50 Words or Less
The TaylorMade Stealth irons are high launching, long and forgiving. Captivating looks and wonderful feel.
With so much attention being given to the new TaylorMade Stealth drivers [full reviews HERE], it would be easy to overlook the new irons. But, as I discovered, that would be a big miss. I guess that epitomizes their Stealth name – irons that fly under the radar.
Regarding looks, I was never a fan of the SIM series. So first off, a round of applause for the new TaylorMade Stealth irons and their great overall appearance. Sure, there’s still thickness to the top line and a modest amount of offset, but that’s expected with game improvement irons. The beauty lies in the cavity aesthetics.
In the bag, the Stealth irons have a clean, modern look. The geometric shapes and parallel lines in the cavity design offer harmonious balance. The swath of carbon fiber weave provides technological intrigue befitting the Stealth name. And the font created for the Stealth family is picture perfect.
Sound & Feel
I have to jump to feel first, because the TaylorMade Stealth irons are amazingly soft. The feel was so unexpected I had a few other golfers hit some balls just to make sure my hands weren’t deceiving me – and they weren’t. That “forged iron feel” is produced by what TaylorMade dubs the Echo Damping System. Hidden inside each club head, an imbedded strip of soft polymer absorbs vibrations, creating a soft tactile feel.
On the sound front, the Stealth irons produced a pleasant ‘snap’ with decent contact. The sound lost some crispness when strikes wavered towards the edges of the face.
Looking over my field notes in writing this review, the first entry was “high – late peak.” Granted I was hitting into a blustery wind, but the “high” aspect was applicable to all the Stealth irons as I moved up and down the set. For a more controlled test, I visited Club Champion to gather empirical data and, sure enough, launch angle and height were impressive. But unexpectedly, the distances were also strong.
If you are a frequent reader of Plugged In Golf reviews, you know manufacturers typically strengthen lofts to promote distance gains. At 28°, the loft on the Stealth 7 iron is no different. What is different is that TaylorMade was able to engineer high launch by moving mass from the toe to the sole. For me, that combination resulted in near 6 iron distance with 8 iron height.
One other noteworthy aspect of having the mass positioned along the sole is forgiveness on thin shots. I’ve been working on not lifting my upper body through the strike zone, but when I didn’t make that happen, the Stealth irons still got the ball into the air. To help maintain ball speed on the low face mishits, TaylorMade continued with their time tested Thru-Slot Speed Pocket design. The face flex technology begins with the 8 iron as shown in the photo above.
The stock regular flex graphite shafts at 66 grams were a bit lighter than what I game, contributing to plenty of opportunities to evaluate non-centered strikes. A good reminder to pay attention to shaft specs – and even better, get fit. But most importantly relative to performance, the TaylorMade Stealth irons exhibited above average forgiveness.
If you want forgiveness with draw bias, check out the Stealth HD irons HERE
After testing the new TaylorMade Stealth irons I have to agree with the opening tag line on the Stealth irons web page: “Expect better shots more often.” Add in the bonus of wonderful feel and the TaylorMade Stealth irons deserve a few minutes of time for anyone in the market for new game improvement or SGI irons in 2022.
Visit TaylorMade HERE
TaylorMade Stealth Irons Price & Specs
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How would you compare these irons to the Srixon ZX irons (ZX4 or ZX5)? Thamks.
The Stealth would be more comparable to the ZX4. You can find my review for both models on the site.
Nice review. How would you compare these new Stealth irons to the new Mizuno JPX 921 Hot Metal Pro game improvement irons?
Sorry Jim, I don’t have any experience with the Mizuno.
Are they worth upgrading fron SIM irons ?
“Worth” is highly subjective and an individual choice. Typically changes between successive models is marginal, but the Stealth are obviously different just on looks alone. As far as true performance, I don’t have any experience with the SIM series.
What about the 11 degree gap between the pitching wedge and the UW? What am I missing?
That was an error Charles. The specs chart has been updated.
How do they compare to the Sim irons
I don’t have any experience with the SIM irons Scott.
Would you recommend stealth irons for senior golfers
Absolutely! Age is irrelevant James. All about finding the right irons and shafts that suit your swing and game.
I’ve recently took golf back up after a ten year break, was a good ball striker. Callaway x tour are my clubs and I’m struggling to hit them like I used to. Will the stealth be more beneficial for me.
You don’t see the word “Tour” in the Stealth name, so they are much more suitable for average golfers. But there’s no way to know for certain unless you hit them Lee.
Sorry. Lofts are wrong. The Gap wedge is 48. The Sand 54. The Lob 59. There are four (4) wedges. No U wedge. That is a Ping moniker. Thanks.
Thanks for advising me of the error. Specs chart has been updated.
No thanks. I’ll keep my tw irons.
Stealth irons compared too Sim and Sim 2,game improvement irons are a big difference. The previous generation had too many faults or consistency issues overall compare too Stealth. Thank you for your review.
Great review Matt. Do you recall if these launched higher or lower than the ZX4 irons? Moderate swing speed here and I need a higher launching iron to get adequate distance.
Sorry Ed, but it’s been long enough since the ZX4 that I can’t say with any clarity. But my gut reaction is Stealth launch higher.
Good review Matt I have to say. Do you think the Stealth irons have the same forgiveness as the ping G710’s.? I no that you probably haven’t hit those irons for quite a bit of time but just wondering really.
Actually, the other Matt – Saternus – tested the G710s. And I don’t have any experience with them, so I can’t offer any guidance.
Great review Matt. How is the forgiveness against the ping G710 irons? I no that the pings G710 are a great forgiveness iron or do you think it’s any better or similar?
Sorry Johnny, but I don’t have any experience with the G710s.
I like your review because it covers all the things I look for in an iron look of the top line, feel, etc)
if I were to get these, I would want to marry them to my hybrids but my 3 hybrid has a lot of 21 (I also have 18 & 24 options) where the set 5i is also 21. Seems weird to have two clubs with the same/overlapping lofts. Thoughts on this? Thanks!
Similar lofts is not uncommon when combining new and old clubs. The key is to determine/know your distances. If two clubs are offering the same performance, then you truly have overlap and need to re-evaluate your setup.
If I have a 23 degree hybrid, I’m guessing by these lofts I no longer would need a 5 iron? Which is just as well, since my 5 iron is a bag ornament anyway.
I really like that these irons seems to be higher launching and if I had not recently gotten irons these would be on my short list of new ones to get.
Like you, I never liked the look of the Sim irons. My initial observation is that they strongly remind me of my SLDR irons. Main thing is they are a full club stronger, the 6i loft in SLDR is the 7i loft in Stealth. Not accusing loft jacking because technology has gotten the mfg’s to where they can do such. Learned to play “lofts” rather than “numbers” with my old from the late 80’s TA 845s Silver Scots where the lofts were stamped on the club face. Back then the 5i was 28deg loft. BTW great review on the TM’s
I am a senior golfer, high 70’s in score mid 70’s in age, and have been a Callaway player for several years. I have to say from the pics I love the looks of these irons, both from the top (very important for confidence) and from the face. I use graphite in my entire set, so the Ventus shafts are a plus as well. Debating a new set of irons this year, and these just might get a test instead of just ordering the Callaways.
How do these compare to PXG
Jim – you need to be more specific. PXG makes many models. With that said, I don’t have any experience with PXG.
Are these any threat to the ZX5’s you’re gaming?
They are certainly worthy based on performance, but I love the looks of the ZX5s. Thanks for reading!
I’m a 13 handicap playing M6 irons. I’ve been steadily improving through lessons. Would you recommend Stealth irons or P790 irons?
Gary – I think you’d enjoy either set. But please take the time to hit both and see which you prefer – both in terms of performance and looks. You’ve invested in lessons and put in the practice time, so don’t skimp on iron evaluation.
Have only been playing for 5 years. My first set that I still play with are the M2’s. Planning on upgrading but I’m stuck between the SIM2 max os or the Stealth.
Stuck in what way Marcus? Comparative performance between the two should be the main driver in the selection. If about the same, go with what looks and/or feels best. You want to enjoy this set for years, so don’t compromise just to save a couple bucks.
How would you compare the sole grinds and the turf interactions of the Stealth irons with the ZX5’s? I really like the ZX sole grinds. Thanks.
There’s nothing wrong with the Stealth soles, but I prefer the ZX5’s.
I have the TaylorMade M CGB irons, which are probably one of the more underrated TM irons. Would these be a big upgrade over those?
I don’t have any experience with the M CGB irons Matt. Only way to know if the Stealth are worth an upgrade for you is to give them a try.
How does the stealth compare to the Callaway Apex?
I don’t have any experience with the Apex irons Joe. If you get the chance to hit them both, chime back in and let us know how they compare.
I’m a weekend warrior at my local course, and a pretty bad one at that. I’m planning some lessons and currently use an 8 or so year old set of Callaway X-Hots. Would you suggest this iron set for someone like me shooting low-mid 90s and looking to play more, or is there a reason you wouldn’t suggest it?
The Stealth irons would be appropriate for you in general Mason. But, I can’t emphasize enough that you need to try them first and even better, get fit. You’ll enjoy playing more with the right clubs – and your scores will reflect it.
I currently have the Ping G410 irons in power spec…those lofts are almost identical to the standard Stealth lofts. I love the Pings, but I don’t get enough height on my shots so my ball often runs off the green. How do these Stealth irons compare to the G410s in terms of forgiveness and trajectory?
It’s been a while since I played the G410s, so I’ll hold off any direct comparisons. But in general, they should be somewhat similar in terms of forgiveness. Your height/trajectory issues are possibly shaft related Pat. It would be well worth your time to have someone knowledgeable check your performance numbers on a launch monitor. And that holds true for the Ping’s or Stealth.
How would you compare these to the rogue st max in terms of forgiveness?
I haven’t hit the Rogue ST Max irons Kenta. Based on Matt Saternus’ review, I’d blindly give the forgiveness edge to them.
Hi, I’m playing off 22. I’m 73 years old with two replacement knees. I currently use M6 s with 6r Atmos graphite shafts. Am I realistically going to notice much difference by switching to Stealth irons with the ventus 6r shafts. Or should I keep the money in the bank.
That’s a bit more than my crystal ball abilities Steve. If you are happy with your current setup, don’t worry about a change. If you’d like to make a potential change – get fit so you find the proper heads and shafts. Your knees deserve to enjoy future rounds.
I’m looking to replace my ancient Big Bertha 2002 irons. I wonder how these are as a suitably replacement?
They certainly could be, just make sure to get them fit, preferably by a high quality fitter like Club Champion.
Matt, great review. I currently game the Cleveland UHX irons and I play off a 11 handicap, I am looking to change irons now. I love the forgiveness of my current set. Do you recommend changing to these irons? I am doubting between these and the Ping G425’s. Any thoughts. Thanks from Spain.
Thanks for reading! You’ve narrowed it down to two great options. As an 11 index, you should really get fit and have a set of irons that’s perfect for you. At minimum please demo both sets and see which performs best for you.
Hey… how would these compare with Wilson D7s
Thanks for reading. That’s a pretty wide open question Ger. To start, I reviewed the D7s three years ago, so memory is a bit foggy. Best I can offer is to read both reviews, glean what you can and chime back in if you have a specific question.
I am thinking of upgrading my irons I bought mine 14 years ago – mizuno mp63 x stiff kbs shaft – my hcp is 10 and I play stabile but way to often i have “bad” shots and now I am looking for something more forgiven… can stealth give me that or should I look more at callaway or Srixon zx5 if I don’t want to loose length in my shots
14 years is a long time and you definitely deserve a fresh set. All the major brands offer great forgiving models. The Stealth would be a great option, but please go try several brands/models. Knowing you’re likely to keep them for a while, spend a few extra dollars and get fit. The right shaft/head combination can make such a huge difference in your consistency and enjoyment.
Would the Stealth irons be good for high handicap player.
In general, the answer would be a solid maybe. Depends on what you consider high, what your strengths and weaknesses are, etc. If you’re an 18 and consistent, they may be a wonderful choice. If you are a 25 and struggling, there may be better options. Get out there and try them somewhere Bob and let us know your thoughts.
Purchased a set of Callaway epic forged star japanese version last year, love the look but i have a feeling that they may be a little to lite (japanese version?) and the lite fujikura speeder shaft also might be one of the reasons consistency if off…Nowing you did a review on the Epic forged, would Stealth irons with the upgraded shaft be a good substitute j
Actually Matt Saternus did the Epic Forged review. Regardless, get some empirical data Jean. Don’t keep chasing results without in-hand testing of shaft/head combos.
I’m finding the Stealth being low spin are not easy to get back spin when hitting the green…did you find the same problem?
I found the irons held greens similar to other – similar – irons. 7 – PW generally hit and stopped within a couple feet. Some run out 6 and above. Could be a shaft issue for you Dave.
You tested the graphite Ventus R at 66g. Compared to your gamer, how best would you describe the Ventus profile? I currently game UST graphite RECOIL 760 F3 (R).
I’m not going to be much help Tim. For starters, my testing was a year ago and details have faded in my memory – and the shafts weren’t the focus. Plus, the shafts were much lighter than my gamers so comparison wouldn’t be fair.