Written By: Tony Covey
Early last week I posted a flurry of newly approved drivers in the mygolfspy forum. I left one off the list because I thought it could turn out to be something very interesting…article worthy even.
It seems that Titleist recently had what’s being called the dot version of their 913 D2 driver added to the USGA Conforming List.
A new Titleist Driver more than a year ahead of the next scheduled release? This could be huge.
As you probably remember, the last time a major OEM ‘Tour-only prototype’ made an unexpected appearance on the conforming list, the TaylorMade SLDR was born.
Should we expect something similar from Titleist?
Probably not…maybe even definitely not.
I know there are plenty of you who get plenty excited at the first sniff of a new Titleist driver, but this is one you’re probably going to have to wait a while for…maybe forever.
Titleist Borrowing from TaylorMade?
A couple weeks back we got word that Jason Dufner had been testing out a new Titleist driver. The story that made its way to my desk was that Dufner was absolutely blowing up Trackman with the prototype head.
Ball Speed up. Smash Factor up too.
The preliminary info was that Dufner’s prototype featured a more forwardly placed center of gravity.
Higher Launch, Higher Spin
I’ll be the first to admit it…I was as jacked as an AP1 Pitching Wedge (sorry…couldn’t resist) with the idea that I might have just been handed a story about a competitor borrowing an idea from TaylorMade. I mean, let’s be honest…usually the storylines feature TaylorMade in the role of borrower.
It's good to switch it up from time to time.
As it turns out, Jason Dufner is one of those guys who actually needs more spin (as a high spin type myself, I’m continually baffled when I encounter those types of guys). The original never-approved prototype, while it did feature a more forward CG, was never conceived to be a low spinning monster. The goal was actually to increase spin.
That original Trackman killer was a 10.5° D3. Dufner subsequently tested a modified (internally weighted) version of the 913 D2 that also never found its way to the USGA.
The USGA conforming dot version is the first of the prototypes sourced from entirely new parts. It’s a 9.5° model (.5° more than Dufner’s current driver, and closer in spec to his previous 910).
While it appears the dot version has been created for Jason Dufner, I’m told that as of late last week, the new parts hadn’t yet found their way to him.
As I said, the story we’re hearing is that this dot version isn’t coming to retail, but Titleist will no doubt be looking closely at how the modified design performs. There’s no reason to think it couldn’t be a precursor to the 915 (assuming current naming conventions and release cycles hold).
The one potential ripple for Titleist is that they’ve historically avoided the whole “tour issue” thing. They’ve maintained that what their tour players put in play is exactly the same as what you buy at retail.
Having a dot version out on tour and not retail represents a change of sorts in the stated policy. For 99% of golfers it’s a non-issue (most probably will never hear about it), and the implications would be much greater should Titleist decide to ship a mid-cycle release out to retail.
Go Get Fit
More than anything the creation of the 913 dot head illustrates the lengths to which a golf company will go to get their guys 100% dialed in. Think about it; Jason Dufner just won a major. To do that you’ve got to be nearly perfect, and yet Titleist is still plugging away and trying to help Duf make his game that much better.
It’s pretty incredible…and yet most of you reading this are still buying off the rack.
You're no Jason Dufner (unless you’re Jason Dufner), but seriously, even if Titleist won’t engineer a driver specifically for you, why in the world would you not get fit?
It doesn’t make sense.