It’s been almost 10 years since TaylorMade introduced the first popular adjustable driver—the r7 quad, which featured four small weight cartridges that could be used to change the head’s center of gravity (CG) location and affect ball flight. Since then, the company has come out with at least 10 “R” follow-ups that have given golfers even greater ability to tweak their clubs, but perhaps it was too much of a good thing as each one became more complicated than the last with a dizzying array of shot-shaping gizmos.
Thankfully TaylorMade has come out with a much more simplified track system with a 20-gram weight that slides on a rail near the front of the sole. There are 21 positions that allow for up to 30 yards of side-to-side trajectory change with the words “fade” on one end near the toe and “draw” near the heel. The adjustable hosel allows for 12 different loft selections up or down 1.5 degrees.
But as significant as the adjustability improvements are, the most radical change is the movement of CG much more forward. The common notion for years has been that deep CG is the way to go for the high moment of inertia or forgiveness it provides, and it still is, but the corollary is that it also produces more spin, which can mean less distance. A forward CG, however, requires a higher launch, so golfers will need to increase their loft by as much as two to three degrees if they plan on using the SLDR.
Cosmetically, the driver looks great, too, with a classic shape and charcoal-gray crown that contrasts nicely with the silver face. You can't go wrong with simple, clean, and classy.
$400 in four lofts (8–12 degrees), taylormadegolf.com