Today, we will compare the US model of the TaylorMade SIM driver with the Japanese model! This is the first time on this show we are comparing a club that is different in both countries so it will be an interesting one. Wait? Aren’t they the same club? Yes, but no. The two are very similar though. They both have a loft of 9°, but the shafts are different. Although they are both Mitsubishi, the Japanese model has the TENSEI shaft and the US model has the Diamana 60 black shaft. This is the first time I've seen two different shafts for the same model out of any of the clubs I've tested. In the past, you could see differences in the logo colors between the US model and the Japanese model. But this time, the heads of the two models are exactly the same. The only difference is the shaft.
Is It True That The US Model Is Stiff And The Japanese Model Is Flexible?
The US model is about 0.25 inches longer than the Japanese model. Length, of course, affects the balance. The Japanese model is a D3, and the US model is a D5, making a difference of 2 points. You can feel the difference when you swing them.
People often say that the US model is stiffer in comparison to the more flexible Japanese model, but they are not that different when you waggle them. One of the reasons for this is that the Japanese model shaft is TENSEI, which we will try today. It is a very well designed shaft and weighs 50 grams. The US model is the Diamana 60g level. You can tell it is not that flexible.
The heads are almost the same. The appearance of the face and the color of the head are the same. The only difference I could find after really looking is the lie angle. The lie angle is slightly more upright when the US model is in the standard position by 0.5-1 °. This is to account for the fact that American people tend to be taller than Japanese people, but the difference is so small that it almost seems like a mere manufacturing error.
[Japanese model] SIM driver 9 ° TENSEI SILVER TM50 (S)
I have hit with the SIM many times before, but let's test it out again. First, I will start with a Japanese model. The loft is 9 °. When I am at the set position, I can see that the loft is small. I hit with a slightly open face, which increased the launch. It's very well-made. Even among the Japanese models, the TENSEI shaft has a solid SIM. Let me try that again. With the spin of 2110 rpm, this model controls the ball with a low spin and low trajectory.
[US model] SIM driver 9 ° Diamana S60 LIMITED (S)
Now, let’s see how the US model performs. This club is pretty tough. Hmm, it is hard to control the ball! I can't control the ball. My first impression after the trial is that the US model is harder to hit to the left. In other words, the shaft does not bend as the head return. That's because of the difference in the shafts. There is no difference in the heads.
Some good results came out of this test. I've always liked US models. I will try it again. Oh! I hit it surprisingly well. One of the reasons is that the shaft is stiff, so you need to swing with power, and the other is that near your hands, the shaft is thick, making the grip thick as well. I have big hands, so a Japanese model feels small, like there is empty space, in my hands after holding a US model.The thickness of the butt of the shaft is different.
The US model may be difficult for people with small hands. The US model is easy for people with a glove size of 25 to 26 cm to grip. The Japanese model is suitable for people with a glove size of 22 to 23 cm. The Japanese model is designed with a grip and shaft thickness that are just right for the average hand size of Japanese golfers. This all comes down to personal preference. I was surprised that the flight distance was 263 yards. It went so far with such low spin, probably because I got nice ball run. Since the shaft is thick at the hands, it doesn't bend easily. You need power to bend the shaft.
Better Control With A Smaller Grip
The Japanese model TENSEI shaft is also well designed, it just depends on personal preference. I will try hitting with the Japanese model again. Wow, the results came out great. Smaller the grip, better the ball control. I wasn't even focusing on ball control just now, but it let me control the ball really well with little to no effort.
The US model Has Much Less Spin
The US model has a thicker grip, but since I have large hands, I am able to hold it firmly. Maybe I can hit it well because of that? The US model has much less spin. Carry is clearly reduced because the spin rate is low, only 1860 rpm.
Who Is It Right For (The Conclusion)?
Let's conclude. There is no difference in the heads between the US model and the Japanese model of the SIM driver. The head weight is exactly the same. You will not see any clear or obvious design differences. Both the hitting feel and the head are the same. The difference is the thickness of the shaft and grip.
You can arrange the grip by changing the lower winding to make it thicker. I would say go for the US model if you want a thicker grip from the beginning, and want a slightly heavier club with a firmer shaft. I am often asked which one will increase ball flight, but what is important here is to know that ball flight does not depend on which clubs you use. The target audience for the clubs are different. The US model is for those who have big hands and have power, and feel uncomfortable swinging with Japanese shafts. A Japanese model is suitable for people with average head speed, or faster than average head speed but not big hands, depending on your body size and hand size. Although I was able to find small details of the clubs that were different, there are no major differences in the head of the clubs compared to the previous US model and Japanese model!