Say hello to TaylorMade’s new family of Stealth drivers.
They're not metalwoods but 'carbonwoods'.
Let’s get straight to the big red elephant in the room.
TaylorMade has engineered the new Stealth Plus, Stealth and Stealth HD drivers with a carbon face.
For the company whose founding reputation stems from the original metalwood – the 1979 Pittsburgh Persimmon – the Stealth drivers and their innovative face technology represent one of the most significant shifts in driver technology I have ever seen.
Titanium has been the cornerstone of driver technology for the last 20 years, constantly being refined and optimised with a slew of brilliant tech innovations from the biggest brands in the game. Still, even when Titanium was the new tech on the block, TaylorMade’s engineers knew that every material had its limits.
Over two decades in the making, the new and unique 60X Carbon Twist Face has been comprised of 60 layers of carbon sheets strategically arranged to optimise energy transfer and to bring you the future of driver performance.
Now, I’m sure most of you are wondering why carbon and what difference will it make out on the golf course?
Like any new face technology, TaylorMade’s goal with carbon was to provide measurable performance improvements. The unashamedly red carbon face is engineered to deliver a higher COR and more precise face geometry through a lighter but larger face.
In short, it's built to provide what we all want and need with the big stick - more speed.
Carbon fibre is an incredibly lightweight and strong material. TaylorMade’s engineers took full advantage of that to create a 26g face, which is 40% lighter than a titanium face of equivalent size.
The weight savings mean that the face size of the Stealth drivers is 11% larger than the SIM2 and SIM2 Max drivers of 12 months ago, and nearly 20% larger than the 2020 SIM driver.
According to TaylorMade, these weight savings and larger face size delivered a "stunning" ball speed increase during player testing, comparing Stealth Plus and Stealth to the 2021 SIM2 and SIM2 Max drivers at better player swing speeds.
The journey to creating an effective carbon face, however, was not without some significant challenges. On its own, a carbon face struggles to produce optimal launch conditions, with knuckle balls the norm in wet conditions and high, 'floaty' spinners common in the dry - neither of which is a recipe for distance or consistency.
In order to overcome this, TaylorMade has incorporated an innovative nano-texture cover - made from a thin polyurethane layer - that sits on top of the 60 layers of carbon.
This revolutionary technology creates the face texture needed to produce the ideal amount of friction between the face and the ball at impact to reduce spin at impact when it's dry. It also features full-face grooves which are designed to provide improved spin performance in wet conditions.
Moving away from the headline act, the Stealth drivers also boast some tech staples of recent TaylorMade drivers, such as Twist Face and the brand’s ultra-flexible Thru-Slot Speed Pocket to produce forgiveness on strikes across the face and tighter downrange dispersion.
Despite a larger face, there's no drop-off in clubhead speed with Stealth. The distinctive shaping that was a hallmark of the SIM drivers continues with the asymmetrical Inertia Generator producing advanced aerodynamics at the most critical phase of the swing: from the downswing to the moment right before impact.
Not only does this brilliant design optimise clubhead speed, it allows for additional weight to be placed at the rear of the club to encourage higher MOI, high launch and improved forgiveness.
Let’s now discuss the four models within the Stealth line-up, as there have been some changes made to TaylorMade’s naming conventions...
to be the lower-spinning option within the family, the Stealth Plus
picks up where the SIM2 left off.
Thanks to the weight savings from the
60X Carbon Twist Face, engineers were able to bring back the sliding
weight track we saw in the original SIM.
The 10g weight will help you control shot shape by shifting mass on the sole to create your desired ball flight.
The model that will probably suit the majority of you reading this, the standard Stealth is the replacement for the SIM2 Max. It also benefits from the weight savings of the carbon face, with more weight positioned low and deep in the head.
This adds 15% more MOI compared to Stealth Plus and is designed to provide 200 to 300rpms more spin.
No prizes for guessing the name of this driver’s game. All too often, standard draw bias designs promote a right-to-left ball flight at the expense of forgiveness.
By utilising the weight savings from the face and shifting the Inertia Generator closer to the heel, TaylorMade has been able to maintain draw bias while creating the highest MOI in the Stealth family of drivers.
While providing additional draw-bias, the Stealth HD will have similar back-spin performance to Stealth.
The Stealth Women’s driver combines the technology of Stealth HD in a slightly lighter head weight and with a unique colourway and aesthetic. It maintains the high MOI head design for easy, high launch with a touch of draw.
As if all of that wasn’t enough to get you excited, TaylorMade is also allowing you to customise your driver courtest of the MyStealth programme.
Choose from various options to create a driver to match your personal style:
• Face Colour – Six colour options include Red, Green, Yellow, Blue, Orange, and Grey
• Body Colour – Two colour options include Black and Chalk (right hand only)
• Crown Finish – Gloss or Matte, with or without the TaylorMade ‘T-logo’
• Sole Decal Colour – Eight colour options include Blue, Black, Red, Orange, Green, Gold, Pale Blue and Volt
• Head Covers – Mono or Colour
There are, of course, severalburning questions still to be answered. How does it sound and feel? Is the red carbon face off-putting at address? Does it fly like stink? For all the answers, click herefor my in-depth review.
Available: February 4(pre-order now)
Price:Stealth Plus - £499 (MyStealth £579); Stealth, Stealth HD & Stealth Women’s - £469