What we say...
The new TaylorMade SLDR irons come hot on the heels of the Tour Preferred MC and CB irons, and the SpeedBlades, in featuring a 2mm slot behind the thin face, known as a “Speed Pocket”. But unlike its predecessors, the new ThruSlot is cut all the way through the sole so that it’s open from the bottom to the top of the cavity (it’s filled by a polymer to stop it getting clogged up with dirt). “Golfers want to hit their irons far, which has put us on a path to engineer iron sets that have driver-like face speed,” said Tomo Bystedt, TaylorMade’s Director of Product Creation for Irons, Putters and Wedges. “To find that speed, we created ultra-thin faces, introduced Inverted Cone Technology and now an enhanced slot that extends all the way through the bottom cavity, and works in conjunction with the ultra-thin clubface and deep undercut to promote tremendous face-flex at impact.”
Looking down at address, the top line is a little thick. The head shape is quite rounded while the shiny edges will split opinion. They sit between the Tour Preferred CBs and SpeedBlades in terms of size.
Felt hot but not soft, firm and a fraction clicky. The sound is quite dull because a polymer in the Speed Pocket serves to dampen vibration and sound as well as stopping dirt from entering the slot.
The blade length is longer than the TP CB so there’s some help on heel and toe strikes there. Plus the Speed Pocket assists strikes low on the face.
The flight is quite low and very strong, more so than I expected given the Speed Pocket assisting a higher launch. At 32° for the 7-iron, the lofts aren’t overly strong. There’s no problem hitting the ball solid with them – the difference between good and poor strikes is minimal. By enhancing the sweetspot with the pocket, TaylorMade haven’t had to bulk up the iron to get more distance, and they will appeal to some better players as a result. They will be too chunky for some, but the offset is actually quite minimal given the thickness of the topline and headsize.
Details: Available from TaylorMade Tuned Performance Centres in 8-piece sets (4-AW being the most popular). £749 (s), £849 (g).