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GolfWRX TaylorMade SLDR Driver Fitting Sessions Review and Recaps


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#1 HipCheck

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 07:16 AM

TaylorMade Golf and GolfWRX allowed 25 GolfWRX members the chance to get fit for their new SLDR driver weeks before it hit the retail market.  Members entered a giveaway and were picked at random to participate in fitting sessions at TaylorMade Performance Labs (TMPL) at 5 locations throughout the country: Chicago, Dallas, New Jersey, San Francisco & Florida.  

The SLDR was recently put into play by 14 Open Championship participants, which is impressive in it's 2nd week available on tour. TaylorMade welcomed GolfWRX members to bring their current gamer, and see if the new SLDR prototype driver could beat it. Here are the wrap ups from the events.

- Rob

First, TaylorMade SLDR Driver In-Hand Pics




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#2 bvmagic

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 07:55 AM

I was able to attend the TPC Sawgrass fitting, and was notified the day before I was in as an alternate.  So you can imagine within a 24 hour period how much was going through my head.  Barely slept and took a half day at work (boss knew of course, I didn't use my Taco Bell excuse).  Dave from taylormade gave us a great presentation and Avery was the master clubfitter at the Taylormade performance lab.  

My swing and approach to golf is very feel based, so my review may be different than the others since I don't dwell on launch monitors too much.  Driving the ball straight is one of my strengths, if the ball does curve usually its a little fade.  My swing speed is usually 97-100 mph and carry is typically in the 220-230 range.  My current driver is a Razr fit extreme 9.5 with a motore speeder 6.2 S flex.  This driver has been one of the straightest drivers for me so far and I like the feel of it.  

The SLDR driver is a totally different driver compared to the Razr fit extreme in my opinion.  The first swings I took with my razr fit were great and the ball was going straight towards my target line.  When I eventually moved to the SLDR I experimented with about 3 or 4 shafts.  Started with a Diamana Kaili which made the driver hit extremely low for me so I quickly switched that out.  Fitter then gave me a Oban kiyoshi white, which did not hit as low but the dispersion was not consistent.  Later had the Tour AD and motore speeder 6.0 (red) and these two performed much better in terms of trajectory and dispersion.  Eventually Avery was able to find the same shaft I have used in my previous 2 drivers, the motore speeder 6.2 (dark purple shaft) and it outperformed all the previous shafts I tried all day.  For some reason this shaft just keeps calling my name no matter what head I use.  

By the time it was my turn to hit on the monitor I probably hit half of the ball pyramid and was a little wore out.  I hit the Razr first and it was not performing as well as it was earlier when I was fresh.  The ball was fading more and it was only carrying maybe 215-220.  Then I hit the SLDR and was able to hit great drives that carried mid 230's and the ball was going dead straight.  This driver was just easier to hit than my Razr fit as the day wore on.  Sometimes I would mishit it and look up to see the ball still getting out there.  Avery suggested I go from the 45.5 inch Razr to a 44.75 inch SLDR because it will fit me better.  9.5 loft with 1 notch towards fade position.  

Thank you Taylormade and Golfwrx for this experience.  Avery and Dave gave us a great fitting and presentation.  Also if it wasn't for Rebel420's post about taking off of work and making the drive I probably wouldn't even have entered.  It actually was a 3 hour drive for me, but TOTALLY worth it.  

We were lucky to be able to hit outside at the TPC range and avoid the rain.  




The others watching on as Josh Skobee of the Jaguars gets fitted.  



IMG_6323.jpg

Some close ups and comparison pics to my Razr fit extreme.  



IMG_6316.jpg
IMG_6317.jpg

Edited by bvmagic, 19 July 2013 - 09:35 PM.


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#3 jimpsycho

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 07:56 AM

Let me say thanks first and foremost to GolfWRX and to TaylorMade for selecting me and letting me take part in the #SLDR event lat night in the Chicago area.  A very good time was had and it was great meeting T.O. And Josh who made the trip for Carlsbad.  Our fitter was Brad Syslo who works out of Olympia Fields CC.  What a facility!  Top notch through and through.

As the event was slated to start at six I recommended to our group that we should meet up at a bar beforehand to negate any jitters and to get to know one another prior to walking into the fitting.  We all get to the bar and have a beer prior to heading out to the club.  Good bunch of guys to have an event with and it was cool meeting them all.  We leave the bar with about ten minutes to spare and head over to the club.  As we approach our turn into the club we run into a car accident which had our intersection closed for a little.  Nothing would keep us from seeing the #SLDR though.

We eventually get to the club and get through the gate.  After circling the club for a little we find where the lab is – upstairs on the second floor.  We go in and settle ourselves and meet the team.  Great guys all around.  We met Tom, who is an engineer on Woods and Josh who is in Woods marketing.  Brad was our fitter and is a top notch guy.

We was a PowerPoint with some videos on the tech and get to see the clubs and also the coolest part for me, the cut out one where we get to see the guts of this thing.  There is some real cool technology in this thing.  After a bit of Q&A we go out to the 90+ degree weather and the what seemed like 90% humidity to the range.  

We start warming up while we go ahead and get the kinks out of our swings.  After I swipe a few 7 irons to warm up, I move on to my current gamer.  Here are the specs:

Ping Anser 9 degree in STD setting
Graphite Design Tour AD DI 6S 44” shaft tipped a little
Club plays 44.5” total

I guess now is a good time to say that I have been a Ping driver player for quite a while.  I gamed a G10 with the Pro Launch Red S for two years.  I then moved on to the G15 with an Axiv Core Red 69S, and now on to my current gamer.  I have never seen massive distance increases with each new driver, but there has always been a benefit and that is why I have moved on.

Back to the fitting...

After taking a few swings with my driver I look back and lo and behold there was a 9.5 #SLDR waiting for me in my hitting bay with and AD DI 6S shaft.  As soon as I see it I make a beeline for it.  Grab it and hold it in my hands, waggle, waggle.  I like it...scratch that, I love the look of it.  I was one of the guys who couldn’t get over the white.  It just didn’t suit my eye.  The silver face coupled with the grey paint looks clean and sexy.  And I never once noticed the crescent at the back of the club or the subtle crown graphics.  Once you use them to align your shot they disappear.  Pretty neat, huh?

So the driver was set to 9.5 with the weight in the middle.  I take a swing and make decent contact.  It fades on me.  I take another swing and it fades again, but this time a little less.  The sound of this driver is great...better than any TM driver I have hit in the past.  Brad and T.O. come over and ask me what I think.  So I tell them that I like the way it sets up, really like the sound, and like how they’ve hid the fact that it is a 460 CC head.  You can’t really tell.  Brad grabs the club and makes some adjustments.  I ask him not to tell me what he did.

I grab it again and hit a beautiful high draw.  I normally hit a high draw with my current gamer.  This was a tad higher but flew as far, if not further.  I hit maybe five more and look back at Brad and he tells me to bring him the club.  He tells me he turned the loft down to 9 degrees and moved the weight to the draw setting.  I go back and look at the numbers and launch was 12 degrees with about 2400 spin.  If he says he’s happy, then I am happy.  We talk a little about other shafts so he gives me VTS Silver 6S and a RIP b 60.  These just didn’t work as well for me.  I may have been the easiest fit of the night for him.  By this time I am drenched in sweat and retire to two bottles of water and mix it up with the guys from TM.

By now we are all done and head back to the lab to eat some food.  Fitting meal for the night were some delicious sliders and some beer.  The TM guys regale us with stories from the tour about who is good to work with and who is a little more difficult.  We go through a couple more questions and then learn we are all getting a driver.  Awesome.  I thought one of the five was getting one as I had read that in the post.  Brad calls us to his office one by one where he confirms specs.  He puts me into 9.5 #SLDR turned down to 9 with the length at 44.5”.  So basically, I have the same specs as my current gamer.  The cool thing about it is that it goes higher than my current club.  I think back to the Tiger commercial where he says all we want is to hit the ball high with lower spin.  I got that with the new club.  

Thanks again to TM and WRX for this fantastic opportunity.  It was great meeting the TM team and the Chicago crew.

I didn’t do a good job taking pictures, but I am sure plenty will be loaded.  Any questions you guys have, feel free to fire away.  I will do my best to answer them.

Edited by jimpsycho, 19 July 2013 - 03:59 PM.


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#4 jj9000

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 07:56 AM

TM SLDR - Dallas
Gleneagles Country Club

First, let me give credit where credit is due.  The folks at TaylorMade are more than excited about this new product, and they are passionate about it.  It shines through in their presentations, in their descriptions about the SLDR, and in their voice(s) when they explain the technology that goes into this driver.  These gentlemen went above and beyond in assisting me/us in all facets of the experience (food, beverage, product questions, and most importantly, fitting).  I would be selling this experience short if I didn’t dole out a big Thank You to GolfWRX, and especially HipCheck who pulled all of this together.  Thank You!!

My current set up:

TaylorMade R1
Aldila RIP Phenon 55gm (S)
10* Loft
Set Open to the 1 setting
Standard Length
I was fitted into this Driver when it 1st came out and I wasn’t shy with my fitter (or anyone else for that matter) that I really liked the Driver, but the graphics were so-so and took some getting used to.  In fact, my fitter at the time said “either you can choose to like the paint, or choose to like the numbers”.  After that comment, the R1 made my bag and I really haven’t thought about changing it out.

Until now.

About me:
I play decent golf and consider myself better than the average golfer who plays a couple times a month.  In any given round I could get hot and shoot in the high 70s, or (more likely) shoot somewhere in the mid-high 80s with the looming blow up round that rears its ugly head every now and then.
My Driver swing speed is typically in the high 90s to low 100s.
My miss is to the left (hence the R1 being clocked Open) and I’m usually somewhere in or around the fairway.  My Achilles heel is a negative Angle of Attack which robs me of distance due to low launch and higher spin.  Enough about me, let’s get to the goods.

Our Fitting:
I was fitted by a gentleman (Ryan) who was great at what he did.  I’ve got to give credit where credit is due and Ryan is a hell of a fitter.  We were outside and on the Gleneagles range and I was warming up with my R1.  Ryan asked me what my settings were as I continued to hit balls.  I was fairly happy with how I was hitting the ball, and then Ryan asked me to try the SLDR.  I hit several shots with the Driver and they seemed to go really high.  He went back to the drawing board and brought me the same head with a different shaft in it.  It took all of (1) swing to see, hear, and feel the difference.  The ball shot off the SLRD driver face like a cannon.  The ballfight off my R1 typically rises fairly high, hits an apex, then descends.  This ballflight was much different.  The SLDR came off the face and launched higher, however, the ball flattened, carried, and then rolled like crazy.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with Texas wind, a flatter and more penetrating ballflight is most definitely a good thing.
Ryan then suggested we get on the FlightScope for some benchmarking.  I hit several shots with my R1 that I would consider a good shot in any given round.  Ryan took down the numbers and handed me the SLDR.  Again, the ball came off the face and launched higher, flattened out, then ran like crazy.

Here are the numbers gains from the R1 to the SLDR.
Launch = increased  by 3*
Ball speed = increased by 4 MPH (don’t ask me how they do it, because I was swinging a heavier shaft)
Total Carry = increased by 11 yards
Total Distance = increased by 25 yards

The Driver Itself:
Looks = Smaller at address than the R1.  The grey finish definitely appeals to my eye in comparison to the R1.
Sound = More muted than the R1. Not ‘tinny’ at all.
Feel = Solid at address, and solid through the hitting zone.
Adjustability = This thing is ‘idiot proof’.  The soleplate adjustment is as easy as it looks and it takes all of 30 seconds to adjust.

Conclusion:
I’m really looking forward to receiving my SLDR.  I’m one who hasn’t been too keen on TMAG’s multiple releases per year, but they can pull it off when each subsequent release is better than the last.  That’s exactly what I would consider this driver, better than the R1 and better than the R11s.
Thanks again TaylorMade and GolfWRX for letting me participate in this great event.

For the rest of you, keep your eyes peeled for a ‘gently used’ R1 that will be hitting the BST Forum as soon as I receive the SLDR.  The SLDR is that good.

Edited by jj9000, 21 July 2013 - 08:07 AM.


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#5 buster74

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 08:06 AM

First and foremost I wanted to thank TMAG and GolfWRX for the opportunity and the amazing experience last night.  Tom, Corey, and Rob were a blast to shoot the sh** with and made the experience all the more enjoyable.  

Getting there:
After a longer drive than anticipated (due to the Garden State Pkwy) I got there right at 6pm and settled in with some food and beer.  Being new to the area I had no idea that facility was there and it was beautiful.  If you are a TMAG fanboy, this would be heaven.  We were able to look around, take pics, and just talk shop.  

First look:
Disclaimer: I didn't know where to preface this but I wanted to disclose my driver preferences.  I have owned almost every Titliest driver model (975D, 975JVS, 983K, 907D2, 909D2, 910D3), in multiple shaft combo's.  The only non Titleist driver I owned in this run was an Adams 9015D.  The ONLY TM driver I had was the Ti Bubble 2.

We moved into the presentation and and finally got our hands on the weapon.  I really like the look of this driver looking down at it.  This, to me, this doesn't look like a typical TM driver.  It's not white, or black.  No large graphics, or ghosted graphics.  To me it looks deadly at address.  The sole looks a lot better in person than in the forums.  For me, the look of the sole of a driver is not going to really influence my purchase.  I'm a tech geek so I enjoyed learning about the tech and the sole.

Fitting:
I drew the 4th slot.  Right about the time the 3rd guy went in I headed out to the range to warm up.  When I came back in and toweled off it was time.  I pulled my gamer (910 D3 w/ 12g weight- Fuji Speeder VC 7.2 Tour Spec Stiff) and connected on some good swings.  Corey was excellent in not counting the "bad" swings as well as the "bombed" swings.  I felt that my numbers were legit on my 910.
Corey set me up in the SLDR in the same shaft.  Let me repeat this because it will come into play later.  The same VC 7.2 TS Stiff.  After only a few swings I felt we were onto something.  The sound was remarkable.  I am used to a specific driver sound, and this is right there with it.  I was able to "step on" a couple and it has that great "pure'd" feel when I connected.  The feedback is immediate.  I hit a couple off the heal and toe and I could tell when I put a poor swing on it but my misses were not nearly as penal as my 910.  We tried a couple of weight settings as well as a couple of loft settings but ended up Neutral (sldr weight)-9.5* Loft-Neutral (Lie).  I asked if there was another shaft to try that would give me any better numbers and Corey suggested staying with what I had.

Numbers:
I have added pics of my numbers below.  As I stated above, Corey and Tom tried to keep the numbers as tightly bunched as possible.  My first impression of them was WOW!. Being a numbers guy I took some time today to take a closer look at these.
sldrlaunchnumbers.jpg
2013-07-18 20.56.37.jpg
At first I thought that I picked up 25 yrds of carry and 34 yrds total.  After going back through I through out one of my 910 numbers to normalize the set a little better.  I can't complain though.  15 yrds of carry and 20 yrds overall.  Looking through the numbers, other than spin (I'll get to that), everything else was of minimal dispersion.  Slight increase in ball speed, and launch angle.  My decent angle did flatten out.  But the biggest gain was spin, spin, spin.  Remember when I said the shafts were the same?  This is an apples-to-apples comparison.  The decrease in spin was AMAZING.  This is truly a "low spin bomber".
2013-07-18 21.06.41.jpg

Final:
Well, the numbers don't lie.  I have fallen for this driver.  The look, the sound, the feel.  Everything.  I cannot wait to get this out on a course.  Could this finally break by long addiction to Titleist?  Stay tuned...

Edited by buster74, 19 July 2013 - 02:59 PM.


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#6 golfnut5438

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 08:14 AM

As most all have said already, what an great experience to not only see a club in it's initial rollout, but to speak to someone from TM's engineering dept.  The fitting was almost just a bonus to the communication we had before we even started hitting balls.  From discussing the 2+ year planning and development of the club, the technological reason the weight channel works, and the decisions about appearance, made the Q&A an great experience unto itself.  I even had to throw out the "looks like Mizuno" comment, which they admitted, they knew would be among the first comments about the head.  But he also explained the reasoning why the TM channel is straight and forward as opposed to curved and towards the rear of the head, as Mizuno's was.  Lowering CG and increasing ball speed were the top two effects of the SLDR weight channel.  The TM engineer admitted he was on GolfWRX every day reading what our members think about TM, and all other clubs in the market.  That was nice to hear.

Our fitting in CA was done outside with a pretty breezy evening, but comfortable and fun.  We each had some time to warm up and then tackle the SLDR.  I drew the short straw and started things off by hitting my current gamer and discussing my likes and wants.  I think I hit about a half dozen shafts before settling on the Motore Speeder 2.0 TS Stiff with a 10.5 head set to 11*.  Did not have time to play around too much, I had four other guys going crazy behind me, but from my current R11S with an Oban Revenge shaft to the new SLDR with the Speeder, I was able to increase my ball speed from 138 to 144, and lower my spin by 500 rpms.  Nice!!  Can't wait for it to be built and shipped.

But the kicker was the sound, not exactly R510TP sound yet, but man, what a difference.  Much more solid sounding and for me, a much more pleasant feel.  The head seems very solid and workable.  The gray color is a nice throwback to the TM 300 Series drivers, and the subtle graphics are almost invisible when hitting the club.  To be fair, I've owned TM drivers since the R510TP, not all, but most.  And the SLDR certainly moves the bar significantly in the right direction with sound, looks and feel.

I had a two hour drive home, so I had to skip the after hours "drink and debrief", but I was very happy to attend and see what's happening at TM.  Glad to meet four other WRXers as well, who represented us all very well.  Up to and including, changing their minds several times, sometimes within just a few minutes as to which shaft, what grip, length, etc etc.  Fun time for sure.  

Thanks GolfWRX, TM and everyone who had a hand in making this contest a reality.








Edited by golfnut5438, 19 July 2013 - 02:06 PM.


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#7 Banker

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 08:15 AM

TM SLDR -- Ponte Vedra
TPC Sawgrass

Ok.......not really sure how to start here, so I'll just start rambling.

First, let me start by saying I was a later addition to the group, getting the email on Monday & being a true GolfWRXer, I told Rob I WAS IN immediately........then, I went down to my bosses office to try to figure out how to break the news that his Compliance Officer would be out of the office on Thursday evening......  I can honestly say I haven't been this excited since I got the call that I was going to get to play Augusta....

The whole way from Gainesville to Jacksonville, my hands were at 10 & 2, cruise set at 75 & few "weavers and bobbers" got some stern looks.....if they caused an accident & made me late......well, I probably would have made the local news cast...... "Chubby balding guy in golf attire loses his mind in fender bender on I-10........tune in at 11"

Anyway...... The Taylormade Performance Lab is nothing short of first class all the way.  This was my first time inside a TMPL & I tried my best to keep my bottom jaw off the floor & act like I "had been there before", so they say....  Avery, Dave & Aaron were really good at breaking the ice & taking the edge off a nervous & anxious environment.....All 5 of us were like kids on Easter morning.....We knew there were eggs to be hunted & we were all dying to get off on the hunt.  Avery gave us a tour of his "office" (I use the quotes because his workplace makes mine look like a prison cell......and I have a couch in my office!!!).  The putting lab is awesome; Avery gave us a more detailed demo after the fitting & the science behind what these guys do is amazing (more on that later).  We were shown the build room with the epoxy cure cell in it.....Except for the grip tape, a club is ready to go in 5 minutes...... The "Vault" where we were shown a quick presentation about the science of the SLDR & where the indoor MATT system is used is pretty intimidating for a guy that's accustomed to thinking a good range ball is one with full dimples...

I won't go into the science, but I will say if I had known back in school that geometry, algebra & chemistry could have been used for a career in golf.......well, I probably still would made C's, but at least I would have stayed awake.... These guys are serious smart.  Not to say that I didn't have an appreciation for the engineering that goes into designing a golf club before, but this certainly drove it home.

We got out to the range & started warming up.  SLDR heads were matched with shafts as we warmed up & off we went.....

LOOKS:
I'm a feel player.  I've never been through a fitting before & have never had someone that knew what they doing making judgments about the technical aspects of my ballflight.  The head looks great sitting behind the ball.  To me, personally, it reminded me of the SuperQuad at address.  It's a solid look framing the ball & the hype is earned....this club at address just wants you to hit it hard.  I have a very squeamish stomach when it comes to face angle, I like to see the face sit a little open.  I was hitting a 9.5 with a R1 adaptor.....I started with the adaptor at 10.5*, which should have closed the face a touch, but it didn't bother me.  I adjusted the loft to 9.5 and I thought it looked even better.  I really like the way this club sets up.

FEEL & SOUND:
I loved my old Razr Hawk Tour.  That old time THWACK.  The SLDR didn't have quite that sound, but it was good.  This might sound stupid, but it really sounded solid & I could tell when I nutted one & when I heel jabbed just from the sound.  The feel was similar.  I could tell where I hit it in my hands before even seeing the ball flight.

FLIGHT & PERFORMANCE:
I hit more balls last night than I have in the last 5 years combined.  The majority of those, obviously, were with the SLDR.  I'm trying to focus more on what I saw in the beginning than the end, because this old man got tired.....  Like I said, I was hitting a 9.5, it was shafted with a PX 6.0 & I can say that it launched initially higher than my old RHT.  See if this makes sense........My RHT was a flatter flight, a gradual rise & more angular flight overall, out, carry, and descent.  The SLDR was more arcing.....It started out higher, kept rising, planed out and came down on more of a circle....but with a flat spot on top...... Does that make sense?  It was obvious on the launch monitor reading that regardless of how it looked to the eye, the SLDR was running like a scalded dog once it hit..... I don't think I hit one on the monitor that didn't run out at least 20 yards.....There was one that ran out almost 30 yards & when I asked Avery if that was really 30 extra yards of roll..... I just got a smile & a "yep".....

There is no doubt in mind that the SLDR is a very low spin driver.  It's a classy looking head & I like the "simplicity" of the design.  I use quotes because I know there is no simplicity in the design, but it's much easier to move the weight on the SLDR than it is to finagle a couple of different weights & try to figure out what works best.  With the SLDR, you move it....it works or it doesn't and you move it the other way if you have to.

I'll say this too; I have a crappy grip.  I've accepted it & have moved on.  I live in fear of the left side. Every driver I've ever gamed has had the heavy weights in the toe or gobs of lead tape, depending on the model.  I moved the weight all the way to the fade & tried to turn it over....never happened.  That's the difference between moving a few grams in the standard weights of a R11s or R1 & the big mamba jamba hanging on the bottom of the SLDR.  I ended up a few clicks on the fade side of neutral, but that's a big deal for me.  That means that on my bad days when I got the Uncle Snappy's going on the range, I have room to move it.  



Bottom Line.....  This was such a great experience & I can't thank Rob & the Taylormade guys enough.  It was nice meeting some other WRXers & I was happy my screen name wasn't anything offensive when we were making introductions.  I'm really looking forward to getting this in the bag & on the course!

Edited by Banker, 19 July 2013 - 11:11 PM.

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#8 Waterboy

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 08:16 AM

TM SLDR  - Chicago
Olympia Fields Country Club

Let me start this off by saying  THANK YOU!  to  Tom and Josh from TaylorMade who sat coach from California to Chicago to show us the new SLDR driver and talk a little shop. I also want to thank Brad at the TaylorMade Performance Lab (TMPL) in Olympia Fields to take the time dial each of us in to the new SLDR head, show us around the performance lab, and throw out a couple of swing tips.  Thank you also goes to GolfWRX for this opportunity.  It was definitely not something I would have done on my own. I also wanted to thank Olympia Fields Country Club (OFCC) for stocking Lagunitas beers in the mobile cooler and bringing out that second tray of sliders. I’m sure I am not the only one who appreciate what you guys did.
I will also add that I really dropped the ball on taking some pictures. I think some of the other guys took some pics that they will hopefully post.

How our night started:

The 5 Chicago guys met up at a bar up the street from Olympia Fields, how else do you break the ice with 4 other guys that you have never met before….BEER! After 45 min of talking about golf, where we play in the area, who was going to be the first one to shank it and how we thought the night was going to go we headed down the street to the course.

The Password is:

Pulling up to the gate house at OFCC has always been a surreal feeling for me. The clubhouse and being on the grounds always gives me a “climb the rope in gym” kind of feeling. We give our names to the security guard and drive through. The only thing that was missing was directions on where the TMPL was located. I think we did about 2 laps around the parking lot before thinking to stop and ask someone.  No big deal though. Never once did I feel threatened being lost on OFCC grounds.

Entrance to the TMPL:

I cut through the proshop to get up to the TMPL. Up a stairway (It had one of those chairs that you can ride up the stairs too, so they are ADA compliant), a quick right and boom, there she was, the girl handing out drinks (forgot her name). Behind her a bigger boom, the entrance to the TMPL.
(Picture a big steel door with TMPL written on it)


In the Lab:

We do some introductions, talk for a couple minutes about how the night will go and take a look at the product. We had two guys out from Carlsbad to give us some information about the SLDR, Tom and Josh. A lot of good information came out of these guys. Background behind the product, changes from previous products, back ground on how the head was designed and manufactured and what they are hearing from the Tour guys.  During this presentation, I was very interested in the manufacturing and design of the head when compared to other driver heads TM has designed.  The guys brought a head that had the face removed/cut off and we were able to see the guts of one of these things.  I’m going to be honest here, there isn't much to one of these driver heads. The manufacturing and design is so precise that how any of these things don’t crumble on impact is beyond me.

Off to the Range:

This is the point in the night when we got to blast balls down the range. The temperature at this point in the night felt like it was 140deg F out. It was pretty much a night where we hit a few shots, wiped the sweat off our hands, took a drink of water, hit a couple more balls and repeat.   Each of us grabbed a club to warm up with and our existing driver.  After hitting balls for a bit, Brad came by and gave us a SLDR set up with what he thought would work; a starting point if you would.

The Fitting Process:

The other guys can talk about how things went with them during the process, so don’t take how my fitting was done as the way it was done with all of us.
I had recently completed a fitting with my existing driver at a different location in the chicagoland area. We went through a series of shaft and loft combinations but when all was said and done, I wasn’t willing to spend the money needed to get the 4 extra yards we were cranking out.

My existing set up:

Titleist 910D2
Project X 7C3 Stiff
Set to C3 position, whatever is set at +0.75deg loft – making the club 11.25deg (yeah I know, it’s not 8.5 deg cranked 4 deg open, I suck).
Length is 44.5 inches.
I got this driver when it first came out and have had it in the bag ever since.
What Brad noticed right from the start was that my ball flight was low. I agreed with him and let him know that I have always been a low ball hitter. During my previous fitting, I was hitting the ball at about 12 or 13 deg with about 24 – 2500 rpm.  It was working for me and never really thought about getting the ball a little higher off the launch.

Fitting Scene – Act 1:

We started with the 10.5 SLDR in a neutral position and no added loft. He through fuji fuel and off I went.  I hit about 5 of these before asking what I thought.
My thoughts:
The head set up great. Looks great from above, I didn’t even notice the silver piece at the back of the head when I got into it. The color of the head is great. The silver face does a great job of contrasting with the face and also aids in the alignment of the head.  My problem was that I didn’t really like the shaft. I couldn’t feel it kick.  Brad thought that’s what my reaction would be so we moved on to something else.

Fitting Scene – Act 2:

10.5 SLDR – Full draw position (Brad chime in if you remember what you started me with)
Matrix red tie 60g.
My thoughts:
Launch came up. My spin wasn’t know yet at this point since I was just hitting a few a few spots down from the launch monitor.
This shaft felt much better to me then the fuel.  It was a little lighter shaft, felt smooth though my transition to impact.
Before I got on the launch monitor I took a little break, had a little water and talked with the TM guys.
Got to pick the brain of Tom regarding spin number, launch angles and people’s perception  of launch numbers.  Nothing earth shattering was discussed. No behind the scenes info was leaked.  Then I talked concert venues with Josh.

Fitting Scene – Act 3 – The Finale:

It was launch monitor time. I was set up with the same set up I had in Act 2 and hit a few balls. Probably 3 or 4 max with this set up. Brad didn’t like something. Took that weapon out of my hand and gave me something different. I didn’t even look at the shaft, the set up or the loft. Just started hitting.
I hit about 2 balls with this before I could tell something was different, the shaft felt great. really, really good.
Before I could get comfortable with that one, it was taken out of my hands again and the red tie was put back into it. Still had no idea what the setting was but just hit balls. Hit a couple good ones, turned back to Brad and gave him some thoughts. My thoughts, the other shaft felt better to me.
We did one final setting with the driver and back on the monitor I went.  He put this new driver in my hands and I can honestly say this was one the first times that I could see and feel the ball just pop off the face and carry. I didn’t even need a monitor to tell me this.

My final set up:

10.5 with 1 deg of loft added – 11.5deg total – neutral setting
Matrix White Tie 5X3 – stiff flex.
Numbers:
15 deg launch with 2500k spin – smash of 1.49. I don’t care if people think this launch is too high or too low or that the spin is high or low, this thing felt great.
Overall the increased launch angle gave me a few more yards of carry when compared to my current gamer. The most important thing was it had the flight I wanted and needed.

Everyone, Back to the Lab:

We gathered all our gear, headed over to the carts and drove back to the clubhouse so we could get back to the lab.  We went up the stairs and there they were, some of the best Sliders I have ever had. Buffalo Chicken, BBQ pork, a delicious veggie platter, some spring rolls and scallops wrapped in bacon. I’m not into scallops, but they looked good.
This was the time of the night we had to ask TM staff about anything. Some good questions came up regarding product cycle, color choices, if the bubble shaft was coming back. There was also discussion about the golf ball and shoes. I’ll try and sum up the responses as best I could and the best that I remember.

Product Cycle: TM releases product when it’s been determined they have something better than what is on the market now. They are always trying new things to separate themselves from the competitors. They are also trying to gain more of the market share. A lot of numbers were thrown around from Tom when he was talking about percentages of golfers, the percent market share they have and what they try to achieve, the typical timespan players go before replacing a driver, iron, hybrid or metal wood. I hope someone got those numbers because I am 100% positive I would butcher those numbers. One thing I remember is that when the R11 was released, they had actually run out of product they were in such demand.  It was really interesting to hear that.  

Golf Ball: TM is trying to gain more of the market share in the ball sector. They have no problem admitting that Titleist holds the market share and it is not easy to take some of that away. What TM is trying to maximize is the feel of the ball and how it handles in the wind.  Both which will impact how the ball is viewed.

Footwear:  I haven’t had a pair of adidas shoes since the tour 360s. Why you ask? I have wide feet and have always felt they were heavy. The Adizero which came out a few months ago are getting huge reviews and are light, really, really light. I have been on a lower profile shoe kick as of late. Some Eccos and Trues are in the trunk right now along with my TW13s. I felt one of the Adizeros and have to say I will give them a try again when its time. I walk as much as I can and know that after a while, some shoes will start to feel like bricks.

Closing Arguments:

Once again, thanks to everyone involved and thanks to GolfWRX . This was a great event. I enjoyed meeting everyone who attended the Chicago meet up and we know how to get in touch with each other if we need a fill in for a round.
Its been a long time since I have even considered a TM driver. I have played the R9 3wd since it came out and it will take something to move that out of the bag.  The drivers as of late have been something that I haven’t paid attention to. The color of the R11 and graphics of the RBZ and R1 kept me away. They have gone back to a more classic color on the crown with the silver face. There are some graphics on the crown on the SLDR, but to be honest with you, I didn’t even notice them once I got to swinging it.  
The SLDR does exactly what we have been told it does. It allows the player to launch the ball a little higher without having to deal with increasing spin rates.  It’s something that a lot of us have been looking for.  

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. I’ll do my best to answer them.

I add more when I can think of it.

Thanks,
WB

Edited by Waterboy, 19 July 2013 - 02:22 PM.

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#9 chiguy

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 08:18 AM

First off, I want to give a big thanks to both GolfWRX and TM for an unbelievable experience. I was picked for and attended the SLDR fitting in Chicago, which was held at the TMPL at Olympia Fields.

First off, the grounds of the club are just beautiful. The course looked amazing and the clubhouse didn't disappoint either. We walked through a big portion of the club to get to the TMPL, which was pretty neat. We walked down a hall that was lined with pictures of the club presidents as well as some memorabilia and pictures from past events including Furyk's 2003 US Open victory. We eventually found our way to a sign welcoming GolfWRX and made our way up to the TMPL. Outside of the lab itself they had some cold beverages for all of us to enjoy while we met the TM crew.

Both Tom and Josh flew in from Carlsbad for the event, which was very cool. Tom is involved in product development and has a background in engineering while Josh is involved in marketing. We could have listened to Tom talk for hours (and I think he would have done it). He gave such interesting insight into product development, R&D, sales, and pretty much anything else related to TM and golf. It was very cool to hear all he had to say and I walked away with a much greater appreciation for TM. Josh shared a lot of interesting information on the marketing side of TM. I had told him how people I had talked to about TM would continuously mention the fact that the company has become a marketing machine. He said he always laughs at that line given that the marketing team is very small and not at all what most people would expect.

After introductions and hearing from the two of them, Tom then went through the PowerPoint presentation, which provided some cool info from inside TM. You can can find a link to the presentation below. Psych! I think they'd intercept my driver if I recorded it and shared. At the conclusion of the presentation we all made our way down to the range so that we could finally test drive the reason we were there. It's a beautiful range that is very nicely secluded from the rest of the grounds and clubhouse. We all warmed up with various irons and then made our way to our current drivers. Once we were thoroughly warmed up we each had a go with the SLDR. I currently play a 10.5 910 D3 which I have been hitting well. Another WRXr was using the 10.5 so I was handed a 9.5 with a Kai'li. I will say that I was a bit nervous of the fact that the SLDR is 460cc and would look out of place at address. To my surprise it did not seem too big (I prefer a smaller driver head) and I was very impressed with the looks. Now on to the feel. I hit my drives pretty low with the 9.5 and the shaft felt good. So I then switched to the 10.5 with a red tie. This launched higher and the shaft felt GREAT. I can't tell you how good the combo felt after I had gotten into a groove with it. I fooled around a bit with sliding the weight to a few different positions, which was very easy to do. I will say that I feel TM hit a home run with weight movability. Sliding the weight takes all of 10 second. I don't remember the last time I changed the weight on my 910. I then took the combo over to the launch monitor under Brad's watch. The numbers looked great and the combo of that and the great feel sold me on the club. The numbers sure don't lie, though I'm the type of player that needs both a solid feel and a nice looking ball flight. This fitting provided all of the above.

Once we finished hitting the club on the range we then made our way back into the lab for some more drinks and food. As others mentioned we had sliders, bacon wrapped scallops, spring rolls, and a veggie platter. Thanks a ton to the staff at Olympia Fields for providing all of this. We then ended the night by talking shop with Tom, Josh, and Brad. We all then were informed that we would be getting our very own drivers, which was just amazing. All in all an AMAZING experience. I can't say thank you enough to GolfWRX, TM and the TMPL at Olympia Fields for the unforgettable experience.


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Edited by chiguy, 21 July 2013 - 09:05 PM.

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but not that much.

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#10 NYCgolfer17

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 08:18 AM

First off, let me give a HUGE thanks to GolfWRX and TMAG.  This was an amazing experience and I can’t WAIT to get this beauty in my hands.  

The night started off a little rough, got stuck in tons of traffic leaving work (Gotta love NYC traffic).  I ended up arriving about a half hour late.  The rest of the guys were just hanging out, drinking some brews and eating some great food.  Once I got there, we started with introductions, watched a video about the amazing tech that goes into the driver and got to touch and see it for the first time.  Let me say, the SLDR is a beauty.  Best looking driver I have seen in a long time.  Obviously, you want the driver to look great but it must perform and perform it did.  

Full disclosure, I have had the R9, R11 and current gamer R1 so I was a little partial to TM in regards to drivers.  They have been the best performers for me through the years.  I am in no way a “Fanboy” though, I have nothing else TM in my bag and Demoed every new driver on the market this year but the R1 was the best performer for me.

On to the fitting, I was last to go so I was really getting antsy waiting for everyone else to get fit and seeing the numbers they were getting.  Guys were picking up 15-20 yards of carry and I was thinking to myself, there is no way I am even going to come close to picking up those type of numbers I thought my current gamer TM R1 with OBAN Kiyoshi Purple 65 gm 05 (X-Stiff) flex was pretty dialed in.  Boy was I wrong.  I step up to the plate with my R1 and Corey (the fitter) says “Don’t any of your guys have NORMAL drivers?!?!”  Lol, I guess he is not used to seeing WRXer type bags.  Hit a few good ones, we keep those and throw out the miss hits.  The first shaft he hands my for the SLDR is the Oban Kiyoshi White 65 X-Flex.  First shot, thwak….look up 20 YARDS MORE CARRY!!! WOW, I am impressed.  Hit it a few more times and consistently getting 18-20 more yards of carry with a much higher launch and about the same spin.  I try a few more shafts and settle of the Oban Kiyoshi White.  

Numbers below:



In all honestly TM has a game changing driver here, the looks, the sound, and of course the performance is bar none the best I have ever hit.  I can not wait to get this in my hands.  It will go straight in the bag and R1 should be on the BST shortly after!!!  If anyone has any more questions, please let me know.  

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Edited by NYCgolfer17, 22 July 2013 - 10:27 AM.

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#11 seany bo

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 08:27 AM

Ok so here is my wrap up of the event. First off I want to throw out there that I have ZERO Taylormade clubs in my bag and have only played an R9 3 wood when I first started playing golf 2.5 years ago, so I am anything but biased and will give me full 100% honest review. I would also like to thank Taylormade (Tom Kroll and Corey who fitted each of us) and GolfWRX (HipCheck) for making this happen and showing us an awesome experience.
The event started at 6pm which I of course was 30 minutes late due to traffic and leaving work late, so I showed up running into the place late and Tom was extremely nice and said relax and have a beer, some food and calm down. I met everybody inside and we got started somewhat shortly after that. The first part of the night was to go into the fitting lab and watch a short presentation on the new SLDR driver (which has some unbelievable technology that is not as obvious as seeing just simply a movable weight). The technology goes way deeper and is much more sophisticated that simply saying "you can move a random weight left or right to hit the ball the opposite". I do not know how much detail I can get into on the presentation so I will stop there and wait for the driver to be officially released before getting into that aspect of the night.

During the presentation, we got to pass around the driver, just the head, and then the head cut in half to see all the technology (again I will not speak on that part yet). It is truly remarkable what they are able to accomplish with all of the driver rule changes that have been created. They mentioned that one of their head R&D guys was a former missile builder and he said that building a driver is 100% harder than building a missile (which was pretty surprising)

After the presentation was over, we drew numbered golf balls out of a hat, 1-5 to pick the order in which we would be getting fit. I drew number 1 and had to start getting ready for my first fitting of any type ever. Corey the fitter at the lab, was very patient and knowledgeable which helped calm me down from being nervous. I started by hitting some shots with my gamer (a regular Ping G20 off the rack stock stiff shaft) and hit some decent shots (for me) and got my averages. I am no big hitter by any means so my numbers were around 242 carry and 262 total with roll. That is definitely how I hit my driver so I know that this was accurate.

Corey then asked what I am looking for in my driver and we started from there. I learned that I have way too much spin on my driver and I also did not have my best swings, but Corey worked hard with me and we narrowed it down to the Kuro Kage shaft in stiff flex. I had some problems getting the ball airborne and this shaft really worked well for me. I must have tried about 7 different shafts, so Corey’s patience and persistence really helped. Once we had the driver dialed in spec wise, we took it outside to see if the results matched the inside numbers.

Once I went outside, all I can say was I was beyond impressed. Getting to see that ball flight was extremely cool and it took all of 1 swing to convince me that this driver/shaft combination was great for me. I have only golfed for 2.5 years and never had anything custom/upgraded so I read this site all the time and to be honest don't know exactly what people are saying when they talk about certain things. I read a lot of driver/shaft reviews and people talk about a flat ball flight. Never really understood it, until yesterday. My driver currently goes up in the air and right down no roll out. When I hit the SLDR, the ball would go up.... flatten out....and just keep going!! It was extremely cool to see. I actually could see the ball take a big bounce and keep going. It was a really cool experience hitting this driver outside.

My final results from the inside testing were 255 carry and about 287 total with roll out. Those are some great numbers for me and will absolutely help my game immensely!!! I am so excited to receive the driver next week and almost do not even want to pay money to play golf until then because I feel as though I will be doing myself a disservice by not hitting my driver as far as I should be.  I think my smash factor was 1.46 which I think is pretty good too!

Again, I am no Taylormade lover, but after last night I will definitely be giving them a shot for any future clubs I am looking at. Their technology and R&D process really impressed me in every way and I really have to say I was extremely impressed throughout the entire process from start to finish. It was an awesome experience. And I will say that I had planned to tell the truth (and I did in this post) and Tom STRESSED for us to be honest and say that if it didn’t help us increase distance, then say it didn't. They did not want us to lie and only want the truth to be told.



Here are some pictures I took with my phone. If you have any questions please ask away!







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Edited by seany bo, 19 July 2013 - 10:22 AM.


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#12 mynameisroz

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 09:02 AM

New Jersey TMPL

I was selected to be a part of the SLDR fitting at the Galloping Hill Golf Course. A HUGE thank you needs to go out to Tom Kroll and Corey Brigham (our fitter) from TaylorMade and, of course, to GolfWRX. This was a first class experience from start to finish.

To preface this review, the only TaylorMade item I currently own is their tour-preferred glove. The last, and only, TM club I’ve ever owned was the Ti Bubble 2 driver. So you can expect nothing but an honest review here.

Technology

The first part of the event involved a short presentation about all of the technology and innovation that went into this club, including a patent that dated back to the 90s. Being in advertising I know marketing speak when I hear it, but the thinking that went into this club sure was making a lot of sense. The one thing that really stood out to me after hearing Tom’s rap and watching a few video clips was how genuinely passionate everyone is about this driver.

SLDR Looks

From address this club has a sexy look. Love the gray crown/silver face combo. That contrast is something I don’t have with my i20. When grounded it looks about as compact as any 460cc head could possible be. I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about the silver back piece (not sure what to call that) but once I got the SLDR in my hands I didn’t find it distracting at all. After a few swings I honestly didn’t even notice it. Now for the elephant in the room...I’ll admit, based on the limited sole shots I saw online prior to the fitting, the SLDR looked a little cheap and a bit dated. Just to be clear...pictures do NOT do this justice. Really sharp from all angles with what feels like a quality, solid build.

Fitting Process

My current gamer is an i20 AD DI 6x at what was supposed to be 46”. It turns out that it’s actually playing at 46.5” at a whopping D8 swingweight. I’m going to have to talk to my club builder about that one. But for what it’s worth, it works for me. With that said, it wasn’t a true apples-to-apples comparison since the SLDR was playing an inch and a half shorter than my i20. After trying different shafts we found a combo that was putting up good numbers. Tom and Cory could have settled for that and sent me on my merry way. But they didn’t. They’re bringing in over length shafts and having me come back to the TMPL.

Talk about going above and beyond. This is how passionate they are about this club! It’s completely changed my perspective about TaylorMade.

You can be sure I’ll be posting up my numbers, good or bad, as well as a more in-depth review about feel/performance once I get back into the TMPL.

To be continued...

Edited by mynameisroz, 19 July 2013 - 09:30 PM.


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#13 BigMike300c

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 09:30 AM

Wanna start off by saying thanks!!! To GolfWrx and Taylormade Golf for an amazing experience

I attented the New Jersey Fitting, they put out an awesome spread, with GREAT! Food and all the beer I could Handle lol,  a real VIP treatment

Started of by hitting my current gamer which is a Rocketballz with a GD DI-6.. After hitting a few shots With my driver I got to hit the new SLDR, tried it with a couple different shafts, the Kuro kage 50 S was the best fit for me, gaining on average 17! Total yards off the machine..

I went out on the range to see the ball flight and thats when I knew it was a real winner.. A beautiful a high launching ball flight and the ball just POP's off the face..

The head was very forgiving, I got away with some ugly swings.. And still got the ball out there

TaylorMade has a real winner here, this is going to be a well talked about driver

I can't wait to get it in my bag!!

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Edited by BigMike300c, 20 July 2013 - 11:42 AM.


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#14 duffer987

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 10:10 AM

Executive Summary

Objective:
Preview, hit, and get fit for the new TaylorMade SLDR Driver. Enjoy an evening with fellow golfers and those in the industry.

Place:
The Bridges, San Ramon, California

Person:
Me, 41, 11 index, low 90s swing speed, with an ugly swing, as if Jim Furyk and Inbee Park mated and the result was a fairly unskilled, unathletic boy they pushed into golf, now getting closer to 'dads' hairline all the time ;)

Old Gamer:
Titleist 913D2 9.5* Diamana S+ 62 Stiff 45"
Ball speed 134-136

New Gamer:
TaylorMade SLDR 9.5* Diamana Ka'li 60 Stiff 45.25"
Ball speed 140-142, less spin, less side spin, lower launch, larger carry

Result:
I am going to be playing a new driver in the next fortnight. I should have written down or taken pics of all the numbers like Zack did, but I didn't and I don't want to ballpark them and be off, so I included the ones I knew and just left the trends for the others.

Simply the club looks good, sounds good, and most importantly feels great. When you hit one on the screws - and even I managed to do that a couple times - it's a similar sensation to hitting your forged 6I. The ball flight was lower and what was really interesting is how the club scrubbed off side spin. There just wasn't that much, even on the mediocre hits, of which I did more than a couple times. This was also clear on the good swings where it went straighter than what I was used to. I've not owned a TaylorMade driver or any product for that matter, since the Burner Bubble Driver back in the 90s.

I really cannot wait to get this out on the course and be able to report back on how it is to actually play and not just hit :)
If things go off the rails with it I will be honest and critical, but hopefully it stays on a positive path.

********************************************************************
The Experience:
Great job by TM and GolfWRX. We had enough of an intro/corporate spiel, but nothing excessive and thankfully we got to hit off grass on the range and see the ball flight. Us WRXers were obviously all men of character, steadfastness, and virtue, with shoulders stronger and wider than our waistlines. Zack and the TM lads were class and it was a pleasure to meet everyone.

We all got a chance to bash away with different head/shaft combos, but the one snag on the night (the late arrival of the 2nd launch monitor) meant it took a bit longer than it otherwise would for folks to see some numbers. I definitely confirmed/learned that 50g and 70g shafts are not for me and my sweet spot is in the low 60s, where there were a couple contenders before sticking with a Diamana.

A couple pints and some good banter down the pub rounded out a very enjoyable night. Our TM HQ R&D rep displayed the enthusiasm and knowledge about the technology and the game that I think we all hope industry employees have.

I can be a fairly pessimistic so and so and was pleasantly surprised by the experience and the golf club itself. Thanks again to all involved.

Edited by duffer987, 20 July 2013 - 07:54 PM.


14

#15 Will Par

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 10:27 AM

TaylorMade SLDR Fitting at Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Florida.

I was very fortunate to have been selected to attend a fitting for the new TaylorMade SLDR driver at the TM Performance Lab at Sawgrass.  It was a fantastic experience.  Huge thanks to the TM guys and GolfWRX.  Let's start with a few pictures and then I'll get to the good stuff-- the new SLDR driver and the Performance Lab.  

Sorry for the sideways iPad images, I'm a golfer not a photographer.  First two pictures are the SLDR driver club head.  Next is a picture of the range setup with launch monitors.  Avery Reed, TMPL Master Club Fitter, is in the blue shirt and black pants.  Also in the picture are several  WRXers.  The guy hitting with the Clubhouse in the background is Jacksonville Jaguar place kicker Josh Scobee.  He is also pictured holding the new Jag helmet.  He can bomb it.  

I've been playing the TM R1 driver for several months.  Prior to that my gamer was a Titleist 909D3.  My review and comments will be made in comparison to those drivers.  First, the new SLDR club head has a very pleasing and conventional shape that looks great sitting behind a teed ball.  It has a confidence inspiring look.  

Feel and sound are subjective aspects, but for me the feel and sound are exactly what I like.  There is nothing unusual with either the sound or feel.  The R1 has a loud sound and a somewhat hot or jumpy feel at impact.  The SLDR has neither... just a solid feel and pleasant thwack. You know if you mishit on the toe or heel, but mishits are still solid and not harsh.  The feel is exactly what I expected from the looks of the club with no surprises.

The SLDR adjustment on the sole is what really makes this club outstanding.  I'm not going to make any claims for extra distance although that may be a benefit for some.  Most other drivers have either a neutral or draw bias, or have moveable weights like the R1.  The new SLDR adjustment provides a full range of shot shape adjustability.  I told Avery my preferred shape was a slight draw- he made the adjustment- and I'm hitting nice draws with perfect trajectory.  I loved the R1 for distance and accuracy, but it wasn't easy for me to turn over, even with weight adjustments.  The SLDR will allow you to dial in the shot shape you want.  Exactly like you want it.  I'm impressed.

I expect the SLDR driver to stay in my bag for a long time. It appears to be everything I want in a driver. TM did an excellent job with this one.  I can't wait to get it and take it to the course.  

The tour of the Performance Lab revealed some very special technologies.  From the full swing to the putting stroke you can find out every detail of alignment, swing path and club face orientation, and compare what you do to the swing and strokes of tour players.  I'm hoping to go back some day for the full treatment.  If you ever have the chance to visit a TMPL for a full fitting, do it.  It will be an experience you will enjoy and remember for a long time.  

I also want to thank Dave Cordero the TM PR Manager who flew in from California  for the presentation. Dave, Avery, and Aaron are all great guys who made this event very special.  If you live any where near a TM Performance Lab go for a fitting, it will be a great experience.  Huge  thanks to everyone.

Edited by Will Par, 20 July 2013 - 07:54 AM.

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#16 Mizgoodie

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 10:38 AM

Golfwrx Taylor made driver fitting Chicago.    ( Olympia Fields Cc)

Well what to say, most know any time you get a pm from rob (hip check) great things are in store.. Like most; the week went by slow but come Thursday I was ready to go hoping the swing would come too...

Meet up with my fellow golfwrx's , got to break the ice and talk some golf and golfwrx.  One of the best lines of the night , was bartender asking if this would be all together cant remember who said it but the return of "this is just an Internet hook up" then it was off to Olympia fields after a minor delay thanks too Illinois drivers.

(Dream door)

Arrival at Olympia fields.  A little parking lot exploring and navigating to the lobby,   Meet Brad and it was off to the tpml walking though the club house not sure if I have been to one bigger.  Thought the door there was drinks setup and a big vault door that, the kind of door that golfwrx'ers dream of.   Got to meet Tom and Josh  from taylormade and then we learned about the sldr tech..   Impressive stuff.  

(Welcome to the jungle)

We headed down to the range warmed up a little then starting hitting my driver just warming up.  Brad brings over a starting point sldr first swing was like that I had just made not great but the same and the ball carried farther I was sold right there no numbers needed,,,    So I keep warming up probably a little too much in hind sight.  As now I am wet and just felt my swing starting to fall apart but ....  

(Sldr)
I am going to save my full review of the driver until I get it out on the course as iam not a long driver guy range can only tell you so much but aim going to share what I can about it.  The look it just a classic driver dark gray crown mimal graphics and silver face....  First thing I notice is the color scheme of this driver is just so spot on nothing jumps as why they put that on there...... And I don't mind crown graphics at all.    For all you ho's out there I think the gray color goes with all shafts great.  The sole even with the sldr doesn't seem clunky to me.  And in the heat and sweat I hit a couple drivers fat yes fat with a driver and I didn't get any thing sticking in the channel..  Sound its not tinny or loud just a nice thawck when hit... What I did wind up with.  9.5 neutral head  fubuki alpha 60 s.  can't wait to give it a go the course  


( fitting and review space getting the details all sorted out)


The wrap party
After hitting the range and getting our sldrs dialed in and losing 5 pounds of water , we headed back to the
Lab for sliders and drinks got to hear a lot of how Taylormade operates in the golf business and some stories of working in the business,  you can tell they pay a lot of attention to there markets..  Overall it was a blast learned a lot and got fit for a driver that should be longer than my gamer what more could I ask...   Again would like to thank Brad, Tom and Josh for all there time...    


   I think our group might have slacked on pics as we hit the range good and really campfired it. After words

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Edited by Mizgoodie, 19 July 2013 - 12:24 PM.


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#17 Hairpie

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 10:52 AM

First of all I'd like to give a big kudos to Golfwrx and Taylormade for making this possible.  I especially liked this contest because of the quick turnaround for the results.  It was nice to know that I had a 1 in 4 shot of getting picked if I got in the first 20.  I've won a few things on here over the years mainly in majors contests but to actually get selected for something was a first.  Along with attending the 2007 Masters and competing in the 1992 USGA Amateur Pub linx this was definitely up there with my all-time golf moments.

My current gamer is a 2008 TBTP 10.5/ Xcon5 stiff combo that I alternate with a R7 CGB Max limited also in 10.5/ Xcon 5 stiff.  I've never been fitted for a driver before and have always relied on my golf equipment geek knowledge to self fit.  I always seemed to give feel just as much weight in the process as I did actual results.  For this experience I decided to let the fitters do the work and go with whatever fit me best....It was indeed eye-opening. More on that later...

First, let's talk about the club....I LOVE the look.  It definitely doesn't look 460 cc and I'm a big fan of the color.  While some have become enamored with the white driver heads I don't like them.  The ball just seems to blend in with the crown for me and it creates alignment issues for me as well.  I've always preferred a dark color as a contrast and the SLDR color is a big plus.  Its called Taylor Made Gray and closely resembles the 200 tour fw I've still got buried in a back up bag somewhere....I'm sure some will have issues with the bottom of the club but I don't.  Not that I've ever concerned myself with that anyway.  I also like the fact that weight adjustments could be made quickly and easily via the single sldr on the clubhead.  No need to carry a weight kit anymore. The SLDR weight is a 20 gram weight and gives the club pretty good heft.  I believe it swingweights at D4 at 45.25 inches. Clubhead also has a port on the bottom that provides access to the inside of the head to allow internal weighting via hot melt.  A very cool feature indeed for those of you who really like to tinker.  The sound and feel of the SLDR is an improvement over recent Taylormade offerings.  It seems that the past few years they have gotten more hollow and "tinny" in both feel and acoustics and I, like many of you, long for the sound and feel of the 510 TP, or in my case the 540 XD/TP that I still have.  Those clubs had an almost persimmon-like thwack that I haven't experienced with a driver before or since.  For those of you longing for that sound and feel again keep waiting...While the SLDR is an improvement in the sound and feel department it still doesn't compare to the 510 TP.  Closer to a 460 R7 TP if any of you remember that club.  I want to iterate that it is most assuredly a dramatic improvement  over the recent offerings IMO.

Now to the fitting.  Like most club Ho's I'd selected a few shafts that I thought might work well for me.  The chance to try many exotic offerings that are not normally at my disposal was a nice option.  I stayed with shafts in the 55-65 gram range and tried them all it seemed like.  It became increasingly evident that what I thought should, or would be the best fit for me actually turned out not to be the case.  In the past 18 months I've developed some swing flaws that I lovingly refer to as " IBF" syndrome. ( Ian Baker Finch)....My former low-flying penetrating draw has morphed into a high right cut and subsequent smother hook when I try and adjust.  When using clubs with technology that allows me to use weight to alter trajectory I've always tended to put more weight in the heel to help me get my draw back.  Boy was I wrong.  Suffice to say that with the help of a couple of swing tips as well as a drastic change in face angle and weighting my ball flight started to straighten out.  I was always a straight to open faced guy as anything with a closed face angle put me left of left...

So here's the end result...My current gamer has been a 2008 TBTP 10.5 with the Xcon 5 stiff....

My new gamer?....SLDR 10.5 loft with UST Mamiya VTS Silver 6S...set at 11.0 degrees and 2.0 closed face angle with the SLDR weight moved out to the farthest fade position.  Absolute opposite of what I had been doing before...These settings actually raised my launch almost 2 degrees, brought the spin rate down a couple of hundred RPM's, and straightened my ball flight as well.  MIsses were not nearly as bad and on my best strikes my ball speed improved nearly 5MPH and carry improved 12-15 yards over my old gamer. While driving home the club ho in me still secretly wished that the Fubuki, Kali, Oban, etc. had fit me better but the results did not lie.  I told myself that no matter what I was going to use this opportunity to get properly fit by the experts and that I would live with their recommendations come hell or high water...Of course that  doesn't mean I still didn't have a little bird whispering in my ear telling me to try and call them the next day to change my order but that was my inner club ho thinking more of resale value rather than real world results....Thanks again to Golfwrx and Taylormade...and to my fellow Nor Cal testers hit them SLDR's well...

Edited by Hairpie, 19 July 2013 - 11:34 AM.

2016 M2/Fujikura Atmos TS Red 6S
TEE  15* CB5/Fubuki 60R
TM R7 TP 18.5* Epic T90S
Ping I3 Blade 4-PW/JZ CushinS
TM TP 52*
TM TP ATV 56*
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Slighter Portland FPR

17

#18 webber

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 11:19 AM

I attended the SLDR fitting last night at the TM Performance Lab in San Ramon, CA.  First off a special thanks to Matt, Nick, Taylormade, and Golfwrx for putting this on.  Zack loaded up on pictures so I will just be giving my review.  

Met up with the other lucky winners, all true club hoes, all good guys!  After a brief meet and greet with everyone we headed in the lab for a presentation on the new SLDR driver.  Matt from TM's R&D team was up to discuss what they did to the club and the reasons behind it.  High launch, and low spin.  With COR maxed out we all wondered how can ballspeed be increased?

The head itself looks great, nice TM grey color and minimal graphics.  The shape was beautiful and for a 460 CC head the size is disguised well.  

After we were prepped we headed over for some drinks and appetizers.  Sliders were served (coincidence?), some anitpasto, beer, wines etc....

Next onto the range.  Nick had the launch monitors out and all the custom shafts ready to go.  There were two monitors set up so while others were getting dialed in I was able to try out many shafts I had never hit before like the Oban Devotion and Kiyoshi, all the Motore Speeder's, GD DI series, etc....

I play the Diamana Kaili 70.  It was my turn to get fit and this was the first shaft I tried.  Numbers were pretty freaking good.  I tried some other shafts but was not getting the proper feel or numbers on them.  Besides the Kaili the Fujikura Fuel was giving me some great numbers.  Launch went down to about 10.5 with the Fuel and I hit some low spinners in 1850 rpm range.  We bumped up to a 10.5* head set at 10 and the numbers improved.  It really was a toss up so I went with what I am familiar with the 9.5 SLDR set at 9.5 neutral weighting Kaili 70.

I had been fit for a Ping i20 with a Kaili not long ago and have the fitting data.  My averages for may gamer were:

Launch 12.5
Spin: 2653
Ball Speed: 152.7
Carry: 269

I tried other shafts with this head and the spin did not come down at all.  This was the best I could do.  For my 10 swings used the spin varied from 2325-2825 with miss hits spinning higher.

So no onto the fitting numbers with the SLDR.  I was promised higher ball speed, lowers spin, longer carry.  This is what the design does.  They nailed it!  Even on misshits the ball speed stays up and the spin stays down.  In all other drivers on misshits you are going to get short spinners and lose distance. SLDR numbers:

Launch: 12
Spin: 2200
Ball Speed: 159
Carry: 278

I gotta say that it is obvious I picked up almost 10 carry yards easy with the same launch angle.  Ball speed went up close to 7 mph. With the reduced spin I was seeing a flatter flight which should also decrease my descent angle and add a few more yards with roll.  I bet I gained 15-20 yards all day long.  Can't wait to get this baby on the course!

After the fitting wrapped up a few of us headed down to a local brew pub.  Got some cool insight into the culture of TM from Matt.  Sounds like an awesome place to work!  Thanks again to all involved.  I am very excited about this driver!

Edited by webber, 22 July 2013 - 02:00 PM.

Taylormade M4 9.5 Evenflow Black 65 6.5
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Titleist Vokey SM5 50F-54S, Taylormade Hi-Toe 60.10
Taylormade Spider Red
Pro V1

18

#19 Hairpie

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 12:03 PM

View Postkhuffman17, on 19 July 2013 - 11:30 AM, said:

so did you guys get to keep a slider?

Only the one in my belly...Our clubs from the Nor Cal location are being built in Carlsbad and will be shipped to us...
2016 M2/Fujikura Atmos TS Red 6S
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TM R7 TP 18.5* Epic T90S
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TM TP ATV 60*
Slighter Portland FPR

19

#20 Mustng5

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 03:15 PM

First of all I would like to thank Taylormade and GolfWRX, I had a great time and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I've never experienced anything like this and I'm happy that I had the privilege to take this off of my bucket list. A big thanks to Rob for keeping us informed on everything and the Taylormade staff at Gleneagles Country Club, which is an amazing place.

Where to begin.......how about the beginning....

I was an hour early along with JJ and we spent at least 30-40 minutes on the putting greens which were very quick. We then grabbed our bags and made our way back to the lab. The entire Taylormade staff was very welcoming and did everything first class. The lab is literally breathtaking. I wish I would've taken pics of the lab but I was in pure amazement with the entire facility my brain just didn't think about it.

After an introduction by Mr. Brian Bassel and a short introduction video, he began to tell us some stories of how he works with tour pros and some of their initial reactions, I won't use his exact words, but all the pros had "wow" moments, especially Pat Perez who was upset because the new driver was better than his gamer which he thought was seriously the one.  Mr. Bassel is a cool guy answered any and all questions we had about anything related to Taylormade. After a few questions and cold ones, we ventured outside to the beautiful range at Gleneagles and preceded to warm up. This lab has state of the art everything but everyone wanted to hit outside so we could see our ball in flight. Taylormade moved everything outside food, drinks, shafts, I mean everything.

Ok enough of this lets get to the fitting, well one more thing, Ryan Sawyer at TM lab is a bomber! Ok now the fitting......

My current gamer is a Cleveland Classic 290 10.5 with Grafalloy ProLaunch Red X Flex  tipped .5 an inch playing at 45.25", my SS is from 117-123 depending on how I'm swinging. I like to see a slight draw in my ball flight. The first SLDR head I tried was the 9.5 with UST VTS 7X silver, I hit some decent shots with it but I snapped a few and needless to say that was pretty much it for that shaft and head combination. Also the ball was coming out a little lower then I like to see so we went up to the 10.5 head with Diamana 7X good flight but spinning too much. Then.....the magic happened ladies and gentlemen, matched the 10.5 head with an R1 Matrix OZIK 7M3 73g X flex and I was hitting SLDR bombs! So I decided to test that against my gamer best carry on solid hit was 280ish ball speed was also not where it should be with my SS. Got on Flightscope with the SLDR and boom ball speed jumps up and carry is 290, my fitter then turned the R1 sleeve down to 9.5 and after a few good shots it happened, BOOM, 178 ball speed and 304 carry! I hit more after that with the same set up of course but that one swing validated all I needed. I remember watching a video where Justin Leonard said you don't have to swing a club a lot of times to know if its good, give it a few whacks and if you don't like it hand it back. After this and for the remainder of the time I walked around literally holding this club. Yes! That's exactly what I did. Don't judge me! Ryan Sawyer and I had a driving contest and yes I won by one yard, lol, but in all fairness he wasn't hitting a driver that was optimized for his swing. My fitting was short and sweet, only 3 shafts were needed. So final setup suggested was 10.5 SLDR head with Matrix OZIK 7M3 73g X flex shaft tipped 1", with an R1 tip set on 9.5. Yes I wanted it make sure I had the exact set up so I requested the R1 tip and they said no problem.

We eventually went back inside talked some more about things golf related; Ryan and I had another long drive contest using his gamer R1 with an Oban shaft and he beat me this time.....by 1 yard, crazy I know. We all had a great time, any questions just ask. I had a great time and I will never forget it.

Edited by Mustng5, 19 July 2013 - 09:17 PM.


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#21 Walkerdb7

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 03:23 PM

Mine will be a work in progress. I am hoping to update this with some launch monitor stats once I receive them...

Unfortunately, no one in our group was as trigger happy with their phones as the boys from NJ. We missed a really great opportunity to show you all a very impressive and well kept secret, the Taylormade Performance Lab.

First Impressions: I am not sure about anyone else, but visiting Olympia Fields was cool enough to make my day!  The gated entrances and multiple buildings made our entrance the TMPL less than direct. When we finally arrived, we were greeted with Microbrews, Miller Lites, and a nice presentation talking about the development of the SLDR, not be confused with the "Slider" which is trademarked already in sports. During the presentation, Mizgoodie and I were asking Tom lots of questions about the R&D process, It turns out we both work in manufacturing. Seeing the cross section of a SLDR was particularly interesting. I had no idea how much development went into the inside of a head and how intricate the features were.

I am not sure that I am a Fanboy of one company, but I generally hadn't considered many TM products in the past. I have been golfing since 1997 and the only TM product I gamed was the R7 Quad. I had one for about 24 months when they were brand new. I was particularly interested in this experience to see how their products had changed over the last decade, if their new products would convert me to being a TM guy, and if one of their pros could fit me into a product that would deliver some more accuracy with the big dog. I am comfortable with my distance off the tee, about 280+ with my current Cleveland Ultralight, but I struggle with accuracy at times. I would even be comfortable sacrificing 10 yards in distance to have something that gave me confidence and help controlled the miss hits.

Fitting: Having the same guys that have worked with Sergio, Rosey, DJ, and the rest of the TM Staff work on me, an average joe 15 handicaper, was particularly exiting. I've been fit a couple times before at big box stores, but never left confident the fitter was that knowledgeable. After we warmed up, they began to pass out the SLDRs. It looks 100% better in person than in the pictures. The color is a nice charcoal grey and the alignment aids are there, but not overpowering. If the driver was logoless, I never would have guessed it was a Taylormade. We all were after 10.5 heads, so there was a bit of log jam. Due to the limited availability of this Prototype model, there were only two 10.5 heads. When my un-diagnosed ADD kicked in, I picked up a 9.5 set to neutral and started swinging away. Weird... my ball flight was just fine. Fortunately, hitting in front of industry professionals and board members had my nervs at a 10 and my typical mishit kicked in quickly. I began pushing / push fading / slicing balls toward the house on the right of the range. When Brad saw this, he immediately moved me to full draw bias and corrected the problem. I was thoroughly impressed with what moving 18 grams a couple inches could fix. I was hitting the ball mostly straight with a couple hooks mixed in. I was second up on the launch monitor and Brad changed my shaft right away. He installed a Oban Devotion and was very pleased with the results. He called the next 2-3 shots "Fillets". They were all around 260 carry with 2200 RPM back spin ( I will add more data if I get it) and Brad declared that setup the winner. I took a few more swings and discovered the most gratifying part about the driver... Mishits go far. I hit one completely thin and expected it to be a warm burner of around 100 yards. It carried 235 and went dead straight. I was amazed. I can't wait to get this driver onto the course for the real test. Hopefully it'll minimize the human error for me and give me confidence on the tee box.


Other Thoughts: The Q & A at the end was really fun. I got to ask all of the golf industry questions I've ever wondered and get credible answers. It also put a very human touch on TMAG. Hearing everyone speak, you got a sense of how devoted TMAG is to making the best products possible and how concerned they are with the perception that they "are just a marketing machine". Like Tom said, "If weren't aren't developing a great new product every year, someone else will and we lose our edge". Think about it... What's so bad about a company developing something every 12 months that could improve my scoring ability?

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Edited by Walkerdb7, 19 July 2013 - 05:17 PM.

SLDR 9.5 Oban Devotion (Thanks WRX!)
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21

#22 kwooten31

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 03:28 PM

Hey everyone,  I would like to give a huge thanks to Taylormade and Golfwrx for the chance to get fitted for the new SLDR. I wanted to wait a while and give the SLDR some real time course evaluation before giving my review, my swing the day of the fitting was nowhere near what it should have been and actually had a follow up with our fitter to really give a better shot when I was more on with my swing.  Initially we went with the rip phenom stiff tipped 1", after hitting that we decided to try a AD DI 7x. That felt pretty comfy but maybe just a tad to stiff,  my normal SS is anywhere from 108-115 with the occasional 120mph ss.  We decided to try the same shaft in the stiff tipped an inch and boom, that was the one,  no need to go any further.  I began carrying the ball right around 285yds this was up Fromm 258 with my Ping Anser with a Motore Speeder VC 6.2 xflex. So overall I managed to pick up an extra 27 yds over my beloved Anser. I also found the 27 yds to be pretty ironic, overall one of the best experiences I have ever had with a golf related event.  Thanks again to TM and everyone at Golfwrx for bringing this together for us...

Edited by kwooten31, 25 September 2013 - 12:29 AM.

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#23 the_saint_siwa

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 04:50 PM

Here is my review.  Please keep in mind that I am not an English major! LOL!

First and foremost, I would like to thank GolfWRX and Taylormade for hosting such an event.  I am going to approach this review slightly different than some others, because everyone is different.
Arrival
TPC Sawgrass is one magnificent place.  I met the other four lucky winners and TM staff.  After a brief introduction, we were given a presentation by David of TM.  So far, I had not seen the driver yet.  After the presentation, the "gate" opened and man, the driving range was awesome.  Imagine when you go to a pro event and see the pros hitting on the range, now that pro is you!  
TM SLDR.
The TM staff finally brought the baby in.  The SLDR looks way better than I expected.  From the presentation, I was concerned that the weight on the sole was cheaply made like some "other" drivers, but it was very, very well-built.  Prior to the event, I was listening to the youtube videos when the pros tested the SLDR and it sounded very good.  I was wondering what kind of sound the driver would make if the average joe hit it.  Guess what, the driver sounded VERY GOOD!  It's not a typical tiny sound but a very, very solid sound!  The body of SLDR reminded me slightly of Adams.
I'm not a fan of TM Moveable Weight Technology (MWT).  I think it's confusing and I wanted to tinker with it every single hole.  Believe me, I've done that.  In fact, I once stripped the thread on one of my TM R7 425 TP (good ole time). My current driver is TM Burner SFTP with V2.  I think it's simple and it sounds good.  With the SLDR technology, you can forget about stripping the thread on the driver.  It's also very quick to adjust.  
Looks
For 460cc, it doesn't look that big at all.  I believe a better handicap player will appreciate the shape.  The grey alignment in the back helps with my takeaway and alignment.  
Performance
I am a low ball hitter.  With SLDR, I can tell I hit it higher.  Not ballooning but definitely higher.  Switching to my driver to SLDR, I get 20 yards more carry.  Did I mention that we hit it against the wind.  I think BVMagic forgot to mention that.  I know no one would believe it, but the number does not lie.  I have to see the real test at the course.  
Bottom line
TM SLDR feels REALLY SOLID and GOOD.  Once again, very, very solid.  It doesn't feel like your typical TM driver.  Can't wait to test it live at the course.  
Regrets
Since this is my first GolfWrx event, I tried to prepare the best I could.  However, if I could turn back time, I would have taken more pictures.  However, the BVmagic camera looks way more professional than my Sony, lol.  I was so happy at TPC Sawgrass and being with GolfWrxers and TM staff, my mind wondered!  I'm also regret not to be able to participate in the after session event with Dave from TM.  I don't think anybody else did it either.  I had to submit work paper by midnight.  Hindsight is 20/20.  I also wish I could have spent more time there.  4 hours were gone just like that!  Man . . .  I hope this was not my only chance in life of being able to attend such a marvelous event, (it might be though, lol), but next time at least I know what to expect.  
Once again guys, give this driver a try and you will be amazed!  


=======================================================
UPDATED on the page 13 #379

Edited by the_saint_siwa, 29 July 2013 - 09:29 AM.


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#24 rbilramz

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Posted 19 July 2013 - 07:17 PM

Nor Cal (San Ramon) tester here.  My experience is broken down with a quick summary below:

About me:
32 years old; 6'-4", 240lbs.  A 12 handicap; my strength is iron play, weakness is driving consistency.  If I'm driving well 84 is a bad score, if I'm driving poorly, 88 is a great score.  My driving doesn't vary round-to-round, but normally in a 2-3 week cycle.  Luckily for everyone involved, I'm in the middle of a good cycle.
I play a six manufacturer bag (Scotty putter, Vokey wedges, Mizuno irons, Cleveland hybrids, an Adams 3-wood and a TM driver) so I am loyal to nobody.  I buy irons every 4-5 years, drivers every 1-3 and other clubs whenever it feels right.  I'm not a "ho" per se, but I like to look at and try the new stuff.

The experience:
This part was awesome and probably what I will remember most several years from now.  Yet, it might end up being the least important part for all of you (understandably).  Taylormade definitely took care of us; from wine, slider appetizers (good touch) and the make-you-feel-important-signage, nothing was overlooked.
We started inside with some Q&A with one of the actual R&D guys from Carlsbad followed by some informative videos.  We were asked to not talk about the info in the videos, but I'll just say they were interesting.  I am an architect, so the physics of a club always interests me a lot.  The reasoning behind the CHANGE from weight ports to the slider is cool and makes a ton of sense.

My gamer:
I play a Taylormade RBZ (first generation), 9.5 degrees in the neutral setting with a RIP Phenom 50 - Stiff.  I like the driver, but was talked in to the "lighter is better" fad and have regretted it fever since.  My previous driver was an R11 with an 'ahina and I loved it.  Our session was on an open range (ideal, I HATE hitting in booths) with a trackman.  I was hitting consistently; 105 swing speed, 150-155 ball speed, ~2900 spin, 255-265 carry with a lot of roll.  I hit straight w/ a slight draw, a major hook when I get out of rhythm.

The SLDR:
I knew I was going to a heavier shaft.  After a good warm up then a few irons to restore tempo we started my fitting.  

Look and feel:
I never minded the white face driver fad.  The shape had always been more important to me.  The SLDR looks great.  TM haters will find reasons to dislike the SLDR, but it wont be because of the shape.  A much more traditional round head really fit my eye, and the footprint looked great.  The lack of "in your face graphics" was pleasant too.  White I can handle, the R1 graphics I could not.
On contact the sound was a pleasant surprise.  While it wasn't quite as solid as a 510, it was WAY closer to that than anything TM has made in years.  A very solid thwack for an adjustable titanium driver.
The feel was my favorite take away from this club.  SOOOO solid.  I know or sure the heavier shafts I was using helped, but I haven't hit any driver in years that felt this solid.  TM told us they really focussed on feel and they hit it out of the park.

Results:
I admit enjoying the beginning of my fitting (from a "prove it" point of view") because my gamer kept giving me better results than the SLDR.  Then the fitter started to refine and everything changed.  After trying several drastically different shafts (I've since realized they were narrowing things from a broad perspective) things started to change.
Then right as we were getting close to the end, my swing went haywire.  A ton of drivers in a row can throw my tempo way off.  After a few irons I was ready to get working again.  The slider on the bottom affected my misses more than any moveable weight ever did (this is why I left the R11, I thought it was a gimmick).  All of a sudden we had it locked in... sort of.  My results were identical between an 'ahina 60 stiff and an Oban Kiyoshi White 65 stiff.  Both shafts worked best in a 10.5 (!!!) with the slider nearly all the way in the "fade" position.  I was surprised to be using a head with that high of a loft, but apparently the low-launch + low-spin shaft combo was good for me.
Both shafts gave me the exact same swing speed I had before (impressive with the extra weight), a 2-3 MPH ball speed gain (wow), about 500 less spin (super-wow) and an average carry of 260-270 (yep, I'll take that gain).  And the dispersion was so tight.  Maybe I was in a groove, but the window kept getting smaller and smaller.
The fitter liked the look of my shot better with the 'ahina, but the feel of the Kiyoshi was just too good to pass up.  After going back and forth for a while (THANKS FOR BEING SO PATIENT EVERYONE), I decided to go with the Kiyoshi.  Not only was it the best feeling shaft I've ever swung, my best drive of the the day was with the Kiyoshi (279 carry) so I finally made my choice.

In conclusion:
I am definitely planning on gaming the SLDR when I get it.  The feel alone is so much more enjoyable.  I do wonder if my improved results were due to a better fitting experience and a heavier shaft.  I am going to try the new shaft in my RBZ, but unless the results really favor the RBZ I wont be going back.  The feel and dispersion really was that much better.  ITs rare that a new club will go farther (even if just a little) while having a much tighter dispersion while feeling better.  Who knows how popular this club will be, but as of right now I am a believer.

Edited by rbilramz, 19 July 2013 - 11:30 PM.


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#25 ladahl

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 07:33 AM

Way cool guys!  Thanks for sharing your expereince(s)

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#26 J13

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 07:48 AM

Webber-  what was the loft of your I20 driver?

Does anyone know what your attack angle's were?    Also are most finding they are playing a higher lofted SLDR compared to their previous gamer?


Great reviews guys glad everyone had a great time even if it was with the evil empire ;-) lol
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#27 Johnny T

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 07:49 AM

Great write-ups, keep'em coming!
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#28 jimpsycho

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 08:22 AM

View PostJ13, on 20 July 2013 - 07:48 AM, said:

Webber-  what was the loft of your I20 driver?

Does anyone know what your attack angle's were?    Also are most finding they are playing a higher lofted SLDR compared to their previous gamer?


Great reviews guys glad everyone had a great time even if it was with the evil empire ;-) lol

As I mentioned in my review I have a positive angle of attack. It was between +2+3 consistently. Balls launched higher for me with no loss of distance and actually there was an increase.

I am not much of a numbers guy but I do know for sure from seeing the ball where it would land and where it rolled out that the SLDR was a little further than my current gamer

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#29 Waterboy

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 08:35 AM

View PostJ13, on 20 July 2013 - 07:48 AM, said:

Webber-  what was the loft of your I20 driver?

Does anyone know what your attack angle's were?    Also are most finding they are playing a higher lofted SLDR compared to their previous gamer?


Great reviews guys glad everyone had a great time even if it was with the evil empire ;-) lol
I had nearly the same loft. 0.25 difference. The thing that helped me was the change in the cog of the club. Moving it down and forward gave me better numbers
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#30 Rebel420

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Posted 20 July 2013 - 08:41 AM

Ya know.... At one point, I USED to like you guys...and WAS happy for you......
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OK, still do, and still am...  Thank you for sharing your experiences.  Sounds like you found a winner.  Sounds like we have a few new fellow Kool-Aid drinkers among us. Love, hate, or are indifferent to their marketing, they simply make great clubs that perform.   It's great seeing real world numbers from regular guys.  Very impressive.   Driver looks awesome!    

So my question is..... Which wait is worse...the wait you had up until the night of your fitting, or now the wait to get your new driver?

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