Should you get fitted for TaylorMade’s Stealth driver? Our three readers’ experiences should leave you in no doubt.
TaylorMade’s Stealth driver has dominated golf equipment headlines in 2022. But while it’s been shown to perform for a robot, the world’s best players, and when tested by our consistent pro, could the carbon-faced technology really make a difference in the hands of your average club golfers?
We headed to former WGC venue The Grove with three Today’s Golfer readers, where Henry Leo, TaylorMade’s Experiential Technician, fitted each of our amateurs into their ideal Stealth driver – with some stunning results.
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Old driver Titleist 905R (9.5º, Aldila NVS 65S shaft)
New driver TaylorMade Stealth HD (9º at 10.5º, Pro Force HL reg shaft)
Carry distance gained: 19 yards | Offline improvement: From 14.2 yards right to 3.4 yards right
A regular golfer who hit a relatively short fade off the tee, Jim wasn’t convinced that Stealth would be able to outperform his trusty, custom-fitted Titleist. “I love a challenge,” smiled Henry.
There were clear areas for improvement with Jim’s sidespin and launch angle numbers.
The Stealth HD head, set at 10.5º and fitted with a shorter, higher-propelling shaft helped with control, ball speed and launch, with a six-yard gain in peak height and a massive carry gain of 19 yards.
“I thought if I gained a few yards and a little bit more consistency I’d be impressed and happy, but with what I’ve gained I am more than happy. It was awesome,” said Jim.
“I wasn’t sure what to expect from Stealth and thought the carbon-fibre face might make it feel soft, but it really doesn’t – you’d never know you weren’t hitting titanium, and the sound is amazing. It really fills you with confidence.”
Henry’s fitting helped reduce Jim’s sidespin numbers by more than 500rpm and get him consistently to within a few yards of the target line.
Since the fitting, the Scotsman has found himself hitting far more fairways – “I’m missing an average of one per round” – and has astounded his playing partners with his new-found straight and long ball flight. “Honestly, I’d recommend this driver to anyone, especially if you get a proper fitting,” Jim added.
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Old driver Ping G10 (10.5º, stock regular flex shaft)
New driver TaylorMade Stealth (12º at 14º, EvenFlow Riptide CV 40g A flex shaft)
Carry distance gained: 14 yards | Offline improvement: From 7.1 yards right to 3.7 yards right
While Steve hadn’t been fitted for his Ping driver, he’d always found it to be reliable and easy to hit, but he was seeking more distance and consistency from the fitting. The standard Stealth head was cranked from 12º to 14º, and after several shaft changes, Steve’s ball speed had increased, he was launching it higher with more backspin, and had gained 14 yards in carry. Plus, he went from hitting a fade to a slight draw, with more consistent results.
“The club felt so much better than I’d imagined,” he said. “I’d thought it might feel a little light, but the fitter came up trumps and it looks and sounds great. I came with the attitude that whatever the fitter wanted, I would go with because they’re the experts, and we’ve gone with loads more loft than I am used to, but it’s worked.
“I’m going to be more consistent off the tee so I should have easier shots into greens and I’d probably expect my handicap to come down.”
A few weeks on, Steve says the results have been “very pleasing”, with his playing partners impressed. “I’ve gained about 20 yards overall on my previous drives and I’m really happy with it.”
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Old driver Mizuno MX560 (12º, EXSAR DS3 55g regular flex shaft)
New driver TaylorMade Stealth Plus (10.5º at 12º, Tensei Orange 65s stiff flex shaft)
Carry distance gained: 38 yards | Offline improvement: From 36.1 yards right to 6.6 yards right
When a fitter says “I’ve got my work cut out here,” you fear the worst. But once again Henry found the perfect combination to help turn Gary’s high and inconsistent fade/slice into a long and more reliable left-to-right flight.
Bought stock off the shelf, Gary’s old Mizuno was far too flexible for his swing speed, while his launch and backspin numbers were damagingly high.
A 10.5º Stealth Plus head set to 12º with the front sole weight set to max draw solved part of the puzzle, and, after a host of shaft tweaks (and some bonus set-up tips), the 40-year-old had gained almost 11mph in ball speed, and was now carrying a controllable fade almost 40 yards further. Henry even managed to achieve the unthinkable on one of Gary’s shots… zero RPM of sidespin.
“I’d never really considered that so many of my driver issues could be solved so quickly with a proper fitting,” smiled Gary. “To gain that many yards of carry and be hitting the ball far straighter is going to be game-changing at my level.
“Stealth is a brilliant piece of technology. The face looks awesome and it feels and sounds powerful, which really boosts your confidence over the ball. I’m over the moon.”
Gary has already played plenty of rounds with his new big stick and is enjoying the results. “I just feel far happier pulling my driver out of the bag now,” he told us. “It feels so much better to swing, and it’s made me realise just how wrong my previous driver was for me!”
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WATCH: How Stealth compared in our 2022 drivers test
TaylorMade Stealth Driver Fitting: The stats
How our three readers’ average launch monitor numbers compared from their old drivers to their newly-fitted Stealth drivers.
WATCH: TaylorMade’s Stealth vs Ping G425 vs Callaway Rogue ST
The Fitter’s View: Henry Leo, TaylorMade Experiential Technician
“We had a nice range of players for the fitting and were delighted to be able to find the gains they’d all hoped for. When people question why we create so many different heads in our drivers, this just answers it perfectly.
“We had three guys here who all had a different requirement and all ended up in a different head, which was great to see. The combination of Stealth heads and shafts that we can offer is key to making sure golfers at all levels have the perfect model for their game.
“Having a proper custom-fitting experience makes such a huge difference and these guys have been left in no doubt as to the impact it can have.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rob Jerram is the Digital Editor of todaysgolfer.co.uk
He has been a journalist for more than 20 years, starting his career with Johnston Press where he covered local and regional news and sport in a variety of editorial roles across ten years.
Rob joined Bauer Media in 2010 and worked as the Senior Production Editor of Today’s Golfer and Golf World magazines for ten years before moving into the Digital Editor’s role in July 2020.
He has been playing golf for almost three decades and has been a member at Greetham Valley in Rutland for eight years, playing off a 12 handicap.