TaylorMade has entered the era of Carbonwood, with the introductions of the Stealth Plus, Stealth. Stealth HD and Stealth Women’s drivers.
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.
Carbonwood begins with the one-of-one 60X Carbon Twist Face – comprised of 60 layers of carbon sheets strategically arranged to improve energy transfer.
Over two decades of research and development, TaylorMade pushed the boundaries and now created a new era of driver technology with 60X Carbon Twist Face drivers.
“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,” said TaylorMade vice president of product creation Brian Bazzel.
“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,” said Bazzel.
The goal of any new technology is to create a measurable performance improvement. The 60 layers of carbon fiber are used to provide more speed. The red carbon face features a higher COR and more precise face geometry through a lighter, but larger face.
TaylorMade engineers took advantage of the lightweight carbon material by creating a 26 g 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 per cent larger than SIM2 and SIM2 Max drivers and nearly 20 per cent larger than the 2020 SIM driver.
The weight savings and larger face size made possible by the 60X Carbon Twist Face delivered a ball speed increase during player testing when comparing Stealth Plus and Stealth to the 2021 SIM2 and SIM2 Max drivers.
A nanotexture cover 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 enhance distance based on improving launch conditions in both dry and wet conditions.
This technology is used to create 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,” said Tomo Bystedt, senior director of product creation, Carbonwood drivers
The combination of the nanotexture cover, Twist Face and TaylorMade’s ultra-flexible Thru- Slot Speed Pocket was engineered to produce forgiveness on strikes across the face.
Despite a larger face, clubhead speed does not decline with Stealth. The asymmetric Inertia Generator is used to create advanced aerodynamics at the most critical phase of the swing from the downswing to the moment right before impact.
Based on experience with older carbon headed clubs in the marketplace, it might expected that the Stealth family of drivers has a muted and low-energy sound profile. However, through fine-tuned acoustic precision, engineers have been able to create a bright and powerful sound and feel profile.
TaylorMade’s engineering and research and development teams began exploring carbon faces in 2000, with the first prototype created in 2003,featuring a titanium cover. Six years later, research into a polymer cover began in hopes to improve launch conditions.
Then in 2012, a small-scale composite face production facility was built to support the 2013 launch of the limited-edition Japan-only Gloire Reserve driver. It served as a sign of readiness for this design platform.
In 2016, new manufacturing techniques led to the first development of a 60-layer carbon face. Work on these new Stealth models began in earnest in 2018, some 18 years after the process began.
In 2019, a state-of-the-art plant was commissioned and completed in 2021.
Simultaneously, additional facilities were constructed to bond the fully finished faces into castings.
“The 20-year journey to today is a reflection of the engineering and R&D teams at TaylorMade that never gave up on the idea of a carbon face driver,” said Todd Beach, senior vice president of R&D and engineering.
“The technical challenges in creating a driver face with a new material are vast. How do we take a space age material known for its high strength and lightweight properties, but not inherently designed for impact applications, and make it into a driver face that delivers revolutionary ball speed? he added.
“Through two decades of work our team was able to solve various hurdles and create numerous technological innovations in order to bring today’s most advanced and precise driver to market,” said Beach.
Because of weight savings from the 60X Carbon Twist Face, engineers were able to incorporate the use of a 10 g 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 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 per cent more MOI when compared to Stealth Plus and is designed to provide 200-300 rpms more spin.
Often, standard draw bias designs promote a right-to-left ball flight at the expense of forgiveness. By utilizing the weight savings from the 60X Carbon Twist Face and shifting the Inertia Generator closer to the heel, TaylorMade maintains 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.
Specifications, Availability and Pricing
Stealth Plus, Stealth and Stealth HD drivers will be available for preorder on January 4 and at retail on February 4.
Stealth Plus has a MSRP of $779.99 Cdn. and will be offered in 8, 9 and 10.5 degree 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 and Stealth HD have a MSRP of $749.99 Cdn. and will be offered in 9, 10.5 and 12 degree lofts. Stealth shaft offerings include Fujikura Ventus Red 5 and Aldila Ascent Red 60, 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.
Women’s stock offerings include the Aldila Ascent Ladies 45 shaft and the Lamkin Ladies Sonar grip. With an elevated focus on customization and club fitting, women golfers can find a full array of components in the Custom Shop at TaylorMadeGolf.ca, including lightweight shafts, grips and more.
From stamped wedges and putters to custom headcovers and embroidered bags, golfers at every level of the game want their equipment to make a statement about who they are on and off the golf course.
To allow golfers to have advanced personalization 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.
Specifications, Availability and Pricing
MyStealth is offered in the Stealth Plus model, with various cosmetic combinations. MyStealth will be available for preorder on January 4 and at TaylorMadeGolf.ca as well as select retail locations starting February 4, at aMSRP of $899.99 Cdn. MyStealth will be offered in nine and 10.5 degree lofts and features fully customizable shaft and grip components.