Every club company worth its salt is dedicated to boosting driver performance on off-center hits. Lively clubfaces with a range of thicknesses are a given, but companies such as Nike, TaylorMade, Adams and Tour Edge have begun to look beyond the face (or, more accurately, below it), adding slots and other design elements to the club's sole to produce more pop. The by-product, they say, is faster, more consistent ball speed on low hits.
Well, count Titleist among the believers. The new 915 D2 and 915 D3 drivers feature a deep, wide cutout known as an “Active Recoil Channel” (ARC) on the sole behind the leading edge, which allows the sole to flex more than it does in the 913 series drivers. Think of the cast titanium body as a spring that flexes in the crown and sole areas. The bottom line? Faster ball speeds (by 0.5 to 1 mph) and less spin on shots struck low on the face. What's more, the forged titanium face insert (which has thin sections in the heel and toe) delivers 99 percent of maximum ball speed on shots hit up to a half-inch off center.
The clubs also feature a similar MOI to 913 drivers. That's no small feat considering the ARC adds 8 grams close to the face. To counteract this, Titleist created a thinner crown, then redistributed the weight they saved to the back of the sole.
Company testing shows that the 915 D2 produces slightly higher-launching shots than the 913 D2 and, on average, 115 rpm less spin. The result? An average of three yards more carry and up to 15 more total yards. The 915 D3 spins 250 rpm less than its predecessor, which helps produce nine extra carry yards.
At 440 cc, the pear-shaped 915 D3 produces a lower, flatter trajectory, with about 250 rpm less spin than the 460 cc D2. The new D3 is also more workable than its sibling and has less built-in draw bias, making it a better fit for lower-handicappers. Both models feature the same SureFit Tour hosel as 913 drivers, so you can easily adjust loft (+1.5° to -0.75°) and lie (1.5° upright to 0.75° flat).
In conjunction with the 915 release, Titleist is offering five stock shafts—two Aldila Rogues and three Mitsubishi Diamanas. With various weights and flex points available, finding the right fit should be simple. Both 915 models are available November 14. Price: $449. 915 D2: 7.5°, 8.5°, 9.5°, 10.5°, 12°; 915 D3: 7.5°, 8.5°, 9.5°, 10.5°.
Titleist 915F Fairway Woods
The club's "Active Recoil Channel," a deep cutout along the sole, increases face flexibility so shots struck low on the face will fly nearly as far as center hits. Weight moved from the rear portion of the sole (in 913F woods) to the center also helps to create lower-spinning shots. The more forward CG combines with a more flexible, thin 455 Carpenter steel face to raise ball speeds, on average, by 1.5 to 2.5 mph, reduce spin by 200 rpm and improve carry distance by three yards compared to the 913F. In addition, the 915F has the same SureFit loft and lie adjustability mechanism as the 913F. Available November 14. Lofts: 13.5°, 15°, 16.5°, 18°, 21°.
Its sister product, the 915Fd, has an ARC channel as well. The club generates up to 3.2 mph more ball speed than the 913Fd. A slightly smaller head than the 915F (160 cc versus 175 cc) and lower ball flight should appeal to better ball-strikers. Available November 14. Price: $279. Lofts: 13.5° and 15°.
Titleist 915H Hybrids
The 915H is a longer-hitting hybrid than its predecessor, the 913H, because it simply creates more ball speed and lower spin rates. The club's ARC channel-a deep slot along the sole-enables the sole to flex more for faster ball speeds (by 1.3 mph) off the ultra-thin, 465 Carpenter steel face. Overall, carry distance gets a six-yard boost. The 915H has a slightly larger head and more rounded shape than the 913H with the identical SureFit adjustable hosel. The 915H is built for players who tend to sweep the ball. Available November 14. Lofts: 18°, 21°, 24° or 27°.
The low-spinning Titleist 915Hd is smaller and marginally more offset than the 915H for guys with an aggressive angle of attack into the turf and who prefer a more compact, traditional look at address. It creates up to 3.3 mph faster ball speeds than the previous version, the 913Hd, with 150 rpm less spin. The output: Eight extra yards of carry. Available November 14. Price: $249. Lofts: 17.5°, 20.5° or 23.5°.