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 results
Straight off this is a great looking golf club. The new chalk white topline is stunning, it contrasts perfectly with the carbon crown and black clubface, framing the ball at address. The blue styling really appeals to me and the whole look made me feel confidence especially about when it came to lining the club up behind the ball.
The key story here is about speed so let’s delve into the numbers. Last year I was averaging 91.8mph with the TaylorMade M6 model, in the SIM driver I was averaging 95.1 mph. I even got up to 97.1 mph on my quickest swing.When comparing this to the SIM Max model my speed was at 93.2 mph average with tops of 94.8 mph. I expected this to be slower than the regular SIM model due to the clubhead being slightly larger.
So how did that translate into distance? My M6 was averaging 208.7 yards carry at my custom fit last season and in my first session testing the SIM I averaged 216.4 yards carry with my best shot flying 230 yards. In the SIM Max I was averaging 210 yards with my best shot flying 219 yards. I saw slightly less distance with the SIM Max due to the bigger head slowing down my clubhead speed slightly.
Between the two, my smash factor was actually higher in the SIM Max, 1.50 compared to 1.42 with the SIM Max. I tested both these models in the regular stock shafts and my spin numbers were a bit higher than I would ideally like to see them. I think with the correct shafts we could lower the spin by 1000rpm and see the smash factors improve and gain more distance.
TaylorMade SIM driver review: NCG verdict
My preference would be towards the SIM model as the lower flight suited my game the most and I was also really impressed with the speed gains I made with this club without the loss of consistency.
Available: February 7, 2020 (pre-order from January 10)
RRP: £479 (SIM); £449 (SIM Max & Max D)
Stock shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana S Limited 60 and Project X’s HZRDUS Smoke Green 70 (SIM); Fujikura Ventus Blue 6 and Ventus Red 5 (SIM Max); UST Mamiya Helium (SIM Max D). Numerous custom shafts are available at no additional cost.
Lofts: 8°, 9° & 10.5°, 12° (Max and Max D)
Grips: Golf Pride Z-Grip
More information: TaylorMade website
Thanks to Alwoodley Golf Club, in Leeds, where this video was filmed. Learn more about the first course designed by Dr Alister MacKenzie here