When Golfalot asked my to try these irons out, my initial thought was 'maybe I'm not the one to do this'. I am a massive hybrid fan and I have never used a 2 iron in my life.
They're also gamed by Dustin Johnson, which is another reason why I've never thought they'd be for me as my game is about as far away from DJ's as is humanly possible!
Having said that, modern day 2 irons are no longer anything like the ones you'd have seen in the hands of Seve and Ben Hogan all those years ago. Safe in the knowledge that I would actually be able to get the ball in the air with these, I decided to give them a go.
The TaylorMade SIM DHY (Driving Hybrid) and UDI (Ultimate Driving Iron) are aimed at those golfers who prefer the look and performance of a long iron compared to a hybrid or even fairway wood.
What's It All About?
Continuing the SIM (Shape In Motion) theme first seen at the beginning of the year with the release of the SIM Drivers and Fairway Woods, the utilities feature noticeably different shapes and profiles which define how they perform out on the course.
The SIM DHY presents a larger overall footprint with a thicker top line, wider sole and shallower profile which is more reminiscent of a hybrid and is aimed at giving you ultimate forgiveness.
The hollow-body construction allows for a low and deep CG placement which provides easy launch with a slightly higher trajectory than TaylorMade's other utility iron options.
The SIM UDI is a more compact shape with a straighter leading edge, thinner sole and top line and minimal offset, to give better players more confidence at address and help to inspire workability and shot shaping.
Unlike the DHY, the weight port is placed on the rear of the club in order to raise the CG slightly, helping to promote a lower launch and more penetrating ball flight.
Both models have a rounded sole shape which was inspired by the sole on the SIM Max Rescue, and this is designed to improve turf interaction particularly on uneven lies.
TaylorMade know that golfers want this club to be useful from the fairway and rough, not just off the tee, so this should improve the overall playability.
Many of the technologies are also included in the P790 UDI which is used by the likes of Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm and Dustin Johnson every week on the PGA Tour, proving that the new SIM models can really provide the control and feel desired by better players along with a little more forgiveness to improve consistency.
Both models have a forged C300 steel face, which is also used in the SIM Max Fairway and Rescue, and generates high ball speeds along with a forged feel.
Ultra-light urethane SpeedFoam is injected inside the head and also aids ball speeds, whilst the Thru-Slot Speed Pocket aids strikes which are lower on the face which can be a common pattern in clubs such as this.
TaylorMade SIM UDI Review
As a hybrid fan, I did like the look of the SIM UDI as it was confidence-inspiring without being too big or chunky. It reminded me a little of a blown-up version of the P790 irons, apart from the fact that there are black accents around the club head.
If you're somebody who already has the P790s in the bag then this could be an ideal way to into long irons, as they should provide a little better launch and forgiveness from 4 iron down to 2 iron.
The SIM UDI is available in both right and left handed with loft options of 18 and 20 degrees, and I was testing the 20 degree 3-iron fitted with a Mitsubishi HY75 Limited shaft.
TaylorMade SIM DHY Review
The SIM DHY is visible more chunky than the UDI and also shows a little more offset too, although perhaps not quite as much as I would have expected, and so this essentially ends up being like the 'ugly duckling' to the SIM UDI.
However the bulk on the back of the head was a little off-putting, and I think I would struggle if I had to hit it from the rough or a longer fairway.
Does it fill me with confidence as it's such a big head? I'm not sure it does, because I worry that I'll hit the big ball before the little ball (in other words, chunk it).
The club is half an inch longer and does have a lighter shaft, which TaylorMade hope will deliver a little faster club head speed and in turn, a bit more distance too.
The SIM DHY is available in 17, 19, 22 and 25 degree lofts in both right and left handed. I tried it in the 19 degree loft with a Mitsubishi Chemical HY90 Thump stiff shaft which is lighter than the one on the UDI, again to aid speed.
I tested these irons during a fitting with TaylorMade's Dan Morris, and he explained that in order to improve strikes with the DHY I should try shallowing out my attack angle with this iron, even trying to hit up on the ball from the tee.
The theory was that the DHY already has the weight and bulk position to launch the ball and that golfers who may be tempting to use this club would be swapping out a wood in order to do so. So instead of hitting down on the ball, the iron was better suited to somebody trying to hit up on it like you would with a wood.
I managed to change my attack angle and this, coupled with the weight at the bottom of the club head, produced a much higher ball flight with the DHY (104 feet) compared with the UDI (81 feet).
The spin rate was also predictably higher with the DHY in comparison to the UDI, although the higher launch and slightly stronger loft didn't seem to impact the carry distances very much.
The SIM UDI was carrying 171 yards (176 from the tee) and the SIM DHY was 167 yards (177 from the tee), which I think indicates that the UDI was more suited to my delivery. I am a player who tends to increase dynamic loft at impact, so the DHY was probably launching a little too high for me and costing a few yards of distance.
TaylorMade SIM UDI & DHY Utility Iron Verdict
I hit the SIM UDI better than I expected to but I still can’t see it replacing my hybrid in the bag, unless I play a links course with little trouble at the front of the greens so I can run the ball up.
I also appreciate that I am lucky to be one of those golfers who's driver is one of the strongest clubs in their bag, and so I’d rather hit that off the tee than any other club.
Unfortunately the SIM DHY is certainly not for me as it just went a little too high and didn’t travel much further than my existing 4 iron, when I would actually want it to replace my 20 degree hybrid which carries 178 yards.
It reminds me of the original Ping crossover which I tried to game whilst on tour but couldn’t get on with the bulky head and wide sole.
However I know that a lot of people I teach find the Driver and 3 wood their nemesis and so having something friendly and forgiving that they can use to get off the tee, as well as on longer approaches into the green, could come in very handy.
Who Is It Aimed At?
The UDI is aimed at the player wanting a more penetrating ball flight with a slightly more compact look behind the ball, and is probably more suited towards the better golfer. If you're looking to get an iron down the fairway for accuracy and still have a little more forgiveness than with the P790 UDI if you don’t quite strike it, then this is for you.
The DHY is aimed at the player who wants to be like like DJ but doesn’t quite have his ability to launch the ball. This club certainly helps that and helps players off the tee who struggle to hit woods, hybrids or long irons. It is a very good 'get the ball in play' golf club both from the tee and on approaches into the green.
TaylorMade SIM UDI Pros
Low launching, penetrating ball flight
Compact head shape will suit better golfers
Slightly more forgiving than P790 UDI
TaylorMade SIM UDI Cons
TaylorMade SIM DHY Pros
TaylorMade SIM DHY Cons
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TaylorMade P790 UDI Review
Wilson Staff Model Utility Review