TaylorMade recently introduced the SLDR driver as a mid-season release that came as a surprise to many in the golf world.
In a little over a month, the SLDR has gone from tour prototype to mass production and general availability. After spending some time with the driver, it’s clear that the SLDR is a worthy contender for the everyday golfer.
The R11 and R11s drivers were good, but they didn’t stay in my bag very long. They were certainly good drivers – just not good enough. I also wasn’t a huge fan of the R1, the complexity of the adjustability and the sound just weren’t something that I liked enough to put the club in the bag.
The SLDR is a complete turnaround in my opinion. While not a huge fan of the recent TaylorMade drivers, the SLDR has won itself a spot in my bag.
Although it sounds strange, I don’t put a lot of emphasis on performance for my go-to clubs. It’s not that I don’t care about performance, it’s just that each year all of the advances tend to be fairly uniform across drivers. It’s honestly hard to find a truly bad mass-produced driver.
The SLDR is the first club that I’ve used that I’ve seen significant distance increases and tightened dispersion with. I simply hit this driver better than any other driver I’ve hit to date. I’m seeing more fairways AND more distance.
It’s also notable that the adjustability features of the club seem to work. As a mid-handicapper, this is the first adjustable club that has had noticeable differences on the course based on the tweaks to the various adjustable aspects (+/-1.5 degree of loft and quite a bit of side-to-side trajectory movement through the adjustable slider weight).
The performance of the SLDR is solid.
While strong and healthy performance makes a big difference – I really love the all-around feel and feedback of this club. It’s also worth noting that the stock shaft (Fujikura Speeder 57) is a great default configuration for the SLDR.
The traditional driver head with a solid shiny black head and silver face is a nice departure from the signature white head and black face of the recent TaylorMade models. I enjoyed the white/black combination for a while, but it lost it’s luster for me over the past years. The move back to the traditional look is a great move in my opinion.
The feel of the SLDR is exceptional. The ball feels hot off the face and the bouncy feel of the club face is much preferred to the harder feel that TaylorMade has released over the past few years.
The sound of the strike with the SLDR is my favorite of all drivers this year. Auditory feedback is a big deal for me and I haven’t heard a better sounding driver.
TaylorMade has done a remarkable job with the SLDR.
It’s a solid performer and a welcome return to a more classic design with hints of color in all the right places. The adjustability has a return to simplicity and is extremely easy to experiment with. All-in-all, this is the best all around driver I’ve seen this year.
Well done TaylorMade.
You can read the tech specs on the TaylorMade SLDR driver page.
Interested in seeing more pictures? Check out the Fresh Facebook SLDR photo album.