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Review: TaylorMade SLDR Irons



Pros: Classic looking irons with big forgiveness and hot faces that add distance through the set.

Cons: The polished chrome finish looks great in the bag, but might be a little bright for some golfers at address.

Bottom Line: These irons offer game-improvement-like performance hidden deep inside a classic, compact design. The updated SpeedPocket with ThruSlot Technology generates slightly faster and more consistent ball speeds across the face leading to more distance, even on mishits. While the SLDR irons are cast, the sound and feel aren’t a distraction.


For some time now, TaylorMade and the golf industry at large have been pushing the limits of distance across all their product lines, especially in the game-improvement category. Each new product seems to offer the same thing: more distance.

While TaylorMade has enjoyed success with its SpeedBlade irons for golfers looking for more distance and forgiveness, as well as with the Tour Preferred CB and MC irons, which are slotted models with smaller blade lengths that are preferred by many better players, the company felt that there was room for something in between. That’s where the SLDR irons come in.


With the SLDR irons, TaylorMade set out to create a model that would appeal to a very wide group of golfers, from tour players all the way to higher-handicap golfers. This required the design team to not only think about the distances, forgiveness and playability of the irons, but also sound, feel and looks. TaylorMade created a stunning blend of performance and classic styling with the SLDR irons that delivers longer distances with a soft feel and sound that rivals many high-tech forged offerings on the market.

Ultra-thin face and enhanced SpeedPocket with ThruSlot Technology

One of the ways the TaylorMade product team squeezed more distance out of the irons without having to bulk up the size was by enhancing the SpeedPocket with ThruSlot Technology, which is available in the 3 through 7 irons. Unlike the previous SpeedPocket, the updated 2mm-wide SpeedPocket extends all the way through to the bottom cavity. The ultra-thin faces, deep undercuts and SpeedPockets work together to create a trampoline-like effect at impact that translates into higher ball speeds, launch, distance and also more consistent gapping through the set. The designers also moved some of the weight from the sweet spot to the perimeter, which creates a more stable club at impact and offers more forgiveness.


Since the goal of the SLDR irons was to get them into the bags of better players, as well as those simply seeking increased distance and forgiveness, a lot of attention was paid to the feel and sound of the clubs. Each SpeedPocket is filled with polymer and vibration damping technology was also added behind the face. These two main features, in addition to others, work together to generate the soft feel, feedback and sound that better players expect in their irons.

The SLDR irons sit between the Tour Preferred CB and the SpeedBlade irons in TaylorMade’s product line, and the SLDR lofts sit right in the middle as well. The SLDR 6-iron has a loft of 28 degrees and the PW is 46 degrees. This makes them more comparable to the Tour Preferred CB, with a 6-iron and PW loft of 28.5 and 46 degrees respectively.

SLDR Iron Specs

Screen Shot 2014-06-02 at 12.41.43 PM

SLDR irons are available in 3-AW ($899 for an eight-piece set). Additionally, a SW and LW will be sold separately for $119 each. The stock steel shaft is KBS’s new Tour C-Taper 90, which is designed to promote a higher launch and better spin control, and is available in R and S flexes. The graphite option is made by Fujikura and is available in three weights and flexes:, 77 grams (Stiff), 67 grams (Regular) and 57 grams (Senior). Each iron comes standard with a Golf Pride Tour Velvet, 47.5 gram grip. Custom shaft and grip options are available.

The irons will be shipping pre-orders and available in stores on June 6.

Performance: Driving range and golf course


I tested the irons outside at a driving range during calm conditions and on the golf course during a normal round. My first stop with the clubs was at the driving range. I started with the pitching wedge and one of the first things I noticed was the feel. I’ll talk more about it below, but the feel was incredible. The clubs have a soft, responsive feel and the sole design cut through the turf nicely, making contact crisp and effortless. The ball flight was really tight and stable through the air and didn’t balloon, and it had the height I expected. This same result was consistent throughout the bag.

My distances looked spot on, but when I flushed a shot I was definitely getting more distance. I could shape shots left and right, and even with the short irons I was able to keep the flight low if I wanted.

The C-Taper 90 shaft was light, but it still felt responsive and appeared to launch a bit higher without spinning up too much. I’ve previously been playing Callaway X-20’s with True Temper Dynamic Gold S300 shafts, and it did take me a range session or so to get comfortable with the lighter shafts. However, the slightly higher launch and lighter weight match nicely with the SLDR head and should be a good option, especially for golfers looking for a bit more height out of their irons.

Bigger is better: The SLDR irons are noticeably larger than the company’s Tour Preferred MC irons (right), which gives SLDR more ball speed and forgiveness. 

The SLDR continued to produce on the golf course. I use both GPS and GameGolf devices, which gives me a very accurate picture of my true yardages. Each iron I hit was as long as I expected and actually a bit longer than X-20’s by about 4 yards. More importantly, the ball flight I was seeing on the range transferred to the course. Once I put a real ball in play and not a driving range ball, I wanted to make sure I wasn’t going to see them balloon up or too much spin. The flight and feel, as you might expect, was even better than on the range. The irons produced the spin I needed to hold greens, but not too much where it was going to be a problem. I was able to attack a par 5 with a long iron and get it to hold nicely.

One of the things I really liked to see was that shots weren’t getting away from me. The dispersion was nice and tight.

Performance: Launch Monitor

I tested the SLDR irons on a FlightScope launch monitor at the Nike Golf 360 Fitting Center in Acworth, Ga. Based on Taylormade’s claims about the SLDR irons, I was interested to see how ball speeds were affected on mishits, if the launch angle and trajectory was indeed higher and I was also hoping to see a consistent gap in distances between clubs. I threw out true mishits and also looked at ball speed on shots off the toe and heel, as well as high and low on the face. My goal was to simply see if the ball flight matched TaylormMade’s claims. The balls were typical Nike range balls, not premium balls, and the numbers reflect that below.


My distances were all inline with what I was seeing on the golf course, adjusted slightly for the different type of ball. My spin was not getting out of hand and was consistent through the bag. I typically launch my irons a bit lower than I’d like, and while I saw a slight increase visually in my launch, the numbers still indicated a normal to slightly lower launch.

Again, the ball plays a role here, but as I moved down into the long irons I was launching the ball lower than I should. I was still getting good distance, however, and a very playable flight. I can’t fault the club for this, as the lower launch angle is due mostly to a swing fault with my long irons that I am working through. With that limitation in mind, it was nice to see that the forgiveness in the clubs still allowed me to see nice distance, dispersion and forgiveness with the long irons.

Forgiveness on mishits

The SLDR irons don’t have Speed Pockets in the 8 iron and up, as the benefits of a Speed Pocket are not as great with higher-lofted irons. 

The updated SpeedPocket and ThruSlot Technology are said to also increase forgiveness for shots hit away from the sweet spot. Overall, as expected, I noticed that shots struck lower on the face still produced good distance with only an average loss of 1 yard. Shots hit high on the face, however, lost an average of 3 yards of distance. Heel and toe-side hits both saw an average decrease of 4 yards.

Hitting the center of the clubface is what we all strive for, and the SLDR has a large sweet spot that produces great results. But the sweet spot, which isn’t as large and not necessarily in the exact visual center of the club, unlocks even more distance.

For the SLDR, I noticed that when I hit the sweet spot of the clubface, which I found to be about a groove and a half up from the measured center, these clubs went into another gear and I saw an average of 5 yards more distance with near perfect launch conditions. This is significant for all players. Hit the middle of the face and they perform very well. But hit the sweet spot and you’re getting a distance bonus for sure.


Consistent gapping

Another very important aspect to any iron set is gapping. If the lofts and makeup of the clubs through the set don’t produce consistent gapping, it makes club selection more difficult. As you can see in the chart above, my gaps were close, not perfect, but neither is my swing. There is a 5-degree gap between the 8 iron, 9 iron and PW and my average distance gap between each club was a little more than 11 yards . The 5 iron through 8 iron have 4-degree gaps, and my average distance gap between each of those clubs was a little more than 10 yards. The gap between the 4 and 5 irons is only 3-degrees, and I had an 8-yard distance gap. With gaps that close and consistent, the differences are really only attributable to my swing.

Looks and Feel


I haven’t always been a fan of the design of Taylormade irons, especially their game improvement models, which I found a bit too sporty for my taste in both looks and feel. The SLDR, however, is the complete package. The polished chrome on the heads and shaft, as well as the detail, lines and edges, create a sophisticated and powerful look. In the bag — and on store shelves — these irons will turn heads and really stand out. Sure, the polished chrome will show wear after the first trip to the range, but when cleaned up, they have a very striking look.

Getting past the general aesthetics and down to the details, the SLDR has a smaller, more compact and traditional shape. The toplines and soles are noticeably tighter than TaylorMade’s RocketBladez and SpeedBlade irons, and and there is only a slight bit of offset, which should appeal to the better player. With a pitching wedge all the way to 4 iron in hand, the traditional, trimmer design of the irons sit comfortably behind the ball and looked great to me. That said, for higher handicap players looking for more forgiveness out of their irons, the deep undercut and all the mass low on the back of the irons produces a comfortable, solid look that reminds you that you don’t have to swing out of your shoes to hit these clubs well.


I was impressed with the feel of the entire set. These irons have a surprisingly soft, responsive feel for a cast club. I’ll admit, I’ve always preferred the feel of a forged club to a cast one, but the SLDR has started chipping away at that preference. I found the feel off the sweet spot to be just as soft as some of the high-tech forged clubs on the market today. Mishits were instantly identifiable, even slightly off the toe, heel or even just a groove high. Without question, the SLDR is one of the best feeling cast clubs I’ve hit.

Bottom Line

TaylorMade put out the bold claim that they believe the SLDR irons fit equally as well in the tour player’s bag as they do in the mid-to-high handicapper’s bag. To achieve this, they had to engineer irons with classic shapes, feel and sound, but pack them with modern performance to deliver increased forgiveness and powerful distance.

Modern iron technology is breaking down the assumption that better players need smaller, forged irons for more consistent iron play, and the SLDR is one of the best examples of this trend. Sure, some golfers won’t like the larger size of these at address, but for a player who wants to hit longer, higher and more consistent iron shots, there’s no better move than trying a set of irons like SLDR. This iron and models like it blendsthe looks, sound and feel of a players irons with game-improvement technology that has been proven to help everyone from tour players to weekend golfers.

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When he is not obsessing about his golf game, Kane heads up an innovation lab responsible for driving innovative digital product development for Fortune 500 companies. He is also the co-founder of RoundShout and creator of Ranger GPS, the free iOS GPS app for the driving range. On a quest to become a scratch golfer, Kane writes about his progress (for better or worse) at and contributes golf technology-focused articles on



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  2. Stan

    Nov 6, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    Are the iron lengths longer for the graphite versions?
    The TMAG website posts only the steel shafted specs.
    Curious if they are longer than the 37.75-inch 5-iron.

  3. tim

    Sep 20, 2014 at 2:32 am

    More trickery from TM with their lofts – yeah hot their 4 iron which is 1 deg less than pings 3 iron and go away telling everyone you hit 4iron so far! I love the looks though

  4. John O

    Sep 19, 2014 at 5:14 am

    These irons have a lot going for them. Excellent numbers: lofts, lies, bounce angles, swing weights, etc. (Sand wedge bounce seems a bit low, but also makes the club useful off tight grass.) The lofts especially are great; 24 degree 5 iron, 28 degree 6 iron and good gaps up to 46 degree PW (hey, an actual wedge as opposed to a 10 iron). However, would it kill TaylorMade to put the graphite shaft specs on their website? We see only the three graphite shaft weights (e.g. R = 67gms) which seem a bit heavy. I understand the graphite shafts are 0.25″ longer, with the same lies, but don’t ask me how I found that out. Why can’t we learn more about the shafts themselves?

  5. lucy

    Sep 1, 2014 at 2:56 am

    Well, nice articles. Thanks for your sharing. I must say most forgiving irons. The look and feel of a player’s iron. The performance and forgiveness of a game improvement iron. Sounds like a pretty good combination for me.

  6. Spencer

    Aug 31, 2014 at 8:36 am

    Went to golf box joondalup last weekend wanting a new set of irons not knowing what I wanted or needed to replace an old set of callaway big Bertha graphite fusions that I pinched from the old man so not fitted and just hitting and hoping. The pro in-store took me along and said he had a good deal on callaways with a free bag. Thought this isn’t what I want and he must have felt what I was thinking so he took me to the net stuck a 6 iron in my hand to find out how 49 year old 26 handicapper who has only been playing seriously for just over a year hit the ball. First strike was a good club head speed with good ball speed but it was awful feeling half a dozen hits later he stuck another 6 iron which felt better but things went out right and only as far as the fusions he then stuck the sldr 6 with stiff steelshaft in my hand and just said here try this I think you will like it. Well OMG 180 yds straight the middle grouping was so tight and it felt amazing so easy and effortless. He then told me I wouldn’t need another set of irons ever. Went to a Drummond store in Perth well the guy there was a shocker said sldr not for me because I have high ball flight, tried the speedblade felt awful it jarred, went to callaway apex a bit better but not great and the ping i25 was similar. Went to the local Drummond store in Maroochydore today Christine was great took me through the mimatch fitting process came up with 25 or more clubs that would suit she suggested a couple to try and I said lets try the tour preferred mb well they went left a bit but good length then I tried the sldr again boom straighter and longer with the sldr just like in Perth, both Christine and Sean in Perth couldn’t believe I am off 26 but both said I will see that fall if I go with sldr so for my 50th the wife is treating me to a set of sldr iron and the sldr driver because for me it smoked the ping G30 driver with its turbulators it was longer straighter and better grouping
    So totally sold on TM sldr great kit for me unlike the speedblade and thanks to Sean at joondalup sorry but sale will be with Christine at Drummond in Maroochydore she can teach the tattooed monkey at Drummond Scarborough beach a lot about customer service and getting what the customer needs

  7. Iron2850

    Jul 22, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    This seems like a very fair review. It gives you a very good idea of how they perform for him. Based on this review I have hit balls with these irons and found them very enjoyable. Isn’t that what the reviewer is trying to do, give us information based on his experience with some science added, and allow us to process that information to determine if it is a better solution for our games.

    The bottom line is each of us needs to find clubs that fit us and that we hit well, consistently. Marketing language, new club cycles, etc be damned.

    The clubs in my bag help me play better. Right now I play Mizuno JPX EZ irons with regular shafts. Yes, I was fitted for them. I hit a 7 iron, 155 with them. My handicap is a 5. They make the game easier and more fun while giving me consistency. But I wouldn’t have a problem with these SLDR’s…they felt great, gave me consistent distance.

  8. Barry Brewer

    Jul 18, 2014 at 11:08 am

    I just bought these clubs. I am a 4 handicap. These irons are like butter. They are so dead on, launch high without giving up any distance. I was playing the Callaway Apex before I bought these. Do yourself a favor and buy the clubs before the secret gets out on these, Awesome club TaylorMade.

  9. Andre

    Jun 18, 2014 at 11:35 pm

    I find the comments about jacked up lofts quite funny. I am a scratch golfer who knows exactly how far I hit my irons and have just switched to these SLDR irons, not for extra distance but because they are stupid easy to hit. The distances I hit them are pretty much exactly the same as those of my Scratch blades 3 to 4 degrees weaker and Miura CB-501 irons 2 degrees weaker). I just hit the SLDRs higher with more spin and thus more consistently which is why they are not coming out of the bag anytime soon.

  10. DT

    Jun 16, 2014 at 8:49 am

    I’ve been struggling with my RAZR MB’s this year (not playing enough golf) so decided to try out some of the more forgiving irons early last week. I tried and compared the SLDR irons, the Callaway Apex irons, and the Callaway X2 Hot irons. I quickly discounted the X2 Hot which were the longest but for me not the most consistent and I didn’t like the amount of offset and the large footprint of the head. The Apex and SLDR’s were both outstanding, very forgiving, not too much offset, and very consistent. Also they both pack a lot of technology into irons which look more like a players iron. I ended up buying the SLDR’s (despite liking the satin finish of the Apex more) because of the higher ball flight and the angle of decent that I got from them. Played with them this weekend and very happy with the results – shooting in the 70’s again!

  11. Nick

    Jun 14, 2014 at 1:26 am

    The look and feel of a player’s iron. The performance and forgiveness of a game improvement iron. Sounds like a pretty good combination for me.

    I, for one, don’t understand all the criticism of stronger lofts. It’s not like OEM’s take a existing irons, jack up the lofts and re-badge them under a new name. Considerable engineering is required to develop irons that produce optimal ball flight characteristics at stronger lofts.

    The club designers I know laugh when people complain about jacked up lofts. It means they did their job.

  12. JohnO

    Jun 12, 2014 at 7:36 am

    All the product releases don’t bother me. Maybe they’ve eventually done one I actually want. Have never used TaylorMade irons. Currently using Callaway RAZR Blacks and switched from Callaway to Titleist woods. Better reasons for hating TaylorMade would have been their previously dreadful useless website and crappy stock shafts; both issues that seem to have been fixed. And the chances of me ever buying a white driver were right up there with the chances of me wearing a Che Guevara t-shirt or buying an Alicia Keys CD. Same applies to a wedge named “Mac Daddy”, Callaway. But I did takes ages to replace my old TaylorMade Burner woods. However, these SLDR irons could be my next set, and I don’t care what they bring out 4 months later.

    • Mox

      Jun 17, 2014 at 5:31 am

      Speaking of crappy shafts. The Razrx black had the worst stock shafts I’ve ever hit. I was warned in a few reviews that they were a disgrace, but I foolishly went ahead and bought them anyway. Worst decision I ever made, they almost turned me off Callaway forever.

  13. JohnO

    Jun 12, 2014 at 7:29 am

    These look good. They have superb loft, lie and bounce numbers. I applaud TaylorMade for dialing back on the ridiculous aggressive lofts of recent times. 5i is now 24 degrees and 6i 28 degrees rather than 23 and 26. Good spacing to get up to a 46 degree PW. Can work with these and a 21 degree hybrid and 3 more wedges. Hit the 8i graphite in a shop today very nicely. And they’re already included in a 30% off sale in the main retailer in Singapore.

  14. Dan

    Jun 8, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    Honestly cannot wait to try these irons, they look sleek like a blade yet the forgiveness of a club a 20 handicappr would use. I am excited to hit these here in the next few days.

  15. JDB

    Jun 7, 2014 at 6:54 am

    I believe TM’s feedback for the last couple years on how their irons are not attractive has finally been addressed. The SLDR name is what is selling right now for them so it makes sense to slap it on an iron set. Love or hate TM, you have to admit that this set is the sharpest looking they have produced in a long time. Not too flashy with classic looks. If I do buy a new set next winter it might be these…when they’re $500 bucks.

  16. lloyd

    Jun 6, 2014 at 11:46 pm

    i tested these irons and they was amazing out performed my 2014MC irons i agree with the review when it comes to feel & sound one of the best irons i used for a long time. so now there in the bag mc sold. go and try them you want be disappointed .

  17. Raven

    Jun 6, 2014 at 11:21 am

    Why do people still love hot irons? I much rather have irons in my bag that are consistent because with all these hot irons when you do hit it right in the sweet spot, it’s going to go like 15 yards further than what you are used to. Just get a nice cavity back or blade set and oh I don’t know learn to hit the ball in the spot you are supposed to?

    One more thing; golf manufactures please stop making such strong lofts for your irons. “These new irons go further than the rest of the competition.” Well no sh$# they are like 2-7 degrees strong.

  18. Jon

    Jun 6, 2014 at 8:28 am

    Hey Kane & Zak, any info on how the thin faces and the speed pocket hold up in the long run? Makes sense that the polymer wears down over time, and Im gusssing thin faces might be fragile?

    Thanks guys 🙂

  19. Gerard

    Jun 6, 2014 at 5:32 am

    I work at a golf retailer in Australia and the TM rep brought the 3 iron of these in to show us a few weeks back. The head actually felt pretty good, really easy to get up also. But the shaft is a shocker, I swing my 3 iron between 95 and 100mph and the stock shaft in S flex felt like I was swinging a drinking straw, felt really hollow and far too light for a faster swing.

  20. Bobby Bottleservice

    Jun 5, 2014 at 11:24 pm

    pshh…do these come in men’s?

  21. jcorbran

    Jun 5, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    Hmmmm, the article is dated the 5th, some of the posts are dated before that the 4th, and these clubs arent supposed to be released until the 6th ?

    • Phil Taylormade

      Jun 5, 2014 at 10:39 pm

      Ultra-thin face with TruSlut Technology? Count me in!

      • Mox

        Jun 17, 2014 at 5:32 am

        I’ma just wait until next month when they re-realse them with enhanced hot pocket and mach II speedsausage

  22. DB

    Jun 5, 2014 at 7:13 pm

    The lofts are extreme… But…

    Actually, they make some sense with everyone making a 46 PW and 19 3-hybrid. Now the 4-iron is 21 which probably works OK gap wise with the hybrid.

  23. nikkyd

    Jun 5, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    I have a hard time understanding the concept of a 1.62 ball (Or is is 1.64oz?) Actually bending the face of an iron in for the trampoline effect. @0.004 of a second. Maybe the plastic like injected stuff softens the feel , but i cannot imagine it changing the ball flight characteristics

  24. Lee Trevino

    Jun 5, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    I bought rocketbladez tour irons because I didn’t like the look on rocketbladez or speedbladez. There’s guys out there who are on the same boat. I’m now seriously looking a this set now. They are gorgeous. They perform great, and if there’s a new model in a few months WHO CARES!! I’m not going to bash apple, Samsung or all the car companies for releasing new product. That’s the beauty of it. . Keep trying new things. . Well done TMaG

  25. yo!

    Jun 5, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    How many times can manufacturers (all included) re-badge something? In golf, infinitely. And as long as if golfers are looking to equipment as a solution to their swing flaws which will also be from here into eternity.

    • Mark M

      Jun 5, 2014 at 1:38 pm

      You hit the nail right on the head.
      Best comment I’ve ever read on one of these articles.

  26. SPSM

    Jun 5, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    Stunning looking irons. And they feel awesome too!

  27. tlmck

    Jun 5, 2014 at 2:40 am

    Why not just make a 20 degree 4 iron and drop the 3 altogether? For the everage golfer, 5 degree gaps would actually be optimal, but they would not sell as many useless irons that way.

  28. Matt

    Jun 5, 2014 at 2:11 am

    The writer displays outlandish disregard for logic by basically trying to please every single type of ball flight and every golfer in every paragraph. Instead of general observations we see specific claims made to dispel common complaints that a wide variety of golfers make towards game improvement irons. Ball flight dictates these variables, not how well you can tell us these clubs do. Sorry, golf does not work like marketing.

    The author makes generic assumptions of ideal performance based on perfect delivery of marketing slang. Taylor Made proves they steal performance data, piggy back upon their own desperate marketing and react to other competitors rather than innovate themselves. Repackaging “innovation” is only repackaging successful marketing names. SLDR was a driver success, they made sure to come out with a “new” iron to bounce off the SLDR name….not new tech.

    The real problem is ball flight. There is no one size fits all in ball flight, and the author tries really hard to make the case for Taylor Made’s imaginary innovation.


    • Zak Kozuchowski

      Jun 5, 2014 at 11:11 am

      Outlandish disregard for logic? That’s a pretty fancy insult. I guess you had some time on your hands.

      Kane tested these irons on a Doppler radar launch monitor, and saw a similar flight to his Callaway X-20 irons with more carry distance and consistency. Then he took them to the course and described their looks, feel and versatility. I’m not sure how that process has anything to do with marketing.

      I’ve also tested the SLDR extensively on the course and on both Trackman and FlightScope, and had similar results.

      • Mike

        Jun 6, 2014 at 7:19 am

        Can’t the “more carry” be accounted for by the difference in lofts between the X-20s and the SLDRs? The 4 and 5 irons are 3 degrees stronger on the SLDRs, and the 6 iron is 2 degrees stronger.

        • Zak Kozuchowski

          Jun 6, 2014 at 9:47 am


          That’s a reasonable thing to think, and our testing has shown that the stronger lofts are the main reason modern short irons fly as far as they do. The long and mid irons, however, are a different story.

          At the beginning of this year, I was testing Callaway X-Forged ’13 irons against the new Apex irons. Even though I the X-Forged measured about 2-degrees weaker per club, they had a peak height that was about 20 feet lower than the Apex irons.

          The main reason golfers might want to switch to an iron like SLDR is not how far they go, although the extra distance won’t hurt the majority of golfers. It’s the added peak height these irons produce, which help golfers hold greens and hit it closer to front and corner pin locations.

  29. Charlie

    Jun 4, 2014 at 11:34 pm

    TM slapping everyone who bought SpeedBlades in the face!

    • marcel

      Jun 5, 2014 at 1:18 am

      and on the hips

    • Mark M

      Jun 5, 2014 at 1:37 pm

      Why is this?? Do the speedblades suddenly stop working the second the sldrs hit the shops??? Balls hit with speedblades fly 50 yards shorter now????

      Come on.

      • Tom

        Jun 5, 2014 at 10:46 pm

        SpeedBlades were pitched as the latest and greatest (but are kinda ugly) then TM releases these irons with supposed better technology that look fantastic. Boom, slap in the face!

        • Mark M

          Jun 6, 2014 at 5:37 pm

          If you could hit the speedblades well and liked them when you bought them who cares what TM says about the SLDRs. Boom!

          Or is it that you actually fall hook line and sinker for the marketing hype and “new technology” claims you all complain about so much. Pow!!

  30. SN

    Jun 4, 2014 at 10:25 pm

    Just came to check the hate-rate 🙂
    didn’t even read the review.

  31. Amr

    Jun 4, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    TM marketing strategy is to blanket the market and saturate it with TM top notch products at all price points.
    For example Drivers you have now 7 TM really good drivers that compete with any brand in any price point {SLDR 400$, SLDR S 400$, SLDR Mini, JetSpeed 200$, R1, RBZ Stage 2 170$, RBZ 100$} same goes for irons, hybrids, fairway woods even balls, I got RBZ urethane for 15$, can callaway, Titleist, Bridgestone, Srixon have a 3 layer urethane ball for 15$, never but TM can.

  32. Jeremy

    Jun 4, 2014 at 8:25 pm

    I’m just wondering why you guys need 5 stars for your reviews. Everything I’ve ever seen on here (admittedly only been coming here for a few months) is 4.1 stars, 4.2 stars, 4.7 stars, etc. For the heck of it I just clicked the Reviews link up top, and literally everything on the first page has 4 stars or higher.

    Just seems like the operating principle on this website is “anything a company will give us for free is awesome!” Makes it hard to take your opinion seriously.

    • Justin

      Jun 4, 2014 at 10:08 pm

      First off, most new clubs produced by OEM manufacturers are good, if hit by the right hands. For example, if you gave a set of Titleist MB irons to a 25 Handicap, of course he’ll say they’re crap regardless. So I can see why they rate things so high, considering the quality of OEM clubs. You can look at the cons and read the actual review to look at the shortcomings.

      • Jeremy

        Jun 5, 2014 at 4:02 am

        I did read the review and overall found it well-written. But that’s not my point, and I think you’re off about the 25 handicap thing.

        When I was first starting out I hit the starter set at the store. And I said to the clerk “just for the hell of it, can I hit the $1100 set? What could possibly be so much better?” “Sure,” he said. So I did, and I shrugged and said, “I don’t know, felt the same to me.” I had neither the form nor the consistency to tell any difference at all between the two, and if you’d asked me to rate them I’d have given them both… I don’t know, 4 stars.

        Now I’m an 8 handicap and I can tell the difference. And if you asked me to rate the two, one would get a 5 and the other a 3, maybe.

        I’ve also worked for websites that review products, and when we were starting out the instructions from the top were “if you have anything bad to say, find a really nice way to say it because we don’t want them to stop giving us cars.” It’s a bit disingenuous.

        This isn’t a knock against this review. It’s the fact that the scores are pretty meaningless across the site, and it makes me question how qualified the reviewer is to give me buying advice. I just picture someone going “Wow, thanks for all this free stuff Taylormade/Cobra/Titleist/Nike/Etc.! Here’s a 4.5 star rating that you can put in your marketing materials!”

        Seriously, what would it take for a set of irons to get 2 stars on here? Maybe if I built them…

    • Scooter McGavin

      Jun 5, 2014 at 11:01 am

      I’m actually with you on this, and that’s pretty much the case. They get free clubs, so they’re not going to slam them too hard. At he same time though, it is also correct that the major offerings from all of the major companies have been good.

  33. jc

    Jun 4, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    my buddy did try them at a fitting and there was NO difference from his current taylormades from 3 years ago.

    • Mark M

      Jun 4, 2014 at 8:35 pm

      He likely wouldn’t have noticed any difference between any company’s current irons and his 3 year old taylormades. The idea of “new technology” in golf is highly overrated. It’s still the “Indian not the arrow”, as long as you’re playing the appropriate type of irons for your skill level.

      This irons look good to me, seems like they are meant to compete with “players gi” irons like the ap1/ap2 line

  34. jc

    Jun 4, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    just remember…if you want to buy these, wait for about 3 months when the price will drop and the NEWER and GREATER version will come out. And they they will run ads telling you how much of a junk club the previous model is/was.

    • Mark M

      Jun 4, 2014 at 8:41 pm

      Just like you should never buy a new titleist driver as you can get a 2 year old one that is exactly the same just with a different number printed on it for half the price. What’s your point?

      And I have never seen a taylormade ad that bashes their own previous models, in fact they promote the fact that the older models can be had for cheap. They rely on the fact that people can’t bear to not have the latest and greatest and they get away with it. So does every other company. (“You can’t afford to not play a pro v1” ads come to mind).

      • Mark M

        Jun 4, 2014 at 8:50 pm

        Don’t get me wrong I’m not bashing titleist and promoting taylormade. I actually game ap1 irons and play a titleist ball (nxt tour s). I just want to point out that we need to judge the product on its own merits.

  35. Joel

    Jun 4, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    how about those lofts? I though my Callaway Apex pros were crazy strong, my 3 iron is 20 degrees, and the SLDR 4 iron is 21 degrees. My 8 iron is very strong in my opinion at 38 degrees. oh wait, the SLDR 8 iron is 36 degrees. what a joke.

    • Justin

      Jun 4, 2014 at 4:37 pm

      Please do some research before posting something stupid. So you think your 8 iron is “very strong” at 38*?? Hmmm. Stock Miura cb501 8 iron loft is 38*. Stock Titleist 714 MB 8 iron is 39*. Stock Mizuno MP69 8 iron loft is…wait for it…38*. Your 38* 8 iron is anything but very strong, it’s par for the course. Of course, your only real intent was to bash TM so we shouldn’t be shocked when you pull stats out of your @zz.

      • Progolfer

        Jun 4, 2014 at 8:23 pm

        Well said, Justin.

      • Regis

        Jun 9, 2014 at 11:09 pm

        As a good friend of mine is apt to say “Don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story” (or in this case a bash). Kudos

      • SBoss

        Jun 15, 2014 at 11:01 am

        My Ping S55 8* is lofted at 37*…

  36. paul

    Jun 4, 2014 at 2:29 pm

    I tend to hit the measured center or a hair low on my 710cbs. So I wouldn’t like the lack of predictable distance if my ball was sitting up in the rough or on a tee. I will pass I think. Those xtd forged seem pretty awesome…

  37. Regis

    Jun 4, 2014 at 2:11 pm

    I played forged irons with steel shafts for over 40 years. Still have a set of Miura’s that I can’t seem to part with but also can’t game. As age and diminished swing speed forced me to the obvious I purchased the Rocket Bladz with graphite shafts. Good clubs but missing the feel of forged. After 2 years ,I ordered the Speed Blades and just as they were about to come in the SLDR irons were announced. Cancelled and ordered the SLDR irons with a senior graphite (57 grams !) shaft. Hope springs eternal but TMAG may have answered my prayers-We’ll see.

  38. Daniel V

    Jun 4, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    These new SLDR irons look great and appear to have qualities that will help golfers of many skill levels, but wasn’t that what the Speedblades were designed for? I currently use a set of RBZ irons but looking at the number of offerings that Taylormade has generated makes me hesitant to invest in a new set of irons out of the fear that a “Longer/Better/More Forgiving” model is just 6 months away.I can understand the frustration that some players have with Taylormade. I don’t want the company to stop innovating with new designs, I just feel like when I finally slap down $900 on a set of irons, I won’t be using “obsolete” technology in 18 months. It reminds me of shelling out $$$ for a new computer, only to mothball it in two years….

    • Mike

      Jun 5, 2014 at 6:52 am

      Golf clubs are worthless once used, so why does it matter. Look on ebay, everything is worth 25% of its original value…

    • Shark

      Jul 3, 2014 at 9:41 pm

      Yep… New phones moment u buy a new one, better cars, better computers. I agree. Don’t buy new irons, heck anything new… There’s always going to be something better. Don’t pick a nice looking set and move on… Instead buy nothing… Sit in an empty room… Because that couch & TV will always on sale… At ever lower prices…. (sarcasm)

  39. Dave S

    Jun 4, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    I currently game the Adams CMBs, but I think based on my skill level I should probably be playing a more forgiving club. I’ve looked at the Speedblades and I’m willing to sacrafice some looks for real performance. My only issue is I’ve been playing w/ irons that have very little – if any – offset for the past 2+ years and my natural shot is a draw… I’m worried that the Speedblades (and all other GI models for that matter) will just exacerbated my draw and make it a hook machine – like some hybrids have done to me. Bascially, I want the forgivness of the larger head / speedpocket, etc., but don’t want to change my swing. How close, in terms of forgiveability, are the SLDR irons when compared to the Speedblades?

    • Jim

      Jun 4, 2014 at 7:17 pm

      Check out mizuno jpx ez , titleist ap1 , and ping i25 you couldnt go wrong with any of these and they are reasonable in price

    • RobN

      Jun 5, 2014 at 3:53 pm

      Two words – Callaway Apex!

  40. Der

    Jun 4, 2014 at 12:20 pm

    These look awesome! Winner.

  41. Momo

    Jun 4, 2014 at 11:34 am

    Not sure how these will fit in. To me they seem like they would play like the TP, CB.

    • Zak Kozuchowski

      Jun 4, 2014 at 12:12 pm

      They’re noticeably larger, Momo, and well as higher-launching and more forgiving. We’re also finding that most players are getting a little less spin from them when compared to the Tour Preferred products. Another impressive thing about the SLDR irons are their somewhat narrow soles, which allows better players a bit more creativity from the rough.

      Of course, we’re not talking about a huge difference — a yard more here, a degree more launch there, a bit more ball speed — but those things can add up over the course of a round or tournament.

      • jc

        Jun 4, 2014 at 7:35 pm

        so if you gain a yard or two on each shot, when do they equal a whole stroke? or doesn’t it work that way

        • Jack

          Jun 5, 2014 at 12:45 am

          Not if that yard sends you into a bush or over the green! But yeah overall closer to the hole would be easier.

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Whats in the Bag

Richy Werenski WITB 2024 (May)



  • Richy Werenski what’s in the bag accurate as of the CJ Cup Houston Open.

Driver: Titleist TSR3 (10 degrees, D1 SureFit setting)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana PD 60 TX

3-wood: Titleist TSR2 (15 degrees, A1 SureFit setting)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Red 8 X

Hybrid: Titleist TSR3 (19 degrees, D1 SureFit setting)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White Hybrid 90 TX

Irons: Titleist T100 (4-9)
Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour 105 S

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM9 (46-10F, 50-12F), Titleist Vokey Design WedgeWorks Proto (54-M, 58-L @60)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 Onyx (46-50), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 Onyx (54-60)

Putter: Scotty Cameron prototype

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x Left Dash

Grips: Golf Pride ZGrip Cord

Check out more in-hand photos of Richy Werenski’s clubs in the forums.

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Adam Scott testing green “Masters Use Only” putter + 6 interesting equipment photos from the 2024 CJ Cup Byron Nelson



Welcome to the 2024 CJ Cup Byron Nelson event at TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney, Texas, which, for your geographical reference, is about 25 minutes from Dallas.

In early-week equipment news, we saw some interesting putter testing from Adam Scott, a Maxfli golf ball signing on the PGA Tour, a 16-year-old’s WITB, a PGA Tour player using another PGA Tour player’s backup putter, and Jordan Spieth weighed in on why he recently switched out just his 7-iron (and then made a hole-in-one with it).

With so much to report and so little time to waste on the intro, let’s get right into this week’s equipment rundown from the CJ Cup Byron Nelson.

See all of our photo galleries from the week here 

Adam Scott’s new L.A.B. putters

Before we get into a couple of the new prototypes Scott has been testing, above is a photo of the L.A.B. Golf Mezz.1 Max prototype putter that he’s been using, and will likely continue to use this week in Texas.

That being said, following the Masters, Scott was looking to try a couple putters with a slightly lighter weight to help with his feel on fast greens.

One of the new prototypes we spotted on Tuesday was a L.A.B. Golf DF3 “Proto 2.1”, custom-built with Scott’s preferred blue colorway, and an Australia-inspired Kangaroo laser engraving…

We also spotted him with a green-colored “For Masters Use Only” Mezz.1 Max prototype…

While it’s unlikely Scott will make a switch this week, it’s certainly something to keep an eye on going forward, especially on courses with faster greens.

We also got a peek into Scott’s full WITB this week, which consists of a super-mixed set of Srixon irons, including a ZX Utility 3-iron, a ZX-5 MkII 4-iron, ZX-7 MkII mid-irons (5-7) and Z Forged II short irons (8-9).

See Scott’s full WITB from the CJ Cup here

An update on Daniel Berger’s Odyssey Jailbird

Last week in New Orleans, we highlighted Daniel Berger’s Ai-One Jailbird Mini putter because of its unique sightlines.

Well, we have an update.

According to Callaway Tour Manager Joe Toulon, who spoke with this week, Berger’s Jailbird Mini is actually from fellow Tour player Tom Kim’s stash. Kim is a prolific putter tester, and the exact putter Berger is currently using was actually originally made for and tested by Kim. The putter didn’t make it into Kim’s starting lineup, however, so he gave the putter back to Odyssey, and it eventually made it’s way onto Berger’s gamer roster.

Jordan Spieth’s new 7-iron

As the story goes, Jordan Spieth changed out his Titleist T100 7-iron on Wednesday before the 2024 Valero Texas Open, and then on Thursday, he used the 7-iron to make a hole-in-one from 199 yards on the 16th hole.

Good timing on that switch, Jordan.

On Tuesday at the 2024 CJ Cup Byron Nelson, caught up with Spieth to get the full story on why he switched just the 7-iron.

Our full story is over on’s Equipment Report, but here’s a snippet of what Spieth had to say:

“I hit my 7-iron a lot, especially on my own. The spin rates, relative to my 6-iron and my 8-iron, were lower, so it was going too far. I was trying to figure out why, if it was something in the makeup of the iron. I got the lies and the lofts checked, and everything was fine. So finally I was like, ‘Can I just get a new one and see if it fixes it?’

“Maybe there was one other time throughout my career where I changed just one iron, so it’s very unusual. I think it’s just because the grooves were worn down from hitting it too much.”

Ben Griffin signs with Maxfli to play the golf ball

At the beginning of the year, LPGA Tour star Lexi Thompson signed a deal with Maxfli to play the company’s golf ball, and now, Griffin has officially joined team Maxfli, as well, thus expanding the company’s Tour presence. caught up with Griffin on Wednesday in Texas for a video interview about his new golf ball of choice, and how he marks it…


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A 16-year-old is playing on the PGA Tour this week, using a 2-iron!

Amateur golfer Kris Kim, at just 16 years of age, is making his PGA Tour debut this week after receiving a sponsors exemption into the event. In 2023, Kim won both the R&A Boys’ Amateur Championship and the European Boys’ International Championship.

On Tuesday in Texas, we got a look into Kim’s bag, which revealed that he’s currently playing a TaylorMade P-770 2-iron, and a bag full of TaylorMade clubs.

Check out Kim’s full WITB here

A smart golf ball stamping

I’m not going to sit here and pretend to be a big math guy, because I’m not. However, I do recognize David Nyfjall’s purple ball marking as a square root symbol.

While I don’t know the particular significance of the square root symbol for Nyfjall, I do know you have to be fairly intelligent to even consider using a marking like that. Pretty cool stuff from the Northwestern alum, and 2023 Byron Nelson Award winner.

And, with that, we say goodbye to Texas and TPC Craig Ranch. We’ll see you next week at the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte for more insider equipment news and storylines.

For now, don’t forget to check out all of our photos from the 2024 CJ Cup Byron Nelson

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Whats in the Bag

Wesley Bryan WITB 2024 (May)



  • Wesley Bryan what’s in the bag accurate as of the CJ Cup Byron Nelson.

Driver: Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Triple Diamond Max (9 degrees @10)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana GT 50 TX

3-wood: TaylorMade Stealth Plus (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana GT 60 X

Hybrid: TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus Rescue (19.5 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus HB Blue 8 X

Irons: Titleist T200 (4), Takomo 101U (4), Takomo 101T (5), Takomo 301 CB (6-9)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM10 (46-10F, 52-08F, 56-14F), Titleist Vokey Design WedgeWorks Proto (58-A)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: L.A.B. Golf DF3

Grips: SuperStroke, Golf Pride Tour Velvet

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

More photos of Wesley Bryan’s WITB in the forums.

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