Here I will be reviewing the TaylorMade JetSpeed game-improvement driver which, at the time of its debut, was the first driver to incorporate TaylorMade’s innovative Speed Pocket technology. The JetSpeed is, in many ways, a marked improvement over its predecessor, the RBZ Stage 2.
In what ways does the JetSpeed shine? What are its weaknesses? How does it perform in the distance and forgiveness departments? Read on to find out what you need to know about this quality driver to make an informed purchase.
What are the reviews like?
Both customers and testers alike have given the JetSpeed fantastic ratings overall — 4.4/5 stars on Amazon with over 114 customer reviews (click to read them), a 4.4/5 rating on the TaylorMade website (84% recommended), a 4.7/5 rating on Global Golf with over 116 customer reviews, and a 4.5/5 rating (93% recommended) on the Dick’s Sporting Goods website.
Many people have seen not only great distance gains with the JetSpeed over their previous driver, but also superb forgiveness (reduced sidespin) on off-center hits. People also love the feel of the driver, the light weight and the great price point.
In terms of potential negatives, some natural low-trajectory hitters find that they have trouble getting enough height on their shots with the JetSpeed. Some people aren’t completely comfortable with the longer shaft and lighter weight, and feel that it might contribute to an inconsistent ball flight.
Overview and Features
The JetSpeed is the first TaylorMade driver to feature their well-known Speed Pocket Technology. The primary function of the speed pocket is to promote a lower spin rate. In particular, it minimizes the spin generated from the most common mis-hit in golf — the thin shot, low on the face. This results in a more penetrating ball flight and ultimately more distance. The Speed Pocket is filled with a polymer that absorbs vibrations, keeps out debris and allows the face to flex for added ball speed.
In contrast to other drivers, the JetSpeed has a low and forward center of gravity (CG) which helps greatly in both lowering spin rates and increasing ball speeds. A side effect of this is a lower launch angle, so it would be wise to consider a loft higher than what you would normally use.
The standard lofts available with the JetSpeed are 9.5°, 10.5° and 13° (HL). The adjustable loft sleeve allows for the effective loft to be adjusted in increments of 0.5° over the range ±1.5° by unscrewing the hosel. Keep in mind that adjusting the loft this way will also change the face angle slightly and therefore introduce draw and fade biases.
The 46″ stock graphite shaft, the Matrix Velox T49, combines with the 299-gram clubhead to produce a relatively light package. The driver head has a shallow profile and streamlined shape which promotes a higher launch and faster swing speeds.
For full specifications, see the tables below:
TaylorMade JetSpeed Driver Specifications
|Loft||Hand||Lie||Volume||Length (Men/Women)||Swing Weight (Men/Women)|
|9.5°||Right/Left||61°||460cc||46" / 45"||D5 / D2|
|10.5°||Right/Left||61°||460cc||46" / 45"||D5 / D2|
|13°||Right||61°||460cc||46" / 45"||D5 / D2|
Matrix Velox T49 Shaft Specifications
|Flex||Shaft Weight (g)||Torque||Tip Size||Butt||Grip||Grip Weight|
|X||53||4.4||0.350||0.620||FCT Lite Grip||45|
|S||50||4.5||0.350||0.620||FCT Lite Grip||45|
|R||49||4.5||0.350||0.620||FCT Lite Grip||45|
|M||48||4.6||0.350||0.620||FCT Lite Grip||45|
How does the driver perform?
Distance: Solid strikes with the JetSpeed go a long way, and those transitioning from older drivers are likely to see distance gains of 10+ yards once their optimal launch is dialed in. Although there are now other (newer) contenders for the distance crown, the JetSpeed still holds up fantastically well.
As is typical with game-improvement drivers, distance losses on mis-hits are minimal; in the case of the JetSpeed, distance results get worse as you move towards the heel or toe.
Forgiveness: Although severe misses on the heel or toe of the JetSpeed can result in some nasty curveballs, forgiveness is generally very good. Slight to moderate mis-hits result in shots with minimal sidespin that maintain a good line.
True to TaylorMade’s claims, shots struck low on the face don’t balloon — they still yield impressive distance and trajectory, with noticeably less spin than you might expect. Still, given the fact that the lateral forgiveness isn’t the greatest, this may not be the best driver for those who consistently make contact near the toe or heel.
Trajectory and Spin: The typical ball flight of the JetSpeed is medium-low, but this will depend on your swing speed and loft setting among other things. The penetrating ball flight does very well in the wind. Spin rates do indeed tend to be very low, which is great for high-spin golfers looking for more distance. It’s possible to shape shots, but it’s certainly not the most workable driver on the market.
What about look, sound and feel?
Look: I’m definitely a fan of the JetSpeed’s matte black crown with its subtle yet effective alignment aid design. The 460cc footprint appears to be slightly narrower and more elongated than the Aeroburner. The sole of the club incorporates a sleek “jet-themed” sole design in a black/silver/blue colour scheme.
Sound and Feel: For most golfers, strikes in the sweet spot of the JetSpeed feel explosive, and the club itself feels very stable throughout the swing. Some people, however, dislike the sound of sweet spot strikes, which are rather high-pitched and metallic. The polymer filling in the Speed Pocket does a good job of dampening the vibrations resulting from mis-hits, making them feel more solid and sound more muted.
Where should I buy this driver?
The JetSpeed driver was initially priced at $299.99 USD, but it has since dropped rather dramatically in price. Through this Global Golf page you can obtain it in “mint” condition, which means it has no previous use other than possibly some shop wear, for under $100 USD. They also have other conditions available over a range of prices. If you’re at all interested in the driver, you might want to act fast because there’s no telling when or if it will go out of stock.
You can also find great deals on certain configurations of new JetSpeed drivers through this Amazon page.
What about a used one?
If you would rather save even more money by getting a used JetSpeed driver, I would highly recommend checking out this eBay page (also available new at sweet prices). I don’t think you’ll find lower prices anywhere else, but be sure to exercise your due diligence. You can also check out the used offerings on Global Golf, linked above.
Pros: Solid strikes produce excellent consistent distance and ball flight, forgiveness is great particularly low on the face, sleek look, many people love the lighter weight, low price is hard to ignore
Cons: Not the most adjustable driver out there, stock shaft options are limited, workability is limited, trajectory can take some getting used to, impact sound leaves a little to be desired
Although the JetSpeed, a game-improvement driver, is ideal for high handicappers, I will say that those looking for the absolute best lateral (heel/toe) forgiveness on the market may want to look elsewhere. The JetSpeed is an outstanding all-around performer, though, and at such a low price you’re getting tremendous value for your money.
I would recommend reading some of the reviews I linked to near the top of the page if you’re still undecided.
If you have any thoughts or opinions about the TaylorMade JetSpeed driver, be sure to leave a comment below!