TaylorMade SLDR S Driver Review
06 Jun 2014
by AmateurGolf.com Staff

see also: Equipment Reviews

By Christian Nicolini, AmateurGolf.com Equipment Writer TaylorMade has introduced the new SLDR S driver for the summer but unlike other models introduced to the market in recent memory, the brand hasn’t re-written the rules for what the club should do. Instead, TaylorMade worked to improve a key attribute to the club.

The brand replaced the adjustable loft with a fixed loft to offer a high performance club at a more affordable price. The SLDR S driver comes in four loft options: 10°, 12°, 14°, 16°.

There are a lot of similarities in the SLDR and SLDR S. The head design, weighting technology and shaft remain the same. In fact, outside of the silver-satin finish and fixed loft, the SLDR S is a solid replica of the original. I took both clubs to task in a simulator to see if I could find any differences in feel, weight, sound, or performance.


After hitting both drivers, I have to say that, from a cosmetic standpoint the SLDR S driver looked sharper with the silver finish and black face combination. Other than those slight changes, both drivers looked identical.

I’ve been a fan of the SLDR ever since it was released mainly because of the soft feel at impact. For whatever reason, I found that the SLDR S had a firmer feel than the SLDR -- most notably on off- center hits. Both drivers still feel good -- and are softer than the brand’s R series drivers.

Before I started testing, I thought the SLDR S would feel a tad lighter since it lacked the bulkier adjustable hosel. However, both the SLDR and SLDR S have an identical feel while swinging.


I wasn’t very pleased to find out that the SLDR S driver only went as low as 10° in loft, but after a couple swings, my attitude changed. I compared a 10° SLDR vs. 10° SLDR S, both with a stiff Fujikura Speeder 57 shaft.

During my test I took 15 shots with each club and picked the top 10 from each and compared the data:


Avg. Club speed (mph): 112
Avg. Ball Speed (mph): 164
Launch: 12°
Spin Rate (rpm): 2705
Carry (yds): 271
Total Distance (yds): 291


Avg. Club speed (mph): 113.5
Avg. Ball Speed (mph): 166
Launch: 12.5°
Spin Rate (rpm): 2870
Carry (yds): 276
Total Distance (yds): 290


Both drivers performed nearly identical. For whatever reason, my swing speed was a little faster with the SLDR S than with the SLDR even though both drivers share nearly identical specs. As a result, the ball speed of the SLDR S was slightly higher, along with the launch, spin rate and carry distance.


The SLDR S has a very sleek and appealing design. By switching to a fixed loft, the $399.99 of the SLDR shrinks down to a more affordable $329.99

Surprisingly the SLDR S had a firmer feel at impact which was more noticeable on off center hits compared to the SLDR.
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