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SPOTTED: Jason Dufner using a TaylorMade M4 driver in Hawaii

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Ahead of the 2018 Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii, we spotted Jason Dufner using a TaylorMade M4 driver, with what looks to be a Mitsubishi Tensei CK Orange shaft. This is noteworthy since Jason Dufner has been a Titleist equipment staffer throughout his career, and had a bag full of Titleist clubs when he won the Memorial in 2017 (which is how he qualified for the TOC).

In the photo above, we also noticed he was not wearing his typical Titleist hat. Hmm. But after reaching out to Titleist’s representatives, this makes more sense; he’s no longer in a contract to play Titleist golf clubs or wear its hats. He will, however, continue to play a Titleist Pro V1x.

“Jason Dufner is now a Ball, Shoe, Glove endorser for Titleist/FootJoy,” a Titleist representative told us.

We’ve also reached out to TaylorMade reps, who have yet to respond. That means we do not know whether Dufner has signed or is looking to sign with TaylorMade, or whether he’s a free agent and just using TaylorMade’s new M4 driver.

We’ll update this story with more information as it becomes available.

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Ole Tom

    Jan 7, 2018 at 10:42 am

    Red Neck!

  2. Bishop

    Jan 4, 2018 at 12:29 am

    He plays out of the same club I do and has been testing Mizuno from what I hear

    • Tad pierson

      Jan 4, 2018 at 11:24 am

      Mizuno Irons in Dufners bag this week! 900 Tour and MMC fli hi long iron!

  3. Bishop

    Jan 4, 2018 at 12:28 am

    Look out for Mizuno irons in his bag????????????

  4. Brian

    Jan 3, 2018 at 10:18 pm

    I like his 900 Tour Mizuno’s

  5. Joe

    Jan 3, 2018 at 3:51 pm

    If he signed a ball, shoe and glove deal with Titleist then he obviously plays a Titleist ball… you make it sound like that is a surprise?

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Top 5 strokes gained: around-the-greens 2020 and the wedges they used

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#5 Hideki Matusyama (.458% AVG, 27.951 SG) 


Wedges: Cleveland RTX Forged Prototype (52-10, 56-8 @57.5, 60-08 @62)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

#4 Brandt Snedeker (.514% AVG, 25.685 SG) 

Wedges: Callaway Mack Daddy 4 (52-10S, 56-10S) Vokey SM8 (60K)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

#3 Aaron Baddeley (.520% AVG, 19.257 SG) 

Wedges: Ping Glide 2.0 (52-12SS), Ping Glide (56-10), Titleist Vokey 260 (60-12, @59)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

#2 Rob Oppenheim (.536% AVG, 24.106 SG)

Wedges: Ping I210 UW (52) Ping Glide 2.0 Stealth (56-12SS, 60-10SS)
Shafts: Ping ZZ-65

#1 Jason Day (.632% AVG, 25.287 SG AVG) 

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 Satin (50-09SB, 54-11SB, 60-10SB)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

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GolfWRX Spotted: Titleist TSi4 on USGA Conforming List

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After all the excitement caused by the Titleist TSi2 and TSi3 driver and fairway woods, it didn’t take long for another Titleist TSi series driver to pop up on the USGA and R&A conforming club lists, and this time it’s the TSi4.

left-handed driver head from USGA list

Based on the entirety of the information provided in the submission, including the fact that it has been submitted both right and left-handed, leaves us to believe that along with the TSi2, and TSi3, which are currently going through the seeding process on the PGA and Korn Ferry Tours, the TSi4 will also be coming to retail in the near future.

If you remember last year in the spring of 2019, Titleist added the line extension of the TS1 and TS4 drivers to cater to further reaches of the fitting bell curve, for players that needed more launch and spin, and for those that needed further reduction respectively.

The line for the TS4 was simple—the smallest and lowest spinning member of the TS family of drivers. It reduced spin by an average of 300-400 RPM compared to the TS2 and TS3 drivers. All of this while also in a player preferred 430cc package. 

To achieve those kinds of dynamics, MOI of the driver’s head has to be sacrificed in favor of creating a low and forward center of gravity to create lower spin. The curious thing with the TSi4 is if Titleist engineers have been able to boost the head size to a full 460 and keep a similar profile or if they have reverted to a sub 460cc design to replicate the TS4’s mass properties and CG location in a new package with new technology to increase ball speed around the head and increase spin robustness.

Time will tell if and when this becomes available at retail, but based on this information, it’s most likely sooner rather than later.

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Wunder: Titleist TSi driver first impressions

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Three things I want to address before I kick this off.

  1. “Better, best” will not be addressed. It’s never about that these days only what works for me or you.
  2. I’m not adding TrackMan data to this for one simple reason: It doesn’t matter to me for a first impression. I can get lost in the data and ultimately it confuses my ability to just enjoy the sound feel and look of the driver. Obviously, the fitting was on TrackMan, but in the past, successful drivers for me started with the emotional part. Simply, do I like the thing? Can I look at it? Can I trust it? Can I hit shots with it? That’s it.
  3. When I say “spin this” and “spin that,” it’s always addressing a positive aspect.

On Tuesday of this week, I had the good fortune of visiting the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI in Oceanside, California) to do my TSi metal woods fitting. Won’t get too far into that, but essentially it’s golf heaven in every sense of the word. Like TaylorMade’s Kingdom or Callaway’s ECPC, TPI it’s a gearhead paradise.

Titleist Master Fitter Joey Saewitz (@thejoeysaewitz on IG) was my fitter and after hitting a few balls to warm up, we dug into my gamer driver that I adore.

Current Gamer Spec

TaylorMade SIM (9 degrees @ 8.5). Fujikura Ventus Black 6X (no tipping) 45 inches, D4, GolfPride BCT 58R

I have been constantly messing with my driver between new shafts, lofts, lie, etc. Since I’ve been playing a bit more this month, I’ve had the chance to work on my swing and the driver has been the last thing to come around. I’m working on decreasing dynamic loft through the bag and have not adjusted my driver to match. The point is, I’m hitting the driver solid but have lost a ton of height and spin to keep it in the air.

I’m saying this now because for key metrics I was at a deficiency because of the craftsman not his tools. The SIM I was fit into was/is excellent. So, as you read on, keep in mind that I knew that numbers-wise apples to apples my setup was vulnerable to getting beat out due to my tinkering.

Thoughts

My average numbers these days are are 105-108 mph swing speed, 155-160 mph ball speed, 14-degree launch, and 1,800-2,000 spin. At 43-years-old, when I’m hitting it solid I get a lot out of my driver. IF I’m swinging well, at my low spin, off days can be nauseating with the driver.

LOOKS

TSi3: If two of my favorite drivers 975D and R7 Superquad TP had a baby, the TSi3 would be it. Its flawless appearance-wise. The heel section gives it an onset look that the faders will love and the top line toe section is a bit rounded off to give it an open look without having to crank it open. Not the first time we have heard that but nonetheless, Titleist nailed it.

The face has a cool matte finish that I can’t get into yet, but it frames a white ball excellently.

TSi2: Like the TS2, it has that high-MOI shape, although I will say the top line and transitions are a bit softer on the eye. It’s a driver that looks like it just wants to go high and far. If I wanted to hit something as hard as I could that’s the shape I would look for.

Side note—the black shafts in the TSi3 are almost too cool to even look at—the closest thing to a Darth Vader golf club I have ever seen.

FEEL/SOUND

This is where they really figured it out. Titleist drivers in the past to my ear sounded good but not great. There was always an essence of ting that I couldn’t fall in love with. The TSi series fixed that in totality, like all the great drivers on the market in 2020 it has that hammerhead thud that I adore. When you crunch it, you literally hear crunch. At impact, however, it has a more compressiony (is that a word?) feel than its competitors. The comparison would be a one-piece forged feel vs a hollow body players iron. Both feel excellent but there is a difference. You can feel the ball squeeze into the face which I think most will notice and respond well to.

PERFORMANCE—Not going to compare it to my gamer as it’s not fair, I gear headed my gamer to the point of lunacy. I will only comment on what the TSi series did while testing.

TSi3: The biggest standout here was usable spin. I am not a high-spin player by any stretch, so if I can find a driver that gets me 2,100-2,200 consistently when I flush it, it’s a contender. For a player at my speed to sneak it out there with the big hitters, I have to launch it at 14 at 1,700 spin, and hope I’m aimed correctly. What I found with the TSi was I was getting that performance at 2,100-2,200, and if anything only giving up 2-3 yards all while doing it 5/10 times as opposed to 2/10.

What does all that jibberish add up to? Consistency and something I can play with. Is it longer than my gamer? I have no idea, but we will find out. What I know is I hit a bunch of really good shots with TSi3, and after I got going with it, it was point and shoot. Stable? Yes. Long? Yes. Forgiving? Yes. Playable? Yes.

TSi2: To be honest I only hit a few with the Tsi2 as its not my genre of music. What I can say is it feels apples to apples with the Tsi3, launches higher with a bit more spin, and goes really straight. No shocker there. The high MOI category has a bunch of contenders, and in my opinion, it’s a head weight game. Heavy is always better for stability.

The setup I landed on

I was fit into the (D4 SureFit setting 9 degrees @ 9.75, flat) however after testing a bit at home on course and range, I landed on the D1 setting, which I like. For whatever reason, I can play Tsi3 at 8.25 and still maintain height spin and it flew about five yards further.

Final setup

Driver: Titleist TSi3 (9 degrees @8.25, D1 SureFit, 44.5 inches, D4 swing weight)

Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 6 X (tipped 1)

Overall, the TSi Series drivers will be VERY popular but not for the reasons you would think. It’s playable, you can hit shots with it, that’s the mark of a GREAT golf club. It’s not all ball speeds and carry anymore in my opinion. This is a driver I can go out and play well with, that’s huge for a hack like me. In my experience, I can’t say that about a lot of drivers I’ve tried to make work in the last four to five years. That’s just me. Lots of great drivers every year but I’m a hard case and finding one that’s just right is a challenge.

Ultimately, for me, the best driver on the market is SIM hands down because it performs in the hitting bay and even better on the course—my hunch is Titleist has something that will do the same.

It’s a beautiful driver that I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know.

 

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