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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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U.S. retail golf equipment sales exceed record $1 billion mark

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This summer, golf saw a surge in business as states emerged from COVID lockdown and equipment sales is one of the areas that has been booming.

On Wednesday, Golf Datatech, an industry research firm, announced that U.S. retail golf equipment sales surpassed the $1 billion mark for the third quarter – which is the first time sales have reached $1 billion for July, August and September.

That figure also represents the second-highest quarter ($1.013 billion in Q2, 2008) of all-time, and per Golf Datatech, golf equipment sales for 2020 are up a whopping 42% over the same period in 2019.

Speaking on the incredible surge in equipment sales, John Krzynowek, Partner, Golf Datatech, LLC, said

“The story keeps getting better as golf continues to surge coming out of the shutdown, and Q3 equipment sales suggests that 2020 will likely end up positive for the entire year. Year-to-date sales for total equipment are now up 0.2% compared to 2019, and considering the size of the hole created by the shutdown in April and May this recovery has been nothing short of remarkable. While the US economy will not enjoy a ‘V Shaped Recovery’ in 2020, if golf continues on this trajectory we will be there soon.”

Per the company, the best selling items for September were golf bags at +19% and wedges at +18%, while golf shoes were +2%.

Overall, the golf club category was +0.9% for the month, with balls and gloves trending slightly lower at -2.7%. Krzynowek also revealed that rounds played was another area with surging numbers:

“These month-over-month sales records are unlike anything we’ve ever seen since Golf Datatech started tracking performance data in 1997. Our Rounds Played data also shows similar record-breaking growth over the past several months, which is a strong indication that avid golfers and newcomers alike are driving the sport to new levels right now.”

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‘Play a big driver. Why not big irons?’ – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our members have been discussing the case for big irons. WRXer ‘2Down’ plays a Ping G410+ driver and has recently put Ping’s G710 irons in the bag, saying:

“Wondered how many play a large headed driver and play a draw or fade off the tee but when they pull an iron it’s some blade size thing so they can “work” the ball.

Recently I put G710 in the bag and answered my question for myself. They feel different for sure, but I am quickly adapting to only bringing the putter with me to the green.”

Our members have been discussing the combination in our forums.

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.

  • Itsjustagame: “Personal preference but big irons tend to have more bounce, more offset and wider soles some or all of which may not suit a particular player.”
  • Fairway14: “Driver is played from a lie with the ball sitting on a tee, irons are played from a variety of lie types.”
  • J13: “They don’t really make “big” irons for players. Most have offset low CG for high launch, and super strong lofts.”
  • LeoLeo99: “I love my big irons. G400. Best I’ve ever used.”

Entire Thread: “Play a big driver. Why not big irons?”

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What GolfWRXers are saying about using a 60+ degree wedge

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In our forums, our members have been discussing the use of 60+ degree wedges. WRXer ‘chipa’ plays a hilly course with small and hard greens and has recently ordered an off-brand 68 degree wedge to see if he can pick up 5-6 lost strokes. Our members have been commenting on the logic of using 60+ degree wedges in our forums.

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.

  • PhlashPhace: “I recently made the switch from a 58 to a 60 because I was losing strokes around the green. It took me some getting dialed in from 95-100 with the 54, but now I’m much more effective around the greens, and one of the things I didn’t anticipate was I’m much better from 95 yards with the 54 because it hits and stops rather than generating tons of spin.”
  • MPAndreassi: “My home course small, fast and sloping greens. When I play there, I carry a 64 degree wedge to help pop it up out of the thick rough around the greens, but when I play other courses I drop the 64.”
  • Fairway14: “Cleveland RTX 64* wedge. Good for 50 to 70 yard carry shots.”
  • Phil Major: “I still carry Callaway original PM Grind 64* for those shots and short side bunkers. I can’t live without my 64* wedge! You can close it a little bit to get more spins. I never need to play it open, just straight or close it.”

Entire Thread: “60+ degree wedges”

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