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Review: Titleist 913D2 Driver
Titleist, perhaps more than any other club manufacturer, has built its reputation on high performance products with a classic look and feel. This design philosophy permeates everything they do, from the Scotty Cameron line of putters, to the Bob Vokey wedge collection, all the way up through the irons and metalwoods, which don’t leave the factory blessed with the name of an engineering and design genius. There is clearly a powerful sense of organizational pride the company takes in maximizing the effectiveness of its products while maintaining sleek, beautiful aesthetics – a commitment to excellence that continues to make Titleist an industry pacesetter and keeps its clubs beloved by amateurs and top pros alike.
The Titleist 913D2 driver continues in this tradition, blending modern technology and customization with attractive, traditional design that leaves a player wanting for very little. This is a serious driver for serious players ready to take their game to the next level.
The most immediately notable thing about the 913D2 is just how fast the ball jumps off the clubface. Driver technology has gotten so much focus from R&D teams at all of the major manufacturers that it’s rare to see any one club rise head and shoulders above its competitors. All the more impressive, then, that the 913D2 was going 15-20 yards further for me than any other 2013 driver I’ve tried. Indeed, this club is a monster, howling through the air no matter where on the club I caught it. Toe, heel, low, high – in the half-hour I spent with this club I missed center-face contact in every way a person could manage and could not find a spot that didn’t send the ball soaring. The result is a mix of power and forgiveness unmatched among its competitors.
The one category in which the 913D2 is fairly unremarkable, as there’s little in the way of accuracy that sets this club apart from the competition. Like its compatriots, it’s designed to reduce a ball’s spin rate, minimizing sidespin and keeping misses mostly to the swingpath variety, as opposed to giant hooks and slices. One thing I did find interesting is that the 913D2 does seem to miss on striking a balance between reducing spin and maintaining workability, as I found it slightly more difficult to hit intentional draws and fades than with other 2013 drivers, with more balls tending to stay put instead of curving along the intended path.
Titleist always seems to get this right with all of its clubs, and the 913D2 is no exception. Good shots feel sweet and buttery smooth rocketing off the face, while off-center hits provide the kind of deadened “thunk” that pleads with you not to do that again. I’m not terribly crazy about the clubface being the same color as the crown, especially given that that color is black. I tend to prefer a more stark contrast between crown and clubface, but that’s really is a matter of personal taste more than anything.
The limits on clubhead size and clubface springiness imposed by the USGA have exponentially increased the degree of difficulty for driver R&D teams, in that it’s become incredibly hard to distinguish yourself from the competition. Every driver has a huge clubhead. Every driver is long and forgiving. Every driver employs the latest and greatest in construction, aerodynamics, and weight-optimization. So it’s particularly remarkable when one club stands so far above the rest the way the 913D2 does. And it’s not simply a matter of distance being king – though, again, the 913D2 is beastly – but rather the overall design philosophy and perfectionist streak Titleist brings to the table that elevates their product above the rest. Titleist simply does not let a club get to the marketplace unless it sounds, looks, feels, and performs brilliantly. It’s something that’s easy to overlook or forget simply because they’re so consistently excellent and have set such a high standard. They’re successful to the point of making it boring to talk about how good their products are, that producing yet another best-in-its-class product is not an achievement so much as Titleist continuing a long tradition of excellence. Everyone else can only try to keep pace.