Last year, TaylorMade took a bold step by manufacturing a driver with a carbon fiber face. Seems radical, right? In a marketplace where titanium rules the land, their red 60x Carbon Twist Face stood out on the shelves, created a lot of conversation, and reigned in plenty of victories worldwide. It was different, it told a story, and above everything else, it performed well. Now TaylorMade is tasked with taking what they learned from the Stealth driver and producing a new driver line that offers even more performance. Today, TaylorMade introduces the world to the Stealth 2 line of drivers. The only question is, is the sequel as good as the original?
How does one follow up on a driver so drastically different from everything else on the market? If you are TaylorMade, the answer will always be MORE CARBON! You read that correctly. Throughout the range of Stealth 2 drivers, we have seen upwards of 75% more carbon throughout the head depending on the model. In fact, Stealth 2 is the first driver in the history of TaylorMade golf that has seen more carbon used than any other material, including titanium. Let that fact sink in for a moment.
For those keeping score at home, carbon is featured in these drivers in the crown, carbon reinforced composite ring, carbon sole, and of course, the 60X Carbon Twist Face. The only parts of the club head that have any metal are the titanium collar that frames the face and hosel and the front/rear weights, which vary by the model.
“The modular carbon body construction of Stealth 2 represents our commitment to carbon as the leading material in every TaylorMade driver we produce. It was clear that the breakthroughs we had with Stealth were just the beginning in terms of the performance we can extract from this technology platform. A primarily carbon-based head construction is revolutionizing where we are able to position mass in a driver, and this allows us to finely tune the launch, spin, and MOI in each of the three Stealth 2 driver models.”–Tomo Bystedt, Senior Director Product Creation, Carbonwood™and Metalwoods.
More carbon material helps TaylorMade achieve its primary goal for the Stealth 2, which is to make it more forgiving. Across the golf industry, there tends to be a pattern where the drivers are made to be forgiving one year, and the following year OEMs try to pump in some extra speed to an already forgiving design. With Stealth 2, TaylorMade is working in the opposite direction, as Stealth already provided a lot of speed, so now is the time to boost the MOI properties.
Having constructed the Stealth 2 lineup with more MOI, TaylorMade engineers also changed to the 60x Carbon Twist Face, which will help transfer more energy to the ball, especially on miss hits. This new Inverted Cone Technology created a thinner face on the outer edges and a thicker center face. Overall, this new face is two grams lighter than the previous version. TaylorMade even came up with a nickname for being able to maintain ball speed on off-center strikes as well as increase forgiveness. They call that magical combination Fargiveness, which, being honest, sounds like a punchline to a Dad joke.
“There are two main ways to produce forgiveness in a driver, by optimizing the face and by optimizing the body. Building off the 60X Carbon Twist Face in the original Stealth that led to ball speed gains for golfers across various skill levels, with Stealth 2, we challenged ourselves to bring more forgiveness in each of the three models. We accomplished that through introducing our modified face construction focused on forgiveness on the outside of the face, and a brand-new carbon-based modular body construction.”–Tomo Bystedt, Senior Director Product Creation, Carbonwood™ and Metalwoods.
Stealth 2 still houses some of TaylorMade’s groundbreaking technology, including the Thru-Slot Speed Pocket for more ball speed and forgiveness on low contact. The Inertia Generator is still a significant factor in the aerodynamic properties to assist players in pumping out as much clubhead speed as possible.
Now with all this carbon being used, one has to wonder about the sound. Thankfully, acoustics is one area in which TaylorMade has succeeded over the last five years. For the Stealth 2, they continue to manipulate the carbon panels’ shape, thickness, and curvature in a way that would allow the sound to come off as bright and powerful without being too muted.
Stealth 2 Plus
Stealth 2 Plus is the only model of this driver family that offers a moveable weight. Pushed towards the front behind the speed pocket is a 15-gram sliding weight track designed to help golfers fine-tune their shot shape. Partnering with the sliding weight is a 15-gram weight positioned at the rear of the club head. While TaylorMade did improve the forgiveness factor on the Stealth 2 Plus, it still is the least forgiving model of the three talked about today. Compared to the previous generation, the MOI has been improved by 9%. Stealth 2 Plus checks in with three loft varieties, which are 8°, 9°, and 10.5°. There are two stock shafts to choose from, Project X HZRDUS Black 4th Gen 60 and Mitsubishi Kai’Li Red 60.
Stealth 2 removes the sliding weight on the Plus model and ups the back weight from 15 grams to 25 grams. In years past, golfers would be hard-pressed to tell which driver they had based on the appearance at setup. This year, there has been a change to separate the looks from the Stealth 2 Plus to the Stealth 2 and Stealth 2 HD. For 2023, the crown on all three models uses a glossy carbon finish with a matte leading edge. On the perimeter of the Stealth 2 Plus is a black composite ring, which presents a flawless look. Meanwhile, the red composite ring is evident on the Stealth 2 and Stealth 2 HD, giving the crown a bit of a pop and the appearance of a more pronounced head shape. Stealth 2 is offered in 9°, 10.5°, and 12° lofts with the Fujikura Ventus Red TR 5 and Mitsubishi Diamana S+ 60 serving as the stock shafts.
Stealth 2 HD
Stealth 2 HD uses the heaviest weight of the group by adding a 30-gram weight located more heelside than the weights found in its Stealth 2 siblings. Being the HD model means this clubhead aims to be forgiving and easy to launch. According to TaylorMade, this driver head is the most forgiving and stable offering they have within the Stealth 2 family. Think of the entire Stealth family as a progressive design, as the Plus model spins the least and has the lowest amount of forgiveness. At the same time, the HD model carries the mantle as both the most forgiving and has the most spin, which is great for golfers with moderate swing speeds because it helps keep the golf ball in the air longer. The same story goes for draw-biased weighting, with the HD having the most and the Plus model having the least. Stealth 2 HD is available in 9.0°, 10.5°, and 12.0° heads, with the stock shafts being Fujikura Speeder NX Red 50 and 60 depending on your flex.
Preorder: January 10, 2023
Available: February 17, 2023
Price: Stealth 2 Plus $629.99, Stealth 2 $599.99, Stealth 2 HD $599.99