ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – If you ask me, the driver is the most important club in the bag, edging out the putter.
“Drive for show and putt for dough,” many golfers continue to say.
My message is a little different: “Drive for dough and putt to go low.”
Which brings me to Rory McIlroy, who averaged 311 yards with his driver and shot a 9-under 63 in the opening round of the British Open.
Although Titleist has recently introduced its new 910 prototype driver to the professional tours, McIlroy has not had an opportunity to test it and is playing with his trusty 909D2 (8.5 degrees) this week.
“I love this driver,” McIlroy responded when asked about the 909.
It was ironic that Davis Love III echoed the exact same sentiment about his new 910D3 driver (8.5). Two weeks ago at the AT&T National, Love averaged 316.5 yards per drive.
“I love this club,” said Love. “I think golfers everywhere are going to love it.”
The 910 is being used in the British Open by 16 players: Jason Bohn, Ben Curtis, Victor Dubuisson, Jason Dufner, Ross Fisher, Tano Goya, Bill Haas, Robert Karlsson, Marc Leishman, Davis Love III, Kevin Na, Seung-Yul Noh, Mark O’Meara, Geoff Ogilvy, Adam Scott, Michael Sim.
This quick transition to the 910 reflects the enthusiasm of many tour players over this new adjustable, interchangeable driver. Titleist uses the term SureFit Tour Hosel, featuring various settings and selections that can be changed with a torque wrench.
The new driver, available in D2 and D3 versions, is scheduled to be available to consumers in late November.
The 910D2 has a slightly lower and deeper center of gravity than the 910D3, which should translate into somewhat straighter and higher tee shots. Meanwhile, the D3 is designed to produce a more boring trajectory with some additional roll.
Both drivers have a thinner and lighter crown than the 909, lowering the CG a tiny bit. A 7-gram weight plus on the sole of the club is interchangeable, with heavier and lighter weights available.
Standard face angle for both drivers is half a degree open, although the driver is adjustable and face angle can altered in a range from one and a half degrees open to one and a half degrees closed. In the process of configuring the clubface to the left or right, the effective playing loft changes as much as two and quarter degrees.
Standard lofts are 7.5, 8.5, 9.5 and 10.5 degrees. The 910 family eventually will include fairway woods and hybrids as well.
The retail cost of the 910 driver has yet to be announced. Meanwhile, a 909 similar to the one used by McIlroy can be purchased for $299.