Another performance packed fairway wood from TaylorMade with a fast face, high launch and stand out looks. A fitting is essential to dial in its exciting potential but the reward will almost certainly be a longer and straighter fairway wood than what currently resides in your bag.
Stand-out looks and high shelf appeal
Carbon inspired innovations can unlock bigger straighter hits with proper fitting
Easy to launch
HZRDUS Smoke RDX stock shaft won’t suit faster swingers
Expensive compared to the competition
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TaylorMade Stealth Plus Fairway Review
The irony of TaylorMade Stealth – a product line named for evading detection and moving secretly - is that it’s probably the biggest equipment story in golf just now.
You won’t find a bright red carbon face in the new Stealth fairway woods but you will find two new models inspired by TaylorMade’s Carbonwood revolution. The Stealth Plus and Stealth fairway woods replace the TaylorMade SIM2 fairway and the more forgiving TaylorMade SIM2 Max fairway.
In this review, we tested out the 15° Stealth Plus Fairway, the smaller headed model with an adjustable loft sleeve, that TaylorMade says offers an ‘ideal blend of playability, shot making and distance.’
Wrestle with the excessively tight-fitting headcover and you’ll find a striking club built around all the tour proven technology that has made TaylorMade one of the best fairway woods to own in golf. There’s a silver 80g V Steel sole, Speed Pocket and Twist Face. New in the Stealth line up is a handy laser-etched alignment aid on the top of the clubface, making it easy to line up. The clubface is made from ultra-thin Zatech titanium which promotes faster ball speed and pushes the limits of face flexibility.
The biggest difference between Stealth Plus and the SIM2 fairways is the infinity edge carbon crown. Its surface area is 12 percent larger than the SIM2 Titanium fairways. Using more carbon in the crown frees up weight to be moved lower in the clubhead and allows mass in the 80g V Steel sole to be re-engineered, for better turf interaction, reduced drag and higher launch. In theory, the carbon influence in Stealth should mean a longer and more forgiving fairway wood.
I tested this club around The Hunting Course at Slaley Hall, a former European Tour venue in Northumberland and on a TrackMan at Brancepeth Castle Golf Club. The feel from the face was phenomenal although the results were a little inconsistent because the mid-spin HZRDUS Smoke RDX shaft had a lively mid-section and seemed to kick more than I’d like on the downswing.
The launch monitor confirmed it was producing more launch and spin than was optimum for my swing speed and it was actually coming up shorter than the Stealth Fairway but it just shows how important a custom fitting can be in every area of the bag. Fully dialled in, this club would undoubtedly be hard to beat.
On the positive side, smash factor was high at 1.48, ball speed was second highest on test at 152.5 mph and average clubhead speed was actually highest at 103.3mph. I actually hit my longest shot of the session testing many different models across different manufacturers with the Stealth Plus - carrying a whopping 250 yards. While the control wasn't there for me, it certainly has the wow factor from the middle while delivering consistency off centre too.
There’s a lot more performance in the Stealth Plus fairway on offer than I was able to unpack but with the numerous shaft and loft options available, a custom fitting is more important than it has ever been to fully maximise both distance and accuracy. The Stealth Plus retails at £349 and is available with an extensive range of custom shaft options at no extra cost and a more specialist range of lofts - Rocket 3/13.5°, 3/15° and 5/19°.
Matthew Moore fell in love with golf hitting an old 3-iron around his school playing field imagining rugby posts were flags and long jump pits as bunkers.
He earned golf scholarships to the University of St Andrews and Emory University, Atlanta, U.S.A and dreamed of playing professionally before training as a journalist.
He has worked at Golf Monthly and CNN Sports as well as covering golf news, features, products and travel as a freelance writer and TV presenter for newspapers, magazines and corporate clients. Matthew has interviewed Ryder Cup Captains, Major Champions and legends of the game and rates sharing a glass of rioja and a bowl of nuts with Miguel Angel Jimenez as his favourite moment. Matthew plays off 1, has won five club championships and aced the first hole of Augusta National’s Par-3 course in 2002.
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