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TaylorMade SLDR Fairway Woods and Hybrids

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Like TaylorMade’s SLDR driver, the company’s new SLDR fairway woods and hybrids promise golfers more distance from a lower, more forward center of gravity.

The SLDR fairway woods and hybrids have a new version TaylorMade’s “Speed Pocket,” which is no longer indented into the front of the sole like previous models. While it’s smaller than the Speed Pocket featured on the company’s RBZ Stage 2 fairway woods and hybrids, it now slices completely through the sole, creating a gap that is filled with the same polymer the company used in the design of its RocketBladez and SpeedBlade irons.

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Mike Ferris, vice president of product marketing for TaylorMade, said that the new Speed Pocket makes the SLDR fairway woods even lower spinning and higher launching than previous models. The 1 mm more forward CG creates an estimated 200-to-300 rpm reduction in spin and a 1-degree increase in launch angle, giving golfers two options to improve their fairway wood and hybrid play. They can use the additional ball speed created from the clubs’ lower, more forward center of gravity to hit their fairway woods and hybrids farther, or they can choose to play higher-lofted models, which will allow them to raise their trajectory.

The draw back of moving weight lower and more forward in a club head is that it lowers a club’s moment of inertia (MOI), or its resistance to twisting on off-center hits, which decreases a club’s forgiveness. But Ferris stressed that the revamped Speed Pocket more than makes up for the loss of forgiveness, because it adds additional spring-like effect that improves the ball speed of shots struck off-center.

SLDR 3 Wood at address

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 SLDR 3 Hybrid at address

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Note: The small alignment line positioned behind TaylorMade’s “T” logo will not be added to the retail versions of fairway woods and hybrids. 

In 2013, 15 percent of the fairway woods TaylorMade sold were its “high launch” models, which have the shape of a 3 wood or 5 wood, but are designed with more loft to help boost launch angle. In 2014, Ferris said he expects that number to grow to 25 percent of TaylorMade’s fairway woods sales, as more golfers realize the benefit of hitting higher-launching, lower-spinning shots.

“The loft of fairway woods has been evolving,” Ferris said. “We think it’s good to be able to play a 4 wood instead of a 3 wood.”

Many tour players, including 2013 U.S. Open champion Justin Rose, have embraced higher-lofted fairway woods, which they are able to hit the same distance as their older, lower-lofted fairway woods but with a higher trajectory. And for golfers such as Rose, having more loft on a fairway wood has a visual benefit as well.

“It gives me more confidence to look down at a fairway wood and see more loft, especially if I know that it’s going to fly just as far,” Rose said.

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The SLDR fairway woods and hybrids have a 3-degree range of adjustability (+/- 1.5 degrees), which is adjustable in 0.5-degree increments. They are made to be “visually square” at address, which means that in the neutral setting they will have a face angle that measures 2 degrees open.

The fairway woods are smaller in size than their predecessor, TaylorMade’s RBZ Stage 2 Tour, with the SLDR 3 wood measuring 20 cubic centimeters smaller (155cc versus 175cc), while the hybrids are about the same size as last year’s models. The combination of the shallower fairway wood heads and slightly shorter shaft lengths (both the fairway woods and hybrids are 0.25 inches shorter than TaylorMade’s RBZ Stage 2 Tour models) should make the clubs more playable for the majority of golfers.

The SLDR fairway woods and hybrids will be available starting Nov. 15. The fairway woods will sell for $249 ($349 with TaylorMade’s TP shafts), and the hybrids will cost $219 ($289 with a TP shaft).

Additional specs from TaylorMade

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Click here to see what GolfWRX Members are saying about the SLDR Fairway Woods and Hybrids in the forums.

Click here to see what GolfWRX Members are saying about the SLDR Fairway Woods and Hybrids in the forums.

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Zak is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX.com. He's been a part of the company since 2011, when he was hired to lead GolfWRX's Editorial Department. Zak developed GolfWRX's Featured Writer Program, which supports aspiring writers and golf industry professionals. He played college golf at the University of Richmond (Go Spiders!) and still likes to compete in tournaments. You can follow Zak on Twitter @ZakKoz, where he's happy to discuss his game and all the cool stuff that's part of his job.

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34 Comments

34 Comments

  1. AJ Jensen

    Dec 2, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    I have a silly question. If the new SLDR woods are cut through to the inside of the head, does that mean tiny rocks can get inside the head and rattle around? That would drive me effin’ crazy.

  2. Kinesin

    Oct 28, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    If these perform as good as the driver I may have to get one of these too. Recently got the SLDR driver in 10.5 with the Speeder 57g stiff shaft. WOW! Long and straight. Even drives I didn’t think I’d hit very well get out there. I hit one low off the face on our par 5 18th and was amazed to see it had gone past 300 yards. I’d say I’ve gained at least 15 yards on my Nike VRS driver

  3. Rich

    Oct 27, 2013 at 10:50 am

    TP will be back next year for TMade. New TP ball and TP forged blades out soon. RBZ stage 2 replacement also on the way. The SLDR woods look good but hang around for the new product……

  4. jon

    Oct 26, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    Another failure…face is about all that’s going for it….insider info from a tm rep/pro…..waste

  5. Chris

    Oct 23, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    Already reduced price at Dick’s

  6. Socorr65

    Oct 23, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    Oh Boy!!!! More distance promised by TaylorMade.

    Since I’ve upgraded to their latest, longest club faithfully for the last four years, I consistently drive 400 yards within 5 yards of the center of the fairway and hit my fairways 350 and hybids 300. I routinely shoot in the low 50’s since I never have more than a wedge to any par 4 or 5.

    I CANNOT WAIT to add 15% more distance. Even if I get worse dispersion. I’ll be putting for more eagles and probably start shooting in the high 40’s.

    When is the FTC going to put a stop to manufacturers’ BS claims?

    • Brian stamps

      Oct 25, 2013 at 8:32 am

      Yeah man I so want the SLDR 3 wood!

  7. JL

    Oct 22, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    How are you supposed to get the dirt out from the inside, if the pocket is cut-through?

    • Kinesin

      Oct 28, 2013 at 12:22 pm

      Its filled with a polymer so no dirt can get in

  8. Martin

    Oct 21, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    The shallow face looks a lot like an Titleist F2 wood. If its just as good and longer, I will buy it!! 🙂

  9. Prairiegolf

    Oct 21, 2013 at 6:13 pm

    Looks nice. Shorter shafts and charcoal grey color should make the purists happy. As long as it performs great that is all that matters to me. I look forward to trying it out.

  10. Lazza

    Oct 21, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    Major problem I have with the SLDR line of clubs (got the driver) is the rather soft nameplate. Got a ding on it within one round. At the local pro shop the nameplate was already coming off on the demo driver, so I can only imagine that it will come off in a hurry on the woods and hybrids.

    • ac12

      Oct 23, 2013 at 12:00 am

      Our Club has a demo driver… The screw that holds the sliding piece in place had the threads stripped the first day. Cheaply done

  11. Mike French

    Oct 21, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    If you want SWAG get a Kick-X SRT hybrid.

  12. DRAGO

    Oct 21, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    I hear they have higher bounce options coming out for DIGR and DRVR swings out there…..Rumor is for an extra $250 in an underground garage Vokey will come and custom grind a fairway wood or hybrid for your needs! HAHAHA

  13. SWAG BAG

    Oct 21, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    The most important thing for me is lookin’ fresh on the course. I want a bag full o’ swag. And, these T-Made SLDR’s aren’t fresh, and won’t help me look good. These are about the whackest clubs Ive seen TM make in a long minute.

    Remember, TM, we want SWAG, not the WACKNESS.

  14. CD

    Oct 21, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    Don’t bet on it. They’ll definitely have them marked down in time for Christmas shopping.

  15. bl21

    Oct 21, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Release date Nov. 15th….. half price by May 2014?

  16. Matt

    Oct 21, 2013 at 11:21 am

    Does it come with a toaster oven?

  17. JL

    Oct 21, 2013 at 11:15 am

    SLDR is just a name, doesn’t mean there are sliders on the woods. Guess it’s just replacing the RBZs. Wonder what the R1 replacement will look like.

    • steve

      Oct 22, 2013 at 9:58 am

      sldr is the new r1. rbz 2 was just released. the tour versions should be available later this year.

  18. steve

    Oct 21, 2013 at 9:51 am

    where is the sldr weight aspect?

  19. Keith

    Oct 21, 2013 at 8:36 am

    Kinda funny they say the increased ball speed more than makes up for lower MOI i.e. forgiveness. So your ball will fly farther offline on a miss hit. Hmmmm. That’s better than shorter and in play? Guess I don’t follow that “logic”.

    • Keith

      Oct 21, 2013 at 9:47 am

      On the other hand, it may not be that far off line. Gotta try it.

    • John

      Oct 21, 2013 at 3:35 pm

      Lol I thought the same thing. “Instead if missing the fairway by a few yards, you can now miss DEEP into the woods!”
      Pretty sure a low MOI head that helps by hitting it further offline is why every golfer needs.
      BUT! It creates higher launch and lower spin and gives extra yards, so it has to be good.

      • NG

        Oct 22, 2013 at 12:32 am

        I think you are all confused between MOI and forgiveness…MOI is so 2000 anyway!

  20. Sparky

    Oct 21, 2013 at 5:31 am

    When will ladies clubs be available in SA?

  21. Justin

    Oct 21, 2013 at 2:02 am

    Any word on whether or not Taylormade is going to continue its tradition of Tour and TP models? This one could be going in the bag..

    • Slaz

      Oct 21, 2013 at 12:37 pm

      Yes they have TP models for both. The TP version of the Fwy wood is $100 more that the standard version.

      • Tyler

        Oct 26, 2013 at 4:28 pm

        Do you know what the difference is between the regular and TP model is?

        • Kinesin

          Oct 28, 2013 at 12:19 pm

          The TP is has exactly the same head. 460cc. The only difference is the stock shaft is comes with. The SLDR comes with a Fujikura Speeder 57g shaft while the TP comes with a Fujikura Motore Speeder 63g shaft. So its just a shaft upgrade

          • Kinesin

            Oct 28, 2013 at 12:20 pm

            Thats for the driver by the way, not the fairway woods

  22. Kyle

    Oct 21, 2013 at 12:31 am

    Date of release?

    • Kyle

      Oct 21, 2013 at 12:32 am

      Wow read the whole article and missed that it already said November 15. Oops

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Whats in the Bag

Austin Cook’s Winning WITB: The 2017 RSM Classic

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Driver: Ping G400 LST (8.5 Degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Speeder 661 Evolution TX-Flex

3 Wood: Ping G400 Stretch (13 Degrees)
Shaft: Fujifuke Motore Speeder VC 7.2 TX-Flex

Hybrid: Ping G400 3 Hybrid (19 Degrees)
Shaft: Matrix Ozik Altus Tour H8 91X

Hybrid: Ping G400 4 Hybrid (22 Degrees)
Shaft: Matrix Ozik Altus Tour H8 91 X

Irons: Ping S55 Orange Dot (5-PW)
Shafts: KBS Tour S-Flex

Wedges: Ping Glide 2.0 SS (50-12, 56-12), Ping Glide 2.0 WS (60)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 Tour Issue

Putter: Ping Sigma G Tyne 
Grip: SuperStroke Mid-Slim 2.0

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1

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Whats in the Bag

Jon Rahm’s Winning WITB: 2017 DP World Tour Championship

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Driver: TaylorMade M2 2017 (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Tour Green 75X

3 Wood: TaylorMade M1 2017 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Tour Green 75TX

5 Wood: TaylorMade M1 2017 (19 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD-DI 8X

Irons: TaylorMade P-750 (4-PW)
Shafts: Project X 6.5

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52 and 56 degrees), TaylorMade “Hi-Toe” (60 degrees)
Shafts: Project X 6.5

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

Golf Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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Equipment

See what GolfWRX Members are saying about Mizuno’s new ST-180 driver

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Mizuno has recently released a new ST-180 driver that we spotted on Tour at the 2017 RSM Classic. The company’s “wave sole” technology makes an appearance for the first time in a Mizuno driver; the design is used to push weight low and forward to reduce spin rates, and the construction contracts and expands during impact to increase energy into the golf ball. The result is a lower-spinning driver, especially for those who hit down on the golf ball, and increased ball speeds across the face.

The ST-180 drivers have a new Forged SP700 Titanium face insert that allows the faces to be made thinner — saving weight from the face while increasing ball speeds — and they feature what the company calls a “Internal Waffle Crown” that saves weight to help shift CG (center of gravity) low and forward in the head.

There’s a slew of custom shafts available for no upcharge. The stock grip is Golf Pride’s M31 360, and the drivers are selling for $399.99, available in stores now.

Below is a collection of early feedback from GolfWRX members, and make sure to join the full discussion. See more photos of the ST-180 driver here.

Note: The posts below have been minimally edited for grammar and brevity.

GolfWRX Members comment on the new Mizuno ST-180 driver

TeeGolf: I’ve seen the ST180 driver [in person] and it looks like it sits perfectly square to me. And this is coming from someone who has been playing a Titleist driver set 1-degree open for the past 3 years. It doesn’t look closed at all. 

trhode: I’ve been playing the M2 all year. In comparison at address, the ST is very closed. I had 3 customers look at it yesterday too and they all had the same reaction: closed. That being said, I did play 18 on the simulator and hit some monster drives. The head, with the Raijin shaft, seems to be just a little lower spin than my TaylorMade M2. The blue finish doesn’t bother me either. 

akjell: Hit this yesterday at the Mizuno demo day yesterday at Eagle Ridge in Gilroy, CA. Far from a hook machine but definitely a bomber. The Mizuno’s reps put me in a Mitsubishi Tensei White 70X and I could hit this this driver on a string possibly a bit better than my M1. Of the Mizuno drivers of late, this has to be the best one.

odshot68: Ordering it today. Was fit and played a round with it. Optimal launch and spin. Tensei Blue 70x at 9.5 degrees. This is definitely not left bias; first Mizzy driver ever.

nmorton: Hit this today and it’s going in the bag. Just a classic head shape that suits my eye. Been messing around with a number of drivers over the past year and haven’t singled one out. Last long term driver I had was the 850. The ST checks all of the boxes for me…looks great down by the ball, sounds solid and performs as good as any other. What really sold me was how well slight mis-hits performed. I had the 12.5 dialed down so it definitely sat open a bit. Didn’t hit the fairway but it looks sharp as well. 

evoviiiyou: Had a chance to test the driver with a couple shafts last night. The head is definitely deeper than the JPX900 and the footprint seems bigger from he set up position, very confidence inspiring like the JPX900 but a little improved. Finish and graphics are very similar to the 900 which is very nice if you like the satin Mizuno blue and I do love it just like the satin black I recently had done to my JPX driver and 3 metal. 

regiwstruk: My current gamer is a Titleist 917D3, and this is definitely replacing that. I used a JPX 900 from November 2016 through June 2017 — biggest differences are the sound and that the distance is up there with at least one of the leaders in the market. Anxious to see how it does on the course! 

Paul065: It is high launch, low spin yes but I wouldn’t say it was targeted at the average golfer. It’s basically their version of Callaway Epic Sub Zero. Rory used the Sub Zero. 

Tommyj: I went down to Carls yesterday specifically to look at the ST180. I’ve read some comments that the face looks closed. When I picked it up it was in the 10.5D position and did look slightly closed but then looked perfectly square at 9.5D and also square at 10.5D which seemed sort of odd. The shape is not for me, I had a Cobra F6 and while the ST180 footprint isn’t that big its still substantial. I like blue on drivers and the ST180 has a real quality look to it with the matte finish, having said that I’m not sure I’d want to be looking at that shade of blue all the time. The sound was an absolute killer for me, it was completely unexpected because I always associate Mizuno with being traditional and understated… ST180 launch was lower than G400 in the neutral setting, about the same when I lofted the Ping down.  ST180 was noticeably lower than D2. Longest driver of the three was G400, followed by ST180 then D2. For me the ST180 had the widest dispersion with G400 being the most accurate (by a wide margin).

Discussion: Read more comments about the ST-180 driver here

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