Stealth was a huge success for TaylorMade, the change to the carbon red face sent the golfing world into a frenzy.
One of the easiest ways to sell golf clubs is to have Tiger Woods use your products; the red and black colour scheme was arguably the best piece of marketing TaylorMade have ever done. There was no way the Stealth could fail...
But what of the fairway woods? They didn’t have a red carbon face and still just looked like SIM, in my opinion..
I wonder if things have changed for Stealth?
The Stealth 2 has carbon in the headline but not not where I thought it would be (the face), instead there is a a new carbon crown allowing for a lower CG than ever before.
A new 3D carbon crown features, which pulls mass away from the hitting area, and allows the weight to be positioned rearward for more forgiveness and playability.
The CG is also positioned lower than the original Stealth fairway wood, which increases launch from the ground without sacrificing distance.
Like the new Stealth 2 drivers, there is a developed piece of older tech called Inverted Cone Technology which provides the face with a variable thickness in a larger sweet spot to maximise ball speed on off centre hits.
The well-renowned V Steel Sole design and Through Slot Speed Pocket remain as we've seen in all TaylorMade fairway woods since 2019.
I have often thought TaylorMade fairway woods are great from the tee but off the deck they needed to be improved - would this new feature help matters?
There are three fairways in the new Stealth 2 line-up and in this review I will be focusing on the standard Stealth 2 model, with a neutral ball flight aimed at the majority of golfers.
I visited Mercedes-Benz Stockport to try out the Stealth three wood using Trackman 4 and compared it directly against the Callaway Paradym Fairway Wood.
TaylorMade Stealth 2 Fairway Wood Review
This head is very similar to the original Stealth Fairway Wood and the successful 'Tiger Woods' black, red and white colours remain.
At address the matte black has been replaced by a satin finish on the new crown, the only accents of red are underneath.
It’s an extremely simple look on top with hardly any significant alignment aid other than the 'T' symbol and a centimetre wide laser alignment at the top of the face.
The face itself differs from other manufacturers in the sense that it is deeper and higher making the head look smaller and more upright. This may put some golfers off as it gives the impression that it’ll be harder to launch from the turf compared to other shallower heads.
The face is squarer and less toed in (draw biased) than other manufacturers such as the Paradym. It isn’t different in looks from the original Stealth other than it’s finish.
As usual, the Stealth 2 felt thick in strike and absolutely wonderful. I love the noise and the bullishness of the strike, it feels like you are slamming the ball off the face.
This is the best fairway wood in sound I have tried so far in 2023. It has the right balance of speed and dampening capabilities in my opinion.
As mentioned in the ‘Looks” section, I was wary of how the ball would pick up off the tight mat lie I was testing on indoors. However, my theory was proven wrong with a peak height of 70 feet, spin rate of 2900 rpm and a launch of 13.5 degrees.
These numbers are exactly what I am searching for and produced distances of 200 yards in carry. The furthest being 205 yards with a total distance of 228 yards.
Ball speeds were also high on average at 127.7 mph and extremely stable. My lowest was 126 rpm, my highest was 129.6 rpm. This was a straighter flight than the Callaway Paradym and it was longer by a handful of yards with ball speeds averaging 2 mph faster.
I had no need to be apprehensive at all, my shots were flighted well, long and straight.
TaylorMade Stealth 2 Fairway Wood Verdict
As stated earlier I have always been concerned about TaylorMade fairway woods from the ground, but Stealth 2 seems to have fixed this issue.
The head is extremely similar in looks to last year, I am still wondering why TaylorMade do not put carbon into the face of their fairway woods - maybe it’s due to cost, with a price of a fairway coming in at £299 compared to driver at £499.
Importantly, when comparing against other manufacturers in this case the Callaway Paradym, the Stealth 2 came out on top in looks, feel, distance and price but not quite in forgiveness.
But how much better if at all is it than the original Stealth? Minimal is the answer.
It is still a good fairway wood but I wouldn’t recommend swapping from Stealth to Stealth 2. However if you are in the market for a new 3 wood and haven't changed for a few years, then you need to test this club.
The headcover is awesome and the price is realistic. Who would’ve thought at a price of £299 that I would say this head is good value for money? I suppose that is the world we live in with manufacturers costs (and profits) rising...
Would I Use It?
You will be amazed to hear that I am saying no here. I would like a shallower face, as it gives me more confidence with lower face strikes.
It all comes down to my preferences in looks at address as performance wise it was ace. I have had the excitement with a TaylorMade before but when that wears off my performance drops.
Who Should Use It?
Golfers from professional to 15 handicapper can use this head - it sweeps the board. If you want a more penetrating ball flight opt for the Stealth 2 Plus however.
You do not need to upgrade from a Stealth but if you have the new driver and need a 3 wood, this will fit in the bag looks-wise and won’t let you down in performance.
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