I am blessed to write about golf and golf equipment; something I am passionate about. Club manufacturers such as Miura, Mizuno, TaylorMade and Wilson Staff have been gracious enough to send me irons, wedges and drivers to write about and express my opinion. So when the folks at Bridgestone asked me to compare their J40 Dual Pocket Cavity irons to the Miura CB-501 irons I currently play, how could I refuse? They also sent along a J40 hybrid 3 for me to test as well. Let’s start there.
The J40 Hybrid is a good looking club from the grip all the way down to where the Project X shaft fits into the head. No real frills or fancy paint jobs here, just a well-made, attractive club. When you make good contact with the ball the club feels solid. Unlike the irons which feel light compared to the Miuras, the J40 hybrid feels a little on the heavy side, a nice feature when playing out of the rough. It was also easy to shape the ball with this club. As far as distance, this club is a lot longer than my Callaway Heavenwood. Over the past several years, I have demoed just about every hybrid that came out and found that I couldn’t hit anything any better than my Callaway. That all changed when I hit the J40 for the first time. The ball comes off the face very hot and just seems to keep going and going and going (sorry Energizer). It is easily 10 – 20 yards longer than the Callaway Heavenwood. The J40 hybrid 3h could easily find its way into my bag. If only I didn’t have to send it back… I did go ahead and buy a 2h hybrid and I am ever glad I did.
As for the irons, I only tested the 5, 7 and 9 irons against the Miura CB-501s. Standing over the club is quite impressive. It feels considerably lighter than the Miuras while the top line is slightly thicker. The sleek look of the stepless Project X flighted shafts and the overall look of the iron itself makes the club aesthetically appealing.
The J40 Dual Pocket Cavity irons are designed for the more serious golfer; they are definitely not “game improvement” clubs. The back of the head is a combination cavity/muscle back design. Furthermore, Bridgestone has cut “pockets” out of the muscle. These pockets distribute the weight farther to the outside of the head, increasing stability and helping the club’s MOI (moment of inertia). To translate from geek speak, the head design helps you launch the ball higher and helps keeps the club face square through impact. The leading edge has been changed and improved over the previous model, which helps tremendously with those tough lies or in soft conditions. The sole is a modified wedge shape which should appeal to a wider range of golfer.
The first thing you notice about the J40 irons is that this is a classic looking iron; thin top line and a shiny chrome finish The dual pockets, cavity and forging help these clubs deliver what Bridgestone calls a “buttery” feel; these clubs feel and sound fantastic. The feedback the club gives tells me right where the ball is on the face. I’m sure that this is partly due to the Project X shafts too.
I found these clubs to be lighter than my Miura CB-501 irons. That helped me to gain a little bit more clubhead speed. Consequently, I found that the ball traveled a little bit farther than with the Miuras. Controlling the flight of the ball and shaping the shot with these irons was a breeze.
If you hit the ball like Fred Couples (or, you are Fred Couples), these are the perfect irons. The Bridgestone Golf J40 Dual Pocket Cavity Irons are a great choice for a mid to low handicapper. The ball flight is very straight and true; they launch high, land soft and deliver great feedback.
For more information on these or other great Bridgestone Golf products, visit their website at www.bridgestonegolf.com.