Taylormade Woods Test: JetSpeed vs SLDR vs RBZ
Taylormade Woods Test: JetSpeed vs SLDR vs RBZ
With This Many Releases In Such A Short Time, What Improvements Are There?
It’s very well known that Taylormade love new equipment launches. So much so, they actually released 6 different drivers in the past 12 months.. Okay, one was just a black version of the R1… but when you compare this to other manufacturers, they have the quickest product turnover by a some distance!
So, the real question is, what advances are there from product to product? In order for us to answer this, PG’s Simon put the RBZ Stage 2, SLDR and JetSpeed woods ranges to the test. Yep, all 3 drivers, woods and hybrids, and as you can see from the image below, a lot of balls were hit!
Right, so firstly, let’s look at the clubs involved in this test and what Taylormade said about them at launch. We’re just going to look at the drivers, to see what initial claims were made!
Inverted Cone Technology milled into the inner side of the larger clubface expands the portion of the face that delivers high ball speed.
Improved aerodynamics reduces drag over the head to promote faster clubhead speed.
Thick-Thin crown provides lower and more-forward CG location promoting faster ball speed, high launch and low spin.
Black clubface, non-glare white crown and new crown decal all promote easy alignment.
Longest TaylorMade driver ever
Low-and-forward CG promotes high launch, fast speed and low spin for huge distance
Easy and intuitive SLDR movable weight promotes up to 30 yards of shot shape adjustment
Silver button-back works with subtle crown markings for easy clubface alignment.
First Speed Pocket engineered for a driver promotes more distance on hits low on the face
Low-and-forward CG promotes faster ball speed and lower spin-rate for more distance
Long and light – 46” / 299 grams — promotes faster swing speed for more distance
Shallow profile allows ultra-low CG to promote high launch for more distance
Streamlined head-shape promotes faster swing speed for more distance
It’s clear that Taylormade’s marketing concentrates mainly on one thing.. hitting the ball as far as possible. “Longest driver ever”, “Increased Clubhead Speed”, “Greater Ballspeed”, “Higher Launch and Less Spin” etc etc. So.. let’s look at the cold hard facts.. Trackman data!
Figures here all seem fairly similar, with the exception being the spin rate of the SLDR, 450rpm less than the Jetspeed and 570rpm less than the RBZ S2. The SLDR really did surprise us last year, as it was released so quickly after the R1 that we thought that there can’t have been much of an improvement. That said, it turned out to be probably the best driver of the year, and an absolute gem for golfers who need a lower launching, low spin driver. Personally, I believe it’s the strongest flighted head in the market at the moment, and still maintaining better launch and spin rates than the newer JetSpeed. As a result, we do have to fit the SLDR differently from any other driver, purely due to the ball-flight characteristics it promotes, but that doesn’t take anything away from it.
Verdict: SLDR Driver
There really wasn’t much in it when we tested the woods. Distances were very consistent across all 3 models, along with launch angle. The SLDR wood produced slightly more spin than the others, which lost it a few yards, but still a top performing wood. However, in Simon’s opinion, the JetSpeed just edges it. It’s a slightly better head than the SLDR, and slightly more forgiveness equated in a few extra yards. Woods have been Taylormade’s big performer in the last few years, and it would have been foolish to change anything dramatically.. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it!
Verdict: JetSpeed Wood
Again, there really wasn’t much in it here. Similarly to the woods, Taylormade really couldn’t change much, as their hybrids have been great for the past few years. A dramatic change would likely have seen a negative change in performance, so the only real changes from the SLDR to the JetSpeed has been a slightly bigger head, with a tad more forgiveness. Both the SLDR & JetSpeed have been an improvement over the RBZ Stage 2.. but are suited to different players. The SLDR driver is great for someone who needs a lower spin head, and the same can be said for the SLDR hybrid. It is best for golfers who hit their hybrids more like an iron. However, the JetSpeed promotes a more up-and-out ball flight, and is therefore better for those who hit their hybrids like a fairway wood. Too close to call between the two, it just depends on your swing style when you have a hybrid in your hands.
Verdict: DRAW. JetSpeed & SLDR Hybrids.
All in all, Taylormade’s woods range continues to dominate the market, and at the moment, they really don’t need to change too much in their woods to keep this up. However, technology has evolved to such an extent that it’s very nearly reached the limit, where no more distance can be legally achieved within the current confines of equipment rules. It will be very interesting to see what they release next.. and how often!
At Precision Golf we pride ourselves on providing the most up-to-date equipment information for our clients. For more information on the Taylormade Woods Range or the services Precision Golf can offer then head to www.precisongolf.co.uk, email us at email@example.com, or call +441784 470088!