Tiger Woods tweeted earlier today that Chris Como will be his next swing coach.
Happy to have Chris Como consulting and working with me on my swing. I’m excited to be back competing.
— Tiger Woods (@TigerWoods) November 22, 2014
The announcement follows reports that Tiger has resumed hitting full shots after his latest bout with a back injury.
Who is Chris Como? Like former coach Hank Haney, Chris Como teaches out of the Dallas, Texas area. Como, 36, is based at Gleneagles in nearby Plano. Former students include Trevor Immelman, Aaron Baddeley and Jamie Lovemark. Tiger parted company with former coach, Sean Foley, about three months ago.
Equipment is accurate as of the DP World Championship (11/23/14)
Driver: Callaway X2 Hot Pro
Shaft: Oban Kiyoshi Tour Limited
Putter: Odyssey White Ice 2-Ball V-line
Ball: Titleist ProV1X
Pros: The 915 drivers are surprisingly long on mishits, especially the 915D2. Titleist’s wide variety of lofts, two distinct heads and impressive array of premium stock shafts makes fitting easy.
Cons: At $449, these are two of the priciest drivers of 2015. Neither allows golfers to adjust CG.
Who are they for? Anyone, but most golfers should lean toward the 915D2. It’s one of the best drivers of 2015. The 915D3 will work for advanced players who need slightly less spin, but it’s not as low spinning as other low-spin models on the market.
If you’re reading this review, then you probably have at least one Titleist golf club in your bag — and if you don’t you probably did in the past. Apple iPhone users tend to keep buying iPhones, and golfers who buy Titleist clubs tend to keep buying Titleist clubs.
If I’ve described you and you’ve been waiting to hear if the 915 drivers are worth the upgrade, I’ll cut to the chase. Yes, they are, and to prove it I’ll jump straight into the numbers. Not currently a Titleist player? I’ll address you later in the review.
We took two testers with handicaps of 0-to-5 to The Launch Pad at Carl’s Golfland in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., to test the 915 drivers against Titleist’s previous driver line. After the testers warmed up, they hit five shots with each driver head. Obvious mishits were discarded, and each head was tested with the same loft, hosel setting and shaft.
The Showdown: 913D2 vs. 915D2
The D3 Showdown: 913D3 vs. 915D3
To gearheads, the numbers speak for themselves. If you aren’t fluent in launch monitor lingo, however, let me provide some context. Here’s the simple breakdown of what golfers must do to hit longer drives:
- Improve their ball speed while maintaining similar launch conditions.
- Improve their launch conditions while maintaining similar ball speed.
- Improve their ball speed and launch conditions simultaneously.
More Forgiveness: The 915D2
The strength of the 915D2 driver is its ability to create more ball speed on mishits, as seen in Tester 1′s numbers. He added an average of 1.8 mph of ball speed with the 460-cubic-centimeter driver while maintaining similar launch conditions — a testament to the 915D2′s rearward center of gravity (CG) that raises its moment of inertia (MOI), a measure of a driver’s ability to retain ball speed on mishits.
Something else was going on, however, because the size and MOI of the 915D2 driver is relatively unchanged from its predecessor, the 913D2. That something was Titleist’s new Active Recoil Channel, which wraps around the sole of the driver to create a more efficient energy transfer on off-center hits that leads to more ball speed.
Channels or slots are nothing new to drivers, of course, but Titleist Active Recoil Channel showed obvious benefits in testing. It’s both wider and deeper than its competitors slots, and is matched with the company’s Radial Speed Face that uses variable face thicknesses to further improve ball speed on mishits.
There are very few drivers that will be able to compete against the 915D2′s big forgiveness and relatively low-spin launch conditions, and the club’s refined looks and feel should give it the upper hand in many fitting bays.
Much Lower Spin: The 915D3
The strength of the 915D3 is its ability to improve launch conditions, particularly in the reduction of spin, which has been a weakness of past Titleist drivers. For the high-launch, low-spin launch conditions we observed, the 915D3′s retention of ball speed on mishits is also impressive.
Compared to the 915D2, the 915D3 has a lower, more forward CG. It also has a smaller, 440-cubic-centimeter head that is designed with slightly more fade bias than the 915D2.
Tester 2, a low-launch, high-spin player, saw his spin rate drop an average of 632 rpm when he switched from the 913D3 to the new 915D3. His launch angle also increased an average of 1.2 degrees. If that sounds impressive, it’s because it is. If you have the 913D3 right now and find yourself struggling with spin, go now to the nearest authorized Titleist retailer to be fit for the new model. That’s how much better it is.
If you’re considering switching to a 915D3 from another brand, you should know that it’s not going to be as low spinning as models such as Callaway’s Big Bertha Alpha 815 Double Black Diamond, TaylorMade’s R15 or Cobra’s Bio Cell Pro, but it will be more forgiving than those clubs.
If you look back at the testing data, you’ll notice Tester 2′s ball speed was actually slightly faster with the 915D3 than it was with the 915D2. That’s rarely the case with smaller, lower-spinning drivers, and a nod to the forgiveness Titleist was able to maintain with the 915D3 and the benefits of the Active Recoil Channel.
The Bottom Line
The performance of the 915 drivers is one reason to buy them. The other is the slew of loft and shaft options.
The 915D2 is available in lofts of 7.5, 8.5, 9.5 10.5 and 12 degrees. The 915D3 comes in lofts of 7.5, 8.5, 9.5 and 10.5 degrees. The variety allows golfers to dial in nearly any loft, lie and face angle combination they desire, and the two distinct club heads should fit most interested players.
The five shaft options are even more impressive. They include Aldila’s new Rogue Black and Silver shafts, as well as Mitsubishi Rayon’s new Diamana D+, S+ M+. All are the “real deal,” which means that they sell for several hundreds of dollars each at retail. That makes the 915′s sticker price of $449 more digestible.
There are drivers on the market that are slightly more forgiving than the 915D2 and ones that are lower spinning than the 915D3 — that’s why we gave them an A- grade — but chasing one attribute such as low spin or maximum forgiveness is not what these drivers are about.
If you’re looking for the complete package — possibly the best combination of looks, sound, feel and performance — the 915D2 and 915D3 are it.
By now you probably know the story — Dan Jenkins and Golf Digest faked an interview with Tiger Woods and Golf Digest staged photos with a Tiger lookalike.
Tiger Woods was not happy, and let the public know via Derek Jeter’s new Players’ Tribune website. You can read Jenkins’ original story at the bottom of this link. Despite some vicious feedback on Twitter and social media, Jenkins stood his ground.
My next column for Tiger: defining parody and satire. I thought I let him off easy: http://t.co/E7e9imSKwO
— Dan Jenkins (@danjenkinsgd) November 18, 2014
Lindsey Vonn, Woods’ girlfriend, shared her feelings on the matter. She sided with her boyfriend and supported his decision to confront Jenkins and Golf Digest.
“It was like a fabricated interview, like what [Jenkins] thinks Tiger would say,” Vonn said.
Predictably, Jenkins’ story and Tiger’s response has been a very polarizing issue. People, golf fans, journalism ethics specialists, haters, apologists, social observers and conspiracy theorists have been voicing their opinions. We’ve combined the most popular responses into a poll.Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll.
Puma’s new BiODrive is a spikeless shoe designed for both the gym and the course. It has three specialized zones throughout the shoe for flexibility, balance and stability, which help provide both grip and support.
The three “zones” are broken up into its front, middle and back sections. The forefoot has multiple decoupled octagon-shaped pods, which replace traditional spikes, for flexibility and traction. The mid-foot axis point was designed for torsional movement that provides a balanced feel, and the heel has four pods that are said to provide a platform for support.
“Training in the gym and on the course is important for golfers of all levels,” says Joey Diovisalvi, a fitness expert and Cobra-Puma Golf ambassador. “It’s a great performer on the course that allows the golfer to grip the ground through their swing but can also be worn to the gym. From a biomechanics standpoint, it provides the flexibility, stability and balance necessary for optimal performance.”
The BiODrives look and perform like an athletic shoe, but the outsole, with 10 octagons providing 130 points of traction, was designed with the golfer in mind. Octagons on the perimeter of the shoe have a larger surface area for enhanced grip on smooth surfaces, while the center octagons were designed for traction on the golf course.
A ripstop mesh upper was designed for waterproof performance, and it’s lightweight and breathable to keep cool during the hot summer months or when sweat builds up in the gym.
“This spikeless, versatile shoe allows golfers to go straight from work to the gym, to the range, or to play 18,” says Grant Knudson, head of footwear at Puma Golf.
To ensure durability, the shoe’s outsole is made from carbon rubber, and a TPU wrap was bonded 360 degrees around the shoe for even more protection.
The BiODrives will be available for $140 on Dec. 15 in four color combinations
- Strong Blue/Peacoat/Fluro Yellow
- Black/Turbulence/Puma Red
- Tradewinds, White, Vibrant Orange
Satire has its place, but being mean without provocation is just pointless. Dan Jenkins, veteran journalist for Golf Digest toed the line, then took another step into the realm of mean-spiritedness — or so Tiger Woods thinks.
Dan Jenkins and the Golf Digest team concocted a satirical interview between Jenkins and Tiger, covering topics like his notoriously bad-tipping of waiters and waitresses, treating his friends poorly and using nicknames for everyone. It also attacked the perceived weak competition he played against during his prime, suggesting he had no competition. Digest even hired a Tiger Woods look-a-like to stage photos, such as Tiger taking a selfie at Perkins Restaurant & Bakery.
Tiger and his team went on the offensive with their defense, writing a letter to Golf Digest, and Woods’ self-written (well, maybe) blog post on Jeter’s site, before the original piece even ran publicly on media outlets.
What this really means is that Twitter will first explode talking about Tiger’s response, salivating at the chance to read the original piece, then call Tiger a bunch of names and suggest he be more thick-skinned.
But, really, Tiger hasn’t done anything recently to deserve the satirical display. Isn’t bashing him so 2009? He hasn’t won a major since 2008. He had the most publicly messy divorce in recent memory, he had back surgery in April, played terrible when he returned, had to miss the Ryder Cup, and he’s had to watch his buddy Rory McIlroy win every tournament he plays in, while listening to the media tell him Rory’s better than Woods himself ever was, with Rory telling Tiger he’s old.
Geez, Jenkins, cut the guy some slack for now, eh? Let him win again before you bring up the tipping at restaurants thing, no? It makes Jenkins just look upset that Tiger denied him the interviews he really wanted, so he bashed him in a fake one.
I do believe satire, and media outlets like The Onion, can be funny at times — and those outlets are well within their right to publish such content — but seriously, there’s really no point in going below the belt and rehashing unoriginal old jokes.
It may be a simple case of Tiger of hating the media, and the media thinking they’re well-within their right to embarrass public figures because those athletes are rich and famous, but I think it’s even simpler than that. If Jenkins didn’t use the played out “Marko, Butchie, Steiny” joke, and came up with something more original, I don’t think Tiger would have cared.
If you decide to throw unsolicited shots at Tiger, you better come correct!