TaylorMade SLDR Driver Review
24 Mar 2014
see also: Equipment Reviews
My introduction to the TaylorMade SLDR Driver started with my
AmateurGolf.com evaluation of the True Temper Performance Fitting system.
At the time, I was hitting my old reliable TaylorMade R9 9.5
degree driver with the stock Fujikura stiff shaft and was not
looking to replace it.
I tried a number of driver and shaft combinations, however, and
decided the SLDR worked best for me.
The first thing I noticed was that TaylorMade had gone back to
a more traditional looking color and shape. I was never a big
fan of the white drivers (R1, RocketBallz) they had created.
The metallic grey and absence of White and racing stripes is
just pleasing to my traditionalist eye. Plus, the head has a nice
pear shape and is not too large.
The initial feel of the SLDR was much softer than any of the
R1/R11 family of drivers I had tried the last few years. The ball
launched lower than my R9, but held its flight longer.
My driver has 10.5 degrees of loft (adjusted down to 9.5).
Based on the data from my True Temper fitting, we installed a
Project X Black 6.5 graphite shaft. The stock Fujikura Speeder
57 felt good, but the Project X shaft brought my ball flight
The driver is available in four lofts: 8.0, 9.5, 10.5 and 12
degrees. The clubhead size of all versions is 460cc’s.
TaylorMade's LoftSleeve allows for 12 positions and a range of
loft adjustment plus or minus 1.5 degrees. The SLDR also comes
with the SLDR weight which is a movable weight that shifts the
clubhead’s CG horizontally toward either the heel, to promote a
draw, or toward the toe, to promote a fade. I have set mine to
The SLDR is built well with features to enhance ball speed,
forgiveness, and distance. The color and shape go back to a
more traditional look and feel. For players that have always
had a high launch angle and a high spin rate, this driver lowers
both allowing for a flatter ball flight without sacrificing distance.
Off-center hits will still go an acceptable distance and not stray
too far offline.
Players with a lower launch angle may have trouble getting the
ball high enough with a loft lower than 12 degrees.
PRICING & AVAILABILITY
The TaylorMade SLDR Driver is available now and retails at
$399. A tour-preferred model is also available, starting at $499.
It looks good, it sounds good, and it has lowered my ball flight
without losing distance. It has allowed this 59-year-old, to get
back out there close to where the college kids and mini tour
players I play with hit it. I cannot wait until summer rolls
around to see how much more distance I get with the increased
roll. The driver is so good, I also purchased the 3-wood and
two hybrids to add to my set.