Community Review – Bobby Jones Black Driver, Fairway, and Hybrid
Forward – You Can Be a A Club Tester
by GolfSpy WD
As mentioned in this forum post, we look for testers who are forum members in good standing, who have contributed quality posts in the past, and who are able to take the time it takes to write one of our rigorous community reviews. We keep a list of our active forum members and encourage everyone to post without fear of censorship and we do read everything.
From our pool we selected members wbealsd, mudfish, and txstcatman because of their history contributing to the forums, and because each fits into the Bobby Jones target market. As a quick aside, our community reviews test clubs within the intended market segment for the club. We’re not looking to put blades in the hands of a 36 capper or send someone clubs history shows they won’t like. Beyond that though, our community testers are asked to speak their mind and write exactly what they think of the clubs after careful testing over a four week period.
After we selected our testers and sent their specs to the Bobby Jones rep, Jesse Ortiz, the lead designer for Bobby Jones, contacted us saying he wanted to make sure our testers were properly fit and worked with Graphite Designs to fit each of our testers the best they could via email.
As is the case with all MyGolfSpy Community Member Testing, the selected golfers are provided with a review template and some general guidelines for testing. Depending on the access of each individual, testing may or may not involve the use of a launch monitor. The procedures and protocols used to collect and analyze data differ significantly from those used in MyGolfSpy’s Most Wanted Testing. As such, the opinions and views expressed in this review are those of the author and may not reflect the opinions or views of MyGolfspy and its staff.
Bobby Jones Metalwoods Review
Written by: Txstcatman
Photos By: wbealsd, mudfish, and txstcatman
Letter from Jesse Ortiz
Since I use Graphite Design shafts for all of my offerings, I sent your specs to Bill McPherson at GDI for his recommendations for you. Looking at what you currently are using, he came up with:
Tour AD MT7 – for the driver
GT8 – for the fairway wood
AD Di-85 – for the hybrid
I didn’t have Pure Grips, so I went with Tour Velvets figuring you could change them out. The driver is loud but that is common with cup-face design drivers. Put aside the sound and focus on performance. The drivers & fairway woods are FACE ANGLE adjustable. The hybrid is LIE ANGLE adjustable.
Please feel free to call me with any questions. My cell is xxx-xxx-xxxx. Thanks for your time to test these.
So my unboxing post had a bit of the child-like wonder and awe associated with being selected for such an opportunity. Afterwards, I started to think about what exactly I knew about the Bobby Jones golf brand. Aside from watching a movie or two about the man, my only knowledge was from some infomercials about wedges that were on TV a long time ago. I could tell you that I knew about the little copper medallion used in marking the clubs produced by Bobby Jones Golf, but that is about all I knew.
Thanks to this chance to review a driver, fairway, and hybrid, I am more likely to pay attention to the direction of this brand. Bobby Jones isn’t a big player in the big box stores, but I don’t think you necessarily have to be in order to be successful.
- Accuracy – One of the things that I immediately began thinking about was accuracy with a large head driver. I haven’t been much of a fan of 460cc heads, having played the smaller offerings from a couple of OEMs the last few years. I have to say that I am pleasantly surprised with how accurate this driver is. It took me a few rounds of golf and range sessions to figure things out, but I finally settled in on what seems to be the “-1” setting. This helped me really straighten out my shots. I now have the confidence to line up on a tee box and make a swing on the ball without having to worry that my alignment or swing path needs to be tweaked.?
- Distance – On average, I felt that my good strikes traveled as far as other clubs I’ve hit. The design of the club allows for some excellent forgiveness on mishits and keeps the ball out there without losing too much on a bad swing. I can say that while it may not be winning any blue ribbons for being the absolute longest driver out there, it certainly is reliable for good overall distance through a round. Compared to my Covert Tour 1.0 with UST Chrome, I’d put the Bobby Jones Black with Tour AD MT 7s up against it in a heartbeat.
- Trajectory Characteristics – WOW! I love the ball flight I’ve experienced with this driver! I know part of it is the design of the head, but being paired with the Tour AD MT shaft has been phenomenal. I continuously see a mid-high, boring flight. The ball just seems to rise to a perfect height, then just goes and goes. I’ve only experienced some moderate ballooning when hitting into the wind, but usually that has more to do with a bad swing than anything else. I don’t think it’s hard to get the ball airborne, nor is it hard to try and keep it low when it’s required.
- Forgiveness – Forgiveness with this driver is pretty good. I’ve found that bad swings, regardless of the club, are going to yield bad shots. This driver, however, has left me with more playable second shots than other drivers I’ve used. Bad contact on the face might lead to a few yards lost in distance, but nothing that would make a hole more challenging.
- Control – I’m not a guy that tries to work the ball left or right on purpose. I grew into the game playing a natural fade. That being said, I have been able to turn this club over, even in my swing, to produce some small draws, but only every when trying to do so in range sessions. Because hitting left-to-right is my norm, I play that shot during my rounds. Again, it isn’t hard to hit the ball low or high with this club, something that helps in Texas winds!
- Range vs Course – For some reason, I have a hard time taking my range game to the golf course. I can even show up early for a round and hit on the course’s range and still swing poorly on the first tee. I think I need a course in mental preparation. However, after my last range session and tweaking of the club, I think that I’ll be able to take my swing and confidence easily into my next round. I definitely do hit this driver better on the range. Below is a short monitor session with best shots hit between the Bobby Jones Black with Tour AD MT 7S and my Nike Covert Tour with UST Elements Chrome 7F4T. Overall numbers averaged better with the Bobby Jones driver.
- Accuracy – I hate to admit this has been the hardest club for me to adjust to playing. I’ve never had a 4 wood in the bag before and that shows on the course. After plenty of tinkering with the settings, I’ve finally got it set to where I can expect my typical fade without being off into right field. This fairway hasn’t been the worst I’ve ever hit, and I have a history of not getting along with fairway woods regardless of the brand. That I can hit this in a predictable manner means it might stay in the bag. The “+2″ setting has given me the best results thus far.
- Distance – Playing a club in this loft range has been hard for me to get used to. Being higher lofted, I knew that I was going to lose a bit of distance compared to a 15* fairway wood. I was surprised to then see that there was little drop off when compared to my R11 fairway. Distance on my current setting is pretty good for where I need this club to go. It’s great off the tee, and excellent on long Par 5s for both getting into striking distance or going at the green. There have been a couple times, however, that I’d wished I’d opted for a 15* model, just to see how much a difference in distance there might be.
- Trajectory Characteristics – Hitting off the turf is quite easy, as the club glides across the ground and rough. Off the tee, I’ve been able to hit the ball low, but I haven’t felt the need to do so as I could just as easily hit driver in such situations. I will say the trajectory of this club is pretty high, somewhat higher than I am used to playing.
- Forgiveness – This club, probably more so than the other two, I have found to be consistent with other models on the market. Given the nature of the head size, a mis-hit is going to be bad. Usually due to a bad swing path, I’ll find myself off to the right or having flipped the club over in the process.
- Control – Again, I’m not a person who tries to work the ball either direction on purpose. I’ve had to adjust the settings on the club just to get a dependable fade, which is perfectly fine for my game. Launch off the tee is dependable with this club!
- Range vs Course – I have to say that this club has been more dependable, surprisingly, on the course than on the range. I think it’s that I over-complicate things on the range trying to find the right setup, swing path, or tempo whereas on the course I just pull the club out and fire away. I’ve been more comfortable with it in my hands on the course, for sure.
- Accuracy – Of all three clubs I’ve had a chance to test, this one is by far the easiest to hit straight. I love the head shape; looking down at it inspires confidence and I don’t have any doubts that it’s going long and straight for me. This club is super easy to hit straight guys.
- Distance – Again, this club is crazy easy to hit straight, and what does that usually equate to? You got it, distance! I finally have a club I can count on consistently for that 200-210 yard range that was hard to hit with my 5 wood consistently before being selected to test. I love how the club sounds at impact.
- Trajectory Characteristics – The AD DI shaft with this head has helped produce nice high ball flights that just go. It’s nice to actually hit a hybrid in the manner with which they were intended. The trajectory definitely helps land the ball softly onto greens. The club head travels through the turf very easily whether in the fairway or rough, making contact predictable off any lie.
- Forgiveness – This is one club where forgiveness was an afterthought for me. Not because of anything wrong, but just because I felt like I could never mis-hit it. Off the toe, heel, low or high on the face, the ball just keeps going straight for me and with not a whole lot of distance lost. This club will definitely leave you with a smile on your face and wanting to hit it over and over again!
- Control – Again, something this club does well is elements of control. Off the tee I feel like I can keep it low or hit a towering shot, while off the turf it can provide nice trajectories as well. I’ve been able to hit my typical fade as well as a few draws, both accidentally and on purpose.
- Range vs Course – I’ve felt that this club is dependable both in practice and in play on the course. Every time it comes out of the bag it feels so easy to put a good swing on. I love that I can trust it to deliver in a pinch on long second shots or recovery shots off bad drives. Basically… This. Thing. Works.
As a set, I’ve been very comfortable putting these clubs in play. From the very beginning, I liked the gaps in lofts, and went with the three as my non-iron setup in the bag. I feel that the fairway and hybrid travel through the turf especially well, even in thick rough. It’s easy to make contact with the ball in most lies. The driver is a club I’ve always struggled with for consistency, yet I finally think I have a tool in the bag that can allow for consistency.
I love the shape of the fairway and hybrid clubs. The driver looks a bit odd at first, reminding me of the 2009 TM Burner when looking down at it. The odd curvature behind the toe is funky, but easy to get used to. The graphics on the crown and sole of the clubs are simple, understated, and pretty pleasing given the latest trends of having words and stripes on available clubs. I really liked the “power button” alignment aid as I am a bit geeky about computers. The matte black and red graphics look really good to my eye, and the sole graphics being simple make the club look very streamlined.
After a half dozen rounds and several range sessions, I’d say these clubs wear just as well as any other black faced club on the market. The driver still looks like new, while the fairway and hybrid have shown more wear due to ground contact.
Compared to other brands’ offerings in these club categories, I’d have to say that Bobby Jones Golf is definitely on the right track to providing quality products. The use of Graphite Design shafts is a huge plus, and instills a sense of confidence when putting the clubs in play. I’d definitely say that these clubs are on par, if not better, than others available now in terms of looks. You should definitely take a look at them if the opportunity presents itself.
Sound and Feel
Both the fairway and hybrid clubs provide a nice, muted “tink” sound that I really enjoy hearing upon impact. The driver, however, took a little while to get used to. The best way I could describe it is a comparison to the Nike SQ Sumo drivers.
The Bobby Jones model doesn’t sound nearly as loud as its yellow predecessor, but it still gives me flashbacks to playing little league baseball with metal bats. I definitely saw heads turn my way on the range and even had playing partners comment on the sound during the rounds I played. It passes after a few swings, especially when you catch one really good and just smile when you get to your second shot AFTER everyone else.
The sound really translates to how the ball feels coming off the face. The cup face design provides a lot of spring that can be felt on impact. I will say that shots on different parts of the face of all three clubs sounds pretty consistent, with only the driver providing a really discernible difference in contact areas.
If the driver could sound more like the fairway and hybrid, we’d have the best sounding clubs I’d ever experienced.
Likelihood of Purchase (LOP)
I would definitely consider a purchase of the hybrid in this set. Being a poor fairway club player, I have a hard time with most 3 and 5 woods. However, if Bobby Jones offered a stronger lofted hybrid I’d consider it in an instant. The driver would be a strong consideration compared to other clubs I’ve tried, only because I’ve experienced how, when set up correctly, it can provide consistent performance.
I love the way these clubs look, sound, and feel. Looking at them almost makes me forget that I don’t hit fairways well, or that I struggle with driver consistency. The clubs look the way clubs should, simple in design and graphics, and with the right colors. The fairway and hybrid sound amazing enough to forgive that of the driver, making it easy to put all three clubs into play in the bag.
As an avid golfer who doesn’t take lessons, doesn’t put any stock into what the wannabe teaching pro hitting balls at the range has to say, and tinkers more than he practices, I finally feel like I’ve received the “golden ticket” to getting my metal play on track. I have enjoyed my time with the clubs thus far, and look forward to their continued use on the course. I think I’m on the right track, and look forward to seeing improved scoring chances with them. I am already used to the sound of the driver, and I suggest to anyone who has a chance to try these clubs to look past that particular aspect of performance, just as Jesse asked us to do.
- Will these clubs go in your bag? Why or why not? For now, yes. I feel like I have been a bit more consistent with this driver in the bag. The forgiveness is a nice thing to have when I’m on the course and having a bad swing day. I feel that while I’m inconsistent with the fairway, I still hit it better than my other options in that category, so the Bobby Jones will be staying in the bag. The hybrid is a no-brainer for having a permanent place in any bag I set up.
- To whom, if anyone, would you recommend these clubs? Why? I’d recommend these clubs to just about anyone. Traditionalists might not like the head shape on the driver, or the sound it produces. All I can say is to give it a chance. The fairway has a nice look to it that anyone may find appealing, and the hybrid is just a great club. If you’re a high handicap player, consider giving these a go.
- How, if at all, did these clubs change your overall impression of Bobby Jones Golf? These clubs actually have piqued my interest in Bobby Jones Golf. I spent time browsing the company website to learn more information of the brand as a whole. I no longer think of it in terms of old wedge commercials.
- What feature would you change or eliminate from the next generation of this model? There isn’t a whole lot to change about the overall design of these clubs. Paint and graphics are top notch and pretty durable. The sound of the driver is directly related to the face design, but I wonder if some interior weighting choices could be made to help minimize the effect of the design on sound output.
- What feature do you really like, and would most like to see continued or evolved in future models? I do think that there should be some literature provided with the clubs with regards to their adjustability. Having played other adjustable drivers and fairways, I enjoy when there is some kind of pamphlet that verbally and graphically illustrates how to work the clubs changeable features.
For more information visit the Bobby Jones Golf Website.
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