With the birth of the SLDR driver, TaylorMade created a driver that was built to enable players to play more loft and play further down the fairway. Whilst the TaylorMade SLDR Rescue doesn't have the sliding weight technology, it does feature two of TaylorMade's recent innovations: The Speed Pocket and a new low/forward centre of gravity.
Both innovations help create a hybrid club that will increase ball speeds and promote a higher, lower-spinning ball flight.
"Smaller is better", that's what TaylorMade are saying. The size of the clubhead, the size of the slot in the sole and the length of the club are smaller than previous TaylorMade models. The Speed Pocket, specifically, has been made smaller and more concentrated to the middle of the clubface. TaylorMade say it is actually more efficient than before.
In combination with the Speed Pocket, TaylorMade engineers were able to move the centre of gravity on the SLDR Rescue lower and further forward. Combined with a shallower head design, this CG position promotes a higher flight with lower spin-rates and faster ball speeds.
Whilst moving the CG forward should also decrease the MOI, or the club's resistance to twisting at impact, TaylorMade say the new Speed Pocket more than compensates for that.
Visually, the SLDR Rescue has a more compact, traditional look than previous models. The charcoal-grey crown colour contrasts with the silver clubface making it easier to align at address. New crown graphics and a chrome button-back further improve the look and alignment at address.
As is the story with the entire SLDR family, the more loft you can add to your club, whilst lowering spin, the more distance you will achieve. The SLDR Rescue is offered in four different initial lofts - 17, 19, 21 and 24 degrees - with a further 1.5 degrees of loft change available thanks to the adjustable loft-sleeve.
"Our continued exploration of clubface dynamics enabled us to create a new Speed Pocket design that’s smaller yet more efficient, and the weight we saved allowed us to move the CG lower and more forward. That’s a win-win." said TaylorMade's Tom Olsavsky, Senior Director of Product Creation.
TaylorMade have paired the SLDR Rescue with a Fujikura Speeder 82 graphite shaft and the company's own FCT Lite Grip.