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TaylorMade SLDR S Fairway Wood Review

TaylorMade SLDR S Fairway Wood (2)

50 Words or Less

The TaylorMade SLDR S fairway wood offers great distance with a low, forward center of gravity, and it has plenty of versatility as well.

Introduction

Though much of the focus in 2014 has been on fairway woods that are meant to be used from the tee, there are also some that deliver the versatility that many of us desire.  The TaylorMade SLDR S fairway wood has the versatility to be used from a wide variety of lies, but that doesn’t mean it gives up anything when it comes to distance.

TaylorMade SLDR S Fairway Wood (7)

Looks

The SLDR S is a fairly traditional looking fairway wood at address.  It’s not particularly large, and it’s well proportioned.  The one thing that’s not traditional about it is the silver crown.  This is the only major visual difference between the SLDR (charcoal grey crown) and the SLDR S.

TaylorMade SLDR S Fairway Wood (13)

Sound & Feel

Like all of the clubs in the SLDR family, the SLDR S fairway wood has a really solid feel.  The low, forward CoG is a big part of this, and it rids the club of any of the “hollow” feel that some fairway woods have.

The sound at impact is fairly quiet with more of a low-pitched quality.  There’s a little of the click/tink that you expect from a well-struck fairway wood, but not much.

SLDR S FW LM Data

Performance

The low, forward CoG in the TaylorMade SLDR S fairway wood allows it to have the rare combination of length and versatility.  As you can see in the data above, the SLDR S produces a nice double-digit launch angle and modest spin from the turf.  I’m a player who delofts their clubs way too much, so to see a fairway wood launch the ball like that is great.  It produces much better carry and a more playable trajectory.  Please keep in mind that, these are only my numbers, yours may be quite different.

When it comes to versatility, the low, forward CoG really helps to get the ball airborne.  This is critical, especially for players who tend to hit the ball a little thin (like me).  When you have confidence that the ball will get airborne, it makes your fairway woods into scoring clubs instead of “I’m a long way from the hole, may as well try this” clubs.

In comparing the SLDR S to the SLDR, the main difference is at the hosel.  Where the SLDR has an adjustable hosel that allows players to dial in the loft and face angle they prefer, the SLDR S has a traditional glued hosel.  In my experience, this is preferable for a lot of players – many find the adjustability confusing and unnecessary.  In addition to making the club simpler to use, the glued hosel on the SLDR S brings the price down a bit.

TaylorMade SLDR S Fairway Wood (4)

Conclusion

If you want big distance from your fairway wood but don’t want to sacrifice the ability to play it from everywhere, the TaylorMade SLDR S fairway wood is definitely worth a look.  The low, forward CoG makes it long and easier to hit off the turf, too.  The lack of adjustability and lower price allows more recreational players to benefit from the same technology available in the SLDR.

Watch the Video

Matt Saternus
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9 Comments

  1. Randy Goodwill

    Matt, what is the difference between the 3 wood and the 3HL other than the 15 and 17 degrees of loft?

  2. David Schanel

    Have you had a chance to hit the SLDR S 3HL? If so any opinion would be appreciated.
    Thanks in advance

    • Matt Saternus

      David,

      I haven’t hit that loft of this club, but I would expect it’s just slightly higher launching and spinning than the 15* version reviewed here.

      Best,

      Matt

  3. Matt: I just bought the SLDR with the fixed shaft and “silver-gray” crown, 3 wood. ….like it very much. Can you tell me what the “dial” on the sole does? It looks like it takes a special tool to make any adjustment possible. Thanks

    • Matt Saternus

      Don,

      That’s a factory weight plug, not meant for adjustment by the player.

      Best,

      Matt

      • Why not…? You can get weights on Ebay and change swingweight. Very good if you want to shorten the club or if you just want to make it lighter or heavier …

  4. Robert Zahurak

    Matt,
    Does this Fairway wood, in general, replace the need to have multiple woods (#’s 1, 3,5) in your set

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