Clubs: Titleist TS2, TS3 drivers
Price: $499 with Mitsubishi Kuro Kage Black Dual-Core, Mitsubishi Tensei AV Blue Series, Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black and Project X EvenFlow T1100 White shafts with Golf Pride Tour New Decade MCC grips
Specs: Titanium body and face, adjustable hosel and adjustable sole weight (TS3)
Available: Sept. 28
The newest drivers from Titleist were built to create more ball speed and deliver more distance while maintaining stability and forgiveness.
Inside the Titleist R&D offices, there was a bracket created, pitting prototype drivers against each other to see which design would run the gauntlet and emerge as the fastest, most powerful Titleist driver. The winners, both 460cc designs, were named the TS2 and TS3 (TS stands for Titleist Speed), and they first were made available to PGA Tour pros at the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills. That week 17 Titleist staffers switched to one of the drivers, including Justin Thomas, who used a TS3 to hit a 422-yard drive in the opening round.
At address, the TS2 and TS3 look like classic Titleist drivers, with mirrored black crowns and traditional shaping. However, they are sleeker than the 917 drivers, and Titleist said they create 20 percent less drag. With the same amount of effort, golfers should be able to swing the TS drivers faster.
Titleist designers made the titanium crowns 20 percent thinner, which saved about 10 grams of weight that could be redistributed to other performance-enhancing areas of the head.
Six more grams were saved by making the variable-thickness face thinner. The face is so thin, Titleist has each inspected to make sure it is USGA and R&A compliant. There isn’t enough thickness for the company to cut the scorelines into the heel and toe areas, so they are lasered into the metal.
In the TS2 (available in 8.5-, 9.5-, 10.5- and 11.5-degree heads), most of the weight saved in the crown and face was put in a sole weight in the back of the head. It pulls the center of gravity down and away from the face, which creates a higher launch angle. The TS2, which will replace the 917D2 driver, creates less spin than its predecessor, and the combination of increased ball speed with a higher launch angle and less spin should produce more distance.
The TS3 driver (available in 8.5-, 9.5- and 10.5-degree versions) is also a 460cc design, but it is more adjustable. Like the 917D3 it replaces, the TS3 has a SureFit CG weight that can be adjusted to create a draw, fade or neutral weight bias.
Titleist said the moment of inertia in the TS drivers is 12 percent higher than then 917 drivers, making the clubs more stable on off-center hits. For that reason, Titleist has increased the stock length of the TS2 and TS3 drivers by half an inch to 45.5 inches, and golfers can buy a driver in any length they want through custom fitting and order.
Both drivers feature Titleist’s SureFit adjustable hosel mechanism. It allows players and fitters to independently change the loft and lie of the drivers.