It came as no surprise to see the TaylorMade staff players put the latest Stealth driver straight in the bag. For once it wasnít hard to fathom if they were playing the current or previous model, thanks to the Stealth’s bright red face. The one thing TaylorMade drivers excel at are distance and marketing. Over the years they have been at the forefront of driver tech, most notable being interchangeable head weights in the R7 Quad model back in 2004.
Fast forward 18 years and they are at it again. This time the big selling point and breakthrough is the carbon face. Other manufacturers such as Wilson and Yonex have tried in the past to bring a full carbon head to the market but they failed to make an impact. Mainly due to cost and poor performance. Titanium proved to be more effective, harder wearing and easier to work with. Now TaylorMade appear to have made a huge breakthrough with their latest 60 layered carbon face and it has certainly got people talking. Is it the future or just clever marketing?
TaylorMade Stealth Plus / RRP 2850 AED
Flight bias: Neutral / Spin: Low / Launch: Mid / Loft: RH: 8o RH/LH: 9o ,10.5o
The Stealth / 2725 AED
Flight bias: Neutral / Spin: Mid – Low / Launch: Mid – High / Loft: RH: 12o RH/LH: 9o ,10.5o
The Stealth HD / 2725 AED
Flight bias: Draw / Spin: Mid / Launch: Highest / Loft: RH: 12o RH/LH: 9o ,10.5o
TaylorMade drivers are long, always deliver when it comes to distance and the Stealth is no exception. Over the ball the matt carbon crown resting against the gloss black frame and the slight hint of red from the face certainly looks great but it also helps with alignment.
From cold I struck my usual 15 balls using the Stealth in a 9 degree loft. Just like the SIM2 last year the Stealth is long but comparing data it isn’t noticeably longer. From the centre strikes my numbers were optimised and was over 280 yards, which is long with only a 104mph swing speed. It is claimed to have a Mid-Low spin rate but it’s more Low-Mid. When I increased the loft to 10.5 the total distance dropped slightly but the averages were much closer together and the carry averaged two yards longer. Which is why the fit is essential. Make sure you look at carry distance and not just over all distance.
Watch the off centre strikes
The neutral bias was ideal, as my draw was only faint and out of the 15 shots I missed the fairway left just twice. Even though my dispersion was tight and I was long with good strikes, its the off-centre hits that did not perform as I hoped. They were not punished like the old SLDR head but the difference was easy to see. I might have been better trying the Stealth Plus, with the track weight located toward the toe to suit my strike pattern. Which is why it is so important to get fitted for this club.
If this was called the SIM Stealth it would make more sense. Carbon anything looks great and this club certainly stands out. It is brave of TaylorMade develop a carbon face and it certainly performs but not dramatically. It’s a cooler looking SIM2 in many ways. Do not expect to find 10 more yards and make sure you get fitted out doors if possible so you can see the ball flight.
If distance is your thing, the Stealth is one I would certainly recommend but it might be worth paying that little extra for the PLUS in order to get fitted correctly. Hardly surprising to see the Tour players with the Stealth Plus in the bag. Though no matter which model you opt for KEEP THE HEAD COVER ON! Carbon is not ding resistant 🙂