50 Words or Less
The SIM Max D driver is the draw biased version of the SIM MAX. Forgiving. Feels very different than SIM MAX – make sure you’re comfortable with it before buying.
The TaylorMade SIM MAX D driver continues a long line of TM drivers designed to help fight the dreaded banana ball. As TM has moved through years, they’ve offered golfers varying amounts of help, from drivers that hit only hooks to ones with very slight draw biases. I tested to SIM MAX D driver to see how much it will help the slicer.
Where the SIM and SIM MAX have fairly similar profiles at address, the SIM MAX D is noticeably larger. It’s longer from front-to-back, and the shape is more triangular than the other two. You can also clearly tell that the face is taller and that it sits closed, even in the neutral setting.
Though the shape is different, the design is the same: a carbon fiber crown fronted by a stripe of white. When you flip the driver over, the sole looks almost identical to the SIM MAX.
Sound & Feel
The TaylorMade SIM MAX D driver is the loudest of their three SIM drivers. While it’s not ear drum shattering, the increase was noticeable in head to head testing. In terms of pitch, it has the same mid/high character as the SIM MAX.
As I’ll discuss more in a moment, I had real trouble with the SIM MAX D, and that extended to the feedback. I had difficulty figuring out where the center of gravity (“sweet spot”) was and how my strikes related to that.
I know going in to any review of a draw-biased driver that it’s probably not going to be for me. I’m a reformed hooker, and I hate seeing the ball fly left. That said, I’m usually able to make some adjustments and get them to work well enough. That wasn’t the case with the TaylorMade SIM MAX D driver.
For whatever reason, I fought the SIM MAX D like few other drivers like I can remember. I was getting along with the SIM and SIM MAX, but the SIM MAX D and I could not be friends. I had no idea where the face was during the swing and even less idea where the ball was meeting the club. I was able to hit a handful of shots well, enough to confirm TaylorMade’s claim that the SIM MAX D is the highest launching driver in the SIM family.
Why was this such a struggle? The most obvious culprit is the center of gravity. This club feels dramatically draw-biased, which may be great for some players, but it wasn’t for me. Additionally, I didn’t like the look. The size I can deal with, but a closed face is a non-starter for me. Also, I was surprisingly turned off by the larger face. The SIM MAX D has a face that’s 18% larger than the SIM. I thought I would like that but I didn’t.
The TaylorMade SIM Max D driver is not going anywhere near my bag, but that doesn’t mean it won’t work for you. If you struggle to control the club face of your driver, perhaps the dramatic draw bias of the SIM MAX D will be just what the doctor ordered.
Whether this driver intrigues you or not, the one thing I hope you take away is that it is essential to test clubs and be fit before you put down your money, lest you end up in an unhappy driver marriage.