TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus Fairway Wood Review

50 Words or Less

The TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus fairway wood has amazing adjustability thanks to the 50 gram sliding weight.  Truly like having multiple clubs in one.  Fantastic ball speed and surprising forgiveness.

Check out the new TaylorMade Qi10 Tour Fairway Wood HERE

Introduction

Movable weight, even in a fairway wood, is nothing new.  However, moving 50 grams is new, which is why the TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus fairway wood is one of the most talked-about club releases of early 2023.  With a massive sliding weight, this is essentially three fairway woods in one.  Does that mean it needs a spot in your bag?  I tested one to find out.

taylormade stealth 2 plus fairway wood address

Looks

The “Plus” side of the Stealth 2 family is geared toward better players.  That is readily apparent in the traditional dimensions of the Stealth 2 Plus FW at address.  This is a fairly compact club, both from heel to toe and from front to back.  The shape favors the toe slightly, but it would be a stretch to call it pear shaped.  A combination of matte and gloss elements may be a little busy for some, but all traditionalists will appreciate the centered placement of the alignment aid.

In the bag, your eye is immediately drawn to the silver sliding weight.  It’s the clear focal point and the only piece that opts out of the black and red color scheme.  I like the character and moderate size of the Stealth branding.  With such a compelling tech story on the sole, there was no need to overdo the other elements.

taylormade stealth 2 plus fairway wood headcover

TaylorMade’s Stealth 2 headcovers nod to both the name and the carbon fiber face of the driver.  Overall, the red/white/black color scheme isn’t new, but the details are strong.  I like the texture of the red segment, but I love the embossed “2” on the bottom panel.  Stealth, indeed.

taylormade stealth 2 plus fairway wood face

Sound & Feel

The impact sound of the TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus fairway wood is exceptionally crisp.  Volume is average.  What’s interesting is that it’s metallic in character but low pitched.  This keeps it away from the traditional “tink” of a fairway wood.  It’s more like a muted cymbal strike.

Through the hands, the feel is explosive with excellent feedback.  It took no time to decipher exactly how well each shot was struck.  Mishits are much duller than pure strikes.

Finally, the sliding weight has a massive impact on the way that the Stealth 2 Plus FW feels during the swing.  If you swung it with the weight all the way back, then swung it again with the weight forward, you’d swear it was two different clubs.  Depending on your sensitivity, each step along the way may not make a noticeable difference, but I suspect most golfers would detect a change of two or three steps.

Performance

The TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus fairway wood is billed as three fairway woods in one, so the place to start is evaluating that claim.  Does the sliding weight make a big difference in the way this club performs?  Absolutely, yes.  I’ve read reports of robot testing where the launch and spin changed over four degrees and 2000 RPM.  Fitters I know have reported huge changes as well.

I’ll get into the details of how the weight affected me, but I want to start with the ball speed that was common to every configuration.  Thanks to a titanium face and TaylorMade’s Inverted Cone Technology, the speed on center is exceptional.  What surprised me is how high that speed stays on mishits.  Being the “better player” model, I was expecting to be penalized more harshly for poor strikes.

Get the ball speed and forgiveness without the adjustability in the Stealth 2 fairway wood HERE

Now, let’s dive into that sliding weight.  I started my testing with the weight centered, and was immediately impressed with the overall performance.  The club felt great during the swing, the ball speed was strong, and it launched higher and and more easily than I expected.  It felt like a do-anything club – long and forgiving but capable of hitting shaped shots.

Next, I slid the weight forward.  This is billed as the lower spin setting which should also be lower launching and less forgiving.  On paper, this setting shouldn’t be a fit for me.  In practice, I loved it.  The club felt even better during the swing, and I posted my highest ball speed.  What was shocking is that I didn’t lose any launch angle and the spin only ticked down slightly.  The one drawback is that this setting was not forgiving of thin strikes.

Need help hitting a draw?  Check out the Stealth 2 HD fairway wood HERE

Finally, I put the weight all the way back.  This is the most stable, forgiving position.   It should also be the highest launching, but it became an object lesson in how people are not robots.  For me, this weight position felt a bit awkward and caused my angle of attack to shallow.  This led to poor strikes, mainly thin, which meant low launch angles.  The back weight setting did show off its forgiveness, never letting the ball speed drop more than few MPH, but it was definitely not ideal for me.

To summarize, the sliding weight has a huge impact on performance, but it may not always work in the way you expect.  The forgiveness is clearly better with the weight slid back.  However, your ball striking will dictate the launch and spin as much or more than the weight.  You may find that your theoretically optimal weight position is not your best one in practice.

taylormade stealth 2 plus fairway wood

Conclusion

The TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus fairway wood lives up to its billing as three clubs in one.  It also delivers tremendous ball speed and more forgiveness than I would expect from a compact, players fairway wood.  If you’re searching for a versatile long game weapon, you won’t find a club with as many possibilities as this.

Visit TaylorMade HERE

TaylorMade Stealth 2 Plus Fairway Wood Price & Specs

Matt Saternus
Latest posts by Matt Saternus (see all)

16 Comments

  1. Great write up, Matt. Same results I saw when testing the 5w and I was really surprised at how easy it was to hit. It’s going in the bag and can be a lot of things for a lot of players.

  2. Assuming the picture shown is the shaft you tested with. I happen to test it too with the same shaft in stiff. Therefore what did you think of the shaft? Of course theres no specs on it and most likely a made for OEM shaft for TM. You happen to know if thats the real deal Kai’li red made with MR70 prepeg in the tip like the real kai’li shafts are made from?

    Thanks

    • Matt Saternus

      Glen,

      I think it’s good, a little more kick than I’d play in a driver, but very nice for a fairway wood.
      I haven’t tested the aftermarket Kai’li Red, and I don’t have any inside information, so I can’t speak to the “realness” of the stock shaft.

      Best,

      Matt

  3. Seth+Peterson

    Thanks for the reviews. Informative and enjoyable as always.
    #Sunfish

  4. #Sunfish
    Definitely one to try. As always, a well done and informative review.

  5. I had a Mizuno JPX 3 wood with a similar weight design, but far less mass to manipulate. This is a very cool new 3 wood…

  6. Great review, Matt! You state for better players in the beginning of the review. So, even with a senior shaft, this would not be a club for a bogey to bogey plus player.

    • Matt Saternus

      Ken,

      In the TaylorMade hierarchy, the Plus models are for “better players,” but I generally warn golfers to avoid those labels. Test everything and play what works for you. This club has a lot more forgiveness than I expected, so a good or decent fairway wood player – regardless of handicap – can have success with it.

      Best,

      Matt

    • David A Parish

      My 2 cents (as a super senior/ 85 mph player). I believe the stealth+/ti versions (following on from sim/2 ti models) outperform the standard steel fairways (stealth/max) in feel, forgiveness and length, based on trying the stealth+ vs stealth faiirways. Haven’t tried the stealth 2+ yet (the local superstore hasn’t received its shipment yet though the store is festooned with stealth 2 banners) but would be surprised if not similar. I like the slightly deeper face of the TM 5wd vs other brands (now have Epic LS driver, TM 5 wd). Suggest you give it a try at your local store if possible, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised, so no, I don’t buy the ‘only for better players’, perhaps its marketing hype.

  7. Frank Wainwright

    $449 for a fairway wood? How good can it be? Pricing is getting ridiculous in golf industry.

  8. Great review! It’s not surprising moving 50 grams around would change launch angle, but it’s interesting that it would alter your angle of attack. I would not have expected that, but as you say people are not robots. I had only a passing interest in this club, but now I really want to demo one!

  9. List price $449.00 without Uncle Sams cut , so $500 for a fairway wood . TaylorMade should of named the club “The P.T. Barnum ” model . What sucker would pay that price for a fairway wood . Okay I got that off my chest. I work at a golf course and see what kind of clubs people buy. Golfers will pay the big bucks for a driver but not a fairway wood . I doubt this will be a big seller for TaylorMade.

  10. Mark Dophied

    #Sunfish

  11. Over priced!!!

  12. Unfortunately I don’t think there is anything in golf that is inexpensive these days. Got fitted yesterday for one at TXG. Expensive yes (I upgraded to a Ventus Red shaft), but felt the sweetest of the four brands I tried.

  13. Frank Wainwright….. I’ve got one ,bought a few weeks ago. Best club I’ve bought in years. This is a super club.

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