It's a new year, and that means new TaylorMade product. The golf equipment giants are looking to the SIM2 to improve on the impressive start made by SIM last year, the full lineup mainly comprises of updates but it also features some brand new additions.
There are no real wholesale changes between SIM and SIM2, probably because SIM itself was such a success, but TaylorMade have looked at making 'marginal gains' to all of their products to give you just that little bit of extra performance.
Now we have seen some of the biggest names in the game using TaylorMade fairway woods for years, but not too many of them use the rescues. That did change a little last year when the likes of McIlroy and DJ flirted with the SIM Max Rescue at certain tournaments, whilst they are popular in the women's game with the likes of Sung Hyun Park and Charley Hull.
But TaylorMade know that their clubs sell well when the big players use them, so getting these hybrids in the bags of their biggest players will be one of their main goals. So how do you do that? You ask these guys what they want, and then you make it. Simple really...
The 2021 SIM2 range sees the introduction of two models - the SIM2 Max Rescue which is an upgrade on last year's model, along with the SIM2 Rescue which is the 'players club' and one which TaylorMade are hoping will find favour with their stable of tour players.
What's It All About?
TaylorMade's tagline for the new SIM2 Max Rescue is 'everyone can be rescued' and so it's not surprising that this is their forgiving model which will suit a wide range of golfers.
On the sole, the Max Rescue features a V Steel sole design which redistributes weight to provide that winning combination of easy launch with plenty of forgiveness. It also features 'depressed' toe and heel sections to aid turf interaction and make the hybrid more versatile from different lies.
The face is made from a C300 steel which maximises ball speeds, whilst it also benefits from TaylorMade's Twist Face technology which is designed to help straighten up shots that aren't hit from the middle of the face.
This hybrid has a fixed hosel and so you'll see a whole host of different loft options from 19 to 31 degrees, making it the perfect alternative to your current long iron setup if you're looking for a bit more help at the top end of the bag.
The SIM2 Rescue is new for 2021 and has been designed with insights from TaylorMade's biggest stars including Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy.
The idea of this Rescue and this shape is that it promotes more workability with higher spin and a flatter launch, properties that you'd be more likely to see in an iron.
Like the Max Rescue, the Rescue features the V Steel sole which adds forgiveness and maintains lower CG, along with a Forged high-strength C300 steel face complete with Twist Face.
You also get an adjustable loft sleeve which allows you to add or subtract 1.5 degrees from your rescue. There are three different loft options available, from 17 to 22 degrees.
TaylorMade SIM2 and SIM2 Max Rescue Review
Looks and Feel
Looks-wise, the SIM2 Max is almost exactly the same as last year's model albeit with the slight addition of the updated SIM2 colours. There really is very little change here.
I would say that things have just been 'tidied up a little'. Like the rest of the SIM2 range, the carbon fibre and white finish on the top of the head frame the ball nicely. It looks modern and ready to hit.
The Rescue is more of a smaller, iron-like profile with a brushed all-black finish. I'd describe it as a soft curved baffler shape, with the bottom line of the face being wider than the top.
It looks a little meaner than the SIM2 Max, but I can't say I've ever been a huge fan of the baffler shape with hybrids and this is just the same, even though the finish and quality does look great. I want my hybrids to look like a hybrid, not a half iron, half rescue that's a little stuck in the middle.
During my indoor testing on Trackman I noted that the SIM2 Max dispersion tended to favour the left hand side of the fairway, whilst the SIM2 Rescue's much more compact shape seemed to favour a little more of a fade so I was finishing just to the right of target.
As you'd expect with the bigger head and different CG configuration, the Max was flying higher than the Rescue at 72 yards average peak compared to the Rescue's 63, so if it's easy launch that you're looking for then the Max may be a better bet.
Both clubs gave me a carry distance of 170 yards on average, although the Rescue did roll out around 5 yards more because of that lower flight and produced a couple of miles an hour of extra ball speed.
With the Rescue there was a couple I didn't quite catch and therefore carry dropped down below the 160 yard mark which is pretty low. As expected, when you strike the Rescue well with the flatter ball flight it produces it travels further with a little more run than the Max.
These clubs really started to show their difference in ball flight once I got them out on to the golf course though. When playing into the 16th hole at Prestbury GC and with the ball sitting above my feet I really had to work to stop the ball going left with the SIM2 Max.
In contrast, the SIM2 Rescue had less draw bias and the smaller head shape made it feel a little more workable for me, meaning that I was able to produce a nice, soft low draw without worrying too much about missing to the left which was a nice shot to have.
I hit a few shots from the tee too and the SIM2 Rescue continued to show similar performance as to what I'd seen inside, it was producing a nice controlled fade which flew lower and released a little more than the Max.
I played the 18th hole with both hybrids against each other in a head-to-head test and on my approach to the green was where I saw a significant difference, because I made a poor swing with the Rescue and it didn't save me, barely reaching the front of the green compared to the Max which was a high draw to the flag at the back of the green.
The issue I had with the Max, despite the slight draw bias, was that I just didn't get a very positive feedback in terms of feel even when I hit a good shot.
Ok, it was a cold day when I did my testing but that tingle through my fingers certainly wasn't as nice of a feel as with other hybrids I have tested recently, particularly the Ping G425.
TaylorMade SIM2 and SIM2 Max Rescue Verdict
One of the things we like to look at when reviewing products is whether they perform in the way that the brand says it will, and the SIM2 and SIM2 Max both did that.
Hybrids are often feared by better players as they worry about the big miss to the left, but the SIM2 Rescue proved particularly during the indoor testing that even in my hands (a draw player) it could easily find the right hand side of the range.
What's good about these clubs is that TaylorMade have made two distinct options for golfers that look and perform differently to each other, this is something thy didn't have year so you have to put that down as a positive.
The SIM2 Rescue is for the player who wants to have a 2 iron in the bag, but needs a little more height and forgiveness. It's ideal for golfers who typically would steer clear of a hybrid due to their tendency to miss left and spin up too much.
For me this rescue screams 'fairway finder' and 'shot shaper'. The sleek black finish is actually very un-TaylorMade like, and you wouldn't know it was a TaylorMade at address in my opinion. However, it is a great looking club which I am sure will convert the traditionalist.
The SIM2 Max is more of an all-rounder, so you're just as likely to see Matt Wolff and Charley Hull with it in the bag as you are a 20 handicapper.
It performs exactly as a hybrid should in terms of ball flight and forgiveness levels. One thing that does limit it in comparison to other manufacturers is the fixed hosel with no adjustability.
This makes the fitting process all the more important as you want to make sure your hybrid goes a certain distance, rather than just going as far as possible like a driver or fairway wood.
The looks have improved on last year's model, and it does frame the ball brilliantly. If only the feel had been slightly better, and this would've been the whole package...
SIM2 Max Rescue Pros
- Looks better than last year's model
- Cheaper than Ping G425
- Performs exactly how TaylorMade intend it to
SIM2 Max Rescue Cons
- No adjustment options
- Feels a clunky at impact
SIM2 Rescue Pros
- Sleek, subtle and modern looking
- Excellent workability
- Loft sleeve for adjustability
SIM2 Rescue Cons
- Could've been more forgiving on shots lower on the face
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TaylorMade SIM DHY & UDI Utility Iron Review
Ping G425 Hybrid Review
TaylorMade SIM Max Rescue Review