Gear: TaylorMade Stealth 2, Stealth 2 Plus, Stealth 2 HD fairway woods
Price: $349 (Stealth 2, Stealth 2 HD) with Fujikura Ventus TR Red shaft or Fujikura Speeder NX Red shaft and Golf Pride Z-Grip grips. $429 (Stealth 2 Plus) with Mitsubishi Kai’li Red shaft.
Specs: Carbon fiber crown with variable-thickness face and stainless steel design for the Stealth 2 and Stealth 2 HD; carbon fiber crown with titanium body and face plus as adjustable hosel for the Stealth 2 Plus. Lofts: 15, 16.5, 18, 21, 24 degrees for Stealth 2; 16, 19, 22 degrees for Stealth 2 HD; 15, 18 degrees for Stealth 2 Plus
Available: Feb. 17
Who They’re For: Golfers who want more forgiveness without sacrificing ball speed or distance.
The Skinny: By making the carbon fiber face even lighter and adding a carbon fiber sole, TaylorMade made the sweet spot in the three Stealth 2 drivers larger while significantly increasing the moment of inertia for enhanced stability.
The Deep Dive: Starting with the Rocketballz fairway woods in 2012, TaylorMade helped usher in a fairway woods revolution, delivering greater distance and ball speeds. With the first SIM fairway woods in 2020, the company hit upon a formula that proved popular with elite golfers and recreational players too – titanium fairway woods with carbon fiber crowns that also had heavy sole plates.
For 2023, TaylorMade has three Stealth 2 fairway woods: a titanium offering and two stainless steel clubs made to boost distance off the tee and from the turf.
The Stealth 2 fairway woods have Inverted Cone and Twist Face. (David Dusek/Golfweek)
Inverted Cone Technology (ICT) is a feature TaylorMade has added to woods for years, but in the Stealth 2 Plus, Stealth 2 and Stealth 2 HD fairway woods, TaylorMade has tried to take it to a new level.
Each face insert has a very thin center area (2.3 millimeters) that is ringed by a thicker region (up to 3.1 millimeters). Moving farther to the perimeter, the face thickness decreases again until it reaches 2.3 millimeters in the heel and around 2.6 millimeters in the toe. However, each face in the different clubs is subtly different to maximize the distance potential and broaden the sweet spot more effectively.
Stealth 2 Plus: Sliding Weight
TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus fairway wood (David Dusek/Golfweek)
As with last season’s Stealth Plus fairway wood, the Stealth 2 Plus is made using titanium, like most drivers, and has a carbon fiber crown. Those features save significant weight compared to comparably sized stainless steel fairway woods.
In the address position, the club has a glossy black crown and a clean look, but flipping the club over reveals something new. While previous titanium fairway woods had tungsten sole plates to help pull down the center of gravity, the Stealth 2 Plus fairway woods have a 50-gram moveable weight that slides forward and backward.
The sliding weight in the Stealth 2 Plus helps players hit the ball higher or lower. (David Dusek/Golfweek)
Loosening the stationary screw in the sole and sliding the weight back pulls the center of gravity back, which increases spin, encourages a higher launch and boosts the moment of inertia, so the club resists twisting on off-center hits more effectively. Sliding the weight forward decreases spin and lowers the launch angle.
With its adjustable hosel that allows players and fitters to increase or decrease the loft by as many as 2 degrees, the 15-degree Stealth 2 Plus 3-wood has an actual loft range between 13 and 17 degrees along with a 550-rpm spin range.
Standard Stealth 2: Shaping and center of gravity
TaylorMade Stealth 2 fairway wood (David Dusek/Golfweek)
While the Stealth 2 Plus is a titanium fairway wood, the Stealth 2 has a stainless steel body and face. TaylorMade gave it a carbon fiber crown and lowered the club’s top by 2 millimeters, which may not sound like a lot, but it helps lower the center of gravity to encourage a higher-flying shot.
The Stealth 2 fairway woods do not have an adjustable hosel, but they are available in five loft offerings between 15 degrees (3-wood) and 24 degrees (9 wood).
Stealth 2 HD: Extreme forgiveness
TaylorMade Stealth 2 HD fairway wood (David Dusek/Golfweek)
The Stealth 2 HD fairway woods have stainless steel bodies and faces as with the standard Stealth 2, but they have a lower-profile shape and are designed to be easier to hit and more forgiving.
The Stealth 2 HD is more extended from front to back than the Stealth 2, allowing designers to push its back weight farther from the hitting area. As a result, the moment of inertia in the Stealth 2 HD is 27 percent higher than that of last season’s Stealth fairway woods.
The Stealth 2 HD does not have an adjustable hosel and is available in 16-, 19- and 22-degree versions.