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Spotted: TaylorMade SLDR Fairway Wood

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Check out the photos of TaylorMade’s new SLDR fairway wood, which was being tested by Dustin Johnson at the Tour Championship.

The SLDR fairway wood does not have the sliding weight track that was featured on the company’s new SLDR driver. Instead, it has what appears to be a new version of TaylorMade’s Speed Pocket, which like the slot on the company’s new SpeedBlade iron has curved design that looks to cut all the way through the club’s sole. It also has an adjustable hosel that seems to have the same adjustability as the SLDR driver, 1.5 degrees up or down from the standard loft.

Johnson was the first player to test the club at East Lake, a 15.5-degree model, but according to TaylorMade tour reps it’s still up in the air if Johnson will put the club in play this week at East Lake.

Check out more photos of the club in the gallery below, and click here to see what GolfWRX Members are saying about the SLDR fairway wood in the forums.

Check out more photos of the club in the gallery below, and click here to see what GolfWRX Members are saying about the SLDR fairway wood in the forums.

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43 Comments

43 Comments

  1. P Healey

    Oct 1, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    I believe that the R9 was the last good driver from Taylormade. Everything with an “R” in front of it has been kind of a joke to be honest, and with the constant new releases it is tough for a purist to like Taylormade. But, the SLDR, unlike the R11s, R1, and the RBZs, has captured my attention. I like that there is actually some technology behind it, unlike recent Taylormade drivers which are just about “more adjustability!!!” I am definitely looking forward to trying the SLDR, mainly because of the notion that it is a very low spinning driver. Overall, I think that this is the first promising driver from Taylormade in a while and am excited to try it out soon. Hopefully Taylormade doesnt let me down although I am trying not to get my hopes up!

    • MB

      Nov 20, 2013 at 9:43 pm

      The SLDR once matched to the right shaft and the weighting placed by adjusting the sldr mechanism, I have improved my driving distance by 20 yds and am more accurate.

      I recently played in a tournament in Fl with 3 members of my home club. I have always been shortest off the tee, (one our pro, and other 2 2-3 hcps and very long) wirh my prior Nike and R 11 before that I was always 20 yds short. But, since my SLDR and Fujikura Fuel stiff shaft, and settings with a draw bia on weights, I crushed to be longer than all but my freaky long pal, Doug. More than that consitsent in center right of tight fairways. By end of trip all were serious about getting SLDR. It Rocks

  2. bl21

    Sep 20, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    Oh, sweet…. how soon until we can get one for half price?

  3. Tim

    Sep 19, 2013 at 10:57 am

    Well I certainly have to give them a round of applause. They keep pumping out product and consumers keep buying it. The sole looks quite a bit like the RBZ (slot is a bit different). I do like the change in the paint color. For now I think I will stick with my VSteels.

  4. Dave

    Sep 18, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    As mentioned, R11 and R11s didn’t have weights, the head isn’t big enough. Plus with the SLDR weight turf interaction would be even more of an issue than with the slot.
    TaylorMade gets the fact that the customer base is broken into segments, innovators & early adopter consumers will always buy new b/c it’s new. Early and late majority will buy some at full and at rebate/reduced pricing. The laggards will clean out what’s left at a nice discount. Decide where you fall on that curve and buy what you can afford. I don’t understand the haters, other than TM is clearly winning the club-selling fight… It’s actually BETTER for the consumer to have this accelerated product life cycle. More options, pricing reductions which offset depreciation, etc.

  5. Taylerhater

    Sep 18, 2013 at 8:36 pm

    The last good fairway taylormade had was the 07 burner TP. I played it for years until the 913FD took it out. The 913FD is a fairway finder beast!!

  6. Randy

    Sep 18, 2013 at 5:53 pm

    They have a small company named gigagolf that has been developing and put out a fairway that looks very similar to this earlier this year. It’s under their pursuit line, they also had a driver with that same slot that they put out 3-5 years ago I think. They even have similar weight cut outs.on the sole. Not a big TM fan, now they are starting to show that technology is not a priority. How do they not put a movable weight on a line that they market a SLDR sliding weight? Step backwards for TM.

  7. Wayne

    Sep 18, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    What a scam! I still play the 200 steel 3/5 woods reshafted with an Arthur Xcaliber T6.

  8. joro

    Sep 18, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    Face it, newer is not always better, but it does pull out the suckers that think they buying a game, or the egotists who have to have the newest. Wise people spend their money on a GOOD teacher.

  9. andy

    Sep 18, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    haha! how absurd.

  10. chris

    Sep 18, 2013 at 11:38 am

    Combination of the R9 and RBZ fairway woods

  11. Anthony

    Sep 18, 2013 at 10:38 am

    I’m not sure why more people aren’t happy about this. I think it would be difficult for TM fans who want to upgrade to the newest driver technology to play a gray driver with matte white fairway woods. i think it’s great to maintain a consistency of look throughout the set.

  12. MFB

    Sep 18, 2013 at 10:16 am

    Wait about 6 months and you can get it for half price when the new SLDR2 woods come out.

    • gary

      Sep 21, 2013 at 2:36 pm

      Lol too true.

      • paul

        Sep 21, 2013 at 4:48 pm

        Im hoping titleist comes out with a new driver so i can pick up a 913 d3 soon.

  13. OP

    Sep 18, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Its just looks like the R9 fairway with new graphics. Yawn!

  14. David Winchester

    Sep 18, 2013 at 5:57 am

    To my eyes the head looks like the old Titleist 906 range.

  15. Popo

    Sep 18, 2013 at 1:55 am

    TM should provide us with a “Slot-cleaning” stick

  16. JD

    Sep 17, 2013 at 11:34 pm

    This thing looks graat, SOOOOOO happy the white trend has come and gone, despite that last statment, I’m still gaming a superfast 2.0 TP 3w and a R11s 5w, love them both, been hard to get out of the bag. Interested to hit this, IMO taylormade makes the best fairway woods.

    • Desmond

      Sep 18, 2013 at 11:09 am

      You’re jerking us around, right?

      TM makes very unfriendly fairway woods.

      The stock shafts are of poor quality, the heads are not exactly high launching, and the stock lengths are a prescription for failure.

  17. Cannon

    Sep 17, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    Taylormade is making its return to golf clubs and taking a break from the toy industry…

    • Andrew

      Oct 14, 2013 at 9:02 pm

      I totally agree with you this club looks great and classic, but you gotta admit those “toys” are pretty fun. R1 owner*

  18. Desmond

    Sep 17, 2013 at 10:13 pm

    I’m waiting for them to sell the fairway wood for the rest of us … you know, the guys with moderate swing speeds.

    Tried the RBZ and Stage 2 – failures for normal guys.

    Bye, TM.

  19. eg

    Sep 17, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    the speedpocket there looks like a smiling minion

  20. Dan

    Sep 17, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    reminds me of the burner TP 3W

  21. cj

    Sep 17, 2013 at 8:45 pm

    I might actually like this TM fairway wood

  22. Rick

    Sep 17, 2013 at 7:42 pm

    This is Taylormade being bored and putting their marketing department to the test.

    “Can we take a club we released last year (RBZ fairway wood, original), paint it grey, call it a Little Hamburger, and still get people to buy a “new” club!? Let’s try!”

    • NG

      Sep 17, 2013 at 9:33 pm

      Well done- first negetive comment! I propose you have your eyes checked…first things first, the speed pocket is totally different by the look of it so your statement the have restamped an painted this club is a load of…!

  23. pooch

    Sep 17, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    Looks like a deep face for a lower trajectory. Better have some swing speed.

  24. Billy

    Sep 17, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    I like these better than the driver, and I am not a TM fan at all.

  25. NG

    Sep 17, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    Best looking fairway I’ve seen in a long time from TM, almost has a Vsteel look about it….and with speed pocket, I’m in!

  26. R

    Sep 17, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    if the feel and sound are as good on this wood as they are on the driver i’m buying

  27. Lloyd

    Sep 17, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    Well wot can I say I want one or two now great looking club perfect match for the SLDR driver

  28. Will o'the Glen

    Sep 17, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    The Marketing Team seems to be wagging the dog at TaylorMade.

  29. KK

    Sep 17, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    SLDR without the SLDR feature. Kinda like a Speedblade without the blade. I think TM is doing this intentionally to annoy discerning golfers and TM critics. Next, they will turn bladed putters into precision mallets, hybrids into driving hyper-irons and 3 woods into inverted mega-swing tour driving pistons.

    • MorikawaTMaG

      Sep 18, 2013 at 12:47 am

      you wont see a diffrence in woods, its like why they didnt have the movable weights in the r11 and r11s woods

  30. yomomma

    Sep 17, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    It doesn’t even have a sliding weight! haha this is an entirely different concept then the SLDR driver, so why the same name…?

    • Alex

      Sep 17, 2013 at 4:53 pm

      Being so die hard Titleist and being so against Taylormade I can’t really believe I’m saying this but I actually like the look of this club.

      • Cannon

        Sep 17, 2013 at 10:46 pm

        Has a finish that looks similar to old titliest woods.

    • joe

      Sep 19, 2013 at 2:58 pm

      hahaha… totally agree… it does look nice though

  31. MorikawaTMaG

    Sep 17, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    nice!

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Accessory Reviews

Review: FlightScope Mevo

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In 100 Words

The Mevo is a useful practice tool for amateur golfers and represents a step forward from previous offerings on the market. It allows golfers to practice indoors or outdoors and provides club speed, ball speed, smash factor, launch angle, spin rate, carry distance and flight time.

It also has a video capture mode that will overlay swing videos with the swing data of a specific swing. It is limited in its capabilities and its accuracy, though, which golfers should expect at this price point. All in all, it’s well worth the $499 price tag if you understand what you’re getting.

The Full Review

The FlightScope Mevo is a launch monitor powered by 3D Doppler radar. With a retail price of $499, it is obviously aimed to reach the end consumer as opposed to PGA professionals and club fitters.

The Mevo device itself is tiny. Like, really tiny. It measures 3.5-inches wide, 2.8-inches tall and 1.2-inches deep. In terms of everyday products, it’s roughly the size of an Altoids tin. It’s very easy to find room for it in your golf bag, and the vast majority of people at the range you may be practicing at won’t even notice it’s there. Apart from the Mevo itself, in the box you get a quick start guide, a charging cable, a carrying pouch, and some metallic stickers… more on those later. It has a rechargeable internal battery that reaches a full charge in about two hours and lasts for about four hours when fully charged.

As far as software goes, the Mevo pairs with the Mevo Golf app on your iOS or Android device. The app is free to download and does not require any subscription fees (unless you want to store and view videos of your swing online as opposed to using the memory on your device). The app is very easy to use even for those who aren’t tech savvy. Make sure you’re using the most current version of the firmware for the best results, though (I did experience some glitches at first until I did so). The settings menu does have an option to manually force firmware writing, but updates should happen automatically when you start using the device.

Moving through the menus, beginning sessions, editing shots (good for adding notes on things like strike location or wind) are all very easy. Video mode did give me fits the first time I used it, though, as it was impossible to maintain my connection between my phone and the Mevo while having the phone in the right location to capture video properly. The only way I could achieve this was by setting the Mevo as far back from strike location as the device would allow. Just something to keep in mind if you find you’re having troubles with video mode.

Screenshot of video capture mode with the FlightScope Mevo

Using the Mevo

When setting up the Mevo, it needs to be placed between 4-7 feet behind the golf ball, level with the playing surface and pointed down the target line. The distance you place the Mevo behind the ball does need to be entered into the settings menu before starting your session. While we’re on that subject, before hitting balls, you do need to select between indoor, outdoor, and pitching (ball flight less than 20 yards) modes, input your altitude and select video or data mode depending on if you want to pair your data with videos of each swing or just see the data by itself. You can also edit the available clubs to be monitored, as you will have to tell the Mevo which club you’re using at any point in time to get the best results. Once you get that far, you’re pretty much off to the races.

Testing the Mevo

I tested the FlightScope Mevo with Brad Bachand at Man O’ War Golf Center in Lexington, Kentucky. Brad is a member of the PGA and has received numerous awards for golf instruction and club fitting. I wanted to put the Mevo against the best device FlightScope has to offer and, luckily, Brad does use his $15,000 FlightScope X3 daily. We had both the FlightScope Mevo and Brad’s FlightScope X3 set up simultaneously, so the numbers gathered from the two devices were generated from the exact same strikes. Brad also set up the two devices and did all of the ball striking just to maximize our chances for success.

The day of our outdoor session was roughly 22 degrees Fahrenheit. There was some wind on that day (mostly right to left), but it wasn’t a major factor. Our setup is pictured below.

Outdoor testing setup with FlightScope X3 (foreground) and Mevo

The results of our outdoor testing are shown below. The testing was conducted with range balls, and we did use the metallic stickers. The range balls used across all the testing were all consistently the same brand. Man O’ War buys all new range balls once a year and these had been used all throughout 2017.  The 2018 batch had not yet been purchased at the time that testing was conducted.

Raw outdoor data captured with range balls including metallic stickers. Mevo data (blue) and X3 data (orange) were both generated from the same exact shots.

You’ll notice some peculiar data in the sand wedge spin category. To be honest, I don’t fully know what contributed to the X3 measuring such low values. While the Mevo’s sand wedge spin numbers seem more believable, you could visibly see that the X3 was much more accurate on carry distance. Below is a quick summary of the percent differences between each of the parameters as presented by the Mevo and the X3 in our outdoor session when separated out for each club. As previously mentioned, though, take sand wedge spin with a grain of salt.

Table showing the percent difference of each parameter between Mevo and X3 grouped by club (outdoor testing).

The first thing we noticed was that the Mevo displays its numbers while the golf ball is still in midair, so it was clear that it wasn’t watching the golf ball the entire time like the X3. According to the Mevo website, carry distance, height and flight time are all calculated while club speed, ball speed, launch angle and spin rate are measured. As for the accuracy of the measured parameters, the Mevo’s strength is ball speed. The accuracy of the other measured ball parameters (launch angle and spin rate) is questionable depending on certain factors (quality of strike, moisture on the clubface and ball, quality of ball, etc). I would say it ranges between “good” or “very good” and “disappointing” with most strikes being categorized as “just okay.”

As for the calculated parameters of carry distance, height and time, those vary a decent amount. Obviously, when the measurements of the three inputs become less accurate, the three outputs will become less accurate as a result. Furthermore, according to FlightScope, the Mevo’s calculations are not accounting for things like temperature, humidity, and wind. The company has also stated, though, that future updates will likely adjust for these parameters by using location services through the app.

Now, let’s talk about those metallic stickers. According to the quick start guide, the Mevo needs a sticker on every golf ball you hit, and before you hit each ball, the ball needs to be placed such that the sticker is facing the target. It goes without saying that it doesn’t sound like a whole lot of fun to spend time putting those stickers on every ball, let alone balls that will never come back to you if you’re at a public driving range. Obviously, people are going to want to avoid using the stickers if they can, so do they really matter? Below is a table of data showing the percent difference between the Mevo’s data and the X3’s data of what we collected outdoors with a driver and range balls with and without the use of the stickers.

Table showing how the percent difference of each parameter changes between Mevo and X3 when you use the metallic stickers and when you don’t

The FlightScope website says that the metallic stickers “are needed in order for the Mevo to accurately measure ball spin.” We observed pretty much the same as shown in the table above. The website also states they are working on alternative solutions to stickers (possibly a metallic sharpie), which I think is wise.

Another thing we thought would be worth testing is the impact of different golf balls. Below is a table of data showing the percent difference between the Mevo’s data and the X3’s data of what we collected outdoors with a driver and range balls as compared to Pro V1’s. All of this data was collected using the metallic stickers.

Table showing how the percent difference of each parameter changes between Mevo and X3 when you switch from range balls to Pro V1’s

As shown above, the data gets much closer virtually across the board when you use better quality golf balls. Just something else to keep in mind when using the Mevo.

Indoor testing requires 8 feet of ball flight (impact zone to hitting net), which was no problem for us. Our setup is pictured below. All of the indoor testing was conducted with Titleist Pro V1 golf balls using the metallic stickers.

Indoor testing setup with FlightScope X3 (foreground) and Mevo

The results of our indoor session are shown below.

Raw indoor data captured with Pro V1’s including metallic stickers. Mevo data (blue) and X3 data (orange) were both generated from the same exact shots.

Below is a quick summary of the percent differences between each of the parameters as presented by the Mevo and the X3 in our indoor session when separated out for each club.

Table showing the percent difference of each parameter between Mevo and X3 grouped by club (indoor testing)

On the whole, the data got much closer together between the two devices in our indoor session. I would think a lot of that can be attributed to the use of quality golf balls and to removing outdoor factors like wind and temperature (tying into my previous comment above).

As far as overall observations between all sessions, the most striking thing was that the Mevo consistently gets more accurate when you hit really good, straight shots. When you hit bad shots, or if you hit a fade or a draw, it gets less and less accurate.

The last parameter to address is club speed, which came in around 5 percent different on average between the Mevo and X3 based on all of the shots recorded. The Mevo was most accurate with the driver at 2.1 percent different from the X3 over all strikes and it was the least accurate with sand wedge by far. Obviously, smash factor accuracy will follow club speed for the most part since ball speed is quite accurate. Over every shot we observed, the percent difference on ball speed was 1.2 percent on average between the Mevo and the X3. Again, the Mevo was least accurate with sand wedges. If I remove all sand wedge shots from the data, the average percent difference changes from 1.2 percent to 0.7 percent, which is very, very respectable.

When it comes to the different clubs used, the Mevo was by far most accurate with mid irons. I confirmed this with on-course testing on a relatively flat 170-yard par-3 as well. Carry distances in that case were within 1-2 yards on most shots (mostly related to quality of strike). With the driver, the Mevo was reasonably close, but I would also describe it as generous. It almost always missed by telling me that launch angle was higher, spin rate was lower and carry distance was farther than the X3. Generally speaking, the Mevo overestimated our driver carries by about 5 percent. Lastly, the Mevo really did not like sand wedges at all. Especially considering those shots were short enough that you could visibly see how far off the Mevo was with its carry distance. Being 10 yards off on a 90 yard shot was disappointing.

Conclusion

The Mevo is a really good product if you understand what you’re getting when you buy it. Although the data isn’t good enough for a PGA professional, it’s still a useful tool that gives amateurs reasonable feedback while practicing. It’s also a fair amount more accurate than similar products in its price range, and I think it could become even better with firmware updates as Flightscope improves upon its product.

This is a much welcomed and very promising step forward in consumer launch monitors, and the Mevo is definitely worth a look if you’re in the market for one.

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Sergio Garcia WITB 2018

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Equipment is accurate as of the 2018 Honda Classic (2/20/2018).

Driver: Callaway Rogue Sub Zero (9 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi KuroKage Dual Core 70TX

3 Wood: Callaway Rogue 3+ (13.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi KuroKage XT 80TX

5 Wood: Callaway Rogue Sub Zero (18 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi KuroKage XT 80TX

Irons: Callaway Apex Pro 16 (3, 4), Callaway Apex MB 18 (5-9 iron)
Shafts: Nippon Modus Tour 130x

Wedges: Callaway Mack Daddy 4 (48-10S, 54-10S, 58-08C)
Shafts: Nippon Modus Tour 130x

Putter: Odyssey Toulon Azalea
Grip: Super Stroke 1.0 SGP

Golf Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft

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Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about Garcia’s clubs.

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Gary Woodland WITB 2018

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Equipment is accurate as of the 2018 Honda Classic (2/19/2018).

Driver: TaylorMade M3 440 (9 degrees)
Shaft: Acra Tour-Z RPG

Fairway Woods: TaylorMade M2 2017 (15 degrees)
Shafts: Accra Tour-Zx 4100

Driving Iron: Titleist 716 T-MB (2)
Shaft: KBS Tour C-Taper 130 X

Irons: Titleist 716 MB (4-9)
Shafts: KBS Tour C-Taper Limited Edition Black PVD 130 X

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 (48-10F, 52-08F, 56-10S), Callaway Mack Daddy PM Grind (60-10)
Shafts: KBS Tour C-Taper Limited X (48), KBS Hi-Rev Black PVD S-Flex (52, 56, 60)

Putter: Scotty Cameron Circle T 009
Grip: Scotty Cameron Pistol

Golf Ball: Bridgestone Tour B X

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Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about Woodland’s clubs. 

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