TaylorMade SLDR Fairway Woods and Hybrids

by   |   October 21, 2013

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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.

About

Zak is the Managing Editor of GolfWRX.com.

He's been a part of the company since 2012, when he was hired to develop GolfWRX's front page. Since that time, GolfWRX has become the go-to destination on the web for golf equipment news, tour news, instruction and opinion.

Zak also developed GolfWRX's Featured Writer Program, which supports aspiring writers who want to improve their skills and allows established golf professionals to communicate directly with readers.

He played college golf at the University of Richmond, where he took too many strokes. Good thing he also studied journalism and creative writing.

You can follow Zak on Twitter @ZakKoz, where he's happy to discuss all the cool gear and insider info that's part of his job.


34 Comments

  1. AJ Jensen

    December 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

    October 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

    October 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

    October 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

    October 23, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    Already reduced price at Dick’s

  6. Socorr65

    October 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

      October 25, 2013 at 8:32 am

      Yeah man I so want the SLDR 3 wood!

  7. JL

    October 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

      October 28, 2013 at 12:22 pm

      Its filled with a polymer so no dirt can get in

  8. Martin

    October 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

    October 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

    October 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

      October 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

    October 21, 2013 at 1:17 pm

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

  12. DRAGO

    October 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

    October 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

    October 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

    October 21, 2013 at 12:00 pm

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

  16. Matt

    October 21, 2013 at 11:21 am

    Does it come with a toaster oven?

  17. JL

    October 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

      October 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

    October 21, 2013 at 9:51 am

    where is the sldr weight aspect?

  19. Keith

    October 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

      October 21, 2013 at 9:47 am

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

    • John

      October 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

        October 22, 2013 at 12:32 am

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

  20. Sparky

    October 21, 2013 at 5:31 am

    When will ladies clubs be available in SA?

  21. Justin

    October 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

      October 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

        October 26, 2013 at 4:28 pm

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

        • Kinesin

          October 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

            October 28, 2013 at 12:20 pm

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

  22. Kyle

    October 21, 2013 at 12:31 am

    Date of release?

    • Kyle

      October 21, 2013 at 12:32 am

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

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