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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

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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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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

Phil Mickelson is nothing if not willing to experiment with his equipment

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We filed this piece for PGATour.com’s Equipment Report. 

Two drivers, no drivers, long drivers, mini drivers, Phrankenwoods, prototype wedges, game improvement irons, blade irons, blade putters, mallet putters, lots of lead tape, no lead tape, oversized putter grips (and gripping the putter in different manners), Lefty has tried it all.

Accordingly, it was intriguing but not entirely shocking to see the six-time major champion rolling his Callaway Chrome Soft X ahead of the World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational with an armlock-style putter in his hand and, well, on his arm.

In recent years, Mickelson has largely stuck to some version of his Odyssey “Phil Mickelson” blade putter. Sometimes, he uses a version with a milled face. Sometimes, it has an insert. Sometimes it has an abundance of lead tape, and sometimes it has none. For Phil, green speed and feel dictate the specific setup.

In fact, he’s using a prototype version of the same 8802-style head with the 40.75-inch putter shaft, as you can see in the photos below, which are courtesy of Callaway’s Tour Content Creator, Johnny Wunder.

(Images via Callaway’s Johnny Wunder)

So, what’s going on here? Most obviously, the longer shaft (roughly 5 inches longer than standard) and the armlock grip, which appears to be a SuperStroke WristLock, is intended to sit flush against the inside of the forearm to stabilize the putter face. In short, the objective is to make it easier to get the ball started on line.

With respect to the putter head itself, Gerrit Pon, the man who builds all Mickelson’s equipment at Callaway told the company he made a prototype putter for Phil that features a center of gravity closer to the middle of the putter face, rather than the heel.

Read the full piece here.

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WGC-FedEx St. Jude Tour Truck Report: Phil Mickelson goes armlock, Justin Rose takes the wayback machine

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I guess it’s some flavor of irony that it was a slow week at a tournament whose title sponsor is known for rapid delivery around the world.

Maybe it technically isn’t — my ninth-grade English teacher, Ms. Whalen, wouldn’t be pleased with my lack of clarity.

Regardless, there were a few abundantly apparent equipment changes at TPC Southwind.

For equipment free agent Justin Rose, who has been on the Ferris wheel of irons in recent years, it seems the ride has stopped on his 2017 TaylorMade Rose Proto irons. Maybe it was Rory McIlroy and his Rors Proto return that inspired Rosie?

Phil Mickelson’s surprise armlocking was the other significant story at Southwind. Lefty was spotted with a prototype PM Blade with a longer shaft and what looked to be a SuperStroke WristLock grip. More news to come on this front.

Photo c/o Callaway’s Johnny Wunder

Check out all our photos from the WGC-FedEx St Jude here. 

Callaway

Sam Burns had a Callaway Epic Speed driver (10.5 degrees) with a Fujikura Ventus Blue 70 X shaft built.

Kevin Na’s Epic Flash 3-wood finally bit the dust (cracked face). He’s now gaming a Callaway Epic Speed Triple Diamond with Mitsubishi Diamana RF 70 TX shaft.

Min Woo Lee is testing a 22-degree X Forged Tour UT with a True Temper Dynamic Gold AMT Tour White X100 shaft.

Titleist

Cam Smith is moving to a new T100 4-iron from U500. He’s already in 2021 T100 5-9 irons.

Will Zalatoris is adding a new T200 2-iron to his arsenal. He also switched to a Scotty Cameron Phantom X 11.

Garrick Higgo testing a Fujikura Ventus Black shaft in his TSi3 driver (previously in Ventus Blue).

Justin Thomas got a fresh grip on his Scotty Cameron Phantom X5 Prototype putter.

TaylorMade

Rory McIlroy looks to be sticking with his Scotty Cameron 009M putter.

Dustin Johnson rolling it with a TP Juno putter. As always we DJ, you never know the putter that will go in play until he shows up at the first tee… The South Carolinian also has a SIM2 Max 3HL in play.

Tommy Fleetwood is in a SIM2 Max fairway wood (18 degrees)

Sergio Garcia made several changes: SIM2 Max driver (8 degrees), SIM2 fairway wood (13.5 degrees), MG3 wedge (52 degrees), TP Bandon 1 putter.

Matthew Wolff’s new MG3 wedge setup: 50, 56, 60 degrees.

Others, free agents

Patrick Reed is testing a 50-degree Cleveland RTX ZipCore wedge.

Shane Lowry is testing a Fujikura Ventus black 7 X in his driver.

Carlos Ortiz is testing a Titleist TSi2 3-wood.

Viktor Hovland is testing U505 and U510 utility irons.

Hideki Matsuyama, who already has a Fujikura Ventus Black 10 TX shaft in his 5-wood, had a Ventus Black 8 TX put in his TaylorMade SIM 3-wood.

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Xander Schauffele shows off the ‘ultimate bag tag’ in Memphis

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The Olympic Men’s Golf winner is in Memphis this week, and unsurprisingly he’s brought his Gold Medal along for the ride.

On the grounds at this week’s WGC FedEx St Jude Invitational, Schauffele enjoyed showing off his medal, which he also amusingly made look like the greatest bag tag of all time.

As well as being called the ultimate bag tag and a hard flex, our members were also speculating that Schauffele may use the medal as a marker this week.

 

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However extremely unlikely that is, it isn’t necessarily against the rules as although there is an implied size restriction, there is nothing definitively prohibiting Xander using his prize as a marker.

We think it’s a lot more likely the medal will be making its way into a very protected area in Schauffele’s home, though!

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