Expert Review: TaylorMade SIM Max DriverPublished on 03/14/2023 · 7 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the driver, which I bought with my own money in June 2020.
Photo courtesy of Ryan Hernandez
About this review This review is my honest opinion of the driver, which I bought with my own money in June 2020.
The TaylorMade SIM Max Driver is one of the best “game-improvement” drivers out there and will work wonders for mid-high handicappers. That is not to say lower handicappers won't benefit from this as well; I was drawn to the SIM Max as a driver that would help me hit more fairways. I found it to be longer than the SIM and more forgiving than the M3. I used it for two seasons on tour and it kept me in the fairway more than my previous driver.
About the club I own
- Model: 2020 TaylorMade SIM Max
- Loft setting: 9 Degrees
- Shaft type: Ventus Blue
- Shaft flex: X-Stiff
- Average score: 70-75
- Handicap: 2-3
- Experience: 25
- Right/Left-Handed: Right-handed
- Typical ball flight: High fade
- Golf ball used: Titleist ProV1x
- Club swing speed: 107-110 mph
- When I bought the club: June 2020
- Days tested: 1 year
- Where I’ve used it: Range; Wild Horse Golf Club, Denton, TX; courses around Dallas-Fort Worth, TX, and USA; several pro events on local tours.
- Weather and wind conditions: Sunny and extremely hot to rain and high winds, cold mornings, and long afternoons.
How it performs
What I was looking for
Prior to this club, I had a TaylorMade M3 that I could never get comfortable with. The head never felt right through the swing and I never felt confident with it in my hands. I made the decision to upgrade and was looking for something that looked great behind the ball and gave me a lot of distance off the tee.
Why I chose this club
Truth be told, I originally went with the Titleist TS3 driver because it was the longest driver I hit in my fitting. Unfortunately, or fortunately, the TS3 was delayed in shipping and I scrambled for an alternative, which is how I came about the SIM Max. I loved the look and it performed well in my fitting: high accuracy and 2nd only to the TS3 in distance. Eventually, the TS3 arrived in the mail but I am much happier with the SIM Max. In course conditions, I was hitting more fairways with the SIM Max, and the look at address, which made a huge difference to me, fit my eye much better!
What I love about it
- Distance: The SIM Max is long and able to hold its own with the other drivers out there. I gained 10-15 yards off the tee from my M3.
- Forgiveness: I needed something more forgiving than the M3 I was playing beforehand. The moveable weights gave me more trouble than help and my spin numbers were out of control. The SIM Max offers incredible forgiveness across the face so even mishits travel. Twist face is upgraded from the M lines which is what allows for this. The forgiveness really helped keep me in contention in several tournaments where locating the fairway off the tee was a must.
- Feel: I love the feel of the SIM Max. The balance was great and the feeling of the ball hitting the face was very agreeable. The shaft feels smooth and I was very pleased with the whip and kick through impact.
- Adjustability: The SIM Max allows me to change the loft +/- 2 degrees. Helpful for those who are looking to change and open or closed face issue at address.
- Shaft Feel: The shaft feels great; very smooth and solid throughout the swing. Before and after contact are awesome, and the kick point is great at contact.
- Shaft Performance: This shaft performed well. I love the Ventus shafts. I use them in all my woods now because of how well they perform. The flex feels good. There is no part that is harsh or jerky. Smooth and consistent every swing.
- Aesthetic Appeal: I love the look of the SIM Max. The goal of the SIM line was to change the shape to be more aerodynamic. I thought the speed crown that points off the back might be distracting but you do not see it when the club is behind the ball, which is a checkmark in the + column for TaylorMade’s design team.
- Launch Angle: The SIM Max launches high which fits my swing. I like a driver that launches high (Rory McIlroy) and lands softer. I would rather have the carry distance than the rollout.
- Spin: I get less spin with the SIM Max than with others, which was perfect for me. I prefer to hit it high and cut corners, and not worry about it rolling out of the fairway or through where I need it to land. The SIM Max accomplishes this with a balance of spin and launch angle.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Sound: The sound has a louder impact on it, which did not bother me, but it may bother others. However, it does sound like I hit it far every time.
- Workability: This driver is tailored to the mid-high handicapper market and as such, it is not made to be very workable. I can still moderately draw and fade the ball, but it does not have a weighting or adjustability to assist that. As a result, the ball doesn’t work as much as the M3 or the SIM.
- Grip Feel: I am not a fan of the stock grip that comes on these. It is TaylorMade’s grip and it is a little slick for my liking, similar to a tour velvet or CP2 Pro. I had the New Decade MCC put on and I love it. For what it’s worth, I play golf in Dallas where it is humid much of the year and I like the tackiness of the MCC in those conditions.
Best shot with this club
The best shot I hit with this club was at Saddle Rock Golf Course in Aurora, CO. I was playing 18 and not swinging particularly well that day. However, on 18, you have to hit over a large wasteland to get it to the fairway on a long par 5. I took the driver, and my goal was to hit a high fade and land it in the middle to have a chance at the green in two. A combination of the altitude, an excellent swing, and the space-time continuum must have collided because I smashed the drive 375 up the right side and over a ridge where it came to rest on a perfect lie, and I had an iron into the green. I would never have attempted this with my old M3. The SIM Max gives me so much more confidence that my ball will be in play, even on mishits, that I am fearless when it comes to pulling drivers. This time, the SIM Max made for a very easy birdie on, maybe, the best driver I have ever hit.
Value for the money vs. other options
It takes club makers 3-5 years to make vast improvements to technology. So for the $399 price that you can find these at now, they are an awesome option if your driver is 5 years old or older. The TaylorMade SIM2 and Stealth are great, but the SIM Max will give me everything I need and will save me some money along the way. I still put the SIM Max in the bag when I need to launch it high and stay in the fairway.
The TaylorMade SIM Max driver is an excellent choice for any golfer that wants a forgiving, easy-to-hit driver. It creates enormous ball speed and keeps the ball in play even on miss-hits with forgiveness across the face. It will also be a money saver for similar technology to the SIM2.