Like TaylorMade’s SLDR driver, the company’s new SLDR fairway woods and hybrids promise golfers more distance from a lower, more forward center of gravity.

The SLDR fairway woods and hybrids have a new version TaylorMade’s “Speed Pocket,” which is no longer indented into the front of the sole like previous models. While it’s smaller than the Speed Pocket featured on the company’s RBZ Stage 2 fairway woods and hybrids, it now slices completely through the sole, creating a gap that is filled with the same polymer the company used in the design of its RocketBladez and SpeedBlade irons.

0fb418c842623d489b8c2c7cf3e91997 f6cb027e7137b3c81b997f50ecb4162f

Mike Ferris, vice president of product marketing for TaylorMade, said that the new Speed Pocket makes the SLDR fairway woods even lower spinning and higher launching than previous models. The 1 mm more forward CG creates an estimated 200-to-300 rpm reduction in spin and a 1-degree increase in launch angle, giving golfers two options to improve their fairway wood and hybrid play. They can use the additional ball speed created from the clubs’ lower, more forward center of gravity to hit their fairway woods and hybrids farther, or they can choose to play higher-lofted models, which will allow them to raise their trajectory.

The draw back of moving weight lower and more forward in a club head is that it lowers a club’s moment of inertia (MOI), or its resistance to twisting on off-center hits, which decreases a club’s forgiveness. But Ferris stressed that the revamped Speed Pocket more than makes up for the loss of forgiveness, because it adds additional spring-like effect that improves the ball speed of shots struck off-center.

SLDR 3 Wood at address


 SLDR 3 Hybrid at address


Note: The small alignment line positioned behind TaylorMade’s “T” logo will not be added to the retail versions of fairway woods and hybrids. 

In 2013, 15 percent of the fairway woods TaylorMade sold were its “high launch” models, which have the shape of a 3 wood or 5 wood, but are designed with more loft to help boost launch angle. In 2014, Ferris said he expects that number to grow to 25 percent of TaylorMade’s fairway woods sales, as more golfers realize the benefit of hitting higher-launching, lower-spinning shots.

“The loft of fairway woods has been evolving,” Ferris said. “We think it’s good to be able to play a 4 wood instead of a 3 wood.”

Many tour players, including 2013 U.S. Open champion Justin Rose, have embraced higher-lofted fairway woods, which they are able to hit the same distance as their older, lower-lofted fairway woods but with a higher trajectory. And for golfers such as Rose, having more loft on a fairway wood has a visual benefit as well.

“It gives me more confidence to look down at a fairway wood and see more loft, especially if I know that it’s going to fly just as far,” Rose said.


The SLDR fairway woods and hybrids have a 3-degree range of adjustability (+/- 1.5 degrees), which is adjustable in 0.5-degree increments. They are made to be “visually square” at address, which means that in the neutral setting they will have a face angle that measures 2 degrees open.

The fairway woods are smaller in size than their predecessor, TaylorMade’s RBZ Stage 2 Tour, with the SLDR 3 wood measuring 20 cubic centimeters smaller (155cc versus 175cc), while the hybrids are about the same size as last year’s models. The combination of the shallower fairway wood heads and slightly shorter shaft lengths (both the fairway woods and hybrids are 0.25 inches shorter than TaylorMade’s RBZ Stage 2 Tour models) should make the clubs more playable for the majority of golfers.

The SLDR fairway woods and hybrids will be available starting Nov. 15. The fairway woods will sell for $249 ($349 with TaylorMade’s TP shafts), and the hybrids will cost $219 ($289 with a TP shaft).

Additional specs from TaylorMade


Click here to see what GolfWRX Members are saying about the SLDR Fairway Woods and Hybrids in the forums.

Click here to see what GolfWRX Members are saying about the SLDR Fairway Woods and Hybrids in the forums.

Your Reaction?
  • 0
  • LEGIT0
  • WOW1
  • LOL0
  • IDHT0
  • FLOP0
  • OB0
  • SHANK0

Previous articleSimpson cruises to victory at the Shriners
Next articleThe importance of the elbows in putting
Zak is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX.com. He's been a part of the company since 2011, when he was hired to lead GolfWRX's Editorial Department. Zak developed GolfWRX's Featured Writer Program, which supports aspiring writers and golf industry professionals.

He played college golf at the University of Richmond (Go Spiders!) and still likes to compete in tournaments. You can follow Zak on Twitter @ZakKoz, where he's happy to discuss his game and all the cool stuff that's part of his job.


Not seeing your comment? Read our rules and regulations. Click "Report comment" to alert GolfWRX moderators to offensive or inappropriate comments.
  1. I have a silly question. If the new SLDR woods are cut through to the inside of the head, does that mean tiny rocks can get inside the head and rattle around? That would drive me effin’ crazy.

  2. If these perform as good as the driver I may have to get one of these too. Recently got the SLDR driver in 10.5 with the Speeder 57g stiff shaft. WOW! Long and straight. Even drives I didn’t think I’d hit very well get out there. I hit one low off the face on our par 5 18th and was amazed to see it had gone past 300 yards. I’d say I’ve gained at least 15 yards on my Nike VRS driver

  3. TP will be back next year for TMade. New TP ball and TP forged blades out soon. RBZ stage 2 replacement also on the way. The SLDR woods look good but hang around for the new product……

  4. Oh Boy!!!! More distance promised by TaylorMade.

    Since I’ve upgraded to their latest, longest club faithfully for the last four years, I consistently drive 400 yards within 5 yards of the center of the fairway and hit my fairways 350 and hybids 300. I routinely shoot in the low 50’s since I never have more than a wedge to any par 4 or 5.

    I CANNOT WAIT to add 15% more distance. Even if I get worse dispersion. I’ll be putting for more eagles and probably start shooting in the high 40’s.

    When is the FTC going to put a stop to manufacturers’ BS claims?

  5. Looks nice. Shorter shafts and charcoal grey color should make the purists happy. As long as it performs great that is all that matters to me. I look forward to trying it out.

  6. Major problem I have with the SLDR line of clubs (got the driver) is the rather soft nameplate. Got a ding on it within one round. At the local pro shop the nameplate was already coming off on the demo driver, so I can only imagine that it will come off in a hurry on the woods and hybrids.

  7. I hear they have higher bounce options coming out for DIGR and DRVR swings out there…..Rumor is for an extra $250 in an underground garage Vokey will come and custom grind a fairway wood or hybrid for your needs! HAHAHA

  8. The most important thing for me is lookin’ fresh on the course. I want a bag full o’ swag. And, these T-Made SLDR’s aren’t fresh, and won’t help me look good. These are about the whackest clubs Ive seen TM make in a long minute.

    Remember, TM, we want SWAG, not the WACKNESS.

  9. Kinda funny they say the increased ball speed more than makes up for lower MOI i.e. forgiveness. So your ball will fly farther offline on a miss hit. Hmmmm. That’s better than shorter and in play? Guess I don’t follow that “logic”.