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Equipment Report
  • EQUIPMENT

    TaylorMade releases new SIM drivers, fairway woods and rescue clubs

  • TaylorMade's new line of metalwoods will be available for pre-order on Jan. 10 and for retail on Feb. 7 (TaylorMade)TaylorMade's new line of metalwoods will be available for pre-order on Jan. 10 and for retail on Feb. 7 (TaylorMade)

KAPALUA, Hawaii – After giving the world a sneak peek at the Sentry Tournament of Champions through four of its star players, TaylorMade has officially released their new line of SIM drivers, fairway woods and rescue clubs.

Looking to build on their driver innovation over the years the company invested heavily in aerodynamic research, including a state of the art wind tunnel, and have come up with a new shape and unconventional geometry to unlock more swing speed.

The SIM line – short for Shape In Motion – promises to improve forgiveness while also increasing aerodynamics and clubhead speed at the most critical stage of the swing – the last three feet of the swing prior to impact.

TaylorMade says this “speed generation zone” is where the most meaningful increase of clubhead speed occurs. At the PGA TOUR level, players commonly accelerate from 90mph to 120mph in that moment.

Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm, Matthew Wolfe and Collin Morikawa all added the new equipment in the bag in Maui with others, including FedExCup champion Rory McIlroy, expected to follow suit.

In each of the three driver models – the SIM, SIM Max and SIM Max D – a raised crown and sole is featured to reduce drag and improve airflow throughout the swing. While raising the crown and sole improves aerodynamics, it typically comes with a tradeoff in the form of higher center of gravity (CG) projection.

TaylorMade says the SIM family of drivers counteract that with the “Inertia Generator” positioned low and back with a heavy steel weight at the rear of the club. This design element moves the CG projection very low, optimizing launch conditions and increasing the Moment of Inertia (MOI). This in turn provides additional forgiveness for the golfer.

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During aerodynamic testing, TaylorMade discovered the need to rotate the Inertia Generator to match the direction of airflow within the speed generation zone. The result is air that moves smoothly across the sole on the downswing and enhanced clubhead speeds in company tests.

“The history of driver design has been about prioritizing tradeoffs,” Tomo Bystedt , TaylorMade’s Senior Director of Product Creation, says.

“You could have great launch conditions, but poor forgiveness. You could have great forgiveness, but at the sacrifice of distance. You could have an aerodynamic shape, but with less than optimal launch conditions.

“But through the use of multi-material technology, we’ve developed a new shape that optimizes performance in all three areas. It’s forgiving, fast and promotes the ideal launch conditions.”

Plenty of familiar technology remains and in fact TaylorMade says the carbon composite material developed over the M series helped unlock the new geometry for SIM. By using carbon materials to construct the crown and sole paneling designers saved a considerable amount of weight, which was then redeployed into the new design. New for 2020 is an ultra-light weight chromium carbon crown with a chalk white topline that creates contrast with the black clubface to help frame the ball at address and improve alignment.

The method of making “hot” drivers with “Speed Injected Twist Face” remains. Drivers are made above the legal limit and then injected with resin to bring it back to the legal limits. And the face curvature is designed to straighten ball flight.

The SIM driver features a sliding weight that allows for up to 20 yards of draw or fade bias. It features a slightly smaller face than SIM Max and Sim Max D for players who place a premium on adjustability and control.

The SIM Max driver is designed to deliver maximum forgiveness. The all-new Inertia Generator positions additional weight at the extreme rear of the club to further increase MOI, providing more forgiveness and slightly higher launch conditions than the SIM driver.

The SIM Max D is engineered to help golfers avoid the right side of the course via a strategically placed heel-bias internal weight and divergent topline masking, which makes the driver look more open at address helping golfers close the face at impact. The draw-biased design promotes the highest launch and offers the largest, most forgiving face in the SIM lineup.

All three models allow for two degrees adjustment of the loft, lie angle and face angle of the driver.

SIM, SIM Max and SIM Max D will be available for pre-order on January 10 and at retail on February 7, 2020. SIM has an MSRP of $549.99 and will be offered in 8, 9 and 10.5 degree lofts. Stock shaft offerings include Mitsubishi Diamana S Limited 60 and Project X’s HZRDUS Smoke Green 70, with numerous custom shaft options available at no additional cost. They come stock with a new Golf Pride Z-Grip (47g).

SIM Max and Max D have an MSRP of $499.99 and will be offered in 9, 10.5 and 12 degree lofts. SIM Max stock shaft offerings include Fujikura Ventus Blue 6 and Ventus Red 5, with numerous additional shaft options available at no additional cost. SIM Max D stock shaft offering is the UST Mamiya Helium, with numerous additional shaft options available at no additional cost. Both models also come stock with the new Golf Pride Z-Grip (47g).The women’s offering for both SIM Max and SIM Max D include the Aldila NV Ladies 45 shaft and the Lamkin Ladies Sonar grip (38g).

FAIRWAY WOODS

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The V Steel design has been reinvented as advanced shaping combines with a V Steel sole to improve turf interaction and playability from various lies. A more rounded leading edge improves the club’s initial contact with the turf, while the V Steel sole further raises heel and toe sections of the sole away from the ground and improves versatility.

TaylorMade says these design features combine to significantly reduce turf contact area reducing ground friction which can positively influence both clubhead speed and ball speed. Matching the aesthetics of the SIM driver family, the chromium carbon crown and contrasting chalk white color help frame the ball at address and improve alignment.

The fairway metals all have Twist Face technology and the Speed Pocket technology.

The SIM fairway is a 180cc titanium head that combines a lightweight carbon construction with a new ZATECH titanium face and a heavy 80g steel sole weight. The strategically positioned weight creates an extremely low CG that allows for increased ball speed, higher launch and improved forgiveness on low-face hits.

According to the company the ZATECH titanium face enables engineers to push the limits of speed in a titanium fairway wood. It’s the first time TaylorMade has used this rare and ultra-strong material in the construction of a metal wood. It is made in small batches using a unique process that allows engineers to improve the strength of the face while maintaining a high level of ductility. TaylorMade says this results in extreme distance with adjustability via the loft sleeve.

The 185cc SIM Max steel fairway woods are constructed using strong and durable C300 face material. Also featuring the reinvented V Steel, the SIM Max is designed for higher launch and peak trajectories, with extremely long distance and improved playability.

The oversized 190cc SIM Max D has been optimized for forgiveness and golfers seeking a draw-bias design. Like SIM drivers, the fairway woods feature progressive head sizes to provide greater forgiveness to the players who need it the most.

“For many golfers V Steel will trigger memories of an iconic product we released more than a decade ago,” Bystedt says.

“As we reviewed the research used to develop the original technology, we discovered a massive benefit to having a fairway metal with significantly less turf drag through impact. By pairing V Steel with our technologically advanced materials, we’ve created fairways that are extremely playable, forgiving and provide explosive distance.”

SIM, SIM Max and SIM Max D fairways will be available for preorder on January 10 and at retail on February 7, 2020. SIM has an MSRP of $399.99 and will be offered in Rocket 3/14, 3/15 and 5/19 degree lofts. It will be offered in the Mitsubishi Diamana FW Limited 75 stock shaft, with numerous additional shaft options available at no additional cost. It comes stock with the new Golf Pride Z-Grip (47g).

SIM Max and Max D have an MSRP of $299.99. SIM Max will be offered in lofts of Rocket 3/14, 3/15, 5/18 ,7/21 and 9/24 degrees. Shaft offerings include Fujikura Ventus Blue FW 5 (R and A flexes) and Ventus Blue FW 6 (S and X flexes), with additional custom shaft options available at no additional cost. SIM Max D will be offered in lofts of 3/16, 5/19 and 7/22 degrees. UST Mamiya’s Helium FW is the stock shaft offering with numerous custom options available at no additional cost. Both models also come stock with the new Golf Pride Z-Grip (47g). Women’s offerings for SIM Max and SIM Max D fairways include the Aldila NV Ladies 45 shaft and the Lamkin Ladies Sonar grip (38g).

RESCUE CLUBS

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The new SIM Max Rescue club has proven itself versatile enough that Dustin Johnson introduced it in his bag – the first time he says he has used a rescue club since early in his PGA TOUR career. Johnson was particularly pleased to eliminate a left miss he says has always been an issue with rescue clubs.

TaylorMade has incorporated V Steel technology into a hybrid for the first time in the company’s history. The clubhead is engineered to deliver improved turf interaction and reduced friction when playing from various lies. A reshaped leading edge works in conjunction with V Steel to further improve playability and strike conditions.

Designers rounded the toe and adjusted the face angle to give SIM Max Rescue a more confidence-inspiring shape at address for all levels of golfers. It utilizes the same C300 Steel face used in the SIM MAX fairway woods to help improve ball speed, durability and overall performance. The corrective technologies of Twist Face and Speed Pocket offer improved performance and forgiveness on mis-hits on the toe, heel and low on the face.

The SIM Max Rescue will be available for preorder on January 10 and at retail on February 7, 2020. It has an MSRP of $249.99 and will be offered in lofts of 3/19, 4/22, 5/25, 6/28 and 7/31 degrees. It has the Fujikura Ventus Blue stock shaft, with numerous custom shaft options available at no additional cost. It comes stock with the Lamkin’s Crossline 360 grip (47g). Women’s offerings include the Aldila NV Ladies 45 shaft and the Lamkin Ladies Sonar grip (38g).