Following the success of the SLDR driver, TaylorMade have announced the launch of the new SLDR fairway wood. Featuring all the same low/forward centre of gravity benefits of the driver, the fairway wood doesn't feature the sliding weight technology but does promise more distance.
Where the SLDR driver allowed golfers to slide a 20 gram weight on the sole, behind the face, the SLDR fairway features a newly designed cut-through Speed Pocket. Smaller than the RBZ or RBZ Stage 2 slot, the new Speed Pocket is cut into the sole and filled with the same polmer material that TaylorMade use on their SpeedBlade and RocketBladez irons.
The Speed Pocket, positioned behind the face, flexes with more efficiency increasing balls speeds. The toe and heel relief of the slot will also improve distances and forgiveness on off-centre strikes.
Tom Olsavsky, TaylorMade's Senior Director of Product Creation said "Our continued exploration of clubface dynamics enabled us to create a new Speed Pocket design that’s smaller yet more efficient, and the weight we saved allowed us to move the CG lower and more forward. That’s a win-win."
As well as the new Speed Pocket, the overall head design of the SLDR fairway is engineered to draw the centre of gravity further forward and slightly lower. By doing this, TaylorMade are able to produce a higher, lower spinning flight, feeding into their motto that more loft can equal more distance.
The head shape is shallower and more compact than before, creating a look at address that is preferred by the game's better players. The classic shape is aided by a matte silver face that is contrasted by a shiny dark grey crown colour. The chrome button-back at the rear of the crown is designed to look good at address and help improve alignment.
TaylorMade were one of the first manufacturers to embrace adjustability in their metal woods. The SLDR continues that trend. The adjustable loft-sleeve can be removed, turned and tuned to one of 12 different loft settings. Available in lofts of 14, 15, 17, 19 and 21 degrees, the SLDR fairway can be further adjusted +/- 1.5 degrees of loft.
The SLDR fairway immediately made an impact on Tour with many European and PGA Tour players immediately adding it to their bag. TaylorMade have offered premium options in the SLDR fairway to accommodate better players. In addition to a lower lofted, 14-degree "Tour Spoon" option, TaylorMade have fitted the SLDR fairway with a choice of either a Fujikura Speeder 77 shaft or the Tour-Preferred Fujikura Motore Speeder TS 8.3 shaft.
Each SLDR fairway will feature TaylorMade's 55-gram FCT Lite grip.