This product review of the Bridgestone Golf J15 Driving Forged Irons came at a critical time in my golf game and my attitude. Anyone who follows this blog and/or my social networks knows of the frustrations I’ve had of late with this beautifully infuriating game of golf. More on the timing and attitude later. First let’s take a look at the J15 Driving Forged Irons.
The J15 Driving Forged Irons are designed for golfers from the professional level to mid-handicap players. I fall somewhere in that range as a player who varies from a 1-4 handicap, depending on the time of year. So they should be a good fit.
The J15DF features a two-piece premium forged carbon steel design. For those of you readers who don’t know what “forged” really means, it’s one of two primary manufacturing processes irons are typically made from. The other process is called casting, producing “cast” clubs. In my opinion forged clubs tend to have a softer feel and provide more “feedback” to the player than cast. Feedback would be the feel and sound translated to the player from the club. Feedback gives the player great information with regards to the quality of contact and where it occurs on the club face. Better players can translate this feedback into how they need to adjust for better contact. Cast irons on the other hand, don’t often produce this feel. Most shots, regardless of where they happen on the club face, feel about the same.
These irons feature a “hidden” cavity between the front and the rear of the club head. This design employs “FAST” technology, or Flex Action Speed Technology. The cavity and design allows the club’s weight to be moved out toward the perimeter. Perimeter weighting (another buzz term in the golf industry) provides more forgiveness.
The sole of the club is a little narrower than game improvement clubs (clubs which are meant for higher handicap players). “Mid Sure Contact Sole” design allows the club to be consistent in the way it interacts and bounces off of the ground.
This club is available in right-hand only. Sorry lefties. You’re missing out. While the specs above show a 3-iron, the set I tested is a 4-PW.
A club fitting would help in the setup decision making process without a doubt. I recommend making sure your shafts, lofts, lengths, and lies are all set for your swing. If you already know your specs, you can actually order your exact setup online at the Bridgestone Golf J15 page.
There are well over 20 shaft options available. I ended up with the True Temper Dynamic Gold Pro S300, the stock shafts. They’re fantastic.
The J15DF online configurator offers a choice of 14 grips. The model I’m gaming is the Golf Pride Tour Velvet. While they seemed a bit hard at first, I’ve grown to really like them. I’ll be reviewing the grips in a separate article later.
On The Course
From the first club I hit on the range (still remember it was a 7-iron), to the last one I hit yesterday, I’ve been thrilled with these irons. I have the opportunity to play many of the world’s best irons from most of the major brands, many custom made. None of those other irons but the J15DF’s have come close to the feel and control I grew accustomed to with my hand forged set of Hogan irons from nearly 15 years ago. The feel is butter.
Unlike the old school irons though, these are easier to hit and much longer. I’ve enjoyed very solid iron length and accuracy since putting the J15DF in the bag. The control these irons offer is tremendous. Whether I want to hit a low driving punch 5-iron like I did a few days ago on the par-3 11th to eight feet, or hit a high fade with a 7-iron, these clubs respond.
That high fade with a 7-iron came yesterday, probably my shot of the month. It was my 2nd shot on the 510 yard par-5 7th. I was 184 out and needed to carry the shot over some front bunkers and have it release to a back-right pin. The shot was one of the most pure shots I’ve ever hit and the ball landed within inches of my intended landing spot over one of the bunkers. It released up a slope in the green and finished at 12 inches from the hole for a tap-in eagle. That came at a time when my partner and I had just been pressed on the front nine. #winner
There are many stories I could tell like the 7-iron above, and with the J15DF’s in the bag there will surely be many more.
I mentioned the critical timing in my opener. You see, I’ve been struggling so much with my game I was close to quitting. Not just for a week or two, or for the winter, but forever. I’d had it. Then the J15DF’s came in for review. I was very close to declining the review and quitting. Out of respect for Bridgestone and how great they’ve been to HOG over the years I decided to do the review. The J15DF irons gave my game a badly needed spark. They talked me off the proverbial golf cliff.
Now that I’ve become excited about hitting quality iron shots again, winter looms unfortunately. I’ll be trying to get in as many rounds with these irons as I can until the snow flies.
Bridgestone may be better known for their golf ball products, but you’d be making a mistake if you didn’t check them out before making an iron buying decision. The Bridgestone Golf J15DF irons provide ultimate distance, control, and feel for golfers of mid-level handicaps and better. I know exactly where I’m hitting it on the club face because of their fantastic feel and feedback. I know if I execute shots well with these clubs, the results will be tremendous.