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WRX Spotted: TaylorMade SIM Drivers on USGA Conforming list

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Taylormade Sim Driver

The already much-speculated-about TaylorMade SIM drivers are now officially on the USGA and R&A Conforming Clubs List.

With the PGA Tour’s Sentry Tournament of Champions starting in just a few days on Jan 2, it would be no surprise to see these drivers in the bags of almost every TaylorMade staff member along with a few non-staffers too. Here’s what we know so far.

SIM
Taylormade Sim Driver

Based on the information gathered from the USGA list and a little bit of deduction, the SIM driver appears to be the flagship model geared towards the slightly faster or higher spin players looking for workability. There is a lot of visible technology packed into this head including a revert to the “SLDR-like” single front sliding weight track. The big difference compared to the SLDR is the long and protruding mass towards the back of the head to move CG much lower and away from the face—allowing for Higher MOI but still offering a low spin design, that and the use of carbon fiber.

No word yet if the different color of the protrusion means TaylorMade is using another material at the back of the head to push mass even further back, but if I had to guess, something is going on back there.

Like the previous M5 and M6 drivers, the use of carbon fiber appears to again be expanding to reaches of the head not seen before in a TaylorMade product, which could be allowing for a more multi-material construction.

Other technologies currently assumed to again be built into the new head include the proven Twist Face, and Speed Injected face to keep the SIM right to the max for CT (Characteristic of Time) and we already know it passed since these are on the Conforming List.

The other telltale sign that this is a club geared towards the better/faster players is the loft availability 8°, 9°, and 10.5° heads.

SIM MAX
Sim Max Taylormade

If there is one thing golf companies seem to be able to agree on, it’s the “MAX” moniker equals greater forgiveness in any number of products, and the SIM MAX appears to be no different.

Offering the same sole shape as the standard SIM the MAX excludes the sliding weight track, probably much like the previous M6 compared to the M5, it has been excluded in favor of having a deeper, lower Center of Gravity to increase MOI. It doesn’t appear though that TaylorMade is just targeting average swing speeds with this driver either since the lofts also go from 8°, 9°, 10.5°, and up to 12°. If modern fitting has taught us anything, it’s loft is just a number to create a recipe for higher launching, lower spinning drives.

The carbon fiber on the MAX appears to wrap all the way up to the toe and around the back of the head—if we assume that the crown is also carbon than the TaylorMade SIM MAX could be TaylorMade’s most forgiving driver to date utilizing any number of multi-material advantages to push Center of Gravity lower than they ever have before.

SIM MAX-D (Draw)

Sim MAX D
Let me make one thing clear: there isn’t a driver on the market with the letter “D” being used to identify a model that is not in some way draw biased.

The SIM MAX-D looks to be using all of the same visible (and potentially hidden) technology as the other models but using more discretionary mass to move the CG towards the heel—notice the metal looking piece towards the lower heel of the head.

The MAX-D is also the first of the three models with the easy to read “Aerodynamic Sole Design” clearly visible on the head. Until proven otherwise, it also looks like it can be seen on the toe of the other two models as well.

Conclusion

The SIM Drivers from TaylorMade are going to be their flagship metal woods for 2020 and are using more carbon fiber than ever before. As it has been said many times, driver CT has been maxed out for years now, but that still doesn’t mean we have hit a wall as far as fitting, and finding ways to create speed through engineering.

More discretionary mass around the head and CG optimization are still the keys to helping golfers unlock more distance and consistency off the tee. If you add in new key face technologies to boost speed on mishits, and improved aerodynamics, then it looks like we could be going further again in 2020 with the TaylorMade SIM.

 

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Ryan Barath is part of the Digital Content Creation Team for GolfWRX. He hosts the "On Spec" Podcast on the GolfWRX Radio Network which focuses on discussing everything golf, including gear, technology, fitting, and course architecture. He is a club-fitter & master club builder with more than 17 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. He is the former Build Shop Manager & Social Media Coordinator for Modern Golf. He now works independently from his home shop and is a member of advisory panels to a select number of golf equipment manufacturers. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, and share his passion for club building, course architecture and wedge grinding.

30 Comments

30 Comments

  1. Steve Botica

    Dec 31, 2019 at 11:43 am

    Why is the sentiment so negative here?
    People claiming to be real golfers because they don’t use Taylormade.??It is very clear Taylormade keeps the hype machine working 24/7, by attempting to lure you into buying a new driver every 6 months.Well,if you’re one of the sheep out there that can afford it,good for you.Contrary to that if you have any clue how consumerism works,you would not get duped by these elementary smokescreens. Find a driver that works and hit till its dull. Buy a 3 year old model off the rack and repeat. Taylormade,Ping,Callaway,Titleist what ever. Brand elitists need to check themselves.

  2. Troy

    Dec 31, 2019 at 8:37 am

    I’ll stick with my PXG 0811X, keep pounding it and watch the release of probably two sets of TM product lines this year alone!

  3. Kevin

    Dec 31, 2019 at 2:05 am

    Taylormade has lost its credibility in the driver game , can they not produce a driver that can last 24 months ? Come on , do they think we should be constantly changing $600 drivers , just for a new flashy head over .

  4. Straight Driver

    Dec 31, 2019 at 1:13 am

    S.I.M. hmmm……stands for “Sucks, I Missed.”

  5. dat

    Dec 30, 2019 at 10:49 pm

    Overpriced junk unless you buy the tour models for $899 a head.

  6. JThunder

    Dec 30, 2019 at 7:43 pm

    The only thing more predictable than *every* club company releasing a “new” driver on a regular schedule is the litany of repetitive and meaningless commentary which follows.

    TM – and *every* other company (including PXG) releases new clubs because their shareholders, their dealers, and their own marketing departments *demand* that they must. If you dislike this enough to comment negatively every single time, then vote for socialism.

    I suppose you could argue that the almighty internet – fueled by social media and “comments” sections for most media – “demands” that you have an opinion and believe others are entitled to it.

    One is a waste of money and resources, the other is a waste of time. Happy new year.

  7. y2zar

    Dec 30, 2019 at 7:19 pm

    Va, a club for bow. Vee’s fredishay golf

  8. Mark

    Dec 30, 2019 at 6:58 pm

    Sim stands for Speed in Motion… Just so you know. And M6 will be 399.99 not 299.99, M2 is still 299.99. New driver every 12 months like they did the last 3 years. You people crack me up.

    • Michael

      Dec 30, 2019 at 7:06 pm

      Oh look another OEM hater. Who gives a crap. No one is forcing you to buy one.

    • Scott Erdmann

      Dec 30, 2019 at 8:21 pm

      It’s Shape In Motion…

  9. Erik Filipiak

    Dec 30, 2019 at 6:41 pm

    Looks like an SLDR and an M6 made sweet love and this is what they spawned…..

  10. Tyler Made

    Dec 30, 2019 at 5:50 pm

    I like it!

  11. Brandon

    Dec 30, 2019 at 4:23 pm

    That might be the ugliest driver since the R1 era

  12. Adam

    Dec 30, 2019 at 4:07 pm

    “OMG why do they make a new driver every year?!”
    Jeez guys, I didn’t know the driver in your bag automatically disintegrates after one year forcing you to buy a new one.
    Or you just bitter playing a slightly outdated driver? The best part about new drivers every year is the rate at which used drivers drop in price. You have year old drivers that are brand new selling for half of what they sold for a year ago.

  13. Mike B

    Dec 30, 2019 at 4:01 pm

    TM SIM 2020… its more like Nike Vapor Fly Flex 2015! Their stuff is junk since the M1 2017 model, which I liked but dented in the face, replaced with a 2018 M1, which also dented. And that’s why i play a HONMA driver and MIZUNO irons. Nothing from TM will ever see my bag again. But there are fanboys and will sell a butt load of them.

  14. Tom54

    Dec 30, 2019 at 3:44 pm

    Not sure if all the readers “shanks” outnumbering the “likes” is an indication of what is thought about Taylormade drivers anymore but I was once fairly loyal to that brand myself until they kept coming out with something new every 6-8 months it seemed. I had a SLDR tp myself and thought it was the worst $500 driver I ever had. I gave them another shot with the M1/M2 but still wasn’t too satisfied. All my friends were using Ping models and I was reluctant to switch but I now am using the G410 lst and am not planning on switching anytime soon. I’m sure all the TM staff will be out in force with their new “SIM” logo on the hats to promote it but for me, the actual buying customer, that’s a no for me.

  15. Rich Douglas

    Dec 30, 2019 at 3:34 pm

    For those of you who held on to your M1 drivers, congratulations. They’re back.

  16. TacklingDummy

    Dec 30, 2019 at 3:28 pm

    I really like the sound of the graphite crown of TM driver. Not super tingy more of a solid rip sound.

  17. J.A.

    Dec 30, 2019 at 3:04 pm

    Another Driver from TM.. what’s new ? They just change the color scheme, a little tweak here and there that doesn’t do jack s*** in terms performace and throw a new name on it to sell it to idiots in need of burning another $500-600.. only so they can do it all over again in 3 months.. TM = BS

  18. HDTVMAN

    Dec 30, 2019 at 2:34 pm

    Just buy a Ping G400MAX. TM comes out with a new driver every other month!

    • Plumpyl

      Dec 30, 2019 at 3:07 pm

      Sorry, when did the m5/6 come out? You’re fake news

  19. Alex

    Dec 30, 2019 at 2:00 pm

    A more forgiving SLDR sounds pretty good. SLDR was an absolute rocket ship…too bad your next shot was from the other fairway though.

  20. Tenbuck

    Dec 30, 2019 at 1:15 pm

    I wonder how many copies of the Anser there are out there? Sooner or later with manufacturers getting closer to COR, some things will start to look the same including the techniques to get to that look. There are just so many difference looks you can give a club that hasn’t been used and still be pleasant to the eye.

  21. Gunter Eisenberg

    Dec 30, 2019 at 12:24 pm

    Can’t wait to get the M6 at a discount in the coming weeks as they blow it out to make space for the SIM driver.

  22. Billy Gunn

    Dec 30, 2019 at 10:58 am

    Hmmm…The name “SIM” makes you think that they used Artificial Intelligence to design the driver. Now, where have I heard that before?

    Taylor Made ripping off Callaway and Cobra Technology and putting it into their drivers.

    Also, the SLDR was a very inaccurate driver. The ball went a country mile but it was very difficult to control. I’m skeptical about reverting to that weight track system.

    • Victor

      Dec 30, 2019 at 3:18 pm

      What’s SIM spelled backwards? I prefer not to have anything resembling a miss written on my clubs ????

      • LoPro

        Dec 30, 2019 at 4:30 pm

        MIS is standard for this company to real golfers……in a year get it for $299

  23. Chris

    Dec 30, 2019 at 10:44 am

    Looks like a Cobra SpeedZone

    • Jin

      Dec 31, 2019 at 8:33 am

      No look like a cobra f9…a copy with an old SLDR weight tossed in.

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Whats in the Bag

Dustin Johnson WITB 2020

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Driver: TaylorMade SIM (10.5 @ 10 degrees, D4 swing weight)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 6 X (tipped 1 inch, 45.75 inches)

Fairway wood: TaylorMade SIM Max (15 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila RIP Alpha 90 X

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max Rescue (22 @ 19 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Black 105 X

Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), TaylorMade P730 DJ Proto (4-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 (soft stepped)

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 (52-09, 60-10 @ 62 degrees)
Shafts: KBS Tour Custom Black 120 S

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Mini
Grip: SuperStroke Traxion Pistol GT 1.0

Ball: TaylorMade TP5

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet 58R (1 wrap 2-way tape + 2 wraps left hand, 3 right hand)

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Top 10 clubs of 2003—inspired by Adam Scott’s Titleist 680 irons

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As has been well documented, Adam Scott recently won the Genesis Invitational with a set of Titleist 680 blade irons, a design that was originally released in 2003. One of the great benefits of being one of the best players in the world is you don’t need to search eBay to find your preferred set of 17-year-old irons. Titleist has been stocking sets for Mr. Scott—even to the point of doing a limited production run in 2018 where they then released 400 sets for sale to the general public.

A lot of time has passed since 2003, and considering the classic nature of Scott’s Titleist 680, I figured now was a good time to look back at some other iconic clubs released around the same time.

Ping G2 driver

This was Ping’s first 460cc driver with a full shift into titanium head design. The previous Si3 models still utilized the TPU adjustable hosel, and this was considered a big step forward for the Phoenix-based OEM. The driver was a big hit both on tour and at retail—as was the rest of the G2 line that included irons.

TaylorMade RAC LT (first gen) irons

The RAC LTs helped position TaylorMade back among the leaders in the better players iron category. The entire RAC (Relative Amplitude Coefficient) line was built around creating great feeling products that also provided the right amount of forgiveness for the target player. It also included an over-sized iron too. The RAC LT went on to have a second-generation version, but the original LTs are worthy of “classic” status.

TaylorMade R580 XD driver

Honestly, how could we not mention the TaylorMade R580 XD driver? TM took some of the most popular drivers in golf, the R500 series and added extra distance (XD). OK, that might be an oversimplification of what the XD series offered, but with improved shape, increased ball speed outside of the sweet spot, and lower spin, it’s no wonder you can still find these drivers in the bags of golfers at courses and driving ranges everywhere.

Titleist 680MB irons

The great thing about blades is that beyond changing sole designs and shifting the center of gravity, the basic design for a one-piece forged head hasn’t changed that much. For Adam Scott, the 680s are the perfect blend of compact shape, higher CG, and sole profile.

Titleist 983K, E drivers

If you were a “Titleist player,” you had one of these drivers! As one of the last companies to move into the 460cc category, the 983s offered a classic pear shape in a smaller profile. It was so good and so popular, it was considered the benchmark for Titleist drivers for close to the next decade.

Cleveland Launcher 330 driver

It wasn’t that long ago that OEMs were just trying to push driver head size over 300cc, and Cleveland’s first big entry into the category was the Launcher Titanium 330 driver. It didn’t live a long life, but the Launcher 330 was the grandaddy to the Launcher 400, 460, and eventually, the Launcher COMP, which is another club on this list that many golfers will still have fond memories about.

Mizuno MP 33 irons

Although released in the fall of 2002, the Mizuno MP 33 still makes the list because of its staying power. Much like the Titleist 680, this curved muscle blade was a favorite to many tour players, including future world No. 1 Luke Donald. The MP 33 stayed in Mizuno’s lineup for more than four years and was still available for custom orders years after that. Unfortunately, if you are looking for a set now you are going to have to go the used route.

Callaway X-16 irons

The Steelhead X-16 was a big hit at retail for Callaway. It offered greater forgiveness than the previous X-14’s but had a more compact shape with a wider topline to inspire confidence. They featured Callaway’s “Notch” weighting system that moved more mass to the perimeter of the head for higher MOI and improved feel. There was a reduced offset pro series version of the iron, but the X-16 was the one more players gravitated towards. This is another game improvement club for that era that can still be found in a lot of golf bags.

Ben Hogan CFT irons

The Hogan CFTs were at the forefront of multi-material iron technology in 2003. CFT stood for Compression Forged Titanium and allowed engineers to push more mass to the perimeter of the head to boost MOI by using a thin titanium face insert. They had what would be considered stronger lofts at the time sounded really powerful thanks to the thin face insert. If you are looking for a value set of used irons, this is still a great place to start.

King Cobra SZ driver

In 2003, Rickie Fowler was only 15 years old and Cobra was still living under the Acushnet umbrella as Titleist’s game improvement little brother. The Cobra SZ (Sweet Zone, NOT 2020 Speed Zone) was offered in a couple of head sizes to appeal to different players. The thing I will always remember about the original King Cobra SZ is that it came in an offset version to help golfers who generally slice the ball—a design trait that we still see around today.

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Today from the Forums: “The importance of wedge fitting”

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Today from the Forums we delve into a subject dedicated to wedge fitting. Liquid_A_45 wants to know if wedge fitting is as essential for golfers as iron fitting, and our members weigh into the discussion saying why they feel it is just as imperative.

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.

  • Z1ggy16: “Super important if you’re a serious golfer. Even better if you can get fit outdoors on real grass and even go into a bunker.”
  • ThunderBuzzworth: “The biggest part of wedge fitting is yardage gapping and sole grinds. If you have a grind that doesn’t interact with the turf in your favor, it can be nightmarish around the greens. When hitting them try a variety of short game shots with different face angles etc. with the different grinds to see which one works best for what you need.”
  • Hawkeye77: “Wedge fitting I had was extremely beneficial when I got my SM6s a few years ago. Mostly for working with the different grinds and how they interacted with my swing and on different shots and having an eye on my swing to help with the process and evaluate the results. My ideas of what grinds were right for me based on researching on Titleist, etc. just were not correct in 2/3 of the wedges I ended up with as far as the grinds were concerned. Good to have an experienced fitter available to answer questions, control variables, etc.”
  • cgasucks: “The better you get at this game, the more important wedges are.”

Entire Thread: “The importance of wedge fitting”

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