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Review: Titleist 915D2 and 915D3 Drivers

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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.

The Review

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.

Titleist 915D2 915D3 drivers 915D 915

The Showdown: 913D2 vs. 915D2

913_915D2_Chart

The D3 Showdown: 913D3 vs. 915D3

913_915D3_Chart

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:

  1. Improve their ball speed while maintaining similar launch conditions.
  2. Improve their launch conditions while maintaining similar ball speed.
  3. Improve their ball speed and launch conditions simultaneously.

More Forgiveness: The 915D2

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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.

IMG_3653

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.

915_Driver_RSF_Technology_2100x1629_300_CMYK-600x384

Above: Titleist’s Radial Speed Face is thinner in the blue areas and thicker in the purple areas to create a larger sweet spot.

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.

Related: For more info on the technology in Titleist’s 915D2 and 915D3 drivers, click here. 

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

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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.

915_Driver_High_MOI_Technology_1320x2100_300_CMYK-600x591
Above: Titleist’s new drivers have lighter, 8-11 titanium bodies. Weight was also removed from the blue areas and moved to the purple areas to improve forgiveness.  

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.

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Above: The 915D3 (left) measures 440cc, has a taller face and is shorter from front to back than the 915D2, which measures 460cc.

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 Takeaway

The performance of the 915 drivers is one reason to buy them. The other is the slew of loft and shaft options.

IMG_3648

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.

See more photos and read the discussion in the forums.

Related

2015-titleist-driver-2

Titleist 915D2

[wrx_buy_now oemlink=”http://www.titleist.com/golf-clubs/drivers/915d.aspx” oemtext=”Learn more from Titleist” amazonlink=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OCH1FQK/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00OCH1FQK&linkCode=as2&tag=golfwrxcom-20&linkId=SWLHX3BJGRODHAXN”]

Titleist 915D3

[wrx_buy_now oemlink=”http://www.titleist.com/golf-clubs/drivers/915d.aspx” oemtext=”Learn more from Titleist” amazonlink=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OCH3RWU/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=B00OCH3RWU&linkCode=as2&tag=golfwrxcom-20&linkId=LOUUMCUWSARIFBA7″]

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Zak is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX.com. He's been a part of the company since 2011, when he was hired to lead GolfWRX's Editorial Department. Zak developed GolfWRX's Featured Writer Program, which supports aspiring writers and golf industry professionals. He played college golf at the University of Richmond (Go Spiders!) and still likes to compete in tournaments. You can follow Zak on Twitter @ZakKoz, where he's happy to discuss his game and all the cool stuff that's part of his job.

97 Comments

97 Comments

  1. Chris

    Jul 27, 2015 at 9:08 pm

    I have been struggling with the Driver for a while now and have flipped from Callaway to Taylor to Callaway and I recently demo’d the 915 and all I can say is wow. I played three rounds and have never in my life hit the Driver straighter and longer. I played the 9.5, Diaman S 60 what a club!

  2. Justin

    Feb 21, 2015 at 4:16 pm

    I have been a Titlesit guy for about 7 years. I love their drivers. I went into Golfsmith today to get fitted for the 915. My swing speed is 115-118 mph and I carry a 2 hcp.

    I brought my 913 D3 in as well. After hitting every driver in the place, I was extremely disappointed in the 915. I hit (and eventually bought) the Callaway XR. I was carrying the XR about 15 yards further every shot with ideal launch and spin rates (11.5 degree, 2350 rpm). Never in my life would i have imagined Callaway to out perform Titleist like that.

    • Pat

      Feb 24, 2015 at 10:59 pm

      I agree, I tested the 915 drivers and I wasn’t impressed at all. I actually thought the Ping G30 LS, Callaway double black diamond and TaylorMade R15 went a lot further and just felt better all around.

    • Jason

      Mar 6, 2015 at 10:43 pm

      I am a 4 hcp with a 114 SS, but I actually had the opposite experience with the 915. I have always been a Titleist guy with my irons, but have played Taylormade woods for years. I tried the 913 a while ago, but wasn’t impressed because my RBZ Stage 2 was much longer. But, I tried the 915 D3 8.5 in a Rogue Silver 60x 125 MSI, and was hitting it at least a half-dozen yards longer, with an average launch of 13.4 and a spin rate of 2395. I’m sure some of the improvement was due to the high-end shaft, but the combo of the 915 head with that shaft was gold. I tried several other 2015 driver brands, but for me, nothing could beat the D3 in terms of consistency and length.

  3. David

    Jan 23, 2015 at 12:21 pm

    I love my 913D2 but I have heard very good things about the 915 series so far. Especially from a friend who just switched over after swinging TaylorMade drivers his entire life. I have also heard great things about the Aldila Rogue Shafts. I ordered my 915D2 with Aldila Rogue Silver in an X-Flex last week. I cannot wait for it to be delivered so I can see just how great they are myself!

  4. Jayman

    Jan 8, 2015 at 12:55 pm

    I was fortunate enough to get fitted for the 915 drivers by the Titleist rep and I must say I don’t understand the hate on for these clubs. I gained 12 yards consistently over my 913 D2 and was fitted into the 915 D3 with the “stock” Aldila Rogue shaft. My dispersion was within 2-3 yards of each drive with a consistent slight draw (I’m a leftie). Turns out the D2 was spinning way too high for my swing. I’m by no means a pro, I usually swing around 100 mph and play to a 6 handicap, but I would highly recommend these drivers to anyone looking for lower spin rates and a decent amount of forgiveness!

    • James

      Jan 9, 2015 at 9:26 am

      I also got fitted but have not purchased yet. I’m a 9 handicap, around 105mph swing and currently gaming the SLDR for last season and a half. It is a good club but not particularly great on mishits. The 915 I had thought would be about the same but surprised that it really felt nice even on mishits. I loved the look of it and it felt really nice on all hits. Granted it was on a Trackman system indoors but it said I was getting a few drives out 300+ yards which I hardly ever do (mainly in the 270 range). So I think for me it inspired confidence and that goes a long way! Now if I could just get past the price of these things.

  5. killerbgolfer

    Jan 6, 2015 at 11:32 pm

    Just got fit to a 915 D3. I hit many different lofts, shafts, and other brands. this one was longer than my 913, Nike Covert 2.o tour, and the other drivers I tried by 11ish yards and straighter. I was very impressed with this offering from Titleist. Besides the performance, this one also looked and felt the best.

  6. SONNY CANIMORE

    Dec 29, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    I HAVE A 910D2 10.5 WITH THE STOCK DIAMANA ILIMA 61 MID-HI REGULAR FLEX SHAFT.IWOULD LIKE TO UPGRADE BUT I DON’T REALLY KNOW MUCH ABOUT SHAFTS. I’M 57 YEARS OLD AND HIT MY DRIVER ON ADVERAGE ABOUT 230 YDS.USUALLY FAIRLY STRAIGHT. IF I REALLY CATCH IT IT’S ABOUT 250. I KNOW THIS IS NOT A LOT OF INFORMATIOM FOR YOU BUT,WHAT DRIVER AND SHAFT SHOULD I CONSIDER ORDERING.

    • James

      Jan 5, 2015 at 3:33 pm

      You should go and get fit when the shops get demo’s m8. That way you know for sure that its correct for you and your game.

  7. Craig Farkas

    Dec 26, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    Just remember one thing fellas! It’s the indian not the arrow!

    • James

      Jan 9, 2015 at 9:18 am

      But the design of the bow and arrow does matter.

    • Eric Y

      Dec 11, 2015 at 9:25 pm

      it’s the indian and the arrow. it’s both. a lot of golfers can’t accept that…

  8. GPD

    Dec 25, 2014 at 9:52 am

    USGA tests all new drivers for COR (Coefficient of Restitution). How much “spring” is in the face of the driver. If the driver hits the ball too far, its illegal. Most manufacturers hit the limits on COR years ago so new drivers, when they talk about more distance, are really talking inches of distance. Its all marketing hype. The new tech in driver heads is forgiveness, larger sweet spots, more distance off mis-hits. Titleist face insert technology is very good with mis-hits so that’s where the extra distance comes from. In my humble opinion.

    • Ross Dixon

      Feb 13, 2015 at 10:39 am

      To some extent you are correct, however there is also more recent discoveries in COG location related to the sweetspot that have improved ballspeed. This is not something the CT test (COR is the old method) is able to measure.

      Regarding the Titleist 915. The gains have been made by using the ARC to increase the flex of the face over the whole face. They have then had to thicken the face at the centre so it passes the CT test but this has also allowed then to make the rest of the face even thinner. So a thinner face and ARC really does improve ball speeds off centre.

      Remember that the CT test is a geometric centre and its a very very small spot. They can make the area around this very hot but most people would consider it the middle while the companies consider it off centre.

  9. Joker

    Dec 14, 2014 at 7:06 am

    Ok! I’m an 18 H/C golfer playing a 909 with 9.5 loft for some years. Obviously most of my drives are a little “spread” shall we say but hey I enjoy the game. Thinking of changing to 915. My question is would it benefit my game or just wasting my time? And if the answer is “benefit” the next question is…..How?

    • rgb

      Jan 2, 2015 at 8:04 pm

      I loved my Titleist driver but was spraying them left and right. Bought the Ping G30 with SFT and a stiffer shaft than the R on the Titleist, and bingo – straight down the line. Very happy with the club, turbulators and all.

      Only reason I went with Ping was Titleist’s annoying propensity of releasing their new clubs at the end of mortal man’s golf season. At least I got to play a dozen+ games with the Ping before the snow.

  10. Jonny B

    Dec 8, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    Did a little testing of my own this weekend with my club’s PGA fitter. Hit 4 new drivers (Callaway BB Alpha 815, Titleist 915D2, Taylormade R15, and Ping G30) on the launch monitor. Used Nike RZN White balls to test. All were adjusted to same loft (9.5) and lie (standard), the ones with the adjustable weighting as close to the same as we could get it. The shafts were all the stock offerings in “stiff” flex, all weighed in the 60 gram category, except the Titleist shaft which was 70 grams. So take these numbers for what they are worth…

    My average driver swing speed currently is right around 97 mph. After a few minutes warmup with my current driver (Cleveland Classic XL Custom) I alternated hitting 5 shots with each driver until I got to a total of 20 with each (80 drives in all) and kept the top 10 from each driver after throwing out the bottom 10. Results below…

    1. Callaway (gravity core in “down” position):
    Swing speed – 98.4 mph
    Ball speed – 139.8 mph
    Carry – 240.4 yds
    Total – 254.1 yds
    Backspin – 3320
    Dispersion – 6 yds right

    2. Titleist
    Swing speed – 101.2 mph
    Ball speed – 144.7 mph
    Carry – 251.1 yds
    Total – 266.4 yds
    Backspin – 2950
    Dispersion – 9 yds right

    3. Taylormade
    Swing speed – 97.9 mph
    Ball speed – 141 mph
    Carry – 244.3 yds
    Total – 261.6 yds
    Backspin – 2570
    Dispersion – 1 yd left

    4. Ping
    Swing speed – 100.9 mph
    Ball speed – 143.5 mph
    Carry – 246.7 yds
    Total – 260.8 yds
    Backspin – 3400
    Dispersion – 3 yds right

    I’m not a big numbers guy, but just thought I would share these. As far as feel goes, the Titleist face felt hotter than any of the drivers I’ve hit in recent memory. I could really feel the compression of the golf ball and that seems to be reflected in the distance, as it outdrove the other clubs. I also did not care at all for the feel of the R15, which felt very harsh.

    I’ll be trying the new Mizuno and Nike drivers when my pro gets them in before I make my decision, but if I had to choose my new driver today it would be the Titleist.

    • rgb

      Jan 2, 2015 at 8:10 pm

      I think Barney Adams penned an article here a while ago where the gist of it was, the only shot that counts when trying a new club is the second swing. Something along the line of the first swing you throw out because the club was new, and swings 3 through X you throw out because by the third swing it is you who is starting to adapt to the peculiarities of the club. Swing 2 was the ‘real you’ and the real club. If that one was magic, that’s the club.

      I kinda like this simplicity.

  11. Titleist11junky

    Dec 4, 2014 at 9:11 pm

    Tried both the 915 D2 and D3 this past weekend at Golfsmith. I was excited to try them, but ended up extremely disappointed. These clubs were dead. I have used all Titleist equip. for 20 yrs. I will stay with my 910 7.5 D3. I hate to say big Bertha alpha was 20 yards farther and I don’t like Callaway.

    • Greg

      Jan 1, 2015 at 1:35 pm

      I did the exact same thing in Walnut Creek at Golfsmith, with the same results. I’m a 2hcp and have a Nike VR Pro Ltd and was wanting something new, but the numbers don’t lie. They didn’t have a shaft that I thought might work better for me. I’ll need to wait until our club gets a shaft so I can try it one more time

    • Titleist11junky

      Jan 31, 2015 at 10:25 pm

      Update, went back to Golfsmith a couple times since this post, I hit the Rogue shaft and loved it. Ordered today 915 D3 7.5 with the Rogue silver 60 Stiff. Absolutely killed it. Boy was I wrong before.

    • Jay Reppond

      Jan 31, 2015 at 10:30 pm

      Boy was I wrong. Ordered today 915 D3 7.5 with rogue Silver 60 Stiff. I killed it. Diamanté shafts felt like a board.

    • titleist11junky

      Feb 2, 2015 at 1:28 pm

      Boy was I wrong. I heit the 915’s this weekend again.I ordered the 915 D3 7.5 with the Rogue Silver 60 shaft this weekend. I took my old 910 D3 7.5 to compare it with and there ended up being no comparison. The 915 was longer and straighter with a tighter dispersion. Can wait for it to arrive!!!

  12. Regis

    Dec 3, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    This seems to be an ongoing issue. The distinction between a “real deal” shaft and an true aftermarket shaft has been blurred. I personally have given up on trying to sort out the distinction. Several “made for-real deal” shafts have worked well for me. Certain true aftermarket shafts have not. ( my understanding is that Oban the only true seller of one shaft for all) What I have done over the course of many years of self indulgence is to isolate 5-6 shafts of mixed pedigree that have always worked and performed with different heads. If I like a driver (my current is a SLDR), I buy the best fitting stock shaft and then switch the shaft adaptors on my harem and experiment for at least a season with all my options. More than satisfies my mistaken belief that a new driver will put me on the Senior Tour

  13. jon

    Dec 2, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    I tried the 915D2 on Sunday in Arizona. I had not played in a few months and wasn’t expecting much, but I found it to be very solid with pretty tight dispersion and it had a great ball flight. I didn’t think the sound was bad at all. It is without a doubt a great new driver that is very pleasing to the eye. Rouge silver stiff shaft. This thing is a winner.

  14. titleistloyalist

    Nov 30, 2014 at 2:18 am

    910 > 913 & 915

    Hard to improve on the 910’s perfection. And Titleist hasn’t been able to do so.

    This is a BS review.

    913 was an F and 915 is a C at best.

    • Josh

      Dec 3, 2014 at 2:03 pm

      I’m still rocking the 909. Sounds like, in your opinion, the 910 would be the one to upgrade to? I’m still not 100% on board with the adjustable hosels…

    • Sodapoppin

      Dec 7, 2014 at 10:03 am

      Yes, I would say the same if I couldn’t afford the new 915. What a BS post.

  15. Joseph

    Nov 27, 2014 at 11:37 am

    Yes, looks great. My issue is that I could take 5 drivers that have all been released in the last 2 years and get very similar results. Those drivers can be found in most retailers or online for around $150.00. Accuracy is the most important aspect of a driver. Find one you can hit reasonably well and you’re way ahead. An extra 10 yards means nothing if you can’t keep it in play consistently.

  16. Scott

    Nov 26, 2014 at 6:58 pm

    Can we get a review of the fairway please/

    • Billyho

      Nov 26, 2014 at 9:27 pm

      The new 915 rocks over the 913. Just ordered the 460cc 9.5 degree model in an extra stiff rogue shaft. Compared the stats on the Golfsmith simulator vs my current 913 model with the exact same shaft and it carried an extra 20 yards per shot. Spin came down 2900 to 2500. Launch angles were similar at 11.5 degrees. The biggest difference was lower spin, better dispersion and 20 yards more of carry. Feel and sound were solid (pretty close to 913 model) and miss hits still traveled well and better than the 913. If the simulator results from the 913 driver to 915 model net me 20 yards more carry per drive, that’s a pretty serious change in performance. I know some may say that’s not possible…..ok, I’m a 5 handicap, can hit drives 300 yards (30% of the time) and maybe the forgiveness and technology in the new model really made my mishits that much better! Would be hard to believe that center face contact would yield 20 yards more (my simulator results were closer to a 10-12 yard increase on center strikes). I think any decent player who knows Titleist stuff will really appreciate the new model. Just my two cents!

      REPLY

  17. Golfraven

    Nov 25, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    good article. agree with the Apple/iphone comparison. I game Titleist woods (driver, FW, 915 hybrid is coming in the bag next season) and really pleased – don’t think I will change the brand in coming years; got my 5th iphone as well and will upgrade in 2 years if they don’t double in price. I love tgat they keep looks more traditional.
    What about those dozens shafts Titleist offers free of charge – like the Aldila Tour Green? Guys, go out and test this on demo days with Titleist or the golf shop of your trust. Look at the 913 range if you want to save 100$+ – shaft range is almost similar.

  18. Dave S

    Nov 24, 2014 at 5:52 pm

    Two people does not a statistically relevant test make…

  19. slider

    Nov 23, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    why doesn’t titleist come out with some cooler names for their clubs like jet speed or rocket speed or something and why wait 2 years to release clubs I like to buy new ones a couple times a year and I like a lot of graphics like the R1 has on the crown of my driver

    • Golfraven

      Nov 25, 2014 at 4:30 pm

      is it sarcasm or are you honestly asking this question? one thing I love about Titleist is that even after 2+ seasons the clubs still have great resell value. Also you don’t get the impression that older models become dated – in comparison to TM or Callaway. Lots of pros game really old models, whatever works for them – and they get the latest gear for free.

    • Dnizzle

      Nov 27, 2014 at 11:56 pm

      And that’s why you are not a titleist man. To flashy bro!!

  20. phil

    Nov 22, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    this is the best looking club I have seen since the 913 came out titleist keep up the good work

  21. Rogerinnz

    Nov 22, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    Great test Zac.
    Thanks to Kevin,Jared,FuzzyJuzzy and Rich for real life comments.
    We can Focus on the Long and Accurate reality!!
    Thats the SHORT Story Over!!

  22. erkr

    Nov 22, 2014 at 1:44 am

    They performed really nice for me. Good ball speed, especially on low hits on face.
    But the sound is not good. Metallic clicky and almost hurt my ears. What happened to nice solid Titleist sound.

  23. JustAnotherAnimal

    Nov 21, 2014 at 11:52 pm

    I’ll pick up my new 915D3 tomorrow. Haven’t bought a new driver in a while. It’s replacing my 975D. I said “a while”!! =)

  24. Joe Johnson

    Nov 21, 2014 at 11:14 pm

    Didn’t golf wrx already review these clubs awhile ago? Also, seems like the reviews on here all say the same thing over and over again just different numbers. Also, quite a small sample pool to signify any magnitude.

    • james lee

      Nov 25, 2014 at 8:02 pm

      agreed. it would be refreshing to actually read a critical review of a golf club, not just regurgitated marketing points that the manufacturer puts out.

  25. Jeff

    Nov 21, 2014 at 11:14 pm

    The illustration of the sweetspot is huge. That’s all I can think of, a driver with a giant sweet spot.

  26. Square

    Nov 21, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    Tested all the shafts – +2 handicap – swing speed of 110-115 and I couldn’t put down the Rogue 60 X. I don’t care if Pixar made it, it’s the best feeling shaft I’ve played in a long time.

  27. Kevin

    Nov 21, 2014 at 7:50 pm

    I was fitted late Oct for the new 915 line. Driver, 3 wood and 18* hybrid. After we found the correct combination of shaft, head and loft, I have to say that I was astounded at the launch numbers and so impressed with the new line by Titleist. As of 11-15-14 I am now the proud owner of all three products. The driver distance form my previous driver (Callaway BB Alpha 10.5 with Aldila Tour Blue ATX 55 stiff +.5) to my new 915 9.5 Aldila Tour Black 60 +.5 was not an extreme amount. It was an average of 5.2 yards of carry. The sell was that 12 of 14 swings were no more than 6 feet off the target line. I’ll take fairway and +5 any day! The sell for the 3 wood and the hybrid were true distance. 9 yards of carry for the 3 wood and 12.5 for the hybrid. And again, almost all were very close to the target line. I will say this to anyone interested in this product. Find a fitter with whom you trust, and give this product a go. I did and could not be happier with my new sticks. Now if mother nature would cooperate. Fairways and greens to all.

  28. richard

    Nov 21, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    If you are worried about the price, just wait until the end of the season…they will be $200 or less next fall, waiting for the 916 to come out…

    • Charlie

      Nov 21, 2014 at 5:12 pm

      Titleist is on a 2 year cycle. You have them confused with other OEM’s as Titleist keeps their prices fixed for nearly total duration of 2 years. The 913 drivers did not go down in price (only 100 dollars less at 299) until 3 months ago. You will be waiting a long time for a price drop and the 917 drivers.

    • What planet are you on?

      Nov 21, 2014 at 6:04 pm

      What are you talking about? 916 next fall? Either a poor attempt at sarcasm, or just under educated in Titleists release schedule, and how their pricing works.

      As for review, I think it was great. Numbers are a good thing. IMHO, for a Titleists player looking to upgrade, or someone who wants a perfect setup for the price, this driver can’t be beat. I’ve hit their whole line, and it’s a marginal improvement, but an improvement worth paying the price if in need of a driver. This isn’t the other OEM that releases a players driver, and another for weekend once in a while guy to suit everyone’s needs, and can be found on the bargain table 6 months later. (Which I think u are maybe a little confused about) While they can be played by anyone, I tend to notice Titleists players want all around perfection. And they provide that for those looking for classic look, solid choice of shafts, and technology that can last 4-6 years as I still see more 910’s, 913’s in play over any other OEM’s older woods. Titleists puts together great clubs, and correct me if I’m wrong, it’s a 2 year cycle, with irons to woods being cycled on a yearly flip flop basis. They look great, I like D3, but D2 did show more distance in slightly of center hits for myself.

      • FuzzyJuzzy

        Nov 22, 2014 at 1:45 am

        Good comments mate. TItleist is one of the most respected golf brands…not sure why it’s getting bashed here by some of these dudes. Obviously there’s a trend these days for very, very short release cycles, but only the least informed of us would lump Titleist with TM and Callaway amongst that trend. I’m absolutely loving my 915D2. In recent years I’ve owned a G25, SLDR, JetSpeed, Adams XTD, Razr Fit Xtreme, X2 Hot Pro, Cleveland Classic XL Custom, and Covert Tour (original), and the 915D2 (for me, at least) beats them all. The next best? The 913D2, which the 915D2 has replaced. Get into it Gents…

        • BuyMoreDrivers

          Jul 20, 2015 at 10:32 am

          9 drivers in how many years? That’s why most companies release multiple drivers a year – people like us BUY them

    • TERRY

      Nov 21, 2014 at 6:20 pm

      wrong. Titleist drivers are on a two year cycle and maintain their sticker price for most of this time period at least from authorized retailers.

    • phil

      Nov 22, 2014 at 9:11 pm

      you are thinking of taylormade there bud it wont
      be until 2017 when another titleist driver gets released

    • Bunty

      Nov 24, 2014 at 5:40 am

      Don’t think you guys have the sarcasm detector turned on.

  29. dunn2500

    Nov 21, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    All new drivers are so minimal with improvement….

    If you look at any data over last few years on gains vs previous model it is so slight that golfers with inconsistent swings ( which is most) will never see anything……

    Until they can mess with face thickness I think distance is maxed out and has been…..

    The ball is the real factor imo

    • CT

      Nov 21, 2014 at 2:51 pm

      Titleist did mess with the face thickness in the 915….

    • KK

      Nov 22, 2014 at 11:05 am

      And a lot of data shows the ball doesn’t matter much as far as performance. It only matters with feel, sound and player confidence. You know what’s the real factor? Winning.

    • Joe

      Dec 4, 2014 at 8:46 am

      another 830-er. Just because the COR limit has been set at 0.830 for the past ten years doesn’t mean improvements can’t be made on a club. I get it, you’re probably a +7 handicap pro, that hits that dime size sweet spot on your 210cc driver all the time. For the rest of us humans, things like the sweet spot can be increase (which is why you typically see the a higher smash factor between the 913 and 915). Weighting can be optimized to bring down spin (and get further roll out). The modern shaft can be optimized to increase launch angle. So enjoy your 905 and have fun on the tour. us mortals will enjoy increased forgiveness.

  30. Mat

    Nov 21, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    I might have been more interested if they’d not changed the weight kit. I have 4 913-series clubs, and the hell if you think I’m going to buy another unnecessary shaft and another weight kit for a driver like this.

    Maybe on a BST in a year, I’ll buy a head. Maybe. But there is no excuse about the weights. With the kind of costs involved, I’ll probably just spring for a G30. At least that has lower spin and more forgiveness.

    • dberger

      Nov 21, 2014 at 2:17 pm

      Ive had the g30….good performer, but not great feel and very little adjustability….the stock g30 shaft x stiff….all over the place…not a fan of lightlweight shafts i guess..I have the adams xtd ti coming of a 913d3 and the g30….its a 460cc yet looks like 440….my miss is toward the top of the face….ive really seen a dramatic improvement in those hits over previous drivers….like 50 yards different….the channel on top is the reason….not great looking but it blends…i would hop all over this 915d2 if it had a channel on top…..

  31. jedidiah

    Nov 21, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    mmm zak

  32. Scooter McGavin

    Nov 21, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    Nice to see Titleist’s spin numbers starting to come down into manageable levels.

  33. CT

    Nov 21, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    Why does the article not include distance gains in the charts? It seems swing speed and ball speed went down with the 915 D3. This is a common complaint. The pro at my local PGASS says he lost 6 mph in ball speed in the 915 D3 vs his 913 D3 testing with the same shaft

  34. Rich Morgan

    Nov 21, 2014 at 11:20 am

    I am a PGA professional. I can honestly say that that I picked up 15 yards with the switch to the 915D3 as opposed to the 913D3 I had. Spin rate dropped and launch angle rose. Great product here and definitely worth a test. I have hit everything on the market. Titleist has finally stepped into the game of distance.

    • steve

      Nov 21, 2014 at 1:12 pm

      Got to love it. 15 more yds, guys like you must hit it 500yds. 15 more yards on every new driver. Obvious you get paid or get discount from titleist. Why would you play he 913d3, if as you stated they weren’t in the game of distance?

  35. steve

    Nov 21, 2014 at 10:45 am

    Seems like Titleist is playing catch up. The speed pocket, lower spin drivers are last years drivers. This driver is a year late. What’s up for the next Titleist driver a movable weight? Titleist has lost its mojo. Where they used to be the leader, they seem to be chasing or following the pack. They are stubborn to change their thinking. Thinking that the Titleist name alone will be enough. 500$ for last years tech, when I can get another brand on clearance with the same tech. I know alot here drink the Titleist coolaid. The last great driver from Titleist was the 975d or 983k.

    • MHendon

      Nov 22, 2014 at 1:46 am

      975J with graphite design YS7 was a damn good one for me.

      • steve

        Nov 22, 2014 at 8:08 am

        have that driver with a proforce shaft, hated the shaft never gave it a fair chance. It is in the garage with the original Titleist grip on.

    • gdb99

      Nov 22, 2014 at 7:22 am

      I disagree.
      Titleist is making a driver here that works. It has new tech. And, they won’t be trying to sell you a newer improved version next month.
      If you don’t like it, Callaway or TaylorMade would love to take your money.

      • Nor

        Nov 23, 2014 at 8:30 pm

        Don’t kid yourself. Tech like speed slot which companies like Nike and Adams (and so TMAG) have been using for ages? Oh I know, I know, Titleist is using a cool name like ARC man what a name (right up there with turbulators, IMO), so it must be new lol.

        And instead of releasing new drivers like Cally or Tmag, Titleist would like to continue selling the same driver for two years, and they would happily take your money and much as their competitors does. Callaway and Taylormade, those bastards!

      • agree....

        Nov 27, 2014 at 8:25 am

        Love the haters that obviously are always looking for a deal, rather than a product that will spend 4 years in the bag and be in a league of its own as you will see unlike other OEM’s, titleist rides in the bag for years. The competitors don’t. So if you don’t want to pony up the cost to switch out drivers and fairways, because their not on the discount rack, ever. Go play the others. I have brand new drivers given to me from other OEM’s, and still choose to spend my money and play titleist.

        My comment in previous post above was cut short. Titleist isn’t boasting about or campaigning anything about huge distance gains. It’s just another quality product that will give accuracy, workability, maybe some distance, but bottom line the it gives the confidence that what’s in your bag is solid for the next 4-6 years. Look around and you will see. If you don’t notice next time you’re at your course, you’re not seeing the difference in the sucker, versus the guy who doesn’t want to worry about his driver/fw’s because he knows he’s set for a while, and obviously reading a review that isn’t directed for a buyer like you. I’m sure next week YOUR OEM will have another great plan that’s scrapped 6 months later. Is it just coincidence that anything but my titleist clubs end up in BST a month, sometimes weeks later? Sure I’ve tried a SLDR, and it feels like a cheap rental car and I can’t wait to go home and drive my D3. The other OEM’s never give me the feeling that titleist does in regards to the feeling of “this club isn’t going anywhere for years” quit bashing, put a club in your bag that will be worn-out from years of play, before it is worn out by marketing schemes in months by suckering u into someone’s latest greatest soon to be scrap pile. Just my opinion

    • Zra

      Nov 23, 2014 at 8:24 pm

      I swore by my 983, the best driver ever if you could consistently nutted it.

  36. Craig

    Nov 21, 2014 at 9:20 am

    Realistically, how much of a performance gain would I be able to expect from the 915D3 versus my 905R with a Diamana White Board? I am a tight wad so I don’t chase the latest and greatest every year (even though I would love to)or in this case every decade.

    • bradford

      Nov 21, 2014 at 12:41 pm

      None, hit them in the center and they’re the same club. The only thing any of this adds is forgiveness.

      • MHendon

        Nov 23, 2014 at 2:33 pm

        Pretty much nailed it bradford. I had the 905T and replaced it with a Nike VrPro lmt. I gained some accuracy due to the extra forgiveness but I’d say the distance on solid strikes is no different. Oh and in case know one noticed the VrPro lmt has the same channel.

  37. usgaer

    Nov 21, 2014 at 7:47 am

    looking at the data, how can you justify the 499$ for so little improvement. that’s a lot moola for what really looks like no improvement. If i wanted a titleist driver, it would be the 913 trade in or for sale.

  38. FuzzyJuzzy

    Nov 21, 2014 at 6:58 am

    I got in early – got fitted for my 915s two weeks ago, and picked them up a week ago today. 915D2 10.5* with Whiteboard 70 S, 915F 3W with Rogue Black 80 S, 915H 18* with Rogue Black 85H S. Put them in play for two comp rounds last weekend and have practised with them twice this week and I can honestly say they outperform my 913D2, 910F 3W, and 910H 17*. I’m a Titliest man, so was always going to upgrade to the 915s, but I’d definitely recommend them to any golfer.

  39. Adam

    Nov 21, 2014 at 6:33 am

    I wonder why no one is talking about the sound of this driver? High-pitched, hollow, reminiscent of a Nike Sumo or older Callaway. I compared my current 913D2 with the new one, swapping the shafts out to make it a legitimate comparison. I found marginal differences in distance and launch characteristics. If it gets me 4 more yards, with no difference in dispersion, but sounds like that, I’ll stick with hitting a slightly harder 9 iron into the greens. Numbers don’t lie- look at the graph, what’s the difference actually add up to?

  40. B

    Nov 21, 2014 at 3:06 am

    Is it just me or do the 915’s feel “clacky”

  41. Mark

    Nov 21, 2014 at 2:15 am

    Very little buzz about these. Arrived in our local stores and only the hardcore Titleist fans are giving them a look over. The price may be an issue. UK discount price is $525 and some shaft upcharges are another $150 to $350. Ouch! I have hit the driver and FW and both felt superb but an indoor net is not good indicator.

  42. Anthony wallace

    Nov 20, 2014 at 11:32 pm

    Seems like information that could be gathered from titleist website. Hitting a driver 5 times and then posting results as if it is fact? Not much of a sample size. Boring!

  43. Adam

    Nov 20, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    Yeah I want one bad…. bye bye 913 D2!!!!

  44. Jared

    Nov 20, 2014 at 9:13 pm

    Titleist 915 vs. 913 – My Personal On-Course Test Comparison

    I was able to personally go onto the course (Hole #3) yesterday and hit the new Titleist 915 against the 913 driver. My test consisted of hitting seven Pro V1X balls with markings per club in random order for a series of four test runs.

    I’m not saying this to brag, but I hit both drivers exceptionally well and only missed the fairway a handful of times. In all four test sessions I hit my “absolute best” with both drivers. I say all this to mean that the test was as close to ideal as can be since I was swinging as well as I have all year long.

    Now for the winner…..

    The Titleist 915!! Yes, I can definitely say the 915 is longer, and by the mention of only missing a couple of fairways with both drivers, the 915 is as consistent, if not more, than the 913. In all four test sessions the single longest ball each time was the 915 (one by as much as 15-18 yards), and in three of the four it had two or more of the longest drives. Judging by the groupings of the balls I felt like the 915 was about 7-10 yards longer on average.

    The 915 has a higher pitch sound when hitting it, and maybe because of that I felt like the 915 was “hotter.” It seemed to jump off the face faster and had a great trajectory. As for test conditions, the temperature was about 48° and there was usually a slight breeze (5 mph) coming into my face and just barely from the right. The clubs tested were a 7.5° 913 D2 with Aldila Tour Green S flex that I was personally fitted for in California vs. my new 8.5° 915 D3 with Aldila Rogue S flex.

    • dberger

      Nov 21, 2014 at 2:20 pm

      cold weather against any wind will eat, eat up any spin. so not surprised the d2 was shorter than the d3…..i bet if it was with wind the d2 could have been longer….with that said the 915s are pretty.

  45. tbowles411

    Nov 20, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    My fitter in Dallas WILL do real deal, pretty much anything. He’s not limited to the catalog. PM me if you want his info.

  46. mo

    Nov 20, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    Oh well time to dump my 913D3. 😀

  47. KRW

    Nov 20, 2014 at 8:43 pm

    I was talking to a guy today and a reputable golf store and he indicated that these WERE NOT the “real deal” shafts and they are watered down versions with soft tips. I know that this has been discussed in other threads but they are saying these $400 shafts are the real deal..what gives?

    • Harold

      Nov 20, 2014 at 8:58 pm

      I’ve heard the same that unlike $400 Diamanas, those with the 915’s are made in China

    • Jc0

      Nov 20, 2014 at 9:10 pm

      They are real shafts. Each company has two tiers of shafts. These are the lower spec options. For example you have the Rogue 125 MSI silver for $500 and the 110 MSI silver for $250, and on the diamana end you have the W series for $400 and the D+ for $275. They are not made for shafts. They are designed to be made at a different price range because not everyone wants to spend $400 on a golf shaft.

      • bradford

        Nov 21, 2014 at 12:50 pm

        We’ll see what get’s delivered–I’ll put my money on “Made-for” being right there on the handle again. And no, the shafts that say that are not the same as their namesakes.

      • ATLguy

        Nov 21, 2014 at 1:15 pm

        I got fitted for the 915d2 on a trackman and tried out both the “real deal” Diamana blue (S-flex) and the stock one, and had much better results with the stock. Felt better too. It is a good shaft, especially compared to some other manufacturers’ stock options. YMMV.

        • bradford

          Nov 21, 2014 at 2:44 pm

          lol, I had to look up YMMV. Turns out ALL shafts should carry that logo.

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Driver Reviews

Review: Ping’s G400 and G400 LST Drivers

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I still remember the first time I hit Ping’s G30 driver. It was July 2014, and I was at Ping’s HQ in Phoenix. Super low-spin drivers were all the rage at the time. With their forward center of gravity, they were helping golfers optimize their launch conditions beyond their wildest dreams: crazy high launch, ridiculously low spin. Many in the business, including myself, had one of these drivers and spent many launch monitor sessions trying to figure out how to get more distance from these high knuckleballs. The bad news was that forward-CG drivers, by nature, were really unforgiving. Bad shots were really short and crooked.

Before I knew the G30 was a big deal, Marty Jertson, Ping’s Director of Product Development, explained to me his vision for the perfect driver inside a conference room at Ping Headquarters. In his eyes, the perfect driver didn’t have the low, forward center of gravity (CG) that was being touted at the time. Its CG was located as low and as rearward in the driver head as possible, which he said would offer the best of both worlds: optimized launch conditions on good shots, as well as the best possible forgiveness on bad shots.

Building the perfect driver was a long way off (and still is), but Jertson was excited where Ping had landed with the G30. When it was released, the driver was a powerful testament to his vision. Its rear-CG design created great distance on good and bad shots, and it was also a very straight driver. The G30 sold incredibly well and, as a result, the industry mostly shifted away from forward-CG drivers.

It’s been nearly three years since the release of the G30, and Ping has just made another counterintuitive driver release. The company shrunk the size of its new G400 drivers in a climate where full-size drivers have become the norm. Granted, it’s only 15 cubic centimeters smaller, but it’s noticeable at address. Compared to the Ping G drivers they replace (which replaced the G30), the G400’s look like they cut carbs.

Despite their slimmer frames, however, the G400 drivers are actually more forgiving than the G drivers (which were even more forgiving than the G30). That’s why Ping representatives say smaller is actually better in the G400’s case. The drivers have the lowest, most rearward CG of any Ping drivers ever, and their smaller size is said to improve their aerodynamics so golfers can swing them fractionally faster. The other big change is a new face material made of T9S+ titanium, which is thinner and more flexible to help golfers generate more ball speed.

Ping_G400_LST_2

For this review, I wanted to put the G400 and G400 LST to the test against the G and the G LST drivers that they replace, so I took them to the Launch Pad at Carl’s Golfland in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. I hit five shots with each driver on Trackman IV, and to ensure as much of an apples-to-apples comparison as possible, I tested each driver head with the same shaft. Each driver head was adjusted to the same loft, or as close as possible.

Note: The G, G LST, and G400 drivers I tested were 10.5-degree heads adjusted to 9.5 degrees. The G400 LST had a loft of 10 degrees, and it was adjusted to 9.4 degrees.

The Test

PingG400_2017

In my personal driver tests, I don’t usually see a huge uptick in distance or accuracy when comparing the latest drivers to the most recent models from the same manufacturer. Improvements generally come in the form of improved head shaping, a better feel, or enhanced adjustability. That’s why I was surprised to see such a big change in my launch conditions and dispersion with the G400 drivers.

G400 Test Results: With the G400, I launched my drives an average of 1.6-degrees higher than I did with the G while dropping spin an average of 416 rpm. That led to a significant improvement in distance. With my swing speed and ball speed staying about the same, I added an average of 7.2 yards more carry distance and 8.7 yards more total distance.

G400 LST Test Results: First, a note about the G400 LST. It has a CG that’s slightly lower and more forward than the standard G400 driver to help golfers reduce spin. Like the G30 LST and G LST, it’s still very much a rear-CG driver, but its design helps high-speed golfers who can consistently find the center of the club face maximize distance without highjacking forgiveness. When I test Ping drivers, the LST is generally the model that creates the best performance, and the G400 LST was no exception. I saw an average of a 1.2-degree higher launch angle with all other things staying about the same when I compared it to the G LST. The result was an average of 6.6 yards more carry distance and 3.1 yards more total distance. It was the longest and straightest driver I hit in the test.

Note: Ping also sells a G400 SFT (Straight Flight Technology) driver, which has added draw bias. To learn more about it, click through to tech story on the G400, G400 LST and G400 SFT drivers. 

Dispersion

G400_Dispertion

One way to explain the improved launch conditions is that I hit the G400 drivers more consistently. As you can see in the Trackman dispersion chart, I hit the G400 and G400 LST drivers straighter on average than the G and G LST. Is that its slightly enhanced forgiveness shining through? Maybe, maybe not.

To me, the changes Ping made to the look and feel of the driver were just as important as the performance difference I saw on Trackman. I’ve always preferred smaller driver heads, or at least 460-cubic-centimeter drivers that appear smaller than their size. For that reason, I felt more confident with the G400 drivers in my hands. I didn’t mind that I didn’t see any added swing speed or ball speed from the smaller driver head. I was sold on the looks alone.

I also preferred the sound of the G400 drivers to the G drivers. There was definitely much more of a “thwack” than a “ping” at impact, which made the G400’s feel more powerful. Looks and feel are subjective, of course, but to me the improvement was night and day. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that my fondness for the looks and feel of the G400 was at least a contributing factor to my improved performance in the test, if not the most important factor. When I like the way a club look at address, I tend to hit it better, and I know I’m not alone.

I do want readers to keep in mind that this was a one-person test and I hit a limited amount of balls. Yes, it’s a great indication that the G400 driver can be measurably better than a G driver, but it’s not a guarantee.

I also want to address the weaknesses of the G400 drivers. While they’re few, they could push golfers into another driver model in a fitting. Unlike Callaway’s GBB EpicTaylorMade’s M1 or Titleist’s 917 drivers, the G400’s don’t have CG adjustability. That means there’s no way to fine tune ball flight outside of a shaft or loft adjustment. A bigger deal for some golfers might be the G400 crowns. Despite their smaller size, there’s still a lot to look at address, as was the case with the G drivers.

Ping_G400_LST_4

Aerodynamic features on the front of the crowns, “Turbulators,” have been thickened for the G400 release. There’s also Ping’s “DragonFly Technology,” a geometry on the back of the driver crowns that helps push CG lower and more rearward in the driver heads. I personally think the G400 crowns give the drivers an old-school, muscle car-like look, but there’s no question they won’t fly with all golfers.

Whatever your thoughts about what’s on top of the G400 drivers, there’s no question that what’s under the hood can offer something the G and G30 drivers did not. Maybe you’ll like the smaller head. Maybe you’ll prefer the quieter sound. Maybe the improved forgiveness will show up on a launch monitor or on the course. Or maybe you’ll just flat out rip a G400 farther and straighter down the middle like I did.

If that last bit happens, try not to second-guess it.

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Driver Reviews

Members Choice: The Best Driver of 2017

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What determines the best driver on the market; is it the opinion of professional club fitters, professional golfers or testing results from a group of amateurs?

At GolfWRX, we believe all three sources can lead golfers to an answer. Being a website founded by passionate golfers with a mission to serve passionate golfers, though, we place a special emphasis on the opinions of our GolfWRX Members — the most knowledgeable group of golfers on the planet. No other group of golfers in the world tests golf clubs as frequently or as extensively as GolfWRX Members. So who better to poll to get an initial indication of the best performing drivers so far in 2017?

So we asked them, “What’s the best driver of 2017?” They voted for the three drivers they felt most worthy of the title and provided feedback about their selections in our special forum thread. You can see the results below (as of the first three weeks of voting), as well as quotes we pulled from GolfWRX Members about the drivers from our forum.

Remember that our polls will remain open for voting throughout the year, and we’re going to keep an eye on the percentages as more and more golfers have an opportunity to test these drivers. We’re also working on another Best Driver list, which will evaluate clubs in another important way. Stay tuned!

Keep in mind that there’s no single driver on the market that is the absolute best option for every golfer: that’s why nearly every manufacturer makes at least two different models. As this list indicates, however, some drivers are working better than others this year. Happy Testing!

Note: Forum posts were minimally edited for grammar, style, spelling and clarity.

Cobra King LTD Black (3.00 percent of votes)

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  • The General: All-black LTD is really clean looking. I’m about to cover up the orange on my LTD with lead tape. Orange is played out
  • mh7vwLove my LTD, but wish the black finish (or even this gray) didn’t have that subtle checkering you see in some like. Prefer plain black.
  • dbleagI am a fan of the black/orange combo. The performance and sound of the LTD is very appealing to me. I also like that the standard length is 45 inches. For me, that helps it be super-accurate. With the low-spin design, I hit it longest of the current offerings and can’t remember the last time I missed a fairway. Straight, solid, low spin and nice.
Further Reading

Mizuno JPX-900 (3.20 percent)

Mizuno_JPX_900_Driver

  • johnnythundersJPX goes straight. Best real-deal shaft and is long and very adjustable.
  • KT35That blue head looks awesome sitting on the ground. I hit balls off the toe and heel and didn’t see the big drop off in distance like the previous models.
  • nmortonThe JPX-900 is definitely more forgiving compared to the JPX-850, and sounds much better. Though they did sacrifice a bit by going with a little larger profile, but it’s easy to get used to. The graphics are so so, but this driver performs. I’m really digging the Evo II (shaft).
  • jay65I can see that Mizuno is really making a decent effort with its drivers/fairways in terms of tech and aesthetics, and they compliment the new JPX-900 line of irons really well, but if they’re going to make any inroads they really have to address this issue of their custom shafts options. It’s rubbish.
  • bok006The JPX-900, after being properly adjusted by the fitter, gave me an extra 20 yards just like that. My swing speed suggested I was borderline S to X (flex), but the fitter said unless I was fighting a hook I should stick with the S.
  • bubbagump: …the JPX-900, when properly fit, is just as long on a consistent basis than all the new models I tried in real life situations. It looks great, sounds solid and just knows the way to keep the ball in play.  
  • ChazbI’m 69 years old, have a swing speed of 91 mph and played nine with the JPX-900 this morning. It was in the 40s with a brisk wind hit it around 220 to 230 yards. It was a fairway finder, has great feel and is one of the easiest to control drivers I have ever hit. I can’t wait ’til it is warmer and can dial it in more. So far I have the two weights all the way forward for a lower flight and the other set with a draw bias with 10.5 degrees of loft. This driver is the real deal; it may not be the longest or the shortest, but it is a fairway finder which IMO makes it a winner.
Further Reading

Ping G (3.80 percent)

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  • Wesquire: Ping G is the most forgiving so it wins.
  • bopper53: Ping G hands down. Great distance and the most forgiving.
  • Dannydubbbs: The Ping G series is just too forgiving. The distance is comparable between most models, but Ping always seems to win out with forgiveness.
  • Bruin BearThe Ping G is going to be overlooked because it’s looked at as “game improvement,” but this driver is a beast. I liked the LS, but it requires a faster swing to get results and in the cold outdoors I just don’t have that all the time. I think the G is the perfect blend of performance and forgiveness.
  • cmrl1986Only reason I switched from the Ping G25 was that the G felt less harsh off the face. Same distance just about.
Further Reading

Cobra King F7+ (3.90 percent)

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  • EntourageLife: Ball really flies off face. Driver head controls spin well. Not one drive “ballooned” and trajectory was high and best of all… very easy to work ball right to left for a confident draw.
  • GollieThe F7+ is another great offering from Cobra… I didn’t get the “MAN, this is gonna take my LTD out of the bag” feeling, but it has very good sound, feel and performance.
  • J13F7+ is a great offering from Cobra and IMO is in the top-3 drivers this year. Epic is the standout for me numbers wise, then M series and F7+ are right behind it. Love the Agera (shaft) in there!!! Such a great shaft; I can’t seem to get mine out of the bag.
  • Golfer from MOHit both Cobras lefty and as a lefty the LTD is the shizzle. Last year it was the LTD and Big Bertha down to the absolute wire… the F7+ is more workable than the LTD, but not longer and a little worse on mishits.
  • BoognishI took a few swings with the F7+ at Golf Galaxy yesterday. 9.5 degrees with heaviest weight forward. The stock shaft is actually the same model I play in my GBB (albeit in smoked black instead of yellow). Ball flight and distance were similar to my GBB with good consistent sub-3000 backspin. Sound was OK, feel was harder than the GBB.
  • thechief16Just from the range (no LM), I didn’t see a noticeable performance improvement with the F7+ over the original King LTD. And I like the look and sound/feel of the LTD better.
Further Reading

Ping G LS Tec (4.90 percent)

463210496f8e1487a5ff2fdcf38109a1

  • drvrwdgeI played the G LS with the Ping Tour 65X (shaft) tipped an inch for about a year. Just put the HZRDUS Yellow 75 6.5 tipped an inch and never thought it was possible, but it’s longer and straighter. Best driver shaft combo I’ve ever hit. You can feel that HZRDUS throughout the entire swing. Really gives you a solid connected feel.
  • Mtngolfer1: I am not sure that I would consider this a 2017 Driver, but my vote went to the Ping G LS Tec. The fact that my G is still holding its own against the latest 2017 releases has me very excited to see what Ping will release later this year.
  • 3woodvt: Fairway finder and plenty long.
  • pitchinwedgeI’ve found the LS to be nearly as fade biased as the M family. I get pretty good results with the LS by making a conscious effort to make more of an in-to-out swing. Any lapse in concentration and everything goes right. The M’s require even more effort, which is the reason I stayed with the LS instead.
  • 3 Jack ParAfter an up and down year with the G LS, I’ve actually recently gone back to my G30 LS head. I only have a couple of rounds as a sample so far, so I can’t really draw a conclusion about whether one or the other is better, but with the same shaft it seems like my G30 head might be a little longer. Honestly, the performance differences are pretty minimal if you really compare the two generations.
Further Reading

Titleist 917D3 (5.30 percent)

f5830abf21efeb00cab7cbe4329a9972

  • GavaThe 917D3 is in my bag now, and I’ve found it incredibly long with a recently purchased Graphite Design Tour AD MJ 7TX shaft. Feel and accuracy has been a real improvement as well.
  • Togatown22I find my 917D3 to be just as forgiving as my 915D2 was, and man do I prefer looking down at the head shape and color versus the 915. Very confidence inspiring.
  • NIxhex524I would definitely give the D3 a whirl. I feel like Titleist has made great strides at making the smaller head way more hittable for us ams.
  • KPH808So in conclusion, I was hitting the ball about 9 yards further on average and 3-4 mph faster ball speeds with the 917D3 vs. the 915 D4. The biggest thing for me was the forgiveness between the two; the 917D3 was more forgiving on mishits.
  • brushieThe 917D3 head feels soft like the 910 and sounds great. I never had an issue with the 915 sound; it wasn’t great, but it didn’t bother me too much. This is much better, though. The 917D3 head shape is perfect to my eye as well. The area where the 917 shines is forgiveness. 

Further Reading

TaylorMade M1 440 (5.35 percent)

TaylorMade_M1_440_Feat

  • Tigermatt31: The M1 440 is best driver I’ve had ever.
  • TollBros: The M1 440 is definitely lower spin than the M1 460 or M2 from last year. Launch angle isn’t really any lower, but spin is lower for sure.
  • specimania: This year’s 440 is more forgiving.
  • MCozYes, this 440 is more forgiving, and yet it also appears to be more workable than both of the previous M1 and M2s.
  • nitramTo save you a bunch of reading and crunching numbers, I quickly concluded there was a little more forgiveness and exactly +0.4 mph ball speed with the 440. By forgiveness I simply mean this: A 1.48 smash 440 will give you the same ball speed and distance as a 1.49/1.50 430. But if you get a 1.50 from both there is no measurable gain. Side-to-side dispersion was better by 4.7 feet with the 440. Workability was a wash between them, although the 430 seems a bit more fade biased whereas I’ll describe the 440 as a scosche more neutral.
  • tj24: I hit the M1 440 with my Aldila RIP at an 80-gram X-flex. For me, the spin numbers were around 1700 rpm which is probably to low for my swing. I did, however, like the shape of the head and I felt like I could easily work the ball both ways.
  • halfsumoI really think they nailed it with the shape of this 440 head. Nice pear shape, no weird bulges or ridges that you have to get used to.
Further Reading

Titleist 917D2 (6.65 percent)

4edf1bce10b81caa57e8ccc4079bd3fd

  • tsletten: Love the sound of the 917D2.
  • bladehunter: No doubt the 917D2 is an accurate, forgiving driver that doesn’t look as big as it is and sounds fantastic.
  • JStangMaybe it’s just me, but I find the face to be more shallow (top to bottom) with the 917D2 than other drivers that I’ve tried lately.
  • LuckyLowbrowI was actually spinning it too low with the D4. Going up to the D2 normalized my spin rate, but led to such an improvement in consistency across the face.

Further Reading

TaylorMade M1 460 2017 (11.81 percent)

TaylorMade_M1_460-Feat

  • Ereim: I ended up going with the M1 460. It gave me a slightly tighter dispersion, and I liked looking down at it slightly more.
  • jdenham15: The 2017 TaylorMade M1 is a great driver, but I tend to miss wide right and struggled to turn it over.
  • ZBigStick: The M1 460 gave me the best results. Was able to increase launch without much added spin with the (T-Track) weight. Feel is good and felt forgiving; dispersion results backing that up.
  • BillMurrayGolfingThe face is hot, receptive, thin and makes a nice sound. I like that.
  • JStangSound and feel were both fantastic. I couldn’t ask for much more in the sound and feel department than what this club offers. Plenty of feedback was provided based on impact as I would expect. I could easily tell where I missed based on feel.
  • tnordJust as another tester found, moving the weight back and forward absolutely does impact how the club sounds. I’m much more a fan of the weight back.
  • chickenpotpieMoving the slider to the draw position made the feel of the driver a little harsher. Feel was much much smoother with that weight in the middle. I didn’t see any such changes with the front/rear slider.
Further Reading

TaylorMade M2 2017 (11.86 percent)

M2_Speed_Pocket

  • ZBigStickI liked the feel of the new M2 but seemed to get better results and numbers with the new M1. Could be the extra 5 grams of head weight?
    It was dynamite with the GD TP-6 (shaft)!
  • erock9174On Trackman it didn’t put up the most ball speed, but counting all shots the M2 had the longest average distance.
  • gripandripThe M2 seems to have a little bit of a fade bias for me. And the head is HUGE. Maybe it’s a mental thing to be able to turnover a head that large.
  • Bomber_11M2 has very big shoes to fill, as the 2016 M2 was arguably one of the best drivers of the last 3-4 years.
  • LONG&STR8It’s hard to ignore the sound of the new M2. That may be TaylorMade’s biggest fail with that driver, as the sound and feel was one of the best things about the first version that I’ll have in the bag until something better comes along.
  • Z1ggy16The new M2 was terrible for me, not sure why. Unsure if it was the shaft I used but it spun up like a monster and ball speeds weren’t any better than previous M2.
  • Peanut191I don’t really think that the new M2 was much of a step backward, probably more that it doesn’t seem like a big step forward compared to last year’s model. I was hitting my 2016 M2 against a 2017 M2 indoors (which usually amplifies the louder, more obnoxious sound) and I didn’t notice that much of a difference in sound. It could have been that I might have just happened to get a hold of a head that was more muted than normal with the new one, but I just didn’t notice much difference. Performance wise, I could tell that the 2017 was slightly more forgiving than the 2016 model, but I was basically getting the same ball speed and spin numbers, so I didn’t see the need to upgrade.
  • gioguy21: Played 54 holes this weekend. The M2 was as reliable as it could get. I hit 11/12 fairways Friday, 10/12 Saturday and 5/9 or so yesterday (windy). Controllable, just wants to go straight. The sound no longer bothers me. I think it’s when hitting indoors or in range bays that it gets unbearably loud. Makes a different sound when hit on the screws I’ve found, similar to last years M2/M1 with less high-pitched ring. The forgiveness is very obvious, as I hit a couple that were close to center of the face but either high or little out toward the toe that flew similar trajectory and distance to how a well struck shot would react. I think where this driver really shines is the ability to either tee it high and hit it with higher trajectory or the ability to hit it lower with a low tee (3/4 of the ball under the crown) and hit laser beams that don’t move left or right.
  • G-BoneFrom what I’ve seen on Trackman, 2017 M1 was a big jump from 2016; however, 2016 M2 was so good, 2017 is a minor jump.
Further Reading

Callaway GBB Epic (14.91 percent)

GBB_Epic_Hero

  • HDTVMAN: I hit both the Callaway Big Bertha Fusion and Epic with a 44.5-inch UST Recoil F3 shaft and the results were very close. From customer testing, it appears the Epic is longer for those with higher (95+) swing speeds. I have also seen that 44.25-44.5-inch lengths promote tighter dispersion with customers, no loss of distance and better over-all drives.
  • mbbrewer: Tried them all and for me Epic was the one. Fastest ball speed, lowest spin and tightest dispersion.
  • Ereim: Epic felt great, looked great and the numbers were basically 99.9 percent optimized for my swing.
  • johnnylongballz72There is Epic and there is the M series… then there is everyone else. The votes here show it, the PGA Tour use shows it and launch monitors everywhere show it.
  • misplacedtexan83: GBB Epic/Sub Zero pushed the envelop in design and materials to produce increased ball speed and gains. For once a driver did what a company said it would do.
Further Reading

Callaway GBB Epic Sub Zero (16.91 percent)

GBB_Epic_Sub_Zero_Hero

  • jdenham15: I tested the Epic Sub Zero and Epic against my 2016 TaylorMade M1 and the ball speed was 5 mph higher on average, which gave me about 10 yards more carry disstance. That was great, but the part that sold me was the forgiveness. I love my Epic Sub Zero. I feel like it’s easier to turn over and I can work it both ways.
  • Z1ggy16Sub Zero was hands down the best, including my gaming M1 (yeah, not even top-3) due to the combination of lower spin, good forgiveness and feel and looks.
  • jimhaire: I had a 2016 M2 and went with the Epic Sub Zero. The look at address suited my eye and the feel off the face was better for me. And the club went straight.
  • Sef: I have tested a lot of these drivers and for me the Epic Sub Zero was so much better than everything else. I wish I could just apply all three votes to it.
Further Reading

Members Choice 2017

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Driver Reviews

GolfWRX Members Gain 7 Yards on Average with 2017 TaylorMade M1, M2 Drivers

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5 GolfWRX Members
Gamer vs. 2017 TaylorMade m1/m2 Drivers
+7.01 Yards Distance Gained on Average
-615 RPM Spin reduction on Average

What can the new 2017 TaylorMade M1 and M2 drivers do for your game?

Five GolfWRX Members found out last week when they pitted their drivers against TaylorMade’s latest models at The Kingdom, the custom-fitting facility at TaylorMade’s headquarters in Carlsbad, Calif.

The event was the first of #TaylorMadeTuesdays, a series of TaylorMade-sponsored events that are exclusive to GolfWRX Members. The five members received Trackman 4 fittings for their drivers, which were built immediately afterward so that they could test the clubs the next day at Aviara Golf Club, home course of the LPGA Tour’s Kia Classic.

12_things_TaylorMade_2017_M1_M2_drivers-1021x580

Our editorial team was present to observe and document the fittings, where they saw the five GolfWRX Members add an average of +7.01 yards to their drives with a new TaylorMade driver. Key to the success of TaylorMade’s 2017 M1 and M2 drivers was their ability to remove excess spin from the drives of each GolfWRX Member (-615 rpm on average). As a result, each player was hitting longer drives on their best shots, while achieving a straighter ball flight that was less affected by wind.

Every GolfWRX Member gained yardage with a new TaylorMade driver; the largest distance gain was an impressive +10.1 yards, while the smallest was a very respectable +4.8 yards.

TMDrivers2017_groupshort

Our testers were better players, but they covered a range of handicaps (+1 to 7.1) and swing speeds (95 to 117.5 mph) within the better-player category. Learn more about the five GolfWRX Members, their new drivers and their experiences in our individual recaps below.

Andrew Harveson (drewtaylor21)

Andrew_WRX_Aviara-4864

  • Distance Gained: 4.8 yards
  • Handicap: +1
  • Swing Speed: 117.5 mph

New Driver: M2 D-Type (9.5 degrees, set to 9 degrees)
Shaft: UST Mamiya Elements Prototype PT6F5 (65X)

Old Driver: TaylorMade SLDR (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: UST Mamiya ProForce VTS 6X Silver

Andrew Harveson brought a TaylorMade SLDR (10.5 degrees) driver with him to his fitting, which was already optimized for his game. He fits into a group of golfers who are often hard pressed to see distance gains from new clubs. The former college golfer, now 34, has an ability to consistently contact drives in the center of the club face. He also has an upward angle of attack with his driver (+3 degrees on average) that helps him maximize the distance of his drives.

Nonetheless, TaylorMade’s fitters helped Andrew find an average of +4.8 yards with a new TaylorMade driver, but it took some experimentation and outside-the-box thinking.

TMDrivers2017_andrew

Andrew’s SLDR driver was set to a neutral loft and lie setting, but to combat his tendency to hit shots that slid to the right his SLDR’s front weight track was shifted to the max draw setting. According to TaylorMade fitter Jason Werner, the SLDR is a more draw-biased driver company’s current M1 460, M1 440 and M2 models. After seeing the ball fade too much with those drivers, Jason had Andrew try the company’s M2 D-Type driver (9.5 degrees), which is designed with more draw bias to help golfers eliminate excessive left-to-right curvature.

Andrew’s Dispersion Chart

Andrew_Harveson_Dispersion

Andrew achieved slightly more left bias with the 2017 M2 D-Type, which was what he wanted for his tee game.

The M2 D-Type gave Andrew the confidence to play his preferred cut shot off the tee without fear that it would drift into the right rough. Actually, it created a bit too much draw bias for him, which is why the loft setting was lowered 1-click to 9 degrees. The change helped him lower his spin rate -553 rpm on average, while also opening the club face slightly to take the left side out of play.

“While the averages don’t really look better with the D-Type compared to SLDR, I had a few mishits in the D-Type grouping that, if removed, would have shown a more accurate picture of the results,” Andrew wrote in the forums.

The last piece of the puzzle for Andrew’s fitting was finding the correct shaft. He tried several low-launching shafts that proved to have too little torque for his swing, exacerbating his rightward miss. He ended up seeing the best performance from his gamer shaft, UST Mamiya’s ProForce VTS Silver 6X, which has a mid-torque design. TaylorMade’s Tour Department also provided him with a similar alternative that they thought he might like, UST’s Elements Prototype PT6F5 (65X), which proved to be a winner on the course the next day.

“[TaylorMade] gave me the newer [better] UST Elements Chrome Platinum Prototype PT6F5!” he wrote. “Supposed to be a very similar profile to the [Aldila] Rogue [Silver] 125. I was a bit anxious to see if it would hold up as the right fit, but after just a couple swings on the range at Aviara, I was convinced! It’s a bomber.”

With the M2 D-Type, Andrew’s good shots got better. His peak ball speed went from 175 mph with his SLDR to 178 with the M2 D-Type, enhancing his distance potential. He was also seeing a lower ball height from the new driver — his peak height was reduced from 135 feet to 122 feet — that he “really liked.”

“It was a bit amusing though, everyone at [TaylorMade] seemed shocked that I got put into the D-Type,” he wrote.

You wouldn’t expect the fastest swinger and most accomplished player in the group to be a fit for TaylorMade’s most draw-biased driver, as the model is generally reserved for slower swingers. As a traveling +1 handicap, however, Andrew’s needs were very specific and met perfectly by the 2017 M2 D-Type.

In Their Own Words: See what Andrew said about his experience

Brian Ussery (BCULAW)

Brian_WRX_Aviara-4252

  • Distance Gained: 5.5 yards
  • Handicap: 6
  • Swing Speed: 106 mph

New Driver: TaylorMade M1 460 (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD-DI 6X

Old Driver: Titleist 915D2 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Rogue Black 60S

Brian Ussery arrived at The Kingdom with a Titleist 915D2 (9.5 degrees) driver that he knew wasn’t right for him. The 43-year-old was aware of the fact that his low-launching, high-spinning drives were costing him distance, but he wasn’t sure how to improve.

As it goes in a lot of fittings, Brian didn’t swing as well as he wanted to at The Kingdom, but his outlook on the game of golf allowed the fitting to be a success. “Golf is my therapy and my chance to find peace, quiet, time away and fun,” he wrote in the forum. Spending time with the former minor league baseball player who’s now a lawyer, his commitment to improving his game was immediately apparent. On this day, getting better required patience with his swing and an open mind to the recommendations of his fitters. He was up to the task, and in the end he was rewarded with a new solution for his tee game.

TMDrivers2017_brian

The TaylorMade fitters started Brian with an M2 D-Type (9.5 degrees) driver, but he struggled to hit it high enough to be effective. He found much more success with an M1 460 that had more loft (10.5 degrees). Excessive spin was still an issue, however, especially with the added loft, but the M1 460 had a solution. By sliding the driver’s Back Track weight all the way to the front of the driver, he achieved a lower-spinning trajectory that not only allowed him to hit straighter drives but achieve more roll-out, too. It helped negate his negative angle of attack of -4.5 degrees, which was the main culprit for his low-launching, high-spinning trajectory.

It was at this point in the fitting that Brian had to make a decision. Did he want to continue to chase more distance or did he want a driver that would help him hit more fairways? With his busy work and family schedule, he’s only able to play nine holes of golf per week. That made the choice obvious; he was going to target consistency.

The TaylorMade fitters recommended Brian try a shorter driver. His 915D2 measured 45.25 inches on TaylorMade’s ruler, and he was advised to try a driver that measured 44.75 inches. With the shorter driver his consistency was immediately improved, and it was time to dial in the right shaft.

Brian’s Dispersion Chart

Brian_Ussery_Dispersion

Brian hit most of his shots with Fujikura’s Pro Tour Spec 73X shaft, which produced good results, but in the end he made the decision to go with Graphite Design’s Tour AD-DI 6X. It provided the stiffness he needed for straighter drives, but offered a smoother feel (Note: since Brian hit limited shots with the AD-DI 6X, the data displayed in the chart above shows his performance with the Fujikura shaft). His fitter, Jason Werner, supported his shaft decision. And as Brian put it: “Based on my on-course play … it would seem he is pretty spot on.”

With the M1 460, Brian saw an additional 5.5 yards of total distance over his gamer, but more important to him was the increased accuracy. Even at a higher loft, he was able to reduce his spin rate an average of -744 rpm. So now when his drives hit the fairway, they will keep rolling. And Brian expects to be hitting a lot more fairways.

In Their Own Words: See what Brian said about his experience

Chris Scheeweiss (Schnee)

Chris_WRX_Aviara-4802

  • Distance Gained: 10.1 yards
  • Handicap: 3
  • Swing Speed: 112 mph

New Driver: TaylorMade M1 460 (8.5 degrees, set to 10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Black 65 (6.0 flex)

Old Driver: TaylorMade SLDR (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Tour Blue 75TX

Chris Scheeweiss was the biggest gainer of the five GolfWRX Members, finding +10.1 yards on average when compared to the TaylorMade SLDR (10.5 degrees) driver he brought with him to the Kingdom.

Key to Chris’ success, a 3-handicap with ample club head speed (112 mph), was reducing the spin caused by his big miss, which was high and to the right. While that isn’t Chris’ typical miss, it’s what showed up at the Kingdom. TaylorMade’s M1 460 proved that he could handle that miss, as well as any other miss he might encounter on his journey to improve his game thanks to its wide-ranging adjustability features.

TMDrivers2017_chris

During the fitting, the M1 460 scrubbed -627 rpm of spin off Chris’ drives. To do so, TaylorMade Fitter Jason Werner gave Chris a 8.5-degree M1 460, but he increased the loft of the driver to 10.5 degrees, maximizing the full range of TaylorMade’s 4-degree Loft Sleeve. Adding two degrees of loft closed the club face, which helped eliminate Chris’ slice spin.

Jason made the adjustment without telling Chris, however, and he was glad when Chris said he didn’t notice the change at address.

The reason Chris didn’t notice the more closed club face? The crowns of TaylorMade’s 2017 drivers are engineered to look as square as possible at address regardless of what setting is used due to their cleverly designed black-and-white graphics. Chris had recently been fit at a local club fitter for a 2017 M2 driver (10.5 degrees), but this setup was “much better than the combo I was previously fit for,” Chris wrote in the forum.

Finding the right shaft was a faster process that Chris expected. Project X’s HZRDUS Black 65 (6.0 flex) offered him the lower trajectory and added stability he needed to hit his best drives.

Chris’ Dispersion Chart

Chris_Scheeweiss_Dispersion

“Jason … didn’t think we had to go much further,” Chris wrote in the forum. “I wasn’t completely sold on the combo, but I deferred to his knowledge. It wasn’t that I didn’t trust the combo itself, it’s that I wasn’t hitting ANYTHING all that well, so I didn’t know how it would perform on course when my swing was better. I’m glad I trusted him, because it was AMAZING on course.”

As Chris works to eliminate the right tendency in his swing, Jason recommended that he try lowering the loft of the driver, which will open to face to reduce left bias. They agreed that at some point in the future Chris may be able to return to the 8.5-degree loft setting, which could net him even more distance. And if he needs more spin to optimize his launch conditions at that point, he can gradually slide the Back Track’s weight rearward to achieve it.

In Their Own Words: See what Chris said about his experience

Darrin Sloan (DNice26)

Darren_WRX_Aviara-4675

  • Distance Gained: 7.1 yards
  • Handicap: 1
  • Swing Speed: 110 mph

New Driver: TaylorMade M2 (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Yellow 65 (6.0 flex)

Old Driver: Ping G (10.5)
Shaft: UST Mamiya ProForce AvixCore 69 Red (Tour-S flex)

Darrin Sloan, 36, knew exactly what he wanted from a new driver. He arrived at his fitting with a Ping G (10.5 degrees) that was giving him the height he wanted, but he was looking for a straighter ball flight.

The 1-handicap, former college golfer started his fitting with a TaylorMade M2 (10.5 degrees) with a Project X HZRDUS Black 65 (6.0 flex), a combo that significantly lowered his launch angle and spin rate. While it was giving him more distance, the ball flight was too low for his needs despite his 110 mph swing speed and average angle of attack of +2 degrees.

TMDrivers2017_darrin

Darrin told TaylorMade Fitter Jason Werner he needed a higher ball flight to cut the corners of the doglegs at his home course, where he plays 95 percent of his golf. So the two starting experimenting with different heads and different shafts in search of a more familiar trajectory, as well as more distance.

He actually preferred liked the look and the feel of TaylorMade’s M1 460 driver, but there was no denying the performance of the M2. It offered him nearly +4 mph of ball speed on average over his gamer, an incredible improvement.

Once the M2 (10.5 degrees) was linked up with a Project X HZRDUS Yellow 65 (6.0 flex) shaft, it was clear Darrin had a winner. The counter-balanced shaft helped him launch his drives higher, giving him the trajectory he needed to tackle his home course. It also helped him eliminate his miss to the right and easily execute his preferred right-to-left ball flight.

In terms of distance, Darrin was also able to sightly increase his carry distance (+0.6 yards) while significantly increasing his roll out (+6.5 yards). His total yardage gain with the new driver was +7.1 yards.

Darren’s Dispersion Chart

Darren_Sloan_Dispersion

The takeaway for GolfWRXers is that TaylorMade’s new M2 driver can offer more ball speed than the company’s M1 driver for certain players. And if you’re struggling with either a ball flight that’s too low or a rightward miss, a counter-balanced shaft like Project X’s HZRDUS Yellow can help.

In Their Own Words: See what Darrin said about his experience

George Cellette (GC70)

George_WRX_Aviara-4360

  • Distance Gained: 7.6 yards
  • Handicap: 7.1
  • Swing Speed: 95 mph

New Driver: TaylorMade M1 460 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD-BB 6S

Old Driver: Callaway XR (9 degrees)
Shaft: Fujkura Speeder Evolution 565 (S-Flex)

Like a diesel engine, George needed some time to warm up during his fitting. But once he did, he began pounding drives down the left center of The Kingdom’s range.

At first, it looked as though George might post a ridiculous distance gain with a TaylorMade M1 460. He increased his distance more than 30 yards over the Callaway XR ’16 he hit at the beginning of the fitting. As he and TaylorMade Fitter Jason Werner dialed in the loft, shaft and CG setting, however, Jason noticed that George’s swing speed had jumped nearly 10 mph from 85 mph to 95 mph since he first started hitting balls. He asked George to retest his Callaway to make sure that the final data would reflect a fair comparison of his old and new drivers.

TMDrivers2017_george

The result was a smaller average distance gain with his new TaylorMade, but still an impressive one.

George first tested TaylorMade’s M1 460 with 8.5 degrees of loft, but because George was fighting a slice he closed the face to 10.5 degrees to create a left bias. As George loosened up, however, his slice turned into a gentle fade. For that reason, he switched George from the 8.5-degree head to a 9.5-degree head in a neutral setting.

While George’s warmed-up swing was the biggest contributor to the improved trajectory, a new shaft and weight setting also helped. At first Jason gave George a Project X HZRDUS Black 65 (6.0 flex) shaft, a low-launch shaft with ample stability to help him reduce spin. It would have been a good combo, but George wanted to test a few more shafts to see if there was more distance available to him. The winning shaft ended up being Graphite Design’s Tour AD-BB 6S, which gave George an even lower-spinning trajectory.

The adjustable weight settings of the M1 460 further optimized George’s ball flight. Since he already had enough height on his drives, Jason was able to slide the M1 460’s Back Track weight all the way forward to decrease spin. He also slid the driver’s Front Track weight all the way to the heel to maximize draw bias. The two changes had George hitting high-launching, low-spinning bombs that barely had any curvature.

George’s Dispersion Chart

George_Cellette_Dispersion

When all was said and done, George was able to scrub an incredible -908 rpm of spin off his drives. And along with his straighter trajectory, he walked away with +7.6 yards of added distance.

In Their Own Words: See what George said about his experience

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