Some have called 2007 the year of the square driver. After all, big names in the golf industry - Callaway and Nike - have pushed square drivers on the market with others (Nickent) following. And hey, the logic behind pushing weight to the back corners makes sense. These facts have led some to claim that within five years, all drivers will be squarish in shape.
But not so fast! Feedback from demo days is that the square drivers are shorter than the traditional drivers. And, since they're engineered hit the ball straighter, the better players who likes to shape their tee balls aren't taking to the shorter, straighter, squarer drivers at all.
With all the hype, it's easy to overlook the more traditional drivers from companies like Titleist. This April, Titleist followed up on their 460cc 905R with the fairly traditional 907D2 and the triangular 907D1. Both designed for the better player - and neither at all resembling a box - the 907 line continues Titleist's "two-driver" strategy.
How do these drivers stack up to the competition? Is a triangle better than a square? Which of the two is better for you? Read on to find out.
Construction and Technology
The 907 duo, like the 905 and 983 lines before it, continues Titleist's history of all-titanium clubheads. The 907s feature a 6-4 Titanium body with an SP700 beta titanium face. On both the D1 and the D2, the thickness of the beta titanium face is tapered from a thinner top to a thicker bottom, leading to more optimal launch conditions across the face - high launch, low spin. You've heard the mantra before.
Like the 905 (S, T, and R models), the 907 drivers both feature an aluminum bore-through hosel and sleeve that better marries the shaft to the clubhead. Unlike in the 905 series, the 907 hosel sleeve is threaded and screws in, eliminating concerns of clubmakers and avid golfers that they could accidentally pull the hosel sleeve when changing shafts.
Titleist calls this dual titanium/aluminum trio "multi-material design," and it's interesting to note that Titleist is one of the few companies not including carbon composite materials in their drivers. In the words of someone famous, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." If nothing else, Titleist's all-titanium construction has continued to create some of the best sounding drivers on the market.
The buzz word with drivers this year is, as mentioned earlier, MOI. These three letters stand for "moment of inertia" and the higher a club's "MOI," the less it will twist when a shot is struck off-center. MOI is measured in two directions: horizontal (heel/toe) and vertical (high and low on the clubface). As a general rule, higher handicap players mis-hit shots on the toe and heel, while better players miss high and low.
Model Heel-Toe MOI vs. 905R High-Low MOI vs. 905R ----- ------------ -------- ------------ -------- 907D1 5000+ g cm^2 + 14% 3100+ g cm^2 + 24% 907D2 4500+ g cm^2 + 2% 2700+ g cm^2 + 8% 905R 4400 g cm^2 2500 g cm^2
The 907D1 - the triangular one - uses what Titleist calls a "Limit Geometry Triangle" to maximize MOI, leading to improved stability on off-center impact and improved ball speed. In fact, Titleist claims that the peak ball speed face map area of the 907D1 is double the size of the 905R.
The 907D2 - the more circular driver - uses a "Traditional Geometry Circle" to blend higher MOI with workability. The USGA and R&A limit for heel/toe MOI is 5900 g*cm2, and though neither 907 model approaches the limit, this is to be expected from Titleist. High-MOI clubs, like ultra-game-improving irons, benefit the higher handicapper. For high handicappers, Acushnet has Cobra drivers. For single-digit handicappers, Titleist drivers - "serious clubs for serious players" - will do just fine.
Other changes have been introduced that may not be as noticeable as some of the above. The crown has lost some weight and is now "low mass," allowing Titleist engineers to move more discretionary weight around (likely lower and deeper) to tweak or enhance the center of gravity (CG) and the MOI. Finally, the clubface on both the D1 and the D2 is more symmetrical, unlike the 905R which featured a more pronounced toe and a smaller heel.
The symmetrical face helps usher in another change: the "pear" shape for which Titleist is known is gone. Even the 905R was described as a "pear-shaped" driver, but the 907D2 is described by Titleist as having a "traditional geometry circle" design. Most drivers these days are more circular than pear, so the moment of silence I took to observe the death of the pear lasted longer than my adjustment period to the more circular clubhead.
Adjusting to the 907D1, on the other hand, took a little time. I'm fairly quick to adjust to unusual looking drivers (like the FT-i, SUMO2, and HiBore), so after hitting a few balls on the range I was rather comfortable over the club. The triangular shape, at address, is not nearly as pronounced as it looks from the bottom, but I did find that I had to focus on using the clubface to align the club to the ball. If I wasn't careful, I found that I'd often set up a bit left.
Other than the above, most of the rest of the club is true Titleist. Both drivers feature the classic triangle/bar alignment aid on the crown. Both feature the shiny metallic black look Titleist has used with their drivers lately. Both feature the bore-through hosel and a slightly redesigned sole, complete with a new "foggy mirror" finish instead of the satin finish used on the 905 series. The model "D1" or "D2" is stamped and paint filled on the toe, and the symmetrical face and a slightly adjusted set of scorelines really look great at address and inspire confidence.
Last year I found that the UST ProForce v2 75 shaft suited my game well, and so I tested both the 907D1 and 907D2 with this shaft. The Titleist stock ProForce is the 75, a 76-gram shaft weighing nearly 10 grams more than the UST ProForce v2 65 (67 grams) that most other companies will stock by default. I like a slightly heavier shaft in my driver, so this works out well, but beware the difference if you're coming from another company's driver with a ProForce v2 shaft.
According to Steve Pelisek, Vice President of Titleist Golf Clubs Sales and Marketing, in Golf Talk [Episode 058], the 907D2 is an evolution of the 905R. I was not the biggest fan of the 905R because it didn't really suit my game - it spun a bit too much and seemed to send the ball left a little more than I'd have liked. The 905R was itself an evolution of the 905T, and I was always more comfortable with its sibling, the 905S - the lower spinning, deeper-faced driver of the pair.
So, with Titleist sticking with the two-driver approach with the D1 and D2, I was worried that I'd be left out in the cold. If the 907D2 was an evolution of the higher-spin 905R and the 907D1 was the high-MOI, resists-working-the-ball driver, what would I do?
I needn't have worried. The 907D2, while an evolution of the 905R, is an evolution forward as well as towards the middle of the S-T/R line. It spins less and launches higher than the 905R and, from what I can tell, performs like a larger, more powerful, and more forgiving 905S.
The 907D2 has a relatively deep face, and combined with the symmetry and the more circular head shape, works to really inspire confidence at address. This driver sets up beautifully for draws or cuts, and I've always preferred a driver I can work both left and right. My home course demands it, and the 907D2 is as capable a driver at hitting shaped shots I've ever hit. High, low, left, or right - this driver will respond like a finely tuned sports car. If your swing is on, this driver delivers, consistently, shot after shot.
The 907D2's length is impressive. I lost distance with the 905R due to ballooning from time to time, but the 907D2 suffers no such problem and outdistances virtually every other driver I've hit. I've never hit higher, longer drives than I am with the 907D2. Shots from the center of the clubface rocket off the face with a crisp, powerful crack and gain altitude quickly. The ball carries substantially farther than I've seen with most other drivers and still lands with a little kick and roll. Shots into the wind still get up quickly, but without ballooning and without much loss of distance. This driver's a bomber, folks, and it does so without employing any of the tricks other companies are using (like 50-gram 46" shafts).
Though the distance really knocked my socks off, I was more impressed with the forgiveness. Though this is not Titleist's high-MOI driver, Titleist may have found the perfect middle ground between workability and forgiveness for the better player. My barometer is the 17th hole at my club, a par-five with a fairway measuring only 17 yards in width (seriously). Over the course of 15 rounds, I'll normally hit the fairway three or four times. With the 907D2 in the bag, I hit the fairway 13 times, and not all of them were with sweet-spot contact. I specifically remember one drive that caused me to wince right after impact. I'd hit the ball about ¾" towards the toe and expected a high, weak shot to curve left into the trees. I looked up only to find the ball starting down the center of the fairway, curving gently into the left side of the fairway… and almost exactly as far as my normal drive on that hole would go.
I've always liked Titleist drivers because, through a combination of the sound and the feel, they let you know exactly where they've been struck. I like knowing if I'm consistently missing the sweet spot so that I can correct my swing. The 907D2 is the first driver I've ever hit that communicates that information to me without penalizing me substantially on the resulting shot. It is, by far, the most impressive driver I've ever hit.
Of course, I also tried the 907D1 with the same shaft. Though available as a stock shaft with the D2, the ProForce v2 75 is a custom-order shaft with the D1. I think part of the logic here may be tip stiffness, weight, and torque - the stock D1 shafts (Aldila VS Proto 65, GDI YS-6+, Titleist Spec Grid 67) launch a little higher, weigh a little less, and have a bit more torque.
While the 907D2 evolved from the 905R, the 907D1 didn't so much evolve from another model as mutate into a related but different species. This is the high-MOI driver of the two, though it's still aimed at the single-digit handicapper. This isn't a game-improvement driver - it's got a neutral face and neutral weighting. If you battle a huge slice and play to a 20 handicap, you'll probably want to look elsewhere.
As I mentioned above, I battled setting up a bit left with the 907D1. The triangle is fairly symmetrical from straight above, but when viewed from the address position I subconsciously closed the clubface. The more upright lie angle (59° versus 57°) may have also contributed to the leftward tendencies. Once I learned to focus on using the clubface itself (or even the triangle/bar crown alignment aid) for alignment, the "left" problem was solved - just a little heads up for those of you who might demo this club.
The 907D1 stretches the clubhead size boundaries to the maximum allowable limits established by the USGA (see Appendix II, rule 4b(i)) in an attempt to increase the MOI, or forgiveness, of the driver. For the better players who tend to over-work their shots, it works beautifully. The 907D1 is not going to cure your 30-yard slice - it's still built for the "serious players" and lower handicappers - but it's virtually impossible to over-work a shot with the D1. As I mentioned, my course requires draws and cuts from the tee, and I had to work a lot harder to get shape from my shots with the D1. In testing on the range, even the most dramatic slice or hook swing produced a much straighter cut or draw than the swing deserved.
The ball flight with the D1 was a bit lower than with the D2 and with what felt like a tiny amount less backspin. Total distance was perhaps a few yards shorter than the D2, though both the distance and trajectory difference may have been a result of me teeing the ball just a bit lower to allow for the shallower face on the D1. Any small distance loss from D2 to D1 pales in comparison to the square drivers I've tested, both of which suffer distance losses of 10-15 yards from their siblings in my experience.
The 907D1 is perhaps the loudest driver Titleist has ever made, but as with the D2 and perhaps due to the all-titanium construction, both drivers still sound rather good. The D1 has a higher-pitched, more reverberating sound, but it still says "Titleist." And though I've called the 907D1 "louder," please realize that its sound is much quieter and more pleasing than even the more traditional drivers from Callaway, Nike, and others.
All told, these drivers really impressed me. Though I'd strayed to the FT-3 Tour and the r7 425 TP in recent years, what with the 905S being "only" 395cc or so, I'm now happy to be back and driving with a Titleist 907D2. The symmetrical face, the Titleist sound, and the incredible distance, workability, and forgiveness afforded to me by this driver astounds me every time I pull it from the bag.
This chart could be seen as a lineage chart, with the 905R on the left leading to the 907D2 in the middle. The "mutant" 907D1, which I've taken to calling "The Big Vicks" due to its resemblance to a Vicks cough drop, appears at the far right.
|Titleist Drivers (2007)|
|Target Player||Serious||Serious||All Around|
|Head Shape||True Pear||Traditional Geometry Circle||Limit Geometry Triangle|
|Ball Speed||Maximum||Maximum||Maximum Across Face|
|Playability||Distance w/ Workability||Distance w/ Workability||Distance w/ Forgiveness|
|Forgiveness||Very Good||Very Good||Maximum|
|Feel/Sound||Solid & Hot||Solid & Hot||Solid & Explosive|
|Body||6-4 Ti||6-4 Ti||6-4 Ti|
|Face Insert||SP700 Ti||Tapered SP700 Ti||Tapered SP700 Ti|
|Hosel||6061 T6 Aluminum||6061 T6 Aluminum||6061 T6 Aluminum|
|Crown||Traditional||Symmetric, Low Mass||Symmetric, Low Mass|
|Paint Finish||Metallic Gray||Black||Black|
|Sole Finish||Satin||Foggy Mirror||Foggy Mirror|
Some of the specifications are listed above. You'll want to note a few of the differences between the 907D1 and the 907D2. For example, the lie angle on the 907D1 is 59° and 57° on the 907D2. A more upright lie angle will lead to a little leftward bias, helping those who likely need a little help.
The D1 and D2 are available in 7.5°, 8.5°, 9.5°, 10.5°, and 11.5° lots. All but the 7.5° and 11.5° models are available for lefties. Both drivers use a standard-length 45-inch shaft. The bulge and roll radius of both clubs is 11 inches.
The 907D2 is available with four stock shafts: the Aldila VS Proto 65, the GDI YS-6+, the Titleist Spec Grid 67, and the UST ProForce V2 75. The 907D1 is available stock with the first three, and a significant number of shafts are available for special order (including the UST ProForce V2 75 for the D1).
Stock grip is the Titleist Tour Velvet Rubber Round, though you can - as I do - custom order my own grips (Golf Pride New Decade Multicompound is my preference). As is the norm with Titleist drivers, the face angle on both drivers is square - no closed faces here.
Finally, and at the risk of sounding incredibly silly, I've got to comment on the headcovers. You see, Titleist has finally done away with the socks and gone with a leather-like and heavy fabric zippered headcover. Both drivers fit in their respective headcovers quite easily, and the distinctive patterns draw the eye without being gaudy. Though some will miss the socks, the convenience of the new headcovers far outweighs the nostalgia for me.
Both the 907D1 and 907D2 are available for $399 at Edwin Watts or local golf shops nationwide.
Titleist puts a lot of emphasis on PGA Tour validation, and the 907 drivers are no different. Jason Dufner and Tag Ridings are playing the 907D1. The 907D2 is in the bags of Bens Crane and Curtis, Luke Donald, Brad Faxon, Bill Haas, Arron Oberholser, Mark O'Meara, Tom Pernice, Jr., Brett Quigley, Adam Scott, and others.
Titleist, a company known for its deep roots in traditional equipment, has broken the mold and zigged with a triangular driver when others have zagged with their boxy looking behemoths. Do the 907 drivers herald a new era at Titleist?
Both the 907D1 and 907D2 offer incredible distance with fine-tuned amounts of forgiveness and workability. If you're a single-digit handicapper or a good driver of the golf ball, I encourage you to track these clubs down at a demo day. Odds are, one may make its way into your bag.
Like the bumper sticker says, "I'd rather be driving a Titleist." It doesn't just apply to the golf ball, folks.