Would two readers enjoy similar performance gains to many tour pros with the new TS2 and TS3 models in their Titleist TS Series driver fittings?
Titleist TS Series Driver Fittings: 5 and 16 Handicap Readers
The driver may not be the most used club in the bag, but there’s no denying that it’s the most glamorous and the one that attracts the most clubhouse chat.
Earlier this year, Titleist’s new TS Series drivers caused quite a stir when they helped the brand top the Sony Open driver count, with 38 players using the new TS2 or TS3 models. It was the first time Titleist had topped a driver count for 18 years, so it understandably created renewed interest in these two late-2018 launches.
TS stands for Titleist Speed, with both models featuring multiple technologies making up a Speed Chassis, among them a more streamlined shape and profile, the thinnest titanium crown in the industry and a face that’s so thin the scorelines you apparently see are merely laser etchings.
The TS2 is engineered to launch a little higher, but the primary goal in both is increased ball speed. Every extra mile per hour potentially equates to extra yards, with tour pro after tour pro citing worthwhile gains. But would two Golf Monthly readers enjoy similar performance benefits?
To find out, we took 5-handicapper, Nick Palmer, and 16-handicapper, Andrew Russell, along to Titleist’s National Fitting Centre in St Ives. Cambridgeshire, where James Robinson, product specialist manager for Titleist, conducted their in-depth fittings.
Nick Palmer Handicap: 5 Club: Hartley Wintney GC Fitted for: Titleist TS2, 9.5˚, Mitsubishi Tensei Blue stiff shaft, D4 setting, standard 45.5in.
Fitter analysis Nick’s current 9.5˚ 915 D2 was pretty straight with reasonable launch conditions so we didn’t want to change much. We tried both heads and checked the numbers to see which performed best. Performance was similar, but Nick preferred the TS2’s visuals. Even with the standard shaft, ball speed immediately rose from 142mph to 145mph.
We tried a few shafts, and the Tensei Blue in stiff worked best with ball speed up to 147mph. We tried going one upright on the hosel to alleviate Nick’s occasional one leaking right but that encouraged more of a pull so we reverted to the neutral setting.
Nick’s on-course feedback I had been fitted for my previous driver but wasn't quite prepared for was just how much technology has moved on. My new TS2 has given me at least 10 more yards, which has significantly helped my scoring as I'm going into greens with at least one club less.
The set-up and spec are similar to my old driver so it's reassuring to see that my game has remained fairly consistent but now with added distance. Given the success I had during the fitting and out on the course, I’ve now purchased a TS2 3-wood, which has also resulted in significant distance gains.
Nick’s key stats Ball speed (mph) Before: 142.7 After: 147
Carry distance (yards) Before: 222.9 After: 236.2
Andrew Russell Handicap: 16 Club: East Berks GC Fitted for: Titleist TS3, 9.5˚, Project X HZRDUS Smoke 5.5 70g shaft, D3 setting, standard 45.5in.
Fitter analysis Andrew had a left-to-right flight and was carrying it around 190 yards with spin too high at around 3,500rpm. TS3 outperformed TS2 as it spins a little less. A heavier shaft helped too and we quickly found the right head/shaft combo so spent time fine-tuning the SureFit hosel and rear weight.
We finished at D2 - more upright with a bit more loft - with the weight in the draw bias heel setting. His best drives were carrying 220 yards with spin nearer 2,500rpm and ball speed up by two to three miles an hour. There was still a bit of left-to-right but he was finding the fairway more often.
Andrew’s on-course feedback My driver was five years old and I was reasonably happy with it. I thought one driver was as good as the next and performance and distance were more down to the operator than the equipment, but there have been significant advances and I now have a Titleist TS3 that’s set up for my game.
I’ve played a couple of rounds and my game has definitely improved. The way that James has set the weights and clubface has given me more distance and accuracy and improved my slice. It looks good and feels comfortable too - all I need now are a 3-wood and hybrid to match.
Andrew’s key stats Spin rate (rpm) Before: 3,632 After: 2,886
Launch angle (degrees) Before: 9.9 After: 12.5
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