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Why Justin Thomas put the new Titleist TSi3 driver in play this week

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If you follow the equipment news at all, it’s no secret that Titleist new TSi metal woods are now a hot ticket item. Beyond Titleist staff players, multiple noteworthy free agents have put it in play (Fleetwood, Fitzpatrick, Horschel—and even Justin Rose was seen testing this week at Shadow Creek).

Oddly enough this is the first we will be seeing Titleist’s main draw, Justin Thomas, put it in play in PGA Tour competition.

Thomas isn’t a player that dives too much into the nuance of his equipment. Rather, he leans on the likes of Titleist tour rep JJ VanWezenbeeck to get it just right. JT has been testing the new gear for a while now, and we wanted to know what that process was like and how he eventually landed on his new gamer.

WRX chatted with VanWezenbeeck and this is what he had to say.

WRX: In early testing, what benefits did JT find in the new TSi3 over his TS3?

JJ: JT, as with a number of our Tour Team members, is involved throughout the development process. They are so good that as we try for more distance and better performance, they can provide valuable data. You can also see the tour feedback in TSi shaping—with the beautiful shapes at address, they are very classic but confidence-inspiring. So, by the time we got the final product, JT had already seen and hit a few of the iterations over the last 27 months since we launched TS.

WRX: Any dramatic improvements in ball speed or launch conditions?

JJ: First hits for JT he noticed a ball speed jump, which for all players provides excitement. For a tour player, the next handful of hits is what really made him excited–consistent stable flight. When he would make a “bad” swing, he saw similar ball speeds, good direction, similar launch conditions. The MOI improvements really started to stand out the more shots he hit as we dialed in the driver and he kept commenting how stable the driver was. This was a consistent thread across tour players who were testing.

WRX: What were his reactions to the sound feel?

JJ: Sound and feel were also big standouts–he said it felt really good and liked the sound. Then he went to his older metals and realized how much he LOVED the new feel. Said he never would have called his old gamer bad feeling until he hit TSi–then he noticed how big an upgrade it was.

WRX: Diamana TB. Why that profile over ZF?

JJ: JT had a lot of success with BF before we switched to ZF which has also worked well so we never stray too far in profile. The spin reduction in TSi3 is great for a lot of players but for JT’s draw, we were looking to have a little more spin. The TB had a really good feel for JT but allowed just slightly more spin vs ZF which matched with TSi3 really well.

WRX: What are JT’s “have to’s” with a driver?

JJ: We normally look at 4 shots with JT.

“Stock” – which will be a mid to high launch, small cut.  This shot needs to be very repeatable.

“Draw” – he will then make sure he can shape a shot on command right to left, high launch lower spin but can shape into specific fairways.

“Fairway finder” – very low cut, mid-spin, high speed – peak height near 70 to 80.

“Bomb” swing hard, swing up, go far – least important of the 4 but likes knowing he has when needed and TSi stability really shows off here where even at high speeds allows him to really control the flight across the face.

WRX: Will the 3-wood go in play?

JJ: JT currently isn’t in the 3-wood but is actively testing. Really a hard club for tour pros, and when we add ball speed to this club, sometimes it gets a little long for tour players depending on the course. He likes how it sets up, but with the complications of the schedule this year, we are being slow and methodical making sure his bag is dialed in for the remainder of the year.

Justin Thomas’ new drier specs

Driver: Titleist TSi3 (9 degrees; SureFit Hosel – B1, Surefit CG – T1)

Shaft: Mitsubishi Chemical Diamana TB 60 TX (44 7/8″)

Grip: Tour Velvet Cord Logo Down

 

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Johnny Wunder is the Director of Original Content, Instagram Manager and Host of “The Gear Dive” Podcast for GolfWRX.com. He was born in Seattle, Wash., and grew up playing at Rainier G&CC. John is also a partner with The Traveling Picture Show Company having most recently produced JOSIE with Game of Thrones star Sophie Turner. In 1997 Johnny had the rare opportunity of being a clubhouse attendant for the Anaheim Angels. He now resides in Toronto, On with his wife and two sons. @johnny_wunder on IG

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Matt

    Oct 18, 2020 at 9:28 am

    “Because he is paid to do so by his sponsor, Titleist.” End of article

  2. Jbone

    Oct 18, 2020 at 7:53 am

    Titleist really doesn’t have many top guys on contract anymore

  3. Paulo

    Oct 18, 2020 at 12:59 am

    I think most of us would find interviews like this more relevant if they were with the players who aren’t paid millions to play Titleist

  4. 15th Club

    Oct 17, 2020 at 10:27 pm

    So Titleist; level with us. You are building drivers and balls that, in the hands of players like Justin Thomas, produce hitting distances that are significantly longer than equipment of 10 or 15 years ago.

    When the Joint Statement on distance was issued by the R&A and the USGA.

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Equipment

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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