50 Word or Less
Though lacking the hype of the RBZs that preceded it, the JetSpeed is a better, more versatile fairway wood.
In 2014, fairway woods are like Carly Rae Jepsen: no longer blazing hot (this isn’t 2012), but still adorably Canadian..I mean, important to your golf game…? Damn, I really wanted that to work.
The TaylorMade JetSpeed fairway wood isn’t likely to break any sales or hype records, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a really good fairway wood. With two of TaylorMade’s key technologies (Speed Pocket, low & forward CG), the JetSpeed is one you’ll want to call your own, maybe.
First of all, TaylorMade is back in black…crowns, that is. I think we can all agree that’s a good thing. On the JetSpeed, they went with a matte black that features subtle grey and blue graphics. The graphics are reminiscent of the old Burner crown graphics, but very toned down. I could live without them, but they’re far enough from the ball that they’re easily ignored. Interestingly, there’s no alignment aid.
With the JetSpeed fairway woods, TaylorMade is returning to a shallower (less tall) face. This is based on feedback they received about the RBZ fairway woods being too tall. For players that prefer to hit their fairway woods off the turf, this is a really good thing: the shallow face helps keep the CG low and it frames the ball very nicely.
Sound & Feel
The first thing I noticed about the JetSpeed fairway wood was the absence of the high-pitched “tink” on well-struck shots. The sound is very quiet and very low-pitched. This adds up to an exceptionally solid feel, even on mishits. I found that unless I hit the ball way off center, the club gave me the sound and feel of a pured shot.
The TaylorMade JetSpeed fairway wood reinforces a lesson that I learned while testing the SLDR Rescue: a low, forward CG isn’t just good for drivers. Most players tend to have difficulty with fairway woods because they top or thin them. With a standard CG, the result is a low, high-spinning shot that doesn’t go nearly as far as it should. With a low, forward CG, the ball launches higher with less spin, even on thin shots.
The other thing I noticed was the consistently high ball speed. TaylorMade is calling the face material JetSteel. Since I’m not a metallurgist, I’ll stay away from any claims about what that is, but I can tell you that the JetSteel plus the Speed Pocket means ball speeds that are very close to what I get from a titanium-faced fairway wood. Even on shots that are slightly off-center, the ball speed stays up which means you still get good distance.
The one negative for me was the stock shaft. I can’t figure out why, but I just had a hard time getting along with it. It’s particularly unusual because TaylorMade opted for a Matrix Velox variant that’s in my preferred weight range (~70 grams). Regardless, I had a tough time with the shaft and that’s reflected in my Offline number. It also reinforces the importance of being fit for the right shaft: without it, even the best club head will not perform optimally.
While it may not be introducing any revolutionary new technology, the TaylorMade JetSpeed does bring together some of TaylorMade’s biggest advancements to create a very solid fairway wood. This is one of those rare clubs that could very easily be played by a high handicap or a scratch player due to its ease of use and strong performance characteristics.
Price and Specs
The TaylorMade JetSpeed Fairway Wood retails for $229.
It’s available in lofts of 15°, 17°, 19°, 21°, and 23° for righties, 15° and 19° for lefties.
The stock shaft is the Matrix Velox T 69 in M, R, S, and X flex.