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Review: Titleist 917F2 and 917F3 Fairway Woods

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Pros: Dialing in trajectory and spin is more in the hands of the player than ever with SureFit CG adjustability. Feel and sound have improved, and 915 users will likely see a jump in distance.

Cons: If you preferred the black finish, you’re out of luck with the return of silver.

Who they’re for: Everyone who plays a fairway wood should give the Titleist 917F2 and 917F3 fairway woods a shot. They provide everything most golfers want from a fairway wood.

The Review

  • Models: 917F2 (13.5, 15, 16.5, 18, 21 degrees), 917F3 (13.5, 15 degrees)
  • Release Date: Oct. 21
  • Price: $319 (MAP)

Right off the bat, you’ll notice a number of changes to Titleist’s new fairway woods: name, color, center of gravity (CG) adjustability, and if you’re really attentive a change in the Active Recoil Channel. I break down each of the major changes below.

Related: See the results from the Ultimate Titleist Driver Fitting Experience

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What’s in a name?

In its most recent fairway wood releases — the 913 and 915 models — Titleist used the F and Fd naming system. “F” was a larger, more forgiving fairway wood that launched higher and spun more, while “Fd” was a smaller, deeper-faced, lower-launching fairway wood that reduced spin. It was a bit confusing, and didn’t mesh well with the D2 and D3 naming system the drivers were using, so Titleist went to F2 and F3, which is what Titleist used in previous models such as the 909.

If you’re confused: F = F2, Fd = F3 (easy to remember since this rhymes).

Now, the F2 (179 cubic centimeters) is the larger, higher-launching and more forgiving model, while the F3 (169 cubic centimeters) is smaller, deeper and more workable. The relationship hasn’t changed, just the names.

Sure thing

As with the 917 drivers, the 917 fairway woods have SureFit CG technology to give golfers the ability to tweak the draw/fade bias of the clubs. In the fairway woods, the SureFit CG system is also positioned slightly crooked, as seen in the driver, which has the same purpose; lower-spinning fades and higher-spinning draws. When in the draw position, the weight system will add spin to keep the ball in the air longer, and will decrease spin in the fade setting to keep shots from ballooning. The design also maintains the moment of inertia (MOI) of the fairway woods, keeping forgiveness high regardless of the weight setting.

In the SureFit CG system, weight is changed using interchangeable weights* or tubes, made of a mixture of different materials. The neutral weights have a uniform weight throughout, while the draw-fade tubes have a heavier side.

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A Peek Inside: A 14-gram, neutral SureFit CG fairway wood weight.

When adjusting the system, golfers should look for the “+” sign, which indicates a fade setting, while a “-” sign indicates the draw setting. Note that this is opposite of the 917 drivers, as the entry port is on the opposite side (toe side) of the club head in the 917 fairway woods. A solid red circle indicates a neutral setting. Like the 917 drivers, the 917 fairway woods also have Titleist’s 16-way adjustable SureFit hosel, which offers independent adjust loft and lie settings.

*Note: SureFit CG driver weights cannot be used in fairway woods, and vice versa, due to their different sizes. 

Active Recoil Channel 2.0

While the 915 fairway woods had an Active Recoil Channel behind their faces, designed for higher ball speeds on off-center hits, the area was hollow. The channel in the 917 fairway woods is filled with elastomer, helping produce more ball speed across the face and lower spin, according to Titleist. There’s is also a face insert with variable thickness for increased speed on off-center hits.

Another change for the better is the sound and feel of the 917 fairway woods. They have more of a muted sound and softer feel at impact, which is no doubt helped by filling the Active Recoil Channel. Another benefit is that golfers won’t need to frequently clean the dirt out of the channel, as they needed to do with 915 models.

Color

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Titleist’s 917F2 (right) and 917F3 fairway woods at address.

The “liquid slate” finish on the crown is a throwback to Titleist woods of yesteryear, which is something Titleist fans may very much appreciate. Some of the classic Titleist fairway woods, such as the 980F, had a similar gray finish.

Overall performance

So what’s to be expected of the 917F2 and 917F3 in terms of performance? According to Titleist, golfers hitting the 917 versus a 915 should expect higher ball speeds, a higher launch, slightly lower spin and 4-7 yards in increased distance. It just so happens I hit the 917F2 and 917F3 versus the 915F and 915Fd, and you can see the numbers below.

The Numbers

2017TitleistFairway

I took the 917F2 and 917F3 fairway woods to the Launch Pad at Carl’s Golfland in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., where I tested them against Titleist’s 915F and 915Fd models on Trackman with premium golf balls. The fairway woods were set to my specifications (C2 hosel setting, neutral weight setting in the 917 models) with the same Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana Limited D+ 80X shaft. Shots were hit with each club — order was constantly rotated, and outliers deleted — until 10 shots with each club had been recorded.

917F2 v. 915F:

  • The 917F2 generated slightly less spin (-60 rpm) and a slightly higher launch angle (+0.7 degrees) than the 915F.
  • The 917F2 offered more ball speed (+1.5 mph), more carry distance (+1.6 yards), and more total distance (+3.6 yards) than the 915F.

917F3 v. 915Fd:

  • The 917F3 offered slightly less ball speed (-0.8 mph), a slightly higher launch (+0.3 degrees), and a little more spin (+74 rpm) than the 915Fd.
  • The 917F3 increase carry distance (+4.3 yards) and offered more total distance (+6.3 yards) than the 915Fd.

Specs, pricing, availability

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Titleist 917F2 and 917F3 fairway woods ($319 MAP) will be available on Oct. 21 with the following stock shafts: Aldila Rogue M-AX, Fujikura Speeder Pro Tour Spec and Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana Limited D+, S+ and M+.

With the purchase, consumers will receive either a 10, 12, 14, 16 and 18-gram neutral weight (the 12-gram is stock) and a matching draw-fade weight. Additional weights can be purchased for $40, or SureFit weight kits are available for $180 with every weight.

The Takeaway

Titleist_917_fairway_woods_review_917D2_917D3

Any golfer with an older version of a Titleist fairway wood, especially one with a silver finish, will find the switch to a 917 fairway wood an easy and valuable transition.

Not only do the fairway woods offer CG adjustability for fine tuning trajectory, but they also have a softer feel and more muted sound than the 915 versions while providing more carry distance and more total distance. You’d be hard pressed to show me an all-around better fairway wood in the current market.

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Andrew Tursky is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX. He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Alex

    Sep 21, 2016 at 1:52 am

    correction: in the 913 series the Fd was LARGER than the 913f, correct?

  2. rymail00

    Sep 10, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    Whoops meant the head size of 915F/FD?

  3. rymail00

    Sep 10, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    Anyone know the head sizes of 916 F/FD?

  4. kdunn

    Sep 10, 2016 at 12:51 am

    I love titleist but their really isn’t anything over previous generations…….you can alter those numbers easily by just where you hit it on face……pretty clubs for sure but to redo my woods for over 1k, not a chance…….I understand that it’s tough being in their shoes trying to sell new product without being able to really do anything significant as per USGA rules…….I have all titleist woods now but not gna change to newer stuff….

    • COGolfer

      Sep 10, 2016 at 11:46 pm

      Agree with you on that. I love the 915F, but don’t see a reason to upgrade. Especially at that price point.

  5. kdunn

    Sep 10, 2016 at 12:49 am

    And $180 for weight kit is ridiculous……..truly insane, almost half cost of top tier driver…..you have to be kidding me

  6. kdunn

    Sep 10, 2016 at 12:47 am

    I love titleist but their really isn’t anything over previous generations…….you can alter those numbers easily by just where you hit it on face……pretty clubs for sure but to redo my woods for over 1k, not a chance…….I understand that it’s tough being in their shoes trying to sell new product without being able to really do anything significant as per USGA rules…….I have all titleist woods now but not gna change to newer stuff……….and you be pretty hardpressed to find any fairway wood that doesn’t perform these days……they all have same tech that does same thing……gna be a tough sell to current 915 users, I had a 910,913 and think my 915 sounds and feels fine…….couple of rpms, and couple of yds isn’t gonna change someone’s game and would be unoticeable on course…..

  7. Sake

    Sep 8, 2016 at 11:51 pm

    Looks good but I still prefer my 913 FD 13.5*

    • Jeffrey Purtell

      Sep 9, 2016 at 4:30 am

      I have the 13.5* too. Love it. Ive nicknamed it my mini driver.

  8. Uncle Buck

    Sep 8, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    $180 for whaaaat?!! I’ll stick with me $5.99 packet of lead tape!

  9. Dj

    Sep 8, 2016 at 11:10 am

    Bahahaha $180 for a weight kit. Also, please keep that horrid color in the 90s. Losing more and more respect for titleist nowadays

  10. OH

    Sep 8, 2016 at 9:59 am

    Looks fantastic and I love that Titleist continues to fine tune a quality product rather than market their stuff with ridiculous claims and gimmicks.

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Equipment

Matt Kuchar’s winning WITB: 2018 Mayakoba Golf Classic

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Driver: Bridgestone Tour B JGR (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Atmos Tour Spec 6S

3-wood: Titleist TS2 (13.5 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Speeder Evolution 757 X

Hybrids: Bridgestone Tour B XD-H (18 degrees), Ping Anser (20)
Shafts: Fujikura Motore Speeder TS 8.8 X flex

Irons: Bridgestone J15CB (5-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 S300 (soft stepped)

Wedges: Bridgestone J40 Forged (52 degrees, bent to 51); Cleveland RTX-4 (58 bent to 57, 64 bent to 63 degrees)
Shafts: Aerotech Steelfiber i110X, KBS Tour 120 S, KBS Tour 120 S

Putter: Bettinardi Kuchar Model 1 Arm Lock (400 grams, 3 degrees loft, 71 degrees lie, 40.5″)
Grip: Bettinardi Arm Lock XL

Golf ball: Bridgestone Tour B X

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Lee Westwood’s winning WITB: 2018 Nedbank Golf Challenge

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Driver: Ping G400 LST (10 degrees) (D6)
Shaft: Veylix Rome 60 X Tip 1”, 45.25″

3-wood: Ping G400 (14.5 degrees) (D3)
Shaft: Aldila Phenom 70X, 43″

Hybrid: Ping G (19 degrees) (D2+)
Shaft: Aldila ATX Tour Green 85X, 40.5”

Irons: Ping i210 4-PW, UW (50 degrees) UW (54 degrees) (Std length, Blue color code, D0+)
Shafts: Ping JZ Stiff

Wedges: Ping Glide Forged (60 degrees)
Shaft: JZ Stiff

Putter: Ping Sigma 2 Fetch 35”
Grip: PING Pistol Sigma 2 PP60

Grips: Lamkin Crossline Full Cord (+1 wrap) on woods, PING Id8 Half Cord on irons

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Forum Thread of the Day: “What are the best Maltby irons ever, and why?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from AbSWFPGA, who asked fellow GolfWRX members for their opinion on what Maltby irons they consider to be the best and why. Plenty of different Maltby irons get a mention, and the thread even inspired one of our members to pick up a set.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • Shifty76: “This forum is bad for my wallet. Really had no desire to switch irons from the AP1s I bought a couple of years ago, but you buggers sold me on the Maltbys. In the process of buying a set of like-new 4-GW DBMs now…not even sure if I’ll hit the 4i as my Heavenwood covers that distance, but if I can hit it well enough maybe it’ll go in the bag on windy days.”
  • Perrkka: “I have only played the DBM. They are excellent. I put them together with Project-X 5.5 shafts. The result was great.”
  • Nat: “I’ve hit almost every Maltby iron since ’03. I have to agree on the DBM/TE/MO5 as the best. I currently play the KE4 Tour + which is a tad more forgiving, but not nearly as sexy looking. The TS2 is up there as well, clean look, very solid feel, just not enough to warrant the $ over my KE4 tour+.”
  • Sparky14: “I just picked up a DBM set. Even on graphite shafts, I’m shocked how harsh those heads feel. And being the ho that I am, I also picked up a set of Honma 737V irons on steel shafts, and they feel so much softer than the DBM. I’ve always loved the M05/TE line, so I’ll stick with the non-black Maltby versions.”

Entire Thread: “Best Maltby irons ever and why?”

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