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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

‘My brief blade experience’ – GolfWRXers react

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In our forums, our members have been reacting to an interesting experience WRXer ‘LongJohnPeter’ had when testing out blades for the first time. ‘LongJohnPeter’ writes:

“For reasons unbeknownst to myself, I have been obsessed with playing blades lately. So I took a trip to my local range today and picked out an old Lynx USA 7 iron blade from the rental rack (I don’t own a blade and had never hit one previously). While I did see a reduction in distance (more of a result of EXTREMELY crappy range balls and a 50 degree day), I couldn’t believe how much more consistent my face contact was, compared with my Ping Zing’s I currently use. And even on the few mishits, they weren’t punished nearly as bad as everyone and their mother said they would be, and I knew exactly what had happened and could adjust accordingly.

Anyone have a similar experience? Is this just a honeymoon phase? Or is the golfing elite trying to preserve the sanctity of blade irons?”

And our members have been reacting to the post and sharing their thoughts in our forum.

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.

  • uglande: “I switched back to blades this year (had not played them in decades), and I will never give them up. They are so pure and consistent and easy to maneuver. I prefer the thinner soles, which give me better turf interaction. Blades will never produce those nuclear shots that go 15 yards longer than you expected. And, yes, GI clubs help retain ball speed on mishits, but I would rather be 10 yards short of the green than in the bunkers or other garbage on either side of the green. And I certainly don’t want to torpedo one (happened frequently with my P790s) that goes over the green, which is always where the worst hazards lie.”
  • NotTheGuyOrAmi: “I ’m far from a technical expert, but I have concluded that increased MOI may give some incremental benefit, and of course less loft means clubs with a particular loft might hit father, but the point of most of the “improvement” in-game improvement irons is to allow people who hit the ground before the ball with a slow swing speed to get a better result from a lower center of gravity. This, by the way, is not a good thing.”
  • CCTXgolf: “For some people a smaller club makes them concentrate a little harder, and that extra little bit of concentration can certainly help you find the center of the club face more often. Problem is it’s tough to keep that going for 18 holes. Much less day to day. I just went to blades in my short irons (8-P) and don’t really find that much difference in those shorter irons. They sure are pretty though.”

Entire Thread: “My brief blade experience”

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Whats in the Bag

Charles Barkley WITB: The Match 3

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Driver: Callaway BB21 (9 degrees)
Shaft: Ventus Blue 6 X (@46.5″)

3-wood: Callaway BB21 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Ventus Blue 7 X (@44″)

Hybrid: Callaway Mavrik (19 degrees)

Irons: PXG

Wedges: PXG

Putter: PXG

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Whats in the Bag

Peyton Manning WITB: The Match 3

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Driver: Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD TP 6 X

3-wood: Callaway Rogue

Irons: Callaway Mavrik Pro (3-PW)
Shafts: KBS C-Taper Lite 110 S

Wedges: Callaway Jaws MD5 (50-10S, 56-10S, 60-10S)
Shafts: KBS C-Taper Lite 110 S

Putter: Scotty Cameron SB+

Ball: Bridgestone Tour B XS with #18

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