BRIDGESTONE JGR FAIRWAY WOOD
CATEGORY: Game Improvement Fairway Woods
WE TESTED: 3 (15°), 5 (18°), 7 (21°) with Aldila NV 2KXV graphite shaft
KEY TECHNOLOGIES: Face milling reduces spin on shots hit toward the toe, heel and bottom of the club.
PLAYABILITY: Repeatable mid to low flight pays no attention to the wind; great off a tee and solid off the deck -- the 3-wood hits stingers with driver-like length, while the 7-wood gets the ball high for soft landings on long approaches.
ACCURACY/FORGIVENESS: Well-hit shots travel on the desired trajectory; slight mis-hits never stray too far -- toe shots want to correct back toward the center.
DISTANCE: Not far behind the leaders of the pack, and longer than what several testers are used to; yardage on mis-hits makes it hard to distinguish them as misses; low flight and great rollout makes for max distance in firmer conditions.
FEEL: Top-tier; powerful with a positive crack at impact; easy to sense where the head is throughout the swing, which improves timing; useful feedback on mis-hits, with some twisting and a slightly harder feel.
LOOK: Top marks for its stealth and downright mean look -- low profile, compact, and gracefully tapered; yellow and white graphics on the crown are modern but not too loud -- they frame the ball well.
Some testers need more help elevating shots from the fairway; won't keep your worst swings on the short grass; glossy finish reflects a lot of light on sunny days.
BOTTOM LINE: Its sleek look and sweet feel make the JGR one of this year's top picks. Players who can hit it high enough won't be disappointed by the length and versatility, either.