First seen at the U.S. Open and quickly embraced by many of the professionals on Titleist’s endorsement staff the new Titleist TS2 and TS3 drivers will be available at retail as along with the companion TS fairway woods on Sept. 28.
The TS models (Titleist Speed) came out of the “Titleist Speed Project,” an internal company program with the goal of delivering the fastest ball speed they could combined with higher launch, lower spin and more forgiveness. The resulting TS2 and TS3 drivers share some interesting features:
-The titanium crown is Titleist’s thinnest – 20% thinner and 10 grams lighter than the crown of the previous 917 models.
-Faster variable thickness face with 6 grams less weight – so thin that score lines had to be lasered rather than etched as was done in the past.
-Slipperier head shape is more aerodynamic – reduces drag by 20% to promote faster swings.
-Thinner crown and face meant center of gravity could be placed lower in the head to aid in giving the desired launch angle plus help with reducing ball spin.
-New head design also raised the resistance to twisting or MOI by 12% when tested against the 917.
Distance sells drivers so as part of the quest to bring more distance to the table Titleist increased the length of the stock shafts one-half inch to 45.5 inches but any of their shafts will be customized to the length the purchaser needs after a fitting.
The TS2 has a fixed weight towards the rear of the sole that could be made heavier because of the weight saved in the face and crown. The 460cc head produces a higher launch and lower spin than the 917 D2 both being key factors producing added yardage. TS3, which retains the SureFit reversible weighting cartridge in the sole from the 917s, is designed to produce a flatter trajectory than the TS2, more mid launch but also with reduced spin compared to the 917 D3.
The TS2 and TS3 drivers (priced at $499) are presently in the bags of Justin Thomas (TS3 9.5º), Adam Scott (TS3 10.5º), Bill Haas (TS2 9.5º), Jimmy Walker (TS3 8.5º), Brian Harman (TS2 9.5º), Cameron Smith (TS2 9.5º), Rafa Cabrera Bello (TS3 9.5º), Webb Simpson (TS3 10.5º), Byeong-Hun An (TS3 9.5º), Charley Hoffman (TS3 9.5º), Peter Uihlein (TS3 9.5º), Chesson Hadley (TS2 10.5º) and Ian Poulter (TS3 9.5º). This past weekend at the BMW Championship 15 contestants used a Titleist driver with 12 playing a TS model, three the TS2 and nine the TS3.
In the new TS fairway woods Titleist used a thinner stainless crown, 27% less weight compared with the 917 fairways and reengineered the variable thickness face to reduce thickness near the edges. This meant the center of gravity could be positioned to produce a lower spin higher launch trajectory and more distance. An added benefit is the increase in the clubhead’s MOI of 11% which has improved stability while making it more forgiving. Both the TS2 and TS3 fairway woods also have a larger sole channel to help preserve ball speed when contact is low on the face.
The TS2 is a mid spin high launch design while the TS3 is low spin and mid launch. Both are priced at $299 and have gained acceptance by several PGA Tour players including Justin Thomas, Jordan Spieth and Bill Haas. At the BMW 22 Titleist fairway woods were used with 10 the new TS model, six the TS2 and four the TS3.
The field of 30 for the FedExCup finals is finally set after Vermont native Keegan Bradley playing with mostly Srixon clubs won the third playoff tournament at Aronomink Golf Club in Newtown Square, Penn. The 69 players (Daniel Berger withdrew) were vying to be among the 30 heading on to East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta to determine the FedExCup champion.
Bradley’s one-hole playoff victory over Justin Rose earned him 2,000 FedExCup points moving him from number 52 to number 6. The BMW is his first victory since 2012 and the first since he had to give up use of the anchored putting stroke. His “mixed bag” has perhaps only one outlier, the year old TaylorMade M2 driver which Bradley prefers over any of the Srixon models or the comparable 2018 model M4 from TaylorMade.
Driver: TaylorMade M2 2017 10.5° (Graphite Design Tour AD IZ-6 X)
Fairway woods: Callaway GBB Epic 15° (Graphite Design Tour AD IZ-7 X)
Hybrid: Callaway Apex Pro 20° (Project X EvenFlow Black)
Irons: Srixon Z U45 20°, Srixon Z 745 4 through 9, Srixon Z 945 pitching wedge (Nippon Tour 120X)
Wedges: Cleveland RTX 3.0 52° & 58° (True Temper Dynamic Gold S400)
Putter: Odyssey Works Red #1 Wide prototype
BALL: Srixon Z-Star XV
In Case Anyone Should Ask:
Equipment Counts: As has been true all season TaylorMade Golf’s M3 and M4 drivers were the most played at the BMW. Forty-six or two-thirds of the field played either Titleist Pro V1 or Pro V1x followed by eight teeing up Callaway Chrome Soft or Chrome Soft X. The top choice in hybrids was also Titleist with nine and irons with 20. Vokey wedges were first in the approach, sand and lob wedge (95) category and Scotty Cameron putters are the choice of more led all other brands with 26 in play.
Ultra-Premium Clubs: Golf Datatech, the golf industry’s leading consumer research company, has published report detailing the burgeoning equipment market segment of ultra-premium priced clubs. The report details buying habits, technical aspects and satisfaction plus several other descriptive factors.
Hit It Like a Girl: Tour Edge Golf is touting, as they should, the win by New Zealand native Phillis Meti of the Volvik World Long Drive Championship hitting a Tour Edge Exotics model driver. In the championship final round Meti’s took the trophy with a 313-yard smash.