TaylorMade Stealth 2 vs Callaway Paradym Driver: Read Our Head-To-Head Verdict

Which of these brand new drivers for 2023 might be better for your game? We analyse the pros and cons of each

The TaylorMade Stealth 2 and Callaway Paradym driver
(Image credit: Future)

TaylorMade Stealth 2 vs Callaway Paradym Driver: Read Our Head-To-Head Verdict

The battle between TaylorMade and Callaway drivers is one that has been ongoing for years, with the 2023 offerings seeing the TaylorMade Stealth 2 going up against the Callaway Paradym (opens in new tab) as two of the strongest contenders within the best golf driver (opens in new tab) category.

Both companies certainly have strong reputations when it comes to drivers, with both producing some of the most forgiving drivers (opens in new tab) and best golf drivers for distance (opens in new tab) that money can buy, but how do their latest releases stack up against one another, and which one would be best for your game?

Having been rigorously tested by Golf Monthly (opens in new tab), we take a look at the performance head-to-head, with both certainly making an impact when it comes to distance, accuracy and forgiveness off the tee.

Technology

We start with the technology which, last year, we thought TaylorMade edged with its Stealth drivers (opens in new tab) as it introduced golfers to the 'Carbonwood Age'. For the first time in the brand’s history, we saw a carbon face and, for 2023, there are refinements to the original technology that promises to improve the driver, particularly when it comes to forgiveness. 

Firstly, in the Stealth 2 TaylorMade has lightened the 60X Carbon Twist Face by 2g and expanded the COR to allow for a larger sweet spot and better performance from strikes across the face. This boost also comes from a new face design, which includes an advanced version of Inverted Cone Technology (ICT), again to help ball speed and forgiveness on off-centre strikes.

The last notable point is the Carbon Reinforced Composite Ring, which has allowed TaylorMade to relocate the weight to optimize the Centre of Gravity and increase the Moment of Inertia. Essentially, it unites the driver head into a singular force and frees up additional mass, thus delivering even more forgiveness.

Whilst the story behind the Stealth 2 is more about refinement, Callaway suggests its Paradym drivers have received a more significant update over what we've seen before from Epic and Rogue ST Max. 

The key technology behind it being in the shape of a 360˚ carbon chassis. For the first time, Callaway's engineers have done away with any trace of titanium in the body of the driver, saving weight to use elsewhere for more forgiveness. We still see the Jailbreak A.I. technology that was present in the Callaway Rogue ST drivers (opens in new tab), but it has a new design for 2023, allowing for improved stability.

There's clearly a lot packed into this driver, which features in the Paradym X (opens in new tab) and Triple Diamond versions. What's more, it also has an A.I. Optimized face to improve downrange dispersion, as well as a Face Cup for faster ball speeds. 

Looks

One of the biggest differences between the two drivers is with the aesthetics. Both have made changes to the looks, with Callaway's arguably the most drastic, as it has said goodbye to the matte black finish and replaced it with a gloss crown that has a dark blue carbon effect.

It does subtly contrast with the black of the leading edge and the color scheme is very different to any other models released in 2023. What has stayed the same though is the classic head shape, with the Paradym standing out on the shelf thanks to the carbon effect and gold flashes on the sole. We thought it looked high tech and premium, with the blue crown providing something a little different.

The most notable feature of the original Stealth was the red face and matte black crown. The dark, 'stealthy' look created a compact appearance at address which we thought was aspirational but perhaps wasn't the most confidence-inspiring. In the Stealth 2, it's a different story, as the red face has been made brighter.

In addition to that, the black crown now has a gloss finish. These two elements combine to offer something more generous at address. There is also a red ring running around the back of the head, which highlights the Carbon Composite Ring technology, which we loved. These may be more eye-catching than the understated Cobra Aerojet (opens in new tab), but it will, ultimately, come down to personal preference. 

Feel

Both drivers are excellent performers in this category, producing a powerful feel and consistent performance. We begin with the Callaway and, instantly, we found that it struck a good balance between feeling powerful without sounding too dull and low-pitched through impact. 

It's bigger brother, the Rogue ST, has a slightly lower-pitched impact sound, with an extremely solid feel and, although we thought the Paradym was a little louder and livelier than the Rogue ST, the differences were small at best. 

One of the stand-out features of the Stealth was its powerful feel and impact. For 2023, we can gladly say that remains the case, as the Stealth 2 still feels incredible and consistent when struck from a range of different places off the face.

Both drivers feel superb - if anything the Callaway is a fraction higher pitched and has a 'hotter' sound than the TaylorMade, which is a little more muted and we thought created a slightly more powerful feel.

Performance

Here there was a common theme for both as, compared to their older models, we saw an increase in spin and carry. Distance wise, the Stealth 2 edged the Paradym by a matter of a few yards through the air but the Callaway delivered a lower flight and more roll. In truth, there wasn't much between them.

It's worth saying the Stealth 2 was longer than its previous models, the Stealth and SIM2 (opens in new tab). As mentioned, it did spin a little more than the original, but it is by no means drastic. One thing that came across clearly during testing though was the consistency of the ball flight. On off-centre strikes, the flight of the ball remained impressively consistent and, if you were to look at the data, the spin rates for all the shots struck only fluctuated in the Stealth 2 by about 700rpm. In previous models, they fluctuated by around 1,000rpm.

It's a similar story with the Paradym which, although it delivered a slower club speed than the Rogue ST Max, produced a faster ball speed and longer carry. We felt as if that impressive ball speed number from the Callaway speaks to the forgiveness at work within the head. It was noticeable during testing that despite inconsistencies of strike, the overall yardages were impressively consistent.

If you are after more distance in the Callaway head, then you could opt for the Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond driver (opens in new tab). We were impressed by the distance we picked up with this model, however, we did notice a drop off the consistency off center that we didn't see in the more playable standard Paradym.

Which one should you choose?

Choose the TaylorMade Stealth 2 if…
- You can work with a little higher spin for control
- You like the look of the daring red face
- You want a greater loft adjustability range

Choose the Callaway Paradym if...
- You are wanting a classic shaped driver that looks modern and premium
- A duller, shorter sound means more power to you
- You want the ability to alter shot shape through moveable weight

Neil Tappin
Digital Editor

In his current role, Neil is responsible for testing drivers and golf balls. Having been a part of the Golf Monthly team for over 15 years and playing off a handicap of 3, he has the experience to compare performance between models, brands and generations. For 2022 he thinks the main trend in drivers is: "In a word, consistency. Whilst all the brands are talking about ball speed (and the new drivers are certainly long), my biggest finding has been how much more consistent the ball flights are. Mishits don't seem to be causing the same level of drop-off or increase in the spin numbers. This means that more shots seem to be flying the way you want them to!" As far as golf balls are concerned the biggest development is in the, "three piece, non-Tour, urethane-covered section. For regular golfers, these models offer superb performance at both ends of the bag without denting your wallet quite as much as the premium Tour-played options."


Originally working with the best coaches in the UK to produce instruction content, he is now the brand's Digital Editor and covers everything from Tour player interviews to gear reviews. In his time at Golf Monthly, he has covered equipment launches that date back well over a decade. He clearly remembers the launch of the Callaway and Nike square drivers as well as the white TaylorMade driver families, such as the RocketBallz! If you take a look at the Golf Monthly YouTube channel, you'll see his equipment videos dating back over a decade! He has also conducted 'What's In The Bag' interviews with many of the game's best players like Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Jon Rahm. Over the years, Neil has tested a vast array of products in each category and at drastically different price-points. 

Neil is currently playing: Driver: TaylorMade Stealth Plus Fairway Wood: Titleist TSR2 Hybrid: Titleist TS3 Irons (4-9): Mizuno JPX 919 Forged Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 46˚, 50˚, 54˚, 60˚ Putter: Odyssey Triple Track Ten Ball: Titleist Pro V1X

With contributions from