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Titleist TS4: It’s all about spin

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Today is the day. Titleist has released the newest addition to the TS lineup; the Titleist TS4 is on tour at the Valero Texas Open now and is slated to hit retail in late June.

What is the TS4 and how does it differ from the TS2 and TS3? Let me give you the in-depth tech details directly from Titleist.

The TS4 is the newest, smallest and lowest spinning member of the TS family of drivers. Designed for a core group of players looking to further reduce spin but maintain the fastest legal ball speeds Titleist has ever achieved. In company testing, the TS4 reduces 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. The appearance from address is a throwback to the traditional pear shape that made Titleist drivers what they are today — but beyond the shape, there is nothing classic about the technology packed into this 430cc titanium weapon.

Utilizing the same speed chassis and ultra-thin crown as other members of the TS family to maximize discretionary weight, the R&D team was able to move the CG (center of gravity) five millimeters closer to the face. Sure five millimeters seems like a small number when maybe talking about a 550-yard par 5, but in the world of golf club engineering, it’s big news and a LOT of movement. As we have seen before, moving CG closer to the face will make the driver lower spinning and a lot more workable.

With the Titleist TS4, you get the same Sure-Fit flat weight adjustability as the Ts2 driver but in a forward configuration, and a .75 degree SureFit hosel.

Now to the inside story.

This driver was five years in the making, dating back to the original 915 D4, which offered the same small footprint and spin reduction BUT as admitted by Titleist — not peak ball speeds that they would have wanted. Not to say the D4 was slow, but it took a real keen player to maximize the club’s potential. What will also be different this time around compared to the D4 is that this is a 100 percent full rollout, including retail.

You will soon be seeing these in shops and available through custom fitting studios, unlike the D4, which was part of an exclusive MOTO (Made Only To Order) program, which made the D4 difficult to add to your arsenal. MOTO was also home to the original 716 T-MB’s, which should be noted, as the club series now has a full-time place in the line up with the 718 T-MB.

Availability

Starting June 27, you will be able to order the TS4 from your local Titleist account and they should be available for fittings a few weeks before that.

Golfers can choose from the same four aftermarket shaft models as TS2 and TS3: Project X EvenFlow T1100 White 65, Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black 60, Mitsubishi Tensei AV Blue 55, and Mitsubishi Kuro Kage Black Dual Core 50.

Update: In-hand photos of Jimmy Walker’s TS4 from the Valero Texas Open

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Ryan Barath is part of the Digital Content Creation Team for GolfWRX. He hosts the "On Spec" Podcast on the GolfWRX Radio Network which focuses on discussing everything golf, including gear, technology, fitting, and course architecture. He is a club-fitter & master club builder with more than 17 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. He is the former Build Shop Manager & Social Media Coordinator for Modern Golf. He now works independently from his home shop and is a member of advisory panels to a select number of golf equipment manufacturers. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, and share his passion for club building, course architecture and wedge grinding.

25 Comments

25 Comments

  1. Skeptic

    Apr 25, 2019 at 1:13 pm

    What pear shape? I don’t see it.

  2. Scott Francis

    Apr 20, 2019 at 4:59 pm

    So I dont understand why TItleist doesnt put a weight also in the nack A LA Callaway and Cobra. COuld be a small Triangular weight so if you wanted could move heavier weight back or front. Bad move on their part.

  3. Gunter Eisenberg

    Apr 5, 2019 at 5:02 pm

    Reminds me a lot of the R9 Superdeep.

  4. Bill O.

    Apr 1, 2019 at 8:30 pm

    Been looking for a smaller driver head. Still using a Callaway XR16. Those 460 cc heads just look too big for me. This is great news. I’ll make it work.

  5. Moses

    Apr 1, 2019 at 4:53 pm

    Been there done that with the D4. I don’t need 5 extra yards. I need more fairways

  6. Jack Nash

    Apr 1, 2019 at 4:37 pm

    Still the nicest looking head on the market

  7. jgpl001

    Apr 1, 2019 at 3:57 pm

    Beautiful looking head, but options of a Tensei 65g Blue and a 50g Kuro Kage ?

    What clown put these options together????

    Totally counterproductive

    • F

      Apr 1, 2019 at 4:13 pm

      Because they had loads of shafts left in the warehouse and so they were free

    • Jack Nash

      Apr 1, 2019 at 4:36 pm

      There’s a ton of shafts out there. You could change it yourself. It ain’t that hard. Their testing said those were the shafts with best results. Like they say, your results may vary.

      • Jack Nash Jr.

        Apr 15, 2019 at 3:32 pm

        I guarantee you his results varied.

  8. chad

    Apr 1, 2019 at 3:38 pm

    April fools?

  9. Bob

    Apr 1, 2019 at 3:06 pm

    Is the TS4 only for high swing speeds (100+)? I prefer the smaller head (430cc) with a flexible regular shaft, is that a combo that could work with this head?

    • srooch2

      Apr 1, 2019 at 9:58 pm

      That will work fine, also loft up will help

  10. Ray

    Apr 1, 2019 at 1:08 pm

    Smart move on titleist’s part. They have been known for higher spin compared to TM

  11. C

    Apr 1, 2019 at 10:38 am

    What’s the price?

  12. jason

    Apr 1, 2019 at 10:35 am

    This is weird. Golfers are truly obsessing about low spin. It’s reached a point this year where drivers have become too low spinning for 95% of players. Im a low single digit with 110-112mph clubbed speed and I cannot keep the TS3, FlashSZ, more M5 (all 9-9.5°) in the air. For the first time ever I’ve had to go to 10.5 I drivers, and in the M5 I had to ALSO move the weights back to the tail.

    People need to get back to focusing on 2400 spin. Some guys are trying to get to 1500-1600. That’s not reasonable when you’re launch angle is 14.

    • Foolitsa Prilone

      Apr 1, 2019 at 11:00 am

      Oh Jason…

    • dave

      Apr 1, 2019 at 12:41 pm

      im also right at 112….and i cannot find a shaft head combo to keep the flash sub zero or the f9 below 2700 consistently. even with baby draws….currently on smoke 6.0 tipped an inch. tried atmos black 7s 6x tipped untipped, black tie x, xlr8 x, paderson x, thats in each head reduced to lowest loft…if i hit a slight fade its 3300 275 carry…everyone is different.

      • Jack Nash Jr.

        Apr 15, 2019 at 3:36 pm

        You and Jason should focus on golf and not stats.

        You can get all the numbers just right and still stink.

    • STG

      Apr 1, 2019 at 3:15 pm

      Stop hitting the lower spin heads then Jason. TS2 will work better.

    • Scott Francis

      Apr 17, 2019 at 4:19 pm

      At 110-112 Swing speed which is what Rick Shiels is at you cant keep in the air? Shiels loved the TS3 even moreso than the TS2

  13. Matt A

    Apr 1, 2019 at 10:29 am

    Damnit I JUST bought an Epic Flash to replace my TS2 because that TS2 spun up too much – and I wanted to stick with Titleist.

  14. Travis

    Apr 1, 2019 at 10:07 am

    And 6 months after this the TS 5/6 will be out!

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What GolfWRXers are saying about the best “5-woods under $125”

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@golfexchangeapp

In our forums, our members have been discussing 5-woods, with WRXer ‘gary3aces’ looking for a 5-wood for between $100 and $125. He’s looking to replace his current “M2 5 wood with something a little easier to hit”, and our members have been discussing the best options in our forum.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • C6 Snowboarder: “Take a look at a used Callaway Heavenwood in the Epic Flash model = pretty Friggen sweet. It is Heaven!”
  • Golf64: “Bang for the buck, hard to beat Cobra, but find Ping one of the easiest to hit off the deck. Since you are limited in the funds dept., maybe an older model Ping 5W would do the trick?!”
  • tilasan1: “G400 7 wood turned down or just use it as is.”
  • jbandalo: “Fusion fairways. Highly underrated, cheap, easy to hit and go for miles.”
  • RyanBarathWRX: “PING G fairway would be hard to beat and easily in price range:
  • Nelson.br.1515: “Another vote for the Callaway Big Bertha Fusion. Great stick!”

Entire Thread: Best 5-woods under $125″

 

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What GolfWRXers are saying about “blending Ping i500 irons with Blueprints”

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In our forums, WRXer ‘ballywho27’ has asked for thoughts on combining his current Ping i500 irons with the brand’s Blueprint irons. ‘Ballywho27’ is considering going “i500 in 3-4 iron and blueprint 5-W” and has asked for fellow member’s thoughts on the idea – who have been sharing their takes in our forum.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • jblough99: “I had a combo set for a minute, 3-5 I500 and 6-PW Blueprint. I could not get used to the transition, HUGE difference in looks at address. If I had it to do over I would just go 4-PW Blueprint and maybe a 3 I500 with graphite shaft as a driving, iron.”
  • animalgolfs: “iBlade{5i} – BP{6i-pw}. That’s my combo.”
  • Chunky: “I have i500 4-5 and Blueprints 6-PW. As mentioned above, there is a significantly different look at address. More importantly for me, the i500s are 1/2 to 1 club longer than the BPs (they fly much higher, too). Make sure you account for that added i500 distance when blending lofts or you’ll have a large gap.”
  • howeber: “I’ve done that exact set — 3 and 4 i500 and 5-PW Blueprint. It’s perfect for me since the 3 and 4 are more like a traditional 2 and 3.5. 4 is usually the longest iron I carry, so I like a little extra oomph out of it. At the end of the day though, when I finally tested them vs my MP4s, the Blueprints performed identically, while the i500 launched a little higher (same specs same shafts). Mizzys are still in the bag.”

Entire Thread: “Blending Ping i500 irons with Blueprints”

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GolfWRX Vault: Avoid these 5 club building disasters

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It’s never too late to go back to basics, especially when it comes to club building.

Even with modern new club release cycles the do’s and don’ts of building clubs haven’t changed much in the last few decades except for clubs with adapter sleeves and greater amounts of multi-materials incorporated into the design.

With that in mind its time to revisit an article from the GolfWRX Vault from June 2016.

——————

I’ve been fitting and building golf clubs for more than 15 years, and in that time I’ve seen a lot of really poor workmanship—stuff that would make most GolfWRXers cringe. But like anyone who ever did anything new, I didn’t start being naturally good at putting together clubs. It took a lot of time, ruined components, and trial and error to get where I am today.

I believe my attention to detail now stems from the fact that my dad was a machinist by trade, and anytime we ever worked on something together his attitude was to take your time and do it right the first time. My dad’s approach always had an impact on me, because I feel that if you do something right — even when it takes a bit longer — the job is not only more satisfying but also makes things work better and last longer.

The goal with this article is to help WRXers avoid the most common mistakes and assumptions in club building that lead to broken or ruined clubs, as well as real danger.

Over-prepping a graphite shaft

The shaft on the left has been prepped properly. The one of the right, which has noticeable taper, shows signs that layers of graphite have been removed.

This happens far more than it should, and can ruin an expensive new shaft purchase. To prepare a shaft properly for installation, you only need to remove enough of the paint to make sure that the epoxy adheres to the graphite. This is also true for the inside of the hosel.

Be careful to remove residual epoxy, dirt or rust (common with forged carbon steel club heads that have been sitting around for a while), or some type or solvent like the one used to put on grips, as it can cause of bond to break down very quickly. A proper reaming tool, a wire brush and some compressed air (either a small can or a large air compressor) can make cleaning simple, and prevent a golf club from falling apart.

UPDATE: Over prepping specifically applies to shafts that are designed to go into parallel heads and is especially important for 335 shafts with less material at the tip going into drivers and fairway woods. For information on how to properly taper a shaft to go into a tapered head, check out the video below:

Overheating a Shaft When Pulling it

This is what happens to a graphite shaft when overheated.

This is what happens to a graphite shaft when overheated, and the resin holding the graphite sheets together breaks down. It’s not always as noticeable, but if the shaft starts to fray it means the bonds have been compromised and it’s more likely to fail. 

Overheating a shaft when pulling it is another common mistake that can result in ruining a golf shaft. It also highly increases the chance of breakage. There are quite a few methods I’ve learned over the years to remove a shaft from a club head, from heat guns to large propane torches, but personally I find that using a small butane torch with a regulator for graphite offers the best results. It allows a club builder to easily control and focus the heat only where it’s needed. Bigger torches are fine for iron heads, as long as you don’t damage any plastic badges in the cavity or materials in slots around the head.

One of the best advances in club technology has been the invention and mass adoption of adjustable hosels. They not only help golfers adjust the loft, lie and face angle of club heads, but have also greatly decreased the need to pull shafts. So as long as a golfer is staying with the same metal wood manufacturer, they can usually test several different clubs heads with the same shaft, or vice versa — several different shafts with the same clubhead.

That being said, one of the most important tools that any hobbyist club builder should have or have access to is a high-quality shaft puller. It’s a necessary tool for anyone who wants to do repairs and helps prevent damage to a shaft while pulling it. The more linear pressure that can be applied to the clubhead, and the less heat used to break down the epoxy, the better. It makes sure both the shaft and the head are reusable in the future. For steel shafts, you can use a bit more heat, and twisting isn’t a problem. Again, with increased heat, be careful not to damage any of the badging, or permanently discolor an iron head.

Botching a Grip Installation

Using calipers and two-sided tape, you can replicate the taper of shafts to makes every grip feel exactly the same size in your set.

Using calipers and two-sided tape, you can replicate the taper of shafts to makes every grip feel exactly the same size in your set.

This one seems simple, but when really getting down to professional level detail, it is quite important. We ALL have a preference and different opinion of what feels good in a golf grip, as well as different sensitivities. For example, we all have the ability to figure out what apple is bigger, even if blindfolded because over time we all develop brain function to understand shapes and sizes. This also applies to grips. If you use the same grips on your 13 clubs, you could potentially have 4-5 different final sizes depending on how many different types of shafts you use, because many shafts have different butt diameters.

Some shafts have larger butt diameters, while others taper faster than others. That’s why it’s very important to own a quality set of vernier calipers, and know how to properly use them. It’s also the same for putters, since many putter shafts are smaller in diameter. I have lost count of how many times I’ve had people bring me, putters, where the bottom half of the grip is twisting and turning because the installer never paid attention to the interior diameter of the grip, the exterior diameter of the shaft, and how it changed from top to bottom.

Using epoxy that’s doomed to fail

An example of epoxy that although not completely set, is no longer safe for assembling clubs.

An example of epoxy that although not completely set, is no longer safe for assembling clubs.

I’m a bit of a physics nerd and garage engineer, so this is one of those topics that goes beyond just the physical aspects of club building and into the realm of chemistry.

Here comes my nerd-out moment: In the simplest of explanations for a 0.335-inch driver hosel with an insertion depth of 1.25 inches, the amount of calculated surface area the epoxy can bond between the shaft and the head using the internal dimensions of the head is 1.49 square inches. That’s not a whole lot of area when you consider the centrifugal force being applied to a driver head traveling at 100 mph, and then the forces of torque that also come into play when a shot is struck.

In a PERFECT world, almost zero torque is applied to a shaft when a shot is hit on the center of gravity (CG) of the club head, perfectly aligned with the center mass of the ball, while traveling in the intended direction. This is vectors 101 of physics. Unfortunately, almost every single shot is NOT hit like that, and this is where the epoxy bond is put under the most amount of stress. Lap shear strength of epoxy goes beyond me, but it proves that building a golf club is not just cut and glue after all.

Note: For those of you curious, the most popular epoxies are rated for 4500 psi. 

As far are actually working with epoxy, first things first. Always check to see if the epoxy has a best-before date (yep, just like milk). Also, never store epoxy in direct sunlight. If you are using epoxy from a tube in a dispensing gun, you are using what is an almost foolproof method. Plunge out the necessary amount, mix for about a minute (mix! don’t whip), and remember, the less air that gets into the epoxy the better. If air gets in and the epoxy cures with bubbles in it, then you end up with a club that will often “creak.”

For those using two parts in larger bottles, the best way to ensure proper ratios is to pay attention to the weight ratio rather than volume. This isn’t arts and crafts; it’s chemistry, so by using the weight to calculate the ratio you will get the right amount of each part every time, and help decrease the risk of failure down the road. If you have mixed a larger batch and plan on building quite a few clubs at a time, you really have to pay attention to the consistency and viscosity as time goes on. You don’t want to glue a club head with epoxy that has started to set.

Turning an Extension into a Shank

The difference between a good shaft extension (bottom) and a bad one.

The difference between a good shaft extension (bottom) and a bad one.

This is one of those subjects I don’t even like to talk about. I very much dislike using extensions when building clubs, especially clubs with graphite shafts. Going back to my “do-it-right-the-first-time” mentality, extensions are a Band-Aid fix to a problem that requires surgery. They also counter-balance the club, and by their very nature create a weak point because of the small wall thickness at the butt end of a shaft. The only clubs I don’t mind extending on a regular basis are putters since they are never put under the same level of stress as a club being swung at full speed. I also never extend a club more than 1 inch, because I have been witness to horror stories of clubs that have been overextended that not only break but rip through the grip and cut people’s hands very badly.

If you are going to extend a club, it’s important to make sure the fit is very snug and doesn’t cause the extension to lean in any direction. It’s also best to have the epoxied extension cure with the club on its side to avoid an excess epoxy from running down the shaft and breaking off and causing a rattle.

 

 

 

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