Hey This SLDR Thing is Working…Let’s Make Irons Too
Irons

Hey This SLDR Thing is Working…Let’s Make Irons Too

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Hey This SLDR Thing is Working…Let’s Make Irons Too

Live Event Coverage

TaylorMade is hosting a media event at the Omni LaCosta Resort in Carlsbad, California for the announcement of the forthcoming SLDR S Metalwoods and SLDR Irons. For more info and pictures, be sure to check out our Live Stream at the bottom of both articles.

TaylorMade Introduces SLDR Irons

Written By: Tony Covey

In a move that can’t possibly shock anyone, TaylorMade is further capitalizing on the success of the SLDR name with the addition of a new iron product to the SLDR franchise.

No…nothing actually SLiDes. Sorry. I’m as disappointed as anyone.

Unlike the also-announced-today SLDR S family of metalwoods, the SLDR irons aren’t a direct replacement for anything (although I suppose you could argue R11). Instead the new irons represent TaylorMade’s attempt to fill the void between Tour Preferred CB and SpeedBlades. Whether or not that’s a void that actually exist, well…we can certainly have a debate about that.

sldr-irons5

We can talk about features too (and we will), but for me, the most interesting aspect of the SLDR irons is the fact that they represent the metaphorical changing of the guard at TaylorMade.

It’s Tomo Time

As you may recall, when Tom Olsavsky (TaylorMade’s former Sr. Director of Product Creation for Metalwoods) left for Cobra PUMA, TaylorMade’s iron guy (Brian Bazzel) moved over to metalwoods, which, as you can imagine, created an opportunity for somebody else to take over product creation on the iron side of the business.

That somebody is Tomo Bystedt.

I’ve been told that if you want to compare the development of the SLDR iron product to a 4×100 relay, Bazzel ran the first leg. He was responsible for their inception…the initial idea…the concept as a whole. The last 3 legs…that’s Bystedt’s work, and that alone could help to explain why the new SLDR irons look dramatically different from anything we’ve seen from TaylorMade of late.

sldr-irons1

Bystedt is what you might call a car guy. He’s a big Formula 1 fan and I believe his eye for racing will ultimately be reflected in his designs. You could argue that with SLDR iron, it already has. Clean lines and Sophistication…those are the words Bystedt used to describe the SLDR iron. This is the first product of the Tomo Bystedt era at TaylorMade, and almost certainly offers some idea of what we can expect aesthetically from future iterations of TaylorMade irons.

“The goal from the start was to design something serious…something that didn’t look gimmicky” – Tomo Bystedt, Director of Product Creation for Irons, Wedges, and Putters

While I’m sure not all will agree, I think the SLDR is the most polished iron not designed for a Tour Pro that TaylorMade has released in years…decades maybe.

According to Bystedt, “The lines and shapes speak for themselves“.

 Where the SLDR Irons Fit

Because it’s our nature to put things into neat little rows, I’m sure you’re wondering where the SLDR irons fit in the current TaylorMade lineup. If you consider all the design aspects that make up an iron, it’s reasonable to say that on average the SLDR iron is slotted directly between the SpeedBlade (SLDR is NOT a SpeedBlade replacement) and the Tour Preferred CB.

While SpeedBlade is a true distance iron – and SLDR certainly retains aspects of that, TaylorMade placed a greater emphasis on feel with this new design. While the face isn’t as hot as that of SpeedBlade, it’s nearly as forgiving. That comes largely from the movement of weight from behind the sweet spot to the perimeter, and what Bystedt says is the best implementation of inverted cone technology in an iron to date.

sldr-iron-4

SLDR irons also feature the evolution of TaylorMade’s Speed Pocket technology. The new ThruSlot helps product higher ballflight, longer carry, and arguably most importantly, more consistent distances (better gapping) throughout the set. Gapping issues have plagued TaylorMade’s Speed Pocket family of irons, so there is some hope that the new design can mitigate, or eliminate the need to have lofts adjusted.

Physically the new irons are probably a bit closer to the Tour Preferred CB than the SpeedBlade. The head is more compact, toplines are thinner, and the offset, or lack thereof, is more likely to appeal to a slightly better player.

“The offset is not too generous, not too hardcore”. – Tomo Bystedt

While anchored by a ever-so-slightly more traditional 46 degree pitching wedge, the lofts of the new irons more or less split the difference between SpeedBlade and Tour Preferred CB. Through the use of a lightweight (but not ultra-lightweight) shaft (KBS Tour 90) TaylorMade is able to keep shaft length a bit longer (distance), while still maintaining stability and control.

It probably doesn’t hurt that the stepless C-Taper 90 with its satin chrome finish adds a visual element to the SLDR iron that I can promise you won’t hurt it at retail.

sldr-irons11sldr-irons12

While the mention of Tour Players potentially using the SLDR irons might leave us to believe otherwise, TaylorMade is really positiing SLDR for the 10-15 (give or take a few strokes at either end) handicap player. We’re talking about a guy who doesn’t want to carry a game-improvement iron, but might be willing to consider a more refined offering. The feeling inside TaylorMade is that there’s a latent need in the marketplace for this type of iron.

I would argue that those type of designs already exist, and TaylorMade is finally joining the party. Better late than never.

Pricing, Options and Availability

SLDR irons are available in 8-piece sets (4-AW being the most popular) in a choice of KBS’s new Tour C-Taper 90 steel shaft (Regular or Stiff flex), which is engineered to promote high launch and spin control, and Fujikura graphite in three weights and flexes:, 77-grams (Stiff), 67 grams (Regular), and 57 grams (Senior). The irons feature a hand-polished chrome finish.

Each iron has a Golf Pride Tour Velvet, 47.5 gram grip. Custom shaft and grip options are also available.

SLDR irons will become available at retail beginning Friday, June 6 for $899. Wedges (SW, LW) will be sold separately for $119 apiece. Learn more at taylormadegolf.com.

TaylorMade also announced SLDR S Metalwoods today. Full Coverage Here.

More Details to Come Throughout the Day

It’s really hard to get a true sense of an iron form spec sheets and even pictures. Fortunately I’ll have an opportunity to test the new product (including the new SLDR S Metalwoods) on the range, and on the course a bit later today. Stay tuned for pictures, info, and my hands on take to the new irons.

SLDR Irons Live Coverage

For You

For You

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Tony Covey

Tony Covey

Tony Covey

Tony is the Editor of MyGolfSpy where his job is to bring fresh and innovative content to the site. In addition to his editorial responsibilities, he was instrumental in developing MyGolfSpy's data-driven testing methodologies and continues to sift through our data to find the insights that can help improve your game. Tony believes that golfers deserve to know what's real and what's not, and that means MyGolfSpy's equipment coverage must extend beyond the so-called facts as dictated by the same companies that created them. Most of all Tony believes in performance over hype and #PowerToThePlayer.

Tony Covey

Tony Covey

Tony Covey

Tony Covey

Tony Covey





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      phoutsavong

      7 years ago

      I have a problem when switching to this clubs. I lost my distance in almost every club. The ball is flying too high and this cause my distance problem. Any advice on improving my distance?
      Thank you

      Reply

      John O

      9 years ago

      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?

      Reply

      Peter

      9 years ago

      Just got a set that were returned by another customer. I tried the C-Taper Stiff and they felt very stiff and harsh. I didn’t like them at all. These irons came back with the C-Taper Regular and wow, what a difference. They feel responsive and really solid, the regular flex feels more like the Project X 5.5s that I like in most of my irons. I bent them slightly more upright as I was leaving them a little right at first, but now they have a tight dispersion and are about 5 yards longer than the Snake Eyes forged clubs (which I made 15 years ago) that I currently have. Good irons overall, right shaft feel is the key. Getting back into the game after a prolonged shoulder injury recovery, was a 3 now probably closer to a 8-10 hdcp.

      Reply

      Jimmy

      10 years ago

      I said in a post earlier about the SLDR Irons. I changed to the MC’s. Not because of the way the irons hit, but I needed a stronger shaft and I have been hitting blades for over 20 plus years, so the look at address was off ( for me anyway ). So I hit the MC’s with the KBS S shaft. And even with the 5.6.7. irons are not forged, The 8.9.P are. I can say these irons are awesome. gained over 10 yards per club, and gained more playability with draws and fades. I got these irons 2 degrees upright. So if you have a chance to get fitted for clubs, I urge you to do so before you make a purchase.

      Reply

      Bella vista

      10 years ago

      Purchased these clubs the other day. The look of the club is one of the best I’ve seen. (Working on a golf course for 5 yrs…. I’ve seen a lot of clubs). The feel of the club is nice and you will see why so many golfers are giving this club a try when you hit a clean shot. For the guy who has his “sources”. I can be a new source for you. I’m a 4 handicap. Miss hits off the toe still hold true to the clubs distance and the sound when you hit the club is great. I’m a big fan in sound of clubs and the sound of these are something I appreciate it. If you are on the fence go to a local store and give them a swing. Try to hit a couple true shots and see what you think.

      Reply

      Shark

      10 years ago

      I used to be a Tm hater (gimmicks, distance promises, juiced irons, low resale as ‘blink’ and a new set is out) but I have given up long ago as they make good woods, good hybrids and some decent irons. I sold out of boredom r7 tp irons years ago that I really liked.
      I currently have the titleist ap1 712 irons in my bag.
      I went to my home course Tm demo day a month ago. I tried the sldr irons that at time weren’t even in stores. They looked clean. Very clean. Good overall large size footprint but thin top, thin bottom, great almost forged feel. Great turf impact. I’m a picker but these assisted me in taking a small crisp divot. I really loved the look and feel. Height I thought was almost too high but then again that will help hold greens as long as not too windy.. In that case I don’t know how they’d do. I really think the titleist are on way out and these in… Despite great titleist customer service to me… Sorry titleist!

      Reply

      Jimmy

      10 years ago

      Well I read all the reviews of the SLDR irons and just wonder if they even tried them. I am a 4 handycapper and was hitting the a4 from adams golf. I liked them but after 2 neck surgeries and a total knee replacement, my club speed droped from 104 to 89. My adams had tour stiff shafts.and was not getting the distance or control I once did. I went to Golf Galaxy and had my swing checked and saw a 7 iron there near a rack and I asked if I could try it. It was the SLDR 7 iron with the tour 90 shaft. I was floored by the feel and the conrol, and yes disstance. With my a4 (Adams) my 7 iron flew 155. The SLDR flew 165 and was efortless. I hit ALL the irons from the AW to 4 iron and fell in love. Went right to the driving range and hit for a hour and TM put together one AWESOME set of irons. If you have the chanceand are in the market for irons, just hit them and then you will understand,

      Reply

      Jordan

      10 years ago

      These irons are (in my opinion) the nicest looking of all TaylorMade clubs out there. Although i can not agree with their feel when i tried them at the range today. Mizuno Mp54’s have a nice feel… but these, although they did not fit my game, they have a fair bit of umph (is what you might call it) behind the club, they were going a fair bit longer then my R11’s… If anyone reads my comment will you help me on deciding what clubs to get, Mizuno Mp54 – 3-PW or Titleist AP2’s 3-PW.

      Ps. nice clubs T-made.

      Reply

      Gary

      10 years ago

      Best irons ever hit.all the forgiveness and distance of my g25,but with better feel ,looks and more playability in short irons.top shaft,fitted me perfect.best clubs I’ve ever hit and I’ve had them all,forged mizunos,ap2s,pings,etc…

      Reply

      Regis

      10 years ago

      i waited until I had hit the range and played a few rounds before posting further. Historically, I played forged (Mc Gregor, Mizuno, Miura) for over 40 years. I’m now 63 and for a number of reasons can only hit a 6 iron about 140. I’ve played a number of game improvement irons after realizing my limitations (most recently Rocketbalz) and although they did the job, I always felt something missing. The SLDR irons (with graphite shafts) are the real deal for me. Not saying they go that much farther or higher but they are as forgiving as anything I would game and the feel (for me) is like a trip down memory lane. If you’re a Senior with decent swing mechanics don’t rule these out. Give them a try.

      Reply

      Trav76

      10 years ago

      I just got these and I am very impressed. It amazes me the idiots that want to trash TM and the SLDR irons without even hitting them. I had a set of Titliest AP2s and I love the new SLDR irons. I play as a 9 handicap, and these are some of the best irons I have hit.

      Reply

      Bollocks187

      10 years ago

      Just bought them and they are the easiest iron to hit. I traded in my callaway forged X. Great feel at impact, excellent distance, mishits go almost as far as true hits. Look is excellent. I play off a 2 handicap.

      Reply

      rasgbgolf

      10 years ago

      Just hit the SLDR Iron at demo day. With KBs shaft they performed better for me than speedblades, ping i25 and g25. The dispersion left and right were very good. They had a more solid contact feel, compression of ball than the speedblades. Some distance lost on miss hits, but all in all more good shots. I think this is the new set.

      Reply

      flaglfr

      10 years ago

      Gotta say..
      It looks a hell of a lot mike the Mizuno JPX 825, 825 pro,. Guess if you can’t beat ’em, copy “em.

      Reply

      AWOL

      10 years ago

      If these are only a little shorter distance wise than the the Speedblades but achieve close to that butter feel, than these could be really good. I personally am a fan of KBS shafts and that as a standard offering would be great. People shouldnt get so mad when companies release frequently, if Taylormade is striving to make that perfect iron then let them. At least we know they are trying to find that medium. And that just drives prices down. Except with the SLDR driver sounds like that isnt going anywhere. So does that mean the current SLDR driver is as perfect as they think they can make a club?

      Reply

      snowman0157

      10 years ago

      Best Looking TMAG Iron In years; awaiting reviews. I’m 57; a 7 Hdcp and would consider these if they play good.

      Reply

      Frank

      10 years ago

      I am confused. Is it C-Taper or Tour 90 the standard shaft offering? Tour 90 is a high flight haft while C-Taper is the lower flight shaft (KBS Tour is in the middle). Now, there is a C-Taper lite that goes from 105 to 115 grs which is slightly less than the Tour but higher than the 90.

      Reply

      Tony Covey

      10 years ago

      It’s a 90g C-Taper. New shaft. I fixed the issue with the embed coverage, you can see a pic of the spec sheet there.

      Reply

      Lee H.

      10 years ago

      I went to a Taylormade Speedblade day at PGA Tour Superstore a couple of weeks back. I like my Mizuno JPX800 irons, but felt I needed a change because they had a little too much offset and my controlled draws were becoming hooks (and yes, part of my swing needs to change as well). I was surprised to find out that my JPX800 actually went further with more control than the Speedblades…The new SLDR irons, however, might be the correct setup for me since they have less offset…Side note: I’m okay with the constant additions of clubs from Taylormade. It’s a consumer’s right to have many options. No one says we have to buy a new club EVERYTIME a new one comes out. Just having the options to try the new gear is always exciting to me. If Taylormade did not think that they couldn’t sell new equipment EVERYTIME they released a new product, they wouldn’t do it. So I don’t know why people get so mad at them for doing it. Just don’t buy their stuff or wait until you’re absolutely ready to make a change.

      Reply

      Tom S

      10 years ago

      I would argue that those type of designs already exit, and TaylorMade is finally joining the party. Better late than never.

      Should be “those type of irons already exist”

      Reply

      Neil

      10 years ago

      They do remind me of the R11 Irons. I will have to give them a try.

      Reply

      Opa

      10 years ago

      “The goal from the start was to design something serious…something that didn’t look gimmicky.”

      Well that flew out the window when you released a club called, “Rocketballz”. What a dumb company bringing down the whole industry.

      Reply

      Krizar

      10 years ago

      Wow TM news really gets the hate posts going. Like worms after the rain.

      These are going to fit nicely in TMs lineup. Looks like a nice GI club. If it performs as they say, it’ll be something I’d consider gaming.

      Reply

      ComeOnSense

      10 years ago

      I’m going to wait until the SLDR Mini Irons come out, in about 2 weeks .I hear they’ll have shorter shafts and more loft, so you have to ‘loft up’ too. The PW is stamped with #46 loft, but its actually has 64 degree loft . It may sound like a lot but they moved the weight forward too,remember its an SLDR, you must ‘loft up”. If you don’t believe me its ok, but you must ‘Trust” Taylormade.

      Reply

      ChefaLu

      10 years ago

      Um… What? I don’t even think anything you wrote passes for a coherent thought. But thanks for trying to slam TM, I think. There definitely needs to be more of that.

      Reply

      theDutch

      10 years ago

      oh comon, that was an excellent expectation from ComeOnSense… I’m waiting for the concrete bladeputter to come out, for more stability in a compact form but balanced to perfection… or something like that

      ron

      10 years ago

      4 words CHEAP PIECE OF CRAP, Dont waste yr time with this marketing company, they are not a real golf equipment company, I heard from a source who hit em that they are terrible.

      Reply

      Regis

      10 years ago

      Wow that’s something I can take to the bank. You heard it “from a source” who hit them that they are terrible. I mean come on

      Reply

      Tom S

      10 years ago

      So who is this “ron” guy? Is he Wally Uihlein?

      AWOL

      10 years ago

      Oh, this is the same Ron i have ran into before. That’s right the guy that skims for all articles about Taylormade just to bash on them. It must be sad to be him with nothing better to do with his life than to bash on TMag because they are such criminals.

      flaglfr

      10 years ago

      With a thick top line and a fairly clunky look (my opinion) these are about as close to a formula one car as the 58 Ford Edsel.

      Reply

      flaglfr

      10 years ago

      They should have added one more Sand wedge to the lineup so it could spell what I will do with these… PASS

      Reply

      Markb

      10 years ago

      I currently play Speedblades for their tremendous distance and was tempted to move up (or down) to their sibling CB’s for their more traditional looks. (In fact I spray painted the blue zigzag backs of my SB’s because I was embarrassed by them.) But then I hit the CB’s and found that they were very different clubs in terms of performance. There was too big a gap to tempt me to leap across.

      So I can understand the SLDR irons filling this gap. Many of my fellow SB players who want slightly lower ball flight have opted for this KBS tour 90 shaft, so that makes sense too. As does the 1 degree bump in lofts to compensate for the lower flight. I’ve also had SB friends who defected to the CB for looks and feel issues, but found themselves missing the SB distance. The SLDR is probably where they will gravitate to because the SLDR’s looks are unquestionably cleaner looking.

      In short, this is a pretty good realization of a concept we all knew was coming. If something catches on, you beat it to death even if it means you make a Slider that doesn’t slide, but which retains the vestigial notches of the slider fade/draw settings. They can be Tomo’s version of Buick’s faux exhaust ports.

      Reply

      jondagcl

      10 years ago

      Great looking iron set. The target demographic is right where I am at – this is definitely an iron I’d consider.

      Reply

      Adam

      10 years ago

      Not something I would use personally but these really look nice. Well done TM.

      Reply

      John Barry

      10 years ago

      We all knew they were coming and yes, they do look pretty nice and very clean.

      Reply

      adan

      10 years ago

      Really only a matter of time before this happened but they don’t look too bad.

      Reply

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