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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 a writer & the Digital Content Creation Lead for GolfWRX. He also hosts the "On Spec" Podcast on GolfWRX Radio discussing everything golf, including gear, technology, fitting, and course architecture. He is a club fitter & master club builder who has more than 16 years experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour professionals. He studied business and marketing at the Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and 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, including True Temper. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, from course architecture to physics, and share his passion for club building, 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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Equipment

New for 2020: Cleveland Golf Smart Sole 4 wedges

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Cleveland Smart Sole Wedge S sole3_4 copy

Cleveland Golf has unveiled its new Smart Sole 4 wedges featuring three new models all of which contain an extra-wide sole with extra leading edge bounce in a design to ensure crisp, clean contact and better stability.

The Smart Sole 4 wedges all feature an extra-wide three-tiered sole, with added leading edge bounce, in a bid to provide maximum forgiveness from the fairway, rough or out of the bunker.

Cleveland Smart Sole Wedge S sole

The new additions also contain upgraded Feel Balancing Technology which sees the redistribution of weight from the hosel to allow the center of gravity to be moved closer to the center of the clubface in design for improved feel and greater consistency.

Cleveland Smart Sole Wedge S top

The Smart Sole 4 wedges feature new aggressive milled grooves that look to generate better spin performance from all conditions.

Cleveland Smart Sole Wedge S face

Cleveland’s Smart Sole 4 wedges arrive in three different models – the C model (42°), G model, (50°), and S model (58°). According to the company, the introduction of the G model aims to provide full-shot capability and extensive versatility to go along with the S and C models.

The new additions for 2020 arrive in right and left-handed options as well as Men’s and Women’s offerings.

Cleveland’s Smart Sole 4 wedges hit retail on February 7, 2020, and are priced at $119.99 MAP for Men’s Steel and $129.99 for Men’s Graphite, while the Women’s Smart Sole 4 wedges are priced at $119.99 MAP for graphite.

 

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Equipment

Puma introduces Ignite PWRADAPT Caged footwear

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2020 Puma Ignite PWRADAPT Caged

Puma Golf has introduced its new Ignite PWRADAPT Caged footwear featuring a new PWRCAGE saddle unit designed to provide locked-in stability.

The Ignite Pwradapt Caged is designed to provide maximum comfort and a perfect fit and contains the brand’s new PWRCAGE Saddle which wraps around the medial and lateral sides of the shoe in a bid to provide unmatched stability.

2020 Puma Ignite PWRADAPT Caged

Speaking on the new Caged footwear, Andrew Lawson, Footwear Product Line Manager, Puma Golf stated

“Our new CAGED footwear will keep you locked in and comfortable all day thanks to our new Adaptive Fit System and PWRCAGE saddle unit which provides the perfect fit, and stability like you’ve never felt before. Best of all, they come in a stylish, lifestyle-inspired, extremely comfortable package.”

2020 Puma Ignite PWRADAPT Caged

As the laces tighten, the cage around a golfer’s foot on the new shoe seeks to form a perfect, comfortable but stable fit, while the Heel Lock Window is designed to cup the golfer’s heel comfortably locking his foot securely into the shoe.

2020 Puma Ignite PWRADAPT Caged

The Ignite PWRADAPT Caged features a layered Adaptive Fit System which seeks to produce 360-degree support through the internal bootie. The external bootie equipped with PWRFRAME technology is designed to ensure that the foot is fully supported in highest impact areas.

Finishing off the technology on the new additions, the shoes feature full-length IGNITE foam cushioning and the PWRADAPT Technology sole is designed to provide responsive comfort and 3-dimensional traction that adapts to the way a golfer moves.

2020 Puma Ignite PWRADAPT Caged

Both the lace and Disc version of Caged feature an Epic Tour Last – a refined, anatomical last shaping that aims to deliver both an excellent fit and ample forefoot volume for maximum comfort as well as a stylish toe-down look.

2020 Puma Ignite PWRADAPT Caged

The Ignite PWRADAPT Caged collection is available in the golfer’s choice of five colorways (Gray Violet/Silver/White, Black/Silver/White, Quiet Shade/Silver/Black, Peacoat/Quiet Shade/Silver and White/Silver/Peacoat).

Limited-Edition colorways and styles of Caged inspired by upcoming, key tournaments this season are also expected to be released throughout 2020.

2020 Puma Ignite PWRADAPT Caged

Available in sizes 7-15, the Ignite PWRADAPT Caged will feature a retail price of $150 and is available through select retailers and at pumagolf.com beginning January 21.

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Equipment

New for 2020: Bettinardi HLX 3.0 wedges

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2020 Bettinardi HLX 3.0 Wedges

Bettinardi has unveiled its new HLX 3.0 Wedges for 2020, which feature a complete re-design of technology and appearance than previous editions from the company.

Unlike the brand’s previous H2 wedge line, the new wedges are crafted from Soft Carbon Steel in a move which aims to provide players with a much softer feel at impact, with a focus on greater versatility, control, and increased forgiveness on a variety of short game shots.

2020 Bettinardi HLX 3.0 Wedges

On the HLX 3.0 wedges, Bettinardi also took their milling expertise to the grind of the sole in a bid to produce more consistency in production, while offering maximum short game playability and repeatability.

Engineered through the company’s High Helix Cut machining process, the HLX 3.0 wedges feature an all-new face which is designed for ultimate soft feel. Through an optimizing process of removing material to generate groove depth’s and spacing to push USGA limits, Bettinardi’s HLX 3.0 wedges seek to offer golfers with ultimate versatility.

2020 Bettinardi HLX 3.0 Wedges

2020 Bettinardi HLX 3.0 Wedges

The C-grind wedge features a higher toe and heel to promote added relief, and clean contact, while the re-designed face which removed 20% more additional surface metal to allow the ball to move past the center of gravity aims to produce a more aggressive spin with more consistent distance control.

2020 Bettinardi HLX 3.0 Wedges

The RJ-grind is aimed towards players who seek increased forgiveness on tight lies and added bounce on square face shots and features the brand’s highest measured bounce for players with a steep angle of attack.

Bettinardi’s HLX 3.0 wedges arrive in both a traditional Chrome finish and the brand’s all-new Black Smoke finish – each of which is designed for greater optics and glare-reduction.

2020 Bettinardi HLX 3.0 Wedges

2020 Bettinardi HLX 3.0 Wedges

The wedges come with a custom Bettinardi Crosstour Soft Grey and Black Lamkin grip and players can choose between three Tour grade shaft options: KBS High Rev, True Temper S400, or the Nippon Pro Modus 115.

2020 Bettinardi HLX 3.0 Wedges

Pre-orders on Bettinardi’s HLX 3.0 wedges begin today while worldwide shipping starts from April 10, 2020.

 

 

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