Very cool my man. I’m sure you guys wanted to extend the trip through the weekend at least.
Also, forgot to ask but are the heads they used at for your fitting similar to the tour heads? Meaning did their stock have exact specs measured out (loft/lie) or did they not say? I guess unless they specifically said one way or another, we wouldn’t know what they do behind the scenes but was curious.
Either tiger shrunk a few inches or Rory is standing on a hill because he is 5"9 and tiger is 6"1
It did not look like the heads we were testing were spec’d out. The clubs were getting, to the best of my knowledge, will not be spec’d either. One interesting thing we learned is that there is zero difference between the SIM you could buy at golf galaxy and the SIM tour guys are playing. In some cases Taylormade actually injects MORE resin than retail heads in order to make the tour drivers slower. They told a really cool story about how this was the case with Brooks. They just hit is so darn hard. So actually there’s a good chance the driver the public buys will be faster than the tour heads.
Obviously there are differences when you take in to account hot melt, and potential hosel bending, etc. but the structure of the drivers are exactly the same. That that was pretty cool.
Awesome. That's a fitting rather than just smashing balls on a launch monitor.
Okay really can’t wait for a computer. I’m too excited. Here it goes. Apologies for any typing or grammar errors ahead of time haha
Yesterday started with a tour of their corporate office. We got to see everything the office has to offer...and even some top secret stuff! Don’t even try, our lips are sealed! They have a putting lab where Tour putters are made, room to build the Tour clubs, Taylormade history plastered all over. It was honestly like a time machine taking you back the early days of the company and their products. It was awesome.
The Kingdom. Ohhhh my goodness, The Kingdom. A true golf junkies paradise. I was talking with @JohnnyDub while in the car and I said something like “there really isn’t a better way to describe that place than to just say it’s ‘wild’.” It’s just...incredible. Mike is the man in charge of The Kingdom and oh boy does he do it right. PROFESSIONAL from the very moment he opened the doors. We walked in to the locker room where we had our bags with name tags in our own lockers...and Tigers bag right next to ours! Exact replica of his clubs including two of his putters that he actually used! On top of the lockers were staff bags of Taylormade staffers who have won a Major. ONLY those who have won a major. Mike told a funny story about John Rahm and how every time he comes in he asks if he can get his bag up there...Mike responded with “just go win one and we’re happy to put it up there!”
After that we walked past the putting studio (more to come) through the build shop, and then BAM. The outdoor driving range. Trackman machines everywhere. Our name tags at each station. It was just amazing. If you cant smile the second you see that area there’s something wrong with you haha. I couldn’t get the smile off my face all day.
One area to test irons. New SIM Max and Max OS. Surprisingly nice given the size. The sound is much much better than other game improvement irons IMO. Two areas for our metalwood fittings. One station back inside for our putter fitting (huge surprise for us!)
Ill start with the putter. I was blown away. They have Quintic and some type of camera system that has like 10 cameras on the ceiling to track movement. I’m a numbers guy. It’s what I do for a living so I nerded our hard with Duane. My gamer putter is a Yes! Sally 12. Looks just like a Scotty Kombi. Turns out as a right eye dominate player, and cross handed putter...no matter what we tried, I always aim right of the hole and hit the putt online because I hit the putt with a closed face. Duane showed me all the numbers and we finally landed on a Spider X chalk slant neck. 35” and 1* upright. He was even able to do a “reverse T long” aim line. Basically that means we flipped the T alignment the offer on the website so the perpendicular line is near the face, instead of in the middle of the putter. This putter worked well because it allowed me to open my stance a bit and still feel like I was aimed correctly. The toe flow made it a little more difficult to close so I was returning my putter back to within .08 degrees at impact for 3-4 putts in a row. THATS GOOD!
Metalwoods. I’ll start by saying this. SIM is very good. It’s not a magical 30 yards like everyone is talking about here. That comes from being properly fit. But it is good, and with a proper fitting I’d be shocked if you couldn’t find at least slightly better numbers with SIM over any gamer you have. My current set up is a Callaway Epic Flash SZ Double Diamond with a Fuji Ventus Black 6x. LOW LOW LOW combo...and I still hit it high haha. I live in the low to mid 170s ball speed with spin sometimes getting up to 2700 2800. Drives I hit well, spin around 2100. My miss is a big push slice.
I ended up being fit in to a SIM 9* with the new KBS Tour Driven 70 Category 5. This shaft is super interesting. It’s really hard for me to describe but it has feel, and a lot of it. Spin dropped to about 2400 on my miss right and really, that’s what I was hoping would happen. I wanted something that when I missed, wouldn’t lose me 30 yards. We put the weight in the heel and it really did help straighten out the miss. Huge advantage for me. I knew as someone who swings 120ish I wasn’t going to pick up 20 yards. I wanted to reduce my miss and that’s exactly what SIM was able to do for me. Ended up with a SIM TI 3 and 5 wood with the same shaft set up. Something about that just works for me I guess haha.
After the fittings we went and played Aviara. Awesome golf course. Shot 78 which is pretty good for me this time of year, coming from Ohio!
I can’t say thank you to Johnny, GolfWRX, and Taylormade enough. Ryan, Tom, Mike, Tomo, Chandler, Casey, Duane, Perry, Joe, and anyone else I may have missed (sorry haha it’s a lot of names to remember). THANK YOU
Absolutely a trip of a lifetime. I’ll never ever forget this weekend.
Keep em coming guys. Very interested in reading/seeing more info on the putters and putting lab.
That KBS shaft interests me. Can you provide anymore info?
honestly I don’t have a ton of technical info on the shaft. My fitting was cut slightly short so that we could make our Aviara tee time so I didn’t get the chance to ask those kind of questions and really nerd our learning about those kind of details.
But it’s a shaft with a lot of feel and a lot of pop. Compared to the Ventus Black I could really feel it unload. But with that said, it produced a flat ball flight. Typically I like a shaft that is pretty linear feeing and I wouldn’t say this was IMO. I’m not the best describer of shafts in all honesty, I just know what shafts I’ve enjoyed (T1100, Ventus Black) and people call those pretty linear. I remember talking with @JohnnyDub on the first night about that shaft and even he said he couldn’t fully understand the exact profile of the shaft. Maybe he can jump in here and provide some of the more technical info.
When I got the message that I’d been selected for the trip, I was in total disbelief (and to be honest, I still am). I immediately told my boss I was going to come down with a case of the sick the following week and began what would be the longest week of waiting in my life. It felt like I was a kid again waiting for christmas. Once I arrived at the resort, I knew TaylorMade had really rolled out the red carpet for us.
After getting settled in, we had drinks and dinner with the Taylormade product guys, and got a detailed presentation of the SIM metalwoods, their R&D process, and what differentiates SIM from past iterations and product lines. Imagine a room full of golf gear heads just going off the rails about equipment for 3 hours.
We each got a goodie bag as well with a TM hat, a dozen TP5X’s, a Putter headcover, as well as other TM gear.
In the morning, we’ll head to The Kingdom for our fittings, then grab some lunch and play Aviara in the afternoon.
Waiting to head to the kingdom
When we got to TM headquarters, I got the feeling like we were about to go into Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. The place is really a golf nerd’s dream office.
Inside the lobby they had displays of Tiger’s, DJ’s, Jon Rahm’s, and Jason Day’s clubs:
There was also a display of every TaylorMade iron head from the past, we spent a good 10 minutes saying “hey I played those”, “those were great irons”, etc..
We began our tour with a look at the evolution of the metalwood drivers TM has made:
Chandler was an amazing tour guide throughout the office and shop, really informative and able to answer questions about almost any club in existence. The guy has an encyclopedic knowledge about golf clubs, who played what clubs in that tournament in ‘01, really anything.
Next we went to the tour department where they build the clubs for the tour guys. Some of the best club builders in the world here:
After that, we took a look at the putter lab, where they build the tour putters:
And finally a look at some stuff I can’t write about because it’s all top-secret. Their R&D operation is incredible to say the least.
Now it was time to walk over to The Kingdom.
Inside The Kingdom is really a surreal experience. TaylorMade knows how to put the white glove service on for the guests, everything we could ever want was there. Tom and everyone at The Kingdom made us feel at home instantly. Our bags were in our own lockers:
And on the right side was an exact replica of Tiger’s bag. Same specs, everything. Leaning against Tiger’s bag was 2 putters. Both made for Tiger and used by Tiger. The Juno 303 made to be an exact replica of Tiger’s Scotty, and the Ardmore he actually used last year and made the run at the PGA Championship. Yes, the actual putter he used on tour.
Next we got a quick tour of the facility, it’s small so it didn’t take long. The putting lab was by far the most interesting part to me. They have a floor which can adjust to any break, special lighting so there’s no shadows to distract you, high-speed cameras, motion tracking, you name it.
Moving onto outside, we got our first glimpse of the range where we’d be doing our fittings.
They had 3 stations set up and we rotated through each station. I did the putter fitting first (which was a total surprise to us), then went through irons, then the woods. We didn’t get fit for irons, but it was really cool to see how the new clubs behaved and get the firsthand knowledge about them from the guys that designed them.
The putter fitting was by and large the most interesting part for me. I hit 8-10 putts with my gamer, all tracked down to a hundredth of a degree, then Duane worked me through a bunch of putters and styles to narrow down my tendencies. I tried the Truss putters and the new Spider models, we finally arrived at a Spider X with the slant neck and a straight line alignment.
For my driver fitting, I was with Perry, who was a blast to get to work with. I started by hitting my gamer on Trackman, talking with Perry about what my misses usually are, and what I wanted to get out of the fitting. I usually don’t have a problem with distance so I told him the biggest thing I was looking for was a tighter dispersion. I don’t have the trackman numbers yet but with my gamer, I was averaging about 110 club head speed, 160-something ball speed, 270-275 carry, 285-290 total. Launching a bit too high but spin was okay.
We tried the 10.5 SIM in a Ventus Black 6x, and he gave me a couple tips in my setup, because my AOA was something like 4 or 5 degrees up. The thing was seriously nuclear. My club head speed bumped up only about 1 or 2 MPH, but the launch and spin were incredible, as well as ball speed. I topped out at 170 ball speed, which I had never gotten before. Carrying 295-300, total of 315-320. One shot carried the fence of the driving range at The Kingdom.
Spent some time going through different shafts to see if there was an improvement, played with weights, etc. but the best numbers were with the 10.5 SIM with Ventus Black 6x and the weight all the way in the toe, because my miss is usually left.
On to 3 wood. Judging by how long the SIM driver was, I knew there would have to be some change because my gapping would be absolutely ludicrous with my new driver. I started with the SIM Max head in the AD-IZ 7x, but we finally arrived at the SIM Titanium head in the AD-DI 7x. I was carrying it 260-270. Just unreal from what I thought I was capable of hitting.
Finally, Perry fit me into a 5 wood with the same makeup as the 3 wood, SIM Titanium with AD-DI 7x. I hadn’t played a 5 wood in years, but this one I was actually able to hit well off the deck. I even placed the ball in a little hole/divot and hit it out of there. If I have a predominant miss on the clubface, it’s when I hit it low on the face. The SIM woods really don’t sacrifice performance on those hits. The balls didn’t balloon up in the air and the distance loss wasn’t as dramatic.
We had a hard stop at 12 to get to the golf course for our round, but I could have stayed at The Kingdom all day just trying different clubs and picking the fitters’ brains. I admit we did feel a little bit rushed with so much to do.
The course (Aviara) was beautiful. Really interesting course with a ton of elevation change.
After the round we had some drinks and more great discussion about clubs and the golf industry. The TaylorMade guys made us instantly feel like we were part of the group and were incredible hosts.
Thank you again to GolfWRX for this wonderful opportunity, and thank you to TaylorMade for making it possible. I know I’ll never forget this weekend and I can’t wait to put the SIM woods and new putter in play. My birthday happens to be in 2 weeks so this has been the greatest birthday present I’ve ever gotten.
Great jobs on the recaps guys. Such an incredible experience.
So how’d the Ventus Black compare against the KBS in the Sim head?? Could you guys provide your swing speed and angle of attack with your driver? Thanks!!
On good strikes, very similar. Spin in the low 2000s. KBS dropped one or two even lower than that. Where the KBS TD shines for me is on misses. My big black cut became much more playable and much longer.
my swing speed is 118-121. Attack angle is about 3 up and path is a couple degrees left.
What driver was everyone playing before this trip?
Don’t think we did that. But I’ll give you my run down.
Old set up
Driver: Callaway Epic Flash SZ Double Diamond 9* turned to 7*. Ventus black 6x
Fairway: Taylormade 2016 M2 deep face. Tensei Blue 90tx
Hybrid: Ping G410 19*. Aldila Tour Green 105tx
Taylormade set up
Driver: SIM 9* playing at 9. KBS Tour Driven 70 Category 5
Fairway: SIM TI 15*. Ventus Blue 7x
Fairway: SIM TI 19*. Ventus BLue 7x
I was playing an M3 with Speeder Evo IV 565 X. Weights forward
I’ve got about 4 hours to kill In the airport so I’ll try to do this write up on my phone as well. Where do I even begin. On Thursday night after we all got in we went to a really cool local spot for dinner and a products presentation from the taylormade guys. They showed us all the new stuff and ran through a quick explanation of the technical reasons for everything which was really interesting. Being from the east coast I was wide awake ready to go a 4 am on Friday morning. First stop was the taylormade headquarters where we got to see where it all goes down. They had a ton of cool displays of old iron and drivers sets which was really cool to go back through and pick out which ones we all played. After that we headed over to the kingdom which is really just heaven on earth. The first thing we walked in to was all of our bags in our own lockers next to tigers. Fun fact I was a die hard taylormade guy since I was in junior golf and a couple years ago I got away from their equipment and I had just decided this was the year I go back the day before I got the message I was picked for this trip. After meeting all the crew at the kingdom we headed outside to our first stations. I started off with my fittings working with Joe. After some warmup we started with the drivers. Coming in I was playing a Srixon Z785 with a Hzrdus black 6.5 70 gram shaft at 45 inches. I’m a really tough fit because I have an unusual swing and hit down on the ball heavily with every club. My AOA with the driver was between 5 and 7 down which is pretty nuts I always knew I hit down on it but not that much. I’m still waiting on the track man date to be email to me but with my own driver I was somewhere in the neighborhood of 109 swing speed with a launch angle of 4 degrees and 4000 spin (Ridiculous I know right). His main goal for me was to get launch up and spin down. The first club he handed me was the Sim10.5 turned up to 11.25 with a Graphite design IZ 7x. Instantly my launch angle increased and spin dropped. We then went through a few other shafts like graphite design ad di 7x. We came back to the IZ and with a quick change in tee height we ended up where we wanted. We knew with my angle of attack we were never going to get me to super low spin and high launch we just wanted to get it to a manageable number. By the end of the fit I was hitting the sim with the iz under 3k spin with a couple down at 2500 and 9 degree launch increasing my carry from the 244 range up to the 260-265 range on good swings and we neutralized my cut massively. I was fortunate enough to finish my fit while other guys were still busy so we went right into the build shop and he built me my driver on the spot and gave me a super cool kingdom exclusive headcover. I was able to take it on the course with me that afternoon and hit 12-14 fairways a new record for me and ever ball was easily 15-20 yards longer than I was used to. Most of that is me never being through a proper fitting before but a big factor was I was able to get into the sim head with high loft but it was a great spin killing head for me. Next I did my 3 wood fit. With my angle of attack I hit fairway woods from the deck quite well. We started in the ti head at 15 degrees with a graphite design ad di 7x and instantly I was nuking them but with just a little too much curveature so he bumped it up to 16 degrees to get the club a little more upright and it was money. Even though it was working great he wanted to try a few other shafts and I went through tensai blue and tensai white. I hit the white quite well but not quite as well as the ad di. He walked away for a second to get another shaft and handed me the club to hit a couple more and without looking at the club I took a swing and hit a high launch dead straight perfect ball and my jaw dropped. I flipped the club up and looked at it and he had swapped heads into a 5 wood without telling me and I was shocked. I have never bagged a 5 wood in my life always been a 19 degree hybrid guy. We went through a gambit of shafts and ended up in a ti 5 wood with the ad di 7x shaft as well playing at the standard 19 degree setting. The 3 wood and 5 wood are playing at 43 and 42 inches respectively. Next I it the new irons for a while and was surprised at how well the new sim max irons felt. They made it a mission to try to make them feel as good as possible for game improvement irons and they succeeded. I got to hit the new P790TI irons and wow they are the most insane thing I have ever it. They are stupid easy to hit and go high and forever and they look great. My last stop was into the putter lab. I actually didn’t have my putter with me because it was off getting refinished. I normally game a Scotty Cameron California Monterey 1.5 at 34 inches so he handed me the taylormade equivalent. Instantly he could see I was off with it. My starting aim was all over the place and I couldn’t return the putter back to square I was always leaving the face open. He knew instantly what I needed. He handed me a spider x at 35 inches with the single bend neck. Instantly the improvement was drastic. I hit 3 outs in a row where my start line was almost perfect and I was returning the putter face within .01 of a degree from where I started and we new we had a winner instantly. Next he had me roll it on Quintic to see what my roll was like. At address my hands are slightly leaning back which he said was fine that’s how I’m comfortable. He was going to take loft off to get me a better roll and flatten the lie. I ended up in a spider x copper single bend at 35 inches 2 degrees flat and -1.5 degrees loft. The funny thing is I was clearly in the wrong style head and neck and my putter has 4 degrees of loft on it which is the exact opposite of what I was fit for. The putter lab truly is a truth teller. Now I guess my newly refinished putter will be a nice display piece for my future man cave. I can’t thank GolfWRX and Taylormade enough for this trip. I truly had the time of my life out here and made some memories I will never forget. Everyone at taylormade was incredibly nice and hospitable from the start making the experience that much more enjoyable. Now I just can’t wait for my new sticks to arrive and for the northeast to thaw out so I can get them out on the course!
Here’s two albums of all the pics and videos I took. Hopefully the videos work on IMGUR. Most have been posted already but this might be easier to look through!
At least it didn’t rain for 2 straight days when you guys went :P Congrats on an awesome experience. I’m jealous of the swag too. TM has stepped their game up with their trips. Interested to try a SIM for myself.
The DI is awesome in fairways
Awesome trip guys!
did everyone get a Spider putter and a different putter cover?
I think 3 of us fit in to the Spider X and then Jim will be gaming a new Truss!
side note. Those putters don’t look AS goofy in person as you may think.
We actually all got random putter covers on our first day before we did our fitting. I thought it was cool but I play a blade so I’ll never use it then I ended up getting fit into the spider so now I have a cool headcover for it!
Thanks to all of you for sharing the incredible experience. Even though I'm super jealous of the opportunity, I'm glad it went to fellow golf lovers and I'm glad to get to share your trip through the posts. What a cool way to give back to the community Taylormade and golfwrx. Cheers
Not to bombard you guys with questions, but would love to hear more about your 3W fitting and performance vs gamer. I’ve got two 16 M2 Tour DFs (15 and 16.5), so really curious what you found with your gamer vs the shallow face SIM 3W.
Based on your driver description, we have very similar swing speeds and characteristics. BTW I use my 3Ws probably equally off tee and deck, so it’s not reserved for just one or the other.
What an amazing experience, and a great break in the offseason from this miserable weather up here in the northeast.
This is awesome! Thanks for sharing the experience with us!
Interested if any of the forum members who attended had a mere mortal swing of somewhere between 95-100 Driver chs.
Sick head-cover for your driver, representing Boston well!
Fillwelix, I'm interested in hearing more about this comment that you made regarding your conversations concerning product.
“and what differentiates SIM from past iterations and product lines.”
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