Tour Report | Tommy Fleetwood & Rory McIlroy Put SIM2 Driver in Play in Abu Dhabi

Kirsty Robertson January 21, 2021

It doesn’t get much better than this. The 2021 European Tour season officially kicks off this week as players arrive at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship for the Middle East Swing. With the new season comes new equipment and there has been plenty of new items spotted in the bags of Team TaylorMade.

Let’s get straight into it with the man of the moment and newest member of the squad, Tommy Fleetwood. At the core of his bag is a new (fresh) set of TF-Proto (3-PW) irons with customised ‘Everton Blue’ grips. Moving towards the top end of his bag Tommy went through intensive testing on the range with SIM2 Max driver, SIM2 3 & 5wood and SIM2 Max 7 wood, with impressive results. We caught up with TaylorMade Tour Representative Sam Day after the session, "As someone involved in this, it was amazing to watch the quality in shots and how repetitive Tommy is as a player.”.

(c) - Getty Images

Determined by a mix of on-course testing and range work, Tommy’s settled into a SIM2 Max Driver 10.5° set Lower on 8.5°, once dialled in he put on a ball flight display, turning the ball to his desired ball flight was impressive.

“I worked with Tommy closely as he put our new golf clubs and ball through the most intense testing possible. The ball performed at every level without fail.”
– Adrian Rietveld (Senior Manager - Tour | Global Sports Marketing)

Now armed with SIM2 Max driver he’s one to watch out for this week – plus he’s got a decent track record at Rolex Series events.

  • SIM2 Max 10.5 driver, Diamana DF 70 TX
  • SIM2 13.5 Rocket #3 fairway, Diamana DF 70TX
  • SIM2 18.5 #5 fairway, Diamana DF 80TX
  • P7TF proto 3-PW, Project X 6.5
  • TP5X (2021) #19

* Tommy continues to test TaylorMade wedges and putters

(c) - Getty Images

Rory McIlroy’s history at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship is well documented. He’s racked up eight Top-5 finishes in his 10 trips to the tournament, with four of those being runner-up finishes. But this week he’s only got one thing on his mind – that elusive win.

“I'm really excited to be back, it's a golf course I've done well at and played well on.”
- Rory McIlroy

Rory came into the week with a pretty much ”Good-to-go” setup. Comparing the two different driver heads of SIM2 and SIM2 Max, Rory found extra performance with a 10.5° SIM2 driver set lower at 8.5° with a little more open face angle and it went straight in the bag.

Rory McIlroy's SIM2 Driver Data (Pre-Season Testing in Dubai)

Finding the 2021 TP5x slightly softer than before, Rory’s ball speed throughout the bag, consistency of spin, height and yardage has been impressive to watch. He’s put SIM2 driver as well as SIM2 3- and 5-wood into play and we think he likes it! With an opening round of 8-under par, it's he lowest round at the Abu Dhabi Championship and he currently tops the leaderboard.

Rory McIlroy's WITB:
  • SIM2 10.5, Ventus Black 6 X
  • SIM2 15.0, Tensei White 80 X
  • SIM2 19, Tensei White 90x
  • 3-9 P7MB Project X 7.0
  • PW P7MB Project X 6.5
  • MG2 52, 56, 60 Project X 6.5
  • Spider X
  • 2021 TP5X

Romain Langasque carries nearly the same club configuration that he ended with last season with. Along with other members of Team TaylorMade, he has become an early adopter of SIM2 driver and 3 wood. He’s super impressed with the performance of SIM2 and it went straight in the bag. He currently sits T-4 after an opening round of 67.

(c) - Getty Images

Robert MacIntyre’s also got a few new additions to his bag this week. He’s added SIM2 Max driver, SIM2 3 & 5 wood. We all have that one club in our bag that’s our comfort blanket and for Bob Mac it’s his AeroBurner 3 wood. After an evening session on Wednesday, he made the switch into SIM2 3 wood.

“The SIM2 Titanium Fairway is amazing, it spins a little bit more from where the TPS weight is a little bit more towards the back. That fairway is one to watch this year.”
– Sam Day

Coming off a stellar rookie campaign, Sami Välimäki comes into the Middle East Swing looking to build on the momentum he’s generated. With a fresh set of P7MC Irons (4-PW) and Milled Grind 2 50*, & 54* Wedges he’s also added SIM2 Driver and SIM2 Titanium fairway to start his 2021 European Tour season.

Victor Dubuisson tested SIM2 driver vs. his current gamer. After a couple of swings with the new club, he turned to Adrian and nodded. The smile on Adrian’s face said it all, SIM2 Driver, SIM2 MAX 3 wood straight in the bag.

Sami Välimäki's WITB during the practice rounds at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship
Victor Dubuisson's WITB during the practice rounds at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship
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