Yesterday saw the fourth win on the top Tours by the SLDR driver.
Having initially compared the sliding weight technology to the Mizuno MP630 and wrote about Dustin Johnson’s switch to the new bat at the Tour Championship, I then had a close look at the set up of Henrik Stenson’s SLDR driver and the Centre of Gravity position of the SLDR in general which leaves every player using it needing to increase the loft.
Well now it seems TM have embraced my observation to the extent that they are now including it their advertising.
Here’s a snippet from my piece explaining why SLDR owners need more loft:
TaylorMade’s newest driver, the SLDR, is touted as their longest ever, so I decided to put it up against the R1 in a distance test.
After clinking 20 identical balls with each driver, it quickly became apparent that the SLDR is, as TaylorMade claim, consistently longer. So how can this be? After stripping back the marketing prose to expose the science, I found out why.
Most modern players’ drivers have the Centre of Gravity (CG) pulled low and back in the clubhead to launch the ball high. The position of the sweet spot on the face of a driver projects out perpendicular to the CG so it’s usually pretty high up the face.
Tour players however use drivers that have the CG pulled much further forward towards the face. The SLDR is like this. The sliding weight is a hefty 20 grams and unlike the Mizuno MP600 driver which had its slider at the back of the club, the SLDR has it near the front. This in turn pulls the sweetspot further down the face of the driver, closer to the mass of the leading edge. Having the CG pulled forward translates to 1-2 miles per hour more ball speed off the face and less spin than the R1.
So the question now is, if TaylorMade can do this to get more distance, why doesn’t everyone else? Well the truth is they do. Most Tour players drivers are engineered like this but because they send the ball out on a much flatter trajectory are not that appealing to amateurs.
I found when using the SLDR, I needed to adjust my usual preferred loft of 9.5° up to 10.5° to improve the ball flight.
So it is true, the SLDR is longer than the R1, but it remains to be seen whether it will have the universal appeal of some of their previous models.
Coming soon: Golfbidder SLDR review video.
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