TaylorMade’s SLDR 430 Driver Is Smaller, Lower Spinning

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As expected, TaylorMade has officially announced the SLDR 430 driver. SLDR 430 passed rumor stage so long ago that I’m not even going to make a joke about being surprised.

All I’d ask in return is that none of you make the obligatory reference to the fact that TaylorMade releases lots of drivers. I’m over it.

Here’s what you need to know about the new driver:

  • With a volume of 430cc, it’s 30cc smaller than the pre-existing 460cc model (hooray rudimentary arithmetic).
  • We’re told the new model will spin even less than SLDR 460, which presumably means golfers will need to #LOFTUP-IER (you’ll likely need more loft still compared to SLDR).
  • TaylorMade is claiming the smaller head promotes “improved workability”.

If you’re familiar with the Trackman information on ball flight laws, or generally just believe in physics and other immutable laws of the universe, you’ll hopefully take that workability bit for the marketing buzzword that it is.

The rest of it…it’s practically nothing. That is to say that SLDR 430 is basically SLDR 460, only smaller. SLDR 430 is the most subdued driver release in the recent history of TaylorMade. TaylorMade has made more noise over a hat.


The reality is that, as far as TaylorMade drivers go, SLDR 430 doesn't have the same mass market appeal as most of what TaylorMade releases.

430cc heads aren’t for everyone, and almost everyone (including TaylorMade) knows it.

Competitors are relentlessly hammering away on SLDRs low MOI. A 430cc head will be lower still. The rest of the industry is queuing up their PowerPoint presentations as you’re reading this.

For the majority of golfers the 460cc head will perform better, and most will appreciate the larger footprint.

Essentially SLDR 430 is a niche product that reflects TaylorMade’s new commitment to moving away from “Tour Issue”, and making the same products that their Tour Staff players use available to the consumers that want them.

Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a great release, one I’m itching to get my hands on to try out (I love the smaller heads), but in the grand scheme of things, I’m certain TaylorMade isn’t harboring any illusions that SLDR 430 will be their biggest seller of 2014.

If it is, I’ll tattoo a TaylorMade…never mind…just never mind.


Curious Timing Again

At this point it’s probably safe to assume that when either TaylorMade or Callaway announces anything, the other isn’t going to be far behind.

I’m a guy who probably has a reputation for reading too much into things. That’s probably fair, but what can I say? I’m highly dismissive of coincidence.

For basically the 2nd release in a row…for the 2nd time in less than 2 weeks, Callaway and TaylorMade have effectively announced product on the same day? I’ll ask again; any takers on pure coincidence?

This time around I’m inclined to believe it’s Callaway doing the “me too, me too” act. SLDR 430’s release date has been on the calendar for a few weeks. Callaway’s Speed Regime ball…technically that launches tomorrow, but Callaway gave media the green light to go a day early.

Odd right?

All’s fair in war…even when there’s absolutely no love involved.

TaylorMade SLDR 430 Specs, Pricing and Availability

Available lofts: 9°, 10.5°, and 12°
Stock shafts: Fujikura Speeder 67, Fujikura Speeder Tour Spec 7.3 (TP)
Retail Price: $399/$499

Retail availability begins December 20th (that’s this Friday!). For more information, visit

About Tony Covey

Tony is the editor of mygolfspy. His coverage of golf equipment extends far beyond the facts as dictated by the companies that created them.

He believes in performance over hype. #PowerToThePlayer

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Patrick Lee February 9, 2015 at 11:47 pm

I bought the SLDR 430 with the TP 77gram stiff shaft and 10.5 degrees. It’s a great club and pleases the eye for those who don’t like the bulky look of the 460. I will never go back to a larger clubhead, I am sold on the smaller profile. I am almost 61, not a physical specimen but I like the heavier shaft and also the muted sound of this club. My average drive is 265 and if I need to crank it up, I can knock it out there even farther. Sure I have my bad driving days but it’s usually just a matter of making a fundamental adjustment, like moving the ball a bit more foward in my stance. Taylormade is now out with the R-15 but I am not looking at buying the new one, I am totally satisfied with the 430.


per August 5, 2014 at 3:13 pm

hi how can i see if its a fake sldr 430 or nike covert 2.0


M.Coz August 5, 2014 at 5:08 pm

The 430 SLDR is a limited demand club and I would suspect it has much less demand that what it would take to really go thru the process of making a fake, but the 460 is a different story. Although because of all of the active technology on the club a real good fake (read counterfeit) would be expensive to make and have to include the moving parts. The Covert 2.0 would be easier to fake. Now to make copy clubs with similar looks and different but related names is much easier to do and not necessarily illegal.


Drew April 20, 2014 at 8:17 pm

Brian you are ignorant of the science behind launching a drive.


J February 18, 2014 at 12:55 am

I spent some time hitting the 430 10.5 (tuned to 10 and open) and Bertha Alpha today on the trackman, both with the stock shafts in x, I love everything about the 430, looks, sound, feel… ease of adjustability… the weight, but numbers wise the Alpha was launching better and spinning 600rpm less on average… I plan on experimenting further because I think getting the shaft right in the 430 is paramount… I am mostly anti taylormade and pro callaway and on teh surface the alpha peformed better, but my gut tells me there’s more potential hidden here with the 430… I plan on hitting both with the tour green, and black tie and honestly I’m hoping to dial in the sldr because it’s just a really nice looking and feeling driver.


Sully January 27, 2014 at 6:29 pm

This club is an absolute bomber!!!! Unbelievably long if you are a consistent ball striker!


Brian January 8, 2014 at 3:29 am

The higher launch is a joke. I have hit every loft combination possible with the SLDR and nothing produces more distance for me than the 8* set at 6.5*. Optimum launch angle is still going to be optimum launch angle and taylormade suggesting you should be launching the ball at 16* or so is a joke.


Vik February 9, 2014 at 8:03 pm

Brian, the higher launch is to offset the lower spin the forward center of gravity SLDR creates. Perhaps your swing arc is such that you need a very low loft to optimize launch. For 99% of players, the higher loft will be necessary to compensate for the low spin of the SLDR. Your ball will carry a lot more but roll a little less but the overall effect will be a longer drive.


Lawrence January 5, 2014 at 4:06 pm

Good to hear Albert……any remembrances to pre 460cc drivers that it reminds you of? Being lefty stinks at times…….this being one of them…….keep us informed would ya!


Albert Sewill January 5, 2014 at 4:27 pm

I may be a little young to remember a time before 460 cc drivers! The 430 SLDR kicked my Callaway Razr out of the bag though.


Lawrence January 5, 2014 at 2:10 pm

Has anyone had a chance to swing the 430? I’m lefty and haven’t but others I know have feel this a GREAT driver…….still not sure why everyone feels 430 is “demanding” r9 was 420cc and most drivers 6 yrs ago. ……how easily we forget hitting a 983k well……..ugh


Albert Sewill January 5, 2014 at 3:36 pm

Lawrence, I bought one this week after testing it out. For me to buy a tmag club is a big thing. I found it easy to work and really forgiving for a 430 cc head. My misses with it were longer than where I was hitting the current competition.


Lawrence December 31, 2013 at 3:03 pm

We all swing 3 metals @ 150cc…….I for one prefer looking at compact heads…… rfx, D-3 and the like……had a friend hit the tp model vs 460 tp sldr and also original covert tour. …..sound/feel, accuracy, spin and distance were all in 430’s corner. …..not to mention the dead sexiness. …..but to each his own


Fredz Golf December 22, 2013 at 9:39 am

..So a club aimed at the “better player” …and the lowest loft is 9.5 …which in reality will be higher than the stamped on loft because everyone does that.

I hit the ball high… I’d need a tour issue model if the shelve only holds 9.5 …so problem not solved :/


Tony Covey December 23, 2013 at 8:49 am

Whoa there Fredz, that’s a very short-sighted view to take. How do you know if you don’t try.

Here’s my personal story. Two years ago I went from being a low launch, high spin player, to a high launch, mid-high spin player. Since then I’ve routinely been fit for 8° to 8.5°. Two seasons ago my gamer was an 8° Tour Issue TaylorMade R11s. Last year I played several drivers (all of them at 8.5° or less), and spent the majority of time with the Cobra AMP Cell Pro in the bag, and set at 7.5°.

Shortly after the SLDR 460 was released I was fit for the club at the TaylorMade Kingdom. I chuckled to myself when I saw they only had 9.5° and 10.5° heads (even though I had already figured out on my own that SLDR launched much lower than anything else I had been playing). When all was said and done I was fit into the 9.5° head with just a little bit of loft taken off.

Speaking as a high ball hitter, I can say with almost absolute certainty that there’s zero chance the 8.5° head would be a good fit, and I wouldn’t be shocked if the 10.5° turned out to be a better fit than the 9.5° in the 430 model.

With SLDR you need more loft. It’s really that simple. Guys like you and me have an advantage with the club since we already hit the ball high, but even for me (and I’d bet for you too), that means playing a head with more loft than I’d play with any other driver on the market today.


Fredz Golf December 28, 2013 at 7:54 am

Tony, You have most certainly put me in my place there! ..Good to hear though to be honest as it looks like my sort of club.

Only thing I will add it that my Tour Edge CB4 Tour is 8* head and actual loft of 8.2*
My old Titleist 910 D2 was a 8.5* loft head but actual loft was 10.2* (no wonder I couldn’t get used to it) ..would love to measure up some SLDR 430 heads :)


Albert Sewill January 2, 2014 at 10:28 am

Dude, you owe it to yourself to check this driver out. I’m not a fan of TM and do more complaining about them than anyone. However, with all that yapping, there is a 430 sitting in my bag, as we speak.


Boone February 11, 2014 at 4:54 pm

Fredz, give it a shot.. being a high ball hitter, I was skeptical as well but, you may be surprised by the results.. I was. My 8.5* Titleist 913 D3 set in the A1 position was launching just over 13* on average, with a positive attack angle between +0.5* and +1.0*.. the average spin rate was right around 2900. My 10.5* SLDR 430 set at 11* was launching just over 13.5* on average, with the same attack angle… but with a spin rate averaging under 2400. Both drivers have identical Graphite Design AD DI-6 shafts and the same operator. According to TrackMan, the gain in overall distance was 11 – 12 yards with no loss of accuracy. As for a lack of “forgiveness”..??? I’ll send you my Titleist Tour Model 1 iron.. practice with it for a month and that “smaller” 430 CC head will look like a tennis racquet.


Carlos December 22, 2013 at 8:25 am

Nothing wrong with smaller heads. I still have and still game two of the best drivers Taylormade has ever made: R510 TP (400cc) and r7 425 TP (425cc) both with Fujikura Speeder 757. There are more forgiving clubs on off center hits but I’ve never found anything longer out there. If someone would like to try a smaller head go search on ebay and will find r7 425 by less than $60!!


Nick December 20, 2013 at 3:46 am

any LH models available?


Willy Rasmussen December 19, 2013 at 3:44 pm

Again, we have another release from one of the major golf manufacturers that has made the Tour issue driver that you bought 6-8 months ago a so-called dinosaur now lucky to be worth 25-40% of what you paid for it. When will we all catch on and just stop buying into this marketing crap?
MERRY CHRITMAS to you all.


MCoz December 20, 2013 at 1:50 pm

Hey one should NOT buy golf clubs as a financial investment! If you are worried about re-selling later when you purchase it then don’t buy it! Golf clubs are not Cars or houses or stocks and bonds!


Bud Davis December 19, 2013 at 8:16 am

Playing golf is fun. Playing golf well is H-A-R-D. I’m sure there’s a segment of players out there who are jumping for joy that TMaG has released another driver with a smaller head. I don’t belong to that segment. There are tons of drivers out there that are designed to help the average Joe hit the ball off the tee reasonably well – thus making a HARD game more fun. If there’s a big pine guarding that dogleg left, I’ll use my big, forgiving driver and aim away from it, not my itsy bitsy “tour” driver and hope to pull off that tight 5 yard draw I was hitting so well on the range.


Tony December 19, 2013 at 3:23 am

Lower spin than the 460 SLDR? This thing will almost produce top spin


DB December 18, 2013 at 8:40 pm

So somebody hit the 460 SLDR and said “Ya know, it’s great. But I want it to be less forgiving and even lower spin.”?


mygolfspy December 18, 2013 at 9:30 pm

“Comment Of The Day”

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