miniDriver: Back to the Future

Taylormade just released their miniDriver.  Here’s a pic from GolfWRX.com:

The SLDR big dog versus the SLDR mini

You can find more pics and info directly from GolfWRX here:  TaylorMade SLDR MiniDriver: In-hand photos

Okay, so I obviously don’t work for the mega-marketing-giant that is Taylormade Golf, but I do find irony in this release that after years of pushing crazy technology onto us, that their latest and greatest driver looks like the beginner half set driver I bought myself to whack balls at the range with my friends with from the year 2001.  While I’ve never really had the pleasure(?) of hitting true persimmon clubs, it still seems things have really come full circle.

Technology

I really began to take up golf more seriously around 2006, when Taylormade seems to be innovating unlike any other golf company.  Off the top of my head, I can list of:

Mizuno sliding weights

  • Up to the limit at 460cc heads
  • Moveable weights and screws on the driver head
  • Adjustable face angles from the shaft
  • Adjustable lofts
  • A combo of those two with the sole plate thing
  • A sliding zipper-looking movable weight to fine tune the draw bias (or was that Mizuno?)
  • A speed pocket thing (Adams called it Velocity Slot?)

Oh, I’m counting the white > crazy graphics > black > white > grey crown slide as fancy-easy-to-spot on TV marketing ploy versus technology that somehow influences your shots.  I guess that can count as a ‘marketing innovation’ nevertheless.

So I do find it interesting that the newest SLDR driver is doing almost the exact opposite of the above list:

  • It is a SLDR without a slider
  • No moveable weights
  • No fancy graphics or color
  • No adjustable face angle
  • A head size shrinkage

Maybe it’s actually like the XHot 3 Deep  or maybe it’s a 2Wood?  Maybe we’ve going too far with this “amateurs who OBs their drive should play without a driver”? (I’m talking to me, mostly.)

I don’t really throw my old equipment away so I decided to dig out my old beginner set from 2001 just for kicks and am pretty surprised how big the modern day driver have grown!

Check it out:

2013 versus 2001

Did you catch the graphics on the sole of the old club?  It actually says:

OVERSIZE

In caps!  Can you imagine jumping back in time with the 460cc drivers of today?

Here’s another comparison with my 3W and 3Hybrid:

The line up

As you can see, the old driver is pretty much the new 3Wood.  So I’m making an argument that the new miniDriver is pretty much the old driver by simple, but imprecise extended extrapolation.  Okay, all I need to do now is to take my old 1Wood into Golftown and test drive it against the newest Taylormade driver and see which one goes further to complete this hypothesis.

Or maybe I should end this comparison and just bask in a moment where good guy Matt Kuchar just won; Michelle Wie seems to be finally breaking out into golfer we all hoped she’d become;  there are excellent playoff hockey on TV; and local golf courses are finally opening up!

I couldn’t be a happier man.  Wishing you all a good one.

 

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