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Suggestions for 915 driver development


Since the 915 prototypes will likely be seeded in June at the AT&T National, it may be too late for major design changes. That said, this post can at least provide some perspective from better amateurs about the current state of driver technology.

The 913D2 is a fantastic driver for the player who wants a little more spin, but Titleist made a big mistake in giving the 913D2 and D3 similar launch profiles. Yes, the 910D2 spun too much so it was the right move to bring that down in the 913D2, but not enough was done with the 913D3.

Numerous anecdotes show that higher ball speed players get substantially more distance from the SLDR when they are fit for both the SLDR and 913D3, usually in the neighborhood of 10-15 yards. The difference is essentially due to being able to fit a SLDR that launches the ball much higher and also with lower spin. I have a 165 mph ball speed which is nothing special, about PGA Tour average, and Flightscope's trajectory optimizer ( shows my current launch conditions of 14* and 2400 rpm spin produce a carry of 286 yards and 297 yards total with medium course firmness. However, with a launch of 18* and 1500 rpm spin, I get  294 yards carry and 308 yards total for a difference of 11 yards. This difference doubles when course firmness is set to hard. Unfortunately, 18*/1500 rpm is simply not possible with my 8.5* 913D3 unless I make a completely unnatural swing.

If we agree that higher launch/lower spin is the goal, we want a low/forward CG as in the SLDR and Titleist 905S. Speaking of the 905S, it was a driver ahead of its time, a dark age before Flightscope or Trackman. The 915D3 should at least move the weight chip near the face as in the 913Fd. The face could also be deeper, and even if that meant making the driver 460cc, players wouldn't worry because workability wouldn't be affected. A forward CG reduces MOI and therefore "forgiveness", but that's not the kind of forgiveness that better players need. During a range session this weekend, I took note of my ball impact locations. Even my absolute worst shots, i.e. push fades and snap hooks, were hit in the middle of the clubface. The shots were bad because of poor face angle and club path, things that no club can fix. The kind of "forgiveness" better players want from off-center hits is to not lose distance; we want consistent ball speeds across the face, especially above the center of the face where we can maximize the chance for a high launch/low spin shot.

As for the 915D2, more of the same would be great. I'm a Titleist loyalist, through and through, and I love my 913D3, but I'm not getting paid to play any particular brand. Unless the 915D3 offers higher launch/lower spin, myself and numerous other Titleist loyalists may find ourselves playing SLDR 2's next year.

19 Replies

  1. David C

    I don't worry about all of the technical stuff. I look for feel and looks in that order. I do think they should have the option for a matte black finish driver. Just my opinion...
  2. Don O

    Q -

    Fortunately, it is unlikely you won't have to wait until next year for the version II, probably just a couple of more months.  Next year could be version III or IV by then.     ;-)

    Moving the weight forward is an interesting comment.  I'm sure Titleist engineers are looking at the technology, and if it is valid, will offer it in a player's driver.  Thankfully, they have spared us drivers of many colors, ultra-lights, and square heads that sound like old metal trash cans.  Other fads that were short-lived

    I'm not sure why you can't correct a problem not getting enough loft with a low-spin shaft.  D3 already has 9.5 and 10.5 options.  I'm not in the "better player" category, but I had moved back from (all D2's) a 12 degree to 10.5 degree then set to 9.75 to try to reduce spin and ballooning, but moving from an R shaft Ihana to an S flex S+ on a 9.5 set to 11 degrees has corrected loft and with a ProV1X provided a longer roll-out.  Or, the "more loft" principle.  So I'm getting more distance w/o using a pastel driver.  I won't dispute that some will get better distance with a different driver, but I'm not ready to concede this technology in CG will be an undisputed improvement for all players.  The TM driver wouldn't be possible without the great strides made in shafts.  Other vendors have a way to go to offer the shafts that Titleist offers, with the trend away from "by OEM" shafts by Titleist.

    It will be interesting to see what shows up in the bags this summer.


  4. Matt B

    I agree it would be nice to see something that be available to the general public. I personally believe the Pro's already have this done by the tour department using hot melt in the head with lighter back-weight. I've read about the other company producing lighter head weights so the Pro's can have the head weighted & placed specifically for their swing.
  5. Randy K

    I enjoy all the tech stuff although sometimes with all the variables it's hard to know if you ever have the right combination. Club fitters can help if they are qualified and your swing needs to be some what consistent. The ball can also add spin-launch characteristics that hasn't been discussed yet. This is a marketers dream. Not every one can afford or justify spending hundreds of dollars every year with the latest and greatest, switching shafts and whatnot. I wonder truly how different a persimmon driver would compare given the same detailed analysis as modern drivers.????? 

  6. Kevin Y

    Bumping an earlier post...

    I realize its late in the game and the 915 models will be sent out for tour-seeding within the next 8 weeks, but I'm right on board with the original poster.  As I'm awaiting the arrival of my new Cameron, I've spent a good bit of time at Golfsmith (especially since the original order did not get input correctly).  With that time, I've hit a ton of balls in the launch monitors.  I have been trying to find something that will kick out my 909D3 with a Diamana Whiteboard (73x) out of the bag for a while now.  I just haven't found anything that has been enough of an improvement.  But after hitting the SLDR 430, while I dis-like the feel, the spin numbers are much better - especially with my high launch.  Even considering the fact that I'm battling an early-release, the numbers were decent enough to consider this option as my next driver (although that would remove the all-Titleist bag status).

    With that being said, my dream scenario would be for Titleist to release the coveted D4 model in the 915 line.  If Titleist offered the 425 D4 as the low-spin option, especially with a deep-face, I would happily replace my current gamer.  While it may not come to fruition, even if this was the "Custom Order" option I would be ecstatic.  

  7. Christopher B

    The amount of hot melt you would have to apply over 20 grams of hotmelt to significantly move the CG forward

  8. Chuck Z

    Guess, we'll just have to wait and see what rolls out this summer in the protypes.  I spoke with the our Titleist Sales Representative Tuesday and he has no idea what the 915 will look like or the characterists of the new model.  He stated that they will be revealed to them at the meeting in July.  I am so looking forward to hearing about the new model and any significient changes that will be made.  I am staying with Titleist, because whatever, TM and Cally has on the market will be changed in six months and that is why I changed to Titleist.  

  9. Ron E

    Does anyone know if it will have the same sure-fit hosel design as the previous versions?  

  10. Kevin Y

    At this point, everything is based on speculation.  The consensus so far, based upon pictures and chat room talk only, is that it appears that the sure-fit system for the drivers is remaining the same.

    Until Titleist issues product specifics in a few months, assumptions are going to be speculative.

  11. GVT

    The 913D2 is a great driver, however I have compared performance with my previous 910D2 driver and found feel, distance, workability and accuracy far more superior - (both fitted with Diamana Kai'li, stiff shift, 65 gramme)

    I am a dedicate Titleist customer since the days of the 983K driver however with the 913D2 enhancements something was lost - feel and distance is definately very noticable      

  12. Chris92009

    The pictures of the new 915 woods on a popular golf website appear to solve this far as on driver out distancing another...I play the 913D3 and I think it comes down to finding the correct shaft...just because one uses the same shaft in another driver doesnt mean it is the "same" shaft.  I had a conversation a year ago with one PGA Tour Pro and he indicated to me the variance between manufacturers in some shafts is significant and in some cases assuming the shafts are identifcal they still play different from his point of view.  That being said, I love the look, feel and distance I get from my 913D3 but if there is a driver that is going to get you 15 yards more distance than you should consider playing it.  IMHO.

  13. Norris

    I'm with you Guy. I have the 910D2 and it is the best driver I've ever played, so I bought the 913D2 thinking it would be even better, but I was disappointed to find that my 910D2 was a much better driver that the 913 in all the categories that you mentioned. Needless to say that the 910D2 is back in my bag. I will probably check out the 915, but it will have a hard time matching up with the 910. 

  14. Orange Juice

    an option for a matt finish would be nice and please don't change the alignment aid at all, it is perfect. would not want to go the way of cally, png or TM.

  15. Norris

    I'm with you Aarari about the alignment mark. I depend on it on most all shots,but from what I've seen of the 915's, it appears that the alignment mark is turned around backwards. Don't know why this is, since it was perfect in the 910's & 913's pointing forward like it should be. I'm hoping that my eyes were just deceiving me when I saw the mark turned backwards on the 915, and that it will be turned around facing forward on the new model 915. 

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