These drivers come with a premium price tag but with that you do get premium performance. It’s not a massive leap forward from M5 or M6 but we did see gains in club and ball speed without sacrificing accuracy, and the looks also continue to impress. The Max version is straighter and positioned at a more affordable price plus there’s the option of a D version for serial slicers. In total, three very appealing products for 2020 that will suit every style and ability of player.
The new design appears to deliver what it promises. Modern, functional looks combined with satisfying sound and feel and playable performance with distance at the heart of it.
Performance gains over M5 and M6 appear to be fairly marginal, but this will be player dependent.
Why you can trust Golf Monthly Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
Neil Tappin delivers his verdict in this video and article on the new TaylorMade SIM and SIM Max drivers having tested them against the outgoing M5 and M6 models.
TaylorMade SIM Drivers Review
The TaylorMade SIM (opens in new tab) replaced the impressive M5 and M6 drivers back in 2020 and we’ve been testing them over the last month or so to see if there are performance gains to be had. You can read about the technology on the new SIM metalwoods here. Fast forward to 2022 however and TaylorMade has gone one step forward with the TaylorMade Stealth drivers launching in February 2022 - those drivers already made a significant impression on golf's equipment landscape.
Looks The sole view is where you are going to notice the biggest difference in terms of looks. The asymmetric Inertia Generator is immediately obvious and on SIM you will notice TaylorMade have done away with this central weight track. Ultimately this was because that most players put the central weight all the way back in the head for forgiveness, which meant that the weight track was becoming slightly redundant. You still have the front track to add draw or fade bias.
When looking down on the ball, gone is that duller, more matte finish that was on the M-Series of drivers. In its place the crown of the drivers is a little bit brighter and the drivers also have a new chalk white finish, which we like. Not drastically different, still easy to align, but definitely more modern and the SIM and the SIM Max do appear slightly bigger to look down on. The SIM Max in particular is a lot bigger and more generous looking behind the ball than last year’s M6.
Feel When we talk about feel what we are really talking about is the sound. Last year I used the M6 and one of the things I loved was the feel. The sound was powerful and dull but not excessively so.
The SIM Max may be a touch louder than last years M6. When comparing the M5 and SIM, it is hard to tell any difference in sound or feel and that is a good thing because last year’s TaylorMade drivers sounded fantastic. I don’t think that is any different with the two new SIM drivers.
Distance We tested all the drivers, the SIM and M models, in 9° in the same Diamana X-Flex shaft which is one of the stock options for 2020. For the M6 I was delivering club head speed of 113.3 mph, that was delivering ball speed of 159 mph. All of this created a carry distance of 278 yards, which is really strong performance.
In the SIM Max, the clubhead speed took an immediate jump up to 114.7. That gave me a ball speed of 163.2mph, four mph faster. So with the Max I was creating a little bit more spin but in terms of total carry distance there was a clear jump.
In the M5 I was creating a clubhead speed of 115.6 mph, that was delivering me a ball-speed of 161.6 mph. This delivered me a total carry distance of 282 yards. Moving into the SIM, the club head speed was 115.8 mph, so a tiny fraction up. Ball speed of 164 mph, again up slightly. The total carry distance was 287 so a little bit longer with the SIM compared to the M5 and a little bit longer with the SIM Max than I was with the M6.
You can make of that data what you will but all drivers were set up in the same way but it does seem as if the work TaylorMade have done to the aerodynamics has delivered a little bit more clubhead speed and a little bit more ball speed which meant overall, more distance.
Accuracy I used the M6 last year because I felt like I could control it. I’ve not had a chance to fully test the accuracy of the SIM models on the course but hitting on the range, if there was one driver I would be most comfortable with in keeping the ball on the golf course it would be SIM. It just clicked with me and I was able to hit a series of good shots with it, like I was in complete control of it.
If you are tempted to get the SIM or SIM Max, think about your own game. If you are someone with a consistent miss, lets say you miss right, then the ability in the SIM to move the sole weight and put it into a draw-bias will help you hit more fairways for sure.
Alternatively if your strike pattern is out of the heel or out of the toe then that extra forgiveness, that higher MOI that you get from the SIM Max might well be the way to go.
In his current role, Neil is responsible for testing drivers and golf balls. Having been a part of the Golf Monthly team for over 15 years and playing off a handicap of 3, he has the experience to compare performance between models, brands and generations. For 2022 he thinks the main trend in drivers is: "In a word, consistency. Whilst all the brands are talking about ball speed (and the new drivers are certainly long), my biggest finding has been how much more consistent the ball flights are. Mishits don't seem to be causing the same level of drop-off or increase in the spin numbers. This means that more shots seem to be flying the way you want them to!" As far as golf balls are concerned the biggest development is in the, "three piece, non-Tour, urethane-covered section. For regular golfers, these models offer superb performance at both ends of the bag without denting your wallet quite as much as the premium Tour-played options."
Originally working with the best coaches in the UK to produce instruction content, he is now the brand's Digital Editor and covers everything from Tour player interviews to gear reviews. In his time at Golf Monthly, he has covered equipment launches that date back well over a decade. He clearly remembers the launch of the Callaway and Nike square drivers as well as the white TaylorMade driver families, such as the RocketBallz! If you take a look at the Golf Monthly YouTube channel, you'll see his equipment videos dating back over a decade! He has also conducted 'What's In The Bag' interviews with many of the game's best players like Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm. Over the years, Neil has tested a vast array of products in each category and at drastically different price-points.
Neil is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade Stealth Plus Fairway Wood: Titleist TSR2 Hybrid: Titleist TS3 Irons (4-9): Mizuno JPX 919 Forged Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 46˚, 50˚, 54˚, 60˚ Putter: Odyssey Triple Track Ten Ball: Titleist Pro V1X
Shane Lowry Splits With Long-Time Caddie Bo Martin
The pair, who won the 2019 Open Championship together, have split after four-and-a-half years
By Elliott Heath • Published
Matt Fitzpatrick Joins Tiger Woods And Rory McIlroy's Golf League
The US Open champion is the latest big-name player to join the tech-focused golf league, which launches next January
By Mike Hall • Published
Phil Mickelson Claims OWGR ‘Has Lost Any Credibility’
The 52-year-old also said he thinks the current system hurts the Majors more than the players
By Mike Hall • Published