Ya know that I respect the hell outa you & your thoughts, however the only reason that I would shy away from this statement(or sentencs.. )is because TMaG is "The Man" in the driver segment. Hands down, no doubt(If ya do doubt, please read my prior post). I can't see them "puntin" a driver, ever, at least not intentionally.
They are not that, nor have they ever been that in irons. Not that they haven't had nice irons, obviously they have, though they've never had a majority of the market say, with their wallets, "Youda Man."
I'm thinkin what T posted, that there's something there that we're not seeing or hearing, then as Matt said regarding the sales cycle, well, I just think that they've got somethin under wraps.
Though they could probably afford to have a "flop," I just can't see them "writing off" a driver or an introduction. That's just not TMaG, and it sure as hell isn't the R&D zealots(& I mean that as the highest compliment!) that I met. These guys "bring it" every day & that comes from the top.
And please excuse the overuse of emoticans. I just found out how to use them & I'm in that "little kid w/a hammer" phase. It'll pass
But damn, I love that little Mizzy emoticon
Fairways & Greens 4ever
Everything TaylorMade has done thus far is consistent with previous sales/release cycles. Lead with the iron announcement in the fall. The woods... announcements usually come in early December (they likely won't this year).
TaylorMade is a driver before everything else company. As the ball is for Titleist, and the iron is for Mizuno, for TaylorMade, the driver is THE THING. As Richard said, if they punt, it's not going to be on purpose...
A punt would still be better than a fumble.
That said, the R11s, was almost a punt. Not a whiff by any stretch, but certainly a comparatively modest upgrade over the R11 (you can argue that one was just paint, but you can't argue it wasn't a HUGE market mover....it mattered). Last year was the anomaly. The fairway wood was the thing...and they sold lots of RBZ drivers because of it. Relatively small sample set, but...I play in a regular group of 12 guys. So not counting me...that's 11 drivers. 3 of them got replaced by the RBZ this season. These guys play the same drivers for years...and they all switched to the RBZ.
This year, maybe the irons will be the thing. It could be TaylorMade is diversifying...but I still think they want (and really they need) the driver to be #1. The driver sells the rest of the bag like no other club can.
So where does that leave us... one head, multiple-lofts. That could be the significant change that makes the new driver the better driver. If that's the whole of the story, on adjustability alone, TaylorMade drops from #1 to #2 behind Nike. Of course, we'll get into the TaylorMade copied Nike copied Cobra debate, but it's probably where the market is headed, so ultimately that won't matter. What will matter is that TaylorMade's story is the same as Nike...the same as Cobra's...and that's not much of a story.
Given what's already coming, this would be a bad season for TaylorMade to punt. I think there is more to the story. But if I'm wrong, and the market reception for the R1 mirrors the forum reception, expect an early summer correction. The SuperTri, for example, was, IMO, a miss for TaylorMade, but they back-filled with the SuperDeep, and it was all good.
I'm still thinking there could be something we don't know about yet.