TaylorMade Stealth 2, Stealth 2 Plus and Stealth 2 HD drivers Review

By , Today's Golfer Equipment Editor
  • At a glance

  • TG Rating 5 out of 5
  • Owner Rating Not yet rated
  • Pros

    – Thanks to a new carbon fiber sole there's extra MOI forgiveness on offer from all three driver models.

    – The Stealth 2 HD is the most forgiving driver model in the family, which isn't always the case with draw-bias drivers.

    – The modular construction is at the cutting edge of modern driver design.

  • Cons

    – The Ventus Red TR shaft doesn't come with the brand's premium VeloCore structure.

  • RRP £499.00

What we say...

Thanks to housing more carbon fiber than any previous TaylorMade driver the Stealth 2, Stealth 2 Plus and Stealth 2 HD boast more MOI and forgiveness.

2022 was the year both Scottie Scheffler and Rory McIlroy took turns to rank as the world’s best golfer and it’s little coincidence, say TaylorMade, that both players used the company’s new carbon face Stealth big sticks, which ranked among TG’s best golf drivers.

Scheffler won four times between February and April, culminating in his first Major victory, at the Masters. McIlroy, meanwhile, recorded some of his best-ever scoring stats and three victories to return to the pinnacle of the game and enter 2023 as World No.1.

TaylorMade's Stealth 2 drivers.

The impressive numbers behind golf’s first carbon wood don’t end there. According to PGA Tour stats, even though Team TaylorMade (that’s McIlroy, Scheffler, Collin Morikawa, Dustin Johnson, Tommy Fleetwood and Matthew Wolff) dropped 0.1mph of clubhead speed in 2022, ball speed across all six players was up by 2.1mph, giving an eight-yard average gain across the team. TaylorMade attribute that to the improved energy transfer players see by switching to Stealth’s carbon face.

The stats are impressive, but if there’s one criticism, it’s that the model perhaps wasn’t the most forgiving driver on the market.

TaylorMade say the new Stealth 2 drivers are all about “Fargiveness” – a term the brand has coined for drivers combining forgiveness with speed and distance.

What you need to know about the TaylorMade Stealth 2 drivers

Don’t expect massive speed and distance claims

It wasn’t that long ago that new TaylorMade drivers and fairway woods came with claims of big speed and distance gains – some even ran into double digits. Those days are well and truly over. The brand say Stealth 2 is about building on the foundation of the original Stealth. It’s a savvy move, considering the Stealth driver saw TaylorMade regain the top spot for driver sales in the USA. But, this time, TaylorMade are promising increased forgiveness to go along with the power the original Stealth drivers offered.

TaylorMade aren’t promising Ping levels of forgiveness (Ping drivers tend to rank as the most forgiving drivers in golf). That’s because maximizing forgiveness tends to lead to slower ball speeds and reduced distance. But TaylorMade believe they have found the perfect combination of speed, distance, and forgiveness in the new Stealth 2 driver range, a combination they are calling “fargiveness”.

More carbon fiber than titanium

Thanks to having a carbon fiber face and new sole section, plus an injection molded back ring, Stealth 2 is the first TaylorMade driver to contain more carbon fiber than titanium. Inevitably some golfers will think that sounds like the construction of the carbon body Callaway FT-3, FT-5 and FT-I drivers back in the mid-late noughties, but Stealth 2 is very different.

The Stealth 2 uses separate pieces of lightweight carbon fiber in different areas of the driver to maximize weight placement and efficiency. Previous single-piece carbon fiber body drivers were wrapped, which gave engineers much less control over thick and thin areas.

A graphic showing the individual parts of the TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus Driver

TaylorMade say one-piece bodies are much less efficient. To create the best TaylorMade driver, Stealth 2 models have six-layer carbon fiber crowns; where the sole is nine layers thick, the face needs 60 layers to withstand the impact forces of a golf ball.

By injection molding carbon fiber for the back ring, golfers get strength and lightness in different areas and the most efficient part for each individual area. This modular construction optimizes each part for its intended purpose.           

More carbon fiber = more discretionary weight = higher MOI

TaylorMade’s initial foray into carbon crown drivers (the M1) meant less than 10cc of the head was carbon fiber, but that has risen to nearly 50cc of carbon fiber in the Stealth 2.

What has that meant to MOI? The TaylorMade M1 driver (released in 2017) had an MOI of around 6600g cm2; the new Stealth 2 Plus driver is over 7400g cm2

The difference between the Stealth 2 and original Stealth driver face

Good news for heel strikers

Driver faces have been limited by the rules of golf for years, but the rules don’t dictate how much of a driver face can be at the maximum allowable limit. So, whilst it’s great to hit the limit in the center, shots hit away from that spot are punished with lower speeds and less distance.

TaylorMade drivers have traditionally had slightly toe-biased sweet spots, but for Stealth 2 the brand have worked on getting 20% more of the face on the limit of the rules (by using 60% more inverted cone technology shaping behind the face) with a focus on livening up the low heel. It is brilliant news for heel strikers. 

Pick your bias

Choosing a driver based on your shot shape preference isn’t a new idea, but TaylorMade have optimized everything about the three Stealth 2 models, from natural head bias and lie angle in order to fit golfers into their perfect driver.

Lie angles across the family are progressive. The Stealth Plus is 2° flatter, which pros and better players tend to like the look of at address. The Stealth 2 standard model is the same lie angle as its predecessor, whereas the Stealth 2 HD is 2° more upright than the standard, which helps encourage a right-to-left ball flight (for right-handers), or at least limit the amount of left-to-right curvature on shots.

What’s the difference between the TaylorMade Stealth 2 drivers and the previous models?

A chart showing how the TaylorMade Stealth 2 drivers compare to the previous generation

Don’t take me for granted

TaylorMade have steadily built a suite of top-performing technologies into their drivers over the last few years. It means rather than going back to the drawing board each year, the new Stealth 2 models already boast proven technologies in the form of TwistFace, Thru-Slot Speed Pockets and an Asymmetric Inertia Generator that aids aerodynamics in the downswing. Game-improving tech that’s not to be sniffed at.  

WATCH: Best 2023 Driver video

Meet the models

TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus driver

RRP: £529 / $629.99 | VIEW OFFER

Lofts: 8°, 9°, 10.5°

Stock shaft: Mitsubishi Kai’li Red (Mid Flight), Project X HZRDUS Black (Low Flight)

Adjustable hosel: +/-2°

Flight bias: Adjustable

Lie angle: 56°

Shaft length: 45.75”

The TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus driver with a Today's Golfer Best of 2023 Award

Pros

  • Thanks to a new carbon fiber sole there's extra MOI forgiveness on offer from all three driver models.
  • The Stealth 2 HD is the most forgiving driver model in the family, which isn't always the case with draw-bias drivers.
  • The modular construction is at the cutting edge of modern driver design.

Cons

  • The Ventus Red TR shaft doesn't come with the brand's premium VeloCore structure.
Lofts: 8° / 9° / 10.5°
Stock shaft: Mitsubishi Kai’li Red (Mid Flight), Project X HZRDUS Black (Low Flight)
Adjustable hosel: +/-2°
Flight bias: Adjustable
Lie angle: 56°
Shaft length: 45.75”

The Stealth 2 Plus is TaylorMade’s best low spin driver option (expect 200 – 300 RPM less spin than the standard model). Its predecessor, the Stealth Plus driver, was almost universally the choice for TaylorMade staffers on tour in 2022, which primarily comes down to the model’s adjustability. TaylorMade say golfers can expect a forgiving MOI-type driver but from a low spin head. The Plus tends to be a better fit for higher-speed players, those looking for a particular shot shape, and golfers who don’t regularly spray shots across the face. 

At the request of Collin Morikawa, the fade from red to black on the face is more subtle, and the more muted look is continued with a piano black carbon crown that’s much less stark than previous TaylorMade drivers like the SIM. Overall the look is less distracting.

Morikawa, who TaylorMade listen to a lot for feedback, also wanted a slightly straighter topline than the original Stealth Plus, as out on tour the feature is often used to align.

A 15g sliding weight in the front track (it was 10g in the previous Stealth model) allows golfers to dial in shot shape preference, and there’s an additional 15g weight sat at the back of the head to aid with MOI (which wasn’t on the original). Decent players will like how there’s no red line outlining the back of the head shape, which will be present on the standard and HD models.

The TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver back and toe

Verdict: TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus driver

It’s no secret the original carbon face Stealth Plus was fast and long, but if there was a criticism it was how the model wasn’t the most forgiving. With an MOI that’s 10% higher (7400g cm2) the new Stealth 2 Plus brilliantly addresses its sibling’s weakness.

If it’s ball speed you’re after you’ll be pleased to hear the Stealth 2 family produced the fastest average ball speeds within our entire driver test. At our test 10.5° driver loft though the data has the Stealth 2 Plus 5 yards back from the Ping G430 LST. In this set-up the model gave our pro his smallest carry distance drop-off (9 yards), the least amount of left to right dispersion (18.2 yards) and hit shots into the tightest shot area (163.8 SQ YDS) within the low spin category. Which means the driver will be very playable on the golf course.

Stepping the loft down to 9°, which is what TaylorMade like fitting Neil our Test Pro into, as less loft means more ball speed, we rinsed another 4 yards of carry distance, making the Stealth 2 Plus our longest 2023 driver for total distance (307 yards). As we’ve said before interpreting stats is opinion, whichever way you look at it Stealth 2 Plus is fast, long and forgiving for a low spin driver.

The model’s a brilliant choice for golfers who don’t spray shots across the driver face and those that need the 15g sliding sole weight to dial in a specific shot shape.    

Data comparison: How does the TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus driver compare to competitor models?

A data chart showing how the TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus driver compares to competitor models

TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver

RRP: £499 / $599.99 | VIEW OFFER

Lofts: 9°, 10.5º, 12°

Stock shaft: Fujikura Ventus Red TR (Mid – High Flight), Mitsubishi Diamana S+ (Mid Flight)

Adjustable hosel: +/- 2°

Flight bias: Neutral

Lie angle: 58°

Shaft length: 45.75”

The TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver sole and at address
Lofts: 9° / 10.5° / 12°
Stock shaft: Fujikura Ventus Red TR (Mid – High Flight), Mitsubishi Diamana S+ (Mid Flight)
Adjustable hosel: +/- 2°
Flight bias: Neutral
Lie angle: 58°
Shaft length: 45.75”

With no weight tied up in creating a sliding weight track, the Stealth 2 houses 25g of weight at the back of the head (there’s also a swing weight port just behind the face), which gives MOI and forgiveness a decent boost. The promise with this model is golfers get ball speed and accuracy protection when shots don’t impact center face, which is well worth bearing in mind if you see faster ball speeds and more distance from the Stealth 2 Plus on a launch monitor.

A red c-shaped back-ring helps increase the impression of head size, which will boost confidence for many club golfers. Without being stupidly intrusive and distracting, the idea also frames the ball beautifully at address too. 

Thanks to its mass-market appeal this will be TaylorMade’s biggest selling driver in 2023; the model will mop up 60%+ of the brand’s driver sales. There are two shaft options to optimize ball flight. Remember the Fujikura Ventus TR Red doesn’t have the brands premium VeloCore structure inside (so it’s not quite as stable as the Ventus that’s played by the current World #1, #2 and #3), but shaft length is the same as the Stealth 2 Plus, whereas the HD is ¼” shorter to increase consistency.

The TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver back and toe

Verdict: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver

The TaylorMade Stealth 2 family are the first TaylorMade drivers to be constructed from a higher percentage of carbon fibre than titanium. In an unlike TaylorMade way the company have used the weight saving advancements to boost forgiveness over claiming more ball speed and distance, which should be music to the ears of golfers who felt the 1st generation carbonwood wasn’t quite as forgiving as the competition.  

At our 10.5° test loft the cracking looking Stealth 2 was our joint longest forgiving driver of 2023 (with the Mizuno ST-X 230 and Yonex Ezone GS i-Tech) at 276 yards, making the model a worthy recipient of TG’s ‘Best of 2023’ award. Throw in a third best left to right dispersion (33.8 yards), plus a slightly skewed heel sided sweetspot and a picture emerges of this being a better performing driver for club golfers than its predecessor.      

Dialling the loft down to 9°, which is where TaylorMade like fitting Neil our Test Pro for driver loft (even though he uses a 10.5° driver on the golf course), upped ball speed by 1.1mph and added an additional 7 yards of carry distance. All in, this super complex driver construction, stacks up in terms of look, sound and feel and because the data spells out excellent distance and forgiveness performance, it warrants a place on any golfers forgiving driver shortlist in 2023.      

Specs: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver

The TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver specs

TaylorMade Stealth 2 HD driver

RRP: £499 / $599.99 | VIEW OFFER

Lofts: 9°, 10.5°, 12°

Stock shaft: Fujikura Speeder NX Red

Adjustable hosel: +/- 2°

Flight bias: Draw

Lie angle: 60°

Shaft length: 45.5”

The TaylorMade Stealth 2 HD driver sole and at address

Rrp: $599.99

Price: $399.98
Alternative Retailers
Golf Galaxy
$399.99
Walmart
$399.99
DICK'S Sporting Goods
$399.99
Lofts: 9° / 10.5° / 12°
Stock shaft: Fujikura Speeder NX Red
Adjustable hosel: +/- 2°
Flight bias: Draw
Lie angle: 60°
Shaft length: 45.5”

Like most big driver brands, TaylorMade have produced a draw-biased model for a good number of years. And like most brands, which will be a surprise to many, until now the draw model has never been the most forgiving driver within any driver family. TaylorMade say as weight is moved towards the heel to create the draw bias set-up, mass inevitably gets closer to the face which lowers MOI (Ping’s G430 SFT does this). With a 30g backweight, the Stealth 2 HD however is different, and it’s the brand’s most forgiving driver within the family.

HD stands for High Draw and like the standard model, there’s a red c-shaped back-ring that increases the impression of head size, which club golfers will find comforting on the tee. Compared to the previous Stealth HD driver, TaylorMade say the model launches 1° higher and cuts spin by 200 – 300RPM, so golfers can expect a fraction more distance along with additional forgiveness.   

We love how thanks to a shorter neck the shaft length of the HD comes up ¼” shorter (it stays that way even if you switch shafts) than the other two models. The idea encourages confidence and will help the target HD player to impact shots on center more often, which TaylorMade say in terms of ball speed and distance will more than make up for losing ¼” of shaft length.

The TaylorMade Stealth 2 HD driver back and toe

Verdict: TaylorMade Stealth 2 HD driver

Many golfers think draw drivers are the most forgiving models in any brands line-up. Yet, in reality moving weight forward and into the heel, to get a draw enhancing weight bias, often lowers MOI and forgiveness. We applaud how then TaylorMade’s Stealth 2 HD, for the first time, is both the brands most forgiving and most draw biased set-up.

We also love the attention to detail in upping the lie angle to encourage a right to left ball flight (for right handers), and shortening shaft length by ¼”, which breeds confidence and encourages hitting centre face more often.      

As with our low spin and forgiving driver samples TaylorMade cheekily sent 9° test heads rather than our specified 10.5° lofts, so to ensure fairness as much as possible we dialled the loft up to 9.75°. Last year the original Stealth HD was absolutely spot on data wise, this years results were similarly impressive.

By a whisker the Stealth 2 HD was our longest draw driver, it also produced our 3rd smallest left to right dispersion, which wasn’t the case back in 2022.

All in Stealth 2 HD is hugely impressive. It’s more tailored to slicers and those needing a forgiving driver than ever. Drivers don’t come any better looking and with a full-on carbon fibre body we’re struggling to see where significant future improvements come from.     

Specs: TaylorMade Stealth 2 HD driver

The TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver specs

What TaylorMade say about the Stealth 2 drivers

“There are two main ways to produce forgiveness in a driver, by optimizing the face and by optimizing the body. Building off the 60X Carbon Twist Face in the original Stealth that led to ball speed gains for golfers across various skill levels, with Stealth 2 we challenged ourselves to bring more forgiveness in each of the three models. We accomplished that through introducing our modified face construction focused on forgiveness on the outside of the face, and a brand-new carbon-based modular body construction.”

“The modular carbon body construction of Stealth 2 represents our commitment to carbon as the leading material in every TaylorMade driver we produce. It was clear that the breakthroughs we had with Stealth were just the beginning in terms of the performance we can extract from this technology platform. A primarily carbon-based head construction is revolutionizing where we are able to position mass in a driver and this allows us to finely tune the launch, spin and MOI in each of the three Stealth 2 driver models.”

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Product Information

TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus driver

RRP: £529 / $629.99 | VIEW OFFER

Lofts: 8° / 9° / 10.5°

Stock shaft: Mitsubishi Kai’li Red (Mid Flight), Project X HZRDUS Black (Low Flight)

Adjustable hosel: +/-2°

Flight bias: Adjustable

Lie angle: 56°

Shaft length: 45.75”

TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver

RRP: £499 / $599.99 | VIEW OFFER

Lofts: 9° / 10.5° / 12°

Stock shaft: Fujikura Ventus Red TR (Mid – High Flight), Mitsubishi Diamana S+ (Mid Flight)

Adjustable hosel: +/- 2°

Flight bias: Neutral

Lie angle: 58°

Shaft length: 45.75”

TaylorMade Stealth 2 HD driver

RRP: £499 / $599.99 | VIEW OFFER

Lofts: 9° / 10.5° / 12°

Stock shaft: Fujikura Speeder NX Red

Adjustable hosel: +/- 2°

Flight bias: Draw

Lie angle: 60°

Shaft length: 45.5”

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