Every year at the start of the year, two of the biggest names in the driver category go head to head with their respective product launches in an attempt to capture the attention of golfers before the product hits the shelves. The year 2022 was no exception, with Callaway announcing its Rogue ST driver early on January 4th, followed by TaylorMade’s Stealth line-up just a few hours later on the same day.
Although it remains to be seen whether one performs demonstrably better than the other, and this will be player dependent, is there a case to be made that one generated more excitement and anticipation than the other, and if so, what might have been the reason for this?
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Our initial assessment is that TaylorMade was the company that generated the most excitement and generated the greatest amount of interest when the Stealth driver was introduced, which is perhaps unsurprising for a company known for its aggressive marketing. The number of page views on the website reflects this, and the number of responses on the Twitter feed corroborates this.
Which of today’s new driver releases do you most like the look of? 👇 pic.twitter.com/ahRUx0PfJH— Golf Monthly (@GolfMonthly) January 4, 2022
For starters, it has a brand-new name and an eye-catching feature in the form of a brilliant red carbon fibre face. Tiger Woods put the driver and fairway woods in the bag for his return to golf at the PNC Championship, giving us a sneak peek. He and his son came close to winning the competition, whetting the public’s hunger for more information when it became available.’
Both drivers have had a terrific response on tour. Collin Morikawa of TaylorMade put Stealth in play at the Sentry tournament of champions, which admittedly had a small field. This is interesting because he didn’t make the conversion from SIM to SIM2 last year. Other members of the team, such as Lucas Herbert and even free agent Daniel Berger, also contributed to Stealth’s victory. Callaway’s poster boy Jon Rahm, as well as Phil Mickelson, Xander Schaufelle, new signing Abraham Ancer, Marc Leishman, and Talor Gooch, all put the Rogue ST in the bag.
Callaway’s goal was to create something more cosmetically attractive, and while Rogue ST does this, it lacks the wow impact of Stealth. While I believe the A.I. technology story is completely accurate, I believe it will be tough to sell to a golfer who can see and touch the new Stealth face and leaves nothing behind closed doors.
Rick Shiels, who now has over two million YouTube subscribers, is a pretty decent barometer of golfer interest, and his assessment of the Stealth drivers has had over twice as many views as his evaluation of the Rogue ST drivers. Nonetheless, our Callaway Rogue ST review video has so far outdone our Stealth drivers video.
Callaway recently fired shots on Twitter by uploading an image of a Big Bertha C4 driver with a carbon face from nearly 20 years ago. This was definitely a dig at TaylorMade’s ostensibly revolutionary technology, and while it’s worth noting that Callaway has done similar work in the past, you can’t help but wonder if this low blow simply plays into TaylorMade’s hands.
Without a doubt, both of these drivers appear to be among the best ever created, but the Stealth appears to have gotten the audience’s passions running a little more vigorously.
Read the original article on Golf Monthly.