The Titleist Speed Project, which has seen the introduction of four separate drivers over the past year or so, is a slight departure from the brand's traditional approach in favour of a more comprehensive offering, seeking to keep up with the likes of Callaway and TaylorMade at the top of the driver market.
As with the rest of the range the TS4 Driver is designed to maximise ball speed, but also combines that with lower spin rates and adjustability so that golfers can get the best performance levels from their tee shots.
Drivers like this tend to suit high swing-speed golfers and so the TS4 has already been popular with the pros, as shown by Max Homa's victory at the Wells Fargo Championship the first week that it was released. One of the best driver's of the golf ball the game has ever seen, Adam Scott also has the TS4 in the bag.
What's It All About?
The TS2 and TS3 Drivers have been a massive success, both on tour and at consumer level, however Titleist are targeting the niche players who are at the end of the spectrum by introducing an ultra low-spin driver. which they say will reduce spin rates by 300rpm compared to their other models.
It’s not just tour players that this club is aimed at, amateurs who might not swing it as fast but create too much back spin on the ball could also benefit from this technology and start getting more from their swing.
The TS4 contains the same titanium construction and thinner crown as well as the same face as the rest of the range, but differs in its centre of gravity. The CG is placed closer forward towards the face and lower in the club head to reduce spin.
The SureFit Flatweight is near the face on the sole rather than on the rear of the sole, also pushing weight forward and seeking to promote a lower, more penetrating ball flight.
The head is 430cc compared to the 460cc of the TS2 and TS3 Drivers. The smaller, pear-shaped profile decreases drag which can aid swing speeds.
I compared the TS4 Driver to every other driver in the new Speed Project range, in the capable hands of Titleist fitter Frazer at The Range in Manchester, using Foresight technology.
I went through a very thorough driver fitting process that you can see in full here:
As a golfer who looks for low-spin in a driver but doesn't have the fastest swing speed, I wanted to see if the TS4 would give me easy yardage gains and worth the potential lack of forgiveness due to the smaller 430cc head.
Titleist TS4 Driver Review
I love this head, it’s smaller and more rounded than the rest of the range. I’m not a fan of the longer shape seen in the TS1 Driver, for example, so this suits my eye better.
It reminds me of the old Titleist 975D from back in my youth, and I seem to recall Tiger Woods had one in the bag in the early days of his career too...
Like the rest of the range the driver head has a glossy finish rather than matte, and an uncluttered head design with just a small triangle to aid alignment.
When you catch this driver out of the middle you can definitely a little more of a 'smack' rather than a ping, and it's also pretty clear to sense the lack of spin as the ball leaves the face.
The noise from a low spin driver is different too, especially due to the smaller head shape, which produces a different acoustic than a standard driver would.
During my testing I found that the spin rate with the TS4 was slightly lower than the TS3 on average, as you'd imagine. I didn’t have one shot go above 3200rpm where as with the TS3 I had numbers creep towards 4000rpm on a bad one, which is really where performance is effected.
My dispersion with this driver was a little more wayward due to the lower spin and forward CG, meaning that if you're looking for plenty of forgiveness then it goes without saying that this isn't the club for you. And to be honest Titleist make no illusions about that. They are very clear on the type of golfer this club is aimed at and who can benefit from it and who can't.
As with most low-spin drivers the TS4 felt like it had a little bit of a fade bias which may not have been my preference. I usually prefer to see the ball turning left as my miss, as the right shot is the weakest one for me. A lot of higher handicapped golfers will see the face as being 'open' from what they are usually used to.
Titleist TS4 Driver Verdict
I have played a low spin driver for my entire professional career, as I am always looking to try and get below 3000 rpm for my optimal performance.
So this driver was always going to be on my radar, however you do need to be a very, very consistent striker of the golf ball. Anything hit off centre does suffer which had me leaning towards the TS3 for a little more forgiveness across the face.
I was averaging around 150 rpm less spin with the TS4 than the TS3, which is less than I expected to be honest. You can expect spin rates to move by a couple of hundred rpm just on different strikes across the face with the same driver, so for a low-spin driver to have only dropped spin by this much was a bit of a surprise.
Would I Use It?
This driver is more suited towards those big-hitting gym-goers (we all know the type...) who tend to hit down on the ball with high swing speeds up and around 115 mph, which means that they struggle to get their spin rate anywhere near 3000rpm. I am clearly not that golfer, even though I did like a lot of features that the TS4 had to offer.
If you're interested in using the TS4 then the question you have to ask yourself is if you're willing to trade off low spin for less forgiveness? If the answer is no, then the TS2 or TS3 may be better suited to you. If the answer is yes, then get yourself down to a fitting centre and give the TS4 a proper hit.
One thing that is for certain here though - with the TS Driver Range from Titleist, they have covered all basis superbly well and there really is something for everyone which is a step in the right direction for Titleist in the modern era.
- Great, traditional looking club from address
- Low spin may be ideal for some golfers
- People who struggle with the left 'hook' miss will like the fade bias
- Great sound from the smaller head
- Great amount of adjustability to really get dialled in
- Less forgiveness than from the rest of the TS range
- Small head shape may not suit everyone
- If you don't hit the middle, this thing will not be your friend