Taylor Made SLDR vs Callaway Big Bertha
Last updated on August 21st, 2018 at 04:12 pm
The TaylorMade SLDR and the Callaway Big Bertha are arguably the two most popular, adjustable driver golf clubs today. The two drivers have very similar designs and come from two well-regarded brands. Let’s talk about Taylor Made SLDR vs Callaway Big Bertha.
Taylor Made SLDR vs Callaway Big Bertha Comparison
But which is better? This article tries to figure out the answer to this frequently asked question.
Let’s look at the TaylorMade SLDR first.
TaylorMade SLDR could be the best driver there is. It has a unique combination of performance and good looks, which according to TaylorMade makes it the best driver to have come out of its facilities.
The company is known for introducing the movable weight technology which was the centerpiece of its old R7 driver. The said technology allows golfers to tweak the center of gravity by placing a heavier weight in the heel, promoting a draw or neutral ball flight in the process.
While the said technology promotes adjustability, it can also add weight to the driver. Many golfers also complain that adjustable weight systems can take the time to adjust, aside from offering the fewer center of gravity options compare to sliding systems.
But the TaylorMade SLDR has a new sliding weight track that is placed in the low, forward region of the head. The result is up to 30 yards of shot shape adjustment. The sliding weight track can also affect ball speed and backspin. It is also faster and easier to adjust compared to the moveable weight systems found in the older TaylorMade drivers.
The following are the key features of the TaylorMade SLDR:
- Low forward CG for high launch, low spin, and fast ball speed
- Easy and intuitive SLDR sliding weight for up to 30 yards of shot shape adjustment
- Silver button-back with subtle crown markings
- Shaft made of Fujikura Speeder 57, which is lightweight and promotes superior feel and playability
- Available in different lofts—8, 9.5, 10.5, and 12 degrees
- Elegant shape and design with charcoal gray crown
- Sliding weight mechanism is easier to adjust. As mentioned earlier, the movable weight technology used by TaylorMade on its earlier drivers wasn’t exactly popular among golfers because it was hard to adjust it. Fortunately, TaylorMade responded to the feedback and made the adjustability on the SLDR a lot simpler.
The SLDR’s sliding weight mechanism is easier to adjust compared to those of its predecessors. To slide the weight, simply unscrew the weight in the sliding mechanism. Choose from any of the 21 positions on the track. Tighten the screw, and then you’ll hear a “click” sound. Some reviews on Amazon.com say it would only take 5 to 10 seconds for golfers to adjust the weight.
Moreover, there are the words “fade” and “draw” on the sole of the club, with the former located at the toe-end and the other at the heel-end of the product. These marks all the more make it clearer and easier for golfers to position the weight and get the shot-shape they desire.
- It looks good. One of the first things you’ll notice about the Taylor Made SLDR is its good looks. Taylor Made went back to a more traditional color scheme by choosing charcoal grey-brown for the crown. It is a diversion of sorts as Taylor Made is known for making white colored drivers.
But the new color gives the driver a nice, contrasting look with its silver face. The driver also looks more compact that you may mistake it for being a 440cc head instead of a 460cc.
- It can deliver superior performance. According to TaylorMade, golfers will be able to experience up to 2 mph faster ball speed with this driver compared to the R1. It says that the driver can also produce about 300 rpm less spin. Many golfers say TaylorMade isn’t making outrageous claims, as they found the driver to be effective at delivering higher ball speeds and lower spin rates.
- The SLDR, though, doesn’t produce that high-pitched sound at impact that the TaylorMade R1 used to make.
- This is not the most forgiving of drivers.
What Amazon.com Customers Think of the Taylor Made SLDR
The Taylor Made SLDR is well-rated by reviewers on Amazon.com. Most golfers who took the time to review the SLDR say this is the best driver that they have owned or used.
They agree that this driver is easier to adjust compared to the older drivers from Taylor Made. Judging by the reviews on Amazon.com, this driver helps golfers to hit straighter shots. Other golfers are also happy that it is very easy to adjust. Some also note that it doesn’t take long for them to find the sweet spot with this driver.
There’s also a significant number of golfers who say that they like the feel of the driver. Unlike other low-spin drivers that feel harsh at impact, the SLDR leaves a more buttery soft feel on the golfer.
Callaway Big Bertha
The Callaway Big Bertha was released about the same time as the Taylor Made SLDR. But the name has been around for some time, as Big Bertha is largely credited for ushering in the era of metal woods. In fact, older golfers may still own an original Big Bertha.
Callaway ‘retired’ the Big Bertha sometime in 2008 when the driver became overused and overexposed in the market. But there was a clamor from many golfers, so it didn’t take long before Callaway resurrected this driver.
The Big Bertha Driver features adjustable perimeter weighting, allowing golfers to adjust CG bias. It also has more forgiveness and a larger sweet spot compared to its predecessors.
The new Big Bertha driver is made up of eight materials including aluminum, steel, titanium, and carbon fiber. This is in stark contrast to the original Big Bertha which was only made of stainless steel and later on, titanium.
Despite the integration of eight materials, the new Big Bertha driver is surprisingly lightweight. Weight is also placed in areas where it can be useful like the gravity core and removed in areas where you don’t want it like in the crown.
- Gravity core— this is a movable weight system that allows golfers to adjust the vertical center of gravity. It’s a tube, with one end weighing 10.5 grams Tungsten weight and the other end weighing only 1.5 grams. When it is inserted with its heavy end down, it pushes the center of gravity lower in the head. The result is a lower spinning driver.
When the heavy end is inserted side up, the center of gravity is increased. This makes the driver more ‘forgiving.’
- Hyper Speed Face technology— this increases the sweet spot and raises ball speeds on off-center hits
- Advanced adjustable hosel– allows golfers to adjust the loft and lie angle for faster ball speed and more distance
- Forged composite crown— the crown is made from a high strength and ultra-lightweight material that offers multiple adjustability levels while keeping the unit light. It makes the Big Bertha easy to swing.
- Shaft made of high-performance Fubuki Z
- Available in three lofts—9, 10.5, and 13.5 degrees.
- Available in multiple color and paint fill options, as well as custom laser engravings on the sole
- It can be used by a wide variety of players, from inexperienced to pros. For beginners, this driver is a good club because of its great surface area allowing easy, accurate, and powerful shots. For highly skilled amateurs and even Tour players, the low spin focus of the driver allows them to produce flatter drives that result in more roll.
- With its large surface design, it is very forgiving. Amateurs and pros alike will be able to make accurate shots when using this driving. Its high level of forgiveness will be particularly beneficial to newbies, who will be able to sustain ball speeds even on off-centre hits.
- With its high Moment of Inertia (MOI) and stability, the driver will be very handy to beginners as well as average golfers who have difficulties hitting the center of the golf club face.
- The sliding weight mechanism or the Adjustable Perimeter Weighting system allows golfers to achieve longer and straighter shots because they can adjust the weight around the perimeter of the driver’s head
- Although the Big Bertha is very easy to swing, it may not be the right club for golfers who want more heft in their drivers
- It has a ‘dead’ sound which some golfers don’t like
What Amazon.com Customers Think of the Callaway Big Bertha
This driver is well rated and highly recommended by golfers on Amazon.com. Most of the golfers who reviewed this club on the popular online store say they greatly appreciate the good build quality of the driver. They say that it looks good and feels very sturdy. They also agree that it is very lightweight and thus easy to swing.
Most of those who have used it say that they find the weight balance easy to adjust. They also like that it has a big sweet spot, allowing it to control missed or off-center shots.
One common complaint though is that the adjustments to the shaft can be confusing, especially to amateurs. But most reviewers agree that it is a minor chink in the armor to an otherwise solid driver.
As you can see, both drivers have its pros and cons. There’s no clear-cut winner in this match-up. It depends on the kind of golfer buying a driver. The Big Bertha is arguably more suited for beginners because of it being more forgiving, while the TaylorMade SLDR is geared at more experienced golfers.
Who Should Buy the TaylorMade SLDR?
This is a driver that is particularly designed for golfers who are looking for accuracy and distance. With its low center of gravity, the TaylorMade SLDR can enable golfers to launch the ball a lot higher. It also minimizes the spin, which is very important to longer distance.
Golfers will love that the TaylorMade SLDR has an easy to use and intuitive sliding weight mechanism. The sliding weight track is also placed in front of the driver, paving the way for the high launch and low spin condition that this driver is noted for. It should be noted that there have been other drivers that have used a similar sliding mechanism, but all of these were placed in the back of the driver.
Most golfers are wary of using low-spin drivers because it feels harsh at impact. But the TaylorMade SLDR is different. Many golfers who have used it describe the driver as leaving a buttery soft feeling on them.
Old school golfers who prefer a traditional color scheme will also like the TaylorMade. It is different from the other clubs that TaylorMade has been coming out the past few years. With its reversed color scheme with a glare-free gray crown and contrasting black face, the TaylorMade SLDR appeals to golfers looking for a more traditional paint job in their drivers.
Who Should Buy the Callaway Big Bertha?
The Callaway Big Bertha, on the other hand, is a better driver for amateurs and inexperienced golfers who aren’t confident with their game yet. As many reviews on Amazon.com point out, this is a driver that is exceptionally forgiving. If you are a golfer who wants an “unmissable” driver, then this is the one for you.
Aside from being very forgiving, this driver is very light and stable. It is easy to swing, with a nice whip through impact. You will also love that its sliding weight mechanism can give your straighter and more accurate shots.
Golfers don’t buy a driver for the sole reason that it looks good. You will appreciate the sophisticated look and design of the Big Bertha. Its dark finish hides its size well in any golf club set bag.
Indeed, the debate on which is better—the SLDR of TaylorMade or the Big Bertha of Callaway— has long been resolved. The TaylorMade SLDR is great for more experienced golfers, while the Callaway Big Bertha is a better fit for amateurs.
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