Gear: TaylorMade Stealth Plus+ Rescue, Stealth Rescue clubs
Price: $299 (Stealth Plus+ at Carl’s Golfland and Dick’s) with Project X HZRDUS Smoke Red shaft and Lamkin Crossline 360 grip. $279 (Stealth at Carl’s Golfland and Dick’s) with Fujikura Ventus Red FW shaft
Specs: Stainless steel bodies with carbon-fiber crowns (Stealth) and V-shaped sole design. Loft offerings: 17, 19.5 and 22 degrees for the Stealth Plus+; 19, 22, 25, 28 and 31 degrees for the Stealth
Available: Feb. 4 for the Stealth, April 1 for the Stealth Plus+
In late 2019, TaylorMade hosted a commercial photo and video shoot with several of the company’s highest-profile players including Tiger Woods, Dustin Johnson, Matthew Wolff and Collin Morikawa. Rory McIlroy was there too, and one of the clubs he tried that day was a SIM Max Rescue club (from $161.99 at Global Golf). It had the same loft as his 5-wood, and McIlroy loved the ball flight and how easy it was to hit. The following year, that club found its way into McIlroy’s bag.
If there was a criticism TaylorMade heard from players regarding the SIM and SIM2 Rescue clubs, it is that they were too similar, with both clubs getting the ball up quickly and easily. Elite golfers wanted to see something more iron-like, so with the release of the Stealth and Stealth Plus+ Rescues for 2022, that is what TaylorMade tried to deliver.
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The Stealth’s carbon-fiber crown helps lower the center of gravity. (TaylorMade)
The Stealth Rescue club is a fairway-wood style hybrid that is designed to be long and forgiving.
Designers gave the Stealth TaylorMade’s first carbon-fiber crown in a hybrid. TaylorMade had not added one in a hybrid before because it would require a shelf to hold the crown, a bonding agent and other elements that added weight. Sure, the carbon fiber would be lighter than the stainless steel it replaced, but to only save 1 or 2 grams of weight, it was not worth the trouble. Now, thanks to improvements in manufacturing, TaylorMade’s carbon-fiber crown reduces 7 grams from the top of the club. Combined with an internal weight pad in the sole, it helps lower the center of gravity and encourages higher-flying shots.
The Stealth is designed more like a fairway wood than the Stealth Plus+ Rescue. (TaylorMade)
TaylorMade designers also gave the Stealth a face with Inverted Cone, a tried-and-true design that makes some parts of the face thick and others thinner to broaden the sweet spot and protect ball speed on mis-hits.
TaylorMade Stealth Rescue (TaylorMade)
To further improve performance on low-struck shots, TaylorMade designed the Stealth Rescue with a large Speed Pocket slot in the sole directly behind the leading edge. It helps the bottom of the face flex more on thin shots and reduces spin.
TaylorMade Stealth Plus+ Rescue club (TaylorMade)
The Stealth Plus+ is a vastly different club and is designed to appeal to better players who want an iron-style hybrid that gives them more distance along with control and workability.
While the Stealth Rescue has a bonded hosel to reduce weight at the top of the head, the Stealth Plus+ has an adjustable hosel that allows players and fitters to increase or decrease the loft by as many as 1.5 degrees. For better players, that will be important to help maintain logical distance gaps.
The Stealth Plus+ has a squared hitting area and iron-style performance. (TaylorMade)
The Stealth Plus+ has a Speed Pocket in the sole, but it is an all-steel construction and does not have a carbon-fiber as with the Stealth. Why? TaylorMade wanted to make the Stealth with the lowest center of gravity possible to help golfers hit high shots easily. With the Stealth Plus+, which is designed for better players, the center or gravity was intentionally raised to provide a more iron-like flight. However, because the club is hollow and the shaft is longer than an iron with the same loft, golfers should produce more ball speed and distance with the Stealth Plus+.