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Today, I’ll be reviewing the TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus rescue.
The Stealth 2 Plus is the better-player model in the Stealth 2 line of rescues. TaylorMade has given it a Tour-inspired, compact shape designed for control and workability, while maintaining a solid level of forgiveness expected from a hybrid.
How does the Stealth 2 Plus actually perform when put to the test? How does it compare to the other Stealth 2 models as well as the original Stealth Plus rescue? 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 Plus rescue won a gold medal on the 2023 Golf Digest Hot List.
The reception from critics has been somewhat mixed but generally positive. However, the hybrid enjoys a stellar average customer rating of 4.9/5 (99% recommended) on the TaylorMade store.
What People Like
- potential for tremendous distance
- more forgiving than original Stealth Plus
- lower launch is great for faster swingers
- ample adjustability
- compact and workable
What People Don’t Like
- still a distinct lack of forgiveness
- somewhat polarizing looks
- Carbon Crown: enables weight savings, allowing mass to be shifted lower in the clubhead for optimal launch.
- 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.
The main differences that set the Stealth 2 Plus apart are:
- a refined, compact, Tour-like shape that resembles more of an iron than a wood
- enhanced workability and control
- a more streamlined look at address
The Stealth 2 Plus rescue is available in 2R, 3R and 4R at lofts 17°, 19.5° and 22°, respectively.
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 graphite shaft is the Mitsubishi Kai’li Red HY and the stock grip is the Golf Pride ZGRIP Plus2. 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 Plus rescue. Click or zoom to enlarge.
The main thing with the Stealth 2 Plus is that it’s going to produce a more penetrating ball flight with a slightly lower launch than the standard and HD models.
As a result, golfers who will tend to see the best distance results with this club are those with faster swing speeds and naturally higher trajectories — especially those who have the skill to be able to make good contact consistently.
For me personally, I was getting a few yards less total distance compared to the standard Stealth 2 model. Clubhead speed, ball speed and smash factor were very comparable.
Even though TaylorMade states on their website that the Stealth 2 Plus has “mid” spin like the Stealth 2 HD, it was producing the lowest spin during my testing by a couple hundred RPMs on average.
Let’s start with the good news: the Stealth 2 Plus is distinctly more forgiving than the original Stealth Plus rescue, both in terms of ball speed preservation and dispersions. To me, this is what’s most important considering who the Plus model is meant to serve.
The not-so-good news (or neutral news depending on the kind of golfer you are) is that the Stealth 2 Plus is still relatively unforgiving.
If you make a bad swing or make poor contact for whatever reason, the ball will let you know. You can expect to lose some yards and your shot may go considerably off-line. The Stealth 2 Plus will not “rescue” you in such cases.
For a better-player hybrid, the forgiveness of the Stealth 2 Plus is more than adequate. But I reckon it will not be sufficient for most mid and high handicappers who struggle to hit long irons.
Typical trajectories produced by the Stealth 2 Plus rescue are mid with a neutral flight bias.
Spin is medium as far as hybrids go, and the penetrating ball flights hold up well in the wind. You can use the hosel to adjust loft, face angle and lie which is very helpful for players who are not happy with the default launch and spin.
Despite the lower launch relative to the other models, getting the ball up in the air with the Stealth 2 Plus is still easy as you would expect from any hybrid, and there’s enough stopping power to hold greens.
I would argue that the Stealth 2 Plus rescue’s greatest strength is it versatility and workability. This is one of the most workable and controllable hybrids I’ve hit, but at the same time, you need a certain level of skill in the game to be able to really take advantage of this.
While the standard and HD models of the Stealth 2 look very similar to each other, the Stealth 2 Plus looks different from either of them.
Sure, the shape is more compact, less elongated from front to back, and more iron-like with less rounded edges, which suits the eye of most better players. But the crown is also much more streamlined.
The carbon section has an interesting glass-like texture to it, and unlike the other rescue models, there is no alignment aid (logo or face laser) nor does the Stealth 2 logo hug the perimeter. This is surely meant to keep things very simple and minimize distractions that the typical better player doesn’t need.
The Stealth 2 Plus also has an adjustable hosel and a screw weight on the sole which can be swapped out to alter flight characteristics.
The Sound & Feel
The feel of the Stealth 2 Plus fairway wood makes somewhat of a departure from the standard and HD models. While the latter two feel very lively and explosive, the Stealth 2 Plus feels less explosive and more solid, with a touch of softness to give it that premium, high-end touch.
Feel gets noticeably worse as you move away from the sweet spot, the main difference being a firmer, harsher feel. I found this to be most pronounced towards the heel and low on the face.
The sound is a slightly metallic, tight “whack” with a pitch that seemed slightly lower than the other Stealth 2 models during my testing.
Turf interaction is great owing to the V Steel sole, but it’s predictably not as smooth as the standard and HD models. I would categorize it as sharper, though if you can consistently make good contact, you should be very satisfied with it.
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.
The TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus rescue provides everything that better players want in a hybrid. It’s highly workable and controllable, but it also has ample distance potential, satisfactory forgiveness, and an easy launch compared to an equivalent long iron — all in an appealing compact profile.
It matches or outclasses the original Stealth Plus rescue in just about every respect. However, the look can be hit-or-miss depending on the person, and the degraded mis-hit feel and lack of forgiveness normally associated with better-player clubs still applies here.
Bottom line: if you’re a single-digit handicap, the Stealth 2 Plus is a hybrid you should seriously consider gaming.
Interested in the Stealth 2 Plus rescue? Have you played it? What’s your experience? Let us know in the comments below.
TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus Rescue
- Matches or exceeds the original Stealth Plus rescue in performance
- Extremely long under the right conditions
- Has an adjustable hosel
- Very controllable and workable
- Compact, streamlined look
- Feel in the sweet spot is unbeatable
- Lacks forgiveness
- More expensive than the other models