This is our review of the TaylorMade SiM MAX Irons.
Most of us were quite surprised when TaylorMade decided to move on from their massively popular ‘M’ series in 2020 and announced the start of the SiM MAX era. Today, the SiM MAX golf clubs have been the talk of the golf community even with the newer release of the Stealth in 2022.
That said, the TaylorMade SiM MAX irons are still some of the best set of game improvement irons you can get as a beginner, high handicapper, and even if you’re a mid handicapper.
That’s why in this review, we are going to go into the details as to what makes the SiM MAX irons so great. We’ll cover what the specs are for each club in the set, the benefits you’ll get from all the features and golf technologies that went into the club, what some customers have to say about these irons, and finally give you some other viable alternatives that you can consider.
What’s in the SiM MAX Iron Set (Specs Included)
|Club Type||Loft Angle||Lie Angle||Total Length||Offset|
|GW / AW||49°||64.5°||35.5”||2.0mm|
The Break Down: TaylorMade SiM MAX Irons
When TaylorMade moved on from the ‘M’ series to release the first SiM MAX irons and driver, we knew these clubs had to be special.
Released in 2020, the SiM MAX irons are still some of the best irons to get as a beginner and high handicapper. They’re game improvement irons, but of the highest caliber, and resemble most to the player distance iron category in terms of feel and sound.
Every club in the SiM MAX iron set is set out to provide golfers with the best mix of forgiveness, distance, technology, and feel. The combination of the Speed Bridge, Speed Pockets, ECHO Damping System, ICT, Ultra-Thin face, and positioning of the center of gravity has made this club easy to launch, easy to hit long, and most surprisingly, noticeably similar to the feel and sound of a forged iron. We’ll cover more of how they did it and what all these features mean later.
Overall, the SiM MAX irons are the best all-around set of golf clubs for a beginner and high-handicaper. And the good news is, they’re much more affordable than they were two years ago!
- Forged-like feel despite being a game-improvement iron
- Sounds amazing
- Extremely easy to hit the ball high and long
- Comes with a lot of the most modern golf technologies
- High COR and MOI
- Rear of the club and Speed Bridge is hidden at address, so you only see the face
- Premium Clubs and much more affordable today than in 2020
- Still can be quite pricey despite being released in 2020
- Limited workability as they are just game-improvement irons
The SiM MAX irons are noticeably more forgiving than most of the game improvement irons we’ve tested before. This can be thanks to TaylorMade’s efforts to smartly pair all the golf technologies that were added to these clubs (we’ll go over this in more detail below).
So how did the club perform? Upon hitting the irons, shots off the toe often lead to a push slice, but the club still feels relatively straight and didn’t twist easily, the result is a less significant slice than if you would with a player’s iron.
Shots off the toe, stung the hands a bit but still flew decently well.
Shots on the center were money and were very easy to find. The sweet spot was much larger than most golf clubs and shots within the sweet spot area were very straight, high, and long. Not to mention, launching the ball was extremely easy.
What impressed us the most were the longer irons (specifically the 5 and 6-iron), which were easier to use compared to other longer irons we’ve tried in most game improvement golf sets. This can be thanks to the intentional draw bias TaylorMade featured on these longer irons to counteract a sliced golf shot which is often what most beginners struggle with when it comes to hitting these golf clubs.
The distance generated from the SiM MAX irons was noticeably farther than most game improvement irons.
Lofts on these irons seem to be stronger than most game improvement irons. This, coupled with the thinner face and a naturally high MOI, made it easy to find the sweet spot and generate a lot of ball speed due to a higher COR which carried the ball consistently far.
However, you won’t necessarily swing faster with the SiM MAX, but the design of the face will naturally generate more ball speed on impact, carrying the ball farther.
We mentioned this earlier, but if you’re looking for a club that can easily launch the ball in the air while ensuring the height of the ball doesn’t take too much away from the carry, then these irons do just that.
The wedges of these clubs feel amazing too and most of all, accurate. With the mid-irons, you don’t need to feel like you need to swing hard on the golf ball, instead just a smooth relaxed swing will punch the ball into the air. Longer irons are much more forgiving to launch due to the draw bias. Even when you hit the toe of the club, the ball will still draw relatively well, reducing the severity of the slice.
Feel and Sound
What makes the SiM MAX stand out most, despite it being a game improvement iron, is how much it resembles a forged iron. The sound created from contact with the sweet spot is smooth and satisfying and sounds just like it was forged by a hand instead of assembled by a machine. Also, you can really feel the club face throughout the golf swing, which is probably what helps in elevating the consistency you’ll get with these irons.
Looks and Quality
Replaced from a red, black, and white color scheme from the M5/M6 to a sporty blue, black, and white which stands out less and looks more comfortable to the eye, most golfers would appreciate the SiM MAX in their bag than most modern golf clubs today.
When you set up with the golf club, the cavity/ rear of the club is hidden from view. So, you won’t be seeing Speed Bridge but just the face of the golf club. In our opinion, this is a plus because it just makes it less distracting before you’re about to swing the golf club.
The topline of the club is much thinner than we expected and is also slimmer than most game improvement irons we messed with.
In terms of quality, well just because they are from 2020, let’s not forget the SiM MAXs are still premium TaylorMade irons. That said, the quality and maintenance of these clubs are excellent and can stay in your bag for a very long time.
We mentioned earlier that these irons can deliver distance, forgiveness, and a forged-like sound and feel through TaylorMade’s excellent use of combining the right golf technologies with one another.
What’s the result? A set of irons that’s become the best option for any beginner and high handicapper to use. That said, let’s dive into more detail on what technology the SiM MAX has to offer.
Speed Bridge Technology
Right out of the box, the most noticeable feature about the SiM MAX irons is the Speed Bridge that connects the topline to the sole of the club.
By implementing the Speed Bridge, TaylorMade was able to establish a lower center of gravity as well as a more stable face for a higher moment of inertia (MOI, basically allows the club to resist twisting from mishits). As a result, the SiM MAX is not only easier to launch from pretty much anywhere on the face, but it also feels much more solid on impact which most game improvement irons don’t have.
Thru-Slot Speed Pocket
At first, you’d think the Thru-Slot Speed Pockets sounds like a feature that will help you swing faster, but that’s not what it really means. TaylorMade’s famous Thru-Slot Speed Pockets are actually meant to promote more speed on the golf ball through impact rather than accelerating the speed of the club head itself.
This is achieved by that piece of thin, black line running along the sole of the club. What’s going on here is actually a separation of the leading edge from the rest of the club’s sole which promotes a more free-floating and flexible face. Simply put, a more independent face allows for more COR (energy transferred), exploding the ball off the face at impact.
Knowing this, any golfer who’s looking for more distance will likely get at least a 5-yard boost with the SiM MAX irons if you’re swapping over from an older set of super game-improvement or game improvement irons
Inverted Cone Technology (ICT)
TaylorMade introduced the ICT to focus on promoting more forgiveness and distance on mishits through the design of the club face. How they did this was by shaping the club face in such a way to expand the sweet spot while improving its overall MOI. On top of that, this feature is tuned specifically for each club in the set, so you can be certain that even the longer irons are much easier to hit with than the longer irons from most other golf sets.
ECHO Damping System
Besides the other features, this is where the SiM MAX irons get most of their famous forged-like field.
With most distances reaching a limit on most modern game improvement irons, golf manufacturers are looking for other ways to enhance their customers’ golfing experience. For TaylorMade, it’s to somehow make a game improvement iron, like the SiM MAX, to feel and sound exactly like a forged iron.
And it seems they managed to pull it off exceptionally well. When we tried the SiM MAX irons ourselves, we noticed they sounded very different from other game improvement irons we tested before. Specifically, the club head feels more solid, more feedback was provided than most game improvement irons, and the sound was indistinguishable from a forged iron like the P790.
Don’t believe us? Check out this video where TaylorMade did a blindfold sound test on the SiM MAX Irons with some of the best golfers on Tour:
Besides just promoting a better sound, we also mentioned a more solid feel. If you look at the back of the club, you’ll see the ECHO Damping ridges or channels. Though they may look cool, these ridges also absorb vibration which gives it that smoother feel through impact.
This feature means exactly what it sounds like. The SiM MAX has an ultra-thin 1.5mm face. What this achieves is more energy to efficiently travel to the golf ball instead of being absorbed into the club.
When we combine an Ultra-Thin Face with the Speed Pockets and the ECHO Damping system, we’re not only getting a great feel with these irons but even more carry with each club in the set.
Center of Gravity
Though not a piece of golf technology, the positioning of the center of gravity (CG) is particularly improvement in making a good set of game improvement irons.
Beginners and high handicappers need forgiveness over all else when it comes to picking the right set of golf clubs, and the CG plays an important role in determining how easy it is to launch the golf ball up into the air.
Ideally, the lower and farther back the CG, the easier it is to launch the golf ball and TaylorMade did this really well. If you flip the club over, you’ll notice that they’ve applied more weight towards the sole. If you’re a golfer who likes to feel the sole of the club head during the takeaway, you’ll be able to track the club head almost throughout the entire golf swing. For most of us, that’ll lead to a significant improvement in good quality ball striking consistency.
They’ve also accounted for longer irons in the SiM MAX set, placing the CG closer to the toe to promote a slight draw bias. If you ask us, that’s the perfect way to allow beginners and high handicappers to enjoy playing with the longer irons rather than setting them aside because they’re too hard to hit with.
Before You Buy
By now, you should know that the SiM MAX irons are truly amazing. But, keep in mind that they are ideally suited for beginners, high handicappers, and maybe some mid handicappers who just want a club that offers excellent forgiveness and good distance.
That said, this is a game-improvement iron, if you’re like most mid handicappers or you’re a low handicapper, you’d be better off with a set of player distance irons that focuses slightly less on forgiveness but more on optimizing workability and optimal distance when finding the sweet spot. In that case, there will be better golf clubs out there over the SiM MAX.
What Some Customers Had To Say
Here’s what we can find from customer reviews about the SiM MAX irons that you should consider before buying:
- The black hosel has loosened according to some buyers.
- One or two buyers didn’t receive the full set but just one club from some retailers. But most situations like these were fixed after reporting it to the retailer.
- Ball marks seems to appear stay more easily on the club face.
When it comes to price, these clubs are much more affordable now than when they were released in 2020.
If you’re looking for a new set of premium game improvement golf clubs, we can’t see what else to recommend but the SiM MAX irons for now. Maybe the SiM 2 MAX comes close, but it’s much more expensive and it’s not a big enough leap in terms of performance to justify its additional price.
That said, if this price point is still too steep for you, you can consider getting a set of SiM MAX irons in used condition for a much cheaper price at Global Golf. We’ve bought clubs from there and their used clubs are amazing when it comes to quality, some even look brand new!
3 Best Alternatives To The TaylorMade SiM MAX Irons
1. TaylorMade SiM MAX OS Irons (If You’re Looking for Even More Forgiveness)
The SiM MAX OS is the super game improvement version of the standard SiM MAX. In short, if you’re an absolute beginner and want a set of premium clubs, these should be your go-to. The face is slightly bigger than the standard SiM MAX, which makes it easier to hit the golf ball, and the CG is pushed ever farther and lower behind the club head for an even better launching ability.
Of course, all the technology in the SiM MAX is also applied in the OS version so you’re still getting most of the most important benefits from the standard SiM MAX.
2. Callaway 2020 Mavrik (If You’re Not a TaylorMade Fan)
Callaway has always been TaylorMade’s biggest rival when it comes to producing highly demanded golf clubs. With the release of the A.I. designed Callaway Mavrik 2020, these irons perform very similarly to the standard SiM MAX irons. You’re still getting a game improvement iron with a great forged-like feel, amazing distance, and a bunch of technology for forgiveness and performance.
If you’re a fan of A.I. and prefer a similar club to the SiM MAX that is not a TaylorMade, then the 2020 Callaway Mavrik is a good choice.
3. Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo (If You Have a Slower Golf Swing)
If you’re looking for a set of clubs that are more tailored for those with a slower golf swing, then consider the Cleveland Launcher HB Turbo Irons. This iron set offers extremely high forgiveness and ball launching ability. You can see that each club in this set has a hybrid-like design so that Cleveland could maximize the center of gravity at the back of the club by much more than most standard irons.
If you’re lacking swing speed or you’re an absolute beginner, we recommend the Launcher HB Turbo set from Cleveland. Just know that some may not like that hybrid-like design as it looks like a set of senior clubs.
By now, you should have a good idea as to what you’re getting yourself into when you get the TaylorMade SiM MAX iron set. In our opinion, they’re the best set of game improvement irons from 2020 and perform just as great as the modern clubs we have today.
Whether you’re a beginner or a high handicapper, this is the best set you can have to bring your game to the next level. In fact, we’re confident you could stick with the SiM MAX irons even when you’ve reached a mid-handicap just because of how similar this iron set is to most player distance irons.
That said, if you’re looking for clubs suited mostly for a 10 handicap golfer, check out our post on the best irons for a 10 handicap. And finally, if you’re set on the SiM MAX irons and you’re now looking for a driver to go with it, read our review on the best drivers for beginners and high handicappers.
We hope you found this post helpful, may the course be with you, and good luck with practice!