Two members of the TaylorMade SIM2 driver family landed on the USGA list this morning and we expect there will be at least one more added before the drivers hit retail in early 2021.
The new models (SIM2 and SIM2 MAX) give PGA TOUR players the option of putting them in play as soon as this week. Time with the Tour in mind would also explain the absence of the SIM2 MAX D (draw-biased) version which we can only assume will hit the list at a later date.
While Keegan Bradley put the SIM MAX D in play this year, generally speaking, there’s not much demand for draw-biased drivers on Tour.
TaylorMade SIM2 Drivers – What’s New?
The USGA’s photos don’t tell us much about what updates TaylorMade will be making to its aerodynamically driven Shape in Motion story but it appears the larger tale behind the TaylorMade SIM2 drivers will be powered by what the company chose to remove from the new models.
As is plainly apparent from the photos, neither TaylorMade SIM2 driver model features an adjustable weight track. The visible weights on the trailing edge and in the front are likely for swing-weighting purposes only.
Let me say that another way. It appears TaylorMade’s signature driver for 2021 will not have movable weights.
TaylorMade SIM2 Driver – No Weights is a Big Deal
Sure, you can point to countless other drivers without movable weights. But if memory serves, you’d have to go all the way back to R5 to find a TaylorMade flagship driver without some sort of moving parts on the head.
The absence of movable weights on the TaylorMade SIM2 is a big deal, especially coming from a company that positioned itself as the leader in movable weight technology for more than a decade.
Why No Weights?
We’ll be checking in with TaylorMade soon enough but the logical assumption is that TaylorMade sacrificed an adjustable center of gravity in favor of maximizing every little bit of performance for the target golfer.
I’ve said this before. Every movable weight system brings with it a compromise. Providing the functionality to move mass requires structures to support the weights and those structures eat up precious grams of weight (and sometimes have unpleasant sound implications).
As COBRA notably did with LTD, it appears TaylorMade is attempting to make SIM2 a better driver through simplification. The reasonable assumption is that the center of gravity will be lower than we’ve seen from TaylorMade in quite some time and my expectation is that the standard SIM2 model in particular will be exceptionally low spinning because of it.
Just because the TaylorMade isn’t explicitly telling you to loft up anymore doesn’t change the fact that ball speed combined with high launch and low spin remains the recipe for distance and I fully anticipate that’s what you’re going to see from SIM2.
To be sure, super-low spin isn’t for everyone so my hunch is that the SIM2 MAX will almost certainly offer playable spin for the fattest part of the bell curve, though I’d still bank on mid to low spin relative to the market as a whole.
Bottom line: the TaylorMade SIM2 driver looks to be something different and my expectation is that it’s going to be one of the fastest and certainly among the lowest spinning drivers of 2021.
As odd as it may sound, the absence of movable weights is the reason why I’m more intrigued by SIM2 than any TaylorMade driver in recent memory.
More information as it becomes available.