New Titleist 917 Drivers and Fairway Metals: Player Validation

When the new Titleist 917 Drivers and Fairway Metals first arrived on the Worldwide Professional Tours last summer, the initial reaction from players was resoundingly positive. The 917 models gave players greater distance with superior forgiveness, more optimised trajectory control through SureFit adjustability and the resonant sound and solid feel that Tour player feedback had inspired.

Click here to learn more about 917 drivers and fairway metals.

Since that initial seeding, players relying on 917 metals have already won 20 tournaments on the Worldwide Professional Tours. In total, 917 drivers and fairways are in the bags of more than 150 players competing on golf's biggest stages.

We wanted to hear first-hand about the complete performance golfers can expect from the new 917 drivers and fairways, so Team Titleist reached out to the players who have had a chance to put these metals to the test on the ultimate proving ground.

Here's what a few players had to say...

 

  • Titleist Brand Ambassador Jimmy Walker first began testing early 917 prototypes in January at the Titleist Performance Institute in Oceanside, Calif. At his first opportunity, he put his new Titleist 917D2 (8.5°) in play at the World Golf Championships event at Firestone. Less than a month later, Walker won the PGA Championship at Baltusrol for his first major title.

    Quoting Jimmy: “I put the 917D2 straight into play. It was definitely faster, had a better sound and feel, and I really loved the shape. Performance-wise, we found a lower sweet spot and I was able to lower my spin rate to exactly where I wanted. The ball flight was also what I liked to see, which is not super high. I can fly the ball on a rope anywhere from 295-310 and then it just rolls out far and straight. I’ve also picked up a lot of confidence hitting it into the wind. It's just a huge step up from what we've had.”

    "Then we won the PGA Championship with it," Walker continued. "It was literally probably one of the best driving tournaments I've had ever, honestly. Lots of fairways, consistent draws all week, it was a lot of fun. You have an incredible sense of calm when you've got that much control going on. I was very positive, I felt very calm because I just knew the ball was going where I was looking."

  • Titleist Brand Ambassador Rafa Cabrera-Bello  

    Quoting Rafa: “For me it's always been easy to trust Titleist clubs but it's not always been easy to find the perfect fit driver. I have been using the 913 driver for many years, it was a driver that fitted my eye and I really liked the performance I had with it, but with the new technology advances I felt like I was falling back from the other guys that were using the new equipment. The hardest switch for me was switching from the D3 head to the D2 head, I've always fallen in love with the D3 looks since I had been using it for so long. I worked with the guys on Tour to find my perfect fit trying out every option and for me in the end D2 was best... I couldn't be happier."

 

  • One week after Titleist Brand Ambassador Justin Thomas put his new 917 driver in play, he stepped to the 16th tee at Firestone Country Club and unleashed a 414-yard drive down the fairway of the 667-yard par-5. It was the longest drive recorded on the PGA Tour during the 2015-2016 season.

    Quoting Justin: “It was the hardest I’ve probably ever hit a drive,” said Thomas, who chipped in for eagle. “As soon as I hit it I knew…”

    Since that time, Thomas has gone on to win three times on the PGA Tour, relying on a 917F3 (15°) fairway metal in addition to his 917D3 (9.5°) driver. Thomas went back-to-back, defending his title at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia and then sealed a Hawaiian sweep, opening up the 2017 calendar year with wins at the SBS Tournament of Champions and the Sony Open in Hawaii.

    “I immediately liked the look and feel of it," Thomas said. "What I've noticed most about the 917 drivers is the forgiveness on mishits. The feeling is better, the speeds were up and the ball doesn't go as far off line. For me, everything about it was better, so it was an easy switch. It's just an all around better driver for me and it's showed in my performance since putting it in my bag. I've been driving the ball better and it is one of the big reasons I've gotten my three wins this season."

 

  • Titleist Brand Ambassador Brett Rumford gave us the low down on his excitement of putting the 917 metals in play earlier in the year. Brett used these to great success at the World Super 6 Perth Championship last week where he won for the first time since 2013. Check out his full interview here.

    Quoting 'Rummy': “My immediate response was wow it feels much more solid, much meatier I guess. The sound and the feel coming off the head was probably number one. The second thing was just the speed off the first 100 metres, it was definitely recognisable that I picked up ball speed".  

 

  • Titleist Brand Ambassador Adam Scott got his first look at 917 driver prototypes last February, when he tested the new clubs at the Titleist Performance Institute in Oceanside, California. In the past, Adam has trusted smaller Titleist driver heads, as they were more aesthetically pleasing to his eye. He told us, however, that the enhanced look and feel of the 917D2 made it easy for him to switch into the larger (460cc vs. 440cc for 917D3) and more forgiving 917D2 model.

    Quoting Adam: “I'm now using a D2, which I've never really used much in the past, but just the symmetry and proportions -- for a big-headed driver, it looks so well-balanced and very much like the old kind of pear-shaped driver heads I've favored. You've got to like the way they look, not just how they perform. Then I think the SureFit CG is a nice feature because already I've seen the benefit of just moving some of the weight around in the back of the club. Just having that option, moving the SureFit CG weight into a neutral position, my flight went from being just a little bit dippy to a really strong flight and I've certainly gained yardage since middle of the year switching to 917."

"I felt it was better into the wind and I got more run out as well, so it was perfect".

•••

If you're interested to see how 917s perform for your game, visit our golf shop locator to find a certified Titleist club fitter where you can experience for yourself the complete performance offered by new 917 metals.

And please be sure to share your feedback with us!

•••

TOUR VALIDATED: Since the initial seeding and validation process for 917 drivers and fairways in late June, players relying on 917 drivers and fairways have captured 20 titles across the worldwide professional golf tours including:

BRETT RUMFORD (EUROPEAN TOUR - World Super 6 Perth)
917D2 (9.5°) driver917F3 (15°) fairway metal

JUSTIN THOMAS (PGA TOUR - Sony Open in Hawaii)
917D3 (9.5°) driver, 917F3 (15°) fairway metal

JUSTIN THOMAS (PGA TOUR -  SBS Tournament of Champions)
917D3 (9.5°) driver, 917F3 (15°) fairway metal

JUSTIN THOMAS (PGA TOUR - CIMB Classic)
917D3 (9.5°) driver, 917F3 (15°) fairway metal

JIMMY WALKER (PGA TOUR - 2016 PGA Championship)
917D2 (8.5°) prototype driver

GREG CHALMERS (PGA TOUR - Barracuda Championship)
917D2 (8.5°) prototype driver

WINNER (European Tour - Porsche European Open)
917D3 (9.5°) driver

ETHAN TRACY (Web.com Tour - Club Colombia Championship)
917D2 (10.5°) driver, 917F2 (16.5°) fairway metal

JAY HAAS (PGA Tour Champions - Toshiba Classic)
917D2 (10.5°) driver, 917F (16.5°, 21°) fairway metals

DIMI PAPADATOS (Australasian Tour - Victorian Open Championship)
917D2 (9.5°) driver, 917F2 (15°) fairway metal

JUSTIN HARDING (South African Tour - Vodacom Origins of Golf - Simola)
917D3 (8.5°) driver

GAGANJEET BHULLAR (Asian Tour - Bank BRI-JCB Indonesian Open)
917D2 driver (9.5°), 917F2 fairway metals (13.5°, 18°)

SANG-HYUN PARK (Japan Tour - Golf Nippon Series J.T. Cup)
917D3 (10.5°) driver, 917F2 (15°) fairway metal

MIN-GYU CHO (Japan Tour - Fujisankei Classic)
917D2 (9.5°) driver

HYUNGJOON LEE (Korean Tour - Caido Korea Tour Championship)
917D2 driver (10.5°), 917F2 fairway metal (16.5°)

JUNGHO YOON (Korean Tour - DGB Financial Group Daeju Gyeongbuk Open)
917D2/8.5° driver

GAGANJEET BHULLAR (Korean Tour - Shinhan Donghae Open)
917D2 driver (9.5°), 917F2 fairway metals (13.5°, 18°)

HUILIN ZHANG (PGA TOUR CHINA - Buick Open)
917D2 (9.5°) driver

TAEWOO KIM (PGA TOUR CHINA - Putian Open)
917D2 driver, 917F3 fairway metal

 

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