Lamkin Grips

Bridgestone J40 Driver Review

| October 12, 2011 | 28 Comments

A few years back, Bridgestone Golf launched a driver that quickly garnered the nickname of “The Spin Killer” because of the fact that it was a driver head that was extremely low spin. For the next 36 months or so following that release, the driver gained a cult like following around the internet from players looking for those dynamics off the tee. Since that time, hundreds of golf clubs have come and gone, but few have been able to take over top billing in that circle.

Technology
Available in either 445 or 430 head size.
Improved Face Thickness design for additional stability and higher MOI
6-4 titanium construction with thin crown wall section allows discretionary weight to be moved to the perimeter for added forgiveness
Stainless steel weight at heel and short hosel to optimize CG for mid to high launch with low spin
Project X Shaft
Golf Pride Tour Velvet Grip
445 – 9.5°, 10.5°, 12°
430 – 8.5°, 9.5°

First Impressions

Spin Killer
For many golfers the holy grail is considered a high launching driver while still maintaining extremely low spin and it is something that does not always come together as well as you would be expected due in part because spin is one element that determines ball flight.

“The J40 Driver and Fairway Woods maintain Bridgestone’s focus on producing low spinning and high launching heads to maximize distance,” said Corey Consuegra, Golf Club Marketing Manager, Bridgestone Golf, Inc. “In the J40 445 construction, we’ve made forgiveness the most important aspect of the driver design and with the J40 430 we focused our efforts on workability and control. We now have high launch low spin offerings for two very different types of players, both of whom value increased distance and consistency.”

Based on THP launch monitor testing on the AccuSport VectorX, the J40 driver being tested performed as advertised. Even the highest spin players were seeing huge reductions and bringing the ball flight down quite a bit.

Testing
Sound & Feel – One of the most interesting aspects of club testing is the different impact sound that each driver makes and how that relates to the feel of the club through our perception. The J40 has a deep and full audible tone while still maintaining that metallic sound that has become familiar with their previous offerings. This translates to a driver that has a “hot” feel to it and something that relates to the ball jumping off of the face.

Shaft – The Project X line of golf shafts are incredibly popular and offer tour proven success across the board. The shaft in the Bridgestone J40 driver is not a shaft that is designed by the company, but the same as the after market version that people have been upgrading to for some time. A quality shaft is crucial to finding a driver that will help your golf game and Bridgestone does offer many shaft options if for some reason the Project X line of shafts do not work well for you. One thing to note about the Project X line is that it is offered in 5.0, 5.5, 6.0 and 6.5 and THP strongly recommends getting fit for the right option. During a recent survey, it appears that most casual golfers viewed the 5.5 as a “regular flex” and 6.0 as a “stiff flex” and that is not entirely correct. It is important to find the right flex for your game and Project X offers more than the traditional R, S and X varieties.

Performance – The nuts and bolts of every club is the performance that it offers on the golf course. Looks, sound and feel are purely subjective and when push comes to shove, the club must perform to earn a spot in the golf bag. Bridgestone has really put out an impressive driver in the J40 and while it will not be for everybody, in the right hands, it is as good as anything on the market right now and should not be overlooked.

Bridgestone describes the launch as mid-high and they hit the nail on the head with that statement. A penetrating ball flight that seems to lift off like a jet and fly forever is something that is cherished by any person on the tee and the J40 delivers in that aspect. If you are in search for the super forgiving driver that launches the ball extremely high, the J40 might not be the best fit, however with two sizes available, THP found that the larger size offered far more forgiveness laterally across the face than was expected.

Overall
A pioneer in golf ball aerodynamics for quite a while, Bridgestone Golf has brought their development to the equipment side of things and the J40 delivers in every area it sets out to. A low spinning driver with a penetrating ball flight that performs right out of the box is something sought after heavily and you will not have to wait much longer to try it out. For more information on this or any other Bridgestone Golf product, check out their website at www.bridgestonegolf.com.

Till Next Time

Josh B.

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Category: Drivers, Equipment, Headlines & News

About the Author ()

Josh is the Publisher of The Hackers Paradise and co-founder of THP Media with his wife Morgan Babbitt. Together they share a passion for golf, and they travel the country along with their two dogs in the THP Tour Van bringing their love and knowledge of the game to golfers everywhere.

Comments (28)

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  1. TC says:

    Having seen this driver in play I agree with everything in your review. It’s the complete package. It looks great, it sounds great, and best of all, it puts balls in the fairway! I can’t speak highly enough of a driver I’ve never hit but I would recommend this one to a lot of people based on what I saw. I really hope this driver and Bridgestone’s equipment finds homes in lots of golf bags in 2012.

  2. Michael Cook says:

    I really enjoyed this write-up JB as this is a driver that we don’t see much about due to availability. Penetrating flight with reduced side spin sounds completely ideal for me. The PX standard shaft is a plus IMO as well. Some MC 2.0′ers are going to have some success with this driver I believe.

  3. Paulo says:

    Great review JB, thanks.

    This driver sounds like a real winner for a lot of players. Might not be my saviour, but I certainly would give it a hit if I got the chance. A real nice shaft offering too. Bridgestone are bringing out some really nice looking clubs at the moment, stepping up their game!

  4. blugold says:

    Do these drivers sit open?

  5. royalwulff says:

    This driver really has my curiosity running wild! While it may or may not be the driver for me I really want to give it a try. Thanks for the great write up JB!

  6. Chunkylover77 says:

    I am really interested in this driver. Spin killer is something I’m not sure is right for me. But I do want to try it to see. Real deal PX shaft stock is sick. Nice job Bridgestone!!

  7. Ryan H. says:

    I can’t help but really, really want to get my hands on this driver. Not 100% sure that the stock shaft would be a perfect fit for me, but there is a huge number of available shaft options. I’ve been looking for a driver that really balances forgiveness with low spin/high launch. The 445 looks like it could be just what I’m looking for.

  8. DawgDaddy says:

    Great job JB, the video shows a beautiful club and I like the way it looks at set up. As an older golfer I am actually in the other camp and looking for more spin, I wonder how this dirver would perform with a “spinny” shaft instead of the Project X. I have never hit a Bridgestone driver, but I played their hybrids for a couple of years and loved them.

  9. Puttin4Bird says:

    I have a J38 with a PX 6.5 shaft in it and I love it, I am happy to see that Bridgestone has decided to go with PX for their stock shaft in the J40 driver. This entire J40 line is just great looking and so far everything I’m reading says they’re great performers too. Good stuff, thanks for the review!

  10. Yoccos says:

    Great review Josh. I love the focus on the technical aspect of this driver and happy to see launch monitor data backs up it. I loved this driver when I was able to hit it down in Florida. Might be able to find a better match shaft wise and can’t wait to try it again.

  11. 9-Iron Man says:

    This sounds like just what the Dr. ordered. Low spin, high launch? Yes please! It looks fantastic. Great job by Bridgestone. Thanks for the great review JB.

  12. Canio says:

    I like the SGI drivers with a higher launch. This may not be a driver for me at this time. But in the future I may need a driver like this.

  13. Dr. Teeth says:

    I am so excited by this driver! As someone who puts a bunch of spin on the ball I love the idea of a high launching, low spin driver. I love that these come standard with the PX shafts and Bridgestones upgrade shaft options are fantastic! I can’t wait to try this driver out as it maybe one of the only drivers I can see knocking my R11 out of the bag. Bridgestone has done such a phenomenal job with their J40 lineup! It is impressive from top to bottom!

  14. Hanks says:

    Thanks for the review JB. I dig the smaller profile of the 445 and am intrigued by what it could do for me!

  15. Smallville says:

    I love the look of this driver but feel that another driver would be a better fit for me. But who knows? I’d love to hit it!

  16. Super Tuna says:

    The J40 line is very impressive overall the crown jewel looks to be this driver. Mid/high launch with lower spin sounds just the ticket that many of us are looking for and all the extra options that Bridgestone offers is very impressive if the PX doesn’t work for you. A big huzzah for Bridgestone going with a real deal shaft from the get go. That, to me, shows really commitment to give every golf the best possible club for their money that they can and should be appluaded.
    Great review and I really hope the J40 line takes off for Bridgestone this year.

  17. Griff says:

    Great review! I am huge fan of the PX shaft and it’s nice to see it in this driver.

  18. ghsace says:

    Really great looking club! I look forward to hearing more about Bridgestone and their entire lineup as I don’t know much about the offerings. I will say that everything I have seen so far has been gorgeous and the J40 looks to be more of the same. Great looking product.

  19. White Rhino says:

    Great review and information!!! I look forward to the opportunity to hit this driver

  20. One-T says:

    THis really was a great review. I am very intrigued by this line because this is EXACTLY what I need in a driver.

  21. ddec says:

    I’m very interested in this club. mid-high launch with low spin sounds perfect for me. I am a fan of the PX shafts as well so it could be a great match.

  22. Freddie kong says:

    Nice review JB. You know how I feel about the driver. The ball flight and workability are sweet, with a great sound upon impact. Bridgestone has hit the golf club jackpot with this line.

  23. JJ says:

    I have the 430cc with Fujikura Rombax 6w06 in there and hot melt the head. It’s an awesome setup. It sits up square with beautiful black paint. You can see yourself in it. The ball flight is low to medium. Low spin for sure. Surprisingly long. Draw, fade, low and high. You name it. Traditional shape, small head.
    A must try….

  24. James says:

    I have played a few drivers including Mizuno, the Adams 9063LS, Callaway RAZR (all of them) and the Titleist 910 D2 and D3, I have played the all with the same Shaft Accra Dymatch S4 as this is the shaft I play that I was custom fitted to. I also Play the PX 6.5. The J40 445 compared to the others are a fantastic performer. My ss is 105 to110 mph and my normal ball flight is mid to low. With the Accra shaft I gained a few yards but with both shafts my shot dispersion was a great improvement on the D3 that I played. my final setup is the Accra with a 10.5 loft but measured by club fitter as a true loft of 10.1 as this is a low spinning driver I went for the higher loft to get more carry. the spin with this vs the D3 set to 10.25 loft (real loft measured 10.4) was almost 1000 rpm lower. I think the most important decision when it comes to a driver is for a player to decide what they want to achieve. most people go for distance, in my case I want to have a consistant distance and I want to hit the fairway. I am 52 yrs old and play competitive golf od a 1 handicap. This is the most underrated driver in the market. Buy it and get fitted.

  25. Andy says:

    I agree with James. This is the most underrated driver in the market. It flat out performs. I have played many of the 2012 drivers and nothing beats this club for distance and accuracy and workability. If you get a chance, hit one where you can. You will be impressed.

  26. ole gray says:

    I’d like to see Bridgestone come out with a 12 degree model for us older guys :o)

  27. jhausen says:

    Great review JB. This driver is very intriguing.

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