Titleist's new TSi range is taking the professional tours by storm. More than 100 players around the world have switched to new TSi2 and TSi3 fairways since they debuted on the PGA and European Tours in September, including Cameron Smith, Ian Poulter and Charles Howell III.
This is without even mentioning the whole host of non-contracted players who have chosen to play TSi models, as well as the likes of Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood and Jordan Spieth who have been spotted with a TSi driver too.
Titleist claim the TSi fairway woods are faster, straighter and easier to hit than ever before. The 'i' is for innovation and they have left no stone unturned in their quest for excellence.
What's It All About?
The key piece of technology which Titleist seem to be most excited by this year is the Active Recoil Channel, now in it's fourth generation, which are engineered to generate faster ball speeds and more distance true to the TS range.
The ARC 4.0 features a shorter channel wall than in previous iterations and this helps to create greater face flex at impact, in order to launch the ball off the face with high launch, low spin and increased speed. The new design also provides a 5g weight saving which is redistributed elsewhere in the head, raising MOI and improving forgiveness.
The high-speed VFT Face works alongside the ARC 4.0 in order to maximise ball speeds and forgiveness levels on strikes across the face. Titleist have also added a high-contrast face design which is said to highlight the centre of it, allowing for easy alignment at address.
Head shapes have been improved in order to tune aerodynamics so that clubhead speed is optimised from the top of the swing to the ball.
These come in the form of a softer toe profile which looks a little more square at address - something which has been requested from the Tour players.
The head weight has been optimised thanks to a refined crown and face thicknesses in order to lower the centre of gravity, producing a higher launch with lower spin rates whilst also raising MOI to improve forgiveness.
Finally, new SureFit CG Track Technology provides three new positions in the TSi3 - Toe (T), Neutral (N) and Heel (H) to alter the club's centre of gravity and help to fine-tune the ball flight.
This is all done whilst fitting flush into the club head so it doesn't affect turf interaction when hitting off the deck.
The TSi2 is aimed at maximum distance and forgiveness for players who want speed and accuracy right across the face, producing a higher launch with mid spin.
The TSi3 is for players who want slightly more precise performance and added workability thanks to the CG placement.
I went down to The Belfry for a custom fitting session with James Robinson for the TSi2 and TSi3 Fairway Woods. The fitting was done using the Trackman launch monitor with range balls until we found the fairway wood and shaft which I suited best.
I then hit Titleist ProV1 balls to get some more accurate data, before heading out on to the course for some real game testing.
"Our metalwoods engineers continue to find new ways to generate speed and distance in our fairway designs without giving up any of the performance characteristics that players demand from a Titleist golf club. TSi fairways are faster, straighter and easier-to-hit than ever - and deliver an experience at impact that many golfer would never expect from a fairway wood."
Josh Talge, Vice President of Titleist Golf Clubs
Titleist TSi2 Fairway Wood Review
The TSi2 fairway has a 175cc size head with the weight at the back of the head designed to help with launch, which I'm sure will be a reassuring sight for those of you who struggle to get a 3 wood up in the air consistently.
The head is elongated towards the back like the TSi2 Driver and the overall look in all black is pretty slick. You could even say Batman-like...
On the crown there is no alignment aid as such, just a TSi logo in the centre of the crown with the TSi2 logo on top left of the sole. If you've used Titleist woods for a number of years, looking down at the club at address and seeing the TSi logo instead of the usual triangle shape for alignment may take a little bit of getting used to.
I usually look for my 3 wood to carry over 190 yards as that is the gap between my driver and my hybrid, but throughout my career I'd say that it is the club which I have found hardest to hit from the deck, something which I think is pretty common for golfers with a swing speed and attack angle like mine.
I can honestly say that I have never hit a 3 wood so consistently well in a fitting! The strike, ball flight and shot shape were all exactly what I was looking for.
One shot I hit with the TSi2 got all the way up to 130mph ball speed, which is pretty much the same as what my driver was averaging on that day, and so it's great to know that I could squeeze a few extra yards out if I'm trying to reach on longer approach shots. It's also a pretty good indication that the new Active Recoil Channel is certainly helping to generate a little bit of extra heat off the face.
The ball speed numbers were consistently between 122mph and 128mph during the rest of the fitting, which shows excellent dispersion across the face. I usually suffer quite badly when striking a fairway wood right off the bottom - a common fault for lots of golfer - so it was really reassuring to see this.
Titleist say that the new technology produces a faster face which is more forgiving on off-centre strikes. I lost 5mph ball speed and around 10 yards carry from a heel strike, and 4mph ball speed and 7 yards carry from a toe strike.
I was pretty impressed by this as you'd expect that these shots would still creep on to the front edge of a green or hit a fairway without too much punishment, so the narrower misses were a definite bonus.
On The Course
Out on the golf course, I was worried that the TSi2 would suffer when hitting shots into the wind because of the higher launching characteristics but I was surprised with how consistent the flight was.
In the setting that I was fitted for I didn't find it particularly easy to shape, and the ball tended to stay on the same line that it started.
I'm sure some golfers will love that but I do like to be able to work the ball a bit so I tinkered with the SureFit hosel a little to test it out, and the difference between the A3 and C1 (the two most extreme) was around 15 yards from left to right, proving that it can help to promote a more pronounced shot shape if required.
Titleist TSi3 Fairway Wood Review
The TSi3 Fairway is also 175cc but seems slightly smaller in profile than the TSi2 with a slightly deeper face, although it is marginal and you only really start to notice the differences once you look closely.
There is the SureFit adjustment system in the sole but it has been cleverly designed so that no mud or grass will get stuck in the mechanism. It's a great piece of technology and I find it one of the easiest out there to use.
Like the TSi2, there is a TSi logo in place of an alignment aid on the crown, with the TSi3 logo on the bottom left of the sole.
Both of these fairway woods look fantastic and the curb appeal is right up there - I'd think you'd struggle to find a golfer who picks these up in the Pro Shop and doesn't like the design.
When I first started hitting the TSi3 I felt that it looked a little offset so we adjusted the hosel to flatten the lie angle, which helped to square up the face a little better and suited my eye more.
I think this kind of adjustment is important to me when it comes to woods, as my irons are 2 degrees flat and so I often struggle with pulling fairway woods as they tend to sit a little more upright - hence my love of the hybrid.
Numbers wise, the TSi3 just didn't perform quite as well as the TSi2 (and this continued out on the course as you'll hear in a moment) as the carry was down by a couple of yards thanks to a lower spin rate and launch. Usually I wouldn't mind a slightly lower ball flight but when I'm looking to get the ball up in the air nice and easily, the extra launch of the TSi2 seemed to work a little better.
On The Course
Testing the TSi3 out on the course, I found that the ball flight was a little flatter and the performance seemed to be a little less forgiving on strikes that weren't quite out of the middle.
When I caught it flush, it did probably fly a touch further than the TSi2 but I did notice that my overall consistency was down in terms of both strike and dispersion. It was good from the tee, which I expected, but I prefer to hit my driver from the tee so the launch from the fairway is more important to me and the TSi2 wins in that category.
Titleist TSi2 and TSi3 Fairway Woods Verdict
All in all the new TSi Fairways are a really impressive showing from Titleist. I usually struggle to pick my 3 wood off a tight lie as it tends to bounce when it hits the turf, or produce a strike at the bottom of the clubface, but I was really impressed with these.
I felt like both clubs were pretty similar during my fitting indoors, but once I got out and tested them on the golf course I realise that I preferred the TSi2's launch characteristics whilst still being workable, which proves that it's important to always try and test as thoroughly as you can.
In terms of numbers, the ball speed was actually very similar to the TaylorMade SIM Fairway which I tested earlier in the year and loved. The TSi2 performed well but looked even better in my opinion.
Would I Use Them?
I would absolutely use the TSi2, and having used the fairway for a few rounds at my local golf club I know that a few members are a bit jealous of me too!
The TSi range of fairway woods look and perform brilliantly, and so far they are my favourite fairways that I have tested during my time with Golfalot. I would recommend all of you to try them out.
Who Is It Aimed At?
I think most golfers will suit the TSi 2 fairway due to the launch capabilities and forgiveness across the face. The TSi3 is more suited to a better player who strikes it consistently, likes a penetrating ball flight and enjoys hitting 3 wood off the tee as a fairway finder.
Titleist TSi2 Fairway Pros
Looks incredible with a clean finish
Easy high launch
Adjustability of the hosel provides more options for fitters
Increased ball speed compared to my current fairway wood
Titleist TSi2 Fairway Cons
Titleist TSi3 Fairway Pros
Titleist TSi3 Fairway Cons
Less forgiving than TSi2
Face marks up easily
If you enjoyed this, you may also like:
Titleist TSi Drivers Review
Titleist TS2 & TS3 Fairway Woods Review