Titleist 909D3 – Did Titleist Finally Get It Right?

I had the “opportunity” to test out the new tour issue Titleist 909 D3 in August before the retail addition hit the streets. It was shafted up with a Diamana Whiteboard X flex 73 gram shaft. My first impression was that it looked quite sharp, classic Titleist muted colors which I love and a very nice shape. It also sounded ok, not too tinny and loud and not too muted, but certainly not my favorite club. How did it perform?

It felt like I was hitting a marshmallow with a twig. The ball felt dead leaving the face and spun like a wedge. It had been a while since I had hit anything other than a Matrix Shaft or Nakashima head, and this quickly reminded me why I switched! The clubhead felt like it would just never catch up and square up, it felt loose and inconsistent. After having just played and driven the ball fantastic while beating Adrian Wadey at his home course of Glenwild in Park City, Utah, I was shocked to see all three shots I hit with the Titleist fly wide right of the target with far too much spin. Did I mention the clubhead felt completely dead? The Nakashima heads produce unreal ball speeds as you guys have seen from our test data, and I felt like I was going back to persimmon with the Titleist 909D3. Once again, the OEM’s lose out on this deal and have missed the mark – wide right and by a mile.

Matrix Shafts Help McNeill Pick Up 16 Yards

Settling in on our tried and true Nakashima Htec head with the Matrix XCon5, Greg McNeill picked up 16 yards of CARRY on average over his higher spinning Wishon/Harrison combo. Greg plays at Lake Nona in Orlando and you don’t get much roll out there unless you bring the ball in on a shallower angle of descent. The nearly 3,200 rpm’s of spin from the Wishon combo would carry on average 238 yards, but would get no roll and had a bit more sidespin than the Matrix shaft. Using the Matrix XCon5 with the Nakashima HTec 9.5 head, we dropped his spin rate almost 800 rpm’s to 2,400 and also cut his side spin rate by more than half. This is the difference between a slice and a gentle fade. The XCon5 tip stiffness allows you to mishit it and still put very low sidespin on the ball. This coupled with the MASSIVE jump in ball speed of 5 mph leads to about a 20 yard increase in total distance when roll is added in. Lower spin, higher ball speed, more distance!

FlightScope data from McNeill's driver fitting with Chuck Quinton
FlightScope data from McNeill