by Jon Watchowski, Club Fitter
The golf world has been anticipating the introduction of TaylorMade’s new “Carbon Wood” age for the last few months. Well, the wait is over. The new 60X Carbon face is now utilized in the 2022 TaylorMade driver line up. That’s right, TaylorMade is done with titanium-faced drivers. It should be interesting to see how this plays out, but after testing it looks like another promising line up from TaylorMade.
When picking up the new Stealth driver for the first time the piece on the club that everyone is going to look at first is the face. Yes, having a carbon face is very intriguing, but it’s also the fact that the face is a blend of red and black coloring. This may deter some people, but TaylorMade is introducing a new “My Stealth” option where you can customize your Stealth driver aesthetics. Now this new carbon face also has a different texture on it which is actually the final layer of this face. The reason for this texture is to control spin off the face. This face also has grooves going across it which seems odd on a driver, but it is because carbon needs more help than titanium to disperse water.
Now the big reason for switching to carbon isn’t just for looks, but it is also for performance. One of the biggest parts about this switch is the amount of weight you save from the lighter materials. This allows them to add more stability to the driver and with the Stealth Plus it also gives them the opportunity to add the slide weight back onto the club. Another feature of the lighter face is that they could also make the face larger than both previous years of the Sim driver.
Well now that we have talked about the face, let’s look at the line up. TaylorMade is releasing three Stealth models. You have Stealth which is your highest MOI and is the most forgiving driver in the line up. The removal of the slide weight allows the addition of more weight for stability creating a 15 percent increase in MOI. The next model is the Stealth Plus featuring a ten gram slide weight near the face of the driver to get the desired ball flight along with lower launch and spin. The last model is the Stealth HD. This model is a draw biased head that has a weight in the heel to help anyone that tends to slice the ball. The heel weight will help players turn the club head over easier allowing shots to start more to the left and not curve as much to the right.
During testing we saw some very good results from ball speed and launch conditions. Each model really performed as intended and the consistency from the standard Stealth was also very promising. The numbers also show a lower spin rate than its predecessor. Testing was conducted with the TP5 golf ball, Rogue Silver 70X shaft and all at a neutral 9 degrees of loft.
|Club||Ball Speed (MPH)||Launch Angle(Degrees||Peak Height(Feet)||Spin Rate (RPM)||Carry Distance (Yds)|
The numbers prove that each driver performed well and similarly to the other models. The HD model did launch the ball slightly further left than the others which was to be expected and had just a slightly higher spin. The peak height from the Stealth model provided a slight advantage in overall carry distance. Stealth Plus still performed very well and did get a slightly lower launch angle which some players prefer. Ball speed on all models was very impressive and is every bit as fast as TaylorMade’s previous models.
Overall, each model was very impressive and it looks like we are in for another solid season with the TaylorMade Stealth line up. The only question that remains is which driver fits you and your golf game?
Along with the Stealth driver line up, TaylorMade is introducing new Stealth fairway metals as well. The 60x Carbon face is not included in the fairways. Instead, they are moving forward with steel and titanium products. One thing that people will notice is that there are only two models this year, meaning no draw biased fairway in 2022.
Let’s look at the Stealth Plus fairway, which replaces the standard SIM 2 model. Continuing forward with the Zatech Titanium face which provides great ball speed and forgiveness, the face has been enlarged by 12% to create more forgiveness. Another design change is the V Sole. The V Sole has been reshaped to provide more stability and better turf interaction. Last change is that they have a laser etched silver line on the top of the face to provide a small alignment aid. This fairway is not as big of a change as the driver but testing it shows more stability and even more forgiveness on miss hits.
Now the other model they have this year is the standard Stealth Fairway wood. Big component of this model is the new 3D carbon crown. This new design allowed the engineers to move the center of gravity lower in the club head allowing it to launch the ball higher with more forgiveness. Stealth is also 15cc larger than Stealth plus which will provide a higher MOI. Stealth will also take advantage of the reworked V Sole and the laser etched top line.
Both models provided some very good numbers and did similar to last year’s line up, but the big improvement is the stability and forgiveness. Again for the testing we used a TP5 golf ball, and for the shaft we used Hzrdus Smoke Black RDX 80g 6.5.
|Club||Ball Speed (MPH)||Launch Angle (Degrees)||Peak Height(Feet)||Spin Rate (RPM)||Carry Distance (Yds)|
With these numbers it is quite surprising to see the player launching the standard Stealth lower than the Plus. Ball speed from both of them are very impressive providing great efficiency and spin on them both were very optimal. For most players I would expect the Stealth to launch a little higher, but that is why we get fit for clubs. Anyways both look very impressive and again the Stealth Plus like the SIM 2 look like a winner. With the new sole design the turf interaction is significantly smoother than the previous models.
Overall the new Stealth line up is looking like a very complete product. With a model to fit any player looking for a new driver or fairway. Again I suggest to anyone interested in these clubs to come into the golf shop and get fit. Just because these clubs say everything on paper doesn’t mean that each one performs perfectly for everyone. So come in and get fit for your new Stealth model today!