Taylormade R1 Driver Review – Is it Good for High Handicappers & Forgiving?

“The Taylormade R1 driver may seem archaic by today’s driver design standards; but it may still be helpful for high handicap players in 2023.”

When the Taylormade R1 driver first came out, it was hailed as one of the most technologically advanced drivers that the company ever made. And players soon found out that it was one of the most customizable drivers ever – we would actually argue that it is still one of the most customizable drivers.

But as we have learned with drivers of the past, it is possible to go overboard with adjustability. Is that the case with the Taylormade R1 driver? Is it still a good driver for high handicappers in 2023? We answer these burning questions in the following review.

The Taylormade R Driver Family

“If you are looking to tune down the adjustability and simplify things a bit, the Taylormade R15 would be a good choice.”

The Taylormade R15 has dual sliding weights positioned in the front of the club head. No matter how you position the weights, you’re going to get low spin rates which is a big plus in our book.

The only downside to the Taylormade R1 and Taylormade R15 drivers is that they both have white crowns. While this reduces glare, it also makes white ball sort of fade into the head on your downswing.

Is it Good for High Handicappers?

“The Taylormade R1 driver is excellent for high handicappers as well as slightly better players.”

First, let’s talk adjustability. The Taylormade R1 has a face angle dial that allows you to switch between 5 face angle positions. There is also an adjustable loft sleeve and adjustable weights that allow you to tweak the CG.

So no matter how you swing your driver or how fast you swing it, you can optimize the Taylormade R1 for look, launch and distance. Then there is the Inverted Cone technology that Taylormade has incorporated into the R1. The Inverted Cone design essentially elongates the sweet spot of the face to areas where players tend to mis-hit.

The Taylormade R1 is not only good for high handicappers; virtually any kind of player will be able to tune it to their liking. That all being said, it does take quite a while to mess with all the face, loft and CG positions and find the right one for you – at least, it took our testers a long time to figure it out.

Is it Forgiving?

“The great thing about the Taylormade R1 is that you can adjust the face angle to make it easier to square up.”

Squaring up more consistently means that more of your drives will find the fairway. This was a huge boon for many of our testers and we imagine that most high handicappers will love it as well.

The Taylormade R1 is forgiving because it allows you to capitalize on the distance you get from straighter shots. It will also help you correct a slice once you get the weights and face angle in the right positions for your swing.

Our only gripe is that the crown has been painted white. We get it, the white paint job reduces glare. But it also makes it so that you almost have to avoid using white balls. It just makes it harder to keep your alignment on your downswing.

Difference Between the Taylormade R1 and Taylormade R15 Drivers

“The main difference is that the Taylormade R1 driver has an additional face angle adjuster.”

With the Taylormade R15, you can only adjust the loft and lie and the CG. Another difference is that the Taylormade R1 driver has the inverted cone face design to increase forgiveness on mis-hits.

Available Shafts

  • Taylormade Aldila RIP Phenom 55

  • Taylormade Fujikura Speeder 57
  • Matrix Speed RUL-Z 50
  • Fujikura Pro 50
  • Aldila NVS 55
  • Project X HZRDUS Smoke Yellow 60

Is the Taylormade R1 Driver Worth it?

“The Taylormade R1 is definitely worth it if you can’t seem to find the driver that fits your swing.”

Why? Because we can’t imagine a player that wouldn’t be able to adjust the Taylormade R1 exactly to their liking. Did Taylormade go a bit nuts with the adjustability? A tad. We only say that because it does take some time to find the perfect setting for your swing. In fact, some of our testers never found it.

Is the Taylormade R1 still good for high handicappers? Yes. As long as you have the time and patience to tinker with it, you will love the distance and accuracy gains.

Taylormade R1

In 20 Words Or Less

“The Taylormade R1 will work for many kinds of players because of the almost limitless customization options.”

Taylormade R1 – First Impressions


“At first, we were put off by the face adjustment dial that takes up a lot of real estate on the sole.”

In fact, we never quite got over it. While it effectively serves a purpose, it is ugly as all get out. Not only that, we suspect that the bulbous face angle adjustment dial screws with aerodynamics a bit. The dial itself is clunky, awkward and may actually affect your downswing.

All that aside though, we were very impressed with our distance gains. Most of us increased our average drive distance by more than 10 yards. Many of our testers were able to use the face angle adjuster to straighten out their shots as well.

Taylormade R1 Selling Points 

  • Face angle adjuster
  • Shot-shaping adjustable weights
  • Adjustable loft sleeve
  • Inverted Cone technology
  • Almost limitless shot-shaping options
  • Good for all kinds of players

Who is the Taylormade R1 Driver for?

“The Taylormade R1 is a driver for almost any kind of player.”

So long as you’re willing to spend a couple sessions fiddling with the settings (or get a fitting), you can make the Taylormade R1 work for your swing.

The Taylormade R Family of Drivers

If you aren’t sold on the Taylormade R1 or R15, the R7 may be more to your liking. It features adjustable weights to tweak CG and a striking sole design.

Distance: 97/100

Accuracy: 96/100

Forgiveness: 96/100

Feel & Control: 96/100


Overall Score: 96/100

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