It shouldn’t come as a big surprise that through May of this year, drivers have accounted for the largest portion of wood market unit sales at 39.8% (35.5% were fairway woods and hybrids represented 24.7%).
Why? Because everyone wants to hit it long.
Another interesting nugget, from Golf Datatech, the golf industry’s leading firm for industry retail sales research: Last year in the U.S., TaylorMade captured 47% of every dollar spent on woods (drivers, fairway woods, and hybrids).
So a lot of people are buying drivers, and a lot of people are apparently buying TaylorMade drivers. Given the fact that TaylorMade is always working with new technologies and constantly designing new clubs, this isn’t that much of a surprise.
It probably comes as no surprise either that you’re going to pay more for the latest and greatest new driver technology from TaylorMade (that currently being the R1) than you’re going to pay for a used TaylorMade driver introduced several years ago. Nonetheless, that used TaylorMade driver can still help you hit it long and true off the tee.
That driver is the TaylorMade r7 460. Now this club may not be the latest and greatest introduction from TaylorMade – it originally came out in 2006 – but before you dismiss it because of its age, read on.
The r7 460 measures 460cc, the largest volume allowed by the USGA, and is the largest of the r7 drivers produced by TaylorMade. In a word, it is BIG. The exceptionally large head is designed to make it extraordinarily forgiving and extraordinarily easy to launch.
But this driver has a few other features that will help your tee shot.
The r7 460 has TaylorMade’s Movable Weight Technology, something that gives you the ability to change the center of gravity (CG) in order to promote different types of launch conditions and trajectories.
The r7 460 was engineered with two TaylorMade Launch Control (TLC) ports and includes two movable TLC cartridges, a 14-gram and a 2-gram. While the 460’s internal weighting characteristics give it a distinct draw bias, configuring the cartridges so that the 14-gram is in the toe port and the 2-gram is in the heel port shifts the CG toward the toe, counteracting the 460’s inherent draw tendencies to promote a straight, or neutral, trajectory.
If you instead install the 2-gram cartridge in the toe port and the 14-gram in the heel port, the CG shifts toward the heel, promoting a large draw.
TaylorMade claimed that robot testing “indicated that the draw bias created by the 2-gram/toe and 14-gram/heel configuration promotes 15 yards from right to left for most players compared to the 14-gram/toe and 2-gram/heel configuration.”
A few other high-tech attributes of the r7 460:
- Pull-Face Construction: A process by which the clubface is made separately from the clubhead — with very strong titanium — and produced in an exceedingly fast, flexible, and light clubface.
- Inverted Cone Technology (ICT). The Inverted Cone, which is milled directly onto the inner side of the clubface, increases the size of the club’s coefficient of restitution (COR) Zone, which is the portion of the clubface that delivers high COR. What that means is that ICT allows a larger area of the face to deliver consistently higher ball velocity, resulting in consistently longer drives.
Also available is the r7 460 TP driver, which also shares the r7 460 driver’s large size. A key difference between them: The r7 460 TP driver is engineered with a square clubface alignment, which is preferred by better players, while the r7 460 driver is slightly closed.
When it first came out, the r7 460 was available in 8.5, 9.5, 10.5, and 11.5 degree lofts, and in X, S, R, and M shaft flexes. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price was $500. You can find one these days for a heck of a lot less, so it might be worth your while to go and try one to see how it looks and feels to you.