My initial impressions are kind of a surprise to me. To be completely honest, I really was not sure how much of a performance improvement we would actually see this year with R1 vs. R11S. Prior to having the opportunity to hit one, I had somewhat expected that the R1 would essentially be another R11S with different looks and adjustability. Thankfully, my skepticism seems to have been dead wrong and I should have know better!!!
The first thing that will stand out when you compare this driver to the previous adjustable Taylormade heads is the sound and feel. The R1 is by far the best sounding and feeling adjustable driver head that they have ever made........ and I mean ever including r7, r7 425, r7 460, r7 Superquad, r9, r9 460, r9 Supertri, r9 SuperDeep, R11, and R11S. Not that all of the previous R series driver heads felt or sounded bad at impact, but the heads with MWT also has just a little more tingy, hollow feel to them and didn't quite have that solid thwack that many love to feel at impact. This head sounds and feels awesome at impact.
Performance wise, I can't say a great deal about it yet since I only had the chance to hit it on the range and for 9 holes. But, I can say that the Tour R1 V2 is definitely lower spin than the Tour R11S V2 head was. I'm not exactly sure by how much yet until I can test it on Trackman, but I thought that it was noticeable to the eye based on the ball flight and distance. I have also heard from those who have tested the R1 on the monitor that the ball speeds are slightly improved as well. So, I am excited to see the potential gains from the lower spin and any added ball speed once I can get one dialed in see what it can really do. Overall though, I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw and look forward to some more formal testing with it.
One cool thing about the tour issue V2 heads is that they are availabe in 3 lofts and not just a base 10* head that you adjust up or down like the retail ones. So, you have the option of playing the loft that you want without having to change the face angle drastically with the hosel. These tour heads I believe are also 440cc like the R11S V2 head was based on my measurements, but I'll have to confirm on that.