The TaylorMade SIM ‘Tour’ prototype driver you probably didn’t know existed

Sergio Garcia hits driver.

Sergio Garcia with the TaylorMade SIM "Tour" driver prototype from earlier this year.

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When it comes to equipment, PGA Tour players have freedoms that normal golfers simply do not. For example, if a new product doesn’t suit a pro’s keen preferences, equipment companies are willing to create prototypes for them that have slight variations in design compared to mass offerings.

We often see prototypes on Tour that the public doesn’t have access to, such as one-off putters, iron heads with less offset, or smaller driver heads that provide less spin. Since prototypes typically fit a very small percentage of golfers, these custom designs don’t always make it out to the public.

Some prototypes, such as the TaylorMade SIM “Tour” head, fly so far under the radar that few even notice a difference.

TaylorMade released three driver head models to the public back in early January. Those options included SIM, SIM Max and SIM Max D (Draw), all of which have gone into play on the PGA Tour. Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm, Rory McIlroy and a slew of other top golfers currently use either the SIM or SIM Max, and the SIM Max D draw-biased option has even made its way into a few pros’ bags.

Three models isn’t always enough, though.

Notice that the retail driver on the right has a “T” on the crown, where as Garcia’s driver on the left does not.

Upon the request of equipment free agent Sergio Garcia, TaylorMade also made a SIM “Tour” head. According to TaylorMade, the only difference between the SIM Tour head and the SIM head is TaylorMade’s “T” logo on the crown, which is used for alignment. Design wise, everything else is the same.

The Tour version of the driver head first popped up on the USGA Conforming Clubs list on Jan. 1, according to TaylorMade, and Garcia used the driver in competition up until the 2020 Players Championship. Garcia has since switched into a Ping G410 driver, though.

Why is this relevant six months after hitting the USGA list? Well, on Monday, a Twitter post shed light that a Tour head even existed. Now, we know the whole story.

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Andrew Tursky

Golf.com Photographer

Andrew Tursky is the Senior Equipment Editor at GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com.