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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 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.
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 less spin and a higher ball flight.
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.
|15° (3)||56.5° - 60.5°||150 cc||43.25"||D4|
|17° (3HL)||56.5° - 60.5°||150 cc||43.25"||D4|
|19° (5)||56.5° - 60.5°||120 cc||42.25"||D4|
|21° (5HL)||56.5° - 60.5°||120 cc||42.25"||D4|
How does the fairway wood perform?
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 (eBay link).
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.
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.
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 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?
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.
- awesome distance and ball flight on solid strikes
- wonderful feel
- great versatility/adjustability
- more than enough forgiveness for low-handicappers
- 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!
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?
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.
It looks like I need to rebuild my golf bag! I have heard that itÂ´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?
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.