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2022 TaylorMade Stealth Plus, Stealth fairway woods and hybrids

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TaylorMade has today introduced its all-new Stealth Plus and Stealth fairway woods along with expanded hybrid offerings with the Stealth Plus Rescue and Stealth Rescue.

Carbon is at the heart of the new Stealth fairways, hybrids and drivers, which are all linked by the multi-material construction that is designed to provide higher MOI, faster ball speeds and greater playability.

Stealth Plus Fairway

The new Stealth Plus fairway is constructed of Zatech titanium, which is made in small batches using a process that allows engineers to improve the strength of the face while still maintaining a high level of ductility. The ultra-thin construction is designed to promote fast ball speeds while allowing for greater face flexibility.

The MOI on Stealth Plus is 12 percent higher than its predecessor, the SIM2 Titanium, and 18 percent higher than the original SIM titanium fairway. These changes have resulted in a club with the lowest CG in company history yet in an adjustable TaylorMade fairway.

The infinity-edge carbon crown creates a 12 percent larger carbon surface area compared to the SIM2 Titanium fairways, which allows the redistribution of more weight lower in the clubhead. Mass from the heavy 80g V Steel sole has been re-engineered in pursuit of forgiveness while still maintaining its core purpose of improving turf interaction and versatility.

In addition, the Stealth Plus and Stealth fairways contain a Thru-Slot Speed Pocket designed to increase face flexibility, and preserve ball speed and distance, especially on low-face strikes.

The new Stealth Plus comes in a 175cc profile, with the address area of the Stealth Plus being only two percent larger than SIM2 in design to maintain versatility. The face area is 12 percent larger than its predecessor in a bid to provide improved performance on off-center hits.

Specs, Availability & Pricing

  • Lofts: 3/13.5 degrees, 315 degrees, and 5/19 degrees
  • Stock Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Smoke RDX Red 70 (Additional shafts available at no cost)
  • Availability: Pre-order on January 4 and at retail on February 4, 2022
  • Pricing: $429.99

Stealth Fairway

The Stealth fairway features a larger profile compared to Stealth Plus (190cc vs 175cc) while also containing an all-new 3D carbon crown that allowed engineers to shift weight lower and deeper in the clubhead.

The new additions feature C300 Twist Face, which is designed to deliver added speed, with the V Steel Sole working in conjunction to promote versatility and reduced turf drag.

As with the Plus fairway, the Stealth features an advanced laser alignment aid that stretches across the top of the face. The laser-etched pattern was designed using optical engineering and player testing to deliver visual cues that influence alignment at address and how the club is delivered at impact.

The Stealth fairways also come with a women’s specific offering featuring a stand-alone bright silver PVD sole and a dark silver crown. The women’s Stealth fairways also feature modified specs in the form of lighter heads and higher lofts in some cases, all designed to promote better performance for slower clubhead speeds.

Specs, Availability & Pricing

  • Lofts: 3/15 degrees, 3HL/16.5 degrees, 5/18 degrees, 7/21 degrees and 9/24 degrees
  • Stock Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Red (Additional shafts available at no cost)
  • Availability: Pre-order on January 4 and at retail on February 4, 2022
  • Pricing: $329.99

Women’s offerings include the Aldila Ascent Ladies shaft, with loft offerings including 3HL/16.5 degrees, 5/19 degrees, 7/21 degrees, 9/24 degrees.

Our Brian Knudson, host of the Club Junkie podcast, had a chance to hit the new Stealth Plus and Stealth Fairway. Here’s what BK had to say:

“The new Stealth fairway looks great with the new 3D Carbon Crown and all black finish. The Stealth+ titanium fairway is really long but easy to launch off the turf. The Stealth+ had a mid to mid/high launch and low spin for me, and did I mention long? The Stealth was long as well and launched a little higher than the Plus model. Forgiveness was really good as shots that were off center stayed on line really well.”

Stealth Plus and Stealth Rescue

The Stealth Plus rescue contains an iron-like high-toe profile and overall compact footprint in a bid to provide controlled trajectory and shot shape while maintaining added forgiveness.

A redesigned V Steel sole positions weight low in the club to encourage optimal launch properties and enhance turf interaction, while the Stealth Plus also features an adjustable loft sleeve that provides +/-1.5 degrees loft so players can optimize trajectory.

In the Stealth Rescue, the new carbon crown construction allows for the relocation of 7 grams of weight which has been transferred lower in the head to better position CG in design for easier launch, optimal forgiveness, and better stability through impact.

In both the Stealth Plus Rescue and Stealth Rescue, a high-strength C300 steel face aims to offer maximum ball speeds, while the brand’s Twist Face design is designed to help golfers hit fewer mis-hits. In addition, the Speed Pocket design is engineered to maximize ball speeds and produce greater forgiveness on low-face strikes.

Stealth Rescue hybrids come with the same women’s offering featuring a bright silver PVD sole and a dark silver crown, as well as lighter heads and higher lofts.

Specs, Availability & Pricing

  • Lofts: Stealth Plus: 2/17, 3/19.5 and 4/22 degrees; Stealth Rescue: 3/19 degrees, 4/22 degrees, 5/25 degrees, 6/28 degrees and 7/31 degrees
  • Stock Shaft: Stealth Plus: Project X HZRDUS Smoke RDX Red HY (Additional shafts available at no cost); Stealth Rescue: Fujikura Ventus Red
  • Availability: Pre-order on January 4 and at retail on February 4, 2022
  • Pricing: Stealth Plus $299.99, Stealth Rescue $279.99

Women’s Stealth Rescue offerings include the Aldila Ascent Ladies shaft, with loft offerings including 4/23 degrees, 5/26 degrees, 6/28 degrees and 7/31 degrees.

Our Brian Knudson, host of the Club Junkie podcast, had a chance to hit the new Stealth Rescue. Here’s what BK had to say:

“The new Stealth hybrid looks great in all black but at first glance not much different than the SIM2 Max. Shape is very similar to last year and that is a good thing, most golfer like it! After a few shots you notice the the hybrid is a little more stable and consistent, with a nice high launch that lands soft.”

BK took a deep dive into all things Stealth woods with TaylorMade’s Tomo Bystedt. Give a listen below!

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Gianni is the Managing Editor at GolfWRX. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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19th Hole

Justin Thomas provides interesting insight into his short game setup ahead of US Open

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On Monday while at The Country Club in preparation for the U.S. Open, Justin Thomas spoke to GolfWRX as he bids for his second major win of the year.

In the video, JT discussed his short game setup, giving some interesting insight into clubs he would use depending on conditions.

Thomas started by talking about his putter. He’s using the same Scottie Cameron head (Scotty Cameron X5 Tour Prototype) he’s always used, but has recently switched to a “knuckle neck” with more face balance.

The putter change has been working great for him as he’s gained an average of 2.5 strokes on the field putting in his last five events.

JT also spoke how about how he mostly uses the “K” grind with his Titleist Vokey SM9 wedges but if he is hitting off of very firm lies (like an Open Championship) he will switch to a “T” grind.

Check out the full video below.

 

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Breaking down Cleveland’s CBX ZipCore, RTX ZipCore wedge lines

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When it comes to wedge design and choosing the right wedge for your game, there have never been more options.

More choices and more new technology, however, mean that its important to make sure you have the right information when you set out to purchase a new high-lofter.

Fortunately, Cleveland Golf’s Product Manager Casey Shultz was kind enough to answer a few of our questions about the company’s duo of wedge lines.

GolfWRX: Before we dig into the technology, who is the CBX ZipCore for? Who is the RTX ZipCore for?

Casey Shultz: CBX ZipCore is designed for your average golfer who can really benefit from added forgiveness in a wedge that looks at address like those they have played their whole life. RTX ZipCore is designed for the better player with a well-developed short game that can take advantage of the added versatility the line brings to improve their shot-making capabilities around the greens, while still experiencing added forgiveness and consistency over what can typically be found in a blade wedge.

GolfWRX: From a technology standpoint, what’s the story behind the CBX ZipCore?

CS: CBX ZipCore is filled with forgiveness technologies to help you out on every shot. It is designed with a hollow cavity and ZipCore material to shift weight for ideal CG and MOI properties. This along with the wide Dynamic Sole Grinds offered on each loft ensure consistent performance no matter how you strike the ball. All this forgiveness comes along with the newest Rotex face featuring the sharper, deeper, and closer UltiZip grooves for maximum spin performance.

GolfWRX: OK. Same question for you on RTX ZipCore…

CS: RTX ZipCore is the first product we introduced with our ZipCore technology, a low-density material within the hosel that helps to shift the CG and raise MOI, adding spin, enhancing control, and boosting consistency all within a traditional blade style shape. This wedge also has the newest Rotex face design with the sharper, deeper, and closer UltiZip grooves for maximum spin performance. On top of this, a new heat treatment process has been added to ensure these grooves stay sharp and this spin continues round after round.

GolfWRX: Some golfers seem to feel “a wedge is a wedge is a wedge” or “wedge technology hasn’t evolved since Gene Sarazen.” Do you hear this a lot? What do you say to this?

CS: I would say this couldn’t be further from the truth! I do, however, think this commentary is somewhat complimentary to our designers and engineers as they have managed to pack all this technology into products with the aesthetic appeal that a somewhat traditional wedge shaping brings, especially in our RTX line. The improvements in forgiveness, spin, and uniquely designed grinds for certain shots and conditions have been incredible over the last few generations of designs. I think this perception is mainly since, intentionally, these performance and technological development are hidden within the confines of a good looking, confidence inducing shape more than other clubs in the bag where technology is often more visible.

GolfWRX: How does tour pro testing and feedback influence Cleveland wedge designs?

CS: Tour testing and feedback has a big influence on the design of our wedges, especially when it comes to grind offerings and appearance at address. We constantly are making modifications to the grinds for tour players and take notes of what works and what doesn’t and work this feedback in to future designs as well as custom grinding options available in our Tour Rack program. Players on tour also have a trained eye for what they like to see from a wedge at address, so we always design and validate our wedges with this perspective in mind before finalizing a product.

GolfWRX: Getting a bit more granular: Can you briefly explain the bounce offerings on the RTX ZipCore?

CS: For RTX ZipCore we offer 3 bounce offerings, LOW, MID, and FULL, designed to fit all different kinds of playstyles.

The MID bounce is our catch all, offering our V-Shaped sole design for superior turf interaction for all kinds of different attack angles and lies you may find yourself in. This is available in loft offerings ranging from 46-60, a great option for a wide range of players.

The LOW on the other hand is a more specialized grind designed for those who are looking for maximum versatility in higher lofted wedges. Available in 56-62 degree lofts, this grind is perfect for those who like to play open faced shots around the greens or have a shallower attack angle as its reduced bounce helps the wedge to slide under the ball with ease.

Finally, the FULL sole is the highest bounce offering in the lineup with a traditional, unmodified sole design. This added bounce in this grind makes it perfect for lies in the sand or rough or for players who have a steeper attack angle as it is resistant to digging. It is available in 54-60 degree lofts and is also the most similar to the performance some players are used to from more classic wedges.

For those who want a true tour experience, we also offer a Tour Rack program for grind customization. This allows players to select specific leading edge and sole grind modifications to create a grind with their preferences and wedge game specifically in mind, just like the players on our tour staff.

GolfWRX: Let’s talk about building a bag for a second. For the average golfer wondering if s/he should carry 2 or 3 wedges (or 4), what do you suggest and is there a standard gapping you advocate for?

CS: I would recommend sticking with a 4-6 degree gapping between your wedges. The first thing you need to decide when setting up a wedge mix is where you want to start in the GW area. Knowing the loft on the PW in you iron set is key. For example, those with a 44 degree PW, a gapping of 48, 54, 58 can work well or tighter wedge gaps of 48, 52, 56, 60 is possible for max precision if you have room in the bag for 4 wedges. For players who want true wedge performance in this club, replacing this iron with a 46 degree or, in our CBX ZipCore line, even a 44 degree wedge can be a great place to start. A 4-wedge set of 46, 50, 54, and 58 could make a lot of sense for these players. The closer you are able to make the gaps between your wedges the easier it is to be precise attacking the green from different yardages, so I would generally advocate for as many wedges as you can fit in your 14-club set to set up as many easy looks for birdie as possible.

If you are limited to say two wedges due to how the rest of your bag is set up, I recommend some players emphasize versatility in their sand wedge loft over a removal of a gap wedge. Choosing a grind that allows you to open the face in a sand wedge can give you similar performance around the greens to what you could find in a lob wedge and essentially fill the role of both of those clubs. It can be harder for some to find a filler for the yardage gap that will exist if you don’t include a gap wedge in your set than a replacement for the greenside performance of a lob wedge.

 

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Brooks Koepka makes significant driver switch ahead of U.S. Open (Updated)

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Update 6/14 6:30 p.m. ET: Statement from Srixon golf added; Koepka was also spotted practicing with a Titleist Pro V1x golf ball rather than the Srixon Z-Star Diamond.


Brooks Koepka has been the man in major championships over the past five years, although it’s fair to say that Koepka’s stunning major form has fallen off in 2022.

The 32-year-old missed the cut at the Masters before posting a T55 finish at the PGA Championship. Before this year, Koepka had recorded twelve top-10 finishes in his previous sixteen major appearances, including four victories.

Koepka is going in search of his third U.S. Open title this week, and it appears that the four-time major champ is ready to make a driver switch at Brookline.

A snap on the U.S. Open’s Instagram Stories shows Brooks in practice without his usual Srixon ZX7 driver but with one of his previous gamers: the TaylorMade M5 driver.

The move would be a surprising changeup for the Srixon man, who ranks 75th in strokes gained: off the tee in 2022.

All four of Koepka’s major victories have come while using TaylorMade drivers, with the M5 being in the bag at his last major win in 2019. We’ll be keeping an eye on which driver makes it onto the first tee at Brookline this Thursday.

A Srixon representative told GolfWRX

“In this early stage of our partnership, Brooks Koepka has validated the performance of the Srixon driver and golf ball. Though performance has been promising, the characteristics are not a perfect fit, yet. To work through this adjustment period most efficiently, we decided to focus our energy on fitting Brooks into the next generation Srixon driver and golf ball prototypes that will debut on tour in the near future—products developed with Brooks’ input and needs in mind. While we get this organized in the next couple months, Srixon is temporarily allowing Brooks to use his previous driver and ball. Of course, he will continue playing Srixon irons and Cleveland Golf wedges. Both parties are fully committed to the partnership, and we are confident Brooks will be back in a Srixon driver and golf ball soon.”

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