From Golf Magazine ClubTest 2012 (March, 2012)
Bridgestone J40 430
Category: Tour Drivers
WE TESTED: 8.5° with Project X graphite shaft
KEY TECHNOLOGIES: The pear-shaped, 430cc clubhead is built for enhanced workability and control. The deepfaced, four-piece head launches shots on a low to mid trajectory with low spin.
OUR TESTERS SAY:
Attractive, traditional look with a pleasing, robust feel that deliver slow spin and ample distance.
DISTANCE: Solid strikes go a long way thanks to low spin and a boring trajectory; a few testers describe the J40 as “sneaky long.”
ACCURACY/FORGIVENESS: Reasonable performer on off-center hits with better correction on right-to-left shots; solid contact provides on-target flight.
FEEL: Powerful and “bullet-like” through impact; firm and stable at contact with little, if any, harshness transferring to the hands and arms.
PLAYABILITY: Low flight creates lots of roll and is very good in windy conditions; draws and fades can be shaped with some effort.
LOOK: Highly rated due to its compact, conventional shape and black clubhead.
From The Shop Blog (September 6, 2011)
Depending on the player, spin can either be a blessing or a curse off the tee. For slow-swinging players, adding a little more spin can increase carry and overall distance. But for heavy-hitters, too much spin can balloon tee shots and cost serious yards.
Bridgestone prides itself on making spin-killing drivers for better players and the company is set to release two new offerings for fast-swingers.
The J40 445 is made by fusing four pieces of titanium and repositioning the discretionary weight saved in the process to the perimeter of the head to increase the moment of inertia. Coupled with a face that is thicker in some areas and thinner in others to expand the sweet spot, the 445-cc head produces a mid- to high-launch with low spin for longer drives.
The J40 430 has a slightly smaller head but uses the same four-piece construction and face technology. While it's still forgiving on mis-hits, accomplished players should be able to maneuver the ball off the tee more effectively with the 430-cc head. The ball flight of the J430 is also lower than the J40 445's and it produces even less spin.
"In the J40 445, we've made forgiveness the most important aspect of the driver design," says Corey Consuegra, Bridgestone Golf's club manager. "With the J40 430 we focused our efforts on workability and control. We now have high-launch, low-spin offerings for two very different types of players, both of whom value increased distance and consistency."
Look for the J40 445 in 9.5°, 10.5° and 12° lofts in pro shops starting in October. The J40 430 comes out in January, 2012, and will be offered in 8.5° and 9.5° heads. Both will come standard with a Project X graphite shaft and cost $399.