On first look of the new TaylorMade JetSpeed driver which I tested out on the range at Hersham GC this morning, the most striking thing to note is that there's a Speed Pocket lying in the sole. This is the first time TaylorMade has incorporated its successful Speed Pocket technology into a driver before.
TaylorMade engineers discovered that incorporating a Speed Pocket into the JetSpeed driver promotes less spin, as well as greater ball speeds on shots struck below the centre of the clubface. Research suggests 72% of all shots are hit below the centre of face and so the JetSpeed driver has been designed to minimise those ill effects of shots struck below the centre.
I also tested the JetSpeed on a Flightscope against the Taylormade SLDR driver and it confirmed that the former is a higher spinning driver than the latter. Now the SLDR is very low spin which is why they are telling everyone to loft up, but the JetSpeed performed more like a 'normal' driver for ball spin and launch so this should suit amateur golfers more as it will enable them to get the ball up in the air.
TaylorMade's speed pocket is a groove cut into the sole of the club to allow the face to flex more. It also moves the centre of gravity (CG) closer to the face and this combination increases ball speed and reduces spin for greater distance. The SpeedPocket just made every shot that was low or to the sides feel like it came out of somewhere nearer the middle. Indeed the feel and sound was probably the best of all the drivers they have launched this year.
There's also more of an alignment aid on the ideal matte black crown with a unique decal design from front to back - a little bit like the Taylormade R1 driver design just without the fancy colours. Alignment down my target line could not have been better - particularly with the small TM logo in the centre. The crown also reduced any unwanted glare standing over the ball. It's clean and classy.
There are some crown graphics towards the back of the head, but they’re done in modest shades of grey and blue and are not a distraction at address. Importantly, in the standard setting, the club sits very square. From a pure sound and feel perspective, the JetSpeed is a joy to hit.