TaylorMade’s Carbonwood Has Us Asking, How’d We Get Here?

By Ryan Gager

Drivers continue to evolve year after year as golfers keep chasing distance and club manufactures keep pushing the boundaries of driver limits. One of the biggest innovations of the year was TaylorMade’s Stealth driver with a carbon face. TaylorMade says this driver was 20 years in the making, so how did we get to this point? Matt Bovee, TaylorMade Senior Manager of Product Development, discusses with GOLFTEC’s Nick Clearwater in this edition of Club Explorers. For a look at a real blast from the past, check out these Driving Tips with Dean Wilson as he uses a wooden driver.

The Evolution of TaylorMade Drivers

TaylorMade was founded on the Pittsburgh Persimmon driver – the first metal wood – in 1979. See these TaylorMade Staff Tour Professionals, including Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods, take a swing with the original 1979 Pittsburgh Persimmon, here.

The first big advancement came with titanium, which allowed manufacturers to go bigger with the driver head than steel allowed. Titanium also allowed for thinner face construction leading to increased ball speeds and more distance.

More recently drivers are featuring composite materials blending with titanium, mostly in body panels on the crown or the sole, but Stealth is the first driver to feature a carbon face, utilizing 60 layers of carbon fiber. Matt says this carbon face allows Stealth to be more efficient in energy transfer to the ball, delivering more distance and forgiveness.

The original Pittsburgh Persimmon driver, the first metal wood created by TaylorMade in 1979.

Advancements with a Nod to Features of the Past

You can see from the Firesole that an attempt was made to put some weight low and in the back of the club. As materials and manufacturing processes improved, more weight could be added even father back to improve performance, and this eventually lead to movable weights.

Most drivers today still have weight low and in the back of the club, and many still feature movable weights to change the CG, add forgiveness and change shot shapes. The Stealth+ still utilizes sliding weight technology that was first introduced in the TaylorMade SLDR.

With the never-ending quest from golfers to hit the ball father, club manufacturers like TaylorMade will continue to push the boundaries and find ways to incorporate new materials and new processes to keep satisfying the craving for more distance.

Moveable weights in drivers have been around for many years now, even the Stealth+ features the sliding weight technology first introduced in the SLDR almost 10 years ago.

If you haven’t hit the TaylorMade Stealth driver, be sure to stop in to you local GOLFTEC today to give it a try! Your local GOLFTEC Coach will be able to fit you into the best driver for your game. Whether you’re looking for more distance off the tee or more accuracy, we can fit you into something that you will love!

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