Is the TaylorMade R580 Driver Right For You?

TaylorMade R580 driver
The TaylorMade R580 driver. TaylorMade Golf

The R580 driver from TaylorMade Golf debuted as part of the company's R500 series of drivers in late 2002. And it was huge for its time: a 400cc clubhead. Just look at how many times we remarked upon how big that was in our original review from January 2003 below.

Today, drivers aimed at recreational golfers are almost always the maximum-allowed 460cc. Back in 2002, golf club manufacturers were still working their way up that maximum size. The R580's clubhead volume of 400cc was the way station en route to 460cc.

Here is the review of the original R580:

Pros of the TaylorMade R580 Driver

  • Promotes high launch angle and reduced spin.
  • Alignment aids on top of clubhead.
  • Huge sweet spot for maximum forgiveness.

Cons of the TaylorMade R580 Driver

  • If big-headed drivers scare you, it ain't for you. (Ed. - A 400cc clubhead would seem small to many golfers today.)

Key Points about the TaylorMade R580 Driver

  • Features a 400cc head that rivals a small Volkswagen - but is extremely light.
  • Has the largest size and deepest face of the drivers in TaylorMade's R500 series.
  • The center of gravity is positioned low and to the back, which helps promote a high launch angle.
  • Taking a cue from putters, there are "crown lines" atop the head that help with alignment.
  • Titanium body and titanium-alloy face.
  • Inside of clubface uses "inverted cone" technology to greatly expand the size of the COR zone.
  • The COR (spring-like effect) is the USGA-maximum of .830.
  • The tailpipes - or "Tuning Weight Cartridge" - in back of head tunes head with shaft.
  • Shafts used were designed specifically to work with this driver.

Playing the TaylorMade R580 Driver

I have to admit: When I stepped to the tee with this monster, I was a little concerned. The head is huge - 400cc - much larger than I usually play. But the head is so light, the size really isn't noticeable in the swing.

The ball feels great off the clubface, even on shots that aren't hit very well. Credit the inverted cone - an innovation for the inside of the clubface that distributes the "COR zone" (think sweet spot) over a much larger area.

Others - whether much better or weaker players than me - who tried the club also loved it. This is a great driver for recreational players looking for more forgiveness, but low-handicappers can't sell it short either. It gets the ball out there with tremendous feel. Swing it, and you'll agree.

The Bottom Line

A 400cc monster from TaylorMade, the R580 is a sweet-feeling club for players seeking maximum forgiveness, higher trajectory and big distance.