The TaylorMade SIM2 drivers have been built almost entirely from the ground up to deliver a new level of forgiveness, speed and distance. The big question is, do they deliver?
Last year, TaylorMade had a runaway success on its hands with the SIM drivers.
They were fast off the face, forgiving, accurate, launched high and spun low, all while being aerodynamically efficient thanks to their unique shaping.
Suffice to say it was always going to be a hard act to follow.
So, in order to eke out greater performance across the board - and significantly increase the forgiveness levels - TaylorMade decided to completely reinvent the way it builds its drivers.
By utilising a new design called Forged Ring Construction, TaylorMade has been able to bring a host of new technology and construction ideas to the table with SIM2.
This new construction has resulted in noticeable improvements across the board but what stands out most is just how forgiving the SIM2 driver line-up is.
By incorporating a full carbon sole panel to go along with the customary carbon crown of TaylorMade drivers, so much additional weight has been freed up and then relocated into the SIM2, SIM2 Max and SIM2 MAX•D’s Inertia Generators.
The heavy rear weights (16g SIM2, 24g SIM2 Max and 22g SIM2 Max•D) deliver a level of forgiveness that some golfers might not associate with TaylorMade drivers of the past.
The CG (centre of gravity) is now located so low and far back within each driver head that the MOI readings have gone through the roof.
Yes, TaylorMade has pretty much always produced forgiving drivers - but, honestly, nothing comes close to the levels seen in SIM2.
The forgiveness story doesn’t end there.
In 2018, TaylorMade introduced Twist Face technology to address the most common mishits. Last year, the brand supercharged this tech with its Speed Injection process.
Now, we have another remarkable leap in TaylorMade face design.
The entire back of the face has been CNC milled to tune the thickness of the titanium to promote peak speed in the areas of your most common mishits.
The sweetspot on these drivers stretches diagonally from the high toe to the low heel - and it feels ridiculously big. I was getting more consistent speeds and launch conditions than ever before with a TaylorMade driver. I can't tell you how good that feels.
Your confidence, while faced with a tight tee shot, will only be further bolstered by the fact that the faces of the SIM2 drivers are noticeably bigger than their predecessors (SIM2 + 12%, SIM2 Max + 5% & SIM2 Max•D + 5%).
Plus, the CNC milling has allowed TaylorMade to relocate its speed ports from the face to a singular port on the toe, which, in my opinion, is a good aesthetic change.
Again, TaylorMade says this big step-up in its face design was only possible thanks to the new Forged Ring Construction.
The final piece of the forgiveness puzzle is TaylorMade’s patented Thru-Slot Speed Pocket, which helps to retain ball speed and performance on shots struck low on the face.
What makes the SIM2 drivers special is the fact that TaylorMade hasn’t chased this "new level of forgiveness" at the expense of what has so often made its drivers incredibly popular - speed.
Once again, we have the asymmetric shaping on the sole, which is designed to deliver increased speed at the most critical stage of the swing: the milliseconds right before impact.
The aerodynamically-efficient shaping makes SIM2 very fast, with the additional clubhead speed provided being converted into free ball speed and distance.
Plus, the Speed Injected Twist Face produces the remarkable ball speed we have come to expect over the past few years from TaylorMade, albeit now with the added forgiveness and consistency of the CNC milling.
When you mix all of the above together, what you have is the most user-friendly TaylorMade driver line-up ever. I mean that, too.
The level of forgiveness and consistency is utterly staggering. If you end up gaming a SIM2 driver, then you should fully expect to be finding more fairways and hitting your tee shots further, particularly on the ones you don't quite catch right.
The extent to which your wildest drives simply refuse to be punished is what really elevates SIM2 beyond its predecessors.
In terms of the looks, the SIM2 is bound to be a winner with TaylorMade fans and I reckon most other golfers.
The black satin carbon crown and contrasting chalk colour scheme really helps to frame the ball at address and makes alignment a piece of cake.
The high-gloss black carbon on the sole and blue accents of the new aluminium ring, meanwhile, gives the SIM2 an eye-catching and different look to what has gone before.
The sound and feel is very much what you would expect from TaylorMade. Like most of its recent drivers, you get that low-pitched, crunchy, solid feel off the face that I challenge anyone not to fall in love with.
Across the three models, there is a driver to suit everyone’s game.
Personally, the SIM2 was ideal for me.
Its TPS Front Weight sits just behind the face to deliver the kind of low-spinning performance I need to get the most out of my game. Thankfully, however, it doesn’t really sacrifice on forgiveness and retains a consistently high launch for awesome distance.
The SIM2 Max will likely be the model to suit most of you reading this. Its heavier 24g tungsten back weight makes this driver so easy to hit. It is the without a doubt the most forgiving TaylorMade driver I have ever tested. Its TPS Front Weight, meanwhile, is strategically located to deliver the mid-to-high launch and mid-to-low spin properties that will benefit golfers of almost all abilities.
Completing the new line-up is the SIM MAX•D. Now, although I haven’t had my hands on this model just yet, the work TaylorMade has carried out to significantly increase the MOI and forgiveness levels of its ‘Draw’ design, is bound to be of huge benefit to those of you prone to slicing it.
BRYSON, BIFURCATION AND... PAOLO DI CANIO?! - PAUL McGINLEY GOES DEEP
Even when I really start to nit-pick, I struggle to come up with a reason why one these drivers wouldn’t be a great fit for not only my game but for just about every golfer.
Perhaps the only reason why some golfers might be turned off by the SIM2 line-up is the lack of adjustability within the head.
But let’s be honest... how often do you really adjust your driver?
I’m guessing, like me, pretty much never, particularly if you’ve been custom fitted for it - and if you haven't been, what are you doing?
TaylorMade decided to rip up the driver design rulebook and start again with SIM2.
The entirely new construction methodology that's been employed has TaylorMade saying it has “engineered a driver with no trade-offs”. I would have to agree with them.
There isn’t one area where I can find fault with these drivers.
If you decide to test a SIM2, the chances of it taking up permanent residency inside your golf bag are very, very high.