Drivers are the clubs players use off the tee, with their highest swing speeds, to launch the ball as far as possible down the fairway and towards the green. ATI 425 forms the strike face of the driver – or the sweet spot where club meets ball – so it’s important that the material maintains strength and ductility to deliver consistent speeds.
As part of their “Titleist Speed Project,” the Titleist Golf Club R&D team developed designs that would increase ball speed without sacrificing consistency of performance. The material used for these designs is equally critical, given the strict United States Golf Association (USGA) requirements on golf club specifications and driver face performance.
Originally developed for military vehicle armor applications, ATI 425 can bend without breaking, allowing it to be cold-rolled and formed while still providing superior strength. Initial tests showed that ATI 425 offered 6% higher yield strength, 4% higher ultimate tensile strength and 30% higher ductility – meaning that the driver face maintains shape and form without experiencing fatigue like flattening or deformation.
And while this particular application is a new advancement, the relationship between ATI and Titleist’s research and development teams is decades long. ATI’s titanium (specifically ATI 6-4 and ATI 8-1-1™) has been used in drivers for more than 20 years, but when it came time to develop the next big thing, they worked together to explore the capabilities of ATI 425. The advanced alloy had the high-strength, high-ductility the team was looking for but the initial thickness requirements were outside of our milling capabilities. Our team’s commitment to making materials that are Proven to Perform resulted in the development of a new process that allowed us to meet the specifications needed by Titleist to achieve their advanced face design.
Titleist wanted to make sure golfers knew they had aerodynamic ATI 425 on their side, so they placed our logo on the final consumer product. It’s long been said that golfers have to play all of the shots available – and ATI 425 is helping tee them up for success.