Fujikura Speeder Evolution II 661 Shaft Review

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50 Words or Less

The Fujikura Speeder 661 Evolution II shaft has made the greatest impact on my game of any gear in the past decade.  Perfect feel, performance, and killer looks.

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Introduction

I’m 100% serious when I tell you that I can’t remember the last time I was hitting a driver this well.  My initial experience with the Fujikura Speeder 661 Evolution II was messing around at Club Champion one day and the 661 made a very immediate impression on me.  I was consistently seeing numbers unlike anything I’ve seen in recent memory.  Never one to let the industry pass it by, Fujikura used its proprietary Metal Composite Technology along with a little bit of counterbalancing to make the Speeder 661 Evolution II a perfect match for heavier modern heads with the same elite feel and performance.

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Looks

There’s a common theme in the high-end shaft market right now of cool, bright, and trippy finishes.  The Fujikura Speeder Evolution II series has joined that rank, and I love it.  After a smooth blue and red finish on the original Evolution series, Fujikura has followed up with the Evolution II in a metallic red, orange, and yellow finish that looks like fire.  (There has to be a “this shaft’s on fire” joke in here somewhere…)  Graphic-wise, the Evolution II is about the same as the Evolution, but look a lot cooler on their new backdrop.  I’ll tell you what, if you put this shaft in any driver head, it looks cool, but when you put it in something like the Cobra King LTD, it looks absolutely amazing.

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Sound & Feel

I’ve always felt one of the hallmarks of Fujikura shafts is the smooth feel, and the Speeder has been amongst the smoothest since the name first appeared.  True, as flex and weights change, you will notice a difference but they never feel boardy or horribly stout.  The Fujikura Speeder 661 Evolution II has that signature Speeder-smooth feel (…and I mean SMOOTH) but there’s a little extra whip in the shaft that gives you a feel of extra kick and the ball cracking off the face. I’ve tested and played a good handful of Fuji shafts over my golf “career” but I’ve never hit one that has as much life as the Speeder 661 Evolution II.

Fujikura has made the Speeder Evolution II series more counterbalanced and with a stiffer tip.  The reason behind this is that as head designs have evolved over the last few years, the head weights have gone up and older shafts flat out weren’t working as well.  The little bit of counterbalance and the stiffer tip make for a much more balanced golf club that stays consistent and under control throughout the golf swing.

Ok, so normally in a shaft review this section is just called “Feel” but I purposely added “Sound” to the title like we do in our club reviews.  It’s not uncommon to get a different sound when you switch shafts, but it’s typically related to swinging the club differently, different swing speeds, or some other player variable based on interaction with the equipment.  I fully believe that to be the case here, but since I put the Speeder 661 Evolution II in my driver, I’ve never had sounds like I’m getting out of my driver at this point.  I’m finding the sweet spot with higher speeds much more frequently which is giving me one of the purest cracks off the face I’ve ever heard.

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Performance

I love everything about the Fujikura Speeder 661 Evolution II, but its performance is definitely where the rubber meets the road for me.  When Matt reviewed the 757 Evo II, he commented that he was experiencing near optimal numbers.  What’s interesting to me is that we both have very different swings, but I had the same experience.  Actually, I wasn’t crazy about the initial spin numbers (seen above) so I made a couple of adjustments to give me a little more spin, but since then, I’ve only seen improvements from the numbers above.  I get about 8 yards less rollout since testing, but better carry and more total yardage.  Most importantly, the Speeder 661 Evolution II isn’t just really long but it’s easy to control and hit different shots with.  I would say its strong suit is definitely the rising mid-trajectory shot, but when you need to hit the ball higher in the air it’s no problem at all.

I can’t speak for everyone, but at least for me, this shaft is proving to be consistently long.  An added bonus to the length of the 661 Evo II is the yardage on bad shots.  Previously when I was hitting poor drives, I was hitting them around 240-250 yards.  Since making the change to this Speeder 661 Evo II I’ve found that my poor drives are more in the range of 260-275 yards total.  This is huge.  That distance could be a difference of two to three clubs into the green.

Long story short, the initial numbers I got in the graphic above caught my attention and follow up investigation of the Speeder 661 Evolution II made putting it in the bag a no brainer.

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Conclusion

It’s one thing to be impressed by a new piece of equipment, or get that “honeymoon” feeling when you try it out for a bit.  It’s a whole different animal when you stumble upon something that totally changes how you’re playing the game.  I never hit the original Speeder 661 Evolution, but after hitting the Fujikura Speeder 661 Evolution II, I don’t need to.  No strangers to attention to detail, Fujikura made just the right tweaks on an already successful shaft to create one of the best pieces of golf equipment I’ve ever played in the Speeder 661 Evolution II.  As we always stress, it will not be a perfect fit for everyone, but next time you’re at a fitting or testing shafts, make sure to ask the fitter to try something from the Speeder Evolution II series.

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Bill Bush

Co-Founder
Bill is a true golf gear nerd by definition who loves making custom club creations in his garage with tools like sledge hammers, blow torches, and his bare hands. By day, Bill is a technology manager living in the Chicago suburbs with his wife and kids. Bill plays Scott Readman Concepts putters and accessories.

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24 Comments

  1. Adam Anava

    how does this 661 differ from the 665 that comes in the Callaway XR16?
    Specs look similar, but weight is slightly different. Is there an measurable difference in materials, manufacturing or performance?

    • Adam Anava

      *I meant the XR 16 Pro Driver

    • I think it really depends who you ask. The 665 is definitely a made for shaft and isn’t the true aftermarket version. It’s also a Tour Spec. Having hit both, I don’t believe them to be comparable.

      • Adam Anava

        Thank you sir.
        I will read between the lines that you prefer this version :)

        • No between the lines, and I’m not implying preference. I’m merely saying that I don’t think they’re “comparable.” It would be like comparing the Evolution II to the Pro XLR8. Apples to oranges.

  2. What flex you playing? Did you tip it?

  3. did this shaft really add around 7 mph of club speed to your swing?

    • Consistently, yes. Typically I have to swing out of my shoes for 113-115 or so and I can’t maintain it. With this shaft I averaged 114 and often went beyond that speed. I was discussing this “concept” with some other legitimate golf experts and they said they were experiencing the same thing. This shaft is the real deal. Honestly.

  4. What driver head did you use and did you tip the shaft?

  5. B Hendersson

    Great review.. I hit the 757 and it was a bomber… but I think its a bit too much (heavy) for me, especially later in the rounds.. going to go for the 661 tipped. thanks.

  6. My swingspeed has decreased as I get older. I’m down to around 105 now. Looking at a Cobra driver with this shaft in Stiff flex. Currently playing a Ping G30 with AD DI6 stiff and like it. Is the Speeder Evo II 661 too much shaft for me? Maybe a regular flex?

    • There’s absolutely no way we would be able to answer that question for you. We really stress the importance of fitting and personal testing around here as every golfer has their own unique swing that is going to respond to equipment differently.

      While not exactly a 1 to 1 comparison, this article explains that different swings will experience different results with equipment.

      Short answer: only way to answer that question without risking the spend is to properly test the combinations you are considering.

  7. Hi,

    Tried the older 661 Evolution Tour Spec (black shaft) in a M1 430 and it was close to perfect for me, smooth, easy to control and actually quite long.

    Do you know how this Evo II compares to that shaft?

    Thanks,
    Paul

    • Just speaking on the specs as described by Fuji, the older 661 Evo Tour Spec is going to be lower spin/launch, and the newer Evo 2 is going to be higher launch/spin and have counterbalance.

      Given you’re comparing a Tour Spec, it isn’t really a good apples to apples comparison (they’re designed to be very different animals). You’d want to compare the regular 661 Evo. This article may speak to the comparison of Tour Spec vs Regular.

      • Thanks for the comments.
        I see from the Fuji website that they don’t do a 661 TS in the Evo II, only a 665, which I’d assume is similar?

        • I can’t speak to the 665, sorry. The only exposure I’ve had to the 665 Evo II has been in “made for” shafts. In theory, it should be comparable.

          What you’re looking for I think is “what’s the difference between Evolution and Evo 2?” Evo 2 is an Evolution with a bit more weighting in the butt of the shaft to interact with the more modern wood heads and their heavier weights.

  8. Hi Bill…fantastic write-up

    Just curious at what length do you play your driver?

    Was this shaft at that length – shorter/longer?

    what head did you use with this shaft?

    What length do you and Matt recommend?

    Thanks!

    • I generally play it standard stock length per the specific OEM, adjust depending on what I’m looking for in performance.

      I used it in my King LTD, but don’t remember what length.

      As far as what we recommend for length, we suggest whatever works best for you and what you’re trying to do. There’s no universal answer to that, it totally depends on the player and the fit of the club.

  9. just bought a pxg 8011x with tbe speedster shaft looking forward to seeing how it goes

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