Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Taylormade SLDR Driver

In recent years, Taylormade has made great strides in updating the driver for golfers of all skill sets. From the touring pro, to John Q. Golfer down at their local muni's on Saturdays. Their drivers have become the 'go-to' for many golfers.

The adjustability of today's drivers are one of golf's most important breakthroughs in terms of technology. Allowing any golfer the ability to adjust a club to their swing has given new life to many golfer's game.

The ability to adjust the driver's face angle, loft and even perimeter weighting has changed the landscape of drivers forever.

The TaylorMade SLDR Driver has the innovative SLDR sliding weight technology coupled with a modern-classic, charcoal-gray crown head design.

The easy and intuitive SLDR sliding weight allows for 21 different weight positions and promotes up to 30 yards of shot shape adjustment. The strategically placed Low-forward CG position in the SLDR head promotes a faster ball speed, high launch and low spin for extraordinary distance.

This driver also features a 12-position loft-sleeve to add or subtract 1.5° to each of the available standard lofts and a silver button-back located on the trail edge of the crown which works with the subtle crown markings for stress-free clubface alignment. The easy adjusting SLDR driver has a 460cc head and can be tuned to fit tour pros and amateurs alike.

A difference from Taylormade's most recent driver previous to the SLDR, the R1, is the R1came with two adjustable weights -- a 10-gram and 1-gram weight that fit into the driver’s two adjustable weight ports, depending on the shot shape the golfer desired.

If a golfer wanted to have a draw to their shots, they placed the 10-gram weight in the heel, and the lighter 1-gram weight in the toe. In turn, if the golfer desired a fade shot shape, all they had to do was switch the positions of the weights.

The SLDR uses a sliding weight that comes in at 20 grams, more than doubling the influence of the SLDR's center of gravity over the R1 driver. It also features 21 different locations to move the weight to on the sole of the club, compared to the R1's two locations.

Tom Olsavsky, TaylorMade’s senior director of product creation. Golfers can expect to see 1-to-2 mph faster ball speed compared to the R1 driver. As well as a reduced ball spin of up to 300 rpms.

During our testing session(s), we found that the sliding weight system was very easy to use. Once the golfers found their desired positions. It was set, then left.

The sound of the SLDR is not what most Taylomade drivers, like the R11 series and R1's sound like. They have a much higher pitched 'ping' to them than this driver does. Though the sound has nothing to do with the overall performance of this driver.

Once the desired weight position was found, golfers did see a much straighter ball flight, or the shot shape they were wanting to achieve with the adjustments to the SLDR driver overall.

For those use to the typical White Taylormade heads, the matte Grey finish is a nice change to starring at a big white head every tee shot. Though many golfers did miss the non-glare of the white and a little easier alignment with no reflections off of the old White headed drivers.

Pros: 21 different locations to adjust the 20 gram weight that influences the driver's center of gravity. More forward weighting allows the ball to come off the club higher and with less spin.

Cons: No face angle adjustment as with the R-series drivers. One degree less than the R1 range of adjustment (1.5 degrees up or down), rather than 2.5 as with the R1.

Overall: The new SLDR driver utilizes a good combination of simplicity, adjustability and performance to obtain an easier-to-use sliding weight system rather than the at times, clunky weights having to be moved around. With the range of lofts offered, this new driver from Taylormade has the potential to find it's way into a lot of golfers bags in the very near future.

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