Fujikura Speeder Evolution 661 Shaft Review

Fujikura Speeder Evolution (4)

50 Words or Less

The Fujikura Speeder Evolution 661 is an improvement on the excellent Speeder 661.  More ball speed and stability.  A great choice for a wide range of golfers.

Introduction

I could try to feign knowledge about the new advanced materials in the Speeder Evolution.  I could pretend to understand the new, stronger Triax Core Technology.  But I won’t.  Instead, I’ll cut right to the chase and tell you that as good as last year’s re-launched Speeder family was, the Speeder Evolution line is even better.

Fujikura Speeder Evolution (9)

Feel

The feel of the Fujikura Speeder Evolution series is entirely different from that of last year’s Speeders.  Last year, the shafts had a clear kick point, and that point moved closer to the tip as the shafts got lighter.  This year, the feel is much more consistent from one weight to the next, and there’s no longer a feeling of load and kick but rather a smooth transfer of energy from butt to tip.  I’d compare the feel to cracking a whip.  As you move from the heavier weight versions towards the lighter weights, the whip becomes easier to crack.

The 661 will likely be the most popular Speeder Evolution with its mid-60’s weight and even weight distribution.  I think it’s also a good middle ground in terms of feel: smoother swingers will still get some kick, and it will also hold up to aggressive moves.

Fujikura Speeder Evolution (2)

Looks

The look of the new Fujikura Speeder Evolution is done no justice by pictures.  When I saw the first pictures, I thought, “Same graphics, new color, it looks Ok.”  In person, the new color makes all the difference.  There are lots of blue shafts, but this one absolutely pops.

There is a Tour Spec version of the Speeder Evolution 661 and 757 that has same graphics on a black base.  It’s not the eye-catcher that the blue is, but black always looks good and goes with everything.

Speeder 661 Evolution LM Data

Performance

As a card-carrying Fujikura loyalist, I had high expectations for the Fujikura Speeder Evolution 661, but this shaft exceeded them.  The first thing that I noticed was the consistency.  I attribute this largely to the new feel.  While last year’s Speeder 661 had a smooth load and kick, I found it easier to be consistent with the “whip crack” feel of the Speeder Evolution 661.

You can see above that my numbers with this shaft are outstanding.  The launch and spin were in the window I like to see, and the shaft produced as much distance as I can hope to get from my pedestrian swing speed.

The thing that was most impressive was the smash factor.  I hit numerous shots that exceeded the “perfect” 1:1.5 ratio of club head speed to ball speed, frequently hitting 1.52 and 1.53.  Translation: I got more ball speed (and distance) from the same club head speed.  I haven’t seen that with any other shaft more than once or twice in a session.

Though I usually prefer heavier shafts in my driver – 70 grams and up – the consistency of the Speeder Evolution 661 has me seriously considering dropping down a weight class.

Fujikura Speeder Evolution (1)

Conclusion

The outstanding fitters at Club Champion do not throw around praise lightly, so when they say that the Fujikura Speeder Evolution is a “game changer,” you’d do well to pay attention.  The Speeder Evolution 661 delivers everything you’d want, consistency, stability, and great ball speed, all at a weight that will fit a large portion of golfers.

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Matt Saternus

Co-Founder, Editor In Chief at PluggedInGolf.com
Matt is a golf instructor, club fitter, and writer living in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Matt's work has been published in Mulligan Magazine, Chicagoland Golf, South Florida Golf, and other golf media outlets. He's also been a featured speaker in the Online Golf Summit and is a member of Ultimate Golf Advantage's Faculty of Experts.

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40 Comments

  1. Hi Matt,

    What’s the difference between this version and the Tour Spec?

    Thanks,
    Paul

    • Matt Saternus

      Paul,

      I didn’t get a chance to put the 661 Tour Spec through the paces the way I did with the 661, but from my brief experience the main difference is that, to continue my metaphor on feel, the whip is a little harder to crack. If you want to keep the weight in the 60’s, but feel like your swing is too fast or aggressive for the 661, I’d recommend the Tour Spec.

      Best,

      Matt

  2. I have demo’d this shaft in a driver, and I really liked it and am considering gaming it. I am intrigued, however, by the Project X LZ Handrafted shaft. Any comparisons/recommendations of one over the other? Having a hard time finding the LZ to hit anywhere.
    60 gram range works best for me, long swing, medium tempo, always seeking low spin. 99mph.
    Thanks for any thoughts!

    • Matt Saternus

      Stuart,

      Both are great shafts, you certainly won’t go wrong either way in terms of quality. For me, I’m very comfortable with the way Fujikuras tend to feel, so that would be my personal choice, but beyond that there’s no reason to recommend one over the other. Good luck finding an LZ to demo!

      Best,

      Matt

  3. arjun pradipak

    I am interested in changing the shaft on my current setup of G30 sftec stock stiff.
    I do not have access to a launch monitor I currently drive the ball apprx 280. I have a strong tempo and tend to load on the top of the swing. Do you feel the speeder evolution, tour spec evolution or the Pro would be a good option for me to try.

  4. Bought the R15 at golfsmith
    I got the speeder tour spec 661 in S in a R15 10.5 seemed to only go 270’s, odd that my avg swing speed is 113 (backswing only 45 past parallel- somewhat aggressive transition- late release) but was put in a Stiff. Would the 757 in stiff be a better option? I was getting no roll with the 661 and would find the ball about 5inches to behind the ball mark.
    I tried to find info on the fujikura website as far as some recommended swing speeds (Only one piece of the puzzle i know) but couldn’t find any.

    • Matt Saternus

      Eron,

      Yeah, there’s clearly a spin issue if your drives are backing up in the fairway! If your swing speed is 113, you could be carrying the ball about 280 yards if you were optimized, and that doesn’t factor in roll.
      I would strongly recommend seeing a fitter, such as Club Champion, who can find the best shaft for your swing. I know big box fitters are much more prevalent, but they are limited to what’s in their fitting carts/what they have in stock. Even if it requires a drive, high quality fitting is worth it because it’s something you do rarely as opposed to rotating out badly fit clubs regularly.

      Best,

      Matt

      • Hey Matt,
        Thanks for your reply!
        I went there because- like you said proximity- and a huge gift card. Unfortunately I am out here in Oregon (Don’t know if you would know of any fitters out here), but I will look into getting the optimal settings.
        Love the club regardless, and always a Fujikura fan.
        Thanks again.

  5. I currently use a ust pro force 75 low torque shaft in mt ping G20 driver head.
    What might you recommend for a comparable shaft if the Speeder line? My swing speed is 92 mph. Thanks

    • Matt Saternus

      Vic,

      The only good recommendation is to get fit. Why buy a $400 shaft on the hope that it’s better than what you have?

      Best,

      Matt

  6. Just bought a titleist 915 d2 and have a rogue black regular shaft for my 95mph swing. I heard these shafts were stiffer than others but for me its going far too high – its going straight but only about 230- 250 (range balls and its cold here today) so I know should have been fitted but how do you think this speeder shaft would compare. I know its a lot more money but I once had a fujikura fuel tour 60 and 70 in an sldr and I loved the ‘feeling’ of the stiff shaft shaft unloading (esp the 70) even though the 70 was too stiff, so I tended to hit it right I was long but not accurate enough with it. I found I hit lower scores with my 3 wood – RBZ2 which is going 230-250 and fairly straight (distance varied with temperature).

    • Matt Saternus

      John,

      If you’re swing speed is 95MPH, 237 yards of carry is as much as you can get, so you’re right in that range already.

      The feel of the Fuel is quite different from the Speeder Evolution shafts. I think you can still get new Fuel shafts from Fujikura dealers, so if that’s what you like the feel of, I would recommend trying that.

      Best,

      Matt

  7. Given your commendation about the improvement of the Evolution over the previous Speeder model, does it warrant buying a used R15 Evolution 57 to replace the Speeder 57 in my SLDR? Hate to spend 400.00 on a new R15 when my SLDR is a year old and I have never been fond of the SLDR Speeder 57 feel (lack of “kick”) even though performance has been acceptable

    • Matt Saternus

      Bud,

      The Speeders that are stock in the TaylorMade drivers aren’t the same as the aftermarket ones, so I can’t really comment on whether it would be worth the upgrade to get the new stock shaft. Even with regard to the aftermarket versions, I wouldn’t spend the money to upgrade without a fitting showing improved results first.

      Best,

      Matt

  8. matt.

    I have a Fujikara tour spec stiff 6.3 in my sldr Tp. I customed ordered it. it is stiff has a board. thinking about going to a rogue shaft or a 661 in a new R15 Tp. I have a r510TP with a 757 speeder stiff, too. My swing sped is between 99-105, what are your thoughts of a 661 stiff not tour stiff in a r15tp

    • Matt Saternus

      Mitch,

      I think the Speed Evolution 661 will certainly feel smoother than the Speeder Tour Spec 6.3.

      Best,

      Matt

  9. Do you recommend tipping this shaft at all does it play whippy?

    • Matt Saternus

      Jake,

      That’s something to discuss with your fitter. If a shaft feels too soft, tipping an certainly be a good solution.

      Best,

      Matt

  10. With a smooth swing speed of about 85, would I benefit from the new Speeder Evolution 661? I have regular flex Fujikura TP shaft on a Burner, which I normally carry 200 yards and I was wondering if the new TaylorMade SLDR 15 driver comes with this Speeder Evolution 661 shaft? If not, would a fitter take “back” the new shaft on the TaylorMade SLDR 15 and install a Speeder shaft and I pay the difference?

    • Matt Saternus

      Jim,

      To your last question, I doubt many fitters would “buy back” the stock shaft from any driver, but you can certainly call your local fitter to find out their policies.
      With regard to whether or not you would benefit, you would need to test it against what you’re currently playing to find out.

      Best,

      Matt

  11. Mi Matt

    Have the Fujikura speeder 57 regular flex. Swing speed about 89-92. Considering the 661 shaft what should my expectation be.

    Thanks

    • Matt Saternus

      Doug,

      I would recommend being fit before you buy it. The Speeder 661 has very little in common with the stock Fujikura Speeder 57 that TaylorMade uses.

      Best,

      Matt

  12. Hi Matt,
    Thank you for the review. If I’m hitting the motore speeder 665x, it seems like the speeder evolution 661 comparable shaft for me would be in S flex or S flex TS, based on specs. Thoughts? Thank you

    • Matt Saternus

      CF,

      Based on specs, that may be right, but I would not recommend spending big money on a new shaft based on specs. The Speeder Evolution line feels substantially different than the Motore Speeder line. I would suggest making an appointment with a fitter like Club Champion to see if the switch would be beneficial.

      Best,

      Matt

  13. What is the difference between the motore speeder 661 & 757 versus the evolution 661 & 757?

    • Matt Saternus

      Jack,

      The feel is entirely different. The Evolution has little in common with the Motore Speeder except for a stable tip.

      -Matt

  14. matt, you said you don’t have the horse power to hit the 757 tour spec.
    is the 661 tour spec in your range?

    • Matt Saternus

      Robert,

      The 661 Tour Spec is fairly stiff as well. I could play it, but it’s not the best fit.

      -Matt

      • Is it odd that the 661 tour spec has a higher torque value than the regular 661 (3.5 vs. 3.2) yet plays stiffer? I haven’t played both so can’t really say which is stiffer.

        • Matt Saternus

          David,

          I don’t think it’s odd; it speaks to some of the points I commonly make. 1) Torque is just a number, one which there is no industry standard for. 2) You can’t understand a shaft from a spec sheet. 3) Fitting and trying the equipment for yourself is irreplaceable.

          Best,

          Matt

  15. Matt-

    Besides differences in graphics, is there a difference between the Fuji Speeder 661 Evolution and the shaft that TaylorMade is using in their R15 TP drivers? I cannot find a succinct answer to this question.

    I was fit at Club Champion this week. My optimal shaft was the Fuji Speeder 661 Evolution. I was hitting the G30 and M1 well. I’m going to go back to try the R15 if the shaft they use in the TP model is the same as the shaft I was hitting.

    • Matt Saternus

      John,

      Outside of the manufacturers, I don’t think anyone knows the answer to that 100% definitively. For my money, it’s very hard to believe that a $400 shaft is stock in a driver that costs $500 or $600. That said, if you hit the stock version equally well, that’s all that matters.

      Best,

      Matt

  16. Would like to add..I had just tried the 661 tour spec and all I will say “””” ooohhhhhhhhh yeeeeeaaaaaahhhhhh”””” best shaft I’ve ever hit.. My club head speed is around 104-110… I averaged 295-320 in the cage at golfsmith… I can’t wait for it to come in.. I’m having it put in with taylormade m1 head. Thanks, love your articles..

  17. Hi, going from 913D2 with RIP Phenom 70 3,2 torque 72 gram weigth.
    Flight is low, around 260yrd going often right.
    Swingspeed around 100.

    Im going for TaylorMade M2 9.5 Speeder Evolution 66grams, 3.2 torque in Stiff.

    Would this be alright ?

    Best regards Paul

    • Matt Saternus

      Paul,

      There’s no way for me to know without seeing you swing. If you’re not getting fit for your equipment, you’re just guessing and that can get expensive in a hurry.

      Best,

      Matt

      • Thx. for your reply, they just wrote that its the Tour spec they have for the M2 driver. Can see that you tested that.

  18. Just a couple of basic questions. I’m ready to pull the trigger on a Alpha DBD. It has a stock Speeder Evo 665. I can get a deal on the 661 Evo you reviewed –for about $150 more, but I do not have an opportunity to try it first (several hour drive is not in the cards). My SS is 98-102… spin numbers were perfect, launch was a little low at the local shop. I cannot imagine how the stock 665 could be better than a shaft that retails at $375, but I’m all ears. Is it likely worth it? A slightly higher launch would be welcomed…

    • Matt Saternus

      Tom,

      When you talk about a “better” shaft, to me that only means it produces better numbers for you. If the club and shaft you actually tested performed well, I would go with that.

      -Matt

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