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Review: Bridgestone Golf J15DF Driving Forged Irons

Written by: Tony Korologos | Tuesday, October 27th, 2015
Categories: GolfGolf ClubsGolf EquipmentGolf GearReviews
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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.

Bridgestone Golf J15DF Irons - click to see more

Bridgestone Golf J15DF Irons – click to see more

Construction

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.

Bridgestone Golf J15DF Irons

Bridgestone Golf J15DF Irons

Specs

Iron Loft Lie
Angle
Length S/W Offset Bounce
3 20° 60.5° 39″ D3 3.5 mm 2.0°
4 22.5° 61.0° 38.5″ D3 3.5 mm 2.0°
5 25° 61.5° 38″ D3 3.0 mm 2.0°
6 28° 62.0° 37.5″ D3 3.0 mm 3.0°
7 32° 62.5° 37″ D3 3.0 mm 3.0°
8 36° 63.0° 36.5″ D3 2.5 mm 4.0°
9 41° 63.5° 36″ D3 2.5 mm 5.0°
PW 46° 64.0° 35.75″ D4 2.5 mm 6.0°

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.

Options

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.

Critical Timing

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.

Conclusion

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.


First Look: Sun Mountain Club Glider Suitcase

Written by: Tony Korologos | Monday, October 5th, 2015
Categories: Golf AccessoriesGolf EquipmentGolf For WomenGolf Gear
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I reviewed the Sun Mountain Club Glider Journey golf travel bag a while back. The Club Glider series features FOUR wheels, two of which are retractable. The system makes lugging golf club bags and clubs around airports as easy as can be. Now Sun Mountain is putting that same four wheel setup into luggage.
Sun_Mountain_Club_Glider_Suitcase_02
Soon I’ll be putting this bag to the test and posting my review. I’m thinking perhaps a trip to the Bahamas would be a good test for this bag… Stay tuned.

For now you can see a few more photos of this piece by visiting the Hooked On Golf Blog Sun Mountain image gallery.


TaylorMade, Cobra, Parsons Team Up on KINGPXGM1-MEGA Driver

Written by: Tony Korologos | Monday, September 14th, 2015
Categories: GolfGolf EquipmentGolf Gear
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Hooked On Golf Blog insiders have sent me a photo of the newest, LONGEST DRIVER EVER. This unique driver is an industry first, with three golf companies teaming up and implementing all of their technologies together.  TaylorMade, Cobra Golf, and Parsons Xtreme Golf (PXG) will soon be releasing the KINGPXGM1-MEGA driver, guaranteed to be the longest driver ever created.  It is longer than the longest long one….. ever.  Featuring newly co-developed “RFL” technology, this driver is REALLY EFFING LONG!

The New KINGPXGM1-MEGA Driver

The New KINGPXGM1-MEGA Driver

KINGPXGM1-MEGA DRIVER FEATURES

  • Movable Weights
  • 30 weight/screws which don’t appear to do anything
  • “Space Port” which opens up and shows fun messages on the inside of the driver like “I’m afraid I can’t do that” and “What are you looking in here for?”
  • The Space Port features 17 movable weights
  • Adjustable loft, lie, length, closed, open, high, low, left, right, slice, hook, fat, thin
  • RFL technology which is “Really Effing Long”
  • 1456 shaft options
  • Guaranteed to be obsolete tomorrow when the KINGPGXM1-MEGA Driver “PRO” comes out tomorrow
  • Retail price to be a factor of 1700 times what it cost to make in China

The release date is yet unknown.  When more details become available I’ll post right here at Hooked On Golf Blog.


First Look: Bridgestone Golf J15 Driving Forged Irons – J15DF

Written by: Tony Korologos | Thursday, August 20th, 2015
Categories: GolfGolf ClubsGolf EquipmentGolf GearSite News
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I’m not sure what’s more fun, setting up my golf club glam shot photo shoots, or testing great golf clubs.  Today we are getting a first look at the new Bridgestone Golf J15 Driving Forged Irons, or J15DF.

Bridgestone Golf J15DF Irons - click to see more

Bridgestone Golf J15DF Irons – click to see more

I will start testing these irons soon, and post a review when I’ve got enough rounds with them to give a proper evaluation. Translation: I’m not going to hit three 7-irons on the driving range and rave about how great they are…

Bridgestone Golf J15DF Irons

Bridgestone Golf J15DF Irons


TaylorMade Tour Preferred Golf Ball Review

Written by: Tony Korologos | Tuesday, August 4th, 2015
Categories: Golf BallsGolf EquipmentGolf GearReviews
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This is the second review of three TaylorMade golf ball models I’m in the process of reviewing.  The first was the Project (a) ball, a ball designed more for amateurs with slower swing speeds.  This review features the TaylorMade Tour Preferred golf ball.  The “TP” is a “tour” level ball, meaning their highest performance and most expensive.  This is one which many TaylorMade PGA Tour players use, and for good reason.  Let’s take a look.

TaylorMade Tour Preferred Golf Ball

TaylorMade Tour Preferred Golf Ball

Construction

The Tour Preferred ball is a four layer ball.  Each layer features materials and engineering which give the ball specific performance characteristics.  For instance, the core may provide the primary distance of the ball while the outer layer or cover provides much of the ball’s feel and spin.   Most tour balls, the Tour Preferred included, have a urethane cover which provides the softest and best spin in the sort game.

Together these layers and their engineering produce the following performance characteristics in the TaylorMade TP ball:

  1. Low driver spin
  2. Medium-high mid- to long-iron spin
  3. High short iron and wedge spin
  4. High spin inside of 100 yards

These characteristics are slightly different than the Tour Preferred X ball, which I will be reviewing soon.  The difference between the two is that numbers two and three above are swapped.  The X ball has medium mid- to long-iron spin and medium-high short iron and wedge spin.

Low driver spin means more accuracy off the tee and longer distance.  High spin inside 100 yards means short game control.

On The Course

I don’t do TrackMan or FlightScope testing on my golf balls and clubs, just real world golf on real golf courses.  If you need to know the exact spin rate off a 9-iron at X miles-per-hour swing speed with x-launch angle, there are other sites full of that information.  Google it.

Off the tee the TP feels very solid and I can hit it as far as just about any other ball I’ve tested.  I can feel the ball compress and I’m able to work the ball as needed, though my swing lately seems to only want to go straight or draw.  Don’t ask me to hit a fade right now.   I’ve hit a few massive drives (for me), and even some massive 3-woods with this ball.

Iron feel of the TP is excellent.  The ball is soft enough for me to feel it on the face and tell if I’m clipping it just right, compressing it.  Those pure shots produce pure results and birdie opportunities.

Inside 100 yards (admittedly my weakest link) I have plenty of spin.  Sometimes I can actually clip the ball to crisply when pitching or chipping and it will check too much.  That’s not the ball’s fault.  It the fault of my skill level, short game distance control.

Lastly, the fee of the putter is great.  The cover feels soft and I have total distance control with the flat stick.

Not Just For Tour Players

Over many years one of the main reasons amateurs were not well off hitting “tour” balls is because of the compression of the ball and maxiumum distance.  High swing speeds were needed to get full compression out of them.  That does not seem to be the case with the TP ball.  I have a driver swing speed of about 100MPH, and 105 if I’m really killing it.  With the right driver head, shaft, and this ball, I can hit them quite far.  I don’t feel like I’m losing distance with the TP due to not having a high enough swing speed.

The other component to “tour” balls is the high spin.  The engineering of this ball gives the player, amateur or pro, the high spin where it is needed in the shorter irons and short game.  So once again, an amateur could benefit from playing this ball.

Conclusion

Whether you are an amateur or a pro, the TaylorMade Tour Preferred golf ball is a high performance option.

Related Links

TaylorMade Project (a) golf ball review.


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