50 Words or Less
The Titleist 917D3 is a good looking driver for the truly above-average player. Very easy to hit crooked.
While it’s completely unsuitable for the vast majority of golfers, the Titleist 917D3 is the driver that many will be lusting over for the next season. The smaller head and the billing as “the better players driver” make it the kind of club that golfers want in their bag because of the image it portrays. We put it to the test to see what picking your driver based on ego and image will do to your results.
While not a true pear shape, the Titleist 917D3 is about as traditional as any driver you’ll see from a major OEM. At 440cc, it looks much smaller at address than the 917D2. The grey sparkle crown and triangle alignment aid make it instantly recognizable as a Titleist.
Sound & Feel
The sound of the 917D3 is almost identical to the 917D2. It’s fairly quiet, very solid, with only a little metallic tone.
These two driver diverge substantially when it comes to feedback. Where the D2 covers up mishits, the D3 gives you a very clear message when you miss the center.
What stood out most in testing the Titleist 917D3 is how easy it is to hit the ball offline. I make no claims to being a terribly accurate driver, but I have a clear idea of what my dispersion should look like with a modern driver. The 917D3 expanded that field substantially.
On the positive side, the 917D3 is as low spinning as any Titleist driver I can recall. This helps it to keep up with other current drivers in terms of distance, at least on centered shots. When you miss the center, the ball speed and distance dip substantially.
Finally, the SureFit CG adjustment is impactful, but it’s not an adjustment you’ll make easily. This driver comes with two weight cartridges – one neutral and one to promote a fade or draw bias. Assuming you are able to keep track of the spare weight, you’ll need to engage in a small juggling act of unscrewing the cap, removing the weight, replacing it, and then installing the cap again.
My conclusion here is similar to what I said about the 917D2: if you absolutely need to play a Titleist driver, go right ahead, but know that you’re leaving something on the table. In this case, it’s not distance so much as accuracy. For my money, I’ll take one of the many drivers that delivers the same distance or more with far superior forgiveness.