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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 a writer & the Digital Content Creation Lead for GolfWRX. He also hosts the "On Spec" Podcast on GolfWRX Radio discussing everything golf, including gear, technology, fitting, and course architecture. He is a club fitter & master club builder who has more than 16 years experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour professionals. He studied business and marketing at the Mohawk College in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and 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, including True Temper. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, from course architecture to physics, and share his passion for club building, 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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Equipment

Forum Thread of the Day: “Optimal bag setup for a high handicapper?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from rkillian who has opened up a discussion on the optimal bag setup for high handicappers. Here’s a look at rkillian’s current set-up: 

“Driver 9 degree head turned up to 2 to 11 degrees. I get my most consistent ball flight and distance from this setting. The 9 gave me the best numbers that day in the store but up 2 degrees works much better for me on the course – Total average is about 270 set like this”

“HL 3 Wood at 16.5 Degrees – total average is 235 off the tee, but I have hit some into the 250s. But I can’t hit it off the deck whatsoever. I get lucky sometimes when I try and hit it off a mat at the range but never off actual turf.

3 Hybrid 19 degrees – a well-struck shot will go nearly that same distance as my 3 wood maybe 220. But a well-struck shot with this club is the anomaly here.

4 Hybrid 22 degrees – I can hit this club pretty consistently 200 yards plus if I don’t chunk it and up to 220 total or more on the right hole from a tee.

5i-PW at 45 Degrees – I don’t hit my 5 iron consistently, but I am “ok” with my irons. My 8 iron is my 150-yard club when well struck.

Gw at 52 – This almost never gets used. It is about a 110-yard full swing, and I have found that I am never really at that yardage.

Sw at 56 – about 90-95 yards on a full swing but it can balloon on my and fall short. I am finding I don’t use it on full swings often though. Pretty much use it 80 yards and in.

and of course the 3-putt machine.”

Our members have been sharing their thoughts in our forums, with a range of interesting ideas suggested.

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.

  • jvincent: “You don’t talk about how long the various clubs are or what shafts are in them, so this is somewhat a guess based on what you have said above. Definitely drop the 3W in favour of a 4W or 5W. Since it looks like the driver is working for you, try to get the same model of shaft, but in a heavier version. Make sure that the length of the fairway wood you end up with is no longer than 42.5″. I’d recommend 42″. You don’t say if the current hybrids are the same brand or not, but if not, try to get a 3 that matches your 4. Again, shaft weight and length are important. A long hybrid that you can’t hit aren’t any good to you. I’d keep the 5i. I would add back the 52* wedge. At your skill level, not having to manufacture a partial swing is going to be better in the long run. Again, if it doesn’t match your irons at least try to get the same shaft weight and make sure it is the correct length.”
  • ChipNRun: “Two main observations: FW Shaft. Your 3W/HL may have a common problem with TaylorMade FWs: the shaft is too long. The 3W/HL has the same shaft length as a 3W, not a 4W. If you trimmed shaft back to 42.5″, this might help get you the better control of a 4W. (assuming swing weight does not get too light – you could have fitter tip-weight it if it feels too feathery.) Work with a fitter to see if a shorter shaft might help. Lessons!! Since you shoot about 96, you need to tweak your golf swing before you tweak your bag mix. Get a swing tune-up lesson, and see if the pro can figure out adjustments you can make to hit the ball better. A lesson or two can take you farther in a month than you can get on your own in a full season. It appears you are stuck in the mud: find a pro who can help pull you out. Then, practice what the pro tells you – and play some holes if weather permits – before your next lesson.”
  • mkuether: “Very interesting topic! Like many others who have already posted, I think we have a lot in common. My distances are very similar to yours, and your scores are similar to where I was about ten years ago. I also struggled with my longer irons, hybrids, and especially fairway woods. The good news is that I was able to find a set that worked for me and improve significantly. I am sure you can do the same. First, the #1 thing that has helped me has been to simply get clubs I was comfortable with. It took me a while to find a hybrid that really suited me, but once I did, it made a huge difference in my confidence. I ended up dropping my 5-wood entirely because I was just never confident with it, but a 19-degree hybrid was much better (for me). I also stopped trying to hit a 3-wood off the deck (I was terrible at it) and reserved it for the occasional shot off the tee where I felt driver was too much. My 3-wood doesn’t get a lot of use since in my case I’m simply more confident with my 460cc driver, and I can usually throttle back and hit that shorter when needed. Anyway, I’m not sure why I’m so much more confident with my hybrids now (who knows, maybe they just suit my eye), but the confidence really helps. I also avoid playing clubs with longer than average shafts (e.g. my driver is 44.5″) and I find that really helps my confidence and consistency. If you’re already having trouble with fairway woods, longer shafts are only going to make it worse. I would also try and learn to hit your shorter irons as distance clubs on full swings, that has helped me a lot too. Knowing that I have a consistent, full-swing shot that I can hit a consistent distance (or pretty close) down to about 80 yards has definitely helped my scores. You seem to play an incredibly short course for your overall distance so I can’t imagine that you’re getting that much use out of your longer clubs anyway. Just curious, do you enjoy playing a course that short? I find it more fun to play a slightly longer course where I have a variety of shorts in the greens, seems like you would be hitting driver/wedge on every hole unless you’re teeing off with shorter clubs on purpose. In any case, a golfer of your skill level (or mine) is going to be missing the green on most approaches with a wood or hybrid, so it probably makes more sense to work on optimizing the bottom half of your bag since you’ll need to get up and down a lot. Anyway, good luck improving. I’m sure a little experimentation with different clubs will go a long way towards feeling more confident and playing better.”
  • CapnSwagga: “I don’t write much here I’m not a writer its easy to have something profound to say but to be able to eloquently write it I have not these skills, but I’ll try to make my point, I myself played the same game constantly trapped in trying to figure out what equipment was for me. A close friend and golf professional helped me tremendously after a few rounds, and it wasn’t any advice on my swing or what my equipment should be it was simply: stop. Stop thinking, stop worrying, stop analyzing (although it is very important to analyze post swing). We get a wrapped up in the idea of what’s supposed to be right or work or what we see on TV and in reality the one simple principle “hit the ball” gets shrouded over. People will go on and on who makes the best clubs or ball or what shaft is going to work the best for you, but any golfer could pick up any piece of crap and knock it out there…off grass, turf, mats, tees or even a strippers **** it’s the confidence to do what is required without any additional thought. I don’t disagree with suggestions others made above and gapping your bag is also very vital, so I’m sorry if my comment goes slightly off your topic I think having a solid practice regime and dedication are truly the tools to become better at golf. Thanks for the read.”

Entire Thread: “Optimal bag set-up for a high handicapper?”

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Puma reveal the patriotic golf shoes Rickie Fowler, Gary Woodland, Bryson DeChambeau and Ernie Els will be wearing at the 2019 Presidents Cup

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Puma Golf has unveiled what its brand ambassadors, Rickie Fowler, Gary Woodland and Bryson DeChambeau will be wearing this week at the Presidents Cup, as well as the shoes the International Captain, Ernie Els, will be sporting at Royal Melbourne.

Woodland and DeChambeau will both don the brand’s new patriotic Pwradapt Star-Spangled shoes which feature an Old Glory inspired red, white and blue colorway incorporating stars and stripes throughout the design.

Puma Presidents Cup PWRADAPT Star Spangled

Puma Presidents Cup PWRADAPT Star Spangled

The shoes also contain a full-length Ignite foam midsole, designed to provide unparalleled comfort and energy return, and are available to purchase at PumaGolf.com and at retail.

Puma Presidents Cup PWRADAPT Star Spangled

Fowler will be debuting an exclusive-to-him, custom pair of Proadapts, which as you might expect, also showcase a red white and blue colorway.

Puma Rickie Fowler Presidents Cup PROADAPTS

Puma Rickie Fowler Presidents Cup PROADAPTS

For The Big Easy, Els will strut the grounds of Royal Melbourne as captain of the International side in Puma’s new limited-edition Ignite Nxt Presidents Cup shoes. The new additions feature design elements from the new International team logo, with a mostly black upper accented with gold hits, while a gold speckled midsole represents the gold trophy.

Puma Presidents Cup IGNITE NXT Presidents Cup

Puma Presidents Cup IGNITE NXT Presidents Cup

The Ignite Nxt Presidents Cup shoes also feature the International team logo on the tongue pull tabs, the outsole, and sockliner, while Els’ signature logo can be seen on the heel pull tab and inside of the tongue pull tab. These shoes are available to purchase now at PumaGolf.com and at retail.

Puma Presidents Cup IGNITE NXT Presidents Cup

Puma Presidents Cup IGNITE NXT Presidents Cup

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Equipment

2020 Wilson Golf Launch Pad woods, fairway woods, irons

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Wilson Staff has been helping golfers improve for more than 100 years, and they are going to be helping more golfers in 2020 with the introduction of the Launch Pad Family of woods and irons, along with a reimagining of an old favorite from the Wilson brand—the FY Club.

3, 2, 1 liftoff!

As much as we love watching professional golfers mash drivers and stop long irons like wedges, more than 80 percent of golfers in “the real world” will never break 100, but if you are in that category, Wilson Staff is here to help with the Launch Pad family. If the name gives anything away about the new Launch Pad series from Wilson Staff, it’s that they are meant to get up, and quickly! The entire line from the driver to the irons are targeted at the majority of regular golfers (10-plus handicaps) that struggle with creating height and gaining extra distance.

The idea behind helping golfers gain speed, height, and distance isn’t new, in fact it’s what most equipment companies are trying to achieve with each and every release—the reason being that most golfers still need help. If you don’t think that’s true because of the people you generally play golf with, go to a public driving range on a nice sunny day in July, and you’ll soon see that most golfers should probably try a set of clubs like this.

Here’s where Wilson gets is right when many don’t. New technology isn’t useful if A) it’s not affordable to the target market B) it’s not appealing to the eye. The Launch Pad series was designed from the top down to inspire confidence for higher handicap golfers by incorporating technologies that both work and are visually subtle. All of  these features together deliver the best possible shot-helping performance for the super game-improvement player.

2020 Wilson Launch Pad Driver and Fairway Woods

Say what you want about your own game, but most golfers really do struggle with trying to fix a slice.
The new Launch Pad Driver takes a modern approach to helping golfers by offering a discrete amount of offset hidden in the hosel of the club, 13 grams of mass positioned closer to the hosel near the heel to help with rate of rotation (closing the clubface), and, finally, a more upright lie angle. The lie angle is one of the biggest helpers since, just like with an iron, lie angle is one of the biggest contributors to initial launch direction (a launch monitor parameter): the more left you you start the ball, the less likely that ball can go right.

Another thing to note about the Wilson Launch Pad Driver is that at only 272 grams, it’s one of the lightest drivers on the market, regardless of price point. Lighter total weight translates into the opportunity for golfers to increase clubhead speed. Here’s the funny thing about clubhead speed: the more you have, the further the ball goes—physics!

The last piece of the Launch Pad driver puzzle is the new Variable Face Technology, which helps keep ball speeds higher on mishits. Just like with hitting a slice, every once in a while, you just might miss the sweet spot too.

The Launch Pad fairway woods, like the driver, are designed with a small amount of hosel offset and heel weighting to help golfers gain control and hit higher, straighter shots more often. The face of the Launch Pad fairway woods is built with a 455 carpenter stainless steel insert to make it thinner while retaining strength. This thinner hot face, increases feel and distance for the fairway woods, all while keeping a similar shape profile that carries from the driver.

Wilson Launch Pad Irons

Billy Joel said it best with the song “All about Sole”…or maybe it was soul? I’m not quite sure, but either way.  The most impactful design element of the new Launch Pad irons from Wilson is the Launch Pad Sole that runs throughout the entire set.

This sole is designed to hopefully eliminate “chunked” from the golfer’s vocabulary, while also helping improve launch at the same time. The short irons of the set feature traditional game-improvement-style widths that smoothly transition into wider, more forgiving soles as you go up in the set towards the longer irons. This wider deeper sole pushes mass lower in the head and further away from the face. This pushing of mass lower makes the ball go higher—physics, again!

There is one more thing about this sole that is it vital to its performance: increased bounce and camber. The Launch Pad irons have more bounce and a smooth camber from the leading to the trailing edge to help keep the leading edge above the dirt longer and help prevent the club from digging. The effectiveness of the bounce can be seen in the address position in how it keeps the leading edge up and helps “float” the face.

Like the Launch Pad woods, the irons are lightweight, which makes it easier to generate faster clubhead speed leading to longer higher flying shots. The irons also come stock with midsize grips to provide comfort and enhanced feel for greater confidence with every swing.

The FY Club

If the Wilson Staff FY Club sounds familiar, it should. Wilson introduced the original FY(brid) in the 2007/08 during the i7 era (Pi7, Ci7, Di7) as a middle club between a fairway wood and a hybrid. Technology has come along way since 2007, but just like with the classic Wilson R90 wedge, the Launch Pad FY Club proves that a good idea has staying power.

Wilson Labs testing showed a club with a 41” shaft matched with 19.5° of loft was the easiest-to-hit combination of loft and length for golfers that hold a handicap over 10, when looking at average swing speeds in the category, a single FY Club replaced the need for 3-irons, 3-hybrids and 7-woods all at the same time.

The FY club fits into a BIG problem spot for most golfers between the shortest fairway wood and the longest iron and helps reduce shot dispersion. Just like the fairway woods, the FY Club technology is face focused with the Carpenter Custom 455 Stainless Steel face insert to create ball speed.

“The process of creating the Launch Pad Driver, Fairway Woods and FY Club started with researching the swings of self-described slicers,” said Jon Pergande, Global Innovation Manager at Wilson Golf.

“Our goal is to help players stay in play more often than not and the visually subtle technologies in our Launch Pad Driver and Woods like the offset hosel and weight in the heel have done just that.”

Wilson Launch Pad Family: Specs and Availability

DRIVER

The Launch Pad Driver is available in both men’s and women’s options for only $299.99. It comes stock with the new UST-Mamiya Helium Series, and the Wilson Staff MicroLite Lamkin grip, which maintains the traditional feel in a super lightweight construction.

FAIRWAY WOODS

The Launch Pad Fairway Woods will be sold for $199.99 and are available in two loft options in both right and left-handed (15 and 18 degrees) with the same UST-Mamiya Helium Series shaft and Wilson Staff MicroLite Lamkin grip used on the driver.

The fairway woods will also be available as women’s clubs at a price of $199.99. The Launch Pad Fairway Woods for women will be available in two loft options (16 and 19 degrees) with the UST-Mamiya Helium Series shaft and Wilson Staff MicroLite Lamkin grip used on the Launch Pad Driver.

IRONS

The Launch Pad Irons will be offered with a lightweight KBS Tour 80 steel shaft or UST-Mamiya Recoil 460 graphite shaft, with both options featuring the traditional Wilson Staff 2 Crossline Midsized grip. The steel set is $699.99 while the graphite set starts at $799.99.

FY Club

The Launch Pad FY Club is available for $179.99 in right and left-hand options at 19.5-degree loft with the UST-Mamiya shaft and Wilson Staff Microlite grip. The FY Club will also be available for women in a RH option with 20.5-degree loft.

The entire Launch Pad family will be available for pre-order on Wilson.com starting December 17th and will be available at retail on Monday, January 13th.

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