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In this review, I’ll be taking a look at the TaylorMade Stealth Plus driver.
The Stealth Plus (Stealth+) driver features the same layered carbon fiber face that characterizes the Stealth family, but with a sliding sole weight that can be used to dial in your preferred shot shape.
TaylorMade claims to have been working on the carbon face transition for 20 years and calls it the “Carbonwood Age”.
The Stealth Plus is designed to deliver unprecedented distance. But how does it actually perform when put to the test? How does it compare with the Stealth, and does it set a new bar in performance? Is it worth putting in the bag?
Read on to find out what you need to know to make an informed purchase.
What are the reviews like?
In addition to winning a gold medal on the 2022 Golf Digest Hot List, the Stealth Plus driver has been received extremely well by critics and consumers.
Examples include average ratings of 4.8/5 (98% recommended) on PGA TOUR Superstore, 5/5 on Global Golf, 5/5 on Rock Bottom Golf, and 4.8/5 on the TaylorMade store. It actually appears to be the most popular model in the Stealth family.
Moreover, the Stealth Plus driver has been used by at least 15 professional golfers including Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson, Collin Morikawa, and Scottie Scheffler.
What People Like
- length can’t be beat once ball flight is dialed in
- sliding weight provides the flexibility to work the ball
- modern, compact look at address
- unique sound
- penetrating flight does well in windy conditions
What People Don’t Like
- can be quite unforgiving when mis-hit
- low spin and lower launch requires a fast swing speed
The Stealth Plus driver takes advantage of the same features and technologies as the Stealth, namely:
- 60X Carbon Twist Face: comprised of 60 layers of carbon sheets strategically arranged to maximize ball speeds in all regions. It’s 40% lighter than an equivalent titanium face and also larger than previous TaylorMade SIM faces.
- Nanotexture Cover: a new nanotexture technology makes up a polyurethane cover which encases the Twist Face. This cover is designed to optimize launch and spin.
- Asymmetric Inertia Generator: improves aerodynamics for maximum clubhead speed.
- Thru-Slot Speed Pocket: the most flexible Speed Pocket design yet increases sole flexibility, leading to increased ball speed and forgiveness low on the face.
The key difference is that instead of extra weight being placed in the back, the Stealth Plus features a sliding weight track for fine-tuning your ball flight.
The 10g weight contained in this track can be left in the middle for balanced performance or be shifted towards the heel/toe for draw/fade bias, respectively.
The Stealth Plus driver is available in 8°, 9°, and 10.5° standard lofts at 460CC.
TaylorMade is also offering the MyStealth Plus driver which allows for custom colours and other personalization on the carbon face, crown, and body.
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 Stealth Plus driver comes stock with the Project X HZRDUS Smoke Red RDX, Mitsubishi Kai’li White 60, Graphite Design Tour AD IZ 6, and Mitsubishi Diamana ZF 60 graphite shafts. The stock grip is the Lamkin Crossline 360. Custom options are available.
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 Plus driver. Click or zoom to enlarge.
The difference in length between the Stealth Plus and Stealth during my tests was negligible; for all intents and purposes, they are equally as long.
Despite TaylorMade advertising the Stealth Plus as having the lowest spin in the Stealth family, it was interesting that my spin rates were about the same as they were with the Stealth, if not even slightly higher (about 2200-2300 RPM). The position of the sole weight didn’t seem to affect this much at all.
It just goes to show you how individual things can be when it comes to club performance.
Many people report that the Stealth Plus is quite unforgiving on mis-hits. I did notice a drop in forgiveness compared to the Stealth, but the difference isn’t huge — maybe 10 yards or so of increased average dispersion.
Ball speed preservation was a little worse, coming in at roughly 30 yards on average for moderate mis-hits.
What’s more important, in my view, is the fact that you can use the sliding weight to counteract whatever your shot shape tendency is. For example, if you’re a better player who tends to draw or hook the ball, moving the weight towards the toe will add helpful fade bias.
The Stealth Plus driver has a neutral flight bias with the weight in the center, a fade bias with the weight towards the toe, and a draw bias with the weight towards the heel. But your exact trajectory will depend largely on your swing.
In addition to the weight track, you can further tweak your ball flight using the adjustable loft sleeve.
Unsurprisingly, the Stealth Plus is very workable and controllable. You only need to look at the slew of pro golfers who have put it in the bag to know that it can meet the demands of even the best players. Whether the objective is to get around a dogleg or hit a high bomb over some trees, you should be able to do it with no issue.
At address and from the front, the Stealth Plus driver looks practically identical to the Stealth, with a relatively compact pear shape, patterned red carbon face and clean, all-black crown.
The key difference is the sole where a sliding weight track has been introduced next to the Speed Pocket. This pushes the Stealth logo towards the back. The “wing-shaped” region to the left of the logo has more of a silver colour, and the “Plus” decal sits near the hosel to let you know it’s the adjustable model.
As with the other models in the Stealth family, the look of the Stealth Plus driver has traditional as well as progressive elements. The unique red face pattern is distinctive but not over-the-top, contrasting nicely with the black crown when set up over the ball.
I think that while the look fits the “Stealth” moniker well, it’s going to be a “love it or hate it” kind of situation. Younger players will tend to find the look appealing, while old-time traditionalists will be more likely to shy away from it.
The Sound & Feel
In terms of sound, the Stealth Plus is very similar to the other Stealth models. Impact produces a fairly loud, sharp “snap”, and this is maintained well in mis-hit regions which some may find surprising given that it’s the least forgiving model.
I did find with the Stealth Plus, however, that the sound was even a little sharper with more resonance.
I mentioned in my review of the original Stealth that it was surprising how similar the sound & feel was to a titanium face, and the same is the case for the Stealth Plus.
Feel is very explosive, but I feel it’s right on the edge of being too “clicky” or hollow. If the feel was just a touch more solid and muted, I think it would be golden. The feel in mis-hit regions is decent, but it definitely lets you know when you make poor contact.
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.
The biggest draw of the Stealth Plus driver is undoubtedly its adjustability. This is bolstered by length that more or less matches the original Stealth, decent forgiveness, and the TaylorMade sound and feel that golfers have come to love.
The Stealth Plus is the most popular Stealth driver on the professional tours for a reason. But it’s also why I don’t recommend it for golfers who normally have trouble getting their driver airborne. Slower swingers should consider the Stealth or Stealth HD instead.
If you own the original SIM driver which also had a weight track, I would say the Stealth Plus is certainly worth the upgrade, although it does launch lower and spin less.
Are you interested in the Stealth Plus driver? Have you played it? What’s your experience? Let us know in the comments below.