The TaylorMade SLDR irons are inspired from the Tour Preferred, CB and SpeedBlades and the proof (sort of) is the 2 millimeters slot which hides behind the club’s slim face, namely the well-known Speed Pocket. But there are also differences from its predecessors, because everything is an evolution, right? Hence, the newly designed ThruSlot goes all the way this time through the iron’s sole, in an “open frame” kind of setup from the top of the cavity to the bottom; however, the cavity is filled with a special polymer in order to prevent the accumulation of dust and dirt. This special design is aimed at promoting face flex upon ball impact, in a spring like action (this means more speed!). When it comes to hitting the ball, the SLDR irons have a firm feel and a somewhat “clicky” sound.
The emphasis was put on feel and forgiveness and TaylorMade did a great job overall. Since the SLDR is derived directly from the SpeedBlades, it retains some of its characteristics, i.e. the speed (a bit tamed though) and great levels of forgiveness; truth be told, the SLDR irons are benefiting most from the inverted cone technology, being one the best implementation of the respective tech in an iron today. The SpeedPocket working in tandem with the ThruSlot helps a lot with achieving a higher ball-flight, consistent distance, longer carry and thanks to the new and innovative design, the SLDR is able to mitigate/eliminate completely the need for adjusting the lofts. Bottom line, with a retail price of $900 per set, these game improvement irons are great performers, offering great distance, accuracy, consistency and forgiveness in a pretty good looking package, with a satin chrome finish. They’re definitely worth the price, especially if you’re looking for a progressive set of irons with decent looks and outstanding performance; it would be a real struggle to find something better than the SLDR in this price bracket.