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In this review, I’ll take a comprehensive look at the TaylorMade Stealth 2 HD rescue.
The Stealth 2 HD (‘High Draw’) is engineered to be the most accessible and forgiving model in the Stealth 2 line of rescues. With a larger profile, higher lofts, draw bias, and deep CG that promotes a high launch, it’s designed to be the easiest Stealth 2 model to hit even for high-handicap golfers.
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 4H is evaluated in the case of hybrids. 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 TaylorMade Stealth 2 HD rescue 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 (95% recommended) on the TaylorMade store.
What People Like
- outstanding consistency in performance across the face
- easy to hit from the fairway
- solid feel
- sleek looks
- inspires confidence at address
What People Don’t Like
- length/distance is below average for some
- some experience durability issues
The Stealth 2 HD rescue features more or less the same technologies as the standard Stealth 2 model, namely:
- Carbon Crown: enables weight savings, allowing mass to be shifted deep in the clubhead to produce a high launch and draw bias.
- Twist Face & ICT: this tech optimizes face thickness at every point for maximum ball speed and forgiveness across the face. The face is thinnest in the sweet spot, becomes thicker in the region surrounding it, and becomes thinner again in the extreme heel and toe regions.
- 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 in an optimal position.
- Thru-Slot Speed Pocket: increases sole flexibility, leading to increased ball speed and forgiveness low on the face.
- Laser Alignment Aid: stretching across the top of the face, this visual indicator helps with alignment at address, allowing the crown to stay relatively clean.
The main differences that set the Stealth 2 HD apart include:
- a larger overall profile for added confidence at address and easier hitting
- a deeper center of gravity (CG) resulting in a higher launch, spin and MOI
- an internal draw bias which helps mitigate the right miss
The Stealth 2 HD rescue is available in 3R, 4R, 5R and 6R at lofts 20°, 23°, 27° and 31°, respectively.
Also available are:
- the Stealth 2 HD Women’s Rescue. 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 Stealth HD Combo Set which consists of the Stealth 2 HD 3-5 rescues and Stealth HD irons.
The stock graphite shaft is the Fujikura Speeder NX Red and the stock grip is the Lamkin Crossline Black/Red. Custom options are available.
If you’re interested, full information on the hybrid, shafts, grips and their specs can be found here.
Below are the specs of the Stealth 2 HD rescue. Click or zoom to enlarge.
How far you’ll hit shots with the Stealth 2 HD rescue will really depend on your swing. For the majority of players, it’s not going to be as long as the standard Stealth 2. It’s worth noting that MyGolfSpy rates the distance as being poor compared to other hybrids on the market.
The golfers who will see the best distance results are those who:
- struggle with a lower trajectory due to a slower swing speed
- have consistency issues with their ballstriking
- tend to lose distance due to a right miss (cuts or slices)
In this sense, the Stealth 2 HD does exactly what it’s supposed to.
During my testing with the 4H, I was seeing ball speeds that were roughly the same with a 1-2° higher launch and higher spin by around 250-300 RPMs.
The Stealth 2 was definitely longer for me in terms of carry distance, but it will depend on the individual.
As is expected with TaylorMade’s HD models, the Stealth 2 HD rescue is extremely forgiving, both in terms of ball speed and direction.
You can expect to lose only a few yards of distance on mis-hits compared to center strikes. This was my experience, and what I found is that contact that is just marginally off often doesn’t result in any distance loss at all.
Dispersions are tight as well, and this is undoubtedly thanks to the deeper CG position which increases MOI and helps reduce sidespin. MOI, or moment of inertia, refers to how resistant the face is to twisting when the ball impacts the face off-center.
Typical trajectories produced by the Stealth 2 HD rescue are high — a little bit higher than the Stealth 2 — with a pretty significant draw bias.
Spin is mid-high as far as hybrids go. One advantage of the HD model versus the standard is that because trajectories and spin tend to be higher, you get better stopping power into greens.
Regardless of your skill level, you should have no trouble holding greens with this club and it’s clearly the better option for this purpose versus an equivalent long iron.
Getting the ball up in the air with the Stealth 2 HD rescue is almost effortless, and the club is playable and easy to hit out of a variety of lies.
Workability is, predictably, the poorest in the Stealth 2 line, so golfers who want more of an ability to shape shots should look at the standard or Plus models.
The Stealth 2 HD rescue looks very similar to the regular Stealth 2, with an altered sole aesthetic and a little more elongation from front to back that helps give it a larger, more confidence-inspiring look at address.
I must say that I’m not a big fan of the red colour of the stock shaft and how it contrasts with the clubhead, but this is standard for TaylorMade’s “HD” clubs.
The club sets up very cleanly behind the ball. To me, it sits slightly more open than the Stealth 2, but I’m not bothered by it.
The Stealth 2 HD has no external sole weight or adjustable hosel. While the lack of adjustability is notable, it helps reinforce the sleekness of the design. This is complemented by a gloss crown and dark colour scheme with “stealthy” red accents.
The Sound & Feel
My thoughts about the feel and sound of the Stealth 2 HD rescue very much echo what I said in my review of the standard Stealth 2, particularly off the center of the face.
Feel is very lively and responsive, but there’s also a nice solidness to it that really helps it feel like a premium club.
Feel is pretty consistent as you move from the sweet spot into mis-hit regions. If anything, toe strikes feel a little less responsive, but feedback is about as informative as you would expect for a game-improvement club.
The sound at impact can be described as a slightly metallic, tight “whack” with a medium-high pitch. I found the sound in mis-hit regions to be significantly more subdued than center strikes.
Turf interaction is terrific, and if you’re looking for a hybrid that feels like it glides through the impact zone like silk, you can’t do much better than the Stealth 2 HD.
Where To Buy This Hybrid Online
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.
For the golfer looking for a hybrid that’s easy to hit, playable, high-launching and exceptionally forgiving, TaylorMade’s Stealth 2 HD is what you want to look at.
Performance is similar to the standard Stealth 2, except that some extra distance is traded for more stability and a higher launch.
This game-improvement club could be a game-changer for higher handicappers who struggle to hit their long irons consistently.
Interested in the Stealth 2 HD rescue? Have you played it? What’s your experience? Let us know in the comments below.
TaylorMade Stealth 2 HD Rescue
- Exceptional forgiveness
- High flight with draw bias to mitigate the right miss
- Clean setup at address
- Premium feel that holds up well in mis-hit regions
- Excellent turf interaction
- Distance is a little underwhelming