By Neil Tappin published
As we head towards a new golf season, many of the major equipment manufacturers have launched new gear to grab your attention. One of the most eye-catching is the TaylorMade Stealth driver range, with its red, carbon fibre face that promises to deliver more ball speed and greater distance.
However, for many golfers, the idea of spending over $550 (£450) on one new golf club is a stretch they’re unwilling to make, especially as the sale price of the previous generation product predictably starts to fall. So the question is, is the TaylorMade SIM2 driver still worth buying in 2022 and what do you need to consider?
Let’s start by looking at the basic performance. We tested the SIM2 Max up against the equivalent 2022 Stealth model using the same loft and shaft (and Titleist Pro V1x golf balls) - here is the Trackman data.
As you can see, the performance of the newer model was better - but not drastically. Whilst the Stealth carried 8 yards further through the air than the SIM2 Max, it is worth noting the clubhead speed was 3mph faster with the newer model (we weren’t trying to swing the club any harder!). This undoubtedly had an impact on the distance gain. However, also worth noting is the Smash Factor which was higher with the SIM2 Max so this might suggest the new driver model is more forgiving on mishits.
So in summary, we really liked the new Stealth driver, it is likely to be one of the best golf drivers of 2022, but the difference in performance between the two models was not vast. However, if you are thinking about upgrading and wondering which generation to go for, there are other factors to consider as well.
With all the talk about its new carbon faced driver, TaylorMade is clearly drawing a line in the sand. This is the direction they are moving in and the new tech brings with it a striking new look. There is no doubt the SIM2 still looks both aspirational in the bag and inviting down behind the ball but we think it will start to look like an older model sooner than if TaylorMade had decided against highlighting its new tech in such an eye-catching way. Quite simply, the Stealth is clearly the new model.
These types of cosmetic updates (along with the complete name change) will be more of a stumbling block for some than others but it is worth considering for anyone weighing up new versus old golf clubs.
Can you still get custom fitted for the SIM2?
Once the Stealth drivers have hit retail on February 4th, the opportunity to be custom-fitted into the old SIM2 driver is likely to be limited. What’s more, as older products are overtaken by newer versions, so the availability of certain parts is likely to dwindle. It might be that you can find exactly the right head, with the correct loft and shaft for your game but equally there may be some gaps in availability. Finding the right set up is likely to need some shopping around.
The good news is that whether you want the latest model or are happy to go with a one generation old driver, there is plenty of performance to be had. Of course, the price will be a key factor here but there are some other important considerations too.
Neil has worked for Golf Monthly for over 15-years. 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. Neil is currently a 2-handicap golfer who has played the game for as long as he can remember. In his role 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! 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: Titleist TSi3 Fairway Wood: Titleist TSi2 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
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