The Golfer of the Year – an award Ballesteros won on three occasions in 1986, ‘88 and ‘91 – is voted for by the golf media. He beat off competition from Rose, Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton and Rookie of the Year Jon Rahm...
TaylorMade Golf introduces new category of metalwood with the SLDR
TaylorMade Golf, one of the leading brands in metalwood technology and innovation, has announced the launch of its SLDR Mini Driver; a 260cc metalwood equipped with a 43.5” shaft, designed to promote distance and accuracy off the tee for players who frequently drive with their 3-wood.
TaylorMade put hours of research into the SLDR Mini Driver and revealed that a high percentage of golfers, regardless of their level of skill, hit a 3-wood off the tee more often than from the fairway. Of course, the 3-wood is designed to hit the golf ball off turf, not a tee; which led TaylorMade to engineer the SLDR Mini Driver, equipped to be longer off the tee than a 3-wood and also incredibly accurate.
“Tour pros and betters amateurs often hit their 3-wood off the tee more often than from the fairway,” said Brian Bazzel, TaylorMade’s Senior Director of Metalwood Creation. “We embraced that fact to create a metalwood that’s sized between a 3-wood and driver and is designed to be easy to hit off a tee.”
Much like the SLDR Driver – deemed the No.1 Driver on the PGA & European Tour – the SLDR Mini Driver features a low-forward centre of gravity (CG) location that reduces spin. This allows more players to benefit from playing a higher loft (or “lofting up” for those TaylorMade fans) by combining a low spin-rate with a high launch angle…the launch conditions that promote maximum distance.
The SLDR Mini Driver also manages to incorporate TaylorMade’s excellent Speed Pocket technology, which promotes lower spin on impacts low on the clubface where the majority of driver mis-hits occur.
And although it has been engineered to be easier to tee off with than a 3-wood, the SLDR Mini Driver is also easy to launch the golf ball off the turf with thanks to its smooth sole that’s smaller and offers less resistance than might a regular driver.
Looking at the SLDR Mini Driver from an aesthetic point of view, its sleek shape and smooth matte silver crown, black clubface and black button-back gives the golf club an attractive appearance not just from the side but from all angles, especially at address. The contrasting colours also make for an easy and accurate face alignment.
So has the Mini Driver been tested? Yes, it has. The first Tour pro to put the new SLDR golf club through its paces was Troy Matteson, who put not one but two in his bag at the Valero Texas Open recently. He used one off the tee and one from the fairway, both garnering good, crisp results.
Justin Rose, one of TaylorMade Golf’s many high-profile Tour professionals, is set to put the SLDR Mini Driver into action this week at Augusta, giving everyone a glimpse at what it is capable of achieving.
“The SLDR Mini Driver is intended to appeal to a wide audience,” added Bazzel. “For the Tour pro or top amateur who places a premium on distance control and accuracy, this club is a fantastic option. It’s also a great choice for those amateurs who struggle with 460cc drivers.”
The TaylorMade Golf SLDR Mini Driver will be available from american golf on 14th May 2014.