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 down.

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 neutral.


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.


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.

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