This week GolfWRX posted an article noting that for the first time in a long time Titleist had the most drivers in play at the Sony Open of any manufacturer, mostly the new TS series. TS is Titleist Speed and a recognition by Titleist that they needed to take steps to match the performance and forgiveness of their competition. By all accounts they have succeeded in making the step up. Combine that with Titleist’s well earned reputation for fitting – they offer a range of shaft option as standard – and you have a genuine contender for the regular golfer.
Titleist are a premium product and you will pay a premium over many of its competitors, but for that you do get the range of shaft options and you get a reputation for quality, so for many people it will be a worthwhile deal.
The Titleist TS range tread the well worn path of weight saving in the crown of the driver – although still all titanium where others have gone for fibre – and in the face. But Titleist have taken some unique approaches:
- Aerodynamic bulge behind the face
- Flatter face
- Variable weights in the TS2 and SufeFit weight in the TS3
As always the weight savings in the crown and face have allowed designers to increase the Moment of Inertia (MOI) of the club which is a measure of how forgiving the club is – reducing the loss of ball speed as the strike moves away from the sweet spot.
The Titleist TS2 and TS3 drivers are a high quality offering aimed at the better golfer. TS2 is a more forgiving design that has a larger sweet spot, where TS3 is aimed at the highly skilled golfer who needs more control of their ball shaping while still providing assistance to managing the amount of shot shape via the SureFit weighting system (refer to details below). While at the more expensive end of the driver market the Titleist TS2 and TS3 drivers provide additional shaft options compared to their competition which may suit you.
Titleist have designed the profile of the face with more of a wing shape incorporating a bulge behind the face that works in the same way as other manufacturers use raised areas and shapes to smooth airflow which will translate into fast clubhead speed at impact.
While Taylormade are introducing more shape in their face design – what is called bulge and roll – to focus on optimising the gear effect to bring mishits back on line Titleist have gone in a different direction by making the face flatter. They are focussed on reducing speed loss on mishits. This aligns with Titleist’s focus on better golfers who do not mishit as far from the sweet spot and therefore do not benefit much from gear effect optimisation.
For the lower handicap golfer – say below 18 – the benefit of optimised gear effect is probably not an important consideration so minimising how much distance the golfer loses from mishits makes sense.
TS drivers have different adjustability approaches:
- TS2 has a variable weight set into the back of the driver. Many drivers have a weight here but Titleist adds an extra dimension by allowing the fitter to test different weights to best optimise the players launch angle. Other companies use the weight only to finetune the total driver swing weight so Titleist’s TS2 approach is a significant step up.
- TS3 has an adjustable weight system called SureFit which is a cylinder which not only allows for the total amount of weight to be optimised – a’la the TS2’s weight – but a part of the weight can be moved to one end of the cylinder or the other to provide a level of draw or fade bias to the driver. This is obviously a useful feature allowing the player to reduce bias inherent in their swing and straighten the ball flight.
Review findings from across the web
If you have any questions or comments or your own thoughts on the club please leave a comment below.