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Today I’ll be reviewing the TaylorMade Stealth 2 HD fairway wood.
The Stealth 2 HD (‘High Draw’) is the game-improvement model in the Stealth 2 line of fairway woods. With an oversized head design, shallower face, ultra-low CG and high MOI, it’s designed to be easy to hit even for golfers with a highest handicaps.
But how does the Stealth 2 HD actually perform when put to the test? How does it compare to the regular Stealth 2 model? Who is it best suited for? Is it worth putting in the bag?
Read on to get the answers to these questions and learn what you need to know to make an informed purchase.
Note: Unless otherwise indicated, stock shafts and stock grips are used when evaluating clubs and the 3W is evaluated in the case of fairway woods. 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?
As with its sister models, the TaylorMade Stealth 2 HD fairway wood won a gold medal on the 2023 Golf Digest Hot List.
It is generally praised by critics and enjoys a high average customer rating of 4.8/5 (96% recommended) on the TaylorMade store.
What People Like
- easy to hit off the deck
- supremely forgiving on off-center strikes
- high launch
- draw bias will help many
- large profile is confidence-inspiring
- plenty of distance
What People Don’t Like
- some have issues with the clubhead rattling at impact
- some don’t like the feel
The Stealth 2 HD fairway wood features the same technologies as the standard Stealth 2 model, namely:
- 3D Carbon Crown: wraps around the toe of the club and shifts mass away from the high toe area to the back of the club, resulting in higher launch and forgiveness.
- Twist Face & ICT: optimizes the thickness of the C300 steel face at every point for maximum ball speed and forgiveness. The iteration of ICT (Inverted Cone Technology) in the Stealth 2 also improves durability.
- V Steel Sole: a classic TaylorMade innovation that unlocks the benefits of having a raised heel and toe (significantly improved turf interaction and less resistance through impact) while keeping the CG low for high launch and low spin.
- Thru-Slot Speed Pocket: increases sole flexibility, leading to increased ball speed and forgiveness low on the face.
- Laser Alignment Aid: a visual indicator stretching across the top of the face that helps with alignment at address, allowing the crown to stay relatively clean.
The main differences that set the Stealth 2 HD apart are:
- a larger head size of 200cc for added confidence at address
- a super low CG and ultra-high MOI for higher launch and forgiveness
- a larger, low-profile sole which makes the club easier to hit
- an internal draw bias which helps mitigate the right miss
The Stealth 2 HD fairway wood is available in 3W, 5W and 7W at lofts 16°, 19° and 23°, respectively.
Also available is the Stealth 2 HD Women’s Fairway. It’s basically the same as the men’s version, but the stock shaft, grip, swing weights, etc. are tailored to women to maximize their performance.
The stock graphite shaft is the Fujikura Speeder NX Red and the stock grip is the Golf Pride ZGRIP Plus2. Custom options are available.
If you’re interested, full information on the fairway wood, shafts, grips and their specs can be found here.
Below are the specs of the Stealth 2 HD fairway wood. Click or zoom to enlarge.
The distance potential of the Stealth 2 HD fairway wood is very good, but for the majority of players, it’s not going to be quite as long as the standard Stealth 2.
The golfers who will see the best distance results are those who:
- have struggled to get the ball up in the air in the past
- tend to lose distance due to a right miss (cuts or slices)
- have consistency issues with their ballstriking
In this sense, the Stealth 2 HD does exactly what it’s supposed to.
During my testing with the 3W, I was seeing ball speeds that were roughly the same with a 1-2° higher launch and higher spin by around 200 RPMs. Whether this translates to more distance depends on the individual.
The Stealth 2 HD is undoubtedly one of the most forgiving fairway woods I’ve ever hit. The forgiveness is more on a max-GI level than anything.
Impressively, you can expect to lose only a few yards of distance on mis-hits compared to sweet-spot strikes; depending on the severity of the mis-hit, you might not notice any distance loss at all. Dispersions are very tight as well.
None of this is really surprising given the back-weighted CG which helps produce an extremely high MOI. MOI, which stands for moment of inertia, refers to how resistant the face is to twisting when the ball impacts the face off-center.
The Stealth 2 HD is very stable through impact even when you don’t make your best swing.
Typical trajectories produced by the Stealth 2 HD are high with a moderate draw bias. Flight apex and descent angle are higher than the standard Stealth 2.
I mentioned in my review of the Stealth 2 that I found the spin to be just right. With the Stealth 2 HD, it’s a little higher than what works best for me, but I reckon it will be ideal for most high handicappers who would play this club.
Generally speaking, it’s very easy to get the ball up in the air. Workability isn’t so great which is expected, but there unfortunately aren’t many options for tweaking your ball flight given the bonded hosel and lack of adjustable weighting.
However, the generous V Steel sole makes for a fairway wood that is very playable, so you can count on the Stealth 2 HD to get you out of a variety of lies you might find yourself in on the course.
As previously mentioned, the Stealth 2 HD fairway wood features a 200cc oversized head; I find it does a really good job of inspiring confidence when set up behind the ball.
Along with this is a shallower face relative to the depth of the head. This makes it easier to hit off of tight lies (fairway) and get the ball airborne.
Aside from these factors as well as a slightly altered sole aesthetic, the overall look is very similar to the standard Stealth 2, with a clean gloss crown and laser alignment aid that sits prominently across the top of the face.
In terms of looks, the main goal with any game-improvement fairway wood should be to inspire confidence at address, and the Stealth 2 HD excels in that respect.
The Sound & Feel
The feel of the Stealth 2 HD fairway wood is very close to the regular Stealth 2, although I did find it to be a touch more back-heavy. The balanced, crisp “snap” at impact is generally very satisfying and there’s plenty of responsiveness off the face.
Sound is also similar to the Stealth 2 but I found it to be just a little bit lower-pitched.
I was expecting mis-hit feel to be better than it was. To me, it didn’t feel much different than the Stealth 2 despite the fact that GI models should have a more consistent feel across the face.
I’m very impressed with the smoothness and cleanness of the turf interaction. The V Steel sole is a significant asset here as it minimizes resistance through the shot whether it’s from the fairway or from thicker rough.
Where To Buy This Fairway Wood Online
You can order a Stealth 2 HD fairway wood with your choice of loft and shaft on TaylorMade’s official store, or you can optionally do full customization through their Custom Shop. The women’s version can be purchased here.
Another option is PGA TOUR Superstore. They offer customization, 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.
The TaylorMade Stealth 2 HD fairway wood is aimed at golfers looking for a higher trajectory with modern distance and outstanding forgiveness.
All things considered, it does what you would expect it to as the game-improvement model in the Stealth 2 line. It’s easy to get the ball airborne, and the club inspires confidence and is playable out of a variety of lies.
I would have liked a little better consistency in feel across the face, but aside from this minor gripe, there’s not much to criticize from an objective standpoint. This club could absolutely be worth it for most mid and high handicappers.
Interested in the Stealth 2 HD fairway wood? Have you played it? What’s your experience? Let us know in the comments below.
TaylorMade Stealth 2 HD Fairway Wood
- Could be a game-changer for many higher handicappers
- Remarkably forgiving
- High launch with good spin
- Draw bias helps mitigate misses to the right
- Very confidence-inspiring at address
- Generous turf interaction with excellent playability
- Feel consistency across the face could be better