Review: Bridgestone J15 Hybrid
Finding the balance between “players” and “game-improvement”
Some golfers believe that all hybrids are “game-improvement” clubs, I’d disagree. I think there are some the are, but others are made for the better golfer or the “player”. Shape that fits the better golfers eye is key as is a neutral or even fade bias. The new Bridgestone J15 hybrid finds that perfect balance between “players” and “game-improvement.”
It has been a few years since Bridgestone has brought new clubs to the market. Just because they don’t make new clubs every 6 months, doesn’t mean they’ve fallen behind. Their new clubs for ’15 are really good. The hybrid shows the market Bridgestone is after; the better player that still likes some forgiveness. The J15 hybrid has a nice compact shape and is very thin sole to crown. It doesn’t have the offset that plagues most hybrids. It also has its CG low and forward for more penetrating flight and lower spin. It is done in an almost all black head with the Mitsubishi Fubuki in white and a bright yellow Golf Pride grip. It is a nice looking over all package. I went with the 19* in order to fill in my yardage gap. I’m looking for a hybrid that can hit around 205 yards.
I was impressed by the forgiveness this fairly small faced hybrid offers. It is shallow, but yet it seemed to have plenty of forgiveness on miss hits. They weren’t penalized with great width or significant loss of distance. Bridgestone found a way to offer a “players” looking club with some “game-improvement” benefits. The shallow face also helps make the head feel very solid. This isn’t much of a hollow feeling with the small head and forward weight.
On the course I started hitting it off the tee a few times on some of the long par 3s and a short par 4 that plays best around 200-210 yards. I like how it sets up behind the ball with a very neutral look. The thin nature of the face had me teeing it fairly low to the ground to hit the center of the face. I really liked the control I had with it. I could hit it left a little, but much less than many other hybrids. It launches fairly quickly, but doesn’t balloon. It flattens out nicely and descends quickly for pretty good stopping power. I didn’t have issues rolling it through the par 3 greens.
Off the turf, it cuts in really nicely. Because the face is shallow, I felt like I could really get down on the ball whether it was on the fairway or in the rough. I didn’t have great success out of thick rough, but moderate rough didn’t slow it down at all. The benefit of this hybrid is the quick launch, but yet low spin so that it carries a good distance even into the wind, but still have stopping power because of the steep angle of descent.
The Bridgestone J15 hybrid is really solid performer for lower to mid handicap golfers. If you fight the rights, this probably isn’t for you, but if you fear the left, this is a hybrid to take a look at because of its lack of offset and fade bias. Finding one might still be the issue with Bridgestone. I don’t think any of the stores around me handle them, but Bridgestone’s new trial program is pretty slick in how they will let you demo one to see if you like it before you buy. This is actually better than a couple swipes indoors, but a couple real rounds to see if it is the right fit for you. I think Bridgestone found the perfect balance between “players” and “game-improvement”.
For more information: www.bridgestonegolf.com
+Square at address
+High launch, low spin