After reading a few TaylorMade SLDR driver reviews from 2013, I became curious about how this compares to new drivers. So, in this post, we are turning back the clock to pay tribute to what TaylorMade claimed was the best driver they had made up until that point in this TaylorMade SLDR Driver Review.
Things To Consider Before Buying a Driver
The loft of your driver impacts the degree of your launch. The team at TrueFit Clubs explains that the slower your swing speed is, the higher the degree of loft you will need to get the ball airborne. Conversely, faster swinging golfers such as long drive competitors play with strong lofted drivers between 4 to 7 degrees of loft.
Stock standard drivers that you find at your local golf store are generally fitted with a regular stiff shaft. While this works for many, it may not be the best option for you. On top of the flex, there is also the matter of weight. A heavier shaft promotes a lower piercing flight. And lighter options deliver a higher launch.
There are five types of shaft flexes on the market, extra stiff, stiff, regular, senior, and ladies. An extra stiff and stiff flex shaft is designed for those of you with faster swings. While moderate swing speeds are more compatible with a regular flex shaft. Finally, those of you with slower swing speeds should stick to senior and ladies’ flex shafts.
The size of the golf driver’s head is determined by volume in cubic meters (cc). The majority of drivers on the market are either 440cc or 460cc. 460 cc is the maximum legal limit prescribed by the USGA on page 2 of this document.
The bigger the head, the larger the sweet spot, and the more forgiving it is. However, larger clubheads contain more offset and reduce the workability of your driver.
It also weighs down your driver, meaning a stiff or extra stiff shaft may make your driver too heavy to swing. This leads to a low ball flight and a struggle to generate sufficient ball speed to get your ball consistently airborne.
If you are like Bryson DeChambeau and enjoy an experiment, you may prefer a driver with adjustable weights. This helps you tweak the loft and angle of the clubface to achieve your desired degree of launch and shot shape.
For the most part, these weights will allow you to strengthen or weaken the standard loft by 1.5 degrees and set up the clubface for a draw, fade, or neutral bias.
Before you look at how far you can hit a driver, it is best to consider the level of forgiveness of the club. There is no point in having a driver that costs you distance and accuracy on off-center strikes. As an average golfer, the chances are that you won’t be middling every shot, and therefore you need forgiveness.
Upon impact, you transfer that speed and energy to your ball, resulting in ball speed. If you strike it out the middle of your face, the chances are you will enjoy a powerful launch and increased distance. However, heel and toe mishits will reduce your ball speed stemming from a reduced coefficient of restitution (COR).
If you are a player who struggles to generate sufficient clubhead speed. I recommend considering a driver with an aerodynamic design. This reduced drag and enhances the flex of the face.
Taylormade SLDR Driver Review
- 21 weight positions
- Adjust your shot shape by up to 30 yards
- Loft can be strengthened or weakened by 1.5 degrees
- Provides faster ball speed
- High launch angle
- Reduced spin
- The face angle is not customizable
- The natural higher launch may cause faster-swinging players to balloon their drives and lose distance off the tee.
TaylorMade launched the SLDR driver in 2013 and quickly took over from the R1 as the company’s best-selling club in the range. The modern-classic design of the SLDR is accompanied by a hassle-free adjustable weight system.
The club gives you the freedom to adjust to twenty-one weight positions, which promote up to 30 yards of varying shot shapes. Furthermore, you have the option of setting your driver to twelve different loft positions.
Added to the adjustable weight features of this driver is the low and forward CG that TaylorMade employed to deliver explosive ball speed and less spin for maximum distance. This is a different approach to the usual belief that a low and back CG is best for a high launch and more distance.
In the seven years since the SLDR driver was released, there have been numerous releases from TaylorMade which feature more advanced game-improvement features. However, if you are looking for a good quality driver at an affordable price, and don’t mind the age factor. The SLDR is something to consider.
Features & Benefits
The SLDR saw TaylorMade move away from their white technology towards a traditional-looking driver. At the time of its release, the equipment giant claimed that it was the “most visually compelling driver” they had ever created.
The driver features a charcoal-gray crown that combines with a chrome button back for an appealing appearance when addressing your ball. The attractive design of The SLDR is capped off with a blue weight and slick track for a balanced look.
The adjustable sliding weight on this driver helps you to set the driver up to achieve your preferred shot shape. Although the neutral setting positions the CG forward and low, you can reposition it toward the heel or the toe of the club.
If you want to promote a draw bias, you need to move the weight to the heel of the club. While positioning the weight at the toe prompts a fade.
The SLDR is fitted with twenty-one weight positions. This allows you to manipulate the shape of your shot by up to 30 yards in either direction.
Added to the sliding weight feature of the SLDR is its adjustable loft sleeve technology. The technology provides twelve positions for you to adjust your loft. If you feel that your ball flight is too high, you can strengthen the loft by up to 1.5 degrees to achieve your ideal degree of launch.
Conversely, if your ball flight is low, and you prefer a higher, powerful launch. Then you can weaken the loft by up to 1.5 degrees.
The beauty of having twelve positions to adjust your loft to means you can make gradual adjustments and test the results. For example, if 10.5 degrees is too high for you, you can adjust it to 10.3 degrees and see how that works before lowering it to 9 degrees.
Low Forward CG
For years golf club manufacturers have told us that to achieve a high, powerful launch. The CG needs to be located low and back. However, TaylorMade formed a different opinion with the SLDR driver and proceeded to position the weight low and forward.
The 20-gram moveable weight on the sole prompted this approach, and the Made To Win company discovered that it increased ball speed and reduces spin. This design is compatible with the formula for more distance, which is accelerated ball speed, high launch angle, and low spin.
Of course, if you are not a fan of the low and forward CG, you can position the moveable weight, back and low.
The SLDR is fitted with the biggest possible driver head that the USGA will allow. The 460cc head promotes straighter shots and is ideal for mid to high handicappers looking for more accuracy off the tee.
Taylormade SLDR Driver Alternatives
SIM stands for shape in motion. Which represents the asymmetric sole design and inertia generator created to deliver optimal aerodynamics and clubhead speed. Unlike the SLDR, TaylorMade positioned the weight ultra-low and back to enhance the club’s MOI.
Furthermore, the SIM Max driver features a speed-injected twist face that aims to deliver the maximum allowed ball speed across the face. The twist face component of the driver combats common golfer errors to promote a straighter shot for more accuracy off the tee.
Finally, as has become the norm with TaylorMade drivers, the SIM Max contains a Thru-slot speed pocket and inverted cone technology. The speed pockets enhance the flexibility of the sole to generate additional speed and increase forgiveness on off-center strikes.
In conclusion, the SIM Max is best suited to moderate swinging golfers looking for a mid-level launch and maximum forgiveness.
The M6 was built to serve two purposes, speed, and forgiveness. TaylorMade injected tuning resin into the head to optimize the COR of the club. Or, in simple terms, the transfer of energy from your clubhead to the ball at impact.
Furthermore, the M6 features face curvature technology that mitigates off-center strikes to deliver optimal forgiveness, reduced spin, and straighter shots.
Like the SIM Max driver, the M6 combines an aerodynamic carbon sole with an inertia generator. This partnership delivers exceptional aerodynamics. The CG is positioned low and back to provide a high, powerful launch with a lower spin.
Finally, the M6 features the unique Hammerhead slot, which works in conjunction with the speed injected twist face to enhance the sweet spot and maintain ball speed on mishits.
The M6 is an ideal driver for mid to high handicappers looking for optimal forgiveness and ball speed off the tee.
TaylorMade launched the M2 as a driver built for forgiveness, distance, and the freedom to customize it to your preference. The six-layer carbon crown and carbon toe panel feature low CG for a high, powerful launch.
The M2’s T-Track system enables you to reposition the CG from front to back by up to 64% more than the original M2. This helps you adapt the setup of the clubhead to deliver a lower or higher ball flight depending on what works best for you.
Moving the weight forward lowers the ball flight and spin to deliver increased distance. While positioning the weight at the big promoted a high ball flight and optimal forgiveness.
Added to the T-Track system is the four-degree loft sleeve that allows you to adjust the loft of your driver to 12 different positions for the ideal launch and ball flight.
The M2 serves as an ideal driver for mid to low handicappers, looking for a more customizable driver to suit your needs.
It is hard to believe that the SLDR was only released seven years ago. In that time, TaylorMade has released numerous new drivers to market. However, this was a revolutionary design that made weight and loft adjustment convenient for the average golfer.
TaylorMade SLDR reviews raved about the club back in 2014. And, there is no reason why we shouldn’t do the same in 2021. It delivers accelerated ball speed, lowers your spin, and delivers a high launch, which is everything you desire in a driver. And, it is super affordable.
If you are looking for a driver from a reputable company at an affordable price. You can take a look at the SLDR here.
Nick Lomas is the founder of GolfSpan, an avid golfer, not quite a pro but has over 15-years of experience playing and coaching golfers from all over the world. His mission is to bring the golfing community a better experience then it comes to choosing the right golf gear, and finding the right set up for your game.