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In this review, I’ll take a close look at the TaylorMade SIM driver.
The SIM builds on the success of the M5, namely the Speed-Injected Twist Face, and introduces a completely reshaped asymmetric sole.
The new shape combines with a redesigned Inertia Generator to improve aerodynamics and increase speed at the most critical stage of the swing.
Here’s what I’m going to be covering in this review:
- Features & Technologies
- Look, Sound & Feel
- Where To Buy This Driver Online
Read on to find out what you need to know to make an informed purchase.
What are the reviews like?
The SIM has some of the highest ratings of any TaylorMade driver given the sample size. It nets an average customer score of 5/5 on Global Golf, 4.9/5 on Amazon, and an impressive 4.8/5 (over 150 reviews) on the official TM website.
It has also been given very high scores by professional critics and website reviewers. It earned a gold medal on the 2020 Golf Digest Hot List.
What People Like
- face somehow feels hotter than previous TM drivers like the M5
- seems to deliver superior performance in just about every way
- most golfers see an increase in ball speed and distance over their previous gamer
- low spin, high launch, and impressive forgiveness
What People Don’t Like
- head cover leaves a little something to be desired
- some golfers need extensive tweaking before the SIM gives acceptable results
What are the features?
The SIM is TaylorMade’s most technologically advanced driver yet. Some features are brand new, and some are carried over from previous models like the M5. Let’s take a look:
Many driver models introduce new shapes in order to improve aerodynamics, but the SIM’s shape is different from all the rest.
At the core of the shape redesign is an Inertia Generator, first seen in the M6 driver. The design is new — it is angled by 18° on the sole to create asymmetry and shifts weight back for added forgiveness.
This new asymmetric design streamlines airflow during the swing, increasing club head speed. What’s even better is that it has the most significant impact in the most critical part of the swing, which means it has the greatest impact on speed.
Speed-Injected Twist Face
The SIM driver makes use of the Speed Injections in the Twist Face to bring the COR right up to the legal limit of 0.83.
A special resin is injected into two blue areas low on the face. This resin stiffens the face, making it a little less flexible.
The end result is a driver face right at the legal limit of speed. This gives maximum ball speed for any given club head speed, which directly translates into more distance.
Of course, this works hand-in-hand with the original benefit of the Twist Face first seen in the M3: a corrective face angle that makes strikes in the toe and heel work back towards the target.
In addition to this, the SIM driver has:
- Adjustable sliding weights: enables you to shift weight towards the heel or toe, introducing up to 20 yards of draw or fade bias.
- Multi-material construction: allows weight to be positioned low and back in the head for less spin and higher MOI.
- Thru-Slot Speed Pocket: increases sole flexibility, leading to increased ball speed and forgiveness low on the face.
- Inverted Cone Technology: normally associated with TM irons, this expands the sweet spot on the face, leading to better mis-hit performance.
It’s worth noting that there is no lateral weight track as there is with the M5. This is to make room for the Inertia Generator and the benefits it brings.
In addition, the SIM Max and SIM Max D sister drivers have progressively larger face sizes.
The SIM driver is available in 8°, 9°, and 10.5° standard lofts at 460CC. This low range is balanced out by a high launch tendency.
The SIM driver includes a loft sleeve that allows you to adjust loft, lie and face angle. There are 12 possible sleeve variations that can increase or decrease the loft and lie angle by ±2°, and the face angle by ±4°.
The stock shafts available with the SIM are the Mitsubishi Diamana S Limited 60 (mid launch) and Project X HZRDUS Smoke 70 (low launch). The stock grip is the Golf Pride Z-Grip.
If you’re interested, full information on the driver, shafts, grips, their specs, and any custom shaft options can be found here.
Below are the specs of the SIM driver. Click or zoom to enlarge.
How does the driver perform?
With each new golf season, the benchmark for distance goes up. The SIM manages to continue this trend.
When you combine aerodynamics that maximize club head speed with a face that maximizes ball speed, you get explosive distance, and that’s exactly what I experienced during my testing.
The SIM beats out all previous TM driver models that I’ve tested in the distance department, and it probably even edges out Callaway’s Epic Flash.
Distance on off-center hits competes with the best of them. You can also use the movable weights and loft sleeve to dial in a distance-maximizing ball flight even more.
Enjoy the new distance gains… until they’re inevitably surpassed in a future release.
With a Twist Face and forgiveness-boosting Inertia Generator, the SIM does its best to offer the best forgiveness possible given its adjustability and monster distance.
I expected the SIM to be more forgiving than the M5, and I was right. It does seem to fall a bit short of the M6, however.
It’s difficult to say why exactly, but my guess would be that a slightly different weight distribution and slightly lower spin rate (I was getting spin numbers of around 1900 RPM with the 10.5° loft) amplifies mis-hits a little more.
This makes sense, because the SIM is supposed to be attractive for Tour players who don’t put as much of a premium on forgiveness as a mid-high handicapper might.
The SIM tends to have low spin, but this is counteracted by a center of gravity that is positioned back. The result is a solid, penetrating, mid ball flight that carries a long way.
Of course, it depends on the kind of swing you have, but golfers with high swing speeds shouldn’t have trouble keeping the ball down. If you don’t feel you’re getting an optimal trajectory on your shots, I suggest experimenting with the loft sleeve settings.
I didn’t notice any particular bias in the ball flight. The SIM is plenty workable, but one thing that’s worth nothing is that the sliding weight on the sole doesn’t seem to influence the shot shape all that much.
If you struggle with a bad slice, for example, sliding the weight all the way towards the heel probably won’t keep you in the fairway.
What about look, sound & feel?
The first thing to note is that the colour scheme of the SIM is quite different from anything you’ve seen in the M3-M6 releases. The leading edge is white, but the crown takes on a lighter silver colour that produces less contrast.
The slick blue accents and the milkier tone of the driver is something I really like, but many prefer the dark grey found on previous TM models.
At address, the SIM driver is on the compact side — it has the smallest head when compared to the Max and Max D models.
Turning over to the sole, we see that the SIM takes features from both the M5 and M6, although each component has a new look. The Inertia Generator is bolder and appears to jut out the back of the driver, while the lateral weight track rests near the face.
It’s certainly one of the most unusual designs I’ve seen, but the results speak for themselves.
The Sound & Feel
I personally find many TaylorMade drivers to have an underwhelming feel compared to other manufacturers. The SIM, however, leaves me impressed.
The feel is very solid and powerful with a mid-pitched sound that is fairly quiet. In many ways, it’s similar to previous models, but this isn’t surprising since the SIM doesn’t have any new technologies meant to affect feel.
What about mis-hits? I’d say they’re much easier to distinguish through feel rather than sound; indeed, the SIM has the clearest feedback in the SIM family of drivers.
Moderate and severe mis-hits are pretty harsh on your hands, and they sound a little more hollow too.
Where should you buy the SIM driver online?
There are a couple places I recommend aside from the official TaylorMade website, which only offers the newest equipment models.
One is Global Golf, which is the certified pre-owned source of TaylorMade golf clubs (new condition is also available). They offer many attractive policies and deals that make for a smooth buying process.
The other is eBay. They are a fantastic source for golf equipment, both new and used.
As a side note, I don’t advise buying it from Amazon. They don’t specialize in golf equipment and don’t have a convenient purchasing and support system in place.
With almost every new driver release, there’s an expectation of superior performance over the previous model.
It doesn’t always work out that way, but I can safely say that unless you want the most forgiveness possible, the SIM is the model you should strive for if you have the budget.
It probably has the best distance I’ve seen yet out of a TaylorMade driver, it has a weight track, and the forgiveness is better than the M5. You may be skeptical of the strange asymmetric shape and unusual sole design, but it works.
If you want more forgiveness or you struggle to get the ball up in the air, I recommend looking at the M6 or the SIM Max.
Are you interested in the SIM driver? Have you played it? What’s your experience? Let us know in the comments below.
TaylorMade SIM Driver
- Performance is either superior or similar to previous TM models
- A speed demon with a hot face and amazing distance
- Low spin, but a relatively high launch
- Solid forgiveness
- Generally not for high-handicappers who struggle to achieve a higher trajectory
- The head cover is pretty awful
- The sole design may be too "out there" for some golfers