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TaylorMade Golf Introduces SLDR Mini Driver

post #1 of 64
Thread Starter 

TaylorMade Golf Company, makers of the No. 1 played driver in golf, today announced the launch of the SLDR Mini Driver, a 260cc metalwood equipped with a 43.5” shaft, designed to promote distance and accuracy off the tee for players who frequently drive with their 3-wood.

 

 

TaylorMade research indicates that a high percentage of golfers, regardless of skill level, hit 3-wood off the tee more often than from the fairway. However, the 3-wood is designed to hit the ball off turf, not a peg. That void between product design and product use led to the development of the SLDR Mini Driver, which is engineered to be longer off the tee than a 3-woood and incredibly accurate.

 

“Tour pros and betters amateurs often hit their 3-wood off the tee more often than from the fairway,” said Brian Bazzel, TaylorMade’s Senior Director of Metalwood Creation. “We embraced that fact to create a metalwood that’s sized between a 3-wood and driver and is designed to be easy to hit off a tee.”

 

Like the SLDR driver – the No. 1 driver on the PGA Tour – the SLDR Mini Driver features a low-forward center of gravity (CG) location that reduces spin. From there, most players benefit from playing a higher loft (what TaylorMade calls “lofting up”) by combining a low spin-rate with a high launch angle, which are the launch conditions that promote maximum distance.

 

 

The SLDR Mini Driver also incorporates TaylorMade’s Speed Pocket technology, which promotes lower spin on impacts low on the clubface, where the majority of driver mis-hits occur.

 

And though it’s engineered to be easier to tee off with than a 3-wood, the SLDR Mini Driver is also easy to launch the ball off the turf with, thanks to its smooth sole that’s smaller and offers less resistance than a driver’s.

 

Aesthetically, the SLDR Mini Driver’s sleek shape and smooth matte silver crown, black clubface and black button-back gives the club an attractive appearance from all angles, especially at address. The contrasting colors also facilitate easy and accurate face alignment.

 

The first Tour pro to put the SLDR Mini Driver in play was Troy Matteson, who put not one but two in his bag at the Valero Texas Open: one to use off the tee and one to use from the fairway.

 

“The SLDR Mini Driver is intended to appeal to a wide audience,” added Bazzel. “For the Tour pro or top amateur who places a premium on distance control and accuracy, this club is a fantastic option. It’s also a great choice for those amateurs who struggle with 460cc drivers.”

 

Two SLDR Mini Driver models are available, standard and TP. The standard model retails for $279 and is equipped with a Fujikura 57 shaft. It is the same shaft used in the SLDR driver, but at 43.5 inches (two inches shorter than the SLDR driver) it promotes tighter dispersion for increased accuracy. The TP model retails for $379 and is equipped with Fujikura’s Motore Speeder 7.3 shaft and is built to a heavier, D5 swingweight for improved control. Lofts in both models range from 12°, 14° and 16°.

 

Both SLDR Mini Driver models will be available at retail starting on 5/2. Visit TaylorMadeGolf.comfor more information.

post #2 of 64

Sadly its not adjustable. I am curious as to how it performs off the ground though. 

post #3 of 64

Good for them. A lot of people will be able to handle that better than the driver they are using.

 

Since they had pretty much maxed out in the opposite direction of big heads and long shafts (that plenty of people can't hit) I figured they would put out something like that sooner or later.

 

I've had absolutely no urge to buy a driver for a few years but I will more than likely try one of those.

post #4 of 64

I have been playing with a Ping K15 12 degree driver with a 3 wood shaft for a while now as an alternative to 3 wood. I think this is a great idea by TaylorMade.

post #5 of 64
Driveway! Sort of!

(Doesn't look like something I would ever seriously consider buying. I rarely hit my 3-wood off the tee as it is. It's an interesting idea though.)
post #6 of 64
These are becoming pretty popular now, with the Driveway and the new Ping Rapture that are similar clubs in the 260-280cc range. The rapture seems very overpriced though compared to the Driveway and this new club by TM. Cool that TM is offering this.
post #7 of 64

Back about 2001, I considered swapping my driver for a Ping i3 3W with 12* loft. If I remember right, a car repair derailed my plan.

 

Years before, I had played a persimmon-headed Wilson Staff 2W "brassie" as a driver for several months. It had a 13* loft, and worked quit well. The head had cracked on the set's original driver.

post #8 of 64

I just can't figure out where something like this fits into the bag.

 

  1. Do you learn to hit it off the turf as well - even though its only really designed for the tee - and dump the regular 3 wood?
  2. Do you sacrifice a bit of distance off the tee on some holes by replacing your driver with this club?
  3. Do you sacrifice a bit of distance out of the fairway on those reachable par 5's by dumping your regular 3 wood - even though you can't hit this off turf - and sticking with only your 5 wood or hybrid?
  4. Or, do you dump one of your 3 or 4 wedges, thus allowing you to carry a regular 3 wood, this club, AND a regular driver?

 

I've been struggling with this question since I bought my current 3 wood, a Titleist 910f.  They have been selling the 910fd - similar to this new TM club - and I just couldn't make a decision, but ultimately went with the "traditional" 3 wood for the few times I need to hit it off the turf.  That was, like, 3 years ago and I'm still not sure if it was the right choice.

post #9 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post
 

I just can't figure out where something like this fits into the bag.

 

  1. Do you learn to hit it off the turf as well - even though its only really designed for the tee - and dump the regular 3 wood?
  2. Do you sacrifice a bit of distance off the tee on some holes by replacing your driver with this club?
  3. Do you sacrifice a bit of distance out of the fairway on those reachable par 5's by dumping your regular 3 wood - even though you can't hit this off turf - and sticking with only your 5 wood or hybrid?
  4. Or, do you dump one of your 3 or 4 wedges, thus allowing you to carry a regular 3 wood, this club, AND a regular driver?

 

I've been struggling with this question since I bought my current 3 wood, a Titleist 910f.  They have been selling the 910fd - similar to this new TM club - and I just couldn't make a decision, but ultimately went with the "traditional" 3 wood for the few times I need to hit it off the turf.  That was, like, 3 years ago and I'm still not sure if it was the right choice.


A lot of people will replace their driver with this club and not sacrifice any distance at all (because they can't hit a driver anyway). Might even add a few yards to the average if they can hit the club.

 

I know... all of us think we can hit a driver, because we occasionally hit a good one, but in reality...

post #10 of 64
It's a 3 wood! Nothing new there! Just another 3 wood! And not a very versatile one at that!
It will sell well due to TM's superb marketing, but it's just another 3 wood, designed for girls to drive with! And even though it looks better than there driver, that kind of money could be spent on better things! To be honest, if this had come out a few years ago, when I drove like a girl, I'd have been interested, but that money could be spent on a quality driver and a lesson!
post #11 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardballs View Post

It's a 3 wood! Nothing new there! Just another 3 wood! And not a very versatile one at that!
It will sell well due to TM's superb marketing, but it's just another 3 wood, designed for girls to drive with! And even though it looks better than there driver, that kind of money could be spent on better things! To be honest, if this had come out a few years ago, when I drove like a girl, I'd have been interested, but that money could be spent on a quality driver and a lesson!

Wow!

 

That "guy" that played with us last year that always hit a 3W off of the tee close to 300 yards (because he said he couldn't hit a driver) was a girl? That makes me feel even worse.

 

Was an exceptionally big strong "girl" though.

post #12 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by MS256 View Post
 

Wow!

 

That "guy" that played with us last year that always hit a 3W off of the tee close to 300 yards (because he said he couldn't hit a driver) was a girl? That makes me feel even worse.

+1

 

Lot's of people get MOAR distance with a 3W simply because they hit the centre of the face more often. That leads to MOAR confidence which can lead to MOAR speed and that, as we all know, means MOAR distance.

post #13 of 64

What are the specs on their SLDR 3w. My guess is it's somewhere in the 170cc range. I can see how this would appeal to people. Especially if they don't market it as an SGI "driver". If it makes a convert out of just one guy that sprays driver all over I'm happy, because it will probably make them a faster golfer.

post #14 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave2512 View Post
 

What are the specs on their SLDR 3w. My guess is it's somewhere in the 170cc range. I can see how this would appeal to people. Especially if they don't market it as an SGI "driver". If it makes a convert out of just one guy that sprays driver all over I'm happy, because it will probably make them a faster golfer.


It's 260cc. Until I actually found out how well it does off of the deck I have my normal skepticism for that use but it could be fine.

 

I am more optimistic about using it as a driver. I have a KZG driver that's somewhere around the same cc that I like pretty well but it has the wrong shaft for me. I would expect the Mini Driver to be a little hotter than that club.

 

http://taylormadegolf.com/TaylorMade/SLDR-Mini-Driver/DW-WZ039.html

post #15 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by MS256 View Post
 


It's 260cc. Until I actually found out how well it does off of the deck I have my normal skepticism for that use but it could be fine.

 

I am more optimistic about using it as a driver. I have a KZG driver that's somewhere around the same cc that I like pretty well but it has the wrong shaft for me. I would expect the Mini Driver to be a little hotter than that club.

 

http://taylormadegolf.com/TaylorMade/SLDR-Mini-Driver/DW-WZ039.html


Their regular 3w is 260cc too?

post #16 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave2512 View Post
 


Their regular 3w is 260cc too?

 

Probably less. Titleist 913 fairway wood is 160cc 

 

Think of it this way. The old Titleist 975D, back in the late 90's was a 260cc driver :-D

post #17 of 64

Yeah I was thinking 170ish, most are. The mini at 260 is pretty hefty. I was looking at 12* 401cc heads just last week. May even look into a 14* 401cc in the 43" range. I can definitely see the appeal. My 4h and 7w are similar enough I could probably live without the 4h and carry two drivers.

post #18 of 64

Is this designed to be hit "down" (like a fairway) or "up" (like a driver)?

 

Related: How high do they recommend you tee it up?  (Link to TM shows a tee height halfway between a driver and a 3 wood.)

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