The TaylorMade SLDR Mini is one of a few ‘mini drivers’ that have hit the market this year. The size of the clubhead sits between that of a driver and a 3-wood, as does the loft. They combine the workability, versatility and launch of a 3-wood with driver-like distances thanks to thinner, hotter faces that promise more distance through less spin and a higher launch. Higher lofts make them easier for average golfers to get the ball in the air, while a shorter shaft than a driver makes them easier to control, too.
TaylorMade’s SLDR Mini is among the largest available – at 260cc it’s larger than the titanium drivers of the mid-1990s. The extra size over a normal fairway wood is designed to make it more stable on off-centre hits, which on average are a third smaller. A larger face also makes it easier to achieve higher balls speeds and more distance.
“Tour pros and better 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.”
To find out if these clubs can really transform your game, we invited nine TG readers to the TaylorMade Performance Lab at The Belfry to assess the technology, with chief fitter Liam McDougall guiding the investigation. Even we were surprised by the results...