Pros: Miminimal vibration on off-center strikes and easy to hit from a variety of lies. Impressive distance, and $20 cheaper than SLDR.
Cons: Some might not like the crown design, and the lack of adjustability is a bummer. Not very workability, and lots of spin at higher swing speeds (with stock shaft).
Bottom Line: If you don’t need the adjustability and spin-killing ability of the SLDR (and want to save a few bucks), the JetSpeed Rescue is worth a demo.
The TaylorMade JetSpeed Rescue is a hybrid club that features the same polymer-filled cavity as the other JetSpeed woods. According to the company, the new Speed Pocket saves weight from the design and allows the shallower clubface to flex more than it did in previous slotted models, the RBZ and RBZ Stage 2.
With the JetSpeed hybrid, TaylorMade was able to move the center of gravity lower and farther forward in the club head than the RBZ Stage 2 hybrids. That improves ball speed on center strikes, and helps the clubs launch higher with less spin, creating a steeper angle of descent for faster stopping power. In company testing, the JetSpeed hybrid spun 200-to-300 rpm less than TMag’s previous Rescue clubs.
The touted benefit of performance on shots struck lower in the club face was apparent on shots from both the fairway and rough. Simply put, shots that felt incredibly thin had nearly the same distance and trajectory as those that were flushed. While great performance lower in the club face is a feature of the whole JetSpeed line, it is perhaps most beneficial to the average golfer in the Rescue, as the club is played from the widest variety of lies, and the ball is likely struck off-center more often.
The JetSpeed hybrids come stock with Matrix’s Velox T in L, M, R and S flexes. The L Flex is the lightest at 45 grams, while the M Flex weighs 55 grams, the R flex weighs 65 grams and the S flex weighs 75 grams. They sell for $199.
In testing, the average ball speed for a swing speed of 98 mph was 142 mph. Spin numbers, however, were just over 4000 rpm, which is above the ideal range for me. However, there wasn’t the ballooning typical of a “spinny” hybrid with the JetSpeed.
Across 10 shots on the the launch monitor, the 19-degree hybrid carried an average distance of 217 yards with an average total distance of 231 yards. Roll out would likely be less on typical fairways and greens, of course, with the amount of spin generated. Accuracy was respectable, save for a left bias, which likely was a product of the shaft.
On shots struck lower in the face, the TaylorMade JetSpeed rescue did what it claimed to: dampen vibration and provide a decent trajectory, rather than a skulled shot. Performance was good on shots struck elsewhere on the club face, including the heel and toe. It was difficult to hit a truly awful shot anywhere on the clubface, and the JetSpeed rescue clearly shared the auto-corrective, higher-MOI properties of the other JetSpeed woods.
The JetSpeed hybrid’s ability to easily get the ball airborne was evident from lies in the rough and other less-than-ideal situations. Again, as shots struck lower on the clubface are more common in such situations, the JetSpeed rescue performed admirably.
Like the other woods in the JetSpeed line, the JetSpeed hybrid is designed more with forgiveness in mind than workability. As such, it doesn’t come as a surprise that it’s difficult to work the ball significantly with this club — everything seems to go pretty straight — and that’s not the worst golf-related problem to have.
Looks and Feel
The sole of the club features the same branding as the other JetSpeed woods, with the “aircraft in a wind tunnel” sort of metallic bottom, as well as a fixed weight and the polymer-filled slot. At address, the club sits square. Even though the profile is somewhat smaller than the SLDR, the clubhead doesn’t inspire any loss of confidence. As with the the other woods in the JetSpeed line, the Rescue features a grey-black crown with subtle (by today’s standards) crown graphics, which theoretically aid aiming.
The sound at impact was somewhat muted. While the JetSpeed driver and fairway woods tended toward the loud end of the spectrum, the Rescue was noticeably more muted. However, as with the other clubs, there was a vast difference in sound between shots struck on the the center of the face and those struck on the heel or toe.
As we said about the JetSpeed driver, if you’re considering going the TaylorMade route and are looking for a more forgiving, lower-spinning, and (slightly) lower-priced hybrid, and don’t need an adjustable club, the JetSpeed Rescue is a great play for 2014.