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.
7 equipment takeaways from the PGA Tour Champions (including Bernhard Langer’s INCREDIBLE iron setup)
During most weeks, GolfWRX.com reports live from the practice rounds of PGA Tour events, but occasionally we check out the Korn Ferry Tour, LPGA Tour, and PGA Tour Champions as well. To be honest, I personally think most amateurs can learn way more from the equipment setups on the LPGA and Champions Tour, but that’s another story for another day. I’ll save the gear lessons and get right to the seriously cool, custom, and throwback equipment that I spotted recently at Phoenix Country Club for the 2022 Charles Schwab Cup Championship.
Below are my 7 equipment takeaways from going inside the ropes at the Champions Tour season finale.
1) Miguel Angel’s fairway wood faces are DIMED out
Miguel Angel Jimenez uses three different Ping G425 Max fairway woods (14.5, 17.5 and 20.5 degrees), and each of them have similar wear marks directly in the center of the face – aside from the 7 wood, which has a slight skymark near the crown.
We also got a close look at the type of cigar that Jimenez smokes, if you’re into that kind of thing. It’s a Chateau de la Fuente Opus X Rare Estate Reserve from 1992, for those curious.
2) Stickers are a viable way to customize your clubs
Rocco Mediate customizes his Ping G400 driver using stickers, while his Artisan wedges are stamped the old-fashioned way.
3) 50 Cent’s new favorite Champions Tour golfer?
Y.E. Yang’s custom “Yangsta” Vokey wedge deserves a remix of rapper 50 Cent’s popular “What Up, Gangsta?” song.
What up, Yangsta?
And, as always, his bag is so packed with hybrids that his longest iron the bag is a 7-iron!
4) K.J. Choi bag update
It’s always fun to see what clubs K.J. Choi is using, because he seems to switch it up so often. Most recently, he was using Srixon’s brand new ZX7 MKII irons, with a small strip of lead tape on the back cavity.
5) A TaylorMade xFT ZTP wedge spotted in the wild
When I was heading toward Padraig Harrington’s bag to see what irons and wedges he was playing these days, I was NOT expecting to see an old TaylorMade XFT ZTP 58-degree wedge from 2010. I can’t help but get nostalgic seeing old clubs like this still being used by professionals.
6) Goosen’s putter
Retief Goosen’s gamer putter used to be an Odyssey O-Works 2-ball. I’m not sure you can consider it a 2-ball putter anymore, since the crown is completely blacked out with a single white alignment line. Now it’s just the Odyssey O-Works “Goose Proto,” as I like to call it.
7) Bernhard’s tools
Bernhard Langer doesn’t use iron “sets,” per se, because he mostly crafts his bag setup by selecting individual clubs that are tasked with specific jobs and yardages to hit. As such, most of his irons are custom built exactly to his preferences. He uses Adams Idea Pro hybrids, Tour Edge Exotics CBX Forged long irons, Artisan Golf 8-9 irons, and a custom Tour Edge Exotics BL Proto pitching wedge. It’s seriously fascinating to analyze his clubs.
If you want to know more about his process and his work with master craftsman Mike Taylor at Artisan Golf, check out this story I wrote a few years back for pgatour.com.
He also uses an Odyssey White Hot 2-ball, with a heaping of lead tape on the sole and a permanent markered thick black line on the crown. As for his grip on the longer putter, he uses two split Golf Pride Tour Velvet grips.
WATCH: 5 cool things from the RSM Classic
Equipment expert and putter maker Weston Maughan checks in with the top-five coolest things he spotted in our tour photos from the RSM Classic.
Check out Weston’s take, below.
View this post on Instagram
And have a look at all our photos from the RSM Classic, below.
- 2022 RSM Classic – Monday #1
- 2022 RSM Classic – Monday #2
- 2022 RSM Classic – Monday #3
- 2022 RSM Classic – Tuesday #1
- 2022 RSM Classic – Tuesday #2
- 2022 RSM Classic – Tuesday #3
- 2022 RSM Classic – Wednesday #1
- 2022 RSM Classic – Wednesday #2
- Matt Wallace – WITB – 2022 RSM Classic
- Erik Barnes – WITB – 2022 RSM Classic
- Spencer Ralston – WITB – 2022 RSM Classic
- Palmer Jackson – WITB – 2022 RSM Classic
- Scott Harrington – WITB – 2022 RSM Classic
- Kyle Westmoreland – WITB – 2022 RSM Classic
- Conner Godsey – WITB – 2022 RSM Classic
- Webb Simpson – WITB – 2022 RSM Classic
- Akshay Bhatia – WITB – 2022 RSM Classic
- Tim Weinhart – GA PGA Section Champ – WITB – 2022 RSM Classic
- Bryson Nimmer – WITB – 2022 RSM Classic
- Jon Lester – WITB – 2022 RSM Classic
- Nick Hardy’s custom Swag putter – 2022 RSM Classic
- Odyssey/Toulon putters – 2022 RSM Classic
- Kevin Roy’s custom Cameron putter – 2022 RSM Classic
- Keith Mitchell’s custom Cameron putters – 2022 RSM Classic
- Richy Werenski – new 2023 FootJoy HyperFlex shoes – 2022 RSM Classic
- Bill Haas’ custom Cameron putter – 2022 RSM Classic
- Cameron putters – 2022 RSM Classic
- JJ Spaun’s Cameron putter cover – 2022 RSM Classic
- Jason Dufner with Cobra AeroJet Driver & 3 wood – 2022 RSM Classic
- Kevin Chappell’s custom Cameron putter – 2022 RSM Classic
- Richy Werenski’s custom Cameron putter – 2022 RSM Classic
- Matt Kuchar’s new Bridgestone 221CB irons – 2022 RSM Classic
Coolest thing for sale in the GolfWRX Classifieds (11/21/22): Miura CB-301 irons
At GolfWRX, we are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment of the game in many ways.
It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball. It even allows us to share another thing we all love – buying and selling equipment.
Currently, in our GolfWRX buy/sell/trade (BST) forum, there is a listing for a set of Miura CB-301 irons.
From the seller (@KGGolf): “CB 301. Never gamed. Bought, forgot I had them and changed my mind, my loss is your gain. 4-PW(7 Clubs). Standard L/L/L Modus Tour 130 S. Lamkin Miura Grips. $1200.”
To check out the full listing in our BST forum, head through the link: Miura CB-301 irons
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