So, we have all seen it at this stage, that red faced TaylorMade Stealth driver Tiger put in play at the PNC just before Christmas. But what’s under the hood of this big stick, and what’s it all about?
Well that red face is not just a paint job to suit Tiger’s favourite colour, it’s the beginning of the next generation of drivers from TaylorMade, the birth of the CarbonWood, more specifically a carbon fibre face, a face comprised of 60 layers of carbon sheets strategically arranged to optimise energy transfer. The birth of TaylorMade Stealth.
Why Carbon and why now? Titanium has been the cornerstone of driver technology for the last 20 years, but even at the beginning of the Titanium driver era, TaylorMade engineers knew that every material had its limit.
“In the mid-2000’s, our Research team developed an understanding that the weight of the face can affect impact efficiency, more specifically, the lighter the face, the more efficient the impact and the better the ball speed. We realised Titanium faces could only take us so far and carbon would be the face material of the future. This breakthrough design of a lightweight carbon face in Stealth, has created a whole new starting line, a new era of drivers, a new threshold of performance and a new platform for more innovation,” says Brian Bazzel, Vice President Product Creation The 60 layers of carbon fibre in Stealth help do exactly that by providing more speed with a higher COR and more precise face geometry through a lighter, but larger face.
TaylorMade engineers have taken advantage of the lightweight carbon material by creating a 26g face, which is 40 percent lighter than a titanium face of equivalent size. Because of that weight savings, the face size of Stealth is 11 percent larger than SIM2 and SIM2 Max drivers and nearly 20 percent larger than the 2020 SIM driver. The weight savings and larger face size made possible by the 60X Carbon Twist Face delivered a measurable ball speed increase during player testing when comparing Stealth Plus and Stealth to the 2021 SIM2 and SIM2 Max drivers.
We have seen carbon faced drivers before, but the same issues plagued these models in the past, spin and sound. Based on experience with older carbon headed clubs in the marketplace, you might expect the Stealth family of drivers to suffer from a muted and low-energy sound profile. However, engineers have been able to create a bright and powerful sound and feel profile that delivers an acoustic that actually sounds closer to a more traditional sounding driver and not a dull thud on impact.
On the spin side TaylorMade have included a Nanotexture Face Technology an innovative cover that sits on top of the 60 layers of carbon. The nanotexture cover is made from a thin polyurethane layer that creates a strong and flexible striking surface which serves to optimise distance based on improving launch conditions in both dry and wet conditions. This creates the face texture needed to produce the ideal amount of friction between the face and the ball at impact to reduce spin at impact in dry conditions. The nanotexture face also features full-face scorelines designed to provide improved spin performance in wet conditions. “The technological innovation of our nanotexture technology brings the entire face together and was a key to making this driver a reality. Without this revolutionary cover design, we could not have achieved the launch and spin performance required to extract the optimal performance in dry as well as wet conditions. Once we added the nanotexture technology to the grooves, we were able to unlock the full performance of a carbon face,” says Tomo Bystedt, Senior Director Product Creation, Carbonwood Drivers.
The combination of the nanotexture cover, Twist Face and TaylorMade’s ultra-flexible Thru-Slot Speed Pocket produce forgiveness and great ball speeds on strikes all across the face. Despite a larger face, clubhead speed does not decline with Stealth. The asymmetric Inertia Generator we first seen in SIM still creates advanced aerodynamics at the most critical phase of the swing – from the downswing to the moment right before impact. This optimises clubhead speed, while also allowing additional weight to be placed at the rear of the club to encourage higher MOI, high launch and improved forgiveness.
Stealth will be available in three head types, Stealth Plus, Stealth and Stealth HD, each with different performance chrematistics. All models are available for pre-order now and at retail on February 4, 2022.
Because of weight savings from the 60X Carbon Twist Face, engineers were able to incorporate the use of a 10g sliding weight track designed to help golfers control shot shape by shifting mass on the sole to create desired ball flight. Stealth Plus is designed to be the lowest spinning driver in the family. Stealth Plus has an RRP of €649 and will be offered in 8°, 9° and 10.5° lofts. Shaft offerings include Project X HZRDUS Smoke RDX Red 60 and Mitsubishi’s Kai’li White 60, with numerous custom shaft options available at no additional cost. They come stock with Lamkin’s Crossline Black/Red grip (50g).
Stealth benefits from the weight savings of the 60x Carbon Twist Face by more weight to be positioned low and deep in the head. This adds 15% more MOI when compared to Stealth Plus and is designed to provide 200-300 rpms more spin. Stealth and Stealth HD have an RRP of €629 and will be offered in 9°, 10.5° and 12° lofts. Stealth shaft offerings include Fujikura Ventus Red 5, with numerous custom shaft options available at no additional cost. Stealth HD shaft offerings include Fujikura Air Speeder 45, with numerous custom shaft options available at no additional cost. Both models come stock with Lamkin’s Crossline Black/Red grip.
Often, standard draw bias designs promote a right-to-left ball flight at the expense of forgiveness. By utilising the weight savings from the 60X Carbon Twist Face and shifting the Inertia Generator closer to the heel, we’re able to maintain draw-bias while creating the highest MOI in the Stealth family of drivers. While providing additional draw-bias, the Stealth HD will have similar back-spin performance to Stealth
The Stealth Women’s driver combines the technology of Stealth HD in a slightly lighter head weight and with a unique colourway and aesthetic. It maintains the high MOI head design for easy, high-launch with a touch of draw. Women’s stock offerings include the Aldila Ascent Ladies 45 shaft and the Lamkin Ladies Sonar grip. With an elevated focus on customisation and club fitting, women golfers can find a full array of components, including lightweight shafts, grips and more at TaylorMadeGolf.eu. The custom process allows us to build the ideal club for any golfer – it’s not women’s equipment or men’s equipment, but the right equipment.
MySTEALTH – A NEW LEVEL OF PERSONALISED PERFORMANCE
For those that are not a fan of the red face, Stealth will be available straight away on MyStealth will allow golfers to have advanced personalisation in the Stealth Plus model, golfers can choose from various options to create a driver look and feel to match their personal style:
- Face Colour – Six colour options include Red, Green, Yellow, Blue, Orange, and Grey
- Body Colour – Two colour options include Black and Chalk (right hand only)
- Crown Finish – Gloss or Matte, with or without the TaylorMade ‘T-logo’
- Sole Decal Colour – Eight colour options include Blue, Black, Red, Orange, Green, Gold, Pale Blue and Volt
- Head Covers – Mono or Colour
MyStealth is offered in the Stealth Plus model, with various cosmetic combinations. MyStealth will be available in Ireland at TaylorMadeGolf.eu for pre-order now as well as TaylorMade stockists starting February 4, 2022, at an RRP of €739. MyStealth will be offered in 9° and 10.5° lofts and features fully customisable shaft and grip components.