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2021 Titleist TSi2 and TSi3 drivers continue the Titleist Speed Project

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The new 2021 Titleist TSi2 and TSi3 drivers are all about getting more distance more oftenand the engineering team behind the TSi Series have exhausted every possible avenue to build the fastest, longest, and most consistent drivers they have ever put into the hands of golfers.

But, before we get to what’s new, we have to take a look back. The Titleist TSi Series drivers build on the unprecedented success of the original TS Series, which were kicked off with the introduction of the TS2 and TS3—the first drivers to come from what Titleist calls its “Titleist Speed” Project (in case you were curious what TS stands for). This resulted in Titleist forever changing the way they design and build their drivers, with the TS Series having 20-percent thinner crowns and faces six grams lighter than the previous models.

These changes and engineering breakthroughs immediately thrust Titleist into the conversation around the fastest drivers on the market, and forever did away with the old “they’re really good but not the longest” stereotype.

This “new boundary-pushing Titleist” is no accident either. Since 2008, the golf club R&D department has gone from 13 engineers and designers to over 70—that means more brainpower focused on each individual project, which in turn results in more people time per product category and better golf clubs.  

Titleist’s driver evolution – From “concept” to reality

As much as the conversation around the new TSi2 and TSi3 drivers is about the evolution from the original TS Series, the truth is it really started years before that with the C16 (“C” standing for Concept and 16, its year of release, 2016 ). It was the first time Titleist introduced to consumers what it called a “no holds barred approach to design and materials”—a true “if we build it, they will come” line of clubs. The C16 driver alone debuted with a $1,000 price tag…and quickly sold out.

For Titleist and its team of engineers, it allowed them to remove the reigns of cost and do whatever it takes to push manufacturing and material technologies in search of ultimate performance. Looking back on the C16 driver now, even then they were dropping hints about future designs.

“These clubs are previews of what’s to come. Maybe not in the next generation. Maybe in two generations.” – Titleist on the C16 series.

The C16 driver gave us SureFit adjustable CG (center of gravity) weighting, which became part of the full retail line in within a year with the launch of the 917D3—and here’s the big one: an ultra-thin, ATI-425 Titanium Crown, the first driver to use this super-strong patented material in the golf club space.

Titleist TSi2 and TSi3 drivers

The “i” is for “innovation”

Titleist’s ATI-425 Titanium face

Titleist has enjoyed using extra letters to denote key features of some of its newest models—the most recent is the T100s with the “S” standing for both “strong” and “speed.” The “i” in TSi is no different but it has a few more meanings attached beyond the obvious “innovation.”

Inertia

Both of the new TSi Series drivers have boosted MOI over the previous generation beyond the traditional heel and toe forgiveness.

Engineers spent a huge amount of time figuring out a way to make the drivers more stable higher and lower on the face to help boost “high-low” MOI to create smaller launch windows and greater spin robustness. Spin robustness is a term we will continue to hear more about since driver faces can’t get any faster (off the middle), per the rules of golf, but enhancing a club’s ability to generate tighter spin robustness creates more consistent numbers and smaller standard deviation from optimal conditions.

The now 2 generations old 917 Series with ARC on sole

This was achieved in previous generations of Titleist drivers with ARC (Active Recoil Channel), to aid shots hit lower on the face, but it required the use of extra material which was able to be eliminated with the launch of the TS. In essence, Titleist engineered it obsolete for use in their drivers.

According to Titleist, the TSi2 has an improved high/low inertia of 13 percent, while the TSi3 comes in at 10 percent. In the world of engineering, single percent advancements are considered a big step so for Titleist to hit double digits on both products should be considered a big leap.

The final part of the inertial story is about shaping—for both speed and altering the internal weight properties of both drivers to make them more forgiving. Shaping is less a technology component and more about the overall design because when it comes to manufacturing a driver head, adjusting the shape doesn’t add cost—engineers call this “free technology.”

The weight saving and reshaping resulted in lower, deeper centers of gravity for both heads, which when taken out into the real world for testing creates more dynamic loft—this is why for the TSi Series drivers the lofts have all been strengthened by 1/2 degree to help maintain proper launch windows.

The reshaping also created a 15-percent reduction in total drag around the head thanks to improved aerodynamics. Truly no detail has been overlooked.

Impact

The Tsi2 and TSi3 drivers utilize ATI-425 titanium for the face insert, allowing engineers to once again make the faces thinner to reduce weight while also increasing the overall elasticity for better ball speed retainment. ATI is also known as Allegheny Technologies Incorporated, and you will find their logo has a nice little place on the face of the new drivers.

To add some additional background, ATI is a massive specialty materials company headquartered in Pittsburgh, PA, with sales that surpassed $4 billion dollars in 2019. Materials they have designed are used in medical devices, jet engines, nuclear submarines, wind turbines, deepsea mining, military aircraft bodies, and other defense applications.

The ATI-425 titanium is manufactured in their state of the art factory in Pittsburgh, and compared to the conventional titanium alloys used in golf, offers a six-percent higher yield strength, four-percent higher tensile strength, and most importantly a 30-percent higher ductility. Titleist is currently the only company using ATI-425.

This titanium material allows Titleist engineers to design thinner, faster faces since it can handle higher stress while remaining extremely durable. This leads to higher COR/CT around the entire face while still keeping within compliance of the rules. It’s a fine line to walk, but when you’re pushing limits of performance, you need to look for every advantage.

The other advantage Titleist has on the manufacturing side is engineers don’t cut corners. Every head is tested for CT multiple times in multiple locations through the process—this leads to some of the tightest tolerances in the industry and ensures that the driver in your hands is at the limit. It’s no different than how Titleist treats clubs on the other end of the spectrum by measuring the grooves of every single Vokey wedge that comes out of production.

The final part of “impact” is of course the moment of impact and acoustics. The new Titleist TSi drivers have already been described as being “solid soft” (which I realize is an oxymoron). They have a nice pitch that lets you know you hit it well, but the overall tone is softer and more elongated rather than sharp. It’s not an easy thing to achieve when you have a thin-wall constructed object hitting another solid object traveling over 100 mph, but to get a good idea, here is our own Johnny Wunder hitting a TSi3.

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@titleist TSi3 Sounds

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Integration

This is where we bring together the new materials and the redesigned aerodynamic shape and add in a few more pieces of new and improved technology.

SureFit weighting goes all the way back to the C16, which was the first Titleist driver to offer an adjustable center of gravity. Since then, Titleist has continued to refine the technology, and the TSi3 represents by far the best system to date for both golfers and fitters alike for a number of reasons.

First, let’s talk about fitters. The original SureFit was the perfect “set it and forget it” system, but it also meant that if you had to check how the driver was set up, you had to look very closely at the small port. Then you had to pull the cap off, get out your weight kit, adjust, and then finally reinstall the cap. I’m willing to bet Titleist had to ship out a few replacement caps to golfers that lost them during the adjusting process.

The new system eliminates the need to remove any cap and instead replaces the old port with a new set five-position track. The driver comes stock with an eight-gram weight with additional weights available in two-gram increments up to 12 grams and down to four. This makes dialing in head weight and ball flight tendencies much easier than before and improves the overall fitting process.

Now for golfers. Beyond the much great ease of adjustability, the biggest issue some found with the configuration of the TS3’s sole was the way the SureFit port stuck out from the sole and created some resistance in the backswing—it was a comment both from regular golfers and some of Titleist’s tour staff. It seems like a minor issue, but when you’re about to launch a golf ball 300 yards down a fairway, it’s pretty important to feel comfortable making a backswing.

And there we have it, new face, new sound, new shape, and new weighting system to make the TSi Series drivers the best Titleist drivers to date—but wait there’s more! 

New featured & premium featured shafts

With Titleist’s position as a premium golf brand, it is officially eliminating the word “stock” from its vocabulary and replacing it with “featured.”

At Titleist, we are a premium brand and the TSi series woods are a premium performance product. For that reason, we only use real deal aftermarket shafts – not make for “stock shafts.”

Yes, it’s just a name change, but it demonstrates just how far Titleist is willing to go to differentiate itself from its competition—even when it comes to its off the rack featured shaft offerings which include

Beyond the featured shafts, Titleist is also offering what it is calling premium featured shafts in partnership with Graphite Design. This allows golfer access to Graphite Design’s top-three shaft brands for a reduced price compared to previous generation drivers.

  • TOUR AD – DI: Weight- DI 5,6,7,8. Launch- Mid/High. Spin: Low | Flex: X, S
  • TOUR AD – XC: Weight- XC 5,6,7,8. Launch- Low/Mid. Spin: Low | Flex: X, S
  • TOUR AD – IZ: Weight- IZ 5,6,7,8. Launch- Low/Mid. Spin: Low | Flex: X, S

All Graphite Design shafts are manufactured in Japan to the highest quality standards, and offer unmatched stability and feel by using aerospace quality carbon fibers and cutting edge technology.

But what about a TSi4…and a TSi1?

This is the million-dollar question, and unlike with the previous generation, Titleist has been a little more open about discussing future line add-ons.

The TSi4 has already been spotted on the USGA conforming list, and in the bag of at least one PGA Tour player, while the TSi1 has not yet been spotted. The likely reason is the TSi1 will be a club designed to cater to golfers at the lower end of the speed spectrum much like the TS1, and since there aren’t any tour players swinging under 90 mph with their driver, there isn’t any rush to get it on the USGA conforming list until closer to its official release date—rumor has sometime in the spring of 2021.

But since both of these clubs are designed for the smallest portion of the fitting bell curve, the chance is if you are in the vast majority of golfers looking to get fit into a new TSi series driver, the TSi2 and the TSi3 is going to offer you an ideal platform to optimize performance and consistency.

TSi driver specs, price, and availability

Titleist TSi2 driver

The TSi2 driver will be available in 9, 10, and 11-degree lofts in both right and left-handed with an 8-degree head available through custom order in right-hand only.

Titleist TSi3 driver

The TSi3 driver will be available in 8, 9, and 10-degree lofts in both right and left-handed with an 11-degree head available through custom order in right hand only. 

The stock lengths for both drivers is 45.5″, and the grip is the Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360 grey flat cap.

Both drivers are priced at $550 with featured shafts (see above options); the premium featured shafts are an additional $200, totaling $750.

The new 2021 Titleist TSi2 and TSi3 drivers will be available for custom fitting beginning today, October 15th, 2020 through Titleist authorized dealers, fitting centers, and at Titleist Thursday events being held nationwide. They will be at retail on shelves starting November 12th.

To find an event, or book a TSi driver fitting with a Titleist Product Specialist visit the website here.

 

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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.

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Rich

    Oct 18, 2020 at 3:52 pm

    I don’t chase new clubs anymore, but I might have to take the TSi3 as a replacement for my 917D3.

    Because of the USGA’s limit on COR, there really isn’t a lot more distance available through innovation. But there is still an opportunity to boost distance on mis-hits, and this line seems to want to do that by using a different material on the face that allows them to increase the COR near the perimeter of the clubface by making it thinner–yet retaining durability.

    Most of your improvements these days have to do with fitting. I don’t know whether this club’s variability will be right for any particular golfer. For example, you can move the CG left and right to affect ball flight left and right, but you can’t move the CG up and back. You can also affect swing weight by swapping out 4g of weight (or adding 4g). Finally, you can do some loft and lie adjustments. Are these the variables YOU need to adjust? If not, keep shopping.

  2. Wag

    Oct 16, 2020 at 12:26 pm

    Not a single precedent of successful driver launches before this one! Unprecedented success!!!!

    Throwing that term without an abundance of caution these days, are we?

  3. Jbone

    Oct 15, 2020 at 10:36 pm

    Still can’t match my 905S

  4. dat

    Oct 15, 2020 at 4:02 pm

    Pricing is out of line for performance.

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Equipment

You can (finally!) buy Rickie Fowler’s Rev33 irons: Cobra releasing limited RF Proto irons

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After much anticipation, Cobra Golf is set to release the limited edition RF Proto irons—an exact replica of the Rev33 irons developed and used by Rickie Fowler on the PGA Tour.

Rickie worked closely with long-time Director of Tour Operations, Ben Schomin from start to finish to create an iron that offered him everything he ever wanted from looks, to feel, and, ultimately, performance.

The Rev33 stamp is a nod to 33 iterations the iron went through before the final design was selected.

 “We worked closely with Rickie to determine his favorite features of several of his previous sets that we were able to combine into one very sleek package. These are a must-own for better players who appreciate the finest of iron craftmanship or Rickie fans who would jump at the opportunity to own the same sticks their favourite player uses.”
– Ben Schomin

If you are looking for a full in-depth discussion with Ben on the irons be sure to check out our piece from when Rickie originally put them into play: GolfWRX Insider: Inside the development of Rickie Fowler’s Cobra irons

RF Proto technology and design

The set was designed around Rickie’s preferred 7-iron look with a square/straight topline from the longest iron to the pitching wedge, which is unique since most irons progress to a more rounded shape in the shorter irons.

The RF Protos feature a distinct sharp toe profile reminiscent of many classic blades and a zero offset look thanks to a “no-taper” hosel design.

The irons are produced through a two-stage forging process and then 100 percent CNC milled to the final shaping. The milling process alone takes over two and a half hours per iron head to produce the most precise geometry possible.

The final piece of the design is the tungsten weight positioned on the toe of the iron—just like Rickie’s gamers—to locate the center of gravity and deliver a superior feel.

Price, specs, and availability

The RF Proto irons are available in right hand only 4-pitching wedge and will retail for $2,499.

Sets can be pre-0rdered starting today January 25th, at Cobragolf.com with sets shipping out starting January 29th.

The limited-edition irons are shipped in a custom box, which celebrates the partnership between Fowler and Cobra, complete with a card of authenticity autographed by Rickie Fowler.

The standard set components are KBS C-Taper shafts with Golf Pride Align grips fitted with Cobra Connect powered by Arccos, but a full selection of custom shafts and grips and also available.

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New Bridgestone E12 Contact golf ball features tire technology, major performance gains

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It’s not very often that a golf company touts huge technology gains with its mid-level priced products. Large scale changes are generally reserved for the premium price point and performance category, and then those technologies funnel down to the mid-price point in the next generation.

Bridgestone is flipping that model on its head, however, with the release of the all-new e12 Contact, which looks to offer one of the biggest performance jumps in the mid-price golf ball category ever developed.

Bridgestone e12: The science

The focus for Bridgestone with the e12, just like it was for the re-engineered Tour B series and its ReActive cover in 2020, is contact science—it’s where the e12 Contact derived its name from.

“Bridgestone has long been a pioneer in bringing to market unique dimple shapes, sizes and constructions in the golf industry, but up until this point that has primarily been a means of achieving optimal aerodynamic performance,”
-Elliot Mellow, Golf Ball Marketing Manager for Bridgestone Golf.
“In the new e12 CONTACT, dimples actually serve as a source of increased power and distance as well. They also contribute to minimizing hooks and slices, making the newest e12 a golf ball that provides performance you can actually see in terms of straight distance.”

The breakthrough comes in the form of a new dimple design to increase the ball contacting the face for both soft feel and additional distance. The new dimple design places a raised area in the middle of the traditional dimple, which when hit with a direct force, creates a whopping 38 percent for more face contact at impact.

  • This face contact and compression promotes a longer amount of time for the ball to stay on the face resulting in more efficient energy transfer to engage the core layer of the ball which from Bridgestone’s testing has resulted in a gain of over 1.5 mph ball speed.
  •  On the other end of the spectrum, in the short game, the additional contact helps increase spin in the scoring clubs and compared to the previous generation results in over 600 rpm more spin.
  • Although less scientific, Bridgestone also says that many players will experience a benefit when putting thanks to improved putter face contact.

Why not put this into a premium ball?

This is the million-dollar (or millions and millions of dollars) question, and it actually has a fairly simple answer—the new dimple design increases the peak trajectory of the e12 Contact and also makes it fly straighter. This makes it the perfect fit for a golf ball designed to enhance distance and reduce total golf ball curvature but less ideal for a tour-level ball designed for maximum trajectory control.

I realize that makes it sound like a negative, but in reality, it’s the exact opposite—the engineers at Bridgestone have closely analyzed the target golfers and designed a ball to fit their needs. The new e12 Contact is so efficient at creating the desired results from both distance and scoring clubs, they have eliminated the previous “Speed” and “Soft” balls and made one better with the e12 Contact.

Price and availability

The new Bridgestone e12 Contact will be available at retail and online starting February 26 at the price of $29.99 a dozen.

Beyond the traditional white version, the e12 Contact will also be available in Matte Green, Matte Red and Matte Yellow color options.

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2021 Mizuno ST-X and ST-Z drivers, fairway woods: Moving Mizuno woods forward

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Since 2019 and the launch of the ST190 series, Mizuno has quickly changed the perception around its metal woods. With the new ST-X and ST-Z drivers, along with the new ST-Z fairway woods for 2021, it is once again proving Mizuno isn’t just an iron company anymore.

The ST-X and ST-Z drivers represent the next evolution for Mizuno and are a culmination of a focused team effort to prove that, when side by side with the industry leaders, Mizuno drivers can both compete and win the battle of ball speed, spin, and dispersion.

A global effort to produce better (The “how’d we get here?”)

As a global brand, Mizuno used to have a small issue with market segmentation when it came to its club releases, meaning that depending on where you were in the world, there were different metal wood sub-brands to cater to various consumers.

This worked OK for the individual markets, but overall, it wasn’t working worldwide for one simple reason—more designs meant Mizuno engineers had to stretch their biggest resource, time, thinner. It also didn’t create a lot of continuity in the products, which from a consumer-level, always made it feel like Mizuno’s approach was just “let’s give this a try!”and it really wasn’t working.

This brings us to the “New Mizuno.” Since the original ST190 series was released in 2019 (don’t forget development started long before the release date), Mizuno has had a fully dedicated team in place working on metal wood development and technology. This has allowed engineers to work tirelessly on creating drivers that win on both a technology front as well and where it matters most: in fittings and on the course where golfers care about performance.

The technology inside the 2021 Mizuno ST-Z and ST-X drivers

  • SAT2041 beta-titanium faces: This titanium material is not new to the world of aerospace engineering, but as golf clubs are concerned, it had mostly been found previously in high-end JDM (Japanese domestic Market) drivers because of cost but was first used last year in the ST200 series drivers. SAT2041 has higher strength and rebound properties allowing Mizuno engineers to improve the multi-thickness areas behind the face for higher ball speed, and save mass to reposition around the head.

  • New CorTech face design: Now, speaking to the faces, thanks in part to the material and Mizuno engineers’ ability to tweak and adjust based on continuous R&D, the faces of the ST-Z and ST-X drivers have been made thinner in certain areas to further optimize CT and COR, which contributes to more consistent ball speeds and additional discretionary mass.

  • Using discretionary mass differently: A few grams here or there mean a lot in the golf club design world, especially when it comes to drivers. Mizuno shaved mass around the head to boost MOI in both of the new drivers and create performance separation in how they will work best for the intended players. Both of the new drivers have a carbon crown and also feature carbon panels around the sole skirt to help precisely locate the center of gravity.

Meet the 2021 Mizuno drivers

Mizuno ST-Z driver

The ST-Z replaces the ST200 and has been designed to offer the highest MOI possible without sacrificing lower spin—this driver is all about stability. Mass saved around the head, thanks to the carbon panels, along with the better-optimized face has allowed the designers to position the CG as close as possible to the neutral axis, to raise MOI, and create a neutrally biased driver. 

Compared to the ST-X, the Z is longer heel to toe and slightly shallower to once again use any and all available options to maximize performance and playability.

Mizuno ST-X driver

Although the new STX driver shares a similar name to the previous ST200X designed to be an exclusively lighter weight draw-biased driver, the new STx is for any golfer seeking slightly more spin compared to the STz and also greater workability, thanks to a center of gravity positioned slightly more forward and closer to the shaft.

From the bottom, the easy way to separate the ST-X from the Z is the reduced amount of carbon on the sole and slightly more heel-biased back weight to aid the engineers in repositioning the CG.

The ST-X’s slightly deeper face and shorter heel-to-toe length help to make the driver ever so slightly more draw-biased than the ST-Z but also happens to make the driver more workable.

For those still in need of a premium lightweight option, the new ST-X has the ability to be built to a lighter and longer spec similar to the ST200X thanks to the adjustable weight in the sole, which goes from a stock 11-gram weight to just four grams when built to J-Spec. This brings the head weight to 194 grams vs. 201 grams in the standard ST-X configuration and 204 in the ST-Z. When matched with the M-Fusion shaft, you get a driver that competes against any other in the ultra-lightweight category.

2021 Mizuno STX and STZ drivers prices, specs, and availability

The ST-X and ST-Z stock shaft options are directly driven from popular profiles on tour and feature a familiar story of high, mid, and low launch. The drivers will also carry a fourth shaft option, which is a carryover from the previous ST200X.

High Launch – Project X Riptide CB 50g and 60g

Mid Launch – Fujikura MotoreX F3 60g

Low Launch – ProjectX HZRDUS RDX Smoke Black 60g

High Launch and ultra-lightweight – M-Fusion

Mizuno will also continue to offer upcharge shafts options including:

  • Tensei CK Pro Orange and White 60 and 70g
  • Fujikura Ventus Blue and Black 60 and 70g
  • Graphite Design Tour AD Di6 & 7 along with XC6 & 7

STX and STZ drivers will be priced at – $399.99

The Mizuno STX and Z driver’s pre-sale starts today January 25th, with products on retail shelves starting February 18.

Mizuno ST-Z fairway woods

Technology and design

  • 3rd gen MAS1C high strength steel face: Last year, with the ST200, Mizuno completely overhauled the internal structure of its fairway woods, and the ST-Z is the next evolution. Similar to the driver, engineers have improved the CorTech multi-thickness pads behind the hitting area to raise ball speeds while also improving sound and feel

  • Carbon crown: When it works, it works, and the carbon steel crown of the ST-Z fairway woods reduces mass from higher in the head and gives the engineers the ability to better position it to deliver the performance variables they are searching for.

  • New shaping: After all the material and sciencey stuff were figured out, the last part of the new fairway woods to consider was the shape. It seems simple, but the shape not only has a huge impact on the club’s physical performance, but it plays a major factor in how golfers perceive it in the address position. The leading edge and the hosel transition have been adjusted to appeal to the target players and make it more efficient from the turf, which is where most players will use their fairway woods the most.

Specs, prices, and availability

The ST-Z fairway woods will be available in the lofts of 15 and 18 degrees, and with Mizuno’s Quick Switch adjustability, the fairway woods can go up and down two additional degrees.

The stock shaft configurations for the ST-Z will be the Fujikura MotoreX 7 in stiff flex and the ProjectX RipTide CB in regular.

The ST-Z fairway woods are priced at $299.99 with pre-sale and fitting tools available starting today January 25th with the product on retail shelves on February 18.

 

 

 

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