The TaylorMade Stealth driver was a highly talked about release in 2022, and truly the game seemed like it could change forever. Now that the TaylorMade has been on the market for a little bit, and we have seen it undergo more ball speed, distance, and spin testing, it’s a bit easier to see what this club has to offer.
If you are playing the SIM 2 Max and ready to make a change, we will let you know if that is a smart choice. If you are simply curious as to how this new carbon face technology is going to impact the golf world, keep reading.
Taylormade Stealth Driver Review
The TaylorMade Stealth is one of three drivers in the new TaylorMade Stealth lineup. The Stealth is a bit more forgiving than the Stealth +, both have plenty of new technology and performance claims that need to be discussed. If you have not yet tried the new carbon face technology, you may be surprised by what it offers.
The most notable aspect of the Stealth driver is the new carbon face technology in the TaylorMade Stealth driver is a relatively new concept. Although Callaway tried it one other time many years back, this is the first time it has been developed and perfected the way it has in the Stealth.
This carbon face is 40% lighter than the SIM2 titanium face and is 11% larger in terms of surface area. There is no doubt that having a larger surface area is a good thing for all golfers.
The weight saving allowed TaylorMade to shift the center of mass lower down, creating a higher launch and less spin (more on this in the distance section). However, it also allowed more weight to be positioned towards the perimeter of the club, with TaylorMade claiming a 15% improvement in MOI (face stability through impact).
These all sound like numbers that scream ‘take my money’. However, in testing, there is a small gain in forgiveness but not a quantum leap. Here we’d summarise that the TM Stealth is one of the most forgiving drivers on the market, but you could find equally forgiving drivers, depending on your swing characteristics and ball flight.
We should make a quick comparison between the TaylorMade Stealth and the TaylorMade Stealth +. The latter is built with distance in mind, with the standard Stealth you will see an increase in forgiveness. The launch is slightly higher, and it allows for a bit of an easier time getting the ball up in the air.
The main goal of the TaylorMade Stealth lineup of drivers was more distance for higher swing speeds and lower swing speeds. More distance is a result of more ball speed, increased swing speeds and optimized launch conditions. Although each member of the Stealth family approaches this a bit differently, the Stealth drivers are fast.
The real question becomes if this new driver is faster than the last.
The TaylorMade SIM 2 Max had a titanium face, but it was a fast golf driver, and many golfers felt it helped them improve energy transfer from the backswing down into the ball. Although I currently have a Callaway Mavrik in my bag, the SIM Max 2 was one of the driver models that gave me the highest ball speeds in testing.
There is a bit of good and bad news about ball speed in the TaylorMade Stealth family. For the most part, the slow to mid-swing speed golfers noticed an increase in distance. Many were getting up to ten yards more depending on individual stats, ball flight, smash factor, etc.
However, the golfers with the fastest swing speeds did not see quite the same increase in total distance. We think this is to do with the Stealth’s brilliant ability to optimize ball speed for off-centre hits, which is less of a benefit to better ball strikers.
If increasing distance is your primary goal, this is genuinely some of the best technology on the market, although we recommend testing the Stealth against your current driver to see how big the gains are that you will personally make.
A carbon driver feels faster off the face, and it has been proven that the ball speed is relatively high. However, it’s worth jumping on a launch monitor if you are determining whether or not to invest after playing with the SIM 2 Max.
Accuracy and forgiveness often go hand in hand and the increased MOI on the Stealth does help miss-hits stay straight. If you struggle with a wild slice, we’d push you towards the Ping G425 SFT, rather than a Stealth, which is geared for a more neutral ball flight.
However, for those that want distance and straighter shots on miss-hits, the Stealth offers great results. The Stealth + model has the most adjustability with the sliding weight track. Whereas, the TaylorMade Stealth has adjustable weights and loft, so you can dial in the performance.
There is a less easy accuracy aspect to explain with the Stealth – this driver feels great to swing and hit.
I have always felt that a driver that has great feel is much easier to control. It almost feels as though you get to know what the club is going to do and how it is going to react. With this standard Stealth, expect to get enough feedback to learn to control this carbon fiber face a bit better than you controlled your titanium face in the past.
Another reason the TaylorMade Stealth drivers were made with carbon fiber material was to be more consistent. With the carbon fiber allowing for more layers of performance on the driver’s face without really increasing weight, the golf ball dispersion rates should be a bit lower overall.
The TaylorMade Stealth Drivers are not cheap. When a club like this comes to market, especially one that will shake up the market, it’s hard to expect a low price However, in early 2023 we’re hearing rumblings of a new Stealth 2 driver on the way, so expect to see some great discounts as retailers try to shift their stock of Stealth drivers.
If you play a lot of golf and want to maximise distance for your ability, the TaylorMade Stealth driver will likely deliver. This would be a club we would recommend for the players that are going to use it. A once-a-month golfer certainly doesn’t need to spend $500 on a new driver.
Look and Feel
In early testing of the TaylorMade Stealth models, the one consistent piece of feedback that golfers were coming back with was that the feel is excellent. At first, I thought that this might be in my head that the carbon fiber felt better than the titanium faces, but that is not the case.
There is a difference in the way that the ball feels coming off the face of the TaylorMade Stealth and it’s something that I found to be a positive for this club.
The look is a bit funky, and you will either love it or hate it. The face of the club is red, and the alignment aids we saw in the TaylorMade SIM 2 Max are gone.
That being said, it takes a few swings to get used to the TaylorMade Stealth setup, and it’s not quite a user friendly as other models we have seen in the past. If a red clubface is not your thing, the Stealth drivers can be ordered custom.
Although the red face did not stand out as a negative, it is undoubtedly different than what we have seen from TaylorMade in the last few years.
Golf Insider verdict
There is no denying the fact that the new carbon wood drivers from TaylorMade have combined some of the best speed on the market with some impressive feel and sound. If you are a mid to low-swing speed player that has not upgraded their club in more than three years, the TaylorMade Stealth driver could be an excellent choice.
Furthermore, if you want to maximise ball speed for off-center strikes, the Stealth driver could quickly become your new best friend. The Stealth is more forward in performance, but not a quantum leap for most golfers. If you fit into one of the two categories above, or you’re yearning for more distance we’d certainly recommend giving the Stealth driver a test run.
Alternatives to the TaylorMade Stealth Driver
Even though we found the TaylorMade Stealth driver to be a great ball speed, distance, and feel selection for golfers, there are some things to consider about whether or not this is the right club for your game. There are some great other options on the market, including the TaylorMade Stealth Plus and the TaylorMade Stealth HD. Let’s take a look to see how these may compare.
Ping G425 Driver
The Ping G425 driver is similar to the Stealth family in that they also have several club head options for the player to choose from. When testing out these two different driver series we found that the Ping G425 was built more around playability, forgiveness, and control. The TaylorMade Stealth is a ball speed and low spin machine.
As a golfer, sometimes you have to make tough choices about what type of performance on the golf course is going to help you the most. Are ball speed numbers the most important, or do you need to focus on the trajectory, spin, and overall control?
In our testing, the Ping G425 driver was extremely forgiving when the right shaft and model were given to a player that struggles with a slice. This driver is tour proven and stands out as one of the top drivers that Ping has put on the market.
The STF (straight flight technology) also worked wonders for reducing a slice.
TaylorMade Stealth +
The TaylorMade Stealth Plus is considered the standard model in this lineup from TaylorMade. This thing that you will notice right away is that this club has a sliding weight track for easier adjustability.
With the Stealth Plus, expect a lower spin off the tee, as well as a slightly lower ball flight and a bit more control. The problem with this club is the lack of forgiveness. It’s not the best choice for a golfer that struggles to keep the ball in the fairway.
We noticed that for mid swing speed players, the distance gains in the Stealth + were quite impressive. The low draw was helpful for high swing speed players but did not increase overall distance as much as we thought it might.
Again, if you are a golfer that has not upgraded in a few years and you want something with tremendous adjustability and feel, the Stealth + can be a great choice.
TaylorMade Stealth HD
The TaylorMade Stealth HD is a club that falls into place as the most forgiving in the Stealth lineup. The HD model is the high draw so expect some internal draw bias here and no sliding weight track to help with adjustability.
This would typically be the pick of the highest handicap golfers looking for a Stealth driver in their bag.
Although we can appreciate what TaylorMade did to try to create drivers for all different types of golfers, we aren’t sure it’s necessary. With adjustability in the Stealth and the Stealth +, there is not that much reason to go with the Stealth HD.
You can say it’s the golf pro in us, but choosing a golf club with adjustability and working on the swing to improve the ball spin and flight, seems to be a better choice than simply selecting the anti slice driver. Especially at this price point.
What happens when your next golf lesson fixes your slice?
You then have a draw bias driver that may hurt you as your game progresses. Whenever possible, and when it makes financial sense, choose a golf club that works for your game today, and for the golfer, you want next year.
Frequently Asked Questions
The TaylorMade Stealth driver has shaken things up in the golf industry, and many golfers are now curious if their titanium face driver is really the best driver for them. So far, from what we have seen, the TaylorMade Stealth drivers have a lot to offer, but nothing shows that titanium golf clubs are done.
Is the Stealth driver worth it?
The Stealth driver is worth it if you have not upgraded in the last few years and you are looking for higher ball speed and more distance from your driver. The weight saving from the carbon makes it considerably easier for slower swing speeds to get more speed.
Which Stealth driver is most forgiving?
The TaylorMade Stealth HD is the most forgiving of the Stealth drivers. The shot shape is more draw bias. However, as we mentioned in our driver review, the Stealth lineup is not designed with pure forgiveness in mind.
Is TaylorMade stealth driver good for seniors?
The TaylorMade Stealth driver is good for seniors looking for more swing speed. If you feel you are not capitalizing on distance on the golf course, the Stealth driver could be a great choice.
We’d also recommend checking out the TaylorMade Stealth irons for senior golfers looking for more distance.
At this point, you should have a better idea as to whether or not the carbon twist face of the new TaylorMade Stealth is actually going to impact your game. This is a revolutionary piece of equipment from TaylorMade, and it will help many golfers, especially those in the mid to slow swing speed range.
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