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TaylorMade SLDR MiniDriver: In-hand photos

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TaylorMade launched its new SLDR MiniDriver this week at the WGC-Cadillac Championship, giving us the first in-hand photos of the company’s yet-to-be-released driving fairway wood.

The club is roughly half the size of TaylorMade’s SLDR driver — it’s estimated to be about 250 cubic centimeters, while the SLDR driver is 46occ — and also looks and functions differently. It’s color scheme is essentially inverted from the SLDR driver. The SLDR Mini has a matte silver crown and a black sole, while the SLDR Driver glossy charcoal-painted crown and a matte silver sole.

The SLDR Mini we photographed has a printed loft of 12 degrees, but unlike the SLDR driver it has no sliding weight or adjustable hosel. Check out more photos of the SLDR Mini below, including comparison photos from TaylorMade’s Tour Van.

Click here to see what GolfWRX Members are saying about the SLDR MiniDriver in our forum.

post-123025-0-76147500-1394034584_thumb

post-123025-0-15542700-1394034661_thumb post-123025-0-46073200-1394034601_thumb post-123025-0-68290100-1394034644_thumb  minislider-1

Click here to see what GolfWRX Members are saying about the SLDR MiniDriver in our forum. 

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53 Comments

53 Comments

  1. Alan

    Apr 22, 2014 at 8:00 pm

    I like the concept for my game. What degree is most suitable to hit off the tee, as well as the fairway? P.S. Some of your comments had me rolling.

  2. Pingback: miniDriver: Back to the Future | The Crunchy Golfer

  3. chad ryan

    Mar 28, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    This is comical to me. What’s next? Mini wedges?

  4. Evan

    Mar 22, 2014 at 10:00 am

    A good idea but total whiff on this one TM. Why is the head 250cc!!! you should have made a 380 or 400 with a pro trajectory and 12-13 degree loft!!!! THAT is a mini driver, THIS is a strong 3 wood.

    Need an OEM to give me a complimentary 1 and 2 wood. Two tee options, 20-30 yard gap, one distance premium, one accuracy premium.

  5. Damian

    Mar 19, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    a comparison shot with an RBZ tour spoon would be cool. is there really that much difference between the mini SLDR and a tour spoon? Is the face that much deeper?

  6. KCCO

    Mar 18, 2014 at 9:39 pm

    It’s an option…some will buy it, some will buy it with purpose to use it, others will wait and buy it for half price. Either way, It’s another option from TM. Can’t hate them for it.
    My opinion, looks nice, but takes 1 of the 14 seats in my bag, and I don’t really know who I would kick outta the party to accommodate a club I don’t have any knowledge of, or know the value of its purpose/usefullness (made that word up) vs. say 3 wood, utility, rescue, etc. Def not pushing the 712u out:)

  7. nikkyd

    Mar 17, 2014 at 11:05 pm

    A lot of times i practice with older persimmons to get my hand eye coordination synced. I really think that these large club heads have too much drag with the large faces, hence one reason they are harder to work. A deep face is nice and all, but whats the give and take? Faster clubhead speed or more speed across the sweetspot/hitting area? Practice practice practice. If it was easy, everyone would do it

  8. Randy

    Mar 11, 2014 at 3:20 pm

    2 steps forward 1 back?? Does any one know of a comparison test between modern 460cc drivers and older 250cc Big Berthas types by man or machine. I would bet the results are closer than you think. If they wouldn’t make up something new whether it helps or not , sales would go down. Show them the $$$$$$.

    • Mike

      Mar 16, 2014 at 6:28 am

      I bought an old Taylormade 200 steel off ebay for fun a few months back, vs my R11s it was only 5-10 yards shorter, but it was also a 10.5 degree vs the 9 degree on the R11s..

      Honestly my belief is that the bigger heads only help off centre hits, not distance on good shots.

    • Captain Junah

      Mar 18, 2014 at 10:46 am

      well….smaller heads have a lower CG aka low spin. They just also happen to have a lower MOI. A 460 head gets you forgiveness on the mishits. I would say newer clubs also give you more distance because they are longer and have higher strength faces and fit the masses better too.

    • Brad

      Apr 7, 2014 at 1:29 am

  9. Lee

    Mar 10, 2014 at 8:23 am

    I just like the color. I’d like it if they would run the SLDR driver in this mini driver color. I like the light color crown with a black face.

  10. RG

    Mar 7, 2014 at 9:14 pm

    Finally!!! A new release from Taylormade!! It’s been so long since they put out somethimg new I was stating to worry. And what a release! A “Minidriver”… I didn’t even know I needed one. Thank you TM, you make my golf life complete.

  11. Brad

    Mar 7, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    Looks a lot like my Cobra Long Tom 2 wood. If it’s anything like my 2 wood it will save a lot of guys several strokes. I struggled with the driver forever. I got my Long Tom and changed shafts and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. My drives don’t suffer either I hit the 2 wood as far as I’ve ever hit a driver. I would definitely give this club a try as a driver replacement for sure.

  12. RadioActive

    Mar 7, 2014 at 10:23 am

    I like the color scheme better than the SLDR driver

  13. brsmith

    Mar 7, 2014 at 7:17 am

    It is a “thriver.” A Driver that you can hit fairways with and off the deck. It is essentially a 2W. I assume this is for stronger players like Tiger Woods that hit 3W off the tee but are looking for a little more distance. It could help those that have an issue with the larger heads.

  14. boomermike

    Mar 6, 2014 at 8:26 pm

    No need for this club if you already own the original Ping Rapture 3-wood. Still awesome off the tee several years after its introduction.

    • Holdma Deeek

      Mar 19, 2014 at 1:58 pm

      You probably listen to the superbowl on the radio too. Step your game up.

  15. Pingback: SLDR minidriver | Golfbloggen

  16. Golfraven

    Mar 6, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    this club would fit well in a Star Trek movie.
    I like how TM use rest ot the white paint from the RBZ and mix it with some of the new paint – to get this lovely grey ish color. Some master brain at work – respect

  17. benseattle

    Mar 6, 2014 at 11:32 am

    Sean O’Hair still plays the Tour?

  18. billy

    Mar 6, 2014 at 8:32 am

    Ill just take the original SLDR please…Waiting for the inevitable price drop into my price range which is only 3 “new” releases away now…WHAHOOOOOOO

  19. RAT

    Mar 6, 2014 at 7:58 am

    Spend,Spend,Spend that money ! That’s what it’s about club junkies!!

  20. the infidel

    Mar 6, 2014 at 7:52 am

    You can’t design or buy your way out of poor technical execution.

    If you can’t grip down on a driver and swing at 75% of normal to hit a stock fairway finder shot then put the clubs on the bay.

    This $300+ club will not cure bad swings. Look at Phil as an example. Callaway tinkering to mask technical flaws which are there for everyone to see if you can find YouTube.

  21. Chuck

    Mar 5, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    Seems strange that in the niche market where very advanced players get very picky about face angles, that this club wouldn’t be adjustable.

    But it really does seem like the ‘club of the year’: the small driver. Callaway, Ping, Taylormade; they are all doing it.

  22. nikkyd

    Mar 5, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    If they made this thing in a 9° loft and slapped a steel shaft in it, we would have a winner. I have not played golf very long. Started out with the modern 460 cc heads and i do okay with them, but when im in a pinch or just not hitting it well, i swap out my 910 d3 with an early 80s macgregor eye o matic. Deadly accurate and well long enough. Modern driver heads weigh between 196-204 grams. So do all the vintage clubs! This club could be the real deal. As long as its more durable than Previous taylormade (caved faced) models

    • Justin

      Mar 6, 2014 at 11:54 am

      So you get the taylormade caved toe too?? Lol 2 rounds after I got my R1 black, I had to take it back for that reason, not to mention almost all of my previous tm drivers haha.

    • Chuck

      Mar 6, 2014 at 1:45 pm

      If you had a 9 degree driver head that was small in size with a 43.5″ steel shaft, you’d have a 1993 Callaway Big Bertha with the True Temper Memphis 10 shaft. Like I have in my basement. One of the best and most fun to hit drivers I have ever used. Without any doubt, the best driver I have ever owned, for hitting the ball off the deck.

      • nikkyd

        Mar 8, 2014 at 1:06 pm

        Im still looking for my dads big bertha head in the woods behind #7 tee box. He loved that club.it was killer. Head flew off after completing his follow through. Freak power golden gloves heavyweight boxer champ 1974 😉

  23. jed

    Mar 5, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    Good amount of people only hit 3 woods off the tee. So why not get a larger one that will be more forgiving and longer.

    I personally want one so I can hit it off the deck as well. Even though I dont do it often, I would like that option.

  24. Ryan

    Mar 5, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    Is it just me or does the taylormade symbol on the top of the club always look like it is to far towards the heel?

    • Justin

      Mar 5, 2014 at 9:37 pm

      I had an R11, and I thought the same thing! Don’t notice it as much on my r1 black though. Maybe it has to do with lighter crowns giving that allusion?

    • TJ

      Mar 6, 2014 at 10:04 am

      just an assumption its probably so that when you are looking down at your ball you can a-line the symbol in the middle of the ball and have the ball positioned in the sweet spot (middle of the club) if it was located directly in the middle in order to a-line the ball to it you would have to be looking down at the club face directly over the club. Again just an assumption I truly have no facts… Ha!

  25. Martin

    Mar 5, 2014 at 6:16 pm

    I don’t get using the SLDR name on products without the sliding mechanism, seems a bit silly.

    Does the article say how long the shaft is?

  26. Jason Burge

    Mar 5, 2014 at 5:30 pm

    Ask yourself one question: is a 12 degree fairway wood really going to lower your score? Most players don’t have chance at hitting this off the ground and those that can won’t need it in their bag. Sure, it might be cool to hit off the tee. But, for the average player, I doubt that the 12 degree loft and small head will produce straighter tee shots. If anything, the average player will still end up in the tall grass but have 10-15 more yards to the green than usual. This club seems like something that even an advanced player wouldn’t use very frequently.

    • ND Hickman

      Mar 5, 2014 at 9:07 pm

      My guess would be to have this in place of a driver, have a 5 wood in place of a 3 wood then your usual iron set and wedges. This club is less likely to go as offline as a 460CC driver would do.

    • MBA-J

      Mar 5, 2014 at 9:09 pm

      I’m with you, bro. Quite frankly cannot understand the purpose of this club. It’s tee shot equivalent of a chipper! It’s a unitasker, one trick pony that is too big to be a traditional fairway wood but not forgiving enough to replace the traditional driver. Why not get a 12* SLDR driver and get the extra forgiveness? Why not get a 13° fairway wood and have a more versatile club?

      • RC

        Mar 6, 2014 at 10:53 am

        The purpose of the club – the competition has one on the market. How much of a percentage of golfers visit this web site, or one which is similar; you’re in the know, good for you. TM didn’t get to be so big by selling to us (we educate ourselves), but to buyers who go and buy at will. It’s all marketing, well we’re doing it now, free of charge to boot.
        As all have said, buy in 6 months for a fraction of the cost. I played a similar club (Titleist PT 13 degree 3 wood) that club was to people a golf with what a Nissan GTR was to street racers. The fact I had one, could actually play it brought a sort of respect for my game, especially after I would let them try the club. Remember, TM here to sell clubs even if it contradicts what they just said. TM will make and people will buy. Golfers will wait for the clearance price.

  27. yo!

    Mar 5, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    I’m getting this thing to hit off the deck or off the fairway in windy conditions.

  28. P

    Mar 5, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    That’s a nice 2 WOOD !!!!

  29. Westphi

    Mar 5, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    So its a ” mini driver” for people who hit it really hard and want to find more fairways or a “3 wood” for people who need the extra help???

  30. Taylor Zalewski

    Mar 5, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    Yea, I don’t get this size. Seems like such a small niche market. If people wanted to use a smaller headed driver to find fairways…why not just buy an old callaway great big bertha

  31. Martin Fincham

    Mar 5, 2014 at 1:20 pm

    I would say it’s Taylormade’s version of Callaway’s X Hot Deep 3 woods. Which are great clubs. 🙂

    • Ross

      Mar 6, 2014 at 6:45 am

      the 3 deep comes in various lofts… in a optifit world this is a dinosaur

  32. Lazza

    Mar 5, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    Prefer the charcoal grey on the crown.

  33. Jordan

    Mar 5, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    What’s the purpose of this club? Is it supposed to be a cross between a driver and 3 wood?

    • KYGolfer

      Mar 5, 2014 at 1:11 pm

      I think this club is for people with high swing speed, but are willing to sacrifice 10 yards of distance in order to hit one or two more fairways a round. Or at least that is why I would use it.

      • Christopher

        Mar 5, 2014 at 3:58 pm

        Or it’s designed for players who want extra distance than their current fairway woods provide.

        I hope we see some tests between this and old titanium drivers that are similar in size.

        • ND Hickman

          Mar 6, 2014 at 7:13 am

          Speaking as someone who bought a Callaway XHot Pro 3Deep 13 last year, I can confirm that these kind of clubs do go pretty far. I’ve measured one drive (I stress it has only happened once!) at just over 300 yards. Good alternative to a driver if you’re not confident with the big stick.

          • Jack

            Mar 6, 2014 at 4:15 pm

            Is there a guy on the internet that doesn’t hit it over 300 these days? 360 is the norm, you better work on your club head speed, buddy.

          • Randy

            Mar 11, 2014 at 4:40 pm

            I have a TM R9 and I don’t think it goes any father than my old Cobra 380cc driver. In fact it doesn’t go much farther than my TM Superfast 5 wood. My 5 wood is the same length as the old drivers and goes a lot straighter. Today’s 46 inch drivers are too long to control.

          • ND Hickman

            Mar 21, 2014 at 9:01 am

            To Jack, please note that I said it has happened once. Not that I’ve done it consistently.

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Equipment

Members’ Choice: The top-5 drivers that golfers want to test in 2018

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Golf’s “off-season” is upon us and the PGAM Show in Orlando is quickly approaching in January, which means it’s time to start thinking about the upcoming driver releases.

We’ve seen a few companies launch their “2018” lines already — such as Cobra with its new King F8 and F8+ — while speculation swirls around the companies who have yet to announce their newest products. For instance, we’ve spotted a new “TaylorMade M4″ driver, and a new “Rogue” driver from Callaway. If history repeats itself and Titleist remains on a two-year product cycle, then we’ll see a replacement for the 917 line sometime in 2018, as well.

The question we posed to our GolfWRX Members recently was, which new or unreleased driver has you most excited heading into 2018? Below are the results and a selection of comments about each driver.

Click here to join the discussion!

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

Titleist (7.39 percent of votes)

BDoubleG: I know it’s well down the road, but the Titleist 919 is what I’m most looking forward to. I played the 910 until this year and loved it, but I realized that I wasn’t getting much in the way of distance gains with the 915/917, and I was just leaving too many yards on the table. I know it’s a cliche, but I was seeing considerable gains with my G400LS, then my M2 I have now.

I feel like Titleist has been hurting in the driver market share category (and probably elsewhere), as I think a lot of people think that the 913, 915 and 917 have been minor refreshes in a world where almost everyone else has been experimenting with structure (jailbreak, turbulators) or with COG (spaceports, SLDR, G-series extreme back CG). I think if Titleist is going to recapture some of their market share, they will need to start taking an interest in stepping outside of their comfort zone to catch up with everyone else. Maybe I’m hoping for too much, but a D2-style head with ample forgiveness and low-spin (maybe a back-front weight), with the same great sound of the 917, and hopefully getting rid of the “battery taped to the sole” look would be a huge hit in my book.

I’m really looking forward to seeing what they come up with…and I hope I’m not disappointed.

Mizuno GT-180 or otherwise (8.87 percent of votes)

mrmikeac: After thoroughly testing the Mizuno ST-180 and seeing the distance gains I was getting from my Epic, I can’t wait for the GT to get here. Cobra would be next in line for me, but Mizzy really did something special with that JPX-900 and it seems to look like they’re going the same route with these drivers. Excellent feel, forgiveness and simple but effective tech. 

Callaway Rogue, Rogue Sub Zero or otherwise (17.73 percent of votes)

cvhookem63: It seems like we’re not getting a lot of “NEW” this time — just some same lines “improved” on a little. I’m interested to try the Rogue line and M3/M4 line to see if they improved on their previous models. The Cobra F8+ is intriguing to me, as well. I’d like to compare those three to see how they stack up. 

tj7644: Callaway Rogue. It’s gotta make me hit straighter drives right? It sure can’t be my swing…

Equipto: Callaway Rogue Sub Zero, and that’s about it. Most of my testing will be with shafts I presume. 

bangabain: Excited to give the Rogue a shot, although with the hope that there’s a little more fade bias despite the lack of sliding weight.

TaylorMade M3, M4 or otherwise (27.09 percent of votes)

DeCuchi: TaylorMade M3 of course, and the F8+. I’m more interested in the fairways this year though. TaylorMade M4 fairways and Rogue fairways are top of my list. 

elwhippy: TaylorMade M3 and M4. Not owned a TM driver for several seasons and want something with a bit more power than the Ping G Series…

cradd10: M3. Still rocking an OG M1. Super solid driver. Curious to see if the updated version can beat it. 

Cobra F8/F8+ (33.66 percent of votes)

WAxORxDCxSC: I sure want to like the F8 based on looks (I understand I’m possibly in the minority on that one at GolfWRX).

TWshoot67: For me, it’s three drivers: the Cobra F8, F8+ and TM M4. 

The General: Cobra F8 is going to dominate everything, just wait, on the F8

Ace2000: Definitely F8/F8+. Love my Bio Cell+ and can’t help but wonder if these perform as good as they look. 

Click here to join the discussion!

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Equipment

True Linkswear goes back to its spikeless roots

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True Linkswear is getting back to its roots, while expanding the singular golf shoe brand’s reach at the same time.

The Tacoma, Washington, company’s Director/Partner, Justin Turner, told us that with the release of the two new models, the company is course-correcting from a move toward the mainstream, spiked golf shoes, and a loss of identity.

In addition to durability issues, Turner said the core True Linkswear customer didn’t appreciate the shift — or the deluge of models that followed.

So, in a sense, the two-model lineup both throws a bone to True devotees and casts a wider net.

Turner and company asked: “If we wanted to restart the brand….what would we value?” A commitment to the brand’s core outsider identity, style as articulated in early models, and an emphasis on quality led Turner on multiple trips to China to survey suppliers in early 2017. Eventually, the company settled on a manufacturing partner with a background in outdoor gear and hiking shoes.

“We’ve spent the last few years scouring the globe for the best material sourcing, reputable factories, advanced construction techniques, and time-tested fundamentals to build our best shoes yet. No cheap synthetics, no corners cut.”

Eventually, True settled on two designs: The Original, which, not surprisingly, has much in common with the zero-drop 2009 industry disrupting model, and the Outsider: a more athletic-style shoe positioned to attract a broader audience.

True Linkswear Original: $149

The company emphasizes the similarity in feel between the Original and early True Linkswear models, suggesting that players will feel and connect to the course “in a whole new way.”

  • Gray, White, Black colorways
  • Waterproof full grain leather
  • Thin sole with classic True zero-drop heel
  • 12.1 oz
  • Sockfit liner for comfort
  • Natural width box toe

True Linkswear Outsider: $169

With the Outsider, True Linkswear asked: “What if a golf shoe could be more? Look natural in more environments?”

  • Grey/navy, black, white colorways
  • EVA midsole for lightweight cushioning
  • Full grain waterproof leather
  • 13.1 oz (thicker midsole than the Original)

The company envisions both shoes being worn on course and off.

True Linkswear introduced the more durable and better-performing Cross Life Tread with both models. Turner says the tread is so good, you can wear the shoes hiking.

Both models are available now through the company website only. True Linkswear plans to enter retail shops slowly and selectively.

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Equipment

Sean O’Hair and Steve Stricker’s Winning WITBs from the 2017 QBE Shootout

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The team of Steve Stricker and Sean O’Hair closed the QBE Shootout with an 8-under 64 for a two-shot win over Graeme McDowell and Shane Lowry. O’Hair made a timely eagle on the par-5 17th hole at Tiburon Golf Club to lock up the first place prize of $820,000 ($410,000 each).

Here’s a look at their bags.

Sean O’Hair

Driver: Titleist 917D2 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White Prototype 60TX

3 Wood: Titleist 917F2 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana S+ Limited Edition 70TX

5 Wood: Titleist 915F (18 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana S+ Limited Edition 80TX

Irons: Titleist 716 T-MB (4-iron), Titleist 718 AP2 (5-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM7 prototype (50, 54 and 58 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Scotty Cameron prototype

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1

Related: Sean O’Hair WITB

Steve Stricker

Driver: Titleist 913D3 (8.5 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Motore Speeder VC 8.2X

3 Wood: Titleist 915F (13.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon Tensei CK Pro White 80TX Prototype

Hybrid: Titleist 816H1 (17.0 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Motore Speeder VC 9.2X

Irons: Titleist 718 CB (3-9)
Shafts: KBS Tour Prototype

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM6 (46, 54 and 60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400 w/ Sensicore

Putter: Odyssey White Hot 2

Golf Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

Related: Steve Stricker WITB 2017

Note: We originally reported Stricker had a Scotty Cameron putter in the bag, per Titleist’s equipment report. Stricker did, however, have a Odyssey White Hot putter in play during the final round of the QBE Shootout.

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