Taylormade SLDR Preview

Today, Taylormade Golf is officially announcing the release of their all new SLDR driver. In addition to the in-hand photos and press release below, there is an opportunity for consumers to get more information directly from the product experts at Taylormade in a live web chat today at 8am PST. 

CARLSBAD, CALIF. (July 29, 2013) – Following three weeks of buzz on the PGA and European tours sparked by the release of a prototype driver, TaylorMade Golf today announced the official arrival of SLDR – a revolutionary new club featuring a sliding weight system engineered to launch the golf ball high, fast and long. How long? Tests show that SLDR is the longest driver in company history.*

Key to the leap in distance is a lower and more forward center of gravity (CG) that promotes a hotter launch, low spin and faster ball speed. Similar to the impact the “Speed Pocket” had on the performance of the RocketBallz fairway and Rescue clubs, TaylorMade engineers believe SLDR’s low and forward CG placement will redefine driver distance.

“Without a doubt, this is the longest driver we have ever created,” said TaylorMade’s Chief Technical Officer Benoit Vincent. “Our expertise at positioning the CG low and forward sets us apart from our competitors, and is vital to making SLDR the spectacular distance machine that it is.”       

In addition to the low-forward CG benefits, SLDR also incorporates a complete reinvention of TaylorMade’s movable weight technology (MWT), making it more effective and easier to use. SLDR features a blue, 20-gram weight that slides on a track located on the front of the sole.

Movable weight shifts the clubhead’s CG horizontally toward either the heel, to promote a draw, or toward the toe, to promote a fade. SLDR delivers six millimeters of movement – that’s 50% more than R1 – promoting a shot-dispersion range of up to 30 yards. The SLDR weight slides on a 21-point track system and never comes loose from the clubhead. To position the weight in any one of them simply loosen the screw, slide the weight to the point selected, then tighten the screw. Golfers can adjust for a “draw” or “fade” by sliding the weight across the slider track into the appropriate position in as little as 10 seconds.

Nearly 10 years ago, TaylorMade brought to market its first movable weight driver, the r7 quad –which featured four small weight cartridges that could be used to change the head’s CG location and influence ball flight. Since that release, TaylorMade’s R&D team has been searching for a way to improve and simplify MWT. The company believes SLDR’s new sliding system is a significant leap forward in its quest to engineer a driver that offers outstanding performance with simple and intuitive technology.

SLDR also incorporates TaylorMade’s Loft-sleeve Technology, which allows the golfer to easily adjust the loft. Golfers can choose from 12 positions within a range of plus-or-minus 1.5 degrees of loft change. The more loft added, the more the face closes and vice-versa.

In addition to its performance and easy-to- use MWT system, golfers will also take note of SLDR’s look and sound. At address, golfers will see a driver that possesses a classic shape and a rich charcoal-gray crown color that contrasts with a silver face to aid with alignment. At impact, the sharp and crisp sound that echoes from the tee box will undoubtedly be that of a TaylorMade driver.

“TaylorMade is well-known for creating technologies that help golfers hit better shots, but we also revere in the beauty of a golf club,” said Executive Vice President Sean Toulon. “It’s a very special feeling when you sole a club for the first time and fall head-over-heels in love with what you see. SLDR is that club. And it is going to make you fall in love with your driver all over again.”

Love at first sight happened when TaylorMade brought a small quantity of SLDR’s to the PGA and European Tours. In its first three weeks on Tour, TaylorMade’s Tour representatives were met with overwhelming player demand to see and hit SLDR. The tour staff even received texts and phone calls from players who followed other tour pros reaction about SLDR on twitter, demanding they get one to test at the Open Championship.

Via twitter, player feedback included:

  • Justin Rose (@JustinRose99): “It’s Solid. Great acoustics and Hot Flight.”
  • Ken Duke(@DukePGA): “”I love this driver.”
  • Justin Hicks (JustinHicks2010): “(SLDR) works right out of the box. Hit 100% of fairways in first round using it.”
  • Shawn Stefani (ShawnStefani1): “Best driver I have hit in a long time.”
  • Darren Clarke (DarrenClarke60): “It goes like a dream.”

In week one, nine SLDR’s were put into play at the PGA Tour’s John Deere Classic, while four players played the driver at the Scottish Open. Given the scarce availability of SLDR’s, a total of 13 in play worldwide in its first week was unexpected. The following week, 14 players put SLDR in the bag at the Open Championship. TaylorMade expects SLDR to become the No. 1 played driver as early as the WGC Bridgestone Invitational.

Pricing, Options and Availability

Available in four lofts – 8°, 9.5°, 10.5° and 12°, SLDR is equipped with a Fujikura Speeder 57 graphite shaft and TaylorMade high-traction grip. The Tour Preferred version, SLDR TP, combines the same clubhead with the tour-caliber Fujikura Speeder Tour Spec 6.3 graphite shaft. A variety of custom shafts are also available. Availability for SLDR and SLDR TP begins August 9 at a suggested retail price of $399. For more information, please visit taylormadegolf.com

*driver claim based on robot testing of 9.5 drivers in neutral setting at approximately 150mph ball speed.

Stay tuned to THP for more information on this new driver from Taylormade in the coming weeks. We’ve had it in hand and out for some early testing already and will have some feedback coming very soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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21 Comments

  • Nice, this is the first TM driver that’s caught my attention since the original R7. I can’t wait to see it in the flesh and give it a go. Great looking club !

  • Looks toned down for a TM, which is a good thing. The slider weight has peaked my interest, just wondering about it’s durability.

  • Great looking driver! If this performs as well as the R1 golfers will find places on the fairway they didn’t know existed.

  • Quite interesting with the change of the CoG. I think it’s a decent looking driver but I do have concerns about my drop kick miss clogging up the slot. Looking forward to trying it out, good to see early tour acceptance.

  • Would really love to put this up against my R9. I haven’t found anything any better to date, but this may be the one. Looking forward to some THP feedback on this.

  • Some good preview info in the article. I’m intrigued by the longest driver they’ve ever made. I’m looking forward to some feedback from Hawk.

  • Not that it looks bad in pictures, but this thing looks so much better in hand.

  • I like the way it looks, it is very tame compared to TMaG’s offerings over the past few years. I look forward to hitting one.

  • Loving the looks of this driver and can’t wait to give it a swing.

  • This driver intrigues me for sure…but I’m thinking that slot is going to get dirty and clogged up real fast (especially with a drop-kick miss). I’ll definitely want to give this a swing.

  • Very interested by SLDR. More than happy with my R1 but this has me thinking! (I am a high spin driver).
    Anyone know if the R1 sleeve will work with SLDR?

  • There’s no doubt TMaG knows how to delivery a good looking product with lots of tech. I definitely appreciate that the slider weight looks very easy to use.

  • Great writeup Hawk, look forward to your additional thoughts as you get more familiar with it!

  • “the longest driver we have ever created” says a mouthful. And if this is true, then a TaylorMade driver may return to my bag. Speeder shafts make it even better although I would have to hear how the “made for” version performs. Simple looks are an improvement over the direction they have been going.

  • Really looking forward to seeing this in person and hopefully hitting it. I love the natural sliding positioning of the weighting. Those who need slight draw or fade bias can have it.

  • an interesting release from TM indeed.
    as always, i will have to hit it first before i form any opinions. i love some TM drives, and others i dislike a lot.

  • I’ve enjoyed the last few TM drivers and am really looking forward to getting this one on a monitor/range. The tech looks pretty cool!

  • Nice job Ryan, great minds bringing great things out of TmaG as always!

  • Sounds great! When does it hit the stores? And how does it compare to the new Callaway Optiforce and the Titleist 913? Anybody hit all 3 yet? The Titleist is a nice hitting club!

  • The best driver I have hit since the ancient Goldwin ADVP.I typically acquire 2 to three m
    new drivers per year. This year I’ve gone thru a custom Wishon, the X-Hot and the 913-D2. I might return to the wishon in its current configuration in ten years. I might be the only person on the planet who is unable to make the X-Hot behave. The 913 is both beautiful and solid but I need to change shafts. The SLDR has been stunningly good in its standard stiff shaft configuration.Low boring ball flight.Best sound of any driver since persimmon.Freakily accurate(I’ve missed 2 fairways in the last 4 rounds).At least as long as anything hit in the last several years.I understand why many are upset with Taylormade but,damn,the SLDR, is a hell of a club.

  • Well, i am a high HC golfer, but still have some things to say about this Driver. i have been playing for 7 months with an Stock Velocity R-Flex shaft X-Hot Driver, doing great some times, but honestly shots where like a wild card for me, having a serious fade issues (like most amateurs do). After doing some testing ad trials i decided to trade shafts for a light stiff one, but since it was not easy for me to find the right shaft to keep using my X-Hot (i live in a small city in Colombia, not many golf stores available), i decided to try a new driver just for fun…..

    The SLDR became an instant change in every aspect of my tee off game, the ball just went straighter, smaller slides (until i managed to set up the slider in the right place) and honestly i gained 20+ yards and 60% more fairways in every round.

    i am consistently hitting around 270 Yds, which is a lot for me with a swing speed of 100 MPH (as per a simulator which i do not remember).

    The three things that changed when switching drivers was:
    – shorter shaft on the SLDR than the one in the X-Hot, about 1.5 inches
    – Stiffer shaft (that was what i was looking for in the first place)
    – Higher degree of adjustability

    i managed to play now consistently under 100 (after 4 rounds with the new Driver) now that i believe have gotten used to my new set up

    Driver: Taylormade SLDR 9.5º adjusted up to 11º, Stiff stock shaft
    Irons: Callaway RAZR HL, Uniflex steel shaft
    Wedges: 56ª Mc Daddy 2 – – 60º Cleveland Rotex 588
    Putter: Odessey # 9 Metal X
    Ball: Usually Callaway Control X

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