By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM Equipment Insider
TaylorMade's SLDR fairway wood has been on the PGA TOUR for less than a month, but the new line has already received high marks from a number of players, including Justin Rose and D.A. Points, who put the fairway wood in play the very first week at the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola.
Jimmy Walker became the first to win with the SLDR fairway wood when he added one to the bag for the final two rounds of the Frys.com Open and posted 62-66 to secure his first PGA TOUR title.
Similar to the SLDR driver, the new stainless steel fairway wood -- there are five lofts in the line -- has a center of gravity (CG) that's positioned lower and towards the front of the driver, reducing spin by 200 to 300 rpm and increasing the launch angle by 1 degree.
"We have heard from all types of golfers ranging from weekend players to TOUR pros that SLDR is the longest driver they have hit," said Tom Olsavsky, TaylorMade's Senior Director of Product Creation for Metalwoods. "This eye-opening distance gain is a result of the low and forward CG placement. This is the Holy Grail for distance and we anticipate similar fanfare for the SLDR fairway and Rescue clubs."
The fairway wood also features an updated version of the Speed Pocket that's currently found in the sole of the RocketBallz and RocketBallz Stage 2. The difference between the two slots is that the SLDR face is unsupported, allowing the face to flex without resistance.
In an effort to keep debris out of the slot -- players noted that grass and dirt kept getting caught inside the slot -- TaylorMade covered it with a polymer fill.
Golfers will also be able to adjust the loft on the SLDR fairway woods, plus or minus 1.5 degrees, via the loft sleeve.
While the SLDR driver and fairway wood share are number of performance traits, the fairway wood doesn't feature a sliding weight channel in the sole.
TaylorMade will also debut a line of four stainless steel SLDR Rescue clubs on Nov. 15. Like the fairway wood, the club will have a similar polymer-filled Speed Pocket, adjustable loft sleeve and forward CG that reduces spin and increases ball speed.
The SLDR fairway wood will be available Nov. 15 for $249 in five lofts (14, 15, 17, 19 and 21 degrees) and comes standard with Fujikura's Speeder 77 shaft. For those looking for a shaft upgrade, TaylorMade will also release a SLDR TP fairway wood that comes with a Fujikura Motore Speeder TS 8.3 shaft for $349.
TaylorMade's SLDR Rescue will be available Nov. 15 for $219 in four lofts (17 degree, 19 degree, 21 degree and 24 degree) and comes standard with Fujikura's Speeder 82 shaft. The SLDR TP Rescue comes with Fujikura's Motore Speeder TS 9.3 shaft for $289.
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