|GolfWRX Top Rated|
If you've ever wanted a Titleist driver, these are the ones to buy. The 915 drivers are surprisingly long on mishits, especially the 915D2. Titleist’s wide variety of lofts, two distinct heads and impressive array of premium stock shafts makes fitting easy.
5 out of 5
Pros: The 915 drivers are surprisingly long on mishits, especially the 915D2. Titleist’s wide variety of lofts, two distinct heads and impressive array of premium stock shafts makes fitting easy.
Cons: At $449, these are two of the priciest drivers of 2015. Neither allows golfers to adjust CG.
Who are they for? Anyone, but most golfers should lean toward the 915D2. It’s one of the best drivers of 2015. The 915D3 will work for advanced players who need less spin, but it’s not as low spinning as other low-spin models on the market.
If you’re reading this review, then you probably have at least one Titleist golf club in your bag — and if you don’t you probably did in the past. Apple iPhone users tend to keep buying iPhones, and golfers who buy Titleist clubs tend to keep buying Titleist clubs.
If I’ve described you and you’ve been waiting to hear if the 915 drivers are worth the upgrade, I’ll cut to the chase. Yes, they are, and to prove it I’ll jump straight into the numbers. Not currently a Titleist player? I’ll address you later in the review.
We took two testers with handicaps of 0-to-5 to The Launch Pad at Carl’s Golfland in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., to test the 915 drivers against Titleist’s previous driver line. After the testers warmed up, they hit five shots with each driver head. Obvious mishits were discarded, and each head was tested with the same loft, hosel setting and shaft.
The Showdown: 913D2 vs. 915D2
The D3 Showdown: 913D3 vs. 915D3
To gearheads, the numbers speak for themselves. If you aren’t fluent in launch monitor lingo, however, let me provide some context. Here’s the simple breakdown of what golfers must do to hit longer drives:
- Improve their ball speed while maintaining similar launch conditions.
- Improve their launch conditions while maintaining similar ball speed.
- Improve their ball speed and launch conditions simultaneously.
More Forgiveness: The 915D2
The strength of the 915D2 driver is its ability to create more ball speed on mishits, as seen in Tester 1’s numbers. He added an average of 1.8 mph of ball speed with the 460-cubic-centimeter driver while maintaining similar launch conditions — a testament to the 915D2’s rearward center of gravity (CG) that raises its moment of inertia (MOI), a measure of a driver’s ability to retain ball speed on mishits.
Something else was going on, however, because the size and MOI of the 915D2 driver is relatively unchanged from its predecessor, the 913D2. That something was Titleist’s new Active Recoil Channel, which wraps around the sole of the driver to create a more efficient energy transfer on off-center hits that leads to more ball speed.
Channels or slots are nothing new to drivers, of course, but Titleist’s Active Recoil Channel showed obvious benefits in testing. It’s both wider and deeper than its competitors’ slots, and is matched with the company’s Radial Speed Face that uses variable face thicknesses to further improve ball speed on mishits.
There are very few drivers that will be able to compete against the 915D2’s big forgiveness and relatively low-spin launch conditions, and the club’s refined looks and feel should give it the upper hand in many fitting bays.
Less Spin: The 915D3
The strength of the 915D3 is its ability to improve launch conditions, particularly in the reduction of spin, which has been a weakness of past Titleist drivers. For the high-launch, low-spin launch conditions we observed, the 915D3’s retention of ball speed on mishits is also impressive.
Compared to the 915D2, the 915D3 has a lower, more forward CG. It also has a smaller, 440-cubic-centimeter head that is designed with slightly more fade bias than the 915D2.
Tester 2, a low-launch, high-spin player, saw his spin rate drop an average of 632 rpm when he switched from the 913D3 to the new 915D3. His launch angle also increased an average of 1.2 degrees. If that sounds impressive, it’s because it is. If you have the 913D3 and find yourself struggling with spin, go now to the nearest authorized Titleist retailer to be fit for the new model. That’s how much better it is.
If you’re considering switching to a 915D3 from another brand, you should know that it’s not going to be as low spinning as models such as Callaway’s Big Bertha Alpha 815 Double Black Diamond, TaylorMade’s R15 or Cobra’s Bio Cell Pro, but it will be more forgiving than those clubs.
If you look back at the testing data, you’ll notice Tester 2’s ball speed was actually slightly faster with the 915D3 than it was with the 915D2. That’s rarely the case with smaller, lower-spinning drivers, and a nod to the forgiveness Titleist was able to maintain with the 915D3 and the benefits of the Active Recoil Channel.
The performance of the 915 drivers is one reason to buy them. The other is the slew of loft and shaft options.
The 915D2 is available in lofts of 7.5, 8.5, 9.5 10.5 and 12 degrees. The 915D3 comes in lofts of 7.5, 8.5, 9.5 and 10.5 degrees. The variety allows golfers to dial in nearly any loft, lie and face angle combination they desire, and the two distinct club heads should fit most interested players.
The five shaft options are even more impressive. They include Aldila’s new Rogue Black and Silver shafts, as well as Mitsubishi Rayon’s new Diamana D+, S+ M+. All are the “real deal,” which means that they sell for several hundreds of dollars each at retail. That makes the 915’s sticker price of $449 more digestible.
There are drivers on the market that are slightly more forgiving than the 915D2 and ones that are lower spinning than the 915D3, but chasing one attribute such as low spin or maximum forgiveness is not what these drivers are about.
If you’re looking for the complete package — possibly the best combination of looks, sound, feel and performance — the 915D2 and 915D3 are it.
- Our review of Titleist’s 915D2 and 915D3 drivers
- Our review of Titleist’s 915F and 915Fd fairway woods
- Our review of Titleist’s 915H and 915Hd hybrids