TaylorMade SIM Max Driver Review

50 Words or Less

The TaylorMade SIM Max driver has excellent forgiveness and ball speed.  A solid performer but without any particularly noteworthy features.

Introduction

The TaylorMade SIM driver (review HERE) is a slight departure from the M5 in that it offers less adjustability.  The TaylorMade SIM MAX driver, however, is perfectly in line with its predecessor, the M6.  This driver is designed to offer maximum forgiveness and consistency.  I tested it to see if it improved significantly over last year’s model.

Looks

At address, the SIM MAX driver is identical to the SIM.  Light grey carbon fiber dominates the crown.  A thin band of white separates the “T” alignment aid from the ball golf.

If you have the two drivers side by side, you’ll notice that the SIM MAX is slightly longer from front to back.  This difference is very modest; I doubt I would notice it without them being next to each other.

When you flip the club over, the difference between the SIM and SIM MAX becomes obvious: there’s no sliding weight in the MAX.  This puts all the focus on the asymmetrical “Inertia Generator” weight.

Sound & Feel

Surprisingly, I found the SIM MAX driver to be slightly louder than the SIM.  Given that the SIM MAX does not have the sliding weight, I expected it to be quieter.  Regardless, the impact sound of the SIM MAX is average in volume, mid to high pitched in tone.

What was not surprising is that the feedback of the SIM MAX was fuzzier than the SIM.  This is designed to be a maximum forgiveness head, which means it covers up mishits rather than letting you know where the ball struck the face.

Performance

I was able to test the SIM MAX driver head to head with the SIM at the same loft with the same shaft.  This allowed me to see the differences between the two models quite clearly.  What stood out most was the higher launch.  The SIM was low launching, but the SIM MAX launched in the low end of my normal window.  Similarly, the SIM is low spin, the SIM MAX is mid spin.

In terms of forgiveness, I felt the SIM MAX had an advantage over the SIM.  On average, the SIM MAX gave me slightly better ball speed and better accuracy.  Subjectively, I felt that I got better results from my bad swings with the SIM MAX.

One feature that is new to the SIM driver family is Progressive Face Heights.  TaylorMade has studied the correlation between handicaps and impact locations and designed each of the three drivers with appropriately sized faces.  The SIM driver is the smallest, meant for the best players.  The SIM Max has a face which is 8% larger, the SIM Max D is 18% larger.  Putting these drivers next to each other, the difference is obvious, and players should consider their visual preference when deciding between these clubs.
As to whether the SIM MAX is a substantial upgrade over last year’s M6, my answer is “No” (M6 driver review HERE).  Both drivers are very good – forgiving without a bunch of bells and whistles – but there’s nothing I see in the SIM that makes it a necessary upgrade if you’re gaming the M6.

Conclusion

Much like the M6, the TaylorMade SIM MAX driver is a great choice for the player that wants a forgiving, easy to use driver.  It creates plenty of ball speed and keeps the ball in play even on bad swings.  However, there’s nothing game changing here, so don’t feel obliged to “upgrade” if your current driver is getting the job done.

TaylorMade SIM Max Driver Price & Specs

Matt Saternus
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21 Comments

  1. Aaron varner

    I recently bought the sim driver with the slider and im a low spin golfer. The sim driver has given me nearly 30 yards on my driver. I had the m3 driver

    • Sounds like you had the wrong shaft or weight set up in your M3. No driver is giving anyone an additional 30 yards unless the one they are comparing it to was a horrible fit for their swing.

    • I know what you mean. Very common to hit the ball 30 yards further with the weight variation.

  2. I was surprised that a 70 gram Ventus Blue shaft is an uncharge on the Max and not available to demo.

    • The Ventus that comes stock on the SIM line is not the Ventus (with velocore) that is sweeping the tour. It’s a made for shaft that is lacking arguably what made the ventus so popular (velocore tech). That’s why you see the 70 gram as an upcharge.

      • The Ventus that comes stock really sucks , wish I had known about the upgraded one when I bought mine. my Sim max 3 wood with the same shaft is amazing, and I like the look and feel of the driver, except getting really tired of of that high fade/slice .

  3. Love your reviews Matt, keeping it real!

    I would be interested if you would consider doing head to head testing..?

    Like take the best (fitted) performers and see what works best for you?

    I have similar SS and did some testing on my own and for me best ball speeds were SIM MAX, best dispersion Mavrik Max and best accuracy was G410 Plus.

    Thanks for the content!

    • Matt Saternus

      Hedge,

      Thank you.

      We’ve never done head to head testing or “Best Of” lists with clubs because we believe everyone should get fit. My opinion is that the sites and magazines that try to say definitively “This is the best” are doing a disservice to their readers because what’s best for one player may not work for another. My hope is that our reviews are a starting point for golfers – read several reviews, figure out 3-4 clubs they’re interested in, then go test them and get fit.

      Best,

      Matt

  4. Hi Matt,
    I really liked your comment after Hedge comment. It is so right. Particularly even more, when we see comparable tests made with different shafts.
    Keep on the good work.

  5. Hey Matt,
    I hate to be the num-nut asking this. I did check previous reviews to see. Anyway, when you reviewed this driver or any driver, do you test with one of the stock shafts(not asking for specifics) or is it custom fitted for you? I know everyone should be fitted when clubs cost as much as they do now and I have been, but just curios if you’re able to get the good results without having to spend sometimes $100-$200+ for a custom shaft.

    Thanks as always for your excellent reviews.
    Brent

    • Matt Saternus

      Brent,

      Great question. Unfortunately, the answer is “It varies.” Sometimes a manufacturer wants the reviewer to be fit for the driver, so they may test with something that isn’t stock. In that case, it’s usually mentioned in the review. More often than not, however, we try to use the stock shafts since that’s how many golfers are going to play it.

      Best,

      Matt

  6. I took advantage of the military discount and trade in from Taylormade and purchased the Sim Max Driver, with the Evenflow Project X 5.5 CB shaft. I have only played one round, however I love the feel of the driver and I think the shaft I was recommended suits me. I hit one drive uphill over 240, not bad for a once a week 62 year old golfer.

  7. I just got SIM Max 10.5 degree driver today with Ventus 6 S shaft. I have been hitting slices but not too bad any recommendations? my previous driver is M5 with 10 degrees driver with Project X Even Flow with 65, 6 S blue shaft.

  8. Jared Crawford

    Matt, I was fitted to the Sim Max in 12° with the Evenflo Riptide 60 6.0 Stiff shaft. I can’t get comfortable with this driver. Previously, I used my 2012 Cobra Amp with the Adila RIP Stiff shaft and hit it so much better. I thought I was getting an upgrade, but with the Sim, my mis-hits are horrible. I also do not get any distance with it. Do you have any suggestions? I also, have a Helium 45 Stiff shaft for the driver, but did not hit it well either.

    • Matt Saternus

      Jared,

      I have a couple thoughts. First, a question: have you hit the Helium shaft well in other driver heads?

      -Matt

  9. Took a 9 degree down in loft a moved spin from high 3000 to under 3000. Cut 1 inch off stock shaft 108 mph gets me 12.6 loft and a drive of 286..,,will take it for 55 years old

  10. Like reading your reviews. I am looking for a good used driver and unfortunately can’t get fitted for a used driver. I talked to a fitter and was told ,that as I am getting back into golf after a few years off with back issues, that a fitting would not be much use and that I should find a good used driver and get back on the range and course and after some time to get fitted if I want to upgrade. Any suggestions ? I have been looking at M1 460, m2,m3 Ping g400 max. I was a mid handicapper at one time but the last several times out I am 20-25 and club speed has slowed. Thanks, Dan

    • Matt Saternus

      Dan,

      I would disagree with the fitter who said fitting would not be much use. Regardless of where you are in your golf journey, the information you get from a fitting can be extremely valuable.
      That said, if you’re shopping used, I would suggest going to a shop that has a good used selection that they’ll let you hit on a launch monitor and buying the one that works best for your swing.

      -Matt

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