by David Dusek - Golfweek
Modern golf equipment, like most products sold
at retail, is constrained by factors such as price and
But according to Steve Pelisek, Titleist’s
president of golf clubs, the Fairhaven, Mass.,
company wanted to give its designers a chance to go
wild. With no worry about anything except function,
what would they make? Dream it up now, worry
about how to make it later. From such directives, the
Concept Initiative was born.
“The new Concept products are products
that were advanced research, and we believe they
are breakthroughs that will eventually work their
way into our global product line,” Pelisek
said. “We wanted to create a way, a platform,
between those two steps in time.”
Pelisek was quick to point out that Concept
items are not experiments, but clubs that use new
materials, processes and technologies. They will not
be considered “in-line” products and
Pelisek said the Concept products will not change
Titleist’s two-year product cycles.
They probably won’t ever be seen in the
bag of a PGA Tour player either, and because
Concept clubs are going to be sold in such small
quantities, they are not going to make a meaningful
contribution to Titleist’s bottom line, either.
In reality, the Concept creations can be
compared to an automaker’s concept cars:
They give an idea of what engineers are dreaming
the future might hold.
TITLEIST C16 DRIVER
The 445cc C16 driver will be available in 9- and
10.5-degree versions, and it is made with three
different types of titanium. A forged SP700 titanium
cup face is laser-welded to a lightweight Ti 811 cast
chassis. The cup face design broadens the sweetspot
and protects ball speed on off-center
Titleist gave the C16 a ATI-425 titanium crown
that is just .35mm thick, significantly thinner and
lighter than most crowns. This helps lower the center
of gravity. Opting for titanium instead of carbon fiber
meant Titleist did not need to create an overlap area
or worry about adhesives.
While the 16-position Sure-Fit adjustable hosel
system is the same as on the current 915D2 and
915D3 drivers, the C16 features an adjustable
SureFit CG weight. It slides into the head diagonally
from low-heel area to the high-toe section. The
driver comes with two 10-gram weights, one that is
balanced with 5 grams on each side to create a
neutral setting and one that has 9 grams on one end
and 1 gram on the other. Placing the heavy side of
the second weight in the toe promotes a fade, and
placing the heavy end in the heel encourages a draw.
Combined, the C16 offers three CG set-ups.
“We want to have an adjustable weight
system that preserved (MOI). That was the
key,” said Dan Stone, Titleist’s vice
president of research and development for golf
clubs. “Regardless of the weight that works
best for you, you’re going to have good
stability along the way.”
The bottom line is the C16 is the most
adjustable driver Titleist has made to date, and it
creates more ball speed while maintaining stability.
Pelisek said 1,500 of the drives will be made and
sold exclusively at the Titleist Performance Institute
(Oceanside, Calif.), the Manchester Lane Test Facility
(Acushnet, Mass.) and Titleist Fitting Days across the
country. Numerous shaft options will be available,
and each Concept 16 driver will cost $999. Just 1,500
will be made.