Tour stars Justin Rose, Stephen Gallacher, Richie Ramsay and Johan Carlson were on hand to answer the questions of the invited guests before each giving a clinic showing off the SLDR, SLDR S and SLDR Mini drivers.
“Loft has always been the signal of the better player.”
“Before the release of the SLDR, we, like many of the other manufacturers thought the best place to position the centre of gravity was low and back,” said Greg Pearse, TaylorMade Golf’s marketing director. “But when we actually moved it more forward we realised it took spin off the golf ball but it also gave the distance needed with a higher loft, and that’s where the challenge for us came in.
“Loft has always been the signal of the better player. We’ve had to show people that it’s not about the number on the bottom of the club, it’s about the performance of that club.”
“We actually received some data from guys in Ireland last week, who built 75 drivers, and the average loft of those drivers was 13.5-degrees, and the average loft up was 1.19-degrees.”
TaylorMade staff players Rose and Gallacher are both big supporters of the SLDR, with both showing real belief in the range and its performance. However, they had different reactions to the thought of playing with a higher lofted driver than they usually did.
“My number increased by one and half degrees,” said Rose. “From an ego point of view, I think as professional golfers we’re all prepared to alter a club however we can if it can help us get the ball in the hole and be the best we can be. I was very quickly over the number issue when I seen the performance.
“For me, the biggest thing was that, being honest, it took me four or five months to get into the R1, trying different heads, different shafts, different weights. It took me a day with the SLDR.”
Gallacher added: “I’ve moved up by two-degrees and now play a 12-degree driver. I’m one of the sharpie over the number guys, so for me to play with a driver with a higher loft, I took a lot of convincing.
“I actually wasn’t going to use the driver because I wasn’t keen on the idea of playing a higher loft from an ego point of view. I took a bit of convincing from the guys at TaylorMade, and I eventually went for it in the end when I saw the performance numbers. It’s been a great club for me.”
With an RRP of £349, the SLDR driver has proven popular since its release, while the recent unveiling of the SLDR S (£279) and SLDR Mini (£199) ensuring there is something for every style and preference. For more information, head over to taylormadegolf.co.uk.
Originally published on bunkered on July 9, 2014.