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TaylorMade SLDR driver and SLDR Fairway Wood

Old 03-19-2014, 10:30 PM
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Default TaylorMade SLDR driver and SLDR Fairway Wood

Several months ago TaylorMade Golf released the much anticipated TaylorMade SLDR driver. It quickly became the No. 1 selling and most-played driver on the PGA Tour.

Building upon the revolutionary new SLDR driver technology, Ping I20 Irons these new clubs combine for a “low and forward center of gravity (CG) placement wherein weight is re-located to the front of the head to promote faster ball speed, a higher launch angle and a lower spin-rate.” However, despite the name SLDR these clubs do not have the movable weight technology made popular with the SLDR drivers. So even though they are in the SLDR family some of the technology is a little different.

One of the least talked about, yet very important design features for today’s woods is the sound the club makes at impact. Too tinny and it sounds cheap. Too much thud and it feels like the ball goes nowhere. Too loud and your ears cringe. The SLDR delivers a confidence inducing sound that clearly backs up its good looks.

When it comes to fairway woods, appearance is very important. A good looking club instills confidence which instills better swings which results in lower scores, more fun and maybe a couple of extra bucks in the pocket. As seen in the RocketBallz metalwoods, the Speed Pocket increases face flexibility to promote faster ball speed.

Unlike the previous RocketBallz metalwood line-up, which had an open slot on the bottom of the clubhead, the TaylorMade SLDR Fairway Wood has a more efficient Speed Pocket featuring a polymer fill to keep grass and debris out of the pocket. This is a small yet important upgrade. I found having to clean all that dirt and mud out of the bottom of the RocketBallz a nuisance. Props to the engineer who decided to fill this in.

The 3-wood, for me at least, Titleist AP1 714 Irons is one of the hardest clubs to strike cleanly and get airborne. Off the deck on the range at Mannings Heath GC last week, the SLDR fairway wood in 15-degree was performing every bit like a hybrid. To be able to hit the ball like a hybrid and with fairway wood distance is ideal.

Anyone who has seen the previous models will instantly recognise the difference in the Speed Pocket within the SLDR fairway wood. Not only is it smaller and U-shaped, but the slot itself is now filled in with a polymer to prevent debris - a common complaint with prior versions. My dad still can't get the debris out of his original RocketBallz and that annoys him to this very day.

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