Martin Hopley
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No sooner had I said last year in my review of the Bridgestone J715 driver that I was glad to see that Bridgestone clubs were now going to be available in the UK, than Bridgestone decided to withdraw from the UK completely for 2016.

However Golfalot is not that easily shaken off, so I ventured across the pond and at the 2016 PGA Show in Orlando I got my hands on the Bridgestone JGR driver that replaces the J715.

Bridgestone JGR Driver

Why go to all this bother for our American friends? Well, Bridgestone drivers are generally very good so I wanted to see how the JGR stacked up.

It still features the same Flex Action Speed Technology (FAST) crown that will flex at impact to increase ball speed and launch the ball higher.

Bridgestone JGR Driver

However you also need something firm for this to react against and the new speeDARC sole is stronger than before to give the head that stability for the crown to react against.

Bridgestone JGR Driver

On the back of the sole there are some fairly industrial looking weight ports for the adjustable 6g and 12g weights that enable you to change the club from a neutral to a draw bias if you put the heavier weight in the heel.

This is good adjustability as that is what most players need, rather than weight being taken up with a fade setting nobody would use. Without an adjustable hosel it also means the JGR can focus all the weight of the head where it will have the most benefit to more golfers.

The Power Milled Face design has also had the treatment and the rougher texture and groove lines aim to grip the ball more to reduce spin for more distance, if you can get that launch angle up.

Bridgestone JGR Driver

The JGR head is paired as standard with an Aldila NV 2KXV Orange shaft that is light, stable and topped off with a pretty vibrant yellow Golf Pride Tour Velvet grip as standard, although there are other custom options for both.

Bridgestone JGR Driver

This is really just the beginning of the cosmetic issues. The bold graphics on the toe are passable, but when you put it down at address there seem to be a couple of snake eyes watching you.

Bridgestone JGR Driver

Before we all break into classic Motorhead songs, this is the visual representation of the FAST crown and maybe the design team had the volume turned up when they were going through the colour charts.

Bridgestone JGR Driver

The large head looks bigger than its 460cc size and feels light to swing with a great sound and feel. The fixed hosel really helps with this and the forgiveness was excellent and sending balls out into the distance put a smile on my face, which is always a good sign.

The trajectory was mid to high and with the choice of three head lofts of 9.5°, 10.5° and 12° and the adjustable weights it should be possible to get just the right set up for your swing.

Bridgestone JGR Driver

Yet again I feel Bridgestone has produced an excellent driver that sounds and feels the part and I hope that the looks don't put anyone off picking one up to try, because everything else about it is worth crossing an ocean for.

Golfalot Rating: 5 stars
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Bridgestone JGR Driver

Bridgestone JGR Driver - Product Details

Launch USA04 March 2016
Launch RRP£210
Handicap Range
Low
High
GolferMens
Hand AvailabilityRight
Right Handed Lofts9.5°, 10.5°, 12°
MaterialTitanium
Lie59°
Head Volume460 cc
Club Length45.25 inches
Swing WeightD2
AdjustabilityWeight
Shaft NameAldila NV 2KXV Orange
Shaft TypesGraphite
Shaft FlexRegular, Stiff
Shaft Weight64g (Stiff)
GripGolf Pride Tour Velvet
Manufacturer's WebsiteBridgestone Website

User Reviews

August 2016

Good distance and forgiving, nice sound on center hits - so it should be a driver to love. But something is missing and after 4 months I realized it is lacking that smashing feel when the ball compresses. Performance really is good and tight dispersion is great. Also, it takes some practice to square the face at address. Needs a better alignment mark.

August 2016

Love at first swing!!!! No kidding, I was set to buy a M2 and had a fitting for it and ready to special order and I ran into a Bridgestone ball fitting and they had all the Bridgestone clubs. Never knew they made drivers, tried the JGR and was sold. Now I wouldn't buy it without comparing and being fitted for it. So I went to a PGA super store and compared this to an M2 and no contest. I now have 2 rounds in with the best driver I have ever owned. Outstanding distance and accuracy. I'm a 9 handicap 69 yrs old, got a 12 degree R shaft, distance I'm getting with this is 245 to 260 average. My last 4 drivers have been Taylormade and this is WAY better. Just give it a try.

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