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TaylorMade releases 14-degree version of SLDR driver

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SCOTTSDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 06: Phil Mickelson reacts to the crowd on the 16th hole during the third round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale on February 6, 2016 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)  - 

TaylorMade used this year’s PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando as a time not only to promote its latest product introductions, but also to advance the concept of “lofting up.”

The idea behind that is to encourage golfers using its new SLDR drivers, which came out last August and features a low and forward center of gravity, to go up a degree or two in loft in order to produce more optimal launch conditions.

According to Sean Toulon, executive vice president for product creation at the California clubmaker, that is why several of its Tour staff members are now using SLDR drivers with a loft of 12 degrees.

“Everything we thought we knew about engineering drivers was turned on its head by these clubs,” he says.

So much so, in fact, that TaylorMade is rolling out a 14-degree version of that driver. Toulon calls the move “unprecedented” and says that heretofore, no one has offered a driver with so much loft.

“We had no idea when we launched SLDR that lofting up would make such a difference,” he explains. “We didn’t even have 12-degree heads when we first brought it out. And we certainly didn’t have ones with 14 degrees.

“But as our Tour players started using the product, they discovered that by going up a degree or two they could launch the ball higher and spin it less. As a result, it flew a lot farther.”

Hence, the move first to add a 12-degree head for the SLDR. And now, one with 14 degrees of loft.