It’s no secret that Titleist have something to prove with the new 910 drivers.
A few years ago you would have been hard pressed to find any lower handicapper or pro playing something other than a 905 but the woeful performance of the 907 and increasingly impressive offerings from the likes of TaylorMade and Callaway saw them slip from the pinnacle of driver manufacturers. The 909 was far better received than the 907 but never seemed to have the attraction of the 905 – a fact borne out by how many Tour players stayed with the older drivers.
The 910 aims to change all this. With ground-breaking adjustability, the 910 aims to reclaim the dominance of the 905 days show players that Titleist can still make awesome drivers. To introduce this level of adjustability, Titleist tell us that these clubs are made to more than twice the normal level of manufacturing tolerance to be the best drivers that they have ever made.
The aberration of the 907 D1 aside, Titleist have never really made an ugly driver. The 910 D2/D3 are no exceptions. With the all black PVD finish and classic pear shaped lines, both the 910 D2 and D3 heads look great from any angle. The D2 is the larger at 460cc while the D3 is only 445cc but unless you have them next to each other they are almost identical in appearance. While how the shaft is attached to the head is normally a technical issue but because of how some systems work they can have cosmetic impact.
The 910’s system locks the shaft via a screw on the bottom of the head. This means that the hosel avoids the spiked collar look that dogs neck locking systems and looks very similar to a normal hosel, so of course it looks great at address. The alignment marking on the top of the crown might not be to everyone’s liking but that is a tiny quibble and all in all, these clubs are gorgeous.
A lot has been made about Titleist’s introduction of the SureFit dual angle hosel. Some have said that Titleist was the last manufacturer they expected to go down this route. Others have said that the other similar hosel technologies from Nike, TaylorMade and Callaway have been great but not perfect. The main issue with the other technologies has been that as you open or close the face, the loft changes along with the face angle. Ideally of course, you would want to change the loft without changing the face angle and vice versa. Enter Titleist’s SureFit system.
Unlike other hosel technologies, the SureFit system has two mechanisms for changing how the shaft sits in the head, the sleeve at the end of the hosel and a separate ring that sits between the sleeve and the head. The result is that you can finally change the lie (and so the face angle) and the loft independently for 16 different combinations. This means that not only can you get Tour van like fitting but you now have the freedom to change the loft angle without enforcing a draw or a fade. If the ground is wet, you might want more carry so you can add 1.5 degrees more loft. If the wind is up, you might want a lower more boring flight and remove 0.75 degrees loft. So your 9.5 degree can become an 11 degree or an 8.75 degree driver depending on the conditions. The changes can also vary the spin levels by almost 1000 rpm. The now ever present torque wrench allows you to quickly change these setting and what ever you are looking for, you can make the change without having the alter the face angle.
What this is not is a system aiming to cure a crippling hook or slice. Titleist stress that the SureFit system is aimed at launch optimisation rather than massive right to left flight adjustment and it is noticeable that the amount of left to right adjustment is a fair bit less than with other similar systems. This is more of a 10 yard adjustment rather than a 50+ yard adjustment. The height adjustment is the full deal though. Any chances you make result in obvious changes in ball flight. This does not mean that you can take any loft head and change it to the one you want as changing the loft also increases the spin rate as we mentioned above so make sure that you get fit.
It’s fairly apparent that the larger D2 has more forgiveness and is easier to hit straight and with a higher natural ballflight. The D3 is more workable but still very forgiving with a mid-high trajectory. Both versions seem to have a higher ball-flight that the 909 versions with pretty much the same levels of spin. Because of the ability to change the face angle, launch and spin angles can be varied so these comparisons are only fair against the standard set-ups.
Both have chemically milled crowns which are 17% thinner than the 909 which allow for more mass to be relocated where it can most help the golfer. The back lower portion of both clubs have been redesigned and a rear bezel weight placed to lower the COG as much as possible. The rear weight is also directly behind the centre of the club face so you get the most out of a pure contact and is adjustable with options 2g, 5g, 7g, 9g, 12g. weights allowing precise swingweight and feel preference.
So what does that mean when you actually hit the ball? Simply awesome, awesome performance. There is a lethal combination of forgiveness and workability and as for distance, the ball explodes off the clubhead. Titleist have improved the face over the 909 with an enhanced version of their Variable Face Technology to give higher ball speeds across a larger area. The D2 has a 15% larger maximum ball speed area and the D3 has a 10% larger area than the previous 909 versions. And you get to choose from 80 shafts including many of the best of the premium brands. The stock “made for Titleist” shafts have been improved over the previous versions and while they may not be the full versions they are not bad at all. Stock shafts include the Titleist Diamana ‘ahina 72, Titleist Diamana Kai’li 65, Titleist Diamana ‘ilima 61, Aldila RIP 60 and Project X Tour Issue Graphite.
It’s a hotly contested claim but the 910 D2 and D3 are going to be vying for the title of best drivers on the market. Titleist have shown that they are able to remain true to their better player roots while offering something more to the average player. Validation from Tour players has been exceptional too; Ross Fisher, Rory McIlroy, Adam Scott and Geoff Ogilvy have all put the 910 in play and almost as tellingly, a host of die-hard 905 fans who previously stayed away from the 907 and 909 have put the a 910 in the bag.
Game changing in the same way the first adjustable hosel systems were, Titleist have also shown that they know how to introduce technology that makes a difference and we expect these to fly off the shelves.