Completing the new TaylorMade SIM range for 2020 is the Max Rescue, which is not only aimed at providing easy launch and forgiveness to higher handicappers, but has also been spotted in the bags of some of the world's best players this year...
What's It All About?
The new TaylorMade SIM Max Rescue has been a surprise inclusion for both Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy during the early stages of the season, having been impressed during a TaylorMade photoshoot that they attended in late 2019. In fact, it is the first time ever that DJ has used a hybrid!
High praise indeed then, from two of the world's best golfers. Perhaps this quashes the theory that hybrids are only for older golfers or those who can't hit long irons, or don't have the confidence to try.
The SIM Max Rescue comes in the same silver, black and grey colourway as the rest of the range. You don't get the same Inertia Generator shaping as the SIM Drivers but there's a new V Steel sole also seen the SIM 3 fairway woods, as well as a number of TaylorMade's other renowned technologies, all in one package:
V Steel Sole
The v-shaped sole, which TaylorMade used in their woods over a decade ago returns for 2020 and helps with turf interaction whilst adding extra versatility, so that you can play it from tight lies or even coming out of the rough.
C300 Ultra-Strong Steel Face
The high-strength C300 steel face is said to create a more stable and faster face, which produces better ball speed to maximise distance.
Situated just behind the face on the sole of the club, this increases the sole's flexibility to generate better ball speed and more forgiveness when the ball is struck lower on the face, which is a common tendency with woods and hybrid clubs.
First seen in the M3 and M4 drivers, and continuing into the SIM range, Twist Face technology is said to use 'corrective face angles' in order to help straighten up the ball's flight even on those off-centre strikes. A technology that no doubt seems to make sense in theory however has been hard to prove in testing. I'm looking forward to seeing it's potential benefits here.
We added V-Steel to a Rescue for the first time in TaylorMade history, giving you improved turf interaction and better performance from difficult lies.
I took the SIM Max Rescue down to Trafford Golf Centre to perform some thorough testing away from the wind and rain, as it was about the only place that was open!
As one of the major drawbacks of hybrids is that they can be a little one-dimensional, I was interested to see whether TaylorMade's decision to release just one single hybrid to their SIM range would mean that it could still be versatile enough to appeal to a range of golfers.
TaylorMade SIM Max Rescue Review
The SIM Max looks great to me – to be honest it's almost identical to last year's M6 in shape. There are the obvious colourways changes to grey, chalk and blue but still, it's very similar. The M6 was a good looking club though, so no drastic changes is a good thing in my book.
Of course, there's the V-Steel sole which actually looks quite cool as it adds a bit of a retro feel, but once you put the club down by the ball you can neither feel or see this.
The contrasting front lip colour helped to frame the ball nicely – almost like a thick, iron topline. This isn't actual a carbon crown like you get in the drivers, it's just been painted to look that way, but still I'm a big fan at address. It's a nice slim shape with a neutral position from above and the club seems to transition down from the hosel really well.
In a similar vein to the Cobra Speedzone Hybrid I reviewed recently, the feel and sound was not quite as loud/tingy as expected from TaylorMade's flagship hybrid - rather it was more of a 'better player' crack with a slightly firmer feel compared to my own hybrid.
It almost reminded me of a long iron in terms of feedback off the face - perhaps that’s one of the reasons why the likes of Rory and DJ have been persuaded to put it in the bag. Rory even went as far to say "It's like hitting a 7-iron".
The Fujikura Ventus Shaft, at 76g, was relatively heavy but I actually quite liked this. It was still very easy to launch and the ball flight was still going forward rather than ballooning up in the air, even despite the adverse conditions on the day of testing.
The SIM Max produced a strong ball flight which was a good height without becoming 'floaty', and I was consistently producing ball speeds of at least 130mph on the shots that I hit well.
In terms of dispersion, the ball did tend to go relatively well with a couple of pulled shots aside, and these were probably less extreme than they would've been if any offset had been present.
You often hear better players complaining that hybrids tend to go too far left - see DJ reviewing the TM Gapr HI - but this flew pretty nicely especially considering the strong left-to-right wind on the day of testing.
The forgiveness was not bad, but to be honest I was expecting a tiny bit more considering this is the only rescue/hybrid that TaylorMade is releasing. Whilst its clear that this club is more than just an afterthought at the end of the SIM range, perhaps a renaming this as the standard SIM and adding a bigger, more offset SIM Max would've been a more suitable way to cater for all?
To be honest, I couldn't feel much from the V Steel Sole or Twist Face except that the club felt extremely stable through the hitting area. Obviously the major test for this club would be out on the course where you get much more turf interaction than with a mat, so if you're contemplating using this club I'd suggest that you try and do some outdoor testing first if possible.
From the ten measured shots on Flightscope I was averaging 194 yards carry with the 19 degree SIM Max. However, I am going to discount the fifth shot at 162 yards which was a misread on the launch monitor, which then pushes the figure up to 197 yards, around six yards longer than my current hybrid. The spin rates were a little surprising, although I attribute that more to the fact I was hitting from a mat with range balls than anything to do with the club.
The front to back dispersion was pretty good throughout my testing. One real mishit dropped down to 178 yards, but pretty much the rest of the data was showing consistent yardages of between 190 and 200 yards, even on a couple of strikes low in the face - the Speed Pocket did the job there!
As this is not just a 'how far can I hit it' club but is actually in the gap at the top end of the bag, just like an iron would slot in, you want it to go a predictable and consistent yardage.
Having said that, I also like to use a hybrid's versatility to my advantage when pushing it a little harder or hitting it softer to get through the wind etc, so the fact that a really good hit was getting out over 210 yards could be a useful tool to have.
TaylorMade SIM Max Rescue Verdict
All in all, the SIM Max Rescue is a solid all-round performer that will appeal to a wide range of golfers. It's not a massive, friendly head with offset and loads of forgiveness. But it's still easy to hit and launch, great looking, and should be pretty workable too.
A couple of extra loft options may have been ideal, particularly a 17 degree 2 hybrid option for use from the tee, and I think this would be something that would appeal to more better players too if considering ditching the driving iron for the greater versatility of a hybrid.
If you really struggle with a slice and want the extra offset to help with a draw-bias then it may not be for you, but for the majority of golfers this really could help to rescue your struggling long game.
- Great looking club at address - frames the ball well
- Strong ball flight when hit well
- Sounded great
- Lack of offset meant I wasn't losing shots left
- Another lower-lofted option may have been nice
- Could have been slightly more forgiving