The Grip Life writer Sam was recently able to visit a Titleist demo day in the Houston area at our home club, Northgate Country Club. Below are his thoughts on what he saw and hit.
The 917 line has been very popular and will be replaced in the fall. One of the cool things about the interchangeable head phenomenon is the plethora of options you now have at demo days. Gone are the days of staff bags full of drivers. I started with the 917 D2 head in 10.5 with a Diamana Blue shaft. This club performed almost exactly like my Cobra BioCell with a Harmon Tour Design shaft. We then went to the lower spinning D3 head, also in 10.5 with a 50 gram stiff Diamana Red. This club got me a few more yards and some important roll out (which may be my biggest knock on the Cobra).
Fairways and Hybrids
I tried the new 917 fairway woods and while they are very good, Titleist has yet to noticeably improve over the 910 model. My experience with the hybrids is similar to the fairways. The 917 Hybrid lineup is a great offering, but it's missing the wow factor other OEM's bring to the table in 2018. Side note: I'll play my Adams hybrids for as long as I can.
Heading into the fitting, I had some uncertainty about the irons. Traditionally, Titleist only offers a few lines of irons, compared to the multitude offered by their competitors. I liked that. This year, though, I personally demoed 6 different lines.
The 718MB is prettiest and most simple looking iron I've ever seen. As expected, the forgiveness (or lack there of) reminded me quickly that I don't play golf everyday anymore. The 718CB to me is a little peculiar. It seems to fall between the MB and AP2 and the forgiveness over the MB only slightly distinguishes it. Hot take: the MB and CB should be consolidated into a combo set.
The 718TMB is the set I go back and forth on the most. Initially, I thought of them only as long iron replacements. However, after actually hitting them, I found the set quite playable. Dare I say baggable.
Finally, I moved into the AP line. The new AP1 took a step back in both feel and looks. They're bulkier and have more click than years past. Now, I'm a huge AP2 fan and let me tell you, this set was no different. I've always found the AP2 to be one of the best mixtures of feel and forgiveness in golf and the new version does not disappoint. The AP3, the newest member of the lineup, reminded me of older AP-1 iron models, this is a nice addition and should do well. I was a big fan of the 4 iron and am considering dropping a hybrid for it.
The Vokey SM7 line offers a slight upgrade in aesthetic and adds a a few new bruce and grind options to the already large offering. The bounce and grind options most manufacturers are offering as a whole, has been wonderful for golfers of all skill levels.
Surprisingly, there were no Scotty Cameron putters available to demo. While I haven't been a big fan of Scotty lines in several years, it seems there's less and less excitement in the promotion of Scotty products at the general level.
Discussion of the new Tour Soft ball came up today and I'm looking forward to trying them soon. I'll be sure to report back when I do.