TaylorMade R15 Fairway Wood Review – High Adjustability

TaylorMade R15 Fairway Wood - 4 Perspectives

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 exemplary ratings — a 4.8/5 average on Global Golf, 4.7/5 on Amazon, and a perfect 5/5 on the TaylorMade website.

What People Like

  • great versatility (4° loft sleeve as well as moveable weight)
  • cool modern look
  • light weight
  • good distance
  • excellent feel

Consistent golfers (mid-handicap or lower) tend to see more benefit from the R15 fairway wood.

What People Don’t Like

  • some higher handicap golfers feel that they aren’t getting the most out of this club

Overview & Features

Adjustable Tungsten Weight

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 movable 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.

Loft Sleeve

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.

Front Track

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 less spin and a higher ball flight.

Stock Info

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).

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

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.

However, 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 & feel?

The 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 scheme.

I would have liked to see a prominent alignment aid on the crown like the one 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.

The Sound & 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 you buy this fairway wood?

Amazon used to have all hands, flexes, and lofts available for the R15, but not anymore. I wouldn’t recommend buying from them right now; they’ve gone downhill as a source of golf equipment.

Now that this model is a couple of years old, there are two places where you can get it at a great discount.

The first is eBay, which is a fantastic source for new and used woods.

The second is Global Golf, which offers many attractive deals and programs that save you money and headache. Hurry though, because the stock is low.


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 remains a great fairway wood on the market today.

It provides the most benefit for mid-to-low handicappers, but even higher handicappers can benefit greatly from it. Those who want maximum forgiveness may want to look into other options.


If you have any thoughts or opinions about the R15 fairway wood, feel free to leave a comment below!

4 Comments

  1. JohnCWS October 11, 2015
    • Paul October 11, 2015
  2. JohannHR October 11, 2015
    • Paul October 11, 2015

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