January 08, 2015
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM
- Bridgestone's new J715 460 driver will be available February 1. (Bridgestone Golf)
Four years after Bridgestone Golf brought its last driver to market, the company announced the arrival of the new J715 460 driver that incorporates four innovative technologies that produce a higher launch angle and less spin than its predecessor, the J40.
"We haven’t put out a new driver in several years because we don’t believe a new color offering or some other less impactful technology is really worth asking consumers to part with their hard-earned dollars for," said Josh Kinchen, Bridgestone Golf's golf clubs and accessories marketing manager. "We want consumers to know that when we introduce a new club, it will always offer real tangible performance benefits."
The Flex Action Speed Technology (F.A.S.T.) crown could be the most important piece of technology in the driver and features a thick-to-thin design that gets progressively thicker toward the rear portion of the club head. Making the crown thinner near the face allows it to flex at impact, producing a spring-like effect that improves launch and ball speeds.
Milling patterns are typically found on putters and wedges; however, in the case of the J715 460, a milling pattern was added to the face of the driver to reduce ball slippage at impact. According to Bridgestone, slippage between the face and ball can lead to unwanted spin, especially on off-center hits.
The face pattern helps the ball maintain its position of impact, which leads to increased quality compression and reduced spin. During robot testing, Bridgestone saw a reduction in spin by 200-300 RPMs.
Bridgestone also added its Spin Flight Control Technology to the new driver that allows golfers to customize the club's center of gravity via two movable sole weights. Moving more weight to the front of the driver produces a lower launch with less spin while a rearward position increases launch and spin.
An adjustable hosel system offers face angle adjustments up to one degree (open and closed) and lie angle settings of standard, one degree upright and two degrees upright.
Although the driver won't be available until Feb. 1, it's already making waves on the PGA TOUR. Bridgestone staffer Matt Kuchar swapped his Bridgestone J40 430 for J715 at The McGladrey Classic.
The J715 retails for $400 and will be available in four lofts (8.5, 9.5, 10.5 and 12 degrees) with Mitsubishi Rayon's Fubuki ZT shaft and Golf Pride's Tour Velvet grip. A left-handed version will be able (9.5 and 10.5 degrees) on April 1.