TaylorMade released the Stealth driver range in 2022, kicking off the “Carbonwood Age” and moving away from the standard titanium clubface.
In this article, I conduct a TaylorMade Stealth driver review and examine the features, benefits, and downsides of this highly forgiving big stick.
You’ll notice that the Stealth is built for mid-handicappers seeking optimal leniency and a mid-to-high launch with a neutral ball flight.
If you are a high handicapper, you may prefer the draw bias profile of the Stealth HD driver. Conversely, the mid-launching Stealth Plus works for low handicappers.
Table of Contents
Quick Overview of The TaylorMade Stealth Driver
60X Carbon Twist Face
The sizeable difference between a TaylorMade Stealth driver and alternative products is its 60X carbon twist face. You’ll see that the engineers applied 60 carbon fiber layers to the clubface to enhance your feel and acoustics at impact.
In addition, I noticed that the Carbon fiber face helped me produce sufficient friction to get my ball airborne. However, the ball did not stay on the clubface for longer than necessary. Thanks to its flexible face, it generated ample ball speed because of the flexibility of the active zone.
Finally, the twist face construction resists turning during your swing to remain square to the target at impact. You’ll find that it promotes straighter shots for improved accuracy.
I noticed that the Stealth carried an additional protective layer on the carbon face, composed of polyurethane. TaylorMade calls it Nanotexture technology, and it helps you maintain ball speed and spin on all strikes. Plus, I felt it did well to eradicate vibrations typically experienced on off-center strikes.
Asymmetric Inertia Generator
Next, you’ll find that the Stealth packs an inertia-generating clubhead, which means it carries superior aerodynamics. I felt the driver glided through the air uninterrupted on my downswing, aiding my clubhead speed for a powerful strike.
Furthermore, the asymmetric inertia generator allowed the engineers to place a weight on the rear of the driver’s clubhead. You’ll find that this increases the offset of the driver and its moment of inertia (MOI) to encourage straighter shots.
While I have no gripe with the generator’s effectiveness, this technology is not new to the Stealth big stick. You can find it in the SIM range of drivers, predating the Stealth series.
Thru-Slot Speed Pocket
I noticed that the Thru-Slot Speed Pocket came to my aid on two separate occasions during testing after generating low-face strikes. Previous TaylorMade drivers carried this technology, and the brand obviously adopted the approach of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
The speed pocket enhances clubface flex to offer increased spring at the impact on mishits low off the face. Typically, striking the golf ball in this area leads to a drop-off in ball speed and spin, causing you to hit a short, low-spinning drive. You’ll see that you end up producing consistent yardage.
4 Degree Adjustable Loft Sleeve
As expected from a premium, modern construction, the new Stealth driver contains an adjustable loft sleeve.
You’ll notice that you can strengthen or weaken your standard loft by 2 degrees in either direction. For example, if you play a 10.5-degree loft, you can lower it to 8.5-degrees. Contrarily, you can weaken the clubface loft, to 12.5-degrees.
I suggest you refrain from tinkering with the loft excessively, as it impacts your face angle and can alter your length, trajectory, and launch. However, it is handy if you are trying to identify the correct profile for your swing.
You’ll notice that stock TaylorMade Stealth drivers are constructed in 3 loft profiles to suit faster, moderate, and slower swing speeds. A 9-degree design is the lowest lofted creation in the Stealth range and is better suited to those with higher swing speeds.
Furthermore, a 10.5-degree profile is built for moderate swing speeds, seeking a mid-to-high launch off the tee box. Finally, you’ll find that the 12-degree design is ideal for slower swingers looking for a higher launching ball for farther carry yardage.
TaylorMade offers golfers the choice of 4 stock shafts to suit a variety of swing speeds. However, I find that most options cater more toward moderate and high swing speeds than slower swingers.
You’ll find that if you fit into the category of a moderate swinger, there are only two options with regular flexes. The Aldila Ascent Red and the Ventus Red 5 are the way to go. The latter is also the only stock shaft with a senior flex, ideal for slow swing speed.
Finally, super fast swing speeds have the luxury of choosing the Aldila, Tour AD 12, and the Mitsubishi Diamana ZF60. These shafts offer stiff and extra stiff flex to produce straight ball flight for optimal roll, control, and total distance.
|Stock Shaft Name||Shaft Material||Flex Options|
|Aldila Ascent Red||Graphite||XS, S, R|
|Ventus Red 5||Graphite||S, R, A|
|Tour AD 12||Graphite||XS, S|
|Mitsubishi Diamana ZF60||Graphite||XS, S|
The final feature to discuss is the Lamkin Crossline 360 grip with a textured feel. I felt that the tiny indents cluttered around the grip boosted my traction for superb control of the golf club. However, the standard size of the rubber may prove challenging for some golfers to keep the club on path.
Fast Ball Speed
I found that the Stealth driver delivered ball speed in line with my average on a GCQuad launch monitor. On a good day, I can generate approximately 134 mph velocity with a driver, and the Stealth driver notches up just under 133 mph. We are talking about the minor differences that had little impact on my total yardage.
My optimal driver spin rate is 3000 revolutions per minute (rpm), and the Stealth is marginally a higher rate. It clocked in over 3200 rpm of spin, which did generate a slightly higher launch than usual. However, this suits the average golfer who requires increased launch for optimal distance.
In its factory settings, the Stealth driver is built to encourage a mid to high launch for consistent carry distance. I noticed that the intensified spin prompted an elevated apex on each occasion, making it a breeze to launch.
However, the higher launching nature of the Stealth may deter superior players looking for piercing flight off the tee.
In my experience, the Stealth provided ample forgiveness ranging from accuracy, ball speed, and distance. Firstly, the high-MOI design of the clubface keeps it square to deliver direct flight for improved accuracy. In addition, an enlarged sweet spot maintains the ball’s pace and lowers spin for increased length.
I felt the combination of the Carbon Twist Face and weight distribution worked well to bolster accuracy. These features worked to keep your face square at contact to prevent a slice and induce straight accurate drives.
What I Like About The TaylorMade Stealth
The TaylorMade Stealth is an easy driver to consistently launch high and long, a trait suited to casual golfers. You’ll find that the higher launch is generated by the Nanotexture technology, which tweaks spin for optimal lift off the tee.
Accelerated Clubhead Speed
My clubhead speed is not the fastest, clocking in at approximately 85 mph. However, the Stealth earned me an extra mile per hour, up to 86 mph. You’ll notice that the Asymmetric Inertia Generator helps your clubhead glide through the air uninterrupted and accelerate velocity on the downswing.
I feel that the high-MOI design of this driver suits the needs of the average golfer prone to slicing the ball. I like that the Stealth mitigates the impact of wayward strikes, reducing the intensity of the slice. When you can square the clubface at impact, you stand a higher chance of finding the fairway.
The Feel of the Stealth driver is a double-edged sword. It impressed me and frustrated me simultaneously. I enjoyed its ability to reduce vibrations felt on off-center shots and shield my hands. However, the feeling was too muted, like I was hitting an airball.
Besides encouraging accurate tee shots, the Stealth delivered a consistently high launch and optimal spin and ball speed. Its optimal approach to leniency works for the average golfer looking to preserve yardage without ending out of bounds on each shot.
What I Dislike About The TaylorMade Stealth
Off the bat, I am not a fan of the exorbitant price of this driver. However, I understand that years of research and development go into manufacturing a groundbreaking product. If you are in the market for a long-term driver it is definitely worth the high price tag.
No Sliding Weight Track
Unlike the TaylorMade Stealth Plus, the standard edition does not include a sliding weight track, enabling you to adjust the center of gravity (CG). If you like the freedom of tinkering with your setup, then the Plus edition may be a better solution.
Similar Features To Previous Models
Despite the carbon wood clubface, the Stealth contains several technologies and features used in previous TaylorMade drivers. That in itself is not a negative. However, you can find older TaylorMade drivers with many of the same features at a lower price.
Shaft Options For Slower Swingers
The final downside of the Stealth is the shaft options for slower swingers. Only the Ventus Red 5 is offered in a senior flex. The remaining options are geared toward moderate and high swing speeds.
Overall Rating and Thoughts
The Stealth is the outcome of genius engineering, designed to take drivers into a new age of production. I appreciate the exceptional forgiveness, consistency, and yardage it offers the average golfer. However, its premium price point will place it beyond reach for some.
If you are looking for a premium quality driver to invest in for the long term, look no further than the Stealth for a reliable investment in your game. It promotes straighter shots, is easy to launch, and delivers consistent carry yards. Overall, I feel the TaylorMade Stealth driver is for serious mid-handicappers looking for a big stick to carry them down to a low handicapper.
Readers who appreciate the work of TaylorMade should read our review of the timeless TaylorMade M4.
Overall Rating: 89/100