Two weeks ago, Tiger Woods teed off at the PNC Championship with something new under his iconic Tiger headcover. We knew from photos that the new driver in the hands of the 82-time TOUR winner (and TaylorMade staffer) was a TaylorMade Stealth Plus.
The club had appeared on the USGA’s list of conforming driver heads just days before Woods played the PNC alongside his son Charlie. Given the traditional January release calendar, we assumed the new line would be launched shortly.
However, we didn’t have any additional details about the club or its curious red-and-black face. With the official launch of TaylorMade’s Stealth driver line today, however, we can offer some more details on the clubs Woods wielded en route to a second-place finish with son Charlie at Orlando’s Ritz-Carlton Golf Club.
Woods’ driver was a TaylorMade Stealth Plus, which is one of three models in the just-announced TaylorMade Stealth lineup. The other two family members are the Stealth and Stealth HD (High Draw). The Stealth Plus features an adjustable weight track and is meant to be more workable than the Stealth.
Tiger Woods, statements
“First of all, they have moved the (center of gravity) more forward so I’m able to curve the ball more, and you guys all know that I’ve always been a player that has worked the golf ball,” Woods said at the PNC.
“It’s given me the ability to hit draws and hit cuts. “I didn’t like having just only one shot. The driver setup that we had for Augusta allowed me to draw the golf ball. But when I hit the cut, it was really short.
I don’t have that difference anymore. They are very similar, which is huge. “And hey, got to love the colors”. The centerpiece technology of the Stealth driver line is likely one you’ve already seen in shots of Woods’ Stealth Plus: a carbon-fiber face.
In a surprising departure from industry-standard titanium, TaylorMade engineers turned to carbon. More specifically, 60 layers of strategically arranged carbon sheets to construct the face of the Stealth for better energy transfer.
TaylorMade touts a thinner, lighter, larger face that features a higher COR (coefficient of restitution) and improved face geometry. “In the mid-2000s, 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,” says Brian Bazzel, TaylorMade’s Vice President Product Creation.
“We realized 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”.
TaylorMade engineers took advantage of the lightweight carbon material by creating a 26-gram face, which is 40% lighter than a titanium face of equivalent size. Because of that weight savings, the face size of Stealth is 11% larger than SIM2 and SIM2 Max drivers and nearly 20% larger than the 2020 SIM driver.
“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”.
TaylorMade also worked to give the Stealth line better sound than previous carbon drivers. Instead of muted, low-energy sounds, engineers were able to create a bright and powerful sound and feel profile. The Stealth Women’s driver combines the technology of Stealth HD in a slightly lighter head weight and with a unique colorway and aesthetic.
It maintains the high MOI head design for easy, high-launch with a touch of draw. TaylorMade also announced a line of Stealth fairway woods, rescue clubs and irons on Tuesday. Woods had a 15-degree Stealth Plus 3-wood in his bag at the PNC Championship