Titleist drivers through the years – Rick Shiels roundup

The premise

Golfbidder teamed up with Rick Shiels, providing the last few years of Titleist drivers, to find out, is this family tree really just a cosmetic update, or do the drivers improve over time?

How does the test work?

Every time Titleist bring out a driver, they present the market with 2 models, the D2 and D3. The D3 is a slightly smaller head shape, befitting a better player, but Rick decided to test the D2 models to show the performance of the most popular head on offer.

In order to keep the test consistent, Rick used the same shaft, the same loft and same weight distribution across all 4 drivers on test. In order to establish a baseline of performance Rick set out to hit 5 shots with each driver in 2 rounds of testing. Of the 10 shots hit, the best 5 that hit the fairway were taken and recorded in the data for each head. All shots are performed on GC Quad so the conditions are neutral and consistent and throughout the test Rick’s swing speed was around 112mph.

The data

What the results say

With Titleist bringing out a new driver range roughly every 2 years, they have consistently managed to gain 3 yards of carry distance every year. The data is remarkably consistent but within the numbers are some subjective notes.

The 913 was less accurate than the other models, whereas the 915, the next model released, had the best accuracy, hitting 8 out of 10 fairways! This was by far Rick’s favourite model and noted that the 915 actually stayed in a lot of pros bags even after the 917 was released.

Rick’s conclusions

Titleist have never claimed to be a maker of extreme golf clubs. They like what they like and they release consistent, slightly improved clubs every two years. Rather than trying to make massive leaps at the risk of releasing a sub standard driver like other manufacturers, they prefer to stay in their lane and gently coax more and more performance out of their clubs.

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