• TaylorMade Stealth fairway wood and hybrids offer increased forgiveness and launch
  • Two models: Taylormade Stealth fairway wood and Stealth Plus fairway wood
  • Prices: Fairway woods starting at $329.99 | Hybrids starting at $279.99

TaylorMade Stealth fairway wood and hybrids. We’ll get to the obligatory features and benefits in a moment.

But, first, the most pressing question: “Where’s the beef … um … carbon?”

Sorry, wrong campaign. But presuming you’ve read the 2022 Taylormade Stealth driver article first, I’m sure it’s what you were wondering.

If this truly is a new era, one where carbon overtakes titanium as the material of choice, why not invite fairways and hybrids to the party?

There’s a good reason. Several, actually.

STICKING WITH TITANIUM

TaylorMade Stealth fairway wood

TaylorMade will remind you that carbon construction is a theme across the entire Stealth family. But given the lurid red carbon face on the 2022 Taylormade Stealth driver and the copious attention it attracts, consumers are likely to first associate Stealth with a carbon-face construction. Fair enough.

That said, two-and-a-half problems prevented TaylorMade from employing a similar carbon-face design in the Stealth fairway wood and hybrids.

First, the faces on fairway woods and hybrids have less surface area, which mitigates the total weight savings benefit of the lighter carbon material. Secondly, the carbon face requires a support structure that could limit how much the face is able to flex.

Reason 2.5 is the overarching reality that TaylorMade feels the combination of ZATECH titanium face and Speed Pocket slot is really good and arguably class-leading.

To draw a parallel, part of the reason it took TaylorMade two decades to bring a carbon face to market in a mainstream driver had nothing to do with carbon. Engineers continued to explore and develop new forms of titanium that offered commensurate cost and performance. Basically, without advanced versions of titanium, there might be more of an incentive to try and replace it. But, for now, that’s not the case regarding fairways and hybrids.

TAYLORMADE STEALTH FAIRWAY WOOD AND STEALTH PLUS

TaylorMade Stealth fairway wood

Two models with a few commonalities and several key differences. As one would think, the Taylormade Stealth Plus fairway wood has a few extra bells and whistles, highlighted by the ZATECH titanium face. It’s also the model more geared toward better players who likely prefer a smaller, more adjustable fairway wood. Comparatively, Stealth has a slightly larger footprint and a fixed (non-adjustable) hosel.

Beyond the titanium face, the Stealth Plus features an infinity-edge carbon crown which gives it 12 percent more carbon surface as compared to the SIM2 Ti fairway. The harvested weight is used to support the reallocation of weight around the 80-gram V Steel sole.

TaylorMade says the Stealth Plus has the lowest CG ever in an adjustable TM fairway. I don’t have the numbers in front of me but I think the “adjustable” qualifier is likely important.

Regardless, compared to SIM2 Ti, Stealth Plus retains its compact 175cc footprint while boosting MOI (forgiveness) and face area, each by 12 percent. Finally, Stealth Plus includes an adjustable hosel that can change loft by +/- 1.5 degrees.

STEALTH STORY

The tech story around the standard Stealth fairway is, by comparison, not quite as exciting. That said, I won’t be surprised if Stealth outsells Stealth Plus at retail. For one, it’s less expensive. More importantly, it’s likely the better fit for most golfers.

TaylorMade Stealth fairway wood (190cc) is slightly larger than Stealth Plus (175cc). The primary benefit to the larger footprint is that it allows for a lower/more rear CG location. A 3D carbon crown saves several grams of weight which is repositioned low/rear to help pull the CG low/rear in the head.

As compared to Stealth Plus, Stealth is marginally more forgiving with natively higher launch and spin.

In place of the ZATECH titanium, TaylorMade uses a stainless steel C300 face material with its standard Twist Face bulge and roll technology.

COMMONALITIES

TaylorMade Stealth fairway wood sole

Both Stealth models leverage TaylorMade’s Thru-Slot Speed Pocket. We see similar technologies across the industry and, regardless of name, the purpose is fundamentally the same. That is, to allow the face to flex as much as possible and preserve ball speed on low-face strikes. Or what I like to call my patented “thin-to-win” shot.

Additionally, the TaylorMade Stealth fairway wood and Stealth Plus feature a laser etched alignment aid in place of the typical color contrast crown. Leveraging optical engineering and player testing, TaylorMade designers found players benefit from a fairway wood that appears a bit more open at address. If that sounds counterintuitive, it is. We tend to think an open face works against the tendency of amateur golfers who fight a slice.

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But how a golfer perceives lines, shapes and colors impacts face alignment and ultimately how the club is delivered at impact. TaylorMade had testers hit the same head with different visual alignment cues. Without the alignment aid making the head appear slightly more open, shots ended up an average of six yards right of target. Going back even further, the original Gloire Reserve product stumped TaylorMade’s crack team of engineers. Throughout product testing, it exhibited more of a right shot bias than the mass properties could explain. Basically, it was designed to do one thing and it kept doing something else. The reason? Yep, visual alignment.

File that little nugget under information that won’t show up during robot testing. Score one for the humans.

Stealth fairway wood

TAYLORMADE STEALTH AND STEALTH PLUS HYBRIDS

The two hybrid models follow suit so we won’t belabor redundant tech details. What’s clear is we’re seeing more professional and high-level amateur golfers adopting higher-lofted fairway woods and hybrids. I won’t get into the entire story at this juncture but a good bit of it is because mainline manufacturers have at least one option that caters to the needs of this group.

With TaylorMade, that model is Stealth Plus. It has a compact footprint, adjustable hosel and iron-like, squared-off toe profile. Critical observers will note the ongoing influence of Adams hybrid designs. TaylorMade acquired Adams Golf in 2012. The primary benefit of the Stealth Plus is that it gives golfers more control over trajectory and shot shape but with more forgiveness than a typical long iron.

Conversely, the standard Stealth hybrid is designed with a lower/rear CG to promote a higher ball flight and a skosh more forgiveness. For the first time in its history, TaylorMade is utilizing a carbon crown which frees up seven grams of discretionary weight. This additional weight alongside the V Steel sole keeps plenty of mass low while maintaining clean turf interaction.

Both Stealth and Stealth Plus hybrids utilize a C300 face material (same as the Stealth fairway), Speed Pocket thru-slot and Twist Fast bulge and roll technology.

SOMETHING FOR THE LADIES

TaylorMade is including a women-specific Stealth fairway and Stealth hybrid models. This is always a bit of a touchy subject. On one hand, TaylorMade does a nice job of tweaking the aesthetic in a way that doesn’t scream “shrink it and pink it.” Silver is clean and classy without being overly feminine. Additionally, it makes sense to offer a version to fit the needs of slower swing speed players who can benefit from more loft and lighter components.

The risk is that you potentially eliminate golfers who otherwise fit the specs but simply won’t play a “women’s” club. The counterargument is that you’re likely going to sell more clubs to any target population by, well, doing things specifically to cater to that specific group.

C’est la vie.

TAYLORMADE STEALTH FAIRWAY WOOD SPECS + PRICING

STEALTH PLUS FAIRWAY WOOD

LOFTS: Rocket 3/13.5, 3/15 and 5/19 degree versions.

STOCK SHAFTS: Project X HZRDUS Smoke RDX Red 70. (Additional no upcharge shafts available)

GRIP: Lamkin Crossline Black/Red.

DATE: pre-sale Jan. 4 / full availability Feb. 4

PRICE: $429.99

STEALTH FAIRWAY WOOD

LOFTS: 3/15, 3HL/16.5, 5/18, 7/21 and 9/24 degree

STOCK SHAFTS: Fujikura Ventus Red (Non-VeloCore) FW 5/6. (Additional no upcharge shafts available)

GRIP: Lamkin Crossline Black/Red

DATE: pre-sale Jan. 4 / full availability Feb. 4

PRICE: $329.99

STEALTH PLUS HYBRID

LOFTS: 2/17°, 3/19.5° and 4/22°.

STOCK SHAFTS: Project X HZRDUS Smoke RDX Red HY. (Additional no upcharge shafts available)

GRIP: Lamkin Crossline Black/Red.

PRICE: $299.99

STEALTH HYBRID

LOFTS: 3/19°, 4/22°, 5/25°, 6/28° and 7/31°.

STOCK SHAFTS: The stock shaft is the Fujikura Ventus Red (Non-VeloCore). Additional no upcharge shafts available.

GRIP: Lamkin Crossline Black/Red.

PRICE: $279.99

 

For more information, visit TaylorMadeGolf.com.