Equipment Review: JetSpeed by TaylorMade

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TaylorMade unveiled JetSpeed last week, which is its update to the RocketBallz line and includes the first driver to utilize Speed Pocket technology.

I’ve pasted portions of the company release below, but if you’re up to speed on JetSpeed and just want to read about my experience, then scroll about halfway down.

The word from the source:

TaylorMade, the No. 1 played driver brand on the PGA Tour, has announced the release of JetSpeed, a breakthrough line of metalwoods that includes the company’s first driver to feature Speed Pocket technology. In addition, JetSpeed fairway woods and Rescue clubs combine an enhanced Speed Pocket, an extremely low-forward center of gravity (CG) location and extremely light overall weight to promote faster swing speed, clubhead speed and ball speed for more distance.

“We expect ‘low and forward CG’ to represent the next great innovation in metalwood performance,” said Sean Toulon, Executive Vice President. “With our SLDR and JetSpeed products, we’re giving golfers of all types the opportunity to increase their launch angle and reduce their spin-rate, which ultimately leads to more distance.”

  The First Driver with a Speed Pocket

The Speed Pocket was originally designed to increase the speed at which the clubface flexes and rebounds to promote faster ball speed.  Why put a Speed Pocket in a driver, since the face is already as fast as the USGA will allow? TaylorMade engineers discovered that incorporating a Speed Pocket into the JetSpeed driver promotes less spin, as well as greater ball speeds on shots struck below the center of the clubface. Research suggests 72% of all golf shots are hit below the center of face, so the JetSpeed driver is designed to minimize the ill effects of shots struck below center.

“With most drivers, low impact generates too much spin, making the ball fly too high and land short,” said Brian Bazzel, TaylorMade’s Senior Director of Metalwood Creation. “JetSpeed’s Speed Pocket is engineered to dramatically reduce that added spin to promote more distance on that very common type of mishit.”

 JetSpeed Fairway Woods and Rescues

JetSpeed fairway woods and Rescue clubs each incorporate a radically redesigned Speed Pocket that’s smaller and accounts for less weight, while remaining just as efficient at boosting the speed of the clubface.

The improved Speed Pocket is filled with a polymer that keeps debris out, improving turf interaction while absorbing unwanted vibration without slowing down the clubface.

The weight saved by the new Speed Pocket design is redistributed strategically within the clubhead to move the CG lower and more forward, a location that TaylorMade has proven promotes faster ball speeds and lower spin. JetSpeed fairways and Rescues reduce spin by 200-300 RPM compared to previous models to promote more distance.

JetSpeed fairways and Rescues also feature a low-profile head design that makes it easier to make contact with the clubface below the ball’s equator, making it easier to launch the ball on a high, long-carrying flight and easier to get the ball in the air off the turf. The combination of low-profile head design and Speed Pocket work together to make JetSpeed fairway woods the longest and most playable fairways TaylorMade has ever created.

The driver retails for $299; the fairway wood, $229 and the rescue,  $199. They go on sale Dec. 13.

My experience:

I was fortunate enough to preview JetSpeed last week during a prescheduled round with Tony Starks of TaylorMade that just happened to coincide with the product launch.

First, I should say here that I own the RocketBallz Stage 2 3-wood, and it has been an absolutely revolutionary club for me. It has more or less replaced my driver. I get easy distance with it (260, 280) and, to use a “Star Wars” phrase, an occasional “jump to light speed” when it’ll push 300 yards and beyond.

That said, when I heard the JetSpeed driver employed the same technology, I was intrigued and not surprised when the driver felt familiar and comfortable to me. The photo below is the result of my very first swing with it on a 364-yard par-4 at Shadowridge Country Club. I was inside 80 yards after hitting an easy draw down the right side.


I played the JetSpeed driver for the majority of the round and found the driver and 3-wood easy to hit, long and forgiving on off-center hits. Most likely from teeing the ball too high, I got under a couple, but my drives still flew a decent distance and held the fairway.

I was amazed at the number of quality shots I hit given I had zero range time with the club. It immediately felt comfortable to me in that I could feel the head, but the club managed to remain light. For comparison sake, I’ve been unable to hit the R1 in the past because the head has been too heavy for me. My 3-wood, much lighter by comparison, has always swung like a breeze for me, and my playing partners tell me it evokes my most natural swing.

JetSpeed felt the same way, and I look forward to having a go with it again and it becoming a permanent part of my bag. Hello, Santa? …

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