ranks, there are irons players and wood/driver players. The former tends to swing more over the top on a more compact plane. That’s me. So, I decided my longer distance hybrid or rescue clubs needed to be more “iron centric” than fairway wood-ish. So, I again went with the R15s (3 and 4 iron) over the Aeroburner rescues.
Once I settled in with them at the range, these clubs were a revelation. When I really hit them clean, I crush them with maximum ball compression. I don’t get to use them all that often on most courses, but they’re a relief to have on longer holes
Irons: With the trend of choices here, it’s no surprise that I went with the RSi 1 irons, as opposed to TaylorMade’s more blade centered tour irons. My swing called for steel shafts, one inch extended, 2 degrees closed (to smack down that slice again).
In play, the RSi 1s are extremely well balanced. They feel light in the hand, but heavier once in motion — with all of the weight flowing to the end of the club and that sweet spot notch in the swing plane. While my driver still slices, these RSi1 irons disposed of the problem once off the tee.
Loft Wedges: I ended up with a 52, 56 and 60 degree R Series Tour Grind loft wedges in my bag. Heavier than the Callaway or Cobra loft wedges I’ve played in the past, they get the ball higher than I’ve hit in the past and seem to generate nice stopping spin on the green. That weight requires a little more touch than other brands I’ve played, but the result of the extra effort seems worth it.
Putter: The Taylormade fitter determined I tend to putt left eye dominant. And, with my height of 6’3″, I also arch my putts more than some players. So, a flat, straight line-centered two ball putter doesn’t work for me. But, to avoid ending up with a pure blade putter, I opted for the Ghost Tour Black Monte Carlo. Essentially, a “one ball” design, it’s hybrid design allow me to get a little extra top spin on my putts, keeping them more in line.