Is the Taylormade SLDR Driver Still Good? Is it Forgiving for High Handicappers?
“The Taylormade SLDR driver debuted in 2013 and was meant to succeed the popular Taylormade R1 driver.”
The rest is kind of history because the Taylormade SLDR driver went on to be one of Taylormade’s best-selling drivers.
It had been a long time since any of us had swung an SLDR driver though so we really needed to refresh our memory for this review.
So we took the Taylormade SLDR to the range and let our testers loose on it. We were immediately reminded of how innovative the Taylormade SLDR was and why it was one of Taylormade’s best-selling drivers.
But what does it have to offer high handicap players in 2022? Let’s go over the testing details.
Is the Taylormade SLDR Driver Still Good?
“One of the things that makes the Taylormade SLDR driver a viable play in 2022 is the sliding rear weight that can be moved into 21 different positions.”
That’s right, we said 21 positions. Granted all of them are either extreme to moderate draw and fade but still it’s nice to be able to dial in your CG so precisely. Another thing we really like about the Taylormade SLDR is that it has forward-oriented weight.
While some game-improvement drivers are predicated on low and rear CG in order to produce better launch, the Taylormade SLDR increases distance by limiting spin off the tee. And the numbers don’t lie.
Our testers noted significantly reduced spin across the board with the Taylormade SLDR driver. You don’t lose anything in the way of workability either because in addition to a rear sliding weight, the Taylormade SLDR also comes with a loft sleeve that can be moved into 12 unique positions.
That’s right, we said 12. You can increase or reduce the loft of this driver by 1.5 degrees so you get plenty of workability. We’re not sure that the Taylormade SLDR lives up to the claims that it generates 30 yards of dispersion; but it’s pretty close.
Based on these features alone, we would have to say that the Taylormade SLDR is still a good driver in 2022.
Is the Taylormade SLDR Driver Forgiving for High Handicappers?
“The Taylormade SLDR driver features a 460cc head and Taylormade claimed that they expanded the sweet spot for this club.”
This is another claim that we can’t really substantiate based on our testing. While the club face is nice and wide, we have seen other Taylormade drivers that offer more low and high face forgiveness.
Still, it didn’t take long for our high handicap testers to find the sweet spot with the Taylormade SLDR driver – and when they did, the results were pretty dramatic. On average, our testers increased their drive distance by 13.4 yards!
It was pretty incredible. The low-spinning action really works to reduce air drag and improve carry distance. Granted, you won’t get much roll distance but you can’t really argue with a 13.4 yard increase in distance.
So while we wouldn’t say that the Taylormade SLDR is the most forgiving Taylormade driver, you will still get a near-immediate increase in distance – and in the end, isn’t that really what it’s all about?
Taylormade SLDR Vs Taylormade SIM2
“The SIM2 driver takes a drastically different approach to distance.”
Unlike the Taylormade SLDR driver, the SIM2 has low/rear CG. In fact, the weight is placed so far back in the head that it actually juts out past the back of the head. At address, you can actually see it poking out.
The Taylormade SIM2 driver also has a forged metal support ring that acts like a chassis for the driver head. Despite the 16 gram steel weight in the rear of the head, the SIM2 still manages to be lightweight.
It has a nice feel and a nice sound, but the Taylormade SLDR was still the longer driver for most of our testers.
Taylormade SLDR First Impressions
“The driver has a somewhat busy look and it’s nothing to write home about when it’s just sitting in the bag.”
But you can’t really expect a driver with so many adjustment features to be pretty. The important thing is that distance increases were almost immediate with this driver. It has a nice, hefty 460cc head and a variable thickness crown.
We also really liked that the sliding weight was very easy to adjust. You simply loosen it with a screwdriver and slide it into the position you want it in.
It gives off a satisfying little click to let you know it’s firmly in place, then all you have to do is tighten the screw again.
Taylormade SLDR Selling Points
- Variable thickness crown
- 12-position adjustable loft sleeve
- 21-position adjustable rear weight
- Low/forward CG
- Charcoal gray crown
Taylormade SLDR Key Features
“The most defining features of the Taylormade SLDR driver include:
Adjustable Rear Weight: This feature allows you to dial in your preferred CG and makes it viable for players of virtually any swing speed.
Adjustable Loft Sleeve: While not as intuitive as the sliding rear weight, this feature still allows you to add or subtract up to 1.5 degrees of loft.
Variable Thickness Crown: Having the crown thinner in some areas allowed more weight to be placed low and forward in the head.
What Handicap is it for?
“The Taylormade SLDR would be great for virtually any handicap.”
Low handicappers might be turned off by the size of the head; but the Taylormade SLDR would be ideal for high and mid handicappers.
Taylormade SLDR Options
- Aldila VS Proto graphite shaft
- Taylormade Fujikura Speeder graphite shaft
- Aldila Rogue Silver Tour graphite shaft
- 9.5 and 10.5 degree lofts
Who Should Buy the Taylormade SLDR?
“The Taylormade SLDR driver would be great for mid and high handicappers.”
It will really help increase your ball speed and your carry distance. The forward-oriented weighting really works to reduce spin which will almost always result in better distance.