A bit of an oddity, this. The likes of Ernie Els, Phil Mickelson and Adam Scott all launch their 983s prodigious distances, so there’s no way you could call it a short club. And yet, all three of our testers struggled to make Titleist’s flagship driver competitive against the likes of the R580XD or Cobra SZ440. The obvious conclusion is that it’s absolutely critical to get yourself correctly fitted if you’re to make the most of the 983.
Too stiff a shaft for your swing, or too few degrees of loft, and you simply won’t get sufficient launch angle to maximise the length of your tee shots. While this is true of all drivers, it seems particularly so of the 983. This is probably not the club to buy straight off the rack.
Get the specs right, though, and you might just find a partner for life. The 983 has classic looks, a comfortable feel all of its own and an impact sound so soft you could almost be hitting an 8-iron. A flatter ball flight marks it out as a driver for more competent golfers, so don’t expect it to turn you into Ernie Els overnight, but mid-handicappers will find the 983 a controllable, business-like driver.
Verdict: Rivals the Taylormade for high-profile us among the world’s best players, but we struggled to make it work for us. Custom fitting with a Titleist rep recommended.