TaylorMade SIM Driver (TaylorMade photo)
As we dive into this new decade there is one constant we can rely on, golf manufacturers continue to release new products to help us hit it straighter and further than the year before.
And while even the most avid equipment geeks don't advocate purchasing every model that comes out, it's safe to say that most tournament players feel left behind if they are playing with a driver that's more than one or two models old.
Like most of us, I feel a little envious of Tour players getting to play the latest gear, even before those models hit the market. After all, who doesn’t want to hit it further and straighter? So we head to the nearest demo day to try the latest and greatest hoping for a quantum leap in performance. The amazing part these days is that the manufactures have gotten it so dialed that if you blink you could miss out on some really cool technological innovation.
I recently tested TaylorMade’s newest Driver, the SIM, with high hopes. SIM -- which stands for Shape In Motion -- arrived on Tour with more hype than recent models, and I wanted to see what the new uniquely-shaped sole could deliver performance-wise.
TaylorMade has consistently delivered driver after driver, at least once a year. And while they may not always get it right, with this driver they nailed it.
I'm not a huge fan of the way the sole looks -- but the shape is a key element in the new design, and focus away from the sole and flip this driver around and put it in its address position, it all comes together. The colors are subtle and pleasing to the eye and with that it frames the golf ball extremely well -- a feature in their popular M1 Driver that I really liked.
The shape has more of a tear drop look to it that makes it look and feel stable upon your first waggle and with the graphite crown resembling an M Series BMW interior trim, the SIM feels built for speed.
So aesthetically it passed the test for me, which is critical as I wouldn’t be motivated to hit it if not.
THE TEST DRIVE
After the first swing you can truly hear that this driver sounds different. Obviously, sound translates to feel, and it feels solid. The pitch is low to mid-range which I truly like. Nothing worse than a pitchy driver and especially with range balls those octaves can get pretty high.
I was fortunate to try the driver with a shaft that works really well for me (Tense AV Series 65) so my launch and spin were dialed in. Even setting the loft at 10.5 the face sits very square. This is always an issue for me needing a little more loft and drivers starting to look a little more closed; not the case with the SIM.
The true test was taking out on the course for a test run and it did not disappoint. Everything about this driver instilled confidence. I was able to shape my tee shots very effectively from right to left, which is my go-to, but also hit the low peeler right when needed without the extra spin. Workability, sound, and feel -- it's not surprising that PGA Tour players on staff with TaylorMade made the switch pretty quickly.
TUNEABILITY and PERFORMANCE
As I mentioned I was not a huge fan of the sole shape, but as it turns out this wasn't something I gave much thought to when I addressed the ball. It is clear that the shape they created to balance out this driver works. In addition, with the sliding weight, you have the ability to create a desired shot shape. I personally liked leaving the weight in its neutral position. It seems a little overkill to have a driver weighted so well only to mess with it. But options are not a bad thing to have. You can always go to the SIM Max which doesn’t have the movable weight option and save a few dollars.
Depending on where you are with your current gamer (like, love, or hate) the TaylorMade SIM is definitely worth taking a look at.