2022 saw TaylorMade draw a new start line in the world of drivers, they said goodbye to titanium and hello to a carbon faced driver.
Unsurprisingly they have carried on with this material and developed the head into the new Stealth 2 range in 2023.
A year on we have the introduction of Stealth 2: a combination of a chase for speed but with added forgiveness and accuracy. 2023 sees the return of the Inverted Cone Technology in the face which is now bigger than ever before, combining speed and forgiveness to equal “FARGIVENESS”.
Their words not mine...
In this review I will be focusing on the 'better-players' low-spinning option, the Stealth 2 Plus+ Driver.
The 60x carbon face design is still a focal point of the the Stealth 2 driver, however the face is now 24 grams instead of 26 grams which is 41% lighter than a titanium face.
There is nothing brand new about the technology in this head, it is subtle changes here and there to refine Stealth and make it more forgiving.
Inverted cone technology (ICT) returns after a few years away and this is said to increase the size of the sweet spot with added forgiveness in mind.
A carbon reinforced composite ring features to hold the sole and crown together which was last seen on the TaylorMade SIM 2 head, and of course it is carbon instead of aluminium.
Other notable pieces of technology that have been carried over from the Stealth are the twist face nano texture cover, the thru-slot speed pocket for extra ball speed and the asymmetric inertia generator for improved aerodynamics and clubhead speed.
The Sliding Weight Track now has a 15 gram weight compared to Stealth Plus, the weight saving in the carbon face and composite ring allows this weight to be 5 grams heavier where it is needed most.
There are three new models in the Stealth 2 driver line-up: the Stealth 2 (standard), the Stealth 2 HD (high launch draw bias), and the Stealth 2 Plus+ (low launch, low spin offering).
For this review, in the main, I headed indoors on a cold winters day to do some extensive testing of this head against the original Stealth using Trackman 4 and Titleist ProV1x golf balls.
I also headed to Stockport GC to hit some balls and measure difference in ball flight between the three models.
TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus+ Driver Review
If you liked the original Stealth driver, the chances are you will like the Stealth 2; the red face and black head remains, however this time the crown has a shine rather than matte black finish, which I think I actually prefer. Being a fan of the Titleist TSR Drivers, this shiny finish suits my eye at the moment.
For the Stealth Plus+, there is no red accent on the rear like with the other two heads in the line-up which makes you focus more on the red face. Looking underneath to the sole you can see the inertia generator, adjustable weight track and ring for stability, the sole design again has been updated with the Stealth logo being moved from the middle of the sole to the top and in my opinion is an improvement on the original Stealth design.
It looks like a SIM 2 driver head with a changed colour scheme, in all honesty. TaylorMade have stuck to the same formula that they did with their SIM range in progressive looks, technology and speed to forgiveness.
This club is ideal for a Manchester United and Tiger Woods fans; a quote from Woods himself: “Hey, you got to love the colour...”
If I hadn’t known the face was carbon I’d have never guessed. The TaylorMade engineers have worked extremely hard to create a bright and powerful sound, they have succeeded with Stealth 2. Fellow golfers may say “wow look at that driver” but they aren’t going to say “what the hell is that sound”.
It was not high pitched and when hitting all the three drivers in this range the sound and feel felt the same throughout. Strong, thick and quick. What more could you want?
With this driver being the second generation offering of Stealth, I am more used to the feel and more aware of strike location which I felt was harder to pinpoint with Stealth. I have to say when I set up to the ball I felt a buzz at wanting to hit this driver which is something TaylorMade are very good at making a golfer feel. Positivity and excitement are exactly the thoughts which we all need when standing over a tee shot and the Stealth 2 certainly achieves that.
Like last year, the Stealth 2 Plus+ had a higher average spin than the Stealth 2 head with a slightly lower consistency of spin, direction, height and distance.
Producing the minimum (197 yards) and maximum (220 yards) carry distance of my entire morning of testing the three driver heads on offer this year from TaylorMade.
Also not surprising was the dispersion was greater left and right. With one shot moving 47 feet left in the air and another 27 feet right in the air. This head was more right biased in flight which could have been why my average spin was 400 rpm higher than the Stealth 2 head.
Ball speed wise this head was fast at 133 mph average, the exact same number as the Stealth 2 head. I was a fan of this spin rate, the Stealth 2 was too low spinning for me. I’m not sure if it is me but, like last year the Plus+ spun more than the standard version.
TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus+ Driver Verdict
Ball speed was consistently high in all of my strikes which is a positive sign when it comes to forgiveness. I could hit a variation of flights proving that this head is more versatile but not quite as forgiving as the Stealth 2 head. This is to be expected, this head is for players wanting to dial in their flight through a more extensive custom fit process.
I didn't need to adjust the weight on the track but others golfers will and it's worth experimenting with. It was also straighter in flight which I liked, it is certainly less left biased than any of the other two heads.
Overall, importantly it is easier to hit consistently well than last year's model which makes it open to more golfers to try.
TaylorMade wanted to add forgiveness due the ICT and Reinforced Composite Ring and they have, however I wanted imagination in the head design as that’s what I expect from TaylorMade (more than any other brand) and I did not get it.
Once again, this driver gives you good feelings when taking the headcover off, standing over the ball and the numbers are good but once again I am left wanting more. Maybe it is the marketing but I want a "wow" in performance not just in the story...
However expect this head to be in the bags of Tiger, Fleetwood, McIlroy and Scheffler in 2023 and if if it's good enough them, surely it's good enough for the rest of us?
Would I Use It?
Maybe - I would be more open to using the Plus+ head than ever before, especially due to the higher spin which I was producing. This got me closer to my ideal 2400 rpm with a 15 degree launch angle and still had more forgiveness than I expected.
Who Is it Aimed At?
Players with quicker swing speeds, wanting more adjustment in a driver head and versatility in shot shaping.
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