Review: TaylorMade JetSpeed Driver

by   |   January 7, 2014
TaylorMade JetSpeed Driver Review
Review: TaylorMade JetSpeed Driver Ben Alberstadt
Performance
Looks and Feel

Summary: The JetSpeed driver is for golfers who need more spin and forgiveness than the company's SLDR models can provide.

4.5

Lighter and more forgiving


See It Amazon

Pros: Consistent launch and carry on strikes anywhere on the club’s large sweet spot, particularly those low on the face. Impressive distance for a driver with this level of forgiveness. Sleek, subtle look and an attractive $299 price point.

Cons: No moveable weights and limited shaft offerings. It’s also difficult to work the ball and keep ball flight down. Those who liked TaylorMade’s matte white crowns or the R1′s racing stripe may not like the more traditional, glossy gray crown.

Bottom Line: If you’re in the market for a forgiving driver this year, JetSpeed is a good place to start. It offers the spin and forgiveness many golfers need to hit consistently long drives.

Overview

The addition of TaylorMade’s Speed Pocket technology to its JetSpeed driver promotes lower-spinning, higher-launching shots than its predecessor, the RBZ Stage 2 driver. The Speed Pocket also dramatically improves performance on shots struck lower in the face, where, according to TaylorMade, most driver mis-hits occur.

With the JetSpeed woods in general, and the driver in particular, TaylorMade continues the theme of a low, forward CG. Given the more forward CG, many players will need to “loft-up” to optimize ball flight. Fortunately, the JetSpeed driver has a 3-degree range of adjustability, up or down 1.5 degrees from the printed loft in 0.5-degree increments.

bdeafff4ab139d95ef62f75dcc8d8d75

The JetSpeed is long and light (46 inches with a 299-gram total weight), and the stock Matrix Velox T 49 shaft weighs just 50 grams. The driver’s head measures 460 cubic centimeters, and it is available in lofts of 8, 9.5, 10.5 and 12 degrees and retails for $299. The TP version includes a more robust Matrix Velox ST 60 shaft and sells for $399.

JetSpeed Driver Specs

Performance

It’s been clear since the JetSpeed’s release that it is a complement to TaylorMade’s 2014 driver line, not something that is meant to better the company’s low-spinning SLDR and SLDR 430 drivers. With this in mind, the JetSpeed driver is intended to be more forgiving and higher spinning than each of the SLDR drivers.

2b6186dc42fb04e7cd3eb14ade1170bf

In testing the 9.5 degree Jet Speed driver, with an average club head speed of 107 mph, ball speed was 155 mph. Average spin was 2600 rpm, with a launch angle of 13.6 degrees for an average carry distance of 265 yards, which are slightly better numbers for me than with last year’s R1 and RBZ Stage 2.

The touted forgiveness on shots hit low on the face isn’t off base, either. The traditional low-launching, high-spinning shot golfers expect from that type of strike is replaced with a slightly higher-flying, mid-spinning shot. On shots hit on the center of the face, distance was about what could be expected from a more forgiving club, although roll out was generally above average.

As found in our review of the R1, as well as our assessment of the SLDR, loft needed to be increased by 0.5 degrees in comparison to other models to make up for the lower spin rate.

Shots hit off the heel or toe of the club weren’t dealt the same degree of forgiveness as those struck low on the face, as both loss of distance and penal hook/slice spin resulted. It seems with the forward CG, TaylorMade has sacrificed performance on shots struck on the heel or toe of the club for better performance on shots struck in the center of the face.

Looks and Feel

a258b3c6b35e161ce79f8fc2159c6e22

Visually, the crown of the JetSpeed driver is somewhat reminiscent of the 2007 TaylorMade Burner, and the dark gray/black coloration is certainly a significant departure from the white heads of last year’s RBZ Stage 2 and R1 models.

Screen shot 2013-12-26 at 8.11.50 PM

The sole of the club—with its flowing triangular design—is reminiscent of something aeronautical, and it looks sleek and fast. The club face itself is shallower than TaylorMade’s recent offerings in order to lower the club’s CG. That makes the club look and feel fast, although perhaps I’ve been conditioned to think this way by TaylorMade’s relentless marketing efforts. One of the coolest angles to view the JetSpeed driver from is from the side; the club looks like it’s moving through a wind tunnel.

As for feel, the polymer slot dampened vibration on off-center hits, particularly on the heel and toe where hits sounded much quieter and flatter. Feel on shots struck on the hyped “25 percent larger” sweet spot was percussive, loud and somewhat high-pitched and metallic. The 46-inch shaft felt long and light as advertised, but it was a little flimsier than most stock stiff driver shafts.

The Takeaway

f23d7b266a0bf9edcc4d0a8bdf7af178

If you’re interested in a TaylorMade driver and don’t need the adjustability or spin-killing ability of the of the SLDR, consider the JetSpeed a way to save $100.

About

Ben writes primarily about the PGA Tour for GolfWRX. He has a sentimental attachment to a set of 1976 Wilson Staff blades, which isn't helping his scores any. Follow him on Twitter for his golf-related ramblings: @BJA_GolfWRX.


27 Comments

  1. LS

    April 8, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    I used to love TaylorMade. In fact, I still hit TaylorMade TP Forged irons and wedges, which I absolutely Love. But now with all these gimmicky products they’re putting out, they are really tarnishing their name. You may not see it now, but you will. RocketBallz and Jetspeed are 2 prime examples. It’s like they are catering to the 20+ handicaps who know nothing about golf and just want something flashy. They never have good shaft options and they just seem to go for looks…Corny looks, might I ad. TaylorMade is becoming the Puma of drivers, and it’s a shame.

  2. Liam

    March 30, 2014 at 9:06 am

    Don’t be fooled by the jetspeed nonsense. I bought the club after fitting and was getting 245 yards carry and dead straight on a launch monitor. But i was swinging like a lunatic.
    2 sessions in the range and all i was doing was slicing slicing. I was convinced i had been sold a dud.
    Played on the course, again i was swinging like a lunatic and slicing. Had a couple of beeers and decided to slow it down a bit.
    On the back 9 i hit 4 drives between 30-50 yards further than my very very best drives, with a Taylormade R7, a driver i have used for years and was very confortable with, except my ball flight was too high. My jetspeed is 9.5 stiif shaft I have it set on 11, the ball flight is lowish, with a hint of draw / hook but it will roll for ever after landing.
    Very nice club but don’t believe the crap about “jetspeed ” increased swing speed /ball speed. Like all golf clubs a slow pure strike if far superior to a fast clumsy strike.
    To sum up hit it well and it is a lovely driver , hit it poorly and you will not go as far as you 3 iron

  3. DBO

    March 14, 2014 at 3:34 am

    Hey guys, hope everyone is having fun bashing a good driver lol

    I have spent 4-5 hours at PGA tour super store, dicks, and my local driving range hitting drivers recently. Today I was hitting the SLDR against my driver **I currently hit a an old school Great Big Bertha II 9 degree with stiff shaft because I don’t like the feel of most of these newer drivers.

    Anyways, I was hitting my driver vs SLDR and was getting same results with each… If I hit pure, would carry 250ish, if I misfit I either lost 20-30 yards short, or occassionaly sliced the heck out of it, or came over the top and hit it dead straight 50 yards left of aim..

    The Pro then brought out the Jetspeed with 49g shaft at 10.5 degrees. .. I mishit a few and hit a few good ones trying to get used to it… After that I started hitting it high and straight… Consistently… Was carrying it as far as my best hits with SLDR and my Bertha… And when I hit it pure, I out drove those clubs by 20-30 yards. (Was carrying further than the others were rolling.

    Maybe I just warmed up really good after the first 85 balls, or this driver is a good driver… Personally i tnink its the latter… I went back and forth between them and the Jetspeed was much more consistent for me. High ball flight, not much fade or draw, no real slice or hook, no dead left hits (all after the first few to get used to it lol)

    Last time I went to Dicks, Ball Speed on SLDR was 140-144 avg with a few from 147-148…. This club def felt faster on my swing even tho I was swinging easier and smoother.

    My $.02

  4. Matt

    March 9, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    Bash tmag all you want. The fact is they sell drivers because they perform. The R5 did, the r7 did, the super quad was amazing. The tour burner did, the r9 did, the r11 was the # 1 selling driver of all time. The r11s did, the RBZ 1.0 and 2.0 did, the r1 performed, the SLDR is killing it. Bash all you want while Mr. king laughs all the way to the bank. TMAG is doing something right!

  5. CBJ

    February 3, 2014 at 8:38 pm

    OK, I am 64, hit my R11 with a 50 gram shaft TM sent me for free. Swing speed is around 90, not a lot of roll. Good launch Angeles and can go low on 6000 yd courses as evidenced by a 4.3 (winter) hdcp index. Ave drive around 200 TDs. Looking for 225 and working with my pro to use my body more. Interested in the Jet Speed. Tried the SLDR, carried 160 with spin of 800 rpm, just fell out of the sky. Looking for serious thoughts from you. Will be trying Jetspeed at Superstore in Kennesaw next week. Your thoughts.

    • CBJ

      February 3, 2014 at 8:39 pm

      Excuse my spelling.

      • CBJ

        February 5, 2014 at 1:51 am

        Today I tested the SLDR and Jetspeed After hitting the R11 since last March. Taylor made had sent me a 50 gram shaft in June and my swing speed increased about 3MPH, spin dropped from 3900 to 3700 while my launch remained around 17*. when I tried the Sldr, R and M shaft, we adjusted to get a nice 15* launch angle but the spin was below 800 . Ball started on a nice trajectory but just dropped out of the sky. The Jetspeed gave amazing results at my lower swing speed. Club head speed +5mph, 2600 rpm spin rate, launched at 15.5 degrees average, slight draw (maybe 6 yds), able to hit a slight fade so I could control the ball flight on demand. I picked up more than 12 -15 yatds on average and the feel, sound and appearance were very good, soul satisfying.

        Final choice was HL model, 49 gram Matrix shaft, M flex and std face angle. Course is now 210 yds shorter after drives (14holes@ 15 yds). Average drive went from 210 to almost 225 with approx 20 yard wide target area hit on 13 of 15 shots.misses were tolerable.

        I will call my contact at TM to share stats. With us baby boomers becoming seniors, there is a targeted market with certain needs.

  6. Paul

    January 22, 2014 at 9:13 pm

    Got a jet speed about a month ago .My good drives are long but my bad drives are bad.I got a regular shaft sp around 98 to100.Should I have got a stiff flex?

    • teebag

      January 31, 2014 at 6:54 pm

      No you should have bought an R1!

  7. Neiler

    January 22, 2014 at 5:45 pm

    If tracking all claims on new drivers in terms of added yardage per each innovation launched surely I should be hitting 500 yard drives…of course I am? All very confusing but I got fitted for an i 20 driver and routiney hit the middle of the fairway on long drives so won’t be changing this for a while. That said, the 3 wood in jetspeed is impressive and did surpass my existing i 20 equivalent comfortably.

  8. Big Daddy

    January 21, 2014 at 7:19 am

    Tested the Jetspeed with a Elements Chrome shaft and had better results than the 913 and the SLDR. This is a really good driver for the $.

  9. DK

    January 11, 2014 at 9:06 pm

    As it gets harder to eek out yardage with limits on club tech, I appreciate the fact that manufacturers are doing research to continue the effort. I don’t have the ability to purchase everything that comes out, but testing new product is always enjoyable. The thing Taylormade has going for them is a willingness to be innovative and take risks. Haters will be haters though…

  10. Deaus

    January 11, 2014 at 5:05 pm

    Taylormade’s “Evidence” is not accurate and never really has been. from the 17 yards RBZ to the 27 yards stage 2. Taylormade will always have to include fine print and lots of it when they have adverts.

  11. Jeff Smith

    January 11, 2014 at 10:16 am

    What a pile!

  12. phil

    January 9, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    a club that is difficult to work the ball and keep it down doesn’t sound forgiving at all.

  13. Floyderick

    January 9, 2014 at 12:34 am

    Taylormade has really revolutionized golf equipment as we see it with this ground-breaking driver that is JETSPEED! Thank you Taylormade, another great product from Golf’s leading equipment company!!!

    • Deaus

      January 11, 2014 at 5:09 pm

      You are not by chance on TMAG payroll are you?

    • Al

      February 12, 2014 at 9:04 pm

      They are the leading equipment company simply because they advertise far more than anyone else. Taylormade hasn’t done anything innovative this year. Mizuno had SLDR technology back when the Burner was popular and we all know that didn’t work too well. The Jetspeed is just an SLDR with no sliding weight in the bottom. Real original Taylormade.

  14. Aleksi Lepisto

    January 8, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    I believe the link to the R1 review is incorrect…or am I missing something? It’s going to a thread about SLDR fitting.

  15. Tim

    January 8, 2014 at 6:55 am

    Why does Taylormade seem to invoke this marmite response. I will buy clubs form any company that produces a decent product. I had an R11, which was a really great club, I tried the r11s which was far to similar for me to be worth buying. The r1 and RBZ just looked ugly so I didn’t try them. I would potentially buy the sldr as it looks good, however I am currently using a Adams low spin driver, and I am not sure the sldr will be any better.
    This looks quite descent although a bit too much like the the burner drivers for my liking. I could never get on with them.

  16. RG

    January 7, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    I’m not going to bash TM, It’s my fault for not being able to keep up and buy a new model every 3 months. I need to get with the program and realioze that the R11, R11s, R1,Rocketballz and Slider are now obsolete and I must get the JetSpeed. All this adjustability and customization is all wrong for me, I get it. I just need to bite the bullet and do the right thing and get the JetSpeed. TaylorMade I never doubted your infinite wisdom, you lead I will follow. Can’t wait to see the new model that I’m going to get in March.

    • Deaus

      January 11, 2014 at 5:07 pm

      LOL, my sentiments EXACTLY.

  17. Christopher Barnes

    January 7, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    61* lie angle, that has to be wrong

  18. Jim V

    January 7, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    I just tried the Jetspeed out at my local Dick’s on the simulator. I compared it to the original Xhot, both 9.5, both stiff shafts. The Xhot on average was 12 yards longer and much straighter that the Jetspeed for me.

  19. Martin V.

    January 7, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    So basically with next few years with TaylorMade’s claim of higher launch and less spin, we should get a 90 degree launch vertically up in the air with 0 spin. lol

    • Cris

      January 7, 2014 at 3:21 pm

      No need to take it to the extreme. TM has said that optimal launch and spin to maximize carry – all else being equal – is 17 degrees and 1700 RPM. There’s ample research that supports their claim.

      • HackerDav

        January 7, 2014 at 8:47 pm

        There isn’t enough evidence to satisfy anyone who wants to TMaG bash… never will be!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>