The red carbon face was a real talking point in the golf equipment world at the start of 2022. TaylorMade said goodbye to titanium and hello to carbon in a bid to achieve greater distance.
2023 sees the introduction of Stealth 2, chasing a combination of speed and accuracy. We see the return of the Inverted Cone Technology in the face, which is bigger than ever before.
Combining speed and forgiveness is said to equal 'fargiveness'... that is TaylorMade's word, not mine.
The carbon face is still a focal point of the design as you may imagine, given the fanfare that came with its launch last year. The face now weighs in at 24 grams rather than 26 grams, making it 41% lighter than a titanium face.
Whereas Stealth saw big changes to the look and technology in the head, the Stealth 2 sees much more subtle adjustments and small improvements.
The Carbon Twist face now features a new version of the Inverted Cone Technology (ICT) to help maintain ball speeds on off-centre strikes, which is said to give you more forgiveness.
There's a Composite Ring like the one previously seen on SIM2, although now of course it is carbon rather than titanium. This is said to help unite the club head and free up weight which is then repositioned to add more forgiveness.
The Twist Face is again housed in a nanotexture cover, which is used to fine tune the launch and spin for optimal distance regardless of the playing conditions
The Inertia Generator is TaylorMade's answer to aerodynamics and produces a fast head shape which can help you to produce higher club head speeds. There's also a 25g rear weight which raises MOI and forgiveness.
Finally a Thru-Slot Speed Pocket sits behind the face to maximise ball speeds and improve forgiveness on those low-on-the-face strikes.
TaylorMade are offering three different head options: the Stealth, Stealth 2 Plus and the Stealth 2 HD.
In this review I will be looking into the Stealth 2, which is the standard model from the range.
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TaylorMade Stealth 2 Driver Review
Looks and Feel
TaylorMade's red face unsurprisingly remains, as does the black body, however this time the crown has a shine to it rather than the matte black finish of the original Stealth.
There is also an accent of red on the rear of the head, to help make it look more inviting at address and highlight the outside of the Carbon Reinforced Composite Ring.
Looking underneath to the sole you can see the Inertia Generator, the weight screw towards the heel and the new Composite Ring. The Stealth logo has also been moved from the middle of the sole to the top.
This looks like a SIM2 head that has had a spray paint to change the colour scheme. TaylorMade have stuck to the same formula that they did with SIM/SIM2 with progressive looks, technology and speed in the first model and then added forgiveness in the second.
This club is ideal for a Manchester United fan and Tiger Woods fans. As Tiger himself says - “Hey, you got to love the colour!”
In terms of feel, I didn't really notice that there was a different material on the face when hitting these drivers and nothing really stood out in terms of sound feedback either.
TaylorMade's engineers have worked extremely hard to create a bright and powerful sound, and they have succeeded. Your golfing partners might say "wow look at that driver" but they aren't going to say "what the hell is that sound!".
It was not high pitched at all and when hitting the three drivers in the range, the sound and feel was the same throughout. Stron, thick and quick in sound and feel, even though to touch the face sounds more plastic-like.
I wanted to make my indoor testing on the Trackman 4 as comprehensive as possible, especially because this standard model is the head that most people will be interested in learning more about.
Just like last year's model, the ball speeds were excellent with the Stealth 2, ranging between 130 and 135 mph.
My spin was extremely low, lower than last year's Stealth and even lower than the Plus head. I put this down to my shot shape being more right to left biased which does tend to lower spin.
The spin rate of around 2000rpm average was frustrating, as I felt that if this was closer to 2500rpm I could have seen a higher average carry than the 212 yards I produced. However the low spin did gain more roll, meaning that it actually came out as the longest total driver that I tested of this year's range and last year's Stealth.
My shot shape was consistent throughout the test, with only one ball finishing right of centre. When comparing it to the original Stealth I noticed 500rpm less spin on average, the same 133mph average ball speed and a little more left bias in the flight.
If you are trying this head then I'd recommend you keep an eye on the spin numbers, as like last year my spin was a lot lower than I thought it would be with this style of head.
TaylorMade Stealth 2 Driver Verdict
TaylorMade get it spot on in the looks department and attention to detail. The headcover is class and it is striking just like the club face. They even have red and black grips and shafts as standard.
The colour scheme is a thing of genius as it represents 25 years of Tiger's Sunday red outfit which pulls on all of our heart strings. They have managed to dress a SIM2 up in different colours and make me excited. I wasn't a huge fan of the look of that head but change the colour scheme and I am sold.
If I'm honest there isn't a huge amount of difference between last year's offering and this one. The 2023 model is better looking, better in dispersion and more expensive, but only marginally in each of those categories.
TaylorMade changed the game with their switch to carbon in 2022 so the Stealth 2 was only ever really going to see subtle changes. I wanted imagination in the design as that's what I expect from TaylorMade more than any other brand, and I did not get it.
Don't get me wrong, this is a great driver, it will sell like hotcakes again and you'll see it in the hands of both TaylorMade staff players and people at your local golf club.
It's what I call 'same, but different'.
Who Is It Aimed At?
The Stealth 2 is the standard driver which will suit the masses, it can be used by professionals or amateurs wanting mid-spin, a slight draw-bias and forgiveness.
Would I Use It?
I would like to get fitted to see if I could move my spin numbers 300rpm higher to take full advantage of the extra ball speed on offer. The ball speed I produced is similar to the Callaway Rogue ST, Titleist TSR and the previous Stealth. There really isn't a lot to choose between them but the low spin did worry me a little bit in this head.
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