PG's Bridgestone 2012 Equipment Review
Bridgestone Golf are the ‘under-the-radar’ type brand that have silently produced some outstanding golf clubs over the last few years, and their 2012 equipment offering is not going to disappoint. Bridgestone have upgraded their J38 Series to the J40 and brought some subtle styling changes and improvements to the selection. Intrepid club fitter/explorer Simon has cast an eye over the set including what some are calling ‘one of the best drivers ever tested’…!
J40 430 and 445cc Drivers
Bridgestone have continued with their line of lower spinning driver heads. The 430 head is a smaller, more tour-style head which is described by Bridgestone as a “spin-killer” and lives up to that reputation promoting a low launching and spinning shot and is one not to be contemplated by anyone other than a high ball player who does not want to hook the ball, however it offers a very strong flight profile which, up until now, has only had one or two options available. The 445 head is a much more forgiving head and offers a mid launch, lower spinning flight and will be a more mainstream head. Both sit very square with a neutral and relatively classic visual, generally aimed at the better player. A high quality head and one that should do well this year.
A slightly larger head than most classic style heads but the lofts are slightly stronger also to keep the flight from getting up too much. A surprisingly forgiving head it launches well compared to their previous models but does sit square and plays very neutrally. Different to previous heads but fills a bit of a gap in the fairway wood market as most other heads of this profile and trajectory are normally draw biased.
No offset to this head which is a big plus but a very neutral size and shape. Quite an easy club to hit it gives a mid launch and spin performance making it quite versatile and less “better player oriented” than their head have traditionally been. A good all-round head.
A traditional shaped head with a muscle cavity design, the weight behind the strike point gives a solid feel to the strike and allows good shot-making ability. Aimed at the better players looking for a bit of forgiveness over a blade design without losing the classic look and feel off the face. High quality forging and a very good overall design.
Classic shaped forged head with two pockets of weight cut away in the rear of the head either side of the contact point. This leaves a good amount of mass behind the strike point for a solid feel whilst pushing weight to the outside of the head for stability and forgiveness. This is a direct replacement for the J38 pocket Cavity head but with a touch more forgiveness due to improvements in the weight positioning in the head without losing the classic looks to the club behind the ball.
J40 Black Oxide & Satin wedges
A simple and classic wedge design that offers a machine milled face for increased surface roughness and spin. The weighting in the rear of the head has a slightly higher muscle pad than other wedges for flight control and a more solid feel off the face. Utilising a Variable Bounce sole grind for versatility of shot type the head sits well for various turf conditions and the forged head offers a softer feel and more consistent performance shot to shot off the face. Offered in a Satin Chrome and Black Oxide finish.
Bridgestone B330 Series Balls
All the B330 series balls have incorporated the Dual Dimple design which improves airflow over the surface of the ball, stabilising flight to improve wind performance and also shallowing the angle of descent on longer shots improving run out yardage on drives. Softer covers on all the range of B330 balls offering greater spin around the greens.