TaylorMade has recently revealed new additions to the impressive Stealth line-up for 2022, two new utility irons, or as TaylorMade like to call them - driving irons.
The TaylorMade Stealth UDI and DHY replace the SIM UDI and DHY utility irons from 2020, and in this review I am going to focus on the more forgiving DHY model.
Recently, I had a front seat view of Rory McIlroy striping his new Stealth driving iron (UDI) 350 yards to the front of the 18th green on the Old Course. Fast, firm links turf is the ideal place for these clubs, but is there a place for them elsewhere too? And what's the difference between the UDI and DHY models? Has anything changed?
I'm here to answer these questions.
SpeedFoam Air is the new feature in these utility irons, just like in the latest iteration of the very popular P790.
This foam is 69% less dense than that used in the SIM UDI and DHY, and the weight saved is distributed elsewhere to vital points in the head to optimise launch.
The shaping in the DHY has a lower head profile and a larger sole to make it easier for launch whereas the more 'players' facing UDI is designed to make the club more workable.
Like the SIM driving irons, the Stealths also feature the Thru-Slot Speed Pocket and thin 4140 with inverted cone technology, designed to maximise ball speed. The DHY is said to deliver a large sweet spot for maximum distance, playability and forgiveness with incredible feel.
The Stealth DHY comes in 17, 19, 22 and 25 degree lofts (2-5 irons) and, like most modern-day driving irons, comes with a graphite shaft and a new SuperStroke S Tech Black grip.
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TaylorMade Stealth DHY Review
The Stealth DHY essentially looks like a Stealth iron but just with more bulk on the back. There is also the obvious difference of the large weight also on the sole of the head for lower CG.
The Stealth colour scheme of black, red and silver is almost identical to the UDI and it looks basically like its bigger brother. I think the styling is slick, with the chrome and black finish, although the touches of red are small unlike in the Stealth woods and of course there's no carbon face here, yet...
At address I felt it looked like it had slightly less loft than what the number on the bottom suggested, so be warned.
The Stealth DHY looks more like a P790 iron in profile, albeit with slightly more bulk at the back of the head.
When testing the DHY both on the course and on the driving range, the ball felt quicker and launched higher straight away than the UDI - it's obvious to see the difference in these clubs from the off.
With it being offset and thicker, the DHY certainly had a more hybrid feel to it as the name suggests. I would liken the feel of sole to the feeling of hitting a wood - it glides through the turf easily, rather than digging like you may find with an iron.
Compared to 'players' driving irons of the past this feels a lot easier to hit, although compact enough to still look workable. I also found that it made me concentrate more on my sole interaction with the turf, making sure that I could squeeze the ball out and strike it well.
I visited Stockport GC with both driving irons to compare numbers on the Flightscope launch monitor, as well as hitting shots out on the course.
As the numbers indicate, the Stealth UDI produced 162 yards carry with a 17 degree launch angle and a peak height of 87 feet.
The Stealth DHY produced 158 yard carry with a 17.8 degree launch angle and a peak height of 93 feet.
Having said that the averages don't tell the whole story, as the total distance with my good shots was much higher with the UDI, but then when I didn't strike it well the spin and distance was badly affected, giving me a larger variation between good and bad shots than with the DHY.
The UDI is clearly less forgiving than the DHY so if you're inconsistent, you'll see that reflected in the average numbers.
When both clubs were hit well the DHY flew higher with more draw bias, and although it wasn't quite as long it was still easier to hit.
The UDI flew flatter and further with less spin, and tended to favour more of a fade flight which is generally something which you'll see from better players clubs.
I was painting love hearts in the sky as I hit a fade with the UDI and a high draw with the DHY - I hope exactly what TaylorMade would want from these two clubs.
TaylorMade Stealth DHY Verdict
As a self-confessed hybrid lover I'm finally learning how to use these driving irons and I think that over the last few years they have steadily progressed in looks, feel, forgiveness and distance.
The notable difference in the ball flight between the two models makes finding the right one for your style of game even easier.
I think like many golfers, I enjoy hitting these clubs more from the tee than from the fairway as put simply, it's just easier.
But with the added launch conditions I do think that both the UDI and DHY are versatile enough to be used in different scenarios on different golf courses - especially the DHY which offers that extra forgiveness and launch when playing from juicy, thick lies for example.
The higher launch and loft options make these clubs a great option to find fairways with, or to replace long irons. What is nice to see is that they are both the same price (£219) as TaylorMade have a tendency to charge the better players more money. Not this time.
The DHY is a great club but I have to be honest, if you already have one of the SIM models then you probably don't need to swap as they are still pretty similar. It will be extremely different for the golfer that thee clubs are aimed to see the difference between SpeedFoam and SpeedFoam air.
Would I Use Them?
I love my hybrids and always have, so I can't see these clubs replacing them in the bag unfortunately.
Who Should Use Them?
If you hate your fairway woods or even your driver then this club could be a great option to replace them because they are rockets. The UDI is suited to the golfer who plays P770 irons or something even smaller like the P7MC/P7MB, whilst the DHY is aimed more at the P770/P790 Stealth iron user.
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