Is the Taylormade R580 Driver Still Good? Is it Forgiving for High Handicappers?
“The Taylormade R580 is a relic in 2023 as it came out way back in 2002 as part of Taylormade’s popular R500 series of drivers. So what can it possibly offer to today’s amateur and casual golfers?”
Right off the bat, we have to say that the Taylormade R580 driver offers forgiveness. It was one of the first Taylormade drivers to break the 400cc barrier and it is still bringing the forgiveness to high handicap players.
We must say that testing the Taylormade R580 in 2023 felt like going back in time. The features are definitely a bit dated and compared to modern Taylormade drivers, the Taylormade R580 looks like a Ford Model-T.
However, that doesn’t mean you should discount it right away – especially when you can get one for well under $100 these days. So sit back, relax and read all about our testing experience with the Taylormade R580 driver.
Is the Taylormade R580 Driver Still Good?
“Surprisingly, a lot of the features that we have come to know and love from Taylormade were present in the Taylormade R580 driver.”
A lot of us remember the Taylormade R580; but it seemed that none of us remembered it accurately. When we picked it up again for testing, we totally forgot that it featured one of the first iterations of Taylormade’s inverted cone technology faces.
So right away, we were taken aback at how revolutionary and contemporary this driver has managed to be over the decades. The Taylormade R580 has a clean look at address – there aren’t a lot of bells and whistles but most of us actually preferred that.
It has a 400cc head which back in 2002, was revolutionary. These days, 400cc is eclipsed by oversized 460cc driver heads. But that really didn’t matter to most of our high handicap testers who noted that the Taylormade R580 was “easy to hit with” and “produced a deep, satisfying sound.”
Pretty high praise for a 20 year-old driver. The Taylormade R580 is definitely still good if you are seeking forgiveness and high initial launch. It does come up short in a few departments but it punches well above its weight class when you consider the price.
Is the Taylormade R580 Forgiving for High Handicappers?
“If the Taylormade R580 driver is anything, it is forgiving.”
The Taylormade R580 driver pretty much has everything that a high handicapper would need in terms of forgiveness. First of all, the inverted cone technology extends the hitting zone significantly.
More importantly, it extends it towards the area of the face that many players mis-hit: near the toe. Secondly, the CG placement in this driver is placed nice and deep in the driver head.
For high handicappers, this means that you won’t have to struggle so much to get the ball airborne. The Taylormade R580 produces a high initial launch that tapers off pretty quickly which we were slightly disappointed with.
That’s because it detracts from carry distance and actually minimizes roll distance as well. But the most important thing is that the Taylormade R580 is very easy to hit. It has a deep face profile.
Our testers also mentioned that the ball comes off hot pretty much anywhere you make contact with it on the face. So in short, the forgiveness is definitely high with this driver.
Taylormade R580 Vs Taylormade SIM
“The SIM is definitely loaded with more advanced features that help improve accuracy from the tee.”
For instance, the face features a slight curvature that helps keep low-face shots on-line. There is also a sliding weight that allows you to set the CG in a neutral, draw or fade position.
So in terms of eliminating your slice and hitting the ball straighter, the Taylormade SIM driver definitely wins the day. However, we noticed that the SIM driver still wasn’t as easy to hit with as the Taylormade R580. So in terms of pure forgiveness, the Taylormade R580 still comes out on top.
Taylormade R580 First Impressions
“Our first impression of the Taylormade R580 driver was that it was a pretty basic, bare-bones driver.”
And for the most part, that proved to be true in our testing. But there is a lot more under the hood so to speak. For instance, the Taylormade R580 driver has a tuned weight cartridge that allows you to dial in a precise swing weight.
Taylormade R580 Selling Points
- Inverted Cone Technology face
- 460cc club head
- High initial launch
- Deep face profile
- Crown alignment aids
- Tuned weight cartridge
Taylormade R580 Key Features
“As we mentioned earlier, the Taylormade R580 was pretty revolutionary for its time and its features are the proof.”
Tuned Weight Cartridge: This allows you to tweak the swing weight to match your swing speed and style.
Crow Alignment Aid: The crown features a highly-visible alignment marker that remains visible throughout your swing.
Inverted Cone Technology: Flex is emphasized on portions of the face that usually deaden ball speed.
What Handicap is it for?
“It’s definitely for 20+ handicappers.”
The versatility makes it viable for players on the cusp of breaking into high-teen handicap range while the extreme forgiveness is great for anyone scoring over 20.
Taylormade R580 Driver Options
- GrafAlloy ProLite 35 graphite shaft
- Harrison Professional graphite shaft
- Taylormade MAS 60 graphite shaft
- Taylormade MAS 55 graphite shaft
- 8.5 degree loft
- 9.5 degree loft
- 10.5 degree loft
Who Should Buy the Taylormade R580 Driver?
“The Taylormade R580 would be a great buy for anyone looking for forgiveness that rivals the forgiveness of modern drivers; but for a whole lot less money.”
While carry distance and consistency could be better, we really liked the versatility (adjustable swing weight) and the high forgiveness of this driver.
And for well under $100, you really can’t go wrong if you are looking for an instant increase in forgiveness.