September 22 2013
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM Equipment Insider
After debuting the SLDR driver at the John Deere Classic, TaylorMade gave staffers in the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola field the opportunity to test out the company's new SLDR fairway wood at East Lake.
Unlike the SLDR driver, the fairway wood does not feature a sliding weight channel. Instead, it has a curved slot in the sole — similar to the Speed Pocket in the Speed Blade iron — that could increase ball speeds. It also has an adjustable hosel that increases or decreases the loft by 1.5 degrees.
Even with the limited field, Justin Rose and D.A. Points decided to put the new model in their bags on Thursday.
Nike's Covert Tour 2.0 makes appearance: Less than a week after the first official photos of Nike's Covert Tour 2.0 surfaced on the USGA's list of conforming driver heads, the driver was spotted at East Lake in the hands of former Masters champion Charl Schwartzel.
The South African spent time testing the new driver on the range and course. The Covert Tour 2.0 he tested featured white paint in the cavity and a large TOUR badge on the sole.
According to Nike Tour reps, Schwartzel tried out two different lofts — 9.5 and 10.5 degrees — with a Fujikura Rombax 7V05 X shaft and the the FlexLoft situated in the "right" position. Schwartzel liked the shape of the head and how it performed at East Lake, but he ultimately decided to take it home for additional testing.
Notes: After cracking the face on his Callaway X Hot Pro 4-wood prior to the start of the second round, Henrik Stenson, who played the round with only 13 clubs, received a new head and had the club reshafted before the third round. "I hit a couple, and it felt as good, absolutely, if not better," Stenson said. ... Sergio Garcia switched back into a counterbalanced TaylorMade Spider Mallet putter after using a Tour Maranello 81 putter since the Detusche Bank Championship. Garcia noted he felt more comfortable with the counterbalance feel.