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2021 TaylorMade SIM2 Max and SIM2 Max OS irons

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The 2021 SIM2 Max and SIM2 Max OS irons from TaylorMade are about bringing together key technologies from the previous generation and combining it with their all-new Cap Back cavity design to increase distance with more face flex and improve sound by completely changing the cavity design.

What’s new in the SIM2 Max irons

2021 TaylorMade SIM2 Irons

What started out as SpeedBridge, which we should note would make a great title for a Keanu Reeves action thriller/car movie that somehow has its culminating scene take place on a bridge, in the SIM Max and SIM Max OS irons has evolved to something bigger—dare we call it a sequel—with the all-new Cap Back.

What is Cap Back?

SIM2 Max iron Capback

The Cap Back design of the new 2021 SIM2 Max irons replaces the metal speed bridge that ran from the rear of the sole to the top line of the 2020 models. This little strip of metal created tension to help support the topline and allowed engineers to bring more weight from the top of the iron low to lower the center of gravity and increase launch.

2020 SIM2 iron with SpeedBridge

It also allowed the face to flex like a big oversized tennis racket to create more ball speed around a larger area.

The new Cap Back is a full cavity encasing polymer cap that connects and supports the topline without touching the face. It helps produce a higher MOI since the polymer material is seven-times lighter than the steel counterpart per g/cm3 and frees up more mass to be moved low in the head to raise stability—especially for shots missed around the face, which for golfers that fit into this iron category and going to do.

Faster Sim2 Max face

“We set out to take game improvement irons to the next level with SIM2 Max and SIM2 Max OS. To create Cap Back Design, we utilized multi-material advancements learned from our metalwoods to unlock forgiveness and distance with forged iron like feel. We leveraged a completely new construction to achieve the performance that golfers in this category both need and want.”

– Matt Bovee, Product Creation | Irons Category

SIM2 Max and Max OS iron technology

2021 TaylorMade SIM2 Max OS irons cavity

All-new Echo Damping System

Beneath the Cap Back and behind the face on the new SIM2 Max and SIM2 Max OS irons, you will find an improved Echo Damping System which features a more concentrated HYBRAR material. The damping system stretches across the entire face (from heel to toe) using multiple contact points and also utilizes a softer polymer blend to channel away more unwanted vibrations.

SIM2 Max OS vs. SIM2 Max sole profile

This vibration channeling helps contribute to what TaylorMade likes to call a forged-like feel while still promoting maximum face flex.

Progressive Inverted Cone Technology

TaylorMade’s Inverted Cone Technology (ICT) is strategically positioned into each SIM2 Max and SIM2 Max OS iron as a way to help increase the sweet spot and minimize mis-hits.

The reason for this is shots hit on the toe of longer irons generally result in a miss to the right, TaylorMade engineers have positioned the ICT towards the toe in both SIM2 Max and SIMs Max OS irons to counteract this. Through this move, the engineers have created a draw bias in the longer irons to minimize this common miss without resorting to adding additional offset typically found in larger game improvement designs.

Other technology carryovers from the previous generations that can be found in the SIM2 Max irons include the fluted hosel, 360° undercut cavity -now positioned under the polymer cap back, and an ultra-thin face.

What makes the Max OS irons different?

Sim2 Max OS vs Sim2 Max from address

The SIM2 Max OS irons are everything the SIM Max irons are and more, including everything you would expect from a maximum game improvement irons are packed with all the same technology of the SIM2 Max irons but put together in a wider-soled, lower CG, stronger lofted, more draw-biased package to help golfers that are looking for every advantage.

Specs, pricing, and availability

The SIM2 Max and Max OS irons will be available for preorder starting January 19 and will be in retail locations beginning February 10.

Both sets will be priced at $799 steel (KBS Max MT 85 steel ) and $899 graphite (Fujikura’s Ventus Blue graphite, 7S, 6R & 5A) in 7 piece set configurations 4-pitching wedge – which is a departure from the way TaylorMade has assembled stock sets in the past. This allows golfers to choose whether they would prefer to order the matching wedges for the set – which include a gap wedge, sand wedge, and lob wedge, or go with something else to find proper gapping.

The SIM2 Max and SIM2 Max OS irons will also be available for women and come outfitted with the Aldila NV Ladies iron shaft and the Lamkin Ladies Sonar grip.

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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.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. John

    Jan 20, 2021 at 11:36 am

    Fugly as uck but I’m sure there are plenty of mugs out there who believe that genuine innovations are possible every 3 or 4 months. For me though, this is just another example of consumerism at its worse. Next innovation will be a putter that bleeps out any ‘homophobic slurs’ whenever you miss an eight footer.

  2. Mark

    Jan 20, 2021 at 10:59 am

    I agree. Most new irons from the OEMs these days do not look like golf irons. Too many colors and applications. I guess I am getting old and sound more everyday like my grandfather, but I am not looking to play with a piece of equipment that looks more like a Romulan (sp.?) space ship than a golf club. Technology has certainly made great gains, but it can be incorporated while still maintaining a nice clean look if these great technicians put their mind to it.

  3. jgpl001

    Jan 20, 2021 at 4:08 am

    Now these are genuinely UGLY
    I just could not envisage putting these down by the ball or in the bag

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Equipment

Best irons in golf of 2021: Welcome to Irons Week!

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A new set of irons is the single biggest investment you can make into your set of golf clubs. At GolfWRX, to determine the 2021 best irons and their categories, we have compiled an expert panel of fitters to help you find out which of 2021 irons is best for your game.

In 2021, OEMs have continued to push the engineering envelope of iron design by utilizing new technology and manufacturing methods to create clubs that offer forgiveness, along with faster more consistent club faces and launch windows. Not only that but we are also seeing more segmentation of models from equipment manufacturers to help you determine your best set and/or set combination thanks to fitting.

These fitting options are important because irons are the key to better scoring, and by building the perfect set, you create a cohesive group of clubs in your bag to help you reduce dispersion and hit it closer to your target.

That being said, ultimately the best way to find your personal iron set is to work with a professional fitter using a launch monitor. The difficult part is a lot of people don’t have easy access to fitters, launch monitors, and club builders—so at GolfWRX, we have done a lot of the work for you.

We are in the era of not just maximizing distance but also minimizing the penalty of common misses for each player – this applies to irons just as much as it does with any other club in the bag. This is why, now more than ever, custom fitting is essential to help you see results on every swing you make.

Join the discussion about best irons 2021 in the forums!

The methodology is simple: We want to give you the tools and information to go out and find what works best for you by offering recommendations for your individual iron set wants and needs with insight and feedback from the people who work every single day to help golfers get peak performance out of their equipment.

Best irons of 2021: How we did it

Before starting the process of building our best iron survey, we reached out to our trusted fitters to discuss how they sort through the endless number of iron options available to golfers. The consensus was clear—the best fitters in the world see all the options available in the marketplace, analyze their performance traits, and pull from that internal database of knowledge and experience like a supercomputer when they are working with a golfer.

It’s essentially a huge decision tree derived from experience and boiled down to a starting point of options—and it has nothing to do with handicap!

Modern iron sets are designed into player categories that overlap the outdated “what’s your handicap?” model, and at GolfWRX we believe it was important to go beyond handicap and ask specific questions about the most crucial performance elements fitters are looking at to help golfers find the best set of irons for them. From overall performance to shotmaking, to helping players achieve better trajectories and speed, we strived to ask the right questions.

These are the best iron categories we have developed to help you the reader determine what rankings are most important for your swing and game.

Best irons of 2021: The categories

Monday: Most Technology Packed

This is the “give me everything you got” list. These irons are the cream of the crop for offering technology to improve feel, distance, and ball speed. The great thing about the Technology category is it’s not reserved for higher handicap golfers—it’s for anyone looking to get everything they can out of their game in an iron that also suits their eye.

Tuesday: The Shotmakers

Each one of these irons was designed with a single purpose: to provide the ultimate shotmaking weapon. You don’t have to be a tour player to appreciate the pleasure of hitting a well-struck shot with a club engineered to offer superior feedback. This category is all about control—and that doesn’t mean it “has to be a blade.”

Wednesday: Pure Enjoyment

It’s no mistake that we are seeing overlap in the way the top irons are defined by fitters in this category. The most playable irons are most likely to be higher launching, and shots that fly higher make the game more enjoyable for everyone. This reiterates the point previously made that your iron selection should not be defined by your handicap but instead what gives you the greatest opportunity to play your best golf.

Thursday: Easiest to launch

This category of irons is aimed to help players who need height. With today’s modern golf ball, creating proper flight widows and spin can be difficult for some players- especially those at lower speeds, and this is where technology can really help. All of these irons do everything they can to create shot-stopping trajectories regardless of clubhead speed.

Friday: Best blade

This is by far the most straightforward category because it is defined by a single style of club—the blade—AKA the muscle back or MB for short. Although modern variations offer a lot more playability than they did decades ago, blades are still defined by their workability, compact shaping, and lower ball flight. If you are looking for the ultimate test or just prefer something in the more traditional vein, these are for you.

Friday: Overall Top Performer

This category is the perfect place to start if you’re not quite sure what you are looking for. Distance? Check. Forgiveness? Check. Sleek looks? Check. The top five in the “best irons overall” category are perfect for those golfers who appreciate technology and want something that is going to give them shot options.

Best irons of 2021: Meet the fitters

Nick Sherburne: Founder, Club Champion
Clare Cornelius: Fitter,
 Cool Clubs
Eric Johnson: Fitter, True Spec Golf
Shaun Fagan: Fitter, True Spec Golf
Kirk Oguri: PGA Professional/ Club Specialist, Pete’s Golf
Sue O’Connor: Fitter, Cool Clubs 
Scott Felix: Owner, Felix Club Works
Mark Knapp: Club Fitter, Carls Golfland
Ryan Johnson: Club Fitter, Carls Golfland
Eric Hensler: Manager & Fitter, 
Miles of Golf
Brad Coffield: Fitter Carls Golfland
Nick Waterworth: Fitter, Haggin Oaks Golf Super Shop
Adam White: Co-Founder & Director of Club Fitting, Measured Golf
Scott Anderson: VP of Sales, Fitter, True Spec Golf
Matthew Sim: Director of Operations, Modern Golf
Ian Fraser: CEO & Founder, Tour Experience Golf
Mike Martysiewicz: Director of Club Fitting & Building, Tour Experience Golf
Shawn Zawodni: Fitter, Miles of Golf
Ben Giunta: Owner, The Tour Van

Join the discussion about best irons 2021 in the forums!

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Equipment

Best irons in golf of 2021: Most technology packed

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A new set of irons is the single biggest investment you can make into your set of golf clubs. At GolfWRX, to determine the 2021 best irons and their categories, we have compiled an expert panel of fitters to help you find out which of 2021 irons is best for your game.

In 2021, OEMs have continued to push the engineering envelope of iron design by utilizing new technology and manufacturing methods to create clubs that offer forgiveness, along with faster, more consistent club faces and launch windows. Not only that, but we are also seeing more segmentation of models from equipment manufacturers to help you determine your best set and/or set combination thanks to fitting.

These fitting options are important because irons are the key to better scoring and by building the perfect set, you create a cohesive group of clubs in your bag to help you reduce dispersion and hit it closer to your target.

That being said, ultimately the best way to find your personal iron set is to work with a professional fitter using a launch monitor. The difficult part is a lot of people don’t have easy access to fitters, launch monitors, and club builders—so at GolfWRX, we have done a lot of the work for you.

We are in the era of not just maximizing distance but also minimizing the penalty of common misses for each player—this applies to irons just as much as it does with any other club in the bag. This is why, now more than ever, custom fitting is essential to help you see results on every swing you make.

Join the discussion about best irons 2021 in the forums!

The methodology is simple: We want to give you the tools and information to go out and find what works best for you by offering recommendations for your individual iron set wants and needs with insight and feedback from the people who work every single day to help golfers get peak performance out of their equipment.

Best irons of 2021: How we did it

Before starting the process of building our best iron survey, we reached out to our trusted fitters to discuss how they sort through the endless number of iron options available to golfers. The consensus was clear—the best fitters in the world see all the options available in the marketplace, analyze their performance traits, and pull from that internal database of knowledge and experience like a supercomputer when they are working with a golfer.

It’s essentially a huge decision tree derived from experience and boiled down to a starting point of options—and it has nothing to do with a handicap!

Modern iron sets are designed into player categories that overlap the outdated “what’s your handicap?” model, and at GolfWRX we believe it was important to go beyond handicap and ask specific questions about the most crucial performance elements fitters are looking at to help golfers find the best set of irons for them. From overall performance to shotmaking, to helping players achieve better trajectories and speed, we strived to ask the right questions.

These are the best iron categories we have developed to help you, the reader, determine what rankings are most important for your swing and game.

Best irons of 2021: The categories

  • Overall performance
  • Easiest to launch
  • Pure Enjoyment
  • Shotmakers
  • Most technology-packed
  • Best blade

Best irons of 2021: Meet the fitters

Nick Sherburne: Founder, Club Champion
Clare Cornelius: Fitter,
 Cool Clubs
Eric Johnson: Fitter, True Spec Golf
Shaun Fagan: Fitter, True Spec Golf
Kirk Oguri: PGA Professional/ Club Specialist, Pete’s Golf
Sue O’Connor: Fitter, Cool Clubs 
Scott Felix: Owner, Felix Club Works
Mark Knapp: Club Fitter, Carls Golfland
Ryan Johnson: Club Fitter, Carls Golfland
Eric Hensler: Manager & Fitter, 
Miles of Golf
Brad Coffield: Fitter Carls Golfland
Nick Waterworth: Fitter, Haggin Oaks Golf Super Shop
Adam White: Co-Founder & Director of Club Fitting, Measured Golf
Scott Anderson: VP of Sales, Fitter, True Spec Golf
Matthew Sim: Director of Operations, Modern Golf
Ian Fraser: CEO & Founder, Tour Experience Golf
Mike Martysiewicz: Director of Club Fitting & Building, Tour Experience Golf
Shawn Zawodni: Fitter, Miles of Golf
Ben Giunta: Owner, The Tour Van

Best Irons 2021_Most Technology Packed

2021 best irons: Technology packed

This is the “give me everything you got” list. These irons are the cream of the crop for offering technology to improve feel, distance, and ball speed. The great thing about the technology category is it’s not reserved for higher handicap golfers—it’s for anyone looking to get everything they can out of their game in an iron that also suits their eye.

Callaway Apex 21

Their story: The new 2021 Callaway Apex Forged irons were created with one goal in mind: optimization, not only through the set but into each specific iron. For the first time, Callaway used A.I. to design its patented Flash Face Cup, which in previous applications created a face that was not only fast but extremely forgiving.

In this newest iteration of the Apex iron, the focus was on control and “spin robustness,” which is another way to say spin optimization. Callaway was able to not only increase ball speeds and forgiveness across the face but with a new weighting configuration, also able to control and optimize spin. Each iron face is tuned to complement the loft (i.e. long irons = high launch/low spin, mid irons = mid launch/mid spin, short irons = lower launch/higher spin).

From the fitters

  • The Callaway Apex irons have been a staple in fittings since they were originally released, and golfers of all abilities can get a lot out of these irons.
  • For the 2021 version, Callaway really stepped their game up by improving the appearance, feel, and overall performance of this iron and truly packed it with technology. For its shape and size, it’s pretty amazing what they have done with this club—and the results show up in our fittings.
  • Not only is the Apex great, but it’s also a great foundation to build a set with other irons in the line including the DCB and the Apex Pro. If you are looking at the Apex, make sure to at least consider building a combo set.

For more photos/info, read our launch piece and check out this forum thread

Cobra King RadSpeed

Their story: The Cobra RadSpeed irons are packed with technology. They use a 3D-printed medallion comprised of nylon to increase strength while also reducing weight in the middle of the head to improve forgiveness, and just like the RadSpeed driver, the irons derive their name from newly positioned weights around the radius of the iron head designed to increase stability. By placing weight on the extreme perimeter of the head (away from the center of gravity), Cobra can both lower the CG and make the club slightly more compact while not sacrificing forgiveness.

The 7-4 iron faces also have what Cobra calls PWRShell technology, which used forged high-strength 17-4 stainless steel to increase compliance—a fancy physics term for an object’s ability to flex, which in turn increases the ball speed retention around the face to create a larger area of maximum energy transfer.

From the fitters

  • The RadSpeed is beyond easy to launch and very forgiving. I don’t think Cobra gets enough credit for how much technology they pack into their game improvement irons, and the innovations they bring to the marketplace.
  • This has been our top game improvement iron this year. It’s the highest launching and longest distance iron we have tested, and beyond that, it feels really good too.
  • I hate to make bad puns but the RadsSeed truly is “the king” right now when it comes to everything it offers to create performance for golfers.

Join the discussion about best irons 2021 in the forums!

For more photos/info, read our launch piece and check out this forum thread

Callaway Apex DCB

Their story: The 2021 Apex DCB is Callaway’s most forgiving forging ever. It is specifically designed for the golfers who want the full Apex Forged experience but with a bit more forgiveness.

Just like its smaller cousin the Apex, Callaway used A.I. to design its patented Flash Face Cup, which in previous applications, created a face that was not only fast but extremely forgiving. The iron offers more offset, a thicker topline, a wider sole, and a longer blade length—all with the goal of creating higher launch and top-end forgiveness.

From the fitters

  • This iron is a little rocket ship. The ball flies high, goes long, and comes off with a lot of speed—even when mis-hit.
  • You are going to have a hard time beating this iron when it comes to forgiveness. Good hits are fantastic, and misses are still great with this iron.
  • The sound is solid and the feel is pleasing. It has a much thinner look with a classic shape than I think many people expect from an iron built to maximize forgiveness. Callaway has a winner here.

For more photos/info, read our launch piece and check out this forum thread

Srixon ZX5

Their story:  The Srixon ZX5 iron uses what the company calls Mainframe face to optimize each club through the set based on tested strike patterns and was refined using machine learning. The face is composed of varying thickness patterns, which are all individually milled into the rear to expand the COR. The irons combine this Mainframe face made of strong and elastic SUP10 steel to the iron’s forged 1020 body to provide feel and elasticity, resulting in ball speed in an iron that appeals to a large group of golfers.

The ZX5 irons offer an extremely clean look from address, and the topline profile matches closely to the popular ZX7—square and sharp! Not only that but the blade lengths and sole widths have all been finely tuned so golfers who plan to build combo sets will see a smooth transition from one iron to the next—even into the utility.

From the fitters

  • The ZX5 is very playable and extremely good-looking. The cambered VT sole results in lovely turf interaction no matter the attack angle of the player—it’s a bit of a Swiss Army knife.
  • This iron fits a wide range of handicaps even though it looks a bit more like a players club. This iron is a chameleon because it has the look of a smaller compact club yet offers the forgiveness associated with a larger one (chef’s kiss).
  • We have been blown away by the ZX5. For the size, it sounds and looks great and has top-end ball speeds. It is our top-fitted forged cavity back iron across the board.

For more photos/info, read our launch piece and check out this forum thread

TaylorMade P770

Their story: The TaylorMade P770 irons bring together the distance of the extremely popular P790 with the precision of a midsized player cavity to offer distance and control to an iron unlike TaylorMade has ever produced.

The iron has a SpeedFoam-supported forged 4140 high-speed steel face attached to a soft forged 8620 carbon steel body, and a Thru Slot to help the mishits lower on the face retain ball speed in the 3-7 irons. Those same irons (3-7) have 46 grams of tungsten positioned as low and as far back as possible towards the toe to boost MOI and launch in the longer clubs while precisely locating the center of gravity.

From the fitters

  • Without a doubt, this is one of our top-selling irons. The P770 has been a go-to for a variety of golfers thanks to its easy-to-launch performance along with the distance it produces. 
  • Simply calling this iron a smaller P790 doesn’t do it justice. It has a really clean look on its own but also allows players to easily add extra forgiveness and speed to their long irons if they are combo-ing with another iron like the P7MC.

For more photos/info, read our launch piece and check out this forum thread

Join the discussion about best irons 2021 in the forums!

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Dustin Johnson changed putter and shaft for final round at RBC Heritage

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Dustin Johnson made the surprising choice to switch out his trusty TaylorMade Spider for the final round of the RBC Heritage and doubled down on the change by gaming a new shaft too.

On Sunday, DJ replaced his regular gamer in favor of a TaylorMade winged TP Bandon 1 Prototype putter, equipped with a multi-material LA Golf TPZ 135 shaft.

The move worked wonders for the final round, with Johnson holing over 145 feet of putts on Sunday.

Speaking after his round, Johnson told media:

“I put a new putter in today, and yeah, it felt good. It would have made a few more I feel like, just a little more speed. The first day using it, I just got it in yesterday, so rolled a few on the putting green. I really like it. It’s got a different shaft in it and a different head, but rolled good, so we’re going to keep it up.

I feel like I haven’t putted really well for the last few weeks, so that’s kind of really why I’ve just been struggling with my putter. I kept with it, kept practicing, kept grinding, but it wasn’t really getting any better, so sometimes it’s just time for a change.”

Johnson was following in the footsteps of Tommy Fleetwood, who also decided to play a TaylorMade Bandon 1 with a LA Golf TPZ 135 shaft at Harbour Town.

In his piece last week, our Ryan Barath described the putter as a “combination of the Truss TM1, along with a traditional plumbers neck hosel. It is also fitted with a Pure Roll insert.”

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