The third and final generation of Titleist’s Speed Project has arrived, and it really is mission complete for the brand.
Their aim was to make themselves the tour preferred driver which was accomplished by the TSi, and judging by the demand for the TSR they’re not going to fall into second anytime soon.
The new Titleist TSR driver range was launched onto the professional tours in July, and managed to win on its first three outings including The Open Championship in the hands of Cameron Smith.
This review will be focusing on the TSR2 which replaces the TSi2. This was Titleist’s highest selling driver combining high forgiveness and high ball speed, and contributing to half of the company's driver sales...
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When they were first released, the TSi2 head was popular but the TSi3 was seen as a more 'aspirational' choice due to the vast number of tour players using it on our television every week.
Amateurs and lower standard professionals were being fitted into the TSi2 but still trying to force numbers out of a TSi3, which meant that the purchase rate was much higher than Titleist expected.
The biggest reason for this was because of looks - the TSi3 was much better looking than the TSi2 - and as a result, golfers had to give up looks if they wanted forgiveness. The TSR2 is addressing this issue.
Titleist say that the 'R' has four core meanings:
- Refined - this is the conclusion of the Speed Project, so the looks and technology are only changing slightly.
- Repeatable - a club which performs over and over again on the range and on the golf course.
- Reputation - the TS drivers have been number one on tour in the last three seasons, and nearly 50% of elite amateur males use it.
- Right - the right driver for a greater number of golfers.
The TSR2 has been refined rather than completely overhauled, and so the main change from the TSi2 is on the face. The Multi Plateau Variable Face technology is the same as in the TSR4 and differs in thickness across the face, which is built inward layer by layer.
This increases speed across the entire hitting surface and produces better forgiveness even on off-centre strikes.
The aerodynamics have been improved thanks to a boat tail shape on the back of the head and redesigned toe shape, which promotes faster clubhead speed and improves the look at address.
What makes the TSR2 stand out is its stability, and this is thanks to the CG being lowered and moved slightly forward to increase ball speed and maximise launch conditions for the ideal ball flight.
To summarise, Titleist have saved weight which has been repositioned to optimise CG placement, improved aerodynamics to decrease drag and a face which better suits golfers who don't always find the middle of the face.
What is also worth noting is that every driver and setting is now available for both left and right handers, whilst the SureFit hosel is the same as in all previous TS models so that you can change shafts easily.
Titleist TSR2 Driver Review
Looks and Feel
The family of TSR drivers look more alive than ever before, as the grey from the TSi2 has gone and so it's now even harder to tell the models apart.
Titleist are trying to move away from the number defining the golfer - they want us to say "I play a TSR driver" without using the number.
This time around the TSR2 is more softer in its shape and more rounded, moving it closer to the teardrop shape of the TSR3.
In my eyes it still looks like a very big footprint down by the ball, thanks to the extra weight being pushed right to the back of the clubhead to lower the CG and increase launch.
This shaping seemed to produce a little more draw-bias in the flight, although there wasn't the same feeling of vertical launch off the face as with the TSi2. I'd also say that the sound was louder than my current TSi3 driver aswell, although it did feel forgiving and this was shown by my smash factor being up at 1.50.
I visited the Titleist Performance Centre at Woburn GC to undergo a full day of TSR driver testing, hitting hundreds of shots with the Trackman launch monitor and Pro V1x balls to work out which of the new models was best for me and if they could beat my current TSi3.
I was seriously impressed with the smash factor I was producing during this test. 1.50 is said to be pretty optimal and I was consistently around 1.48 to 1.50 with the TSR2.
The ball speed I received from my 89mph swing speed was excellent and it will be really interesting to see what happens to golfers who have a little more speed than me but who don't hit the centre of the face as often. If my smash factor has improved then yours might well do too.
The carry distance was averaging at 206 yards, which was a few yards down on what I would ideally like due to the increased launch and increased spin.
There was a little bit of draw bias in this driver but the dispersion between my good and bad shots, both front to back (distance) and left to right (direction) was very tight. This is a very reliable driver.
Titleist TSR2 Driver Verdict
This is Titleist's most forgiving and efficient driver, with my smash factor hitting the 1.50 mark regularly. It produces consistent spin numbers and high launching drives with a bit of a draw bias. In other words, exactly what the majority of average golfers want.
This is the most improved looking head of the new family and it matched my TSi3 driver in performance which is pretty impressive. It was also far closer in performance and looks to the TSR3, which is what Titleist want from this new range.
I do have to remind you that this is the most expensive driver on the market at an RRP of £529 which is £10 more expensive than the previous TSi range, so it is a serious investment for your game.
If your driver is four or five years old you may see a decent improvement in distance and ball speed, but if you already have a TSi then you'll have to think long and hard about whether it is worth the extra cash.
Who Is It Aimed At?
Most golfers reading this review, from scratch handicap all the way up to the mid-twenties. If you're looking for more spin, launch, forgiveness and distance then this could be for you.
Would I Use It?
Because I strike the ball out of the middle of the face pretty consistently I think I'd benefit more from the Speed Ring on the TSR3 rather than the VFT on the TSR2.
My smash factor is generally pretty high and off-centre strikes were still tending to go further with the TSR3, plus I do prefer the look of it, so I would rather opt for the TSR3.
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