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2020 TaylorMade SIM and SIM Max drivers: “Shape in Motion”

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2020 TaylorMade SIM and SIM Max drivers: maximizing the “moment of truth” AKA the three feet before impact.

That’s the key piece that I grabbed onto when I was being introduced to the new 2020 Taylor Made SIM driver.

This is where we have landed today in the pursuit of “have your cake and eating it too” performance. Golf technology is becoming a chase of maximizing performance down to literally three feet. On tour, your average player will increase speed in the “moment of truth” from 90 mph to 120 mph. Quite the jump, and frankly—I’m surprised it’s taken this long to bring that part into the bigger conversation.

With the launch of the new 2020 TaylorMade SIM drivers, the Carlsbad golf equipment machine has done just that. With the help of keeping some familiar tech and introducing some new very noticeable design ideas, the new 2020 TaylorMade SIM driver is fast, forgiving, playable, and it all comes in a tight, sophisticated package.

Let’s start with the name Shape in Motion (aka SIM) offered in three models SIM, SIM Max, and SIM Max-D.

TaylorMade and its team lead by engineer Tomo Bystedt had one question in mind: How do we make a driver that increases ball speed and allows for maximum forgiveness? Currently you kind of have to pick one or the other. If a driver is an MOI machine, it most likely sacrifices distance due to its higher spin profile. If it’s a distance monster the opposite applies. Simple enough.

The team at TaylorMade knew they needed to look in a different direction to find a real combo that did both, hence the complex geometry proof that is SIM. In normal-person speak, it’s chasing this unicorn by adjusting the shape of the club rather than what’s under the hood.

2020 TaylorMade SIM

What’s newNew 2020 TaylorMade SIM and SIM Max Drivers

  1. Aerodynamic design: TaylorMade, in its research using a military-grade aerodynamic facility, discovered that it’s not only creating airflow across the body of the driver but more importantly the angle at which that airflow moves. Using wizard math to land on the shape, the new 2020 TaylorMade SIM driver has a shape that literally kicks in right before impact.
  2. Raised crown: The main thing you will notice in the new 2020 TaylorMade SIM drivers is an elevated clubhead. It needs to be said that typically a raised crown equals a higher CG, this is where the real science of this driver gets interesting. With the placement of the Inertia Generator that brings a substantial amount of weight down and low, the driver now accomplished a unicorn scenario, low CG and high MOI.
  3. Carbon: Carbon crowns have become the norm in driver composition these days, some OEMs are new to it, and some like TaylorMade have been in the game for a long time. The new 2020 TaylorMade SIM drivers have what TaylorMade believes to be the strongest, lightest carbon makeup in golf. What this allows is clever weight placement in other areas. That’s what’s fascinating about driver technology these days, they all get a weight tolerance and size limit, where and how they choose to place weight is where you see the personality of each company.
  4. Goodbye T-Rail, welcome back single rail: You will notice that the very effective T-Rail from the M-series is gone and the familiar one rail made famous by the SLDR is back in play. According to TaylorMade, the trade-off is nil. The placement of the inertia generator gives players enough mass in the back to mitigate any loss in workability.

What’s the same

  1. Twist Face technology: It’s a real thing, and yes TaylorMade is not the only company that utilizes a version of this, however, the feedback I’ve gotten from players that used the M3 and M5 drivers responded very positively to what the face will do on heel and toe strikes…so point is, it’s a thing and a good thing.
  2. Speed Injected Face: Can’t have all the science without a consistent face. If you don’t have it, you are a dinosaur. Speed injection is quite simple to grasp at this point, they push the face all the way to the legal threshold and depending on the face use a “speed injection” resin to more or less ensure that every face (not just tour heads) are as hot as the devil himself.
  3. The TaylorMade sound: Last year, there were two drivers on the market that had acoustics that rivaled any modern driver, the Cobra F9 and the TaylorMade M5. They both sound like Thor’s Hammer, solid, heavy and it was across the face. This is no easy task by the way. The new 2020 TaylorMade SIM drivers continued with this trend. I was able to put it through the ringer in Carlsbad and the first thing I’m always looking for with any driver is the sound, this thing swings and sounds like a sledgehammer. The thud that we all love at impact is very much there and on the shots that went a little heel side, the difference was negligible. Very well done here.

How it looks

The new 2020 TaylorMade SIM drivers look exactly how you would want it to look, it looks like you are gonna murder it.

TaylorMade drivers have always had a great shape, it’s one of the things that has kept them at the top year in and year out. The golf clubs just always look good. The shaping is what we have seen for years from TaylorMade. Personally, it’s a shape that I will always jump back to because it’s familiar and I know how to hit these drivers. It’s funny how it works like that.

The topline paint was thinned just a bit (based on tour feedback), and it bleeds further down onto the face to add a better frame at the address. The average golfer may not spot this, but the guys on tour don’t miss a thing, I’ve seen players set a driver down and if that top line doesn’t sit right, that driver gets handed back quickly.

The sound and feel

Pleasing acoustics have been something TaylorMade has always done well, especially in the M5. The new 2020 TaylorMade SIM driver is no different, and to be honest, all they really needed to do was just match the sound of last year and they win. Well, that’s what they did, the sound is identical to last year, which equals that heavy hit, hammer feel at impact. Point is, the new math built into this thing didn’t change the essence of the TaylorMade driver experience one bit. Not an easy task.

The other models

TaylorMade SIM Max

This high-launching, high-MOI machine will be popular for those players seeking a bit more forgiveness or for the better players, a touch more spin. It’s not uncommon for players like DJ, Rahm, Fleetwood, and Casey to look in this direction because, at their speed, a bit more spin doesn’t cost them much, they already hit it far enough. The face on the SIM Max is eight percent larger then SIM, which is a key factor in its forgiving profile.

Photos of the SIM Max (click to enlarge)

TaylorMade SIM Max-D

The Max-D will give a nice forgiving option (18 percent bigger face then S.I.M) to those looking to avoid the right side of the golf course or that need a little help drawing the ball…not a new idea, but players always appreciate the option.

Overall

There were rumblings about the appearance of the New 2020 TaylorMade SIM driver when it was teased out in spy pics. Advice to everyone, don’t let the pics fool you. In hand, this driver looks, sounds and feels amazing. The real question is, what will you gain vs what you have now? The answer for me was, well, not a ton, maybe 2-3 extra yards and a bit more forgiveness. If you are a player that switches every year, the days of gaining 10-15 yards are gone, it’s just reality. So what you need to be looking at in terms of gains is in the minutia. Maybe one more fairway per round, being able to work it around a corner a bit easier, etc. And that’s totally OK. In my case, it’s enough to get me to swap up.

HOWEVER, for those that aren’t in the Gear Junkie Dark Web and are wanting to look into making a driver switch after a few years, the new 2020 TaylorMade SIM drivers are a legitimate upgrade from models of the past. It’s the closest thing I have found to max distance and max forgiveness in a driver. It’s a win for TaylorMade. They always do this part of the bag well, and this year is as to be expected. Well done, guys.

Specifications, Availability & Pricing (Info Courtesy of TaylorMade Golf):

SIM, SIM Max, and SIM Max-D will be available for pre-order on January 10 and at retail on February 7, 2020.

SIM has an MSRP of $549.99 USD and will be offered in 8, 9, and 10.5-degree lofts. Stock shaft offerings include Mitsubishi Diamana S Limited 60 and Project X’s HZRDUS Smoke Green 70, with numerous custom shaft options available at no additional cost. They come stock with a new Golf Pride Z-Grip (47g ).

SIM Max and Max-D have an MSRP of $499.99 USD and will be offered in 9, 10.5, and 12-degree lofts. SIM Max stock shaft offerings include Fujikura Ventus Blue 6 and Ventus Red 5, with numerous additional shaft options available at no additional cost. SIM Max-D’s stock shaft offering is the UST Mamiya Helium, with numerous additional shaft options available at no additional cost. Both models also come stock with the new Golf Pride Z-Grip (47 g). The women’s offering for both SIM Max and SIM Max-D include the Aldila NV Ladies 45 shaft and the Lamkin Ladies Sonar grip (38 g).

Sliding Weight Technology (SIM only): Familiar TaylorMade technology that offers a player up to +/- 20 yards of draw or fade bias.

Loft Sleeve (all three models): 2-degree Loft Sleeve allows for the adjustment of the loft, lie angle, and face angle of the driver.

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Johnny Wunder is the Director of Original Content, Instagram Manager and Host of “The Gear Dive” Podcast for GolfWRX.com. He was born in Seattle, Wash., and grew up playing at Rainier G&CC. John is also a partner with The Traveling Picture Show Company having most recently produced JOSIE with Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner. In 1997 Johnny had the rare opportunity of being a clubhouse attendant for the Anaheim Angels. He now resides in Toronto, On with his wife and two sons. @johnny_wunder on IG

45 Comments

45 Comments

  1. Wes Pender

    Feb 1, 2020 at 6:26 pm

    Will the M5/M6 driver shafts be Interchangeable with the SIM drivers? Or are we buying new shafts again?

  2. Steve C

    Jan 10, 2020 at 12:34 am

    This is another fine example of the major golf manufactures claiming to have reinvented the wheel. As long as golf consumers continue the chase, nothing will change. “There’s a sucker born every minute” has never been truer than in the golf business. In fact, where are my keys? I need to go demo some clubs!

  3. Steve C

    Jan 9, 2020 at 11:05 am

    Reinventing the wheel is what the big guys are best at. They are also pretty good at convincing “Joe Golfer” that the new wheel is soooo much better than last years AMAZING, GAME CHANGING, CANT LIVE WITHOUT, wheel! I’m thinking I will have to take a pass. I’m thinking we should ALL takeaway pass.

  4. Pelling

    Jan 8, 2020 at 2:35 pm

    Will this driver bounce higher off the brick cart path when dropped by the caddy than the M5?

  5. Tom54

    Jan 8, 2020 at 2:24 pm

    The real problem with new drivers out so frequently is the crime of what is offered if you want to trade in your last years model. It’s a shame that a $550 driver well taken care of and minimal use is only worth at tops $150-170 if that on a trade in. I’d be surprised if it only costs $100 or less to produce these clubs yet the markup is tremendous.

    • Craig

      Jan 8, 2020 at 4:35 pm

      Production cost is probably not much, but R&D, marketing and all the over business expenses need to be covered. Need to sell a lot of drivers to cover their tour staff!

    • S

      Jan 12, 2020 at 5:28 pm

      Every object for sale in life is marked up. That’s how retail works. Go cry somewhere else, like 50 years in Communist Russia why don’t you if you don’t understand capitalism. Isn’t that what makes America great, according to your president who is literally the king of business?
      If anything, you should complain about how little tax the most wealthy actually pay.

      • Tom Sanski

        Jan 16, 2020 at 11:51 am

        Actually the wealthiest people in America pay 90 % of all taxes collected, but keep believing opinions from the left(socialist,communist) I will stick with the facts

  6. The DuDe

    Jan 7, 2020 at 10:47 pm

    Mr Wunder

    I have a challenge/request for you, since you seem to have access to golf club companies few us do, try this:
    1) Acquire as many OEM’s current model , 5 year old and 10 year old driver with same specs, loft shaft.
    2) Take them to a robotic facility and test all models with same golf ball
    3) Give us the data
    You will become an instant success with the gearheads here, reason I am asking is that my wife wanted to give me a new Callaway Epic driver for Christmas, after comparing it to my current 5 year old gamer (XR), I would have be paying $529 (PGA Superstore Palm Desert price and location of this test) for 3 more yards distance and minimal dispersion gains

    • Great

      Jan 8, 2020 at 9:12 am

      Great idea! Please do this Golfwrx. I bet the results would be eye opening and very similar.

      • The DuDe

        Jan 9, 2020 at 10:52 pm

        No answer from Mr. Wunder? Did not think so, this would show us that ( like my unscientific experiment) there has been no REAL advance in drivers, the REAL advances has been on the golf ball.
        In my humble opinion, if a PRP reports a 5 yard gain, a recreational player will see none.

        • John Wunder

          Jan 9, 2020 at 11:48 pm

          I’m here Amigos. It’s a great idea and if we ever have the time and logistics to do it, I think it would be a blast.

          • The DuDe

            Jan 10, 2020 at 2:35 pm

            Come John!! Let’s be honest, this will never be done, if you were to do it, GolfWrx would kill the story since the manufacturer’s would stop their advertising here , I understand. .
            My own unscientific experiment opened my eyes, 5 year old XR driver vs the latest EPIC, the results were minimal, gentleman which was working the tracker tried to sell me on 200 less rpms and the 3 yard average gain. Not for $529.00 !!

    • CG

      Feb 16, 2020 at 3:40 pm

      If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! Now, when your shot dispersion and distance gets better once that gamer’s face breaks, might want to reconsider how old your clubs are in the bag.

  7. Tony Hopkins

    Jan 7, 2020 at 5:11 pm

    Great write-up. I’m most excited to see the low spin numbers of the SIM compared to the M5.

    • The DuDe

      Jan 10, 2020 at 2:34 pm

      Come John!! Let’s be honest, this will never be done, if you were to do it, GolfWrx would kill the story since the manufacturer’s would stop their advertising here , I understand. .

      My own unscientific experiment opened my eyes, 5 year old XR driver vs the latest EPIC, the results were minimal, gentleman which was working the tracker tried to sell me on 200 less rpms and the 3 yard average gain. Not for $529.00 !!

  8. retired04

    Jan 7, 2020 at 11:24 am

    Is that a weight screw I see on the back end of the (Cobra like) speedback thing? Can you add weight to the back end as well as the rail thing in the front?

    Important for those of us who use 45″ (or shorter) drivers. At 45″, I need to add at least 6gr +/- to the head weight to get to a standard swing weight/feel and just adding it to the front doesn’t work-can’t get it airborn.

    On second thought, I am interested in the answer, buuut, I ain’t spending $549 on DRIVER.

  9. Carl

    Jan 7, 2020 at 12:10 am

    Why are golf clubs different then a brand new car…my new one had a MSRP of $41,456 but three different dealers offered it to me for $37,900?? so why does a $549 MSRP golf club have to be sold for $549, sounds like fair trade to me and against the law….of course if you do under cut and sell for Less the $549 the golf club company will not let you sell another one….

    • Bogeypro

      Jan 8, 2020 at 5:53 pm

      Because dealers are like resellers, not oem manufacturers like taylormade. Taylormade and other makers control the pricing.

  10. H

    Jan 6, 2020 at 11:21 pm

    Yeah go suck another willy, Wunder boy.
    The same gushing love is given to every TM driver every year. Nothing different.
    Seriously I still see guys hit the R11 just as good and far as the M5, and there are dudes who just murder the SLDR, so why do we need another one? Well it’s new. That’s all it is. But it won’t be more forgiving with more distance, they can’t do it. The Rules limit is there to stop that from happening. They can’t get more distance out of the face or the head. Why do you think they have the driver at 45.75 inches? If the face and head gave you extra speed why isn’t it at 45 inches? Duh

    • Willy Wunder

      Jan 6, 2020 at 11:53 pm

      Thanks for the kind words;) Im just grateful you spelled my last name correctly. Means a lot.

    • Foo

      Jan 9, 2020 at 12:21 pm

      This is not only unnecessarily offensive (it’s just golf equipment, relax), but is so outrageously incoherent with not a hint of actual evidence to support the idea that there is no room left for improvement in drivers. Yes, rules limit things like head size and COR, but there are many other factors in engineering golf clubs, or anything else for that matter, that certainly provide room for incremental enhancements from model to model, which over the years add up to measurable improvement. “I see guys hit the R11 as far as the M5” is not proof that drivers have not gotten better.

  11. Mad-Mex

    Jan 6, 2020 at 11:07 pm

    Dear Mr. Wunder

    Since you probably have access to manufactures most of us only dream of, I propose a challenge which will make you an instant legend among gear-heads.
    Have TM, PING, Titleist, Cobra and Callaway, provide you a current model, a 5 year old model and 10 year old model with same specs, shaft flex and loft.
    Take them to a facility with a Robotic golfer and hit away using same golfball brand, then provide us with the results.
    My current driver is a Callaway XR, my wife wanted to buy me a Callaway EPIC Flash for Christmas, after a comparison using same loft, shaft and ball, the results were minimal 3 yards distance, 4 yards dispersal at BEST, for $529 (PGA Superstore) those are some expensive yards!.
    Hope you take this challenge on

  12. Paul

    Jan 6, 2020 at 9:36 pm

    Too bad it’s a “made-for” Ventus shaft. It won’t be anything like the real deal. Garbage…

  13. HDTVMAN

    Jan 6, 2020 at 7:37 pm

    “Shape In Motion”…LOL! Here we go again! $549? Come on…$699 will really make it the “piece de resistance” of all drivers! So, my $500 M1-M3-M5 were apparently no good compared to this incredible driver. I did have an SLDR, and THAT WAS JUNK! Let’s face it, it’s all smoke & mirrors…marketing gimmicks…to make you buy a new TaylorMade driver every six months. Oh, did I see a “MAX”? Wonder it that is like my Ping G400MAX? Might be, but I’m sure it’s not nearly as good! I’ll pass this year, of course, it you want to PAY ME to play it, I’d reconsider.

  14. Tiger Noods

    Jan 6, 2020 at 5:40 pm

    Same
    Identical
    Model

    Obvi..

  15. Martin

    Jan 6, 2020 at 5:09 pm

    All drivers have gotten way to expensive you usually have to wait a 1 or 2 for the price and OEM now that but until the consumer does not spend money on the new equipment OEM will continue to come out at those price or until some comes out with a driver, fairway or even irons at a lower price and preforms the same or better.

  16. JP

    Jan 6, 2020 at 4:44 pm

    Im sorry, but this article was written like it came straight from the TMAG marketing department. Feels like you are trying to persuade readers the whole time. We want independent thoughts, if i wanted someone to drool over how every new TMAG driver was the second coming of Christ, I’d just go on their website or listen to a nice scripted DJ interview.

    • John Wunder

      Jan 6, 2020 at 6:43 pm

      Read the other write ups I do. If I like a product, I express it. It’s my “independent “ thought. TM makes good stuff and I like it. I also don’t write anything to sell anyone clubs, I would hope for you try everything and decide for yourself.

  17. George Ounapuu

    Jan 6, 2020 at 2:44 pm

    I feel the statement shown below which I copied from the article says it all. I am not playing for PGA prize money weekly so I can live with my G400 for the time being.

    The real question is, what will you gain vs what you have now? The answer for me was, well, not a ton, maybe 2-3 extra yards and a bit more forgiveness. If you are a player that switches every year, the days of gaining 10-15 yards are gone, it’s just reality. So what you need to be looking at in terms of gains is in the minutia. Maybe one more fairway per round, being able to work it around a corner a bit easier, etc.

  18. dat

    Jan 6, 2020 at 2:40 pm

    $100 more than Cobra and literally a carbon copy with some different weighty bits. I wonder where I’ll spend that extra $100?

    • Thomas Ellingsen

      Jan 7, 2020 at 7:02 am

      yeah exactly. price difference probably gets even bigger when you call a certain retailer for a quote. nice list of no upcharge shafts too.

  19. N. D. Boondocks

    Jan 6, 2020 at 2:36 pm

    Weren’t driver weights that were down low and rearward a dinosaur kind of thing a few year’s ago? Maybe my old Wilson Deep Red was actually 20 years ahead of its time.

  20. Joe

    Jan 6, 2020 at 12:37 pm

    Its baffling as well as hilarious how many of you losers take the time out of your day to read articles and rip them. Those look nothing like an F9. If you dont like TMAG then stfu and quit reading articles about their product. Haven’t even swung the club and you’re hating on it. Lmao

  21. Leftienige

    Jan 6, 2020 at 11:50 am

    SIM.stands.for.SIMilar.to.our.last.few.models.and.all.the.other.companies,too.

  22. Colin Pugh

    Jan 6, 2020 at 11:24 am

    Isn’t this basically a rebadged F9? Looks to have the same technology. Seems like these days companies just “tweak” everyone else’s ideas and claim them as their own.
    Not dogging it, just stating my opinion.

  23. Dave

    Jan 6, 2020 at 10:46 am

    1st glance I thought Fusion knockoff.

    For choppers like me TM drivers have never been the best at hitting balls off the deck and with that rail it may be tough for the SIM.

    Can’t wait to try it.

  24. HDTVMAN

    Jan 6, 2020 at 10:33 am

    “MAX”…didn’t another company use that 2 years ago? And their “MAX” is the real deal!

  25. cjb

    Jan 6, 2020 at 10:28 am

    Fastback

  26. Nick

    Jan 6, 2020 at 9:51 am

    Hallelujah – someone has finally offered an 8* loft. Some players can actually use a lower loft. Well done, TM

    • G

      Jan 7, 2020 at 1:56 am

      They had it with the SLDR. Why didn’t you hit that?

  27. Kevin

    Jan 6, 2020 at 9:05 am

    All of this info is true ONLY if Tiger switches to this driver

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Whats in the Bag

Anirban Lahiri WITB 2020

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  • WITB accurate as of January 2020

Driver (two models): Titleist TS3 (9.5 degrees, D4 SureFit setting)
Shaft: Aldila Rogue Silver 130 M.S.I. 60 TX

anirban-lahiri-witb-2020

3-wood: Callaway Epic Flash (15 degrees, DS OptiFit setting)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Blue 70 TX

anirban-lahiri-witb-2020

5-wood: Ping G410 (17.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Blue 80 TX

anirban-lahiri-witb-2020

Hybrid: PXG 0317 X (22 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi MMT UT 105 TX

anirban-lahiri-witb-2020

Irons: Srixon Z 785 (4), Srixon Z 945 (5-PW)
Shafts: Nippon N.S. Pro Modus3 Tour 120 X

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM7  (50-12M)
*We were unable to photograph Lahiri’s other wedges

Putter: Toulon Design Austin Stroke Lab

Putter: OnOff Prototype

 

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Equipment

A Deep Dive: The equipment timeline of David Duval, 1993-2001

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Like Tiger, David Toms, and Fred Couples there are certain players that I have been obsessed with for years. If you go to my Instagram, you can see it in plain sight. When it comes to DD it was more than the what, it was the why, the how that sparked my curiosity. Let’s face it, in 2000 with the Mossimo gear, Oakley shades, jacked-up physique, and on Titleist staff, was there ever a cooler looking player?

No. There wasn’t or isn’t.

That’s where my interest in Larry Bobka came about. I saw David and Larry walking the fairways of Sahalee at the ’98 PGA Championship.

At the time, I was already knee-deep in David Duval fandom but that experience took me over the top. Bobka had a handful of clubs in his hands and would pass DD a 970 3-wood, Duval would give it a rip and the two would discuss while walking down the fairway. Of all my time watching live golf, I have never been so awestruck.

This is an homage to David’s equipment during his prime/healthy years on the PGA Tour. From his early days with Mizuno, into the Titleist days, and finally Nike.

1993-1995 Mizuno

*This was an interesting time for Duval from an equipment standpoint. The pattern of mixing sets to put together his bag began and it was the time he transitioned from persimmon (Wood Bros driver) into metal woods. It was also the beginning of his long relationship with Scotty Cameron, a relationship that still stands today.

What was in the bag

Driver: TaylorMade Tour Burner 8.5 w/ Dynamic Gold X100 (*he also played with the Bubble XHKP Prototype)

3-wood

King Cobra @14 w/ Dynamic Gold X100

TaylorMade Tour Issue Spoon @13  w/ Dynamic Gold X100

Irons

1993: (1) Ping Eye2, (3-PW) Mizuno Pro TN-87 with Dynamic Gold X100

1994: (1) Ping Eye2, (3-PW) Mizuno Pro TN-87 with Dynamic Gold X100

1995: (2,3) Mizuno TC-29, (4-PW) Mizuno TN-87 with Dynamic Gold X100

Wedges: Mizuno Pro (53, 58) with Dynamic Gold X100

Putter: Scotty Cameron Classic Newport (35 inches, 71 lie, 4 degrees of loft)

Ball: Titleist Tour Balata 100

Glove: Mizuno Pro

1996-2000 Titleist

The beginning of the Titleist years started off quietly. There wasn’t any new product launched and David wasn’t quite the star he would become 12-18 months later. However, it gave Titleist the opportunity to get to know DD and his overall preferences, which aren’t dramatic but certainly unique. He didn’t win in 1996 but did qualify for the Presidents Cup Team and finished that event off at 4-0. So the buzz was going in the right direction and his peers certainly took notice.

It was 1997 that things took off on all fronts and it was the year that Titleist made David Duval the face of the DCI brand and with that decision spawned the greatest cast players cavity ever: the 962B—and also equipped David Duval to go on a 3-year run that was surpassed by only Tiger Woods.

Hence the deep dive article I wrote up earlier this month

What was in the bag

Driver

1996

TaylorMade Bubble Tour 8.5 w/ Bubble XHKP Prototype

1997

TaylorMade Bubble Tour 8.5 w/ Bubble XHKP Prototype

King Cobra Deep Face 9 w/ Dynamic Gold X100

Callaway Warbird Great Big Bertha 6.5 w/ Dynamic Gold X100, True Temper EI70 Tour X

Titleist 975D 6.5 (no line heavier head weight) w/ Fujikura Prototype X

1998

Callaway Warbird Great Big Bertha 6.5 w/ True Temper EI70 Tour X

Titleist 975D 6.5 (no line heavier head weight) w/ True Temper EI70 Tour X

1999: Titleist 975D 6.5 (no line heavier head weight) @ 7.5 w/ True Temper EI70 Tour X

2000: Titleist 975D 7.5 (no line heavier head weight) w/ True Temper EI70 Tour X

3-wood

1996

King Cobra @14 w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold X100

1997 

King Cobra @14 w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold X100

1998

Callaway S2H2 (1 Dot) @14 w/ Fujikura Vista Pro 90X


Callaway Steelhead 3+ @13 w/ RCH 90 Pro Series Strong

Titleist 970 (Dark Grey Head) @13 w/ True Temper EI70 Tour X (only tested this one)

1999

Callaway S2H2 (1 Dot) @14 w/ Fujikura Vista Pro 90X

Cobra Gravity Back 14.5T w/ True Temper EI70 Tour X

Irons

1996

(2-PW) Titleist DD Blank Prototype w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 (w/sensicore)

(2-PW) Titleist DCI Black “B” w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 (w/sensicore)

*This prototype set was a blank set of the DCI Black “B” but with sole modifications. 

1997, 1998, 1999, 2000: (2,3) Titleist DCI Black (4-PW) Titleist DCI 962B w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 (with sensicore)

*David liked the original prototype version of DG Sensicore X100 that had weight removed from the center of shaft to create better feel and a slightly higher trajectory

24 Feb 2000: David Duval watches the ball after hitting it during the World Match-Play Championships at the La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, California. Mandatory Credit: Harry How /Allsport

Wedges

1996: (52 @53, 58) Mizuno Pro, (56 @57) Cleveland 588 RTG w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold S400

1997: (53) Cobra “Trusty Rusty”, (57 @58) Cleveland 588 RTG, (58) Titleist Bobka Grind, (57 @58) Cobra Trusty Rusty w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold S400

1998: (53) Cobra “Trusty Rusty”, (57 @58) Cleveland 588 RTGw/ True Temper Dynamic Gold S400

1999: (53) Cobra “Trusty Rusty”, (57 @58) Cleveland 588 RTG w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold S400

2000: (53) Cobra “Trusty Rusty”, (57 @58) Cleveland 588 “Gun Metal” w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold S400

PUTTER

1996: Scotty Cameron Classic Newport 1 35 Inches, 71 Lie, 4 Degrees of Loft, Scotty Cameron Long Slant Neck Laguna Custom (double welded neck)

1997: Odyssey Dual Force Rossie 2, Scotty Cameron Pro Platinum Newport “Beached”  35 Inches, 71 Lie, 4 Degrees of Loft w/ PingMan “Blacked Out” Grip

1998, 1999, 2000: Scotty Cameron Pro Platinum Newport “Beached”  35 Inches, 71 Lie, 4 Degrees of Loft w/ PingMan “Blacked Out” Grip

2001: Nike Golf and The Open Championship

The relationship with Titleist Golf ended quickly and when David showed up to Kapalua with a non-Titleist stand bag the rumor mill went nuts. The story (although super speculative) was that David opted out in the middle of a $4.5 million per year deal with Acushnet, a lawsuit followed, but Davids’s stance was that he had a marquee player clause that allowed him to walk if he wasn’t “marquee” aka highest-paid.

Apparently he had a point, Acushnet had recently inked big deals with Davis Love and Phil Mickelson leading someone on the outside to do the math. However, I’m not an attorney, wasn’t there, and have no clue what the legality of any of it was. Point is, he walked and landed at Nike with a new head-to-toe contract. 

 

DRIVER:

Titleist 975D 7.5 (no line heavier head weight) w/ True Temper EI70 Tour X

Titleist 975E Prototype 8.5 w/ True Temper EI70 Tour X

Nike Titanium w/ True Temper EI-70 II Tour X (pictured below)

Nike Titanium Prototype 7.5 w/ True Temper EI70 Tour X (featured image)

3 WOOD:

Callaway Steelhead Plus 4+ @15 w/ RCH 90 Pro Series Strong

Nike Prototype @14 degrees w/ True Temper EI-70 Tour X

Sonartec/Excedo (SS-03 head) Driving Cavity @14 w/ Fujikura Vista Pro 90X

IRONS:

(2-PW) Titleist 990B w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold X100  (with sensicore)

(2-PW) Nike Prototype “DD” Grind MB w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 (with sensicore)

(2) Titleist DCI Black w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold X100  (with sensicore)

 

WEDGES: 

(53) Cobra “Trusty Rusty”, (57 @58) Cleveland 588 “Gun Metal” w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold S400

(53,58) Nike DD Grind w/ True Temper Dynamic Gold S400

PUTTER: Scotty Cameron Pro Platinum Newport “Beached”  35 Inches, 71 Lie, 4 Degrees of Loft w/ PingMan “Blacked Out” Grip

SPEC TALK

Over the years the one constant was David’s iron and wedge specs. As a shut-faced player he has always favored traditional lofts in his irons. However, a cool thing to note is his lie angles remained constant 59.5 (2-4), 60 (5-9). The running theory here was being a shallow (low hands) and shut faced player, keeping the lie angles at a constant (flatter) lie angle allowed him to feel like his angle of attack could remain the same for each iron. It’s just a feeling but that’s what he did. If the “why of it” is true, it looks like he was doing Bryson things before Bryson did.

David Duval Iron/Wedge Specs

Loft/Lie/Length/SW

  • 2-17/59.5/40.25/D5
  • 3-20.5/59.5/39 1/6/D4
  • 4-24/59.5/38 9/16/D4
  • 5-27/60/38 1/16/D4
  • 6-30.5/60/ 37 9/16/D4
  • 7-35/60/37 1/16/D4
  • 8-39/60/36 9/16/D4
  • 9-43/60/36 5/16/D4
  • P-47/61/36/ 1/16/D5
  • GW-53/62/35 5/8/D4
  • LW-58/62/35 9/16/D6

Whew…since this prolific run, David transitioned into some interesting projects with smaller companies like Scratch, B.I.G Golf (AKA Bio-engineered in Germany), back to the mainstream with Nike, and most currently Cobra Golf.

I hope you all enjoyed this walk down memory lane with me, Duval is not only fascinating from a career standpoint but digging into the equipment of DD has been quite the experience.

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Equipment

“Why can’t I hit my new irons to a consistent distance?” – GolfWRXers have their say

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In our forums, our members have been discussing irons and how to hit your numbers consistently. WRXer ‘Hubb1e’, who is a 15 handicap, is having issues and says:

“I recently upgraded from 20 year old Taylor Made 360 irons to a set of custom-built Callaway Apex 19 Forged irons. Old irons were traditional cavity back. New irons are categorized as players distance irons. Both have the same fit.

My new 3 iron will go 230 yards or 130 yards and not even make it far enough to reach the fairway. My new 7 iron will typically go 160 yards but will often will fly 175 yards or drop out of the air at 120 yards. I can’t control the distances of my new irons, and I spent a fortune custom fitting them to my swing. Why is this happening? This was never an issue with my old irons. A bad hit would go 10-20% shorter, but I never had balls fly over the green or completely fall out of the air. What is going on with my new equipment?”

Our members offer up their solutions in our forum.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • ThreeBoxers: “Strike quality is your answer. Tech or no tech, irons will not have 50-yard distance discrepancies. Not super familiar with the Apex irons, but they’re pretty forgiving no? You might lose 10 yards on toe or heel strikes but 40, 50? You’re probably hitting it heavy. If they have a beveled edge, it may mask the feeling of hitting it fat a bit, but not the result. My Mizunos have a pretty aggressive front edge grind which helps a ton on heavy shots. It’s the difference between landing 15 yards short and 50 yards short. +1 on using foot spray to check impact.”
  • extrastiff: “It also would not hurt to check your swing speed. Even strike being terrible that’s a large discrepancy. Maybe your last build had a weight that helped you get consistent swing speed.”
  • WristySwing: “I would say inconsistent strike is the biggest issue. Now that can mean a couple of things. It could mean you, as in the person swinging, are not hitting the ball properly because of inconsistent delivery. The other option is the fit is bad, and it is causing you to be extremely inconsistent because you cannot feel the head. It might be a little bit of column A and column B. However, I would lean more towards column A in this scenario because even a horrifically misfit set someone could get used to it eventually and not have 100 yards of discrepancy in carry shot to shot. I’ve seen people who are playing 50g ladies flex irons with fat wide soles who are very shallow and swing a 6i 92mph still not have 100 yards of carry flux with their sets. If your miss is toe-side 9/10x that is because you are coming too far from the inside. When you get too stuck on the inside you typically stall and throw your arms at it. When you break your wrists (flip)/throw your arms at it you get a very inconsistent low point average that often manifests in extremely fat or thin strikes….typically fat since your squat and rotate is out of sync with your release. As others have said, get some impact tape/foot powder spray and see where you are actually making contact. Then if you can get on a video lesson and see what the issue is. As of right now, we can all only assume what is going on. If your low point control is good, you don’t get stuck, and you are hitting it in the middle of the head — then fit comes into question.”
  • larryd3: “I”d be on the phone to my fitter and setting up a time to go back in and see what’s going on with the irons. You shouldn’t be getting those types of results with a properly fit set of irons. When I got my fitting earlier this year at TrueSpec, the fitter, after watching me hit a bunch with my current irons, focused on increasing the spin on my irons, not on distance but on consistency. So far, they seem to be working well when I put a decent swing on them.”
  • fastnhappy: “One possibility that wouldn’t necessarily show up indoors is sole design and turf interaction. You may have a real problem with the newer clubs because of a sole design that doesn’t work for your swing. That’s hard to tell when hitting inside off a mat. If so, you’d see major distance inconsistency because of strike. The feedback I’ve seen on the players distance irons is exactly what you’re describing… difficult to control distance.”

Entire Thread: “Why can’t I hit my new irons to a consistent distance?”

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