June 23, 2014
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM
- The new 915 driver could be in play as soon as Thursday. (Jonathan Wall/PGA TOUR.COM)
BETHESDA, Maryland -- Titleist unveiled its latest driver offering, the 915 series, on Monday morning at Congressional Country Club to give staffers the opportunity to test the final product for the first time and potentially put it in play at Quicken Loans National.
Sticking to its two-year equipment release cycle, Titleist's 915 series driver, which includes the 915D2 and 915D3, will eventually replace the 913 series later in the year when it's launched at retail.
While the driver is the only club currently going through the company's tour seeding and performance validation process this week, Titleist confirmed it will eventually launch 915 series fairway woods and hybrids on TOUR in the coming months.
Chris McGinley, Titleist's vice president of golf club marketing, declined to provide technical details about the new driver with the launch still several months away. However, based on in-hand photos and what players were saying on the practice range during testing, there are some difference between the 915 series and its predecessor.
The most noticeable difference is a slot in the front portion of the sole called an "Active Recoil Channel" that extends all the way from the heel to the toe of the driver head. Slot technology has been used by a few equipment manufacturers -- TaylorMade and Adams -- in recent years to extend the sweet spot lower on the face.
The technology not only makes the sweet spot larger on a critical part of the face -- most amateurs tend to contact the ball low on the face with the driver and metalwoods -- it helps create balls speeds low on the face that are similar to a middle strike.
Along with a new channel in the sole, Titleist also made a significant change to the sole graphics, adding white lines to the rear potion of the sole that point towards the heel and toe of the club. It's unclear if the graphics are merely for looks or have a performance benefit.
Another minor change was made to the face graphics face, where Titleist went away from the grey dashes between the score lines and added solid grey line graphics.
As far as similarities go, the 915 still has the classic 913 head design, Titleist's SureFit hosel that allows golfers to adjust the loft, lie angle and face angle, and an adjustable weight in the rear portion of the head for swing weight purposes.
Titleist also stuck with the high gloss crown finish but added an updated version of the traditional alignment aid.
The 915D2, typically known as the more forgiving, higher spinning of the two models, appears to still have a full pear-shaped head, while the 915D3, the less forgiving, low spinning option still has a shorter head and deeper face.
Former No. 1-ranked amateur Patrick Cantlay was one of the first players to test the 915 driver on Monday morning and mentioned to Titleist Tour rep Chris Tuten that the club was definitely firmer at impact and didn't feel nearly as soft off the face as the 913 driver. Cantlay also noted that he liked the higher launch angle and how the ball wasn't rising rising on him.
South African Tyron Van Aswegen, who finished tied for 26th at the Travelers Championship, told Titleist Tour reps he was really excited to get a new driver at Congressional. So excited, in fact, that he said it was going straight in the bag after a Monday morning test session.
Van Aswegen told Titleist Tour reps that the driver was lower spinning, had a higher launch and was more solid off the face than his previous driver.
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