Friday, February 21, 2014

Tell me about the TaylorMade SLDR driver with its low spin and CG closer to the face. The new recommended launch characteristics by TaylorMade is 17* launch and 1700 spin. Wouldn't that have to require a driver swing with a fairly substantial upward angle of attack?

From the desk of Tom Wishon:

This recent commentary from Taylor Made about the 17* launch and 1700 rpms spin is chiefly done to try to help market their Loft Up campaign to go with selling more of their currently offered SLDR driver model.

Purely from a theoretical standpoint, it can be said that 17* launch with 1700 spin is an ideal combination for distance. But the key word is "theoretical". From a PRACTICAL standpoint, as you have asked, such launch numbers would require a very upward angle of attack which is simply impossible for 99+% of all golfers to even come close to. Even in TrackMan's research, for 100mph to 120mph clubhead speeds with +5* upward A of A, around 1700 rpms is optimum for spin, but the optimum launch runs from 12.4* at 100mph down to 10.3* at 120mph. So to get all the way up to 17* launch and still maintain 1700 spin would require something closer to a +10* upward A of A. And that is quite impractical - so impractical that this is why you can look at this Taylor Made 17/1700 campaign and label it as marketing, purely marketing in trying to fool golfers into spending their money for this latest SLDR driver.

Give them 6-9 months and the SLDR will be history and something else will have taken its place in the marketing hype.  

Sadly way too many people hit shots on a launch monitor, see their spin is over 3000, ignore the launch angle and smash factor, and then obsess how to get their spin under 3000 to be like the tour players have. This is SO WRONG. First of all, only the Doppler Radar launch monitors can even read spin with decent accuracy. Second, 98% of the time the golfers are hitting RANGE BALLS when they get their spin number from an inaccurate launch monitor.

Launch angle is KING when it comes to optimizing a driver for any golfer. And launch angle is most influenced by the loft. So if you focus on finding the right loft that brings about the best launch angle for a golfer's clubhead speed and angle of attack, you simply do not worry about spin because if a golfer has a spin problem it will be caused far, far more by swing errors than by anything related to the equipment.

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