Bridgestone J36 Hybrid Review

by   |   February 25, 2008

Bridgestone’s new J36 line is aimed at better players from top to bottom.

Their new J36 hybrid is an extension of their previous game improvement Gravity Chamber hybrids with some major design changes to suit better players. These days, hybrids span every shape and form, some look like large irons, others small fairway woods. There are plenty of options out there for golfers to find clubs that fit their eye. However, many players struggle to find hybrids they feel comfortable with, many get so frustrated they simply resort back to the long irons they sought to replace. With the J36 hybrid, Bridgestone does a great job addressing their target market and should be high on the consideration list for any avid golfer.

Aesthetics

Some hybrids look like super-sized irons, others come close to matching fairway woods. With the J36, Bridgestone has achieved the fine balance between a hybrid that’s small enough to suit better players yet still provides plenty of confidence from address. The club head is small for a hybrid, just a touch bigger toe to heel than a golf ball. It is covered in black paint that extends all the way around the club head. The hosel blends in perfectly with the top line giving the club an open appearance at address. Full face scoring lines provide a traditional look many golfers will love.

The face is deep and the square toe makes for a very clean setup beind the ball. The feel at impact is what I would call perfect. It has a solid, muted sound at impact that is closer to the feel of an iron rather than a wood. There is no hint of the “tin can” sound other clubs have.

Technology

Bridgestone has released two previous hybrid models – the original J33 and the Gravity Chamber. With the J36, Bridgestone sought to combine the best qualities of the two. The fusion has produced a club targeted towards better players with a little forgiveness built in. One of the big changes this year was the internal weighting of the club. The J36 has completely neutral weighting, soemthing better players crave. It’s a club that allows you to dictate the ball flight rather than force you to compensate like other models which feature heavy draw biases.

The sole features a small channel cut into the sole that moves weight to the perimeter of the club for a touch of forgiveness. The sole itself has been redesigned to help produce the best interaction with the turf from a variety of lies. The stock shaft is an 80 gram Alidla VS Proto which is a great match for the high but flat ball flight of the head.

Performance

I have had found two hybrids over the years which I have loved. The J36 beats them all handily. The club is fantastic whether hit off the tee or off the deck. It has a very flat trajectory that rises quickly and levels off. Also, thanks to its neutral weighting and face angle, working the ball in either direction is a very easy proposition. Need to hit a high hook? How about a low fade? Either shot is possible with the J36.

With hybrids, it is important to have a descending blow much like an iron. Turf interaction is an important characteristic for a hybrid. In thin, firm conditions, the camber of the sole makes it easy to catch the ball cleanly since a minimal area touches the ground. In very soft conditions, the blunt leading edge and width of the sole and leading edge prevent the club from digging.

The primary goal of a hybrid is forgiveness and the J36 does very well in this respect. It’s not a point and shoot club, nor is it intended to be. The ability to work the ball requires some sacrifices in forgiveness. However, shots struck high and low on the face all seem to get up quickly and don’t lose much distance. In the wind, the flat trajectory makes ballooning very difficult. The ball spins off the club, but it is not excessive, a tremendous benefit for players trying to dial in their distances.

Conclusion

Better players often find themselves in a quandary when it comes to long irons. Many desire the ball flight control of an iron but want more room for error on mishits. The J36 hybrid is one of the few clubs on the market made specifically to suit the needs of better players. Players who have been skeptical in the past might even find themselves ready to replace 4 or 5 irons with the J36. It is a complete club in every way.

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5 Comments

  1. Graham

    December 22, 2008 at 2:28 am

    I have recently bought the pocket cavity irons and was basically given a 19* and a 16* hybrid with the package.

    I have never been a hybrid fan but after hitting the 16* longer and straighter then my 13* 3 wood I’m totally turned and love this club.
    It gives me much more distance then I would have ever anticipated, and feels a lot more likean iron at address than other hybrids I have hit.

    I hit off 14 at the moment and have shaved off four shots since
    having Bridgestone clubs in my bag.

    I think largely due to their responsivness, I actually know now exactly when I him them sweet and when I dont which I think has been a real game improver for me. Having clubs with too much forgiveness I believe can do more bad then good If u know what I mean.

    The j36 hybrid has a lot of room to work the ball yet I have not hit a rank hook or slice with it yet only fades and draws.

    Definately worth your while, feels like an iron with length like a wood!!!
    Cheers, happy golfing!!!

  2. Joey C

    November 17, 2008 at 6:59 am

    The 19 degree version is absolutely massive. My swing speed is approx 112 with a driver, n the standard stiff shaft held up so well to my swing. I was putting it past my titleist 904f 3 wood with a fujikura pro 95 shaft in it. Best hybrid ive hit, n ive hit em all. definately keeping it, and its so easy to hit.

  3. drew ruiz

    April 21, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    I just bought the 16 degree J36 with the brand new prototype adilla vs shaft and it is a piece of art. Aside from its look the play is phenominal. It’s like hitting butter. I have a nickent 17 degree hybrid and would highly recommend that as well. However, nothings beats the bridgestone. I’m a highschool golfer and this club came in mid-season, its taken many strokes off my game.

    Drew Ruiz

  4. Bartolomeo

    March 3, 2008 at 10:38 pm

    This was a great review and it’s spot on about these aswesome hybrids. I switched from the Titleist 585H to this club in a 19 and 22 lofts. I suggest swapping out the shafts and put in some sort of Matrix hybrid shaft to compliment the head as well. Smaller head was a surprise but not noticeable at address. When struck, not a better sound.

    Bart

  5. Sean @ SwingSpeedGolf

    February 25, 2008 at 8:34 pm

    Now there’s a hybrid that I like the look of… thank’s heaps for sharing this one.

    I’ve had 3 different hybrids in my bag (Srixon, Titleist, KZG) and all times, I’ve ended up putting a 5 wood back in or a “chunky” game improvement type long iron.

    Your review has tipped me towards giving these a go.

    Cheers

    Sean Cassidy “Real Men Swing Fast”

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