TaylorMade SLDR 460 Driver Review

TaylorMade SLDR 460 Driver (17)

50 Words or Less

Low, low spin.  More forgiving than 430cc model.  #LoftUp is a necessity, as is fitting.  A game changer for high spin players.

Introduction

Golfers, you sure know how to hurt a guy’s feelings.  As a club fitter, I’ve spent years telling you to play more loft and you’ve ignored me, but TaylorMade makes #LoftUp a hashtag and suddenly you’re all buying 12 degree drivers.  That’s fine, I see how it is.

In all seriousness, TaylorMade’s #LoftUp campaign is one of the best things I’ve seen a golf company do in terms of really trying to help regular golfers.  Combined with the ultra low spin SLDR driver, TaylorMade is going to have a lot of golfers singing their praises in 2014.

TaylorMade SLDR 460 Driver (14)

Looks

In stark contrast to the horrific 2013 offerings, the SLDR 460 is a classy, understated, good looking club.  It does have a fairly big footprint, but it’s well proportioned and not too large in any given direction.  The dark grey crown looks great, and the crown graphics are far enough from the ball that they’re a non-issue, even for purists.

TaylorMade SLDR 460 Driver (15)

Sound & Feel

I’ve feel like I’ve been saying this for all of 2014, but all of the TaylorMade “Low, Forward CG” clubs feel so solid.  The sound is a nice medium-pitched “thwack,” none of that high-pitched, glass-breaking stuff you get with other drivers.  The volume of the sound is also medium to slightly low.  Overall, it’s a good, satisfying sound that most players will enjoy.

The major difference between the SLDR 460 and the SLDR 430 is the amount of feedback you get on mishits.  The 430 gives you a more precise feel of where you hit the ball on the face, but that also comes with a little more punishment in the form of lost ball speed.  The SLDR 460 muddles the feedback a little – you’ll know you hit it on the toe, but not exactly where on the toe – but you get the benefit of more forgiveness.  If you’re not an aspiring Tour pro, that’s probably a trade worth making.

TaylorMade SLDR 460 Driver (11)

Features & Adjustability

There’s a lot to talk about when it comes to the SLDR 460.  Let’s start with the namesake feature, the sliding weight.  TaylorMade was the first manufacturer to really popularize moveable weight technology (MWT) with their R7 line.  The problem with that version of the technology (also seen in the R9, R11, and R1 lines) was that you had all those little weights to deal with.  Removable weights are great for the .001% who used it to adjust swing weight, but for most golfers, changing the weights was nothing more than a juggling exercise.  With the SLDR, the weight is fixed and simply slides towards the toe to make the ball go right and towards the heel to make it go left.  Simple and intuitive.  The best part?  It works.  I’m not a robot and I don’t claim to have a perfectly repeatable swing, but in my launch monitor testing I did see a difference in the shape of my shots when I moved the weight from one side to the other.

Additionally, the SLDR 430 features the ability to add or subtract 1.5° of loft.  This will also change the face angle, so consider where you want to end up before you make a purchase.  If you prefer an open face at address, you’re going to be subtracting loft, so you may want to buy a more lofted head.

Finally, let’s talk about the SLDR’s “Low & Forward CG.”  I think this will work best if you and I do a quick Q&A.

You: Why do I want a low, forward CG?

Me: Less spin.  Less spin means more carry and more roll and more distance.  Those are good things.  The catch is, you’re going to have to #LoftUp

You: Why?

Me: In the past, you’ve bought low lofted drivers to keep your spin down.  You don’t need to do that anymore.  Now you can buy 10.5°, 12°, or even 14° so that you can get an appropriate launch angle without worrying about too much spin.

You: What launch and spin numbers would be optimal?

Me: TaylorMade is pushing the idea of 17° and 1700 RPMs as being optimal.  The problem is that’s not realistic for the majority of golfers.  If you can a double-digit launch angle with spin around 2000 RPMs, you’re in pretty great shape.  Hug your fitter, buy the club, and go play golf.

SLDR 460 LM

Performance

The SLDR 460 basically keeps everything that’s great about the SLDR 430, but makes it a little more accessible for the average golfer.  The most noticeable difference for me was the forgiveness.  With the 430, missing the center of the face meant losing ball speed and seeing a bit more gear effect curvature.  With the 460, I was able to retain almost all my ball speed and still get very accurate results even when I missed the sweet spot.

The real defining characteristic of the SLDR 460 is the low spin.  As I discussed above, this is the result of a low, forward CG.  With this lower spin, you can play more loft than you would in other drivers, which results in higher launching, straighter drives that still go a long way.  The ball flight is actually a little disorienting to watch at first, particularly if you’re a high spin player: the ball reaches peak altitude quickly, carries, then seems to fall out of the sky faster than usual.  The ball falls so fast you would think that you lost distance, but when you finally find your ball you realize that it’s just the opposite.

One final note about the SLDR: you really do need to be fit for this driver.  Because of the very low spin, you will likely need more loft, but you won’t know how much more until you try it.  Additionally, you may find that you want to play a different type of shaft in the SLDR because it is so low spin.

TaylorMade SLDR 460 Driver (8)

Conclusion

While I do enjoy playing unique clubs, this year you’re likely to find the #1 driver in golf, TaylorMade SLDR 460, in my bag.  The look, sound, and feel are all very pleasing, and the performance is outstanding.  The spin is so low that I’ll be able to play a 12° which should help me to find the fairway more often, and the forgiveness of the SLDR 460 means that I’ll be able to hit it long even when I’m not hitting it perfectly.

Price and Specs

The TaylorMade SLDR 460 retails for $399 and is available in 8°, 9.5°, 10.5°, and 12° (9.5° and 10.5° only for LH)

The stock shaft is the Fujikura Speeder 57 in M, R, S, or X flex.

Buy the TaylorMade SLDR 460 driver HERE

Watch the Video

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Matt Saternus

Founder, Editor In Chief at PluggedInGolf.com
Matt is the Founder and Editor in Chief of Plugged In Golf. He's worked in nearly every job in the golf industry from club fitting to instruction to writing and speaking. Matt lives in the northwest suburbs of Chicago with his wife and two daughters.

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33 Comments

  1. I intend to purchase the SLDR S driver but not sure if I shud get a loft of 12 deg or 14 deg. presently play R-11 with loft 10.5. .. I am a low 20’s handicap, recently retired and intend to play more so would expect handicap to get to mid to high teens at some point… appreciate your thoughts.. many thanks/Jerry

    • Matt Saternus

      Jerry,

      The decision between a 12* and 14* driver comes down to optimizing your launch angle and spin, it’s not really related to your handicap. Go to any decent golf shop and they will have a launch monitor to help you decide on the best configuration for your game.

      Best,

      Matt

  2. Appreciate the video. I am going from a stage 2 (with factory shaft) to a 10.5 sldr and was planning on using an aldila tour green 65 shaft. Does this sound good to you? (I definitely want lower launch then I have now) Thanks

    • Matt Saternus

      Shane,

      It’s hard to say if any combination would be good without knowing how you hit it. SLDR and Aldila Tour Green are certainly quality products, but it’s impossible for me to say whether or not they’ll be a fit for you. The best advice I can give is to see a qualified club fitter like Club Champion.

      Best,

      Matt

  3. CHARLES SITALI IMASIKU

    I like playing golf with better clubs and driving a golf ball far and straight is my trade mark. A friend of mine accured a taylor made SLDR 430 driver and he was not hitting the ball far. I asked my friend to try his driver SLDR and I sent the ball to close to 300 metres. From that day I have been wishing to buy a Taylor made SLDR 460 driver for men with stiff shaft, Fujikula . Kindly give me the contact dealer where I can order the driver. Your quick response will be appreciated.

    • Matt Saternus

      Charles,

      You can buy an SLDR from any TaylorMade dealer (Club Champion, Golfsmith, etc) or from TaylorMade direct through their website.

      Best,

      Matt

  4. I hit it last year a couple times my dad has it. I got the white one I cannot wait to hit it I couldn’t believe how high and soft my fade was it was a beautiful thing I got the 10.5

  5. Matt Im a single digit handicap, I play a power fade. My dad had his set stock 10.5. But he had a reg shaft I have stiff. I’m thinking I’m just going to try it stock and then maybe move it one toward the draw cuz I hit a fade.mm keep it a little more straight…. maybe raise the loft up a half of degree.

  6. I am 65 with hcp of 8. Last time i checked i had swing speed of 90. I am currently hitting R1 TIP. Maybe my swing speed has slowed but i dont seem to be hitting drives as far as usual. I became very interested in the SLDR 460. Any thoughts?

    • Matt Saternus

      Kenny,

      You need to get fit. The SLDR has the potential to give people more distance, but without a good fitting it’s just a shot in the dark.

      Best,

      Matt

  7. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE 460 & THE 460S?

  8. Ken peebles

    i got the 460 driver just can’t seem to get the ball up or far.do I have to. Tee it up higher ,or more towards my left toe.i hit my burner well.thank you.

    • Matt Saternus

      Ken,

      It could be an issue of shaft fit. Another possibility is that the SLDR doesn’t spin enough to optimize your distance. Best to work with a fitter when buying a new driver.

      -Matt

  9. Liked your video

  10. I have recently purchased the sldr 460 with a fujikura speeder 65 s shaft. The ball goes up very well, but it is just all over the place right or left with the same ball contact area. It doesn’t seem very forgiving in any way. Have you heard of others with this problem?

    • Matt Saternus

      Tom,

      If you’re hitting the ball in the same spot on the face and it’s going right and left, that’s an issue of not controlling the face. I would guess that there’s either a problem with the way that shaft fits you or you’re having trouble with the feel of that club head’s low and forward CG. Working with a qualified fitter can help you diagnose and fix that problem.

      Best,

      Matt

  11. Marc tanguay

    I just baught a sldr460s regular shaft,speeder 57 grams,my head speed is around 115 mph. Have i got myself a good driver?

  12. Roger Baranowski

    On the slider 460 on a 14 degree, how low can the adjust be made? Like can you get down to 10 1/2 or does minus 1 1/2 mean you you can only get down to a 12 1/2?

  13. Hi Matt i have à sldr 460 to ajust for a drap do i push-pull toward the Draw or away from the draw word.

  14. Andy Meagher

    What is the total weight of the 460 SLDR

  15. I just bought an SLDR. 460. I am told that it is a good fit for a senior golfer. I am 70. Is that true? How will it help me?

    • Matt Saternus

      Mike,

      Whether or not a club fits a particular golfer is too complicated for broad categories like “senior golfer.” There are seniors who will love the SLDR and some who hate it. Is it working well for you? Were you fit for it before you bought it?

      Best,

      Matt

  16. I’m in fair shape. I go to him 3-4 times a week.. I took it to my gym a few times(inside dr. Range) a fried it out. I like it. It is c an upgrade for me. Just need to hit the sweet spot.😊 Mike

  17. This past summer I bought a Taylormade SLDR-S used. It’s been knocked arond a bit – just cosmetics. Moved the bar all the way to the toe after some experimenting and – WOW! Long and straight! It’s a 10.5 degree Fujikira shaft and stiff flex. The most consistant driver I’ve ever owned. At 81 years old, I’m outdriving most of the young guys in their 60’s and 70’s! Can’t wait for spring to get back at it!

  18. If you are a low handicap you should be able to hit any club

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