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Expert Review: Custom · TaylorMade Stealth Iron Set

Published on 10/12/2023 · 6 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the iron set, which I purchased with my own money in the spring of 2022.
Mark D., Golf Expert
By Golf Expert Mark D.

All photos courtesy of Mark D.

About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the iron set, which I purchased with my own money in the spring of 2022.

My take

The TaylorMade Stealth Iron Set contains game improvement (GI), cavity back irons built to help the player in the form of forgiveness, launch, and speed. Aptly named due to TaylorMade's great job hiding the tech, these irons offer a ton of help but do not necessarily look like it. The Stealth irons are an ideal choice for a mid to high handicap looking for a quality iron set that looks and feels great and offers stronger lofts for more distance, with plenty of forgiveness on off-center strikes.

About the clubs I own

  • Model: 2022 TaylorMade Stealth Irons - Custom
  • Loft setting: Standard Loft
  • Shaft type: Project X IO steel shafts +½” length
  • Shaft flex: 6.0 Stiff Flex

About me

  • Average score: 83
  • Handicap: 12.2
  • Experience: ~40 years of playing golf
  • Right/Left-Handed: RH
  • Typical ball flight: Slight Draw with irons
  • Golf ball used: Srixon Z-Star
  • Club swing speed: ~100mph driver clubhead speed

Test conditions

  • When I bought the club set: I ordered this set in the spring of 2022 with my own money. It was a custom order featuring my preferred shafts (model and length) and grips.
  • Days tested: ~30 days
  • Where I’ve used it: I’ve hit these clubs on the range, in the short game practice area, on the course, and in simulators.
  • Weather and wind conditions: I’ve tested these clubs in all kinds of conditions, as we see it all in Michigan—cold, hot, dry, humid, rain, shine, and even snow flurries. Being very forgiving irons, I will game this set in the colder early season rounds, as the added distance helps.

How they perform

Distance
5/5
Feel
4/5
Forgiveness
4/5
Sound
4/5
Launch
3/5
Workability
3/5

What I was looking for

As an avid player, I tend to have more than one set of clubs in my rotation. This set was ordered to fulfill my need for a very forgiving iron, something I like to have for early season rounds, as well as those times I’m just not feeling great, physically sore, and/or need help. They also serve as a great backup set that my less serious friends can use as a loaner set when I drag them out to the courts with me.

Why I chose these clubs

I chose the TaylorMade Stealth Irons due to their forgiveness, forgiveness, forgiveness. And distance too. When I considered the options to fill this need, I also looked at the Callaway Rogue ST Max and Cobra LTDx irons. Ultimately, the Stealth offered the best looks, feel, and performance for my game.

What I love about it

  • Distance: These irons are LONG. Built with very strong lofts, I gained a full club over my previous forgiving set of irons. As a result, they have a low-launching, piercing ball flight.
  • Forgiveness: These irons have a lot of forgiveness. If I miss the sweet spot low, high, out toward the toe, or in toward the heel, the ball still flies in my intended direction with minimal distance loss or major offline shapes.
  • Feel: I am pleasantly surprised with how soft of an impact feel these irons offer. The GI cavity back irons can often feel too muted, reducing the feedback I feel after contact. Solid feel here.
  • Sound: Like feel, the sound is a nice surprise. While not offering as clean of an impact sound as more advanced forged or players iron, the Stealth is fine.
  • Shaft Feel: The Project X IO 6.0 Stiff flex is the shaft that fits my swing well, as it is a bit lighter and has a slightly higher torque rating versus a tour shaft. As a result, it offers great feedback and feel.
  • Shaft Performance: Because this shaft is fit for my swing, it performs very well versus the stock options I’ve tried. This IO shaft helps reduce my over-draw (hook), which is my most common miss.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: One of the positives that attracted me to the Stealth model was its looks. Rather than being overly large and bulky, these irons do a great job of hiding their technology. There’s some noticeable offset, but not so much that it is off-putting, like the Rogue ST Max irons for example.
  • Grip Feel: As with the shafts, the grips on this set are my custom selection. I prefer a softer feeling grip to help reduce impact vibration, and the Winn Dri-Tac 2.0 in Midsize is the perfect grip for me. It has a nice soft feel, and the midsize helps fit my larger-than-average hand size.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Workability: Like most larger GI cavity back irons, workability is less present than in more advanced players' irons. However, due to a good amount of offset, I have no issue getting the ball to draw, but fades are very tough to pull off. Although, this could be a positive for players fighting a slice. While it is not common for those playing traditional GI cavity back irons to need or deploy a ton of workability in their shots, it is nice to be able to achieve this for some. This set, with its offset, allows me to work with all kinds of draw shot shapes, both big and small. But getting the ball to fade was a much bigger challenge. Again, this could be problematic for some players.
  • Launch Angle: The latest trend in GI irons is stronger lofts. This helps players achieve more distance, and the technology gains allow it even though the launch is lower. Usually, there is enough spin present to counter it. This is the case with Stealth, but it is still lower than the preferred launch. Not detrimentally so, but lower than ideal.
  • Spin: While the spin produced with the Stealth irons is not horrible by any means, it seems to vary greatly from the longer to shorter clubs. I have no issues with the spin produced on the shorter scoring irons (8 iron through wedge), but I do not see as much as the irons got longer. In my experience, the 4 and 5 irons do not spin enough to hold a green, which is frustrating. The 6 and 7 iron are better but still not as ideal as the 8, 9, or wedges.

Best shot with this club

One of the most memorable shots I’ve pulled off with this set was a blind shot into a green about 190 yards away. Because of some trees in the way, I needed to hit a big draw shot shape to find the green. However, I managed to pull it off and was excited to finally see that I made it and held the green, giving me a chance at the birdie.

Value for the money vs. other options

The Stealth irons are priced in line with many competitors, such as the Callaway Rogue ST Max or Titleist T300 irons. Mizuno Hot Metals cost slightly lower, while the Tour Edge C523 irons are significantly less, being a lesser-known brand. Overall, the value is fair for the quality and technology offered.

Final verdict

In summary, the TaylorMade Stealth Irons are one of the better GI iron releases from TaylorMade in a while. They outperformed the previous SIM2 irons and looked more appealing at the address and in the bag. For mid to higher-range handicap players who are looking for irons that offer added distance, forgiveness, and great feel, this is a phenomenal choice.

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