Being the darling of the industry is a tough gig. There are big expectations, not only from consumers but internallywhen it comes to staying on top.
That’s the case for TaylorMade Golf. Whether their competitors like it or not, the brand has been a dominant player on the driver scene for years. No matter if they play the brand or not, consumer eyeballs are on their products constantly. That comes in interest once there is even a sniff of new product, when images get leaked, when clubs hit the conforming lists, and ultimately, as they arrive at retail.
Feature Interview – Tomo Bystedt
As such, plenty of golfers have been waiting for today, as the official unveiling of the SIM2 family of metalwoods – drivers, fairways, and rescues, takes place. (Learn more about fairways and rescues in an additional post at Flagstick.com)
As Tomo Bystedt, TaylorMade Senior Director of Product – Metalwoods, shared in the interview posted above, the basis of this family still rests on the foundation of the SIM (Shape in Motion) concept, thus the similar name. But, the latest models are amped up even more with a myriad of technology tweaks that has been in development for some time.
SIM was all about creating speed, SIM2 takes that in the direction of more forgiveness and improved launch conditions to enhance the ball flight, especially in the driver.
“Forgiveness equals confidence”, notes Bystedt further in a release from the company. “In 2020, we built a driver that was aerodynamic, promoted favorable launch properties and had one of the hottest faces in golf. By increasing forgiveness with SIM2, SIM2 Max and SIM2 Max•D, we’ve truly engineered a driver that has no tradeoffs. Golfers can step to the tee box and have the freedom to swing with confidence every time.
To accomplish all that the design team leaned on several key elements, none more notable that a high stretch aluminum ring that features prominently in the driver skeleton. Its presence allows for additional use of carbon in the crown and sole. The enhanced carbon featured has more durability than previous iterations, and lighter weight to allow for additional mass movement to areas of the head where they can be of benefit to the golfer. Variations in each model help increase each club’s stability for greater potential accuracy.
TaylorMade has been using various face thickness in drivers for some time but in the SIM2 drivers they take it to the next level. The new construction process allows easier access to the back of the club face, accommodating the ability to mill it to varied thicknesses, in a pattern that best represents where golfer do and don’t hit the golf ball regularly (more in interview). This tweaks off-centre construction to encourage higher ball speeds in a wider portion of the face; good news for many golfers.
And that face also gets a boost in playability with a total area some 5%-12% larger, depending on the version, compared to 2020 models.
Astute golfers will note that the now familiar Speed Injection Ports are missing from the face. That technology is still in use but the new face design only requires one injection port, so it was moved to the toe.
As in previous editions the three models of drivers vary in their performance characteristics.
The standard SIM2 has fewer compromises than previous editions of “better player” drivers from the company, says Bystedt. A blend of mass for stability with a centre of gravity pushed forward helps keep spin rates low without the head becoming too unstable.
Those looking for more spin are likely to settle on the SIM2 Max, with a 24 gram tungsten weight to the rear of the head with more massed pulled away from the face than what is found in the standard SIM model. Launch and spin and increased for a different launch profile.
The last of the driver is likely to be extremely popular among those who suffer from shots that fade or event slice. The SIM2 Max•D has a greater portion of mass pushed to the heel to create draw bias and with a larger face and delivering a high launch, it is the most forgiving of the SIM2 drivers.
“These three drivers enable us to deliver vastly different performance for a variety of players,” comments Bystedt. “We know there are a lot of different golfers out there. People will need less spin. People who need more spin. People who hit it straight and people who need draw bias. So, we’re delivering across the board with SIM2, SIM2 Max and SIM2 Max•D – separating them in terms of launch and spin. The unifying feature among all three is forgiveness – we’ve increased MOI throughout the entire SIM2 family.”
Pre-order for the new drivers begins today, January 19, with retail arrival a month from now. There are multiple lofts, and shaft options for both men and women with many custom options, including the MySIM2 program (details below). See TaylorMade’s website for full details.
TaylorMade is no stranger to customization programs, their putter version has been immensely popular, and now they bring that kind of creativity to the drivers (SIM and SIMMax) with the MySIM2 program.
Golfers will be able to have custom colour-ways in five key areas of their driver, with 2,000 possible combinations. A healthy number of options will be selectable in the Aluminum Ring, the top-line paint colour, crown and sole decals, and face pin.
There is a $150 (CAD) upcharge for the MySIM2 option.