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This is a review of the TaylorMade SIM2 Max driver.
The SIM2 Max shares the same cutting-edge technologies and performance potential as the SIM2 driver, but with a heavier tungsten weight in the back, it’s designed to deliver a higher launch, higher spin, and more forgiveness.
Just how much more forgiving is the SIM2 Max than the SIM2? How does performance differ in general? When is it worth putting one driver in the bag over the other?
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.
Note: Unless otherwise stated, stock shafts and stock grips are used when evaluating this club. In most cases, the golf clubs reviewed on Golfstead are acquired temporarily for testing purposes and are not purchased. The review that follows is based on the personal experience and research of the author. Because everyone’s swing and body are different, results with a particular club may differ from person to person.
What are the reviews like?
As well as the standard SIM2 driver was received by the golfing community, the SIM2 Max seems to have even more of an edge in terms of ratings.
Many critics consider the SIM2 Max to be a very accessible driver that is easy to play well with. The SIM2 Max has average customer scores of 5/5 on Global Golf and 4.8/5 (over 630 reviews) on the official TM store. It also earned a gold medal on the 2021 Golf Digest Hot List.
The SIM2 Max is the other driver in the SIM2 line, along with the SIM2, that has actually been used on the PGA Tour.
What People Like
- promotes a lot of club head speed
- excellent performance on off-center hits
- generally regarded as having more forgiveness than the SIM Max
- vibrant blue accents are popular
- solid feel with no harsh vibrations
What People Don’t Like
- 12° loft is not available for lefties
What are the features?
The SIM2 Max leverages basically the same features and technologies as the regular SIM2, namely:
- Forged Ring Construction: lightweight, high-strength aluminum wraps around the back of the club to save weight and greatly improve forgiveness.
- Split Mass Weighting: consisting of a 24g tungsten weight in the rear and a TPS weight on the sole, this allows for precise custom weighting, increased forgiveness, and optimal spin properties.
- Asymmetric Inertia Generator: increases aerodynamic club head speed and shifts the CG back for increased stability.
- Speed-Injected Twist Face: a Twist Face that helps correct off-center hits is combined with injections that bring the speed of the face (COR) up to the legal limit.
- Thru-Slot Speed Pocket: the most flexible Speed Pocket design yet increases sole flexibility, leading to increased ball speed and forgiveness low on the face.
The key differences lie in size and weighting.
The SIM2 Max has a slightly larger face and address profile than the SIM2. And instead of the 16g steel weight of the SIM2, the SIM2 Max uses a 24g tungsten weight at the back of the Inertia Generator to shift the CG further back, resulting in a higher launch, more spin, and more forgiveness.
The SIM2 Max driver is available in 9°, 10.5°, and 12° standard lofts at 460CC. Unfortunately, the high-loft variant is not available for left-handed golfers, so they’ll need to get a lower stated loft and adjust up using the loft sleeve.
The included loft sleeve 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 SIM2 Max are the Fujikura Ventus Blue (mid-high launch) and KURO KAGE Silver (mid launch) — you’ll notice how the stock shaft options are meant to help promote a higher launch compared to the SIM2 as well. The stock grip is the TM Z600.
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 SIM2 Max driver. Click or zoom to enlarge.
How does the driver perform?
The first thing I’ll note is that with the SIM2 Max driver (and the other SIM2 drivers, for that matter), I was picking up a couple extra mph of club head speed. This is no doubt due to the Inertia Generator design which promotes improved aerodynamics through the swing.
This alone will translate to more ball speeds and more distance than what you’re likely used to.
But beyond that, I was getting very similar ball speed numbers to the SIM2 driver — there are no surprises in this regard. In addition, ball speeds are a little better compared to the SIM Max.
During my tests, I did indeed find the SIM2 Max to launch slightly higher with a little more spin. Taking into account my swing speed, I was getting around five yards more of total distance on average versus the SIM2.
The bottom line is this: the ball speed potential is basically the same as the SIM2: fantastic. But in mis-hit areas, the SIM2 Max has a slight edge.
If you find that you’re not getting enough height on your shots with the SIM2, you should definitely try out the SIM2 Max because it could be a game-changer for you.
At this point, there’s little doubt that the SIM2 Max is more forgiving than the SIM2. And this was definitely borne out in my testing.
More specifically, my mis-hits simply perform better with the SIM2 Max — the distance results are more comparable to solid strikes, and all but the worst mis-hits tend to stay in the fairway.
But how is the forgiveness compared to the SIM Max? A few people claim that there’s no improvement there, but I would strongly disagree with them.
In my SIM Max review, I noted that the driver didn’t seem much more forgiving than the M6. TaylorMade has certainly closed the gap with the SIM2 Max, which, in a nutshell, I think is one of the most forgiving drivers you can play right now.
The SIM2 Max driver is said to produce about 200-300 more rpm of spin than the SIM2. During my tests, I was averaging about 2800 rpm and to me, this seems quite accurate.
Combined with the stock shaft options which themselves promote a higher launch, I was getting an appreciably high ball flight with a neutral shot shape. It’s a very consistent, dependable ball flight.
Of course, the height and shape of your ball flight will largely depend on how you swing the golf club. Although there isn’t as much room to experiment given the lack of a sliding weight, you can still use the loft sleeve or change your shaft if you’re not completely satisfied.
The SIM2 Max is less workable than the SIM2, but you can still shape shots. In fact, unless you need to carve out some serious curves off the tee, the shotmaking capabilities of the SIM2 Max should be more than enough for your game.
What about look, sound & feel?
There’s not much to say about the look of the SIM2 Max driver that I didn’t already say in my SIM2 review. The look is practically the same with the same lines and colour accents.
The one thing I’ll note is that the SIM2 Max driver has a slightly larger footprint, with just a touch more elongation in the back of the head as well as a slightly shallower face.
Aside from that, the SIM2 Max has that signature TaylorMade look at address: a dark carbon crown and a strip of contrasting colour by the leading edge. As with the SIM2, you can customize the look of your SIM2 Max driver through the online-exclusive MySIM2 offering.
The Sound & Feel
I was a bit surprised to learn that off-center strikes don’t feel much different compared to the SIM2, even though the results in those face regions are better. Nonetheless, I have no complaints, as the SIM2 line is already on another level of forgiveness compared to the original SIM.
On the whole, the SIM2 Max has virtually the same excellent feel as the SIM2: very solid and powerful with a nice, satisfying “crack” at impact.
The sound is also similar, but one interesting thing I noted was that there is a greater difference in sound between the sweet spot and off-center areas than there is on the SIM2. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it does mean that you get quite good feedback for a GI driver.
Also, there is virtually none of that resonating, hollow, “jarring” feel that you often get when you mis-hit cheaper drivers. The SIM2 Max is a premium driver, and you certainly know it when you hit it.
Where should you buy the SIM2 Max driver online?
There are a couple places I recommend aside from the official TaylorMade store, which only offers their newest 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 including club trade-ins and Utry, a try-before-you-buy program.
The other is eBay. They are a fantastic source for golf equipment, both new and used.
The SIM2 Max is a very stable, comfortable, easy-to-hit driver that, along with the SIM2 Max D, should be a top choice for mid-handicappers all the way to beginners who are learning how to make decent ball contact.
Like the SIM2, the SIM2 Max doesn’t really do anything poorly, and the launch and spin properties will be very generous to golfers who can’t quite generate the “elite” club head speed of many Tour players.
Coming from a lefty, it’s unfortunate that left-handed golfers don’t have the 12° loft option available to them; they’ll just have to do their best to come up with a workaround if it does happen to be an impediment.
Having said that, the SIM2 Max driver is a must-try. I definitely think it’s worth upgrading from the SIM Max, especially if you can get a decent trade-in value.
Are you interested in the SIM2 Max driver? Have you played it? What’s your experience? Let us know in the comments below.
TaylorMade SIM2 Max Driver
- Incredible distance as long as the ball flight isn't too high
- More forgiving than the SIM2 and SIM Max
- Can customize the look with MySIM2
- Excellent feel with surprisingly distinct feedback
- No major weaknesses
- 12° loft is unavailable for left-handed golfers