End of 2017 season update (my bag saw more changes this season than any before it):
Driver: Titleist 917D2 10.5 with Graphite Design Tour Ad-DI 7x (at 45" in A-1 setting using green weight in draw position)
3 Wood: Titleist 917F2 15 with Fujikura Atmos Tour Spec 8TX (at 42.75" in D-1 setting using green neutral weight)
5 Wood: Titleist 917F2 18 with Fujikura Pro Tour Spec 93x (at 41.5" in A-1 setting using black neutral weight)
Irons: Titleist 716 T-MB (3-4) and Titleist 716 CB (5-9) with True Temper Dynamic Gold AMT Tour Issue X100
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM6 48.08F with True Temper Dynamic Gold AMT Tour Issue X100 and 54.08M & 58.08M with True Temper Dynamic Gold AMT Tour Issue S400
Putter: Taylormade Spider Tour Black (at 34" with 12g weights)
*Grips used are Lamkin R.E.L. ACE (woods), Crossline ACE (irons & wedges), and SINK 11S (putter)
I started out the season looking to accomplish three things: add more distance off the tee, be more aggressive into par 5s, and find the most effective gapping at the top/bottom of my bag. The experimenting (i.e. buying, selling, and trading way too many clubs) began at the top of my bag and worked down.
I picked up both the 2016 TM M1 and M2 at the end of last season. I've always found myself leaning towards Titleist drivers due to their classic looks and consistent performance from generation to generation but the more distance itch is difficult to not scratch. I felt the M1 leaked right on me - shots seemed to just bleed to the right side of the fairway. With the M2, I never felt like I could find the center of the face. I'm not sure if this was due to not hitting enough balls to ever get comfortable or if there were other factors at play. It was almost like I had no sense of feel for where the club was at the bottom of the swing. I really wanted to like the M series but the results weren't there.
This little experiment really took away some of my confidence on the tee box. I put my 915 back in the bag but was still a bit nervy after the previous couple months of poor driving. I actually went back to my 910 D2 (I own three heads; one still in plastic) to try and get things back on track. The 910 is still my favorite driver and it stayed in the bag for most of the season.
In the last, I played the 913 D2 and thought it was fine - nothing special compared to the 910. I was excited to try the 915 line and started with the 915 D2 which was a major disappointment (shape and sound). Ended up liking the 915 D3 and found really solid (consistent) performance. Ended up with a 915 D4 which was my favorite model since the 910s.
Enter the 917 D2. As soon as I pulled it out of the box and set it in front of me, it immediately reminded me of the 910 series. I was skeptical of the gray when they first debuted on Tour but it's really a perfect color (other than black). The head was a few grams heavier than the 910 so I had to pick up a green weight. I also felt putting the weight in the draw position made it feel even closer to the 910. It launches fine, doesn't spin a lot, and and sounds great - I get straight, penetrating drives. The only (small) gripe I have with this driver is the feel seems kind of dead.
With the driver search ending in an anticlimactic manner (the elusive "easy 15yd gain" didn't exist), my attention shifted down to the other clubs in the upper section of my bag. I wasn't sure what setup would allow me to be more aggressive into par 5s with all the possible combinations: 3W & 5W, 3+W & 4W, 3W & 2H, 4W & DI, etc.
I've played great with my 915F 3wood but it's typically just used off the tee. I play either short/tree-lined courses or longer/open tracks. Having a 3wood I can use off more than half the tees is something I didn't want to give up. But that club tends to be either a) too much distance or b) too low a trajectory to hold the green when hit into any par 5 I typically play. So the 3W stayed and I started looking at what to fill that void in the next spot.
The hybrids that I've played haven't really given me a trajectory that I liked so that didn't seem a likely solution. I'd used a 913Fd in the past so I picked up a 917F2 5W. I immediately found the versatility I needed - I can hit it high, low, and from multiple lies. I don't know if it's the new technology in fairway woods or some other factor but I'm mad I didn't have a 5W in the bag sooner!
In the fall, the trusty 915F was replaced with a 917F2 for no reason other than keeping all my woods in the same model. I do feel like the 917 launches a bit higher... a 13.5 may be in my future since this club is primarily used off the tee.
With a 5W in the bag, I chose to add back in a 3 iron and get rid of a gap wedge. I haven't found any problem avoiding that awkward yardage between my 48 and 54 - I actually feel like I have better control sawing off a pitching wedge.
I did bounce around a few different sets of irons. I added the 716 MB 7-9 irons early in the season. Then moved back to my 714 AP2s. That was followed by picking up 716 AP2s with Project X LZ but I never got along with this set (not sure if it was the shafts or heads). I ended up back with my 716 CBs and can't be happier. This is such a solid set of irons.
Wedges were an easy transition to the SM6. I still have daydreams that take me back to Nike's VR forged wedges... so great. But the Vokeys are top notch. I'll have to post a follow up of my bag of wedges - I tried everything from the tour raws to low-bounce K to copper finish. They were all great - I just really like the steel gray!