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This is a full review of the TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver.
While the original Stealth introduced what TaylorMade called the “Carbonwood Age”, the Stealth 2 takes that to the next level. A new & improved Carbon Twist Face and a nearly 100% carbon body are designed to squeeze out even more forgiveness and distance.
Does the Stealth 2 driver set a new bar in performance compared to the Stealth? What are its strengths and weaknesses? Who is it best suited for? Is it worth putting in the bag?
Read on to find out what you need to know to make an informed purchase.
Note: Unless otherwise stated, stock shafts and stock grips are used when evaluating this club. In most cases, the golf clubs reviewed on Golfstead are acquired temporarily for testing purposes and are not purchased. The review that follows is based on the personal experience and research of the author. Because everyone’s swing and body are different, results with a particular club may differ from person to person.
What are the reviews like?
The new Stealth 2 driver, a gold medal winner on the 2023 Golf Digest Hot List, is generally praised by critics for its improvement in a number of areas over the previous generation. However, most feel that the improvements are marginal at best.
What People Like
- refined aesthetics with nice headcover
- tighter dispersions than the original Stealth
- confidence-inspiring look at address
- strong, healthy sound and feel
What People Don’t Like
- too similar to previous models like the Stealth and SIM2
- little to no increase in distance over the Stealth
The Stealth 2 builds on the original Stealth driver with the following:
- New 60X Carbon Twist Face: ball speed and forgiveness on off-center strikes is improved with an enhanced version of Inverted Cone Technology (ICT), and the face is slightly lighter
- Carbon Reinforced Composite Ring: this runs around the head of the driver, allowing for weight savings that are used to shift the CG back for higher MOI
All of the weight savings that are unlocked in the Stealth 2 resulting from the increased utilization of carbon material enable engineers to redistribute mass in the driver and thus boost stability and forgiveness.
Other features include:
- Internal Stiffening Ribs: used to finely tune acoustics for a lively and powerful sound
- Inertia Generator: seen in previous models including the M6, SIM and SIM2, this unique sole shape increases aerodynamic club head speed and shifts the CG back for increased stability
- Strategic Weighting: a 25g tungsten weight on the back of the Inertia Generator adds even more forgiveness, while a TPS Front Weight on the sole optimizes launch and spin
The Stealth 2 driver is available in 9°, 10.5°, and 12° standard lofts at 460CC.
Included is a loft sleeve that allows you to adjust loft, lie and face angle. There are 12 possible sleeve variations that can increase or decrease the loft and lie angle by ±2°, and the face angle by ±4°.
The stock shafts are the Fujikura VENTUS TR Red 5 and Mitsubishi Diamana S+PLUS. The stock grip is the Golf Pride ZGRIP Plus2.
If you’re interested, full information on the driver, shafts, grips, their specs, and any custom options can be found here.
Below are the specs of the Stealth 2 driver. Click or zoom to enlarge.
The thing I’ve learned about the Stealth 2 driver is how much performance varies from golfer to golfer.
Compared to the original Stealth, some see more spin, some see less spin, some see more distance, and some see the same distance. Dispersions can also vary.
One thing that I feel is fairly conclusive is the fact that the Stealth 2 is no less long or less forgiving than the Stealth — that’s obviously important when you market yourself as its successor.
My personal experience is that the Stealth 2 driver provides, at best, a very marginal increase in clubhead speed and ball speed. Smash factor is ever-so-slightly higher.
In terms of spin, I was getting a couple hundred more RPMs on average. This is not surprising because one of the things TaylorMade wanted to do with the Stealth 2 is shift the CG back for more stability and MOI, which naturally increases spin.
Because of the mitigating influence of the higher spin, distance gains tend to be very limited: maybe a few yards at most.
While I did notice an improvement in ball speed in mis-hit regions compared to the Stealth, I did not experience tighter dispersions contrary to the experience of others.
In fact, I saw a lot of variability in my ball flight. It was difficult for me to maintain a consistent trajectory from shot to shot, even with solid contact. This was disappointing.
Having said that, a couple of my colleagues who tried the Stealth 2 driver didn’t have these consistency problems, so it really is an individual thing. In any case, if you’re looking for absolute maximum forgiveness, you might consider the Stealth 2 HD.
Despite the higher spin I experienced with the Stealth 2, it was launching slightly lower with a slightly lower peak trajectory than the Stealth which is interesting. Penetration was good.
TaylorMade lists the launch of the Stealth 2 driver as “mid-high”, and this is more or less consistent with my results. There is no particular flight bias.
Unlike the Stealth 2 Plus, there is no sliding weight track. That lack of adjustability won’t do you any favours when you’re not getting the ball flight you want, and this seems to be more common than usual.
The Stealth 2 driver is not as workable as the Plus model. However, I was able to flight the ball in the desired manner with some effort.
I think most people would agree that the Stealth 2 driver looks fantastic, from the tasteful red-on-black colour scheme with white and silver detailing, to the red ring around the perimeter of the crown, to the compact, clean look at address.
Aside from the sole which is more similar to the SIM2, the Stealth 2 is very similar to the original Stealth in shape and size. The red colour of the carbon face is slightly more vivid this time around.
Another notable difference is that the crown finish is glossy instead of matte. This is more traditional, but many golfers dislike it because of the glare and reflections, especially in sunlight.
It’s also worth mentioning the gorgeous headcover that comes with the Stealth 2, which consists of stripes of black, white and red. It’s striking, classy, and impactful. I do prefer it over the Stealth’s headcover which I think is less exciting.
As with anything, though, the look of the Stealth 2 will not be everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s just the nature of the beast. It is a shame that you can’t currently order custom colours like you can with the Stealth 2 Plus.
The Sound & Feel
The feel of the Stealth 2 driver is nearly identical to the Stealth: powerful, explosive, and striking the right balance between solid and hollow. There’s really nothing more to add in this area.
The sound is also similar and can be described as a fairly loud, sharp “snap” at impact. However, with the Stealth 2, there’s just a little bit of extra “oomph” that makes the experience of hitting a solid shot more satisfying.
TaylorMade’s engineers put a lot of effort into perfecting the sound of the Stealth 2, undoubtedly with input from tour pros. It almost sounds a bit like a fairway wood.
I did notice during my tests that consistency of feel is improved over the Stealth, but not to the point that mis-hit feedback becomes poor. In fact, it’s still easy to tell when you miss the sweet spot.
Where To Buy This Driver Online
Another option is PGA TOUR Superstore. They offer performance guarantees, club fittings, club trade-ins, and other programs designed to make the buying experience as smooth as possible.
Don’t forget about eBay, where you can often find unbeatable deals on new and used golf equipment.
TaylorMade’s Stealth 2 driver makes a number of subtle improvements over the original Stealth. The major ones are upgraded looks and improved ball speed retention across the face.
Is it “fargiving”? Sure. There’s not much to criticize about this driver when it stands on its own. It has the widest appeal in the Stealth 2 line, being suitable for golfers across the skill spectrum.
Because of how minor the improvements are, if you already have a Stealth or even a SIM2 model and are happy with it, it may not be worth the cost of upgrading.
On the other hand, the Stealth 2 can be a fantastic option for golfers taking their first dive into TaylorMade equipment. But at the end of the day, it’s difficult to predict if you’ll find success with it before you try it.
Are you interested in the Stealth 2 driver? Have you tried it yet? What have your results been? Let us know in the comments below.