ClubTest 2015: Bridgestone J715 Driver

Photo: Michael Chini.

The Bridgestone J715 Driver

Bridgestone J715 Driver


Category: Game-Improvement Drivers
Price: $399
8.5°, 9.5°, 10.5° with Mitsubishi Fubuki graphite shaft
KEY TECHNOLOGIES: Two adjustable sole weights (10 grams and 4 grams) let you move the CG forward or back to dial in spin.



DISTANCE: Good length, with big-time potential if it fits your move; most testers report nice hang time and surprising amounts of roll; there’s an extra power gear if your swing is on.
ACCURACY/FORGIVENESS: Misses manage solid distance, but don’t expect an accurate autopilot on lazy days—you get out what you put in.
FEEL: A pleasant crack at impact; obvious feedback lets you know where you hit it; laudable balance and stability; the clubhead seems to rip through the ball.
PLAYABILITY: Solid contact produces a majestic flight with no trace of ballooning; dead straight is pretty standard, but many guys can work basic draws and fades; moving the CG forward or back shifts the shot’s launch to fit your game.
LOOK: One of the club’s strengths, top-tier in its group; perfect for purists—clean, conventional, and classic; the deep face and small footprint make for a menacing, no-gimmick setup that tells testers they could pull off almost any shot.



One of the more temperamental drivers in the category, the J715 asks more of its operator than most clubs in its class, and it might be too much club for some mid-handicappers; for some, distance is a step behind; feel can be harsh on thin contact.

BOTTOM LINE: This is a better-player’s club in game-improvement clothing. The J715 is best left to a more accomplished ballstriker who shapes shots off the tee. If that sounds like you, this club—with its cool adjustability features—can produce spectacular results.

HOT STIX'S TAKE: Movable sole weights alter spin. Face adjusts 1° open to 1° closed. Slightly less-forgiving head produces lower launch and spin. Launch - Low; Spin - Low

NEXT REVIEW: Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 815 Driver


From the February 2015 Issue of Golf Magazine

Thin is in.

The J715’s crown is only 0.5 millimeters at its thinnest and features springlike ribs on the interior that company officials say can increase ball speeds by 2 mph and launch angle by as much as 2 degrees at Tour-level swing speeds. A process called “power milling” creates a rougher clubface so that the ball doesn’t roll up the face as much as it normally would and thus stays there longer. The combination reduces spin by up to 350 rpm at higher launch angles (12.5°) and by 200 rpm at lower launch angles (10.5°) for a longer, more penetrating flight.

Two removable weights in the sole—one behind the center of the face and the other more rearward and heel-biased—are used to alter the club’s center of gravity (CG). From the factory, the J715 driver comes with a 10-gram weight in back and a 4-gram weight in front, but flipping them will lower launch angle by as much as 0.75° and decrease spin by up to 200 rpm. A weight kit ($80) sold separately includes 2-, 4-, 6-, 8-, 10- and 12- gram plugs for more customization. The club’s hosel offers further adjustability, allowing face-angle changes from 1° open to 1° closed, as well as lie angles from standard to 2° upright.

Lofts: 8.5°, 9.5°, 10.5°, 12°. $399. Available February 1. -- Rob Sauerhaft

NEXT REVIEW: Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 815 Driver

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