Golf equipment has certainly come full circle in recent years. Everything from irons, drivers, fairway woods, and even putters has gone a complete overhaul in the way they are looked at and played. When hybrids first came out they were designed to replace the longer irons in an iron set that were harder to hit. Generally speaking. Now with recent technological advancements, hybrids are now replacing fairway woods. They’ve come a long way since first being thought of as a ‘cheating club.’ Taylormade created some serious noise in 2011 by introducing the color white to its line of clubs and that white trickled down to its popular Rescue hybrid as well. THP put the R11 Rescue through some testing to see if the performance would match that of the paint. Did it? Check it out.
From the Company
Adjustable loft with Flight Control Technology (FCT)
White non-glare crown and black clubface for easy alignment
There’s no mistaking a Taylormade golf product in 2011. White is the new black and it’s taken the golf world by snow storm. The cool thing is that they’ve nicely incorporated both black and with into the club. Ebony and ivory, white and black cookie, Taylormade Rescue 11? It all comes together! If you’ve never seen the new white crown yet you’re surely missing out on a visual treat. It’s not stark, glaring, etc. It’s actually calming at address and the black clubface provides a great alignment aid in of itself. Is the clubhead squared to the target line? Forget the alignment aid on the crown and the graphics on the back of the crown, use the clubface as your guide. For all intents and purposes you forget that the club is white after the first few shots or holes with it which is one less distraction you need before ripping a shot off with this club. The stock Aldila RIP shaft is a nice addition to an already sleek but powerful offering and the look certainly blends well. The club has the look of a smaller fairway wood which gives you the comfort of hitting it off the tee, off the deck, or in the rough. Hybrids certainly are versatile, no?
Everything about the Rescue 11 hybrid screams ‘technology.’ The paint on the crown, the RIP shaft, and especially the adjustability factor. This factor, known as Flight Control Technology (FCT), is the soul of this club. With FCT you can increase or decrease the launch angle by 1 degree. There are eight, count them eight, different FCT positions that allow you to increase or decrease loft in .5 increments as well. Why should it’s big brother R11 driver have all the adjustable fun right? With every FCT adjustment your spin rate will also change as well. More loft gives you more spin for greater carry while the lower the loft the less spin you’ll get with a little less carry. Don’t believe me? Look at Exhibit A below. Exhibit B can be found in the ‘Testing’ section of this review where I tell you what I saw when I played with these different settings to dial myself in. In addition to the adjustability, Taylormade also placed the CG (center of gravity) lower and more towards the rear of the clubhead which is designed for better shot shaping capability. Does this all work like its advertised? Read on my friends.
Working with the Rescue R11 was a great experience that had its highs and lows that’s for sure. As cool as the adjustability is it can be difficult finding what setting is right for you. Once you find that setting though, it’s an awesome feeling. One thing I quickly found was that this club isn’t the most forgiving when not hit in the center of the clubface which I found odd for a hybrid. You’ll see some distance loss however the trajectory is still straight so you should still be in good shape with your next shot. However when you catch this club on the screws the ball just rockets off the face with a sense of power behind it. The CG at work? Yep. This CG also comes into play when one wants to use a hybrid to play a little bump and run. The CG and the clubface work well together to spring the ball forward with control and a nice solid feel to it. This club is worth having in your bag just for this reason alone. You’ll thank me for this little tidbit of playing advice when you start shaving a few strokes off your game.
The club has a great feel to it and the weighting is spot on. You can really feel the clubhead throughout the swing which I quite liked. Although at times I found this to be an issue particularly on tighter lies or even the fairway where the club seemed to ‘stick’ about when going through the turf. I don’t think turf interaction is it’s forte however the R11 really excels at drilling through the rough. First cut rough, primary rough, it doesn’t matter as this hybrid welcomes and takes on all kinds of rough with ease. Now you almost have an excuse to not hit as many fairways as you may like.
I found the neutral setting to be a little on the high launching side so I went about dialing the settings down to see if that would help even out the trajectory. Well it did but buy doing that I also opened up the clubface a bit which meant my natural fade was now a flat out slice. Not good, so I ended up increasing the loft a little bit which created more spin and led to more distance which was what I was trying to get to begin with. The trajectory was a little more penetrating than the neutral setting and more often than not the shape the shot was dead straight or had a little bit of draw to it. At the end of the day there should be a setting that each golfer can find and be happy with without being overwhelmed by too many choices.
Taylormade has given the golfer options without making them feel that they will be overwhelmed and not end up using the features that come with the Rescue R11. I think this is a nice bonus to a golfer who may not yet be ready to take on an adjustable driver or fairway wood. Crawl before you can walk right? Hybrids have officially joined the adjustability game and the Rescue R11 is a player. A serious one at that, paint scheme aside. There’s a little something for everyone with this club and it should definitely be on your short list to check out if you’re in the market for a new hybrid. If the color has got your attention, the performance will almost certainly grab it. The Rescue R11 retails for $189 and can be found at online retailers such as golf store. More information on this and other TaylorMade products can be found at www.usmadegolf.com. Regardless of what you may have heard, the performance matches the paint and we’re not talking NASCAR here either. Get some white hot performance while you can. You never know what may be up Talylormade’s ball sleeve next.