An excellent all round driver, ideal for anyone who wants a compact, but not intimidating, look at address and the ability to move weights to dial in a specific shot shape. We were impressed by the added forgiveness on offer from this version of the driver.
Premium aesthetics and powerful feel
Consistently good distance
Not as exciting as the previous generation
Why you can trust Golf Monthly
One of the most exciting equipment launches of 2022 came from TaylorMade and the unveiling of its new ‘Carbonwood Age’. For the first time, the brand had used carbon for the face of its drivers, promising weight-saving gains that would boost performance. The striking matt black crown and contrasting red face gave the original Stealth models a real stand-out aesthetic appeal that worked well, both behind the ball and on the shelf.
WATCH: Gear Of The Week show discusses the new TaylorMade Stealth 2, Cobra Aerojet and Ping G430
For me, the original Stealth Plus was one of the best golf drivers of the year and it became a fixture in my golf bag for the whole of 2022. Twelve months on and TaylorMade has released its second generation Stealth products. In the new drivers, this means a 2-gram lighter carbon face with an advanced ‘inverted cone technology’ that, the brand says, has helped designers improve the forgiveness on offer. Of the three new models, the Stealth 2 Plus driver has the most compact footprint at address (the Stealth 2 and Stealth 2 HD are slightly bigger to look down on) and features a 15g sliding weight to help golfers dial in their ball flights.
Given the standout aesthetic appeal of the original Stealth family (which cleverly highlighted the technology in the face), we weren’t expecting any seismic changes in 2023. And so, what you get with the new version is a refined appearance. The matt black crown has been replaced by a gloss-black finish. If you look closely, you’ll see the carbon effect but it is very subtle. The gallery of images below shows the difference between the old and new versions at address.
Interestingly, TaylorMade has made the red face slightly brighter this time round. It’s hardly night and day but we noticed the difference. The result of the crown/face combination is something that looks a little less ‘stealthy’ but perhaps a fraction bigger and more confidence-inspiring - being able to see the loft on the face at address more clearly really helps this.
We wanted to see how the Stealth 2 Plus compared to the previous generation so I tested both on a GC Quad launch monitor at Foresight Sports HQ. Using Titleist Pro V1x golf balls, both drivers were set up the same with 9˚ loft and a Mitsubishi Tensei 65 X shaft. The data chart below below shows what happened:
As you can see, the original Stealth Plus still performed very well indeed. The new model offered me slightly more head and ball speed. It also launched a little lower but spun just over 200rpm more. All this equated to a lower ball flight and whilst the new model was 5 yards shorter through the air on average, the overall distance from both drivers was similar.
As you can see from my indoor testing, there wasn’t much between the two models. However, with the developments in the second generation products, TaylorMade is emphasising improved forgiveness. This includes a carbon composite ring at the back of the head that, again, allows weight to be saved and used to aid performance. I wanted to see what this meant in a real world environment so I took the Stealth 2 Plus with me onto the course at Prince’s.
On what was one of the coldest days I’ve ever played, I was surprised and impressed by the consistent distance I was able to generate off the tee. As an example of this, the Arccos graphic below shows my opening drive of the round. Wearing plenty of layers and simply trying to get the club on the ball, I certainly wasn’t expecting 288 yards from an off centre strike. The best drives I hit on the day were up there with what I would have expected from my original Stealth Plus but I felt like I got more from my mis-hits with the new version.
Another thing I picked up on while testing the new Stealth 2 Plus on the course was the feel. For me, this is a really important part of the overall package and I was pleased the second generation Stealth still felt powerful through impact. If anything, I thought it was a fraction more muted than the previous generation. I really liked it but if you prefer a higher-pitched contact sound, you might find this isn’t lively enough for you. It is certainly a quieter impact sound than you’ll find from drivers like the PING G425 LST and the Srixon ZX7 Mk II driver.
Having used the original Stealth Plus, I can see myself switching into the new model very easily. It may have lost something of the sleek, toned-down elegance of the original Stealth but what you get instead is a driver that not only looks more user-friendly but also delivers impressive forgiveness out on the course.
Get the Golf Monthly Newsletter
Subscribe to the Golf Monthly newsletter to stay up to date with all the latest tour news, equipment news, reviews, head-to-heads and buyer’s guides from our team of experienced experts.
In July 2023, Neil became just the 9th editor in Golf Monthly's 112-year history. Originally working with the best coaches in the UK to produce instruction content, he has also presented many Golf Monthly videos looking at all areas of the game from Tour player interviews to the rules of golf.
Throughout his time with the brand he has also 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: PING Blueprint S (4&5), PING Blueprint T (6-PW) Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM7 50˚, 54˚, 60˚ Putter: Odyssey Triple Track Ten Ball: Titleist Pro V1X
‘It’s Been A Long Time Coming' - Anthony Kim Breaks Silence On Pro Golf Return
The American has been confirmed as a season-long wildcard for LIV Golf and will make his debut in Jeddah this week
By Jonny Leighfield Published
'It's Embarrassing' - Rocco Mediate's Brutal Response To Talor Gooch's McIlroy Masters Comment
The 2008 US Open runner-up has hit back at the LIV golfer's remarks on his SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio show
By Mike Hall Published
Witness The Social-Media Roast Of Talor Gooch (And Some Of His Replies) After He Suggested Potential Rory McIlroy Masters Win Would Have An Asterisk Attached
The LIV golfer said that if McIlroy were to complete his career grand slam at this year's Masters, it would not be as meaningful - and Golf Twitter reacted they only way they know how...
By Jonny Leighfield Published