2020 TaylorMade SIM driver and 2020 TaylorMade SIM Max driver: 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 “having your cake and eating it too” performance. Golf technology is becoming a chase for 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 of the club’s path 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 driver
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
2020 TaylorMade SIM Max driver
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)
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.
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.
American Express, Abu Dhabi Golf Championship Tour Truck Report: BK to Srixon? MCA has a ton of new shafts, Rickie goes graphite
Most of the big action for Team TaylorMade is taking place in Abu Dhabi with Rory and Tommy in the field. After extensive weeks of testing, this is what they have in the bag this week
Tommy Fleetwood WITB
Driver: TaylorMade SIM2 (10.5 degrees @8.5)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana DF 70 TX (tipped 1 inch, 44.75 inches)
3-wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Rocket 3 (13.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana DF 70 TX (42.5 inches)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana DF 80 TX (41.25 inches)
Irons: TaylorMade P7TF (4-PW)
Shafts: Project X Rifle 6.5
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400
Putter: Odyssey White Hot Pro 3
Grip: SuperStroke Mid Slim 2.0
Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord (D, 3W, 5W, 7W, and wedges), Iomic Sticky @12:30 (irons)
Ball: TaylorMade TP5x ’21 Proto
Rory McIlroy WITB
Driver: TaylorMade SIM2 (10.5 degrees @8.5)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 6 X (45.5 inches, 59.25 lie, D4)
3-wood: TaylorMade SIM2 (15 degrees @13.5)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 80 TX (43.25 inches, 58 lie, D4)
5-wood: TaylorMade SIM2 (19 degrees @ 18.25)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro White 90 TX
Irons: TaylorMade P7MB (4-PW)
Shaft: Project X Rifle 7.0 (6.5 in PW)
Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 (52-09SB, 56-12SB, 60-08LB)
Shaft: Project X Rifle 6.5
Putter: TaylorMade Spider X Copper (34.25 inches, 2.5 loft, 70 lie)
Ball: 2021 TaylorMade TP5x (#22)
Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord (58R 1+1, logo down)
Matthew Wolff WITB
Driver: TaylorMade SIM2 Max (10.5 degrees @9)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD TP 7 TX
3-wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Titanium (15 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD XC 8 X
Irons: TaylorMade P7MC (3-PW)
Shafts: Project X 6.5
Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 (50-09SB, 56-12SB, 60-09LB)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100
Grips: Golf Pride ZGrip Cord (+3 double-sided tape)
Putter: TaylorMade Spider X Proto (33 inches, lie at 70, 3.5 loft, D4)
Grip: TaylorMade Red/Black
Ball: TaylorMade TP5 ’21 PIX
Other TM news
Doc Redman put the new Aldila Ascent Red 70 TX in his SIM2 (60 TX pictured below).
Sepp Straka put the new MCA Kaili White 60 TX in his SIM2.
The Fujikura Ventus Red trend continues with Russell Henley moving from his KBS TD to Ventus Red 7 X in a TSi4.
Tyler Duncan was testing a custom K Grind lob wedge. He was inspired by Kevin Na’s win and looking at Aaron Dill’s pics on IG. Can you blame him?
Justin Thomas (Abu Dhabi) moved out of Ventus Red 6 TX (tipped 1 inch) in his TSi3 (9 degrees) into a Graphite Design Tour AD IZ 6 X. According to my source, JT was looking for a specific feel with the driver and also one that dialed in the launch windows on a little cutter he has been working on. We will keep you updated if it sticks or if any of the info changes.
Akshay Bhatia put the new Apex Utility Prototype in play with a KBS Tour Hybrid Prototype 105 X shaft. Shay also put the new Epic Max LS driver (9 degrees @8.5) with a Project X HZRDUS Smoke Green “Hulk” 75G 6.5 TX.
Kevin Na tested Callaway’s Epic Max LS (9 degrees) with a Graphite Design Tour AD GP 6 X. No need to panic, that original Epic gamer ain’t goin’ anywhere till it keels over and dies.
Phil Mickelson was spotted testing a Fujikura Ventus Black 6 X shaft in a Mavrik Sub Zero. Not confirmed if it will indeed go in play.
Scott Stallings (non-staff) put a Ping G425 LST (10.5 degrees @11) driver in play with an MCA Kaili White 60 TX (tipped 1 inch @45.25).
Abraham Ancer (non-staff) also converted to the Ping G425 LST (9 degrees @7.75) with an MCA Tensei AV Raw Blue 65 TX (tipped 1 inch @45).
Cameron Champ lost his clubs en route to Palm Desert and the Ping Tour squad had to build a brand new set of sticks from scratch, top to bottom. Thankfully the gamers showed up and Cam was left with a fresh new backup set.
Rumor has it that former world No. 1 Brooks Koepka has inked a deal with Cleveland/Srixon to play its Z-Star XV ball, ZX7 irons and Cleveland Zip Core Wedges. Koepka showed up to Palm Desert with a new set of irons with Tour Issue X100 shafts, a Srixon utility, and his trusty Nike Vapor Pro 3-iron and TaylorMade M5 driver with an MCA Diamana D+ Limited 70 TX shaft. We will continue to update to confirm or deny the rumors. Awesome news for Srixon and BK if true.
Rickie Fowler made some significant changes to his bag coming into Palm Desert. The Cobra staffer put the REV33 MB’s back in the bag this time with a fresh set of Mitsubishi Chemical MMT 125 TX graphite shafts. Fowler, who has tested quite a few different shafts over the years, going from KBS C-Taper S+ to Tour Issue X100, loved the integrity of the MMT’s.
In testing, they tried a set that was soft stepped as well as the current set that is straight in. The overall takeaway was integrity on mis-hits and hitting a very specific flight window all while keeping spin the same. Fowler also had the new Cobra RadSpeed Driver in the bag with a Mitsubishi Tensei Orange 60 TX shaft.
Jason Dufner put the new Aldila Tour Concept 60 TX in his Rad Speed Driver (70 TX pictured below).
Scottie Scheffler finally swapped out his TaylorMade P730’s for a brand new set of P7TW’s (5-PW). Like his older set, they come fully loaded with True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 shafts. Scottie did keep his Srixon Utility 3-iron and Z785 4-iron in the bag, however.
Newly minted free agent Ryan Moore showed up to the Desert with a bag only a true gear junkie could love. The six-company bag featured a TaylorMade SIM Driver, TSi2 3-wood, Srixon hybrids, Mizuno MP-18 irons, and Cleveland Zip Core wedges.
Paul Casey put the Titleist TSi3 driver in the bag with a Mitsubishi Diamana D+ Limited 70 TX shaft.
KBS seeded out a new Proto graphite shaft. The yet-to-be-named new edition to the TD line has a higher modulus material on the bottom third to increase stability and lower torque. The feedback with the original TD from players with fast speeds: it needed to be stiffer. This “newer version,” which will probably only come in the category 4 and 5, is very firm.
Patrick Reed went back to his Ping G400 LST driver—that’s all on that.
Rickie Fowler spotted with graphite iron shafts (Mitsubishi MMT) at The American Express
When it comes to equipment stories, The American Express this week at PGA West is the gift that keeps on giving. Our newest scoop is that Rickie Fowler is taking after another Cobra staffer (aka “the big golfer”) and has made the switch to graphite shafts in his irons.
From the photos captured from his practice round on Wednesday, it appears that Rickie is using Mitsubishi Chemical’s MMT shafts in his custom and yet to be released Cobra Rev33 irons.
This is not the first time Rickie has switched iron shafts in the last 12 months. He was a long-time user of KBS C-Taper before switching to True Temper S400s, and now it appears he is looking at graphite as his next frontier.
This is a developing story and we are working hard on getting all the details and specs of this equipment change but for more pictures of Rickie from The American Express, check out the gallery below.
2021 FootJoy HyperFlex with BOA
FootJoy is celebrating its 75th year as the number one shoe in golf, and to celebrate designers are continuing to push the boundaries of comfort, support, and technology with the release of the all-new 2021 HyperFlex with BOA.
The HyperFlex is two years in the making and features a number of new technologies to provide the stability golfers require with the out of the box comfort they demand.
“They look and feel so athletic. They are super comfortable the moment you put them on.”
– Rafa Cabrera Bello
HyperFlex with BOA technology
WRAPID Fit Technology: BOA is a staple footwear technology, but the designers at FootJoy wanted to take its capabilities further and make it more comfortable. The result is an asymmetrical configuration that ensures a snug comfortable fit but reduces unwanted pressure on the top of the foot. It enables the shoe to move with you, wrapping your foot for complete security, all while providing powerful support through the swing.
Stratofoam Cushioning: This is a proprietary foam blend that is used in the midsole to offer the perfect amount of walking comfort while still providing the right amount of support to reduce fatigue.
OptiFlex outsole – The design winds through the length of the sole to naturally flex as you walk and still offer torsion control through your swing when needed.
“This new outsole technology is designed to mimic the natural flexure of the foot, so not only are you getting a great walking shoe, but a shoe that will maximize the ground force throughout every movement in the golf swing.”
-Chris Tobias, Vice President, FJ Footwear.
Price and availability
The new Hyperflex with BOA, along with the standard laced model will be available starting February 1, and will be priced at $179.99 with the Wrapid BOA system and $149 for the traditionally laced model.
19th Hole2 weeks ago
Justin Thomas apologizes for ‘inexcusable’ homophobic slur at Sentry
Equipment3 weeks ago
Are new clubs really better?
News2 weeks ago
Sentry TOC Tour Truck Report: New sticks, new companies, and Patrick Reed buys his own threads
Whats in the Bag2 weeks ago
Jon Rahm WITB 2021 (Callaway)
Opinion & Analysis3 weeks ago
Attention – The missing link to golf performance
Opinion & Analysis5 days ago
The death of the 3-iron and what it means for your bag setup
Equipment2 weeks ago
WRX Insider: An exclusive and very rare look inside the bag of Hideki Matsuyama
19th Hole2 weeks ago
Ex-Golf Channel Lisa Cornwell drops bombshell details of alleged mistreatment from previous employers