2 New Big Dawgs from TaylorMade – the R1 and RBZ Stage 2


Congrats, we just turned the corner into a new year and into the beginning of a new golf season. That means there is new golf equipment hitting the market and I wanted to share a few new releases with you.

Both releases are for drivers by TaylorMade. The first being the R1 and the second being the RBZ (RocketBallzs) Stage 2. They are both some pretty sexy looking golf clubs, oh, and they work pretty good, too!

The R1 driver (see photo above) is a total customizable solution for pros and amateurs alike. The newest (and coolest) feature has got to be the increased range to change loft on the club. You can go from 8* to 12* of loft. That’s huge! Although for a relatively mid to upper handicapper there is no reason to be hitting 8* or 9*.

Can’t help but think why could it not go to 14*? That would seem much more manageable range for an amateur but, bottomline, it’s great that increased loft flexibility is now part of the design. As part of their promo literature TaylorMade states that, “80% of golfers are playing the wrong loft” and “24% are wrong by 2 degrees or more. Pretty compelling I would say.

Now, instead of 5 settings on the R11S you now have 7 face angle options. Going from N/square, open, medium-open, max-open, closed, medium-closed, max-closed. It’s looks much nicer and more integrated as a dial shape rather than the hex shape on previous clubs.

The R1 also keeps the TaylorMade tradition of moveable weights that promote a neutral/straight flight or a distance enhancing draw. Very nice.

Additionally, inverted Cone technology is milled into the inner face of the driver club face which effectively expands the portion of the club face that delivers high, penetrating ball speed.

It comes with a Adila RIP Phenom 55 gram shaft that is designed to promote faster club head speed while delivering superior feel.

Finally, the look of the club has changed for the better I believe. It’s no longer a stark white top with minimal graphics it now has a pretty cool, kind of chevron shaped graphic with a gray, charcoal and orange color scheme. I think it’s an improvement. Some may or may not agree but it melds well with the club head design and breaks up that somewhat annoying white space on the previous R11.

Once again, TaylorMade has done a smart job of integrating all this technology (and a few lesser ones I didn’t cover) into one club. It’s not an easy task to integrate all the technology and STILL have a cool looking club. But I really think they improved it on a number of (less than dramatic ) levels.


The RBZ Stage 2 Driver, according to TaylorMade, “is faster and longer than the original Rocketballz driver.” (I love good, simple writing copy, don’t you?) What do you mean, you’re not completely sold yet? Ok, here are a few benefits that separate the last generation from the new Stage 2.

For one, it has a larger face. It is now an expansive 4,100 square millimeter club face giving you the extra surface area in case of the dreaded mis-hit. It also has the same “Inverted Cone Technology” that I mentioned above in the R1.

From my research, a big concern for TaylorMade was (along with the larger clubface) trying to improve the aerodynamics of the club. It’s a bit too scientific to get into but much thought and testing was put into how wind interacts the the club crown when moving through space.

Small details here are critically important and you can see it in the club head shape. Again, the rubber meets the road when your actually playing the course and hitting long, piercing drives, right?

Also, expanded is the TaylorMade Loft-Sleeve technology which offers 7 standard and 5 upright loft options to add +- 1.5* to each of the available standard lofts of 9.5*, 10.5* and 13*. So, in essence, you can move up or down 1.5* from the “standard” loft you choose.

The RBZ Stage 2 has a black clubface, non-glare white crown with a new crown decal that features a palette of light gray, charcoal and yellow (Hey, whatever happened to that sexy lime green!) It takes a bit of the chevron shape like the new R1 but it’s (in my opinion) very classy!

It comes with a Ultra-light Fujikura RocketFuel 50-gram Graphite shaft.

The trend now seems to be able to have everything customizable that might effect your distance off the tee. The lie angle, the club weight and the launch angle. It’s pretty cool that more and more flexibility is being built into these clubs.

No longer do you have to buy an expensive club and then you are stuck with it. All you have to do is just keep fidgeting with the settings and you’ll soon arrive at your own custom combination to unlocking your driver distance and power potential. Not bad, huh?!