Martin Hopley

As we approach the end of 2013, you may be asking what is new with the 4th driver TaylorMade have announced this year following the TaylorMade Black R1 Driver, the TaylorMade RBZ Stage 2 Driver and the TaylorMade SLDR Driver. A fair question and one for which TaylorMade has the answer in its pocket.

That is because the Speed Pocket that you know and love from the previous TaylorMade RocketBallz and RBZ Stage 2 fairway woods has now found its way into the JetSpeed driver.

TaylorMade JetSpeed Driver Sole

TaylorMade's speed pocket is a groove cut into the sole of the club to allow the face to flex more. It also moves the centre of gravity (CG) closer to the face and this combination increases ball speed and reduces spin for greater distance.

TaylorMade JetSpeed Driver Sole

So why is this news, as surely that could have done it by now? Well they could have, but as all driver faces are already at the legal speed limit (COR) to do so would have put it over the top, so it required some re-engineering.

Effectively what they have done is to let the speed pocket increase performance on off centre and particularly low hits on the face without increasing the ball speed from the middle.

Therefore I went out and teed the ball lower than normal to see what happend and I can say that they all sailed happily off into the sunset. The SpeedPocket just made every shot that was low or to the sides feel like it came out of somewhere nearer the middle. Indeed the feel and sound was probably the best of all the drivers they have launched this year.

I also tested the JetSpeed on a Flightscope against the SLDR driver and it confirmed that the former is a higher spinning driver than the latter. Now the SLDR is very low spin which is why they are telling everyone to loft up, but the JetSpeed performed more like a 'normal' driver for ball spin and launch so this should suit amateur golfers more as it will enable them to get the ball up in the air.

Even so you may still have to increase the loft on the JetSpeed from your usual loft as having the CG lower and closer to the face means that it will need a little more loft to get the ball on the perfect trajectory. There are 3 lofts available at 9.5°, 10.5° and a HL 13° and each one has an adjustable hosel that can be changed up or down 1.5° in 3 increments.

TaylorMade JetSpeed Driver Sole

It is very easy to unscrew the hosel to adjust the loft and the options are marked as 2 dashes between standard and +/- 1.5°. Without getting too technical this is because the actual lofts on these marks may not be exactly 0.5° each due to the way these hosels work.

They use an off-centre bore for the screw, so therefore the actual loft on the face could be say 10° and this is then offset with the least adjustment of say -0.5° to 9.5° marked loft on the head.

Everything other hosel position thereafter is relative to this so when you are adjusting the head up one or two dashes then you are somewhere between 9.5° and 11° but it does not say exactly where.

This gives you a lot of options and some may find this disconcerting, so it would be wise to get custom fitted when you buy this driver to ensure you get the right head and adjusted loft.

TaylorMade JetSpeed Driver Toe

When you change the loft you will change the lie of the club and whilst there is also an upright lie option on the hosel, it is still fixed with the loft so it you need a neutral lie, then try and get the head loft nearest to your required actual loft.

The other big change is the black head and silver face, which first re-appeared on the SLDR range. It still has the visual contrast that helps alignment, but is more mainstream than the previous white headed models. Also familiar is the head graphics on the crown which are remarkably similar to the 2007 TaylorMade Burner 460 driver with a few dashes of the current corporate colour of blue.

TaylorMade JetSpeed Driver At Address

Even the headcover is the same black/white/blue as the SLDR driver. Not exactly the edginess that we have come to expect from TaylorMade, but I actually quite like it and I think more golfers will too.

TaylorMade JetSpeed Driver Headcover And Shaft

Weight is another key factor these days and at just under 300 grams, the JetSpeed driver felt very light. The 46 inch Matrix Velox T49 shaft is longer than standard for some extra ball speed and is very light at just 49 grams. The feel and stability is very good but I had a little extra shot dispersion compared to 45 inch drivers, which is not unusual.

TaylorMade JetSpeed Driver Shaft

In conclusion, the TaylorMade Jetspeed driver will suit more amateur golfers than the SLDR, as the higher spinning face will suit those whose driver clubhead speed is under 95mph. The low and front CG is a very different set up to the low and back CG of the RBZ Stage 2 driver so you do have a lot of choice at present and if you want a TaylorMade driver then some professional advice on all these models is a must.

The technology is sound and does deliver benefits in a package that has the almost reassuring looks of something familiar. It will be interesting to see if the low front CG approach is the future or a fad, but if you find that the JetSpeed driver works for you then it will be a good buy.

Golfalot Rating: 5 stars
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TaylorMade JetSpeed Driver - Product Details

UK Launch13 December 2013
UK Launch RRP£249
USA Launch13 December 2013
Handicap Range
Hand AvailabilityLeft, Right
Left Handed Lofts9.5°, 10.5°
Right Handed Lofts9.5°, 10.5°, 13°
Head Volume460 cc
Weight299 grams
Club Length46 inches
Swing WeightD5
Shaft NameMatrix Velox T49
Shaft TypesGraphite
Shaft FlexLight, Ladies, Regular, Stiff, X Stiff
Shaft Weight48, 49, 50, 53 grams
GripFCT Lite Grip .600
Manufacturer's WebsiteTaylorMade Website

User Reviews

Greg DiMaria
July 2017

I've been a Callaway fan for over 20 yrs and recently I found the Jetspeed Driver. Just prior to trying this driver I had was using the Taylor Made RAZR and had a hard time keeping my drives on line and was fadding right alot. So someone told me about the Jetspeeds dynamics and being an equip. junkie I bought a used one at a local golf shop and was very surprised at how easy it was to hit. I'm 68 yrs old and have a low back injury for many yrs and my golf swing is not really very fast. This club is amazing and I recommend anyone with a big fade to try it'll be surprised how easy it is to hit it far and straight without alot of effort.

Golfer 98
June 2017

Got this driver at the beginning of the 2016 season and it has given me a huge improvement it distance as well as where it lies! Recently fixed my aim and landed a 300+drive.

May 2016

Great distance, very forgiving and consistent.

May 2016

Super great driver and great review! It has helped me a lot. Went from mediocre drives and with 5 lessons I was hitting 180 to 200. The Fairways are great as well. I complemented my set with the SLDR 5HL fairway which screams distance on second shot if hit well.

May 2016

Great driver. Very forgiving. Big sweet spot and great distance!

April 2016

Best driver i've ever had. After two solid years thought i'd look to upgrade but still cannot find one to replace it.

April 2016

Got this used this year and started using it this season of 2016. It is more user friendly than the SLDR and R15. It is very forgiving on mishits. My average drives are 230 and it has been the same on every club. But what stood out on this one is it is as forgiving as the Ping G30 which is said to be the highest moi in all drivers. I got this dirt cheap since it is a very underrated driver.

March 2016

Bought this club second-hand in the spring of 2015 and love it (love the irons too). Noticed greater distance over my previous Callaway driver and irons. When you are able to hit the sweet spot on both irons and the "woods" it's a great feeling.

June 2015

Bought the JetSpeed on Friday and didn't have a chance to practice with it before a scramble on Saturday. I joined to the 300 yard club yesterday!!! Very comfortable club. I still sliced several drives, but that was of my own doing. It felt like every drive found the sweet spot on this club. And now that it is almost 3 years old you can get it really cheap. Got mine for $139.

May 2014

I upgraded my Callaway RAZR X Black Driver to the Taylormade Jetspeed driver (9.5 degree, regular shaft). What a great club! Hit the ball consistently straight with around 5-10% more distance. I play off 15 and would recommend this to all golfers.

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