Having watched the 2020 US Open at Winged Foot a couple of weeks ago, there were two things which impressed me: DeChambeau being the only player under par and Titleist having the number one driver.
48 players used a Titleist driver and 28 of those used the new TSi driver. Imagine teeing it up around Winged Foot, where a good long game and driving the ball is so vital, with a club that was put in your hands a week before...?
The Titleist TSi is the most played driver on the PGA Tour at the time of writing this review. That shows incredible confidence in the product by staff players such as Jordan Spieth as well as non-staff players such as Tommy Fleetwood. Now if Tommy or Brooks (who recently went back to his trusty TaylorMade M5 driver for the 2020 PGA Championship) put a new club in the bag I take note as they choose their clubs just like you guys, they don’t have brand loyalty due to sponsorship, they play the club they think is best and the club that helps their game the most.
2020 has brought with it many surprises, but Titleist's claims about the new TSi drivers aren't going to surprise anyone: Titleist claim this is the best driver they have ever made due to its combination of looks, sound and feel as well as being fast, long and forgiving.
What's It All About?
Titleist aim to deliver the total package, the i in TSi stands for many things apparently, but the main buzzword I was given in answer to this question was 'innovation'. Titleist claim it is “the longest, straightest, best looking, best sounding driver we have ever made… What else is there to say?”
Who is it aimed at?
TSi2 is aimed at a player looking for higher launch, low spin, maximum stability and forgiveness for strikes across the face. It is available in RH 9,10 degree and LH 9,10,11 degree.
TSi3 is the 'better players' driver due to its classic shape, and penetrating ball flight. It is available in RH 8 and 9 degree and LH 8,9,10 degree.
The shaft options are follows:
These things are packed. But there are a couple of innovations that Titleist made that are pretty standout. The TSi drivers feature a new aerodynamic head shape said to decrease drag over the crown of the head by 15% and so increase the efficiency of how the club travels to the ball. 15% sounds like a lot so I was immediately hooked.
The face is also faster due to a new aerospace grade ATI 425 face insert, this allows the face to be stronger, tougher and a higher elasticity compared to conventional titanium alloys in golf. Titleist are the first manufacturer in golf to use ATI 425 in clubs so credit where credit is due, the use of 'innovation' makes sense here.
Each club is individually CT tested and maximised to measure tightness and tolerance and ensure maximum allowable limit. Yes you read that right, individually tested. This is impressive stuff as if you do decide to purchase a new TSi driver, you know you're getting the best it possibly can be. Given the price, you'd hope it would be...
The way to hit golf balls further is achieving high launch as well as quicker ball speed and Titleist have worked on keeping the stability of launch and ball speed across the face to make this possible on off-centre hits.
Other points worth mentioning are:
TSi2 has low, deep CG for higher launch and stability
The head weight varies in 2g increments ranging from -4g to +4g
The TSi3 has a track weighting area at the rear of the head, with a heavier weight than TS3 so it doesn’t need to be moved as far around the track for better results.
The head weight varies in 2g increments ranging from -4g to +4g
Five-setting Surefit CG track and adjustable swing weight
All in all the adjustability of these two clubs is incredible, especially considering the compact head shapes.
I went down to The Belfry to have a custom fitting session with James Robinson for the TSi2 and TSi3 drivers. The fitting was done using Trackman data with range balls until we found the head and shaft which I suited best. I then hit Titleist Pro V1 balls to get some more accurate data (NB: we do normally conduct our tests with Pro V1x balls).
I then did some further testing of the TSi2 head and TSi3 driver that I had been fitted for with my own driver at LSH Auto simulator with Trackman 4, using Pro V1X's. On-course testing took place at Cleethorpes GC, Houldsworth GC and Denton GC.
It's fair to say I tested these clubs to within an inch of their lives.
Titleist TSi2 & TSi3 Drivers Review
These drivers are right up my street. Simple, black heads with very little going on on the crown other than TSi letters which act as a subtle alignment tool. The face has a pattern that reminds me of the old persimmon woods, which I think does help frame the golf ball. Look closely and you'll see a diamond pattern which also looks very smart.
Titleist spoke about having a differentiation from black crown to patterned face to help players at address - it will also be good for the camera slow-mo when the guys play on the TV.
Both heads are the same size (460cc) but the TSi2 head looks bigger due to the elongated triangle shape. The TSi3 is more rounded which is what I prefer to look down on.
On the sole of the club the TSi2 has an adjustable swing weight which is fixed, but the TSi3 has the new Surefit Track.
Both driver heads differ from the previous TS models as the toe is softer. The sole is also interesting to me as there is so much technology in there but it is all in the head rather than sticking out or having spaces cut out like we've seen from other manufacturers this year. It's all very discreet and very Titleist, which I like.
The sleek and compact design looks like something you’d see in Bruce Wayne's Batcave.
Both faces felt fast and thin no matter where I hit it on the face, the ball speed was excellent and consistent. If a golf club can sound 'quick', then both of these do.
The shape makes me want to hit it harder and worry less about finding the middle of the face, which is clearly a problem for me and not one that all golfers will have. For most golfers it will inspire confidence. I struggled to find centre strikes, they were a bit towards the toe and the flight was high and landing was steep.
TSi3 was much more consistent off the face, I hit my first 4 shots bang out of the middle and they were all the same height with a slight draw. There were a few left ones in the fitting which I don’t mind seeing as much as the big pushes right.
What I found impressive was that my ball speed didn’t change more than 3mph between strike patterns, suggesting that the ATI face was doing it's thing.
During my fitting we moved the weight in the track slightly closer to the toe as that is my usual strike pattern. Moving the CG behind your strike point is said to gain you more yardage but to be honest I didn’t notice a gain. I have tried this before with Ping drivers and noticed no gains either.
When doing further testing in the simulator at LSH I noticed more ball speed than in my fitting, with my maximum being 138mph. This provided 223 yards carry and 243 yards total, which is huge for me. 138mph is the fastest ball speed I have seen from any driver I have tested with Golfalot! There was certainly a boost in ball speed from this ATI face and I was excited to this club out onto the golf course.
On The Course
The flight with the TSi2 is noticeably different to the TSi3. To me it looked it 'more loopy' and had a steep descent which meant I got a few mud balls - but testing in October in Manchester is never ideal anyway...
The carry was only a yard or two shorter than the TSi3 but the total roll out was clearly less.
The stability and forgiveness however was excellent when I didn’t hit it out of the middle of the face, all of my shots landed within 5 yards long and short of each other.
My first tee shot was a peach, sailing over the left fairway bunker at Cleethorpes to which my Dad replied: “What have you got there?!“
I hit two drives that went around 15 yards past the TaylorMade SIM Max I have been using all year. I did lose a few low and left when I struck them out of the toe which shows the lack of forgiveness compared to SIM Max and TSi2, but if I can sort them out then I am laughing.
I found it very easy to shape the ball left to right and right to left in the A1 hosel setting. When I changed the setting on the hosel to its most extremes, the difference was clear from A3 to C1, roughly 15 yards with more height. I have a natural draw so the A3 was more significant in shape right to left than C1 but I did notice a slight left to right shape.
Titleist TSi2 & TSi3 Drivers Verdict
Would I Use It?
Having experienced the custom fitting with James and come away with positive results I would definitely game the TSi3 driver, just be careful on the amount of adjustability on offer. My advice - find a setting and stick to it, you can easily get lost.
The TSi2 launched a touch too high and it looks too big at the back of the driver for me. But to be fair this is exactly what Titleist say about this club. Forgiveness wise on my off centre strikes, I certainly felt some help in stopping the ball going off line and keeping the ball in the air.
The TSi3 on the other hand was the one for me, I felt so comfortable straight away. The flight, height and strike were exactly what I was looking for in a driver. I felt the driver performed great but also looked great. In comparison to the TaylorMade SIM Max it performed better ball speed wise but wasn’t quite as forgiving (on the course that is, but this could be due to my giddiness).
A long, long time ago I used to love the Titleist 975D driver as it was Tiger's driver (didn't we all?) and he was my hero. Fast forward 20 years and this classic look is the main reason I liked the TSi3 driver, it then performed brilliantly too and I loved it.
- High launch
- Low spin for a forgiving club
- Great forgiveness across the face
- Ball marks badly on the face
- Head shape looks very big even though it is not
Titleist TSi2 Rating: 5/5
- Looked brilliant at address
- Ball speed was consistent
- It’s used by Tommy Fleetwood, Padraig Harrington among other non-Titleist staff players
- Genuine improvement in ball speed and yardage
- Adjustability/workability is high
- Ball marks on the face (can be cleaned off)
- No alignment aid on crown
- Less forgiving
Titleist TSi3 Rating: 5/5
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Titleist TSi Fairways Review
TaylorMade SIM Driver Review