According to TaylorMade, we have now entered the age of the “Carbonwood.”
That’s right, the new Stealth drivers have a carbon face.
Over two decades in the making, the all-new 60X Carbon Twist Face looks set to shake up the world of driver technology.
Now if you want all of the juicy details on this incredible innovation, as well as the rest of the tech packed into the Stealth line-up, then simply click here.
According to TaylorMade’s vice president of product creation, Brian Bazzel, “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.”
The big claim from TaylorMade is that this new face material supersedes the titanium driver faces we have all grown very accustom to over the past few decades by unlocking more speed through higher COR.
Well, you’ll be glad to hear that, when compared with last year’s SIM2 Max, I did see increased ball speed during my launch monitor testing. Although I found the consistency of speed very strong across the face, it was my peak ball speed that left me astounded.
To hit the heady heights of 170mph is not something I am very accustomed to.
I’m not surprised that the Stealth driver is delivering on the speed front. TaylorMade has a real knack for producing fast, powerful machines, and the inclusion of the new carbon face seems to bolster the brand’s distance credentials.
Out on the golf course it was largely the same story, with distance and a feeling of power shining through.
Thankfully, however, that distance hasn’t come at the expense of forgiveness.
The weight savings from the new face, plus the asymmetrical inertia generator that we grew accustom to in the SIM drivers, mean that there is a significant amount of weight placed low and back within the head.
This makes Stealth remarkably user-friendly, with Twist Face technology also chipping in to offer great accuracy.
A fairway finder that offers heaps of distance, what’s not to love about that.
Now, during my testing I was able to get my hands on the Stealth and Stealth HD models. The standard Stealth will likely be the one to fit the majority of you reading this courtesy of its all-round performance characteristics.
The HD, meanwhile, offered a noticeable amount of draw-bias, while not sacrificing on the feeling of speed and forgiveness.
Personally, I’m really looking forward to giving the Stealth Plus a proper smash on the course. Its lower spin properties (roughly 200-300 rpm less than Stealth) would no doubt make it the best for my game. Plus, the return of the sliding weight track adds to the appeal for those of you who love to tinker with your driver.
Another crucial factor in how well you are likely to get on with a new driver is how it looks and feels.
Now although that red face might seem very off-putting at first, trust me when I say that you hardly even notice it after a few hits. It is more subtle than you might think and actually creates a nice contrast against the blacked-out topline. The detailing of the new line-up is also smart, with an unsurprisingly stealthy overall look, brought to life with some flashy red colour pops.
If the red isn’t to your taste, then don’t’ fret. TaylorMade is offering you the chance to customise everything from face, body and the sole decal colour, to the crown finish and even the headcover through its MyStealth programme.
One of the most intriguing aspects of this driver, however, is how it sounds and feels. You may have assumed that the carbon face would result in a dead, rather unpleasant sound at impact.
That simply isn’t the case. The engineers fine-tuned the acoustics with the use of internal ribbing and the result is a TaylorMade driver that sounds like a TaylorMade driver. Like its SIM predecessors, you can expect a relatively dull thwack at impact that feels both solid and powerful.
speed, forgiveness, launch conditions, looks and feel to one side,
there is another key reason why I’m such a big fan of these drivers.
They’re really cool.
To see a golf company come to the table with something truly innovative is not always a given. This isn’t a refined or improved technology, no, it’s brand spanking new and could end up changing drivers and driver face technology as we know it.
Marry that awesome tech story up with the performance and what you have is a brilliant family of drivers that I’m sure many of you will be desperate to give a bash for yourself. They will speak for themselves both on the golf course and the launch monitor, delivering a reliable tool to smash drives straight down the fairway for all levels of golfer.
So, have we entered the age of the carbonwood? Well, for TaylorMade most certainly. The brand has no intention of looking back, it will be carbon driver faces from here on out. Only time will tell, however, if the other big brands decided to follow on from TaylorMade’s lead.
Available: February 4 (pre-order now)
Price: Stealth Plus – £499 (MyStealth £579); Stealth, Stealth HD & Stealth Women’s – £469