TaylorMade SLDR Rescue Review

TaylorMade SLDR Rescue (11)

50 Word or Less

Loaded with technology.  Extremely consistent.  Very solid stock shaft.  Unless you want to reconfigure your entire bag, you will need to #LoftUp – these hybrids are long.

Introduction

If a low, forward center of gravity (CG) is good for drivers, why not use it in hybrids too?  That’s TaylorMade’s thinking with their new SLDR Rescue.  Combining the low, forward CG, a Speed Pocket, and the ability to dial in your loft, the SLDR Rescue has plenty of features to talk about, but does it have the performance to earn a spot in your bag?

TaylorMade SLDR Rescue (10)

Looks

In a year when it seems like every OEM is doing their best work with hybrids, TaylorMade has fired the first shot with the SLDR Rescue.  It’s one of the best-looking hybrids I’ve seen in a while.

What I like most about the SLDR Rescue is the shape.  The length, from heel to toe, isn’t too long or too short, nor is the face too deep or too shallow.  It’s slightly asymmetrical but in a subtle, refined way.  Beyond that, the dark grey, metal-flake crown is a great look, and the small patch of light grey toward the back is a non-issue.  Finally, it sets up perfectly square at address.

The only issue I have with the appearance is the alignment aid.  I don’t mind having an alignment aid, but this one is noticeably toward the heel.  I’m sure that it accurately marks the sweet spot, but the OCD in me wishes it was centered.

TaylorMade SLDR Rescue (19)

Sound & Feel

The feel of the SLDR Rescue is extremely solid and iron-like.  Adding to this feel is the sound, which is very quiet and low pitched.  These characteristics seem to be very consistent through TaylorMade’s SLDR and JetSpeed lines, and I think that better players will love them.

The other notable thing about the sound and feel of this club is how mishits are covered up.  With the exception of those swings where you almost miss the ball, just about everything feels like a centered hit.

SLDR Rescue LM

Performance

The SLDR Rescue is more than a pretty face – it’s a great performer as well.  The first thing I noticed during testing was the consistency.  Every well struck shot went the same distance and had the same shape.  I think this is directly attributable to the low, forward CG.  With the CG being so low, even shots that are a little thin get up in the air and carry without ballooning.  I think the Speed Pocket also plays in a role in the consistent ball speeds.

I was also very impressed with the stock shaft offering.  Most stock shafts are aimed at the middle of the market (as they should be), so they’re fairly soft-to-flex with high torque.  While it’s not a telephone pole by any stretch, this version of the Fujikura Speeder has more of the feel of a high end, better player’s shaft.

The one caveat I would offer to golfers looking to pick up the SLDR Rescue is that you should NOT buy the same loft that you have on your current hybrid.  The SLDR Rescue is likely to be longer (much longer) than your current hybrid, so buying the same loft will make a mess of your distance gaps.  For me, the 18.5° SLDR Rescue went as far as the 17° hybrid I currently carry, which is only a couple years old.  I know most people don’t think about getting fit for a hybrid, but, particularly with the SLDR Rescue, you should.

TaylorMade SLDR Rescue (22)

Conclusion

Though it probably won’t get it, the SLDR Rescue deserves as much credit as the drivers in this series.  It’s consistent and really easy to hit.  Again, don’t buy the same loft you’re currently playing unless you want to spend the next couple rounds walking past your target to find your ball: this is long.

Price and Specs

The TaylorMade SLDR Rescue is available now for $219.

The available lofts are 17°, 19°, 21°, and 24°.

The SLDR’s stock shaft is the Fujikura Speeder 82h.

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Matt Saternus

Co-Founder, Editor In Chief at PluggedInGolf.com
Matt is a golf instructor, club fitter, and writer living in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Matt's work has been published in Mulligan Magazine, Chicagoland Golf, South Florida Golf, and other golf media outlets. He's also been a featured speaker in the Online Golf Summit and is a member of Ultimate Golf Advantage's Faculty of Experts.

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8 Comments

  1. I’ve found with the SLDR products I get a lot more roll due to less spin than what I was replacing. Did you see that in the hybrid as well? Any issues with getting it to stop on a green?

    • Matt Saternus

      In the same loft, yes, SLDR spin less and rolled out more. Compared a club with the same carry distance, it was roughly equivalent.

      Best,

      Matt

  2. Cedric Theofanous

    Really love the look of the SLDR line. However 23 yards of rollout on a hybrid is not what I’m looking for! That’d be great off the tee but would be an issue on approach shots to the green.

    • Matt Saternus

      The roll out that our launch monitors state tends to be exaggerated, but it is a real concern with these newer low-spinning hybrids.

      • Cedric Theofanous

        Thanks for the reply, it’s good to know that some of the roll out is exaggerated (perhaps simulating hard ground like the course they played the WGC matchplay at). I have always liked having the same line of driver/wood/hybrid in my bag and SLDR is looking like they could be going in this year.

  3. What is the difference between the SLDR S class rescue and the SLDR rescue? Both clubs appear to be adjustable and come in the same degree of loft and shaft options but are differently shaped and priced.

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