A new year means new gear and TaylorMade are next up to launch their new range of drivers. So are they as fast as they promise?
TaylorMade SIM driver review: The technology
As the name suggests SIM is all about reshaping. The key new feature is an asymmetric sole design and inertia generator. This new geometry is not only designed to improve aerodynamics and increase speed, but to add forgiveness.
So how does this new shape give you more clubhead speed? Let me explain. Most of your clubhead acceleration happens in the three feet before the club reaches impact. This is known as the ‘speed generation zone’. In this zone Dustin Johnson accelerates from 90mph to 120mph.
The SIM drivers feature a raised crown and sole to reduce drag. This improves airflow around the clubhead so you can move the club faster and increasing your clubhead speed. More clubhead speed means more distance.
So how is faster more forgiving? Reshaping alone would have pushed the centre of gravity too high. The addition of the ‘inertia generator’ provides a heavy weight at the back of the club. Positioning this low in the head, lowers the centre of gravity increasing launch and MOI, for added forgiveness.
But surely the extruded shape on the sole will slow the head down? TaylorMade found that by rotating the shape through 20 degrees it matches the direction of air flow across the sole thus not affecting aerodynamics. TaylorMade are claiming you can gain 2mph clubhead speed with this driver compared to last seasons M5/M6 offering.
The reshaping story runs through all three driver models. They also all feature Speed Injected twist face paired with an ultra-thin titanium face and inverted cone technology for maximum ball speeds in every driver produced.
The variety in the range comes from sizing, weighting and adjustability options. The SIM driver features sliding weight technology allowing adjustments for plus or minus 20 yards of draw or fade bias. This is possible via the 10 gram sliding weight in the back of the head. It has a slightly smaller head than the other models and puts a premium on adjustability and control.
In contrast the SIM Max is designed for maximum forgiveness. The weight in the inertia generator is heavier for additional launch and added forgiveness. Progressive face design across the driver range means the SIM Max has a 8% larger clubface than the SIM.
Finally the SIM Max D is engineered to take out the right side of the golf course. An internal mass pad in the heel helps create draw bias shots. It promotes the highest launch and has the largest and most forgiving clubface in the range. People most suited to a draw bias driver generally have the widest strike dispersion across the clubface so this model features a face 18% larger than the SIM.
So how did I get on with the new TaylorMade SIM driver? Find out on the next page…