Expert Review: TaylorMade Stealth HD 2 Fairway WoodPublished on 04/03/2023 · 7 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the wood, which I purchased with my own money in February of 2023.
All photos courtesy of Andrew Abbott
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the wood, which I purchased with my own money in February of 2023.
The TaylorMade Stealth 2 HD Fairway Wood is perfect for players who want to hit their fairway woods higher and longer. This wood will help players hold more greens and hit more fairways to lower their scores.
About the club I own
- Model: 2023 TaylorMade Stealth 2 HD Fairway Wood
- Loft setting: 19°
- Shaft type: Ventus Black
- Shaft flex: X-Stiff
- Average score: 70
- Handicap: +2
- Experience: 5 years of golf
- Right/Left-Handed: Right-Handed
- Typical ball flight: Mid-High
- Golf ball used: TaylorMade TP5x
- Club swing speed: 105mph
- When I bought the club: February 2023
- Days tested: 40+
- Where I’ve used it: TrackMan simulator and various golf courses
- Weather and wind conditions: Wind, rain, and clear conditions
How it performs
What I was looking for
I was looking for a 5 wood to help me hit the ball higher to land softer on the greens and help me find the fairway on a narrow golf hole. I also wanted a club that would help me eliminate a far-right miss.
Why I chose this club
I chose this club because it launched really high to help land softly on a green and not jump through. This club also looks really good and goes extremely far to provide me with a club to fit the gap between my 3 iron and driver.
What I love about it
- Distance: This club goes really long compared to the TSR and Paradym fairway woods. This club helped me gain seven yards on average with my 5 wood. This increase in distance is helpful when I play long golf courses. It also helps me not to sacrifice too much distance if I choose to hit this club off the tee rather than my driver to find the fairway.
- Forgiveness: This fairway wood is extremely forgiving to help hit more fairways and greens. I have hit the ball off every spot on this clubface, and it has been extremely forgiving. I have hardly lost a ball or gone out of bounds with this club because the forgiveness is so high. In addition, it helped me lower my scores because I can hit this club anywhere on the clubface and hit it straight.
- Feel: Unlike the sound, this club feels great throughout the entire face. This club feels extremely fast and explosive. I always feel like the ball jumps off the clubface, even out of the rough.
- Shaft Feel: The Ventus Black shaft is designed to feel extremely stiff and firm, which many players commonly call a 2x4 board. I personally love this firm feeling because of my fast swing speeds. It allows me to swing as hard as I want without feeling like the clubhead rotates too much.
- Shaft Performance: This shaft is great for players with high swing speeds who need to minimize spin to help hit the ball as far as possible. I also love the combo of this low launch shaft with the high launch clubhead to provide me with the best launch angle in the mid-high category, and it allows me to manipulate how high or low the ball launches.
- Aesthetic Appeal: The Stealth 2 HD is the best-looking fairway wood on the market. I love the simple all-black crown of the club that is not too distracting with very subtle logos. In addition, this club has a very simple and traditional shape that sits low to the ground, which increases confidence to make solid contact with the ball.
- Grip Feel: I have the Golf Pride Z-Grip cord on this club, which is my favorite grip. This grip has a cord feature that helps repel moisture to maximize grip in all conditions. This grip also is a firmer feeling rather than soft, which helps me keep a consistent grip pressure to hit the ball the best every time.
- Launch Angle: The HD in this club stands for “High Draw,” which is crucial for many amateur golfers. Many golfers struggle with getting the ball up in the air and a slice. This club helps maximize a player's launch angle, allowing me to hit very high golf shots effortlessly. This has been great for me when hitting my second shot into a par 5 because I can launch the ball high so that it will land softly and stay on the green.
- Spin: The spin on this club is great due to the low spin shaft. This club spins a lot to help launch the ball higher and be more forgiving, resulting in very high spin numbers. I can combat this by choosing a low spin shaft to find the ideal spin rate to launch the ball high while maximizing distance.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Sound: This club sounds really good when hit well and out of the center of the clubface. When hit well, the club sounds just like it does when professional golfers hit the ball. However, this club sounds dead and dull when hit out of the toe and heel, which does not sound great compared to the standard Stealth 2 and Stealth 2 plus.
- Workability: The HD version of the Stealth 2 fairway woods is the least workable of the three models. This club increases spin and launch, which is great for straight shots, slight draws, and fades. However, on the shots I need to create a lot of curves for, I feel limited in my ability to do so. In addition, this club stays very straight, making it hard to work the ball a lot.
- Adjustability: There is no adjustability with this fairway wood. The only option would be a complete reshaft or regripping, but there is no loft sleeve for easy loft and shaft changes.
Best shot with this club
The best shot I hit with this club was on a par 5 at my home course. I was 263 yards from the green with a center pin directly behind a bunker. The bunker was just short of the green and right in the center where the pin was. Most of the time, I try to hit to one side or the other of the bunker to avoid going in it, but this time I chose to hit the ball right at the pin. I hit a baby cut off the left edge of the bunker to cut back at the pin. Because this club launched so high, I was able to land the shot just over the bunker, but it landed softly, so it did not roll through the green. The ball ended up eight feet below the hole with an uphill putt for eagle, which I thankfully made.
Value for the money vs. other options
The TaylorMade Stealth 2 HD Fairway Wood costs roughly the same price ($349) as its close competitors. Similar competitors include the Callaway Paradym X and Titleist TSR 2. The Stealth 2 HD, however, is the best model for high launch and eliminating a slice. Therefore, the TaylorMade Stealth 2 HD is the best value due to its design and performance. Golfers looking for a cheaper club should look at the Sim 2 Max Draw, which does many of the same things as the Stealth 2 HD for roughly $249.
The TaylorMade Stealth 2 HD Fairway Wood is great for golfers who want to increase their launch and eliminate the right mishit. In addition, this club will help golfers hit the ball further and straighter to help lower scores.