TaylorMade R15 Fairway Wood Review (2015)

by | October 9, 2015

 

TaylorMade R15 Fairway Wood Review

TaylorMade R15 Fairway Wood Review (2015)

Here I will be reviewing the highly adjustable TaylorMade R15 fairway wood.  In contrast to previous fairway woods like the SLDR or Aeroburner, this is the first in TaylorMade’s line of fairway woods to feature a slideable weight on the sole that adjusts for shots shapes.

Read on to find out what you need to know about the R15 fairway wood to make an informed purchase.

What are the reviews like?

The R15 fairway wood has exceptional ratings — a 4.7/5 on Amazon and a perfect 5/5 on the TaylorMade website (4/5).  Customer reviewers have lauded it for its great versatility (4° loft sleeve as well as moveable weight), cool modern look, light weight, good distance and excellent feel.

Consistent golfers (mid-handicap or lower) tend to see more benefit from the R15 fairway wood; some higher handicap golfers feel that they aren’t getting the most out of the club.

Overview and Features

Some key specifications for the club can be found below.

LoftLieVolumeLengthSwing Weight
15° (3)56.5° - 60.5°150 cc43.25"D4
17° (3HL)56.5° - 60.5°150 cc43.25"D4
19° (5)56.5° - 60.5°120 cc42.25"D4
21° (5HL)56.5° - 60.5°120 cc42.25"D4

Perhaps the most interesting feature of the R15 fairway wood is the 25 gram adjustable tungsten weight on the sole.  Similar to other clubs with a moveable weight, sliding the weight towards the toe will promote a fade and sliding it towards the heel will promote a fade.  The weight “clicks” firmly into 17 different positions.

The R15 fairway wood also features a 4° loft sleeve that allows you to fine-tune your loft and launch settings — keep in mind that adjusting the loft this way will change the face angle slightly, and this will in turn add draw or fade biases.

Like the R15 driver, underneath the weight is a slit that TaylorMade calls the “Front Track“.  The Front Track performs like a Speed Pocket in that it helps to reduce spin.  It also increases ball speeds over a larger area of the face and thus increases the size of the sweet spot.  Other features include:

  • a “Contoured Back Track” on the sole that helps the club glide through turf
  • a thick skin casting which moves the CG lower and more forward for a less spin and a higher ball flight

As is summarized in the table above, the R15 fairway wood is available in four standard loft configurations:  15° (3 wood), 17° (3 wood high launch), 19° (5 wood) and 21° (5 wood high launch).  The stock shafts are the Fujikura Speeder Evolution 67 (S, R, M) and 757 (X, S, R).

How does the fairway wood perform?

Forgiveness:  The R15 is not considered a game-improvement fairway wood, so if you’re a high handicapper that wants maximum forgiveness, there are probably better options out there (such as the Callaway Big Bertha V Series).  The forgiveness is definitely acceptable and shouldn’t be a problem for mid-to-low handicappers.  Even if you do have a high handicap, the R15 fairway wood can still be a fantastic addition to your bag since it will encourage you to learn to make good strikes consistently.

The R15 can handle all different types of lies just fine.

Effectiveness:  The slideable weight, which introduces draw/fade biases, will certainly help alleviate, but not necessarily cure, any slice or hook problems you may have.  The weight does indeed work well.  It also helps golfers who regularly hit towards the toe or the heel to hit purer shots.

The combined effects of both loft adjustments (using the sleeve) and moveable weight adjustments can result in quite strong fade or draw tendencies, and this can be a huge help for golfers who have a hard time keeping the clubface square at impact.

The R15 also gives plenty of length, particularly on well-struck shots.  Workability is good; you can hit any kind of shot you want if you know what you’re doing.

Trajectory:  The R15 fairway wood consistently delivers a medium flight (relatively speaking), and this can be adjusted using the loft sleeve.  Loft adjustment can be very useful in certain situations, such as when you’re hitting out of the rough.

What about look, sound and feel?

Look:  The R15 fairway wood comes in both a black and white finish.  While I personally prefer the look of the black, I think both look great.  The head is sort of pear shaped, and at 150cc (for the 3 woods) it’s not too big or small.  The design on the sole is slick, well-blended and has a nice colour palette.  I would have liked to see a noticeable alignment aid on the crown like that on the R15 driver or even the SLDR fairway wood.  At its default (stated) loft, the R15 sets up square at address and does a good job of framing the ball.

Sound and Feel:  Very satisfying.  I really like the quiet and classic impact sound of this fairway wood; it’s surely different than that of the Aeroburner, for example, which is quite a bit louder.  It feels very solid at impact, and feedback is plenty distinct — you can easily tell where your mishit is.

Where should I buy this fairway wood?

At the time of writing, you can get a new R15 fairway wood at a discount on Amazon here.  They have all hands, flexes and lofts available for selection.  I wouldn’t pay attention to the 13° listing — not sure what that is.  Amazon has a great return policy and you’re also protected under their A-to-z guarantee.  The R15s are also available on the TaylorMade website (see link above).

What about a used one?

This search page on eBay is one of the best places to find used R15 fairway woods at sweet prices.  In fact, eBay itself is one of the best places to find used golf equipment in general.  Check it out!

Global Golf also has a large selection of used R15 fairway woods available in all different conditions.  Try the coupon codes 99afs or 15OFFLEFTY for discounts and free shipping deals.

Conclusion

Pros:  Awesome distance and ball flight on solid strikes, wonderful feel, great versatility/adjustability, more than enough forgiveness for low-handicappers
Cons:  High-handicappers who want extreme forgiveness have better options

The TaylorMade R15 fairway wood is an fantastic fairway wood that provides the most benefit for mid-to-low handicappers.  Even higher handicappers can benefit greatly from this fairway wood, but those who want maximum forgiveness may want to look into other options.

Think the R15 fairway wood might be an option for you?  You’ll probably want to check this out here!

If you have any thoughts or opinions about the TaylorMade R15 fairway wood, be sure to leave a comment below!


Images courtesy of:  Amazon

4 thoughts on “TaylorMade R15 Fairway Wood Review (2015)

  1. JohnCWS

    Was doing some research and ran across your article on the TaylorMade R15 wood set. I don’t normally use any woods, and stick to my irons.. However, I have been practicing and have learned during those long par 5’s that I have to use woods. I use TaylorMade irons right now and love them. I use a Nike driver. I was thinking of going with this set but I’m not 100% sure yet. Have you used them? Are the club faces big? or smaller compared to most woods?

    Reply
    1. Paul Post author

      I was able to test the 150cc 3-wood for a few hours — it has a moderately-sized head and clubface. The 5-wood has a 120cc head, which is a bit smaller. Generally, the bigger the head, the better the forgiveness.

      Reply
  2. JohannHR

    It looks like I need to rebuild my golf bag! I have heard that it´s longer from my friend; I guess that should be just better. Are you agree?
    Thank you for great information about it, just one more question.

    About The Front Track do it increases the size of sweet spot a lot?

    Reply
    1. Paul Post author

      Everything else constant, longer is certainly better, yes. The R15 is pretty long, but I can’t say how much distance you’ll gain without more info. Chances are the R15 will be better in nearly every respect over any old, cheap fairway wood you might have.

      The Front Track does effectively increase the size of the sweet spot, but I can’t say much more quantitatively or qualitatively. It’s a nice feature and it certainly makes for a little more forgiveness.

      Reply

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