Written By: Tony Covey
We’ve got a fresh entry on the USGA’s Conforming Drivers list from Titleist. Considering Titleist has been fairly consistent with it’s one-two punch of D2 and D3, the emergence of a third 915 model will likely come a bit of a surprise to some, but remember, we told you Titleist would have 3 drivers for 2015.
While Titleist is still fairly tight-lipped about the new offering, here’s what we’ve learned so far.
- Weight closer to face than D3 and D2.
- Deeper face than D3.
- Because of the deeper face, it is 450cc, 10cc more than the D3.
- Looks very similar to the D3 but with more curvature across the crown for a slightly rounder look.
- Reduces spin by approximately 300RPM (compared to D3).
- Lower MOI than D2 and D3, but offers similar to higher MOI compared to competitive low spin product.
- It will be available through Titleist’s yet to be announced MOTO program. MOTO stands for “Made Only To Order”, which basically means you can’t just go to Golfsmith at grab a D4 off-the-rack.
- The D4 will be released in May.
What Does that Mean?
What we’re talking about more closely fits the conventional definition of a better player’s driver. The most intriguing piece of this is that bit about the weight being closer to face. The rest of the tech (Active Recoil Channel, Radial Speed Face) will almost certainly carry over from the D2 and D3. Nevertheless, the D4 is a potentially interesting change of pace for Titleist, who, despite its reputation of being a brand for better players has continuously churned out some of the most forgiving drivers in all of golf.
Is it that Titleist really make clubs for better players, or is that it better players are better in part because they have the good sense to play more forgiving drivers?
From a comparative design philosophy perspective, Titleist is much closer to PING than it is TaylorMade. How far Titleist has swung to the other side with the D4 remains to be seen, but I suspect the D4 won’t prove to be dramatically different. Titleist is a company that thrives on subtle and systematic changes not total revolution.
Also worth a mention, the D5 model that Adam Scott has been testing is apparently dead for now. The feeling inside of Titleist is that if one of the best golfers in the world struggles to control it, it’s probably not right for the average golfer. No doubt some of the hardcore forum guys will be inconsolable for the next little while.
Why Wait So Long?
It’s reasonable to assume that, in general, the D4 will be well-received, however, there will no doubt be some who’ll be frustrated (probably annoyed) that Titleist chose not to release the D4 alongside the D2 and D3. It’s not that consumers don’t appreciate having options, but as a general rule we prefer that all of them be on the table at the time of purchase.
Unfortunately that’s not how the golf industry operates.
More To Come
Sources are telling us that as equipment sales continue to grow, Titleist will offer more of these specialty releases down the road. If you think about it, it’s not a huge leap from the Vokey Wedge Works model, and that’s worked out pretty for Titleist.
The Titleist 915 D4 Driver (available in 8.5°, 9.5°, and 10.5°) is slated for a May release (assuming things go as expected on tour), and while we haven’t been given specific pricing information, I expect the D4, which will offer the same stock shaft selection as the D2 and D3, will be priced comparably to the other 915 models. I’d wager you’re looking at $449 plus the cost of whatever shaft upgrade you need to make the numbers right.