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TaylorMade SLDR MiniDriver: In-hand photos

by   |   March 5, 2014
TaylorMade SLDR Mini MiniDriver

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.

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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

  1. Alan

    April 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

    March 28, 2014 at 1:09 pm

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

  4. Evan

    March 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

    March 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

    March 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

    March 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

    March 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

      March 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

      March 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

      April 7, 2014 at 1:29 am

  9. Lee

    March 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

    March 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

    March 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

    March 7, 2014 at 10:23 am

    I like the color scheme better than the SLDR driver

  13. brsmith

    March 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

    March 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

      March 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

    March 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

    March 6, 2014 at 11:32 am

    Sean O’Hair still plays the Tour?

  18. billy

    March 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

    March 6, 2014 at 7:58 am

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

  20. the infidel

    March 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.

    • RD

      March 6, 2014 at 11:00 am

      Says the 11 handicapper.

  21. Chuck

    March 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

    March 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

      March 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

      March 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

        March 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

    March 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

    March 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

      March 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

      March 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

    March 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

    March 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

      March 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

      March 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

        March 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!

    March 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

    March 5, 2014 at 3:55 pm

    That’s a nice 2 WOOD !!!!

  29. Westphi

    March 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

    March 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

    March 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

      March 6, 2014 at 6:45 am

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

  32. Lazza

    March 5, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    Prefer the charcoal grey on the crown.

  33. Jordan

    March 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

      March 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

        March 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

          March 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

            March 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

            March 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

            March 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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