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In January, TaylorMade Golf Company turned the golf world upside down with the introduction of the R11™ driver - a white-headed driver incorporating three innovative adjustability technologies. R11 quickly became the No. 1 driver model on the PGA Tour.* It's been used to win 18 professional events worldwide, including the Open Championship and Canadian Open. R11 also quickly became the best-selling driver model in the United States, helping TaylorMade achieve an extraordinary 45% market share in metalwoods.**
Today TaylorMade is proud to announce the expansion of the R11 franchise with the introduction of the R11 irons, which are engineered for the player who appreciates the shape and refinement of a tour-grade iron but needs the help of advanced technology to launch the ball high, straight and long with less effort, regardless of handicap.
Historically, irons engineered with multiple game-improvement technologies tend to be oversized, inelegant and clunky, with thick toplines, broad soles and over-bearing cavities. They typically feel harsh and sound high-pitched and "clicky." The R11 iron breaks that mold and rewrites the book about what a high-technology iron can look like, feel like and sound like.
R11 irons are engineered with multiple technologies that make them stunningly easy to launch high and long. Technologies that we developed while building the best metalwoods in the world, like ways to make thin, fast faces, and methods to expand the COR zone, and techniques for precisely locating the CG.
"The R11 iron is truly a masterwork of beauty, technology and performance," said Sean Toulon, TaylorMade's executive vice president. "We've never created an iron that combines this kind of distance, this kind of forgiveness, is this easy to launch, and feels and sounds this soft and solid. And its appearance is extraordinarily beautiful, a gorgeous blend of smooth, classic lines and high-tech flourishes."
"The R11 employs all our best iron technologies," said Bret Wahl, TaylorMade's senior director of iron development. "It's a great testament to how far we've come in our ability to bring modern, sophisticated iron designs to life. We couldn't have made this iron a few years ago, but the fact that we can now helps explain why it performs better than irons we've made in the past. It's a superior design, and that's clearly evident when you try it."
Precision Weighting Port and Progressive CG location
The first thing about the R11 iron that will grab the golfer's attention is its red precision-weighting port, a technology initially introduced in TaylorMade's forged iron lineup, including the Tour Preferred MB. The precision-weighting port allows TaylorMade engineers to 1) guarantee precise swingweight and 2) ensure center-face Center of Gravity (CG) location in every iron. The result is optimal consistency in feel and performance from one club to the next.
Ultra-Thin Face and TaylorMade's Renowned Inverted Cone Technology
The ultra-thin face construction of the R11 irons promotes faster ball speed and distance in long- and middle-irons. Each R11 iron also features TaylorMade's renowned Inverted Cone clubface technology, which expands the area of the face that delivers fast ball speed, which promotes improved distance on off-center hits.
Multi Functional Sole and Advanced Groove Design
Progressive shaping makes the longer irons more forgiving, and the shorter irons more compact and workable. TaylorMade Tour Staff professional Nick Faldo, an aficionado of finely designed irons, worked extensively with the TaylorMade design team to ensure that the topline of each iron blends into the hosel in just the right way to preserve the iron's beauty at address.
The soles of the R11 irons are moderately thin (with the exception of the long-irons) and the leading edge is moderately sharp, helping it to enter and exit the turf quickly and smoothly. The long-irons are engineered with wider soles to pull the CG lower for easier, higher launch while also increasing MOI to make them more stable and forgiving. R11 irons also incorporate an advanced, USGA-conforming groove design to promote increased spin and control from the rough.
Sound and Vibration Management System
TaylorMade's R&D department worked diligently to perfect an advanced sound and vibration management system to ensure the feel in the R11 irons would appeal to better players. The R11 irons' extraordinary feel comes from the club's combination of shape, construction and the incorporation of an aluminum sound badge in the cavity. Sandwiched between the stiff badge and the clubhead is a soft adhesive that absorbs sound and vibration, promoting a superbly soft feel. Golfers will appreciate how the feel of the R11 irons will make the rock-hard balls sold by the bucket at the average driving range feel and sound more like a soft tour ball.
"It isn't easy to predict how an iron will sound and feel," said Wahl. "In the case of the R11 we hit a grand slam, thanks to our advanced design capabilities."
An Unprecedented Convergence of Technology and Beauty
The R11 iron is unquestionably the most beautiful cavityback ever introduced by TaylorMade. The appearance at address is simple and traditional, with the topline melting seamlessly into the hosel. From behind, the sweeping lines that form the shape of the head, the cavity and what lies within the cavity work in absolute harmony to create a beautifully balanced composition that's guaranteed to please the eye of any golfer.
"There has never been a game-improvement iron that looks this classically beautiful, that incorporates this kind of serious performance technology, and which will fit so many players," said Toulon. "The R11 iron is destined to assume a position among the pantheon of the best of the best TaylorMade products."
Set Makeup, Pricing and Availability
The R11 irons are offered in four shaft flexes - S, R, M, L. Ladies' flex shafts will be offered in the 5-iron through pitching wedge, attack wedge and sand wedge. The standard R11 set includes eight irons offered at a street price of $799 with steel shafts in the irons and $999 with graphite shafts in the irons. The steel offering will be the KBS 90, while the graphite offering will be the Motore 75 S, 65 R, 55 M, 50 L. Men's irons are equipped with Tour Velvet grips, ladies with Winn grips). Availability begins at retail Thursday, September 1.
* Darrell Survey
** Golf Datatech, 45.44% dollar-share, combined on- and off-course channels, United States, March 2011
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About Taylor Made Golf Company, Inc. dba TaylorMade-adidas Golf Company
TaylorMade Golf has led the golf industry's technological revolution since the company was founded in 1979. TaylorMade metalwoods, irons and putters have been used to win hundreds of professional golf tournaments around the world. In 1998, TaylorMade became a wholly owned subsidiary of the adidas Group. adidas Golf creates high-performance, technology-infused golf apparel and footwear worn by hundreds of professional golfers around the world. Ashworth, which became a brand of the TaylorMade-adidas Golf Company in 2008, creates relaxed, lifestyle-oriented golf apparel synonymous with authenticity and quality. Learn more about TaylorMade-adidas Golf and its brands at (866) 530-TMAG (8624) or www.taylormadegolf.com, www.adidasgolf.com, www.ashworthgolf.com, and www.tmag.com.
About the adidas Group
The adidas Group is one of the global leaders within the sporting goods industry, offering a broad range of products around the core brands adidas, Reebok, TaylorMade, Rockport and Reebok-CCM Hockey. Headquartered in Herzogenaurach, Germany, the Group has more than 42,000 employees and generated sales of €12 billion in 2010.