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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 in Hamilton 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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Whats in the Bag

Sebastian Munoz winning WITB: 2019 Sanderson Farms Championship

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Driver: Ping G400 LST (8.5 @9 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Yellow 6.5

3-wood: Callaway Epic Flash (15 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Yellow

Irons: Ping i200 (3), Ping i210 (4-PW)
Shafts: Graphite Design Tour AD-DI Hybrid 85X (3), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 (4-PW)

Wedges: Ping Glide 2.0 Stealth (50), Titleist Vokey Design SM7 sand (56, 60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Ping Sigma 2 Valor

Ball: Titleist Pro V1

Grips: Golf Pride Z Grip Cord

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Whats in the Bag

Danny Willet’s winning WITB: 2019 BMW PGA Championship

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Driver: Callaway Rogue (9 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana DF 60X

3-wood: Callaway Rogue (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana W 70X

Irons: Callaway Apex UT (18), Callaway X Forged (21), Callaway X Forged (5-9 iron)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold SuperLite X100

Wedges: Callaway Mack Daddy Forged (46 degrees), Callaway Mack Daddy 4 (50, 56, 60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Superlite X100

Putter: Odyssey Stroke Lab Tuttle

Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft X

Related to Danny Willett WITB

 

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Equipment

New Mizuno MP-20 irons now available at retail

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The 2019/2020 Mizuno MP-20 irons family, the next series of MP irons to connect golfers to the classic  “Mizuno Feel,” with four new models (MP20 Blade, MP-20 MMC, & MP20 HMB – Hot Metal Blade), are now available at retail.

The MP-20 series was born from tradition and the idea of creating the ultimate set of irons for every player. Mizuno has accomplished that goal with modern design and an attention to detail on every level with all three models. Speaking to the Mizuno tradition, and something they touched on when these were originally teased on social channels with #LayersOfFeel, Mizuno is going back in time to the TN-87s and reintroducing a copper underlay to their irons—all of them!

Mizuno MP20 iron copper underlay

“Mizuno Feel”

It is part of the golf vernacular. It’s ingrained in golf (nerd) culture—it’s a real thing.

But where does it comes from, how did it get here, what is it really, and how is it a component of 2019 Mizuno MP-20 irons?

I’m here to give you some answers and introduce you to MP-20 family of irons from Mizuno.

2019-mizuno-mp-20-irons-7-iron-

2019 Mizuno MP-20 irons: 7-iron

Born from tradition, and the idea of creating the ultimate set of irons for every player, the 2019 Mizuno MP-20 family is the next series of MP irons that will connect golfers to the “Mizuno Feel.” Speaking to tradition, and something I touched on when these were originally teased on social channels with #LayersOfFeel, Mizuno is going back in time to the TN-87s and reintroducing a copper underlay to their irons—all of them! (Before someone tries to correct me: yes, I realize that they have done this for more recent Japan market model)

What does this copper layer mean? Here’s the funny thing, even Mizuno has had a hard time trying to quantify it. Through multiple rounds of extensive blind prototype testing with all of their staff players, the irons with a copper underlay won on feel EVERY SINGLE TIME! How’s that for dominance?

But why? They are truly still trying to 100 percent figure that out. Mizuno has used its HIT (Harmonic Impact Technology), metallurgy analysis, and every test it can to try and figure out why. Engineers even went as far as trying to prove the hypothesis the copper underlay “feel” was based on nostalgia but time and time again Cu won in blind testing. At the end day, the human element was still the deciding factor because humans are the ones that ultimately hit shots.

2019-mizuno-mp-20-7-iron-address

2019 Mizuno MP-20 irons

This brings us to the flagship MP-20 (Blade) (The Ultimate Tour Blade as described by Mizuno’s Product Manager & Engineer Chris Voshall). Evolving from the tradition built into the MP-18, and taking design cues from historic models like the TN 87 and MP14, the MP20s provide more flow throughout the set from top to bottom leading to even more control over ball flight. This flow also increases forgiveness (please remember it’s still a blade) and launch in the longer irons, with an increased ability to flight the ball in the scoring clubs…all of this AND a thinner top line.

Now about that top line: it’s an extremely important part of the look of the club, but what many don’t realize is it also plays a big role in feel and acoustics too. Let’s simplify for a moment: think of a clubhead like hunk of metal—a cube—now when you hit that thick piece of metal on something it doesn’t reverberate much and when it does, it’s at a different frequency making it sound heavy and “thuddy,” or as some would say, SOLID.

2019-mizuno-mp-20-7-iron-face

Now imagine if that same piece of metal, and same mass, was stretched out like a saw blade. Have you ever hit something with the side of a large saw blade? It’s wobbly, loud, and generally unpleasant, that’s what happens when an unsupported part of a club gets too thin, it acts like an amplifier of bad sound, creating terrible feel. By blending a small channel (think MP5) with the classic looks of yesteryear you get a club that feels and performs like no Mizuno before it, and as I said, with a thinner look from address.

What’s all this talk of “Flow”?

Center of gravity and mass placement (or as a Mizuno Engineer explained to me “Vertical Moment of Inertia”). Since each club is designed individually, you need the center of gravity to shift throughout the set to help control launch/trajectory (or “traj” as the kids say), and make sure spin is also at an optimal level.

For the MP-20, it means long irons that are “easier” to hit (air quotes, because like I said before, it’s still a blade), and short irons that can be more easily flighted lower with greater spin and control. Just like with the MP-18s, Mizuno is keeping with the continuous reduced blade length into the short irons for a look preferred by better players and for improved grass and turf interaction.

But What About the Rest?

You might have noticed off the top I called it the “MP-20 Family.” Here’s why: In golf, like with any other industry, data is important. But it’s only as good as you use it and well…let’s just say Mizuno has been paying close attention to how golfers and fitters have been making combo sets over the last few years. It’s all about understanding what golfers really need and thanks to some proprietary data they went even deeper when it comes to designing each and every iron in this family to make sure its performance is maximized. This is why I continue to emphasize how each set has a flow—to make sure each club in your bag is just right for you. Now to introduce you to the rest of the family members…

2019 Mizuno MP20 MMC irons (Multi-Material Construction)

2019-mizuno-mmc-irons-1

2019 Mizuno MP-20 MMC irons: 7-iron

I know, you think you’ve heard this story before but…NOT LIKE THIS!

The new MP-20 MMC is a BIG shift in design, not just because of the Cu underlay, but a radical change in how the whole club is put together. I know it sounds very “big biz,” but in the world of manufacturing it truly comes down to how “parts” are manufactured. Now, with Mizuno, I will reiterate a well-known story. All of its forged irons are single-sourced from one foundry (Chuo) in Japan through a handshake agreement that has been in place for decades.

Now back to the MMC. Before the MP-20 the MMC always had one tiny design difficulty (not a bad one, just a truth) and that was the titanium piece in the back was the same size throughout the whole set. This lead to a set with almost constant sole width. That doesn’t mean previous generations were constructed poorly, but it just means there were improvements that could be made to how the set flowed (there’s that word again) from top to bottom…which leads us to the tech story.

2019-mizuno-mp-20-mmc-irons-3

For the first time in the MMC’d life, the titanium piece of the iron will actually vary in mass depending on the club. It will be broken up in the middle of the set to allow better CG placement, and like its blade cousin, improved turf interaction in the shorter irons.

What is also very cool from a build and engineering perspective is the way the titanium gets into the club in the first place. Here we go down a metallurgy rabbit hole, buckle up…

  • Titanium has a mass density (rounded) of 4.5 g/cm3 – cubed
  • Carbon steel has a mass density of (rounded) 7.9 g/cm3 – cubed

That means that from every cubed cm of steel volume you replace with titanium in the head, you save 3.4g… which might not seem like much, but in a 4-iron for example that has an average mass of 248g for (4) cm3 you save 13.6g or just over five percent. I realize this is DEEP into the mass property weeds, but when you think of what a club head weights and how every half percentage point matters, five percent is a lot! That’s more forgiveness, more MOI, more spin control, and overall better performance.

2019-mizuno-mp-20-mmc-irons-3

What is also very cool is all of these parts (titanium and tungsten) have ZERO chemical bond—no epoxy. They all fit snug based on the shrinkage rates of the different materials. Ti & W( tungsten – W comes from the ore Wolframite) shrinks less than the steel so as the steel cools around the titanium and tungsten pieces it creates a mechanical (solid) bond.

All of this together adds up to an iron that looks smaller than the previous version, offers more “flow” in CG, something we mentioned earlier that creates more forgiveness and control throughout the set, and at the end of the day it means a better-engineered version than the one before it.

Hot Metal 2019 Mizuno MP-20 HMB irons

YES…you read that correctly. Mizuno is bringing Hot Metal tech to the MP line!

A hollow body blade looking iron using the same strong yet highly flexible Chromoloy material as the 919 Hot Metals except this time forged to create an iron like they never have before. The look and shape of a blade the speed of a Hot Metal.

Let’s break things down.

The look is clean as clean can be, from there the face of the HMB is thin and fast, while hidden inside the back of the club is complex geometry for both acoustics and precisely positioning mass. These will be the replacement for the MMC Fli-His but unlike that set, only going to the 6-iron, the new HMB will go all the way to the pitching wedge.

What is also different for the HMB vs. the MMC Fli-Hi is the way tungsten is used in the head to create different impact dynamics. The Fli-Hi had all the tungsten (20g worth) in one place in the head (low and towards the toe). The CG was still located right in the middle but through in-depth testing some players found that the Fli-Hi was a more difficult club to turn over and draw.

2019-mizuno-mp-20-hmb-irons

To improve the workability of the new HMB, the Tungsten was split into two 12g pieces (four more grams than previous Fli-Hi) and positioned into precisely formed pockets on the heel and toe in the back of the club. This allows the unsupported face to flex and makes the club more workable while still maintaining all the forgiveness you would expect from a hollow body iron built for speed. Seriously who doesn’t like the sound of that?

Since the new HMB is a full set and not just long irons, there is more to the tech story… here is comes… better flow and CG positioning throughout the set. This is hugely important for the mid and short irons where loft is already going to create spin so controlling ball flight and traj on approach shots is vital for scoring better.

This is again where the MP-20 Family discussion comes into play. Mizuno knows they are going to sell a lot more HMB long irons vs. blade and MMC long irons, so the entire family is designed holistically for every player to find each and every head that optimizes them on the course.

The Full Package

Like with previous generations going back almost a decade, Mizuno is keeping its industry-leading matrix of shaft and grip options available at NO upcharge. BUT… based on the growing demand for more exotic options the newly expanded shaft line up will include a few shafts that will come with a slight upcharge.

Whatever you end up being fit for, it’s important to realize that there has never been family of Mizuno irons designed like this, which could also mean you could be bringing home some new family members soon.

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