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Today I will be reviewing the TaylorMade JetSpeed driver which, at the time of its debut, was the first driver to incorporate TaylorMade’s innovative Speed Pocket technology.
The game-improvement 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.
It has a 4.7/5 rating on Global Golf with over 200 customer reviews, 4.4/5 stars on Amazon with over 114 customer reviews, a 4.4/5 rating on the TaylorMade website (84% recommended), and a 4.5/5 rating (93% recommended) on the DSG website.
What People Like
- great distance gains with the JetSpeed over their previous driver
- superb forgiveness (reduced sidespin) on off-center hits
- great feel through the swing
- light weight
- really great price point
What People Don’t Like
- 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 & 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.
Low & Forward CG
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 weight.
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?
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.
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 & 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 & feel?
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.
The Sound & 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 you buy this driver online?
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 the stock that is left for just $70. 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 new and used JetSpeed drivers at fantastic prices on eBay.
- solid strikes produce 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
- 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 is a game-improvement driver 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.
Interested in the JetSpeed driver? Do you have any questions about it? Don’t hesitate to put your thoughts down in the comments.