Justin Rose soared back to the top of the world rankings after edging out Haotong Li in a thrilling finish at the Turkish Airlines Open.
Titleist TS2 and TS3 drivers put to the test
Titleist claim the new TS2 and TS3 drivers are the company’s fastest and longest yet – and by a distance. It’s quite some statement, so we asked National Club Golfer’s equipment editor to put the claim to the test.
First impressions: We saw a raft of Titleist staff players putting these in the bag ahead of the US Open. Rather than two super-adjustable models of driver and fairway like as with the 917 range, there’s a simpler ‘grip it and rip it’ T2 line and a T3 for fine-tuning.
These drivers are the result of Titleist’s Speed Project (TS) where the focus has been ball speed and distance. It’s an interesting move from Titleist as they look to prove they can go as long as anything else on the market.
The technology: So what have Titleist done in their bid for faster and longer drivers? Well, they have really stripped these drivers back to ensure everything was being done to make them their fastest yet. And there are four key areas. An ultra-thin titanium crown has allowed weight to be repositioned for ideal launch. There’s a lighter and more flexible face which is so thin the score lines have to be lasered rather than etched on.
A new streamlined shape enhances the aerodynamics and reduces drag by up to 20 per cent. And the optimised weight redistribution has resulted in the lowest centre of gravity ever in a Titleist driver for higher launch and lower spin. They say the MOI (resistance to twisting on impact) is up to 12 percent higher than 917, creating a powerful combination of speed and stability. The TS3 should be just as fast as the TS2 but has the SureFit CG moveable weight to fine-tune shot shapes and account for common strike patterns or misses.
The result: Let’s start with my fitting which took place at Woburn with Titleist product specialist James Robinson. Seeing as my misses, strike patterns and shot shapes were quite irregular we went with the T2 driver.
We tested the TS3 but didn’t feel like we needed to move the weight to compensate for a common miss or dial in a particular shape. We settled on the new Project X Smoke shaft which was promoting a strong, low-spinning flight.
Without looking at the Trackman numbers, I could tell the ball speed and distance was really good. It just felt and sounded really quick off the face. The launch monitor numbers backed this up. After I was properly loose and warm, we hit some shots with my current Ping G400 Max driver and the TaylorMade M4. The TS2 was just edging ahead of them for ball speed and distance. I left feeling very excited.
Our verdict: I’ve never seen Titleist so confident about performance. Previously, they would have shied away from direct comparisons with competitor products as their strength was in the custom-fitting process. They haven’t lost that fitting ethos but when you pick up a TS driver, it’s super-fast and long from the first hit and will only get better once fully dialled in. The brands’ bold statements are certainly justified.