How does the new Titleist TS2 driver compare to the 917?September 18, 2018 Golf Equipment
How does the performance of the new Titleist TS2 driver compare to the product it is replacing - the 917 D2? Equipment editor James Savage puts them head to head...
Our Titleist TS2 vs. 917 driver test took place at Rudding Park.
I was fitted into the 917 driver when the product launched two years ago.
And I have just got fitted into the new TS2 following a launch event at Woburn.
Titleist TS2 vs. 917 – The methodology
We are always keen to see if a new product can outperform its predecessor.
Titleist have strict tw0-year product cycles so we have come to expect greater improvement than the brands who release new drivers every year.
But even after two years, it’s a tall order to make a driver that’s significantly better.
As I said, both these drivers have been custom fitted. I thought it was best to test each driver out in the exact spec I was fitted into rather than using the same shaft in each head.
For the 917 launch I was fitted into the D2 head with a 70g Diamanna White shaft. A little bit of extra weight was placed in the heel to help me square the face.
I have just been fitted into a TS2 with the new Project X Hzrdus Smoke shaft which is 62g.
Data was captured using a Sky Track launch monitor.
Titleist TS2 vs. 917 – The technology
The Titleist 917 driver had a big focus on adjustability to get golfers properly dialled in.
Titleist believed that once it was correctly fitted, it could perform just as well as anything on the market.
It had Titleist’s Active Recoil Channel on the sole to improve ball speed and forgiveness right across the face.
The TS2 was created as part of Titleist’s Speed Project which had a focus on gaining more ball speed.
They ditched the Active Recoil Channel and focussed on a new lighter and aerodynamic design with a lighter, thinner and more flexible face.
All weight savings made in the TS2 allowed them to place more weight low and back. It resulted in the lowest CG ever in a Titleist driver.
So the TS2 is very much a grip it and rip it driver – no nonsense, simple and seriously fast off the face.
Those who want a bit more fine-tuning can opt for the TS3 driver.
Titleist TS2 vs. 917 – The results
I was a fan of the 917 driver and had it in my bag for a while.
But I replaced it with the TaylorMade M2 which seemed to be offering me me more raw ball speed, distance and forgiveness.
I felt my good drives with the 917 were really good but my misses were worse than I wanted them to be.
And when I put the 917 D2 up against the new TS2 I found there was not a lot of difference between the good shots.
It seemed like the retention of ball speed on the off-centre hits with the TS2 was incredibly impressive.
And that was one reason why the average numbers were so much better with the TS2.
There’s still an improvement on the good shots too with the TS2 always being a bit faster and longer.
We have to say that the average club speed was faster with the TS2 – a combination of the shaft being half an inch longer and possibly the head being more aerodynamic.
Titleist TS2 vs. 917 – NCG verdict
There’s still a perception that Titleist clubs are for ‘better’ players.
But I think the Ts2 driver is as forgiving as anything on the market.
I feel like with the TS2 and TS3 there’s something for everyone.
With the adjustable nature of the 917 range it probably didn’t speak to all golfers.
And the performance wasn’t quite up there with the TaylorMade, Callaway and Ping drivers from the first hit.
But now with the TS2 there’s a model which is about raw speed and distance – which will only be enhanced further by going through the custom-fitting process.
I’d be amazed if any current 917 driver users didn’t see significant gains with the TS2 and TS3.
Bad news if you were looking to save up for Christmas…
Titleist TS2 driver details
More information can be found on the Titleist website.