This Driver From 2004 Changed Golf Forever But Can It Still Perform?

Joe Ferguson tests out the first-ever driver with moveable weight to see how it compares with a modern-day equivalent…

This Driver From 2004 Changed Golf Forever But Can It Still Perform?
(Image credit: Howard Boylan)

The TaylorMade R7 Quad was, and still is, an iconic driver. Introduced in 2004, this was the first-ever golf club with adjustable head weights that allowed players to alter the CG and as such the ball flight bias of their driver. Previously this had only been achievable with ugly, self-adhesive lead tape, so this was a big step forward in driver engineering. 

WATCH: Joe Ferguson compares the 2004 R7 Quad driver with the 2024 Qi10 LS model 

Original launch date: 2004
Price we paid from Golfclubs4cash: £31.99 in fair condition
Who used it on tour: Justin Rose, Ernie Els, Retief Goosen

What was the tech?
The big technology story of this driver was the four weight ports which facilitated the pioneering adjustability. These weight ports came with two heavy (10g) and two lighter (2g) weights which led to multiple possible configurations depending on whether you were looking to achieve a draw or fade bias, high or low spin, or a combination of both. The head is a compact 410cc and it was available in 7.5°, 8.5°, 9.5° and 10.5° lofts. The head arguably looks a little smaller than the stated 410cc behind the ball, but that is potentially because the mass is distributed vertically with a very deep face as opposed to a large footprint.

TaylorMade R7 Quad v TaylorMade Qi10 LS driver

How the TaylorMade R7 Quad (left) compares at address to the Qi10 LS driver from this year

(Image credit: Howard Boylan)

How did it perform?
To see how the TaylorMade R7 Quad driver performed, we decided to put it up against its modern-day equivalent the TaylorMade Qi10 LS. The Qi10 LS adjustability appears in the form of an 18g steel sliding weight in a track-style system.  

In terms of its baseline performance, the R7 Quad was more than acceptable, averaging around 165mph of ball speed, and around 270 yards of carry, however, this did lag behind the Qi10 LS somewhat, which produced an average of 172.5mph ball speed and over 285 yards of average carry. 

When moving the weights to the extreme fade and draw settings in both driver heads, the intended outcomes were much more comparable with both models providing similar results in terms of curvature.

One thing to note is that altering the weight settings on the R7 Quad was significantly more fiddly and time consuming than on the Qi10 LS. Four screws to undo, weights to remove, replace, and then re-screw did feel a little labor-intensive when compared to the one screw and weight track setup of the 2024 driver. Furthermore, the R7 Quad did not feature TaylorMade’s loft sleeve which was developed a few years later, adding the ability to manipulate loft, lie, and face angle. 

TaylorMade R7 Quad driver

(Image credit: Howard Boylan)

Conclusion
I genuinely feel that there is some real value to be had with the TaylorMade R7 Quad driver. When you consider we paid only £31.99 for this driver, it performed admirably. In terms of ball speed and overall distance output, it did lag a little behind the Qi10 LS, which is one of the best golf drivers for distance in 2024, but perhaps not as much as I was expecting. The levels of adjustability were at least on par with its modern-day equivalent with 24g of discretionary weight available to move as opposed to 18g with the Qi10 LS. For almost one-twentieth of the price of modern alternatives, this driver could still be a real asset to some players' bags.

Joe Ferguson
Staff Writer

 

Joe has worked in the golf industry for nearly 20 years in a variety of roles. After a successful amateur career being involved in England squads at every age group, Joe completed his PGA degree qualification in 2014 as one of the top ten graduates in his training year and subsequently went on to become Head PGA Professional at Ryder Cup venue The Celtic Manor Resort. Equipment has always been a huge passion of Joe’s, and during his time at Celtic Manor, he headed up the National Fitting Centres for both Titleist and Taylormade.  He’s excited to bring his knowledge of hardware to Golf Monthly in the form of equipment reviews and buying advice. 

Joe lives in North Devon and still plays sporadically on the PGA West region circuit. His best round in recent years came earlier in 2023 where he managed a 9 under par 63 at Trevose GC in a Devon & Cornwall PGA Tournament.

Joe's current What's In The Bag? 

Driver: Ping G430 Max 10K 9 degree - Fujikura Ventus Red 6X 45.75"

Fairway wood: TaylorMade Qi10 Tour - Mitsubishi Tensei 1K Pro White shaft 70TX 43.25"

Irons: Callaway Apex CB 24'  3-11 - Project X LS 6.5 shafts

Wedges: PXG Sugar Daddy 54 and 60 degree - Project X LS 6.0 shafts

Putter: Odyssey Toe Up #9

Ball: TaylorMade 2024 TP5x