Titleist’s new line of TSR drivers and fairway woods – which replace the former TSi series – launched on the PGA Tour at the 2022 Travelers Championship at TPC River Highlands in Cromwell, Connecticut.
The previous iteration of TSi drivers remained hugely popular in the marketplace, and on the PGA Tour, throughout its life cycle. As Titleist reports, the TSi3 driver model was the most played driver over the 47-event PGA Tour 2021-22 season, with 19 percent usage. Titleist’s TSi drivers were noteworthy for the simplicity and effectiveness of adjustability, and for their fast 425 ATI Aerospace Titanium face inserts that produced higher speeds than previous drivers.
Although the TSR had big shoes to fill, Tour players switched in droves starting at the Travelers Championship. In the first week, 18 players switched into a new TSR driver, and 13 players switched into a new TSR fairway wood.
The momentum has only continued since then. Over the last several months, four players have won on the PGA Tour using a Titleist TSR3 driver model: J.T. Poston at the 2022 John Deere Classic, Cam Smith at the 2022 Open Championship, Joohyung “Tom” Kim at the 2022 Wyndham Championship, and Will Zalatoris at the 2022 FedEx St. Jude Championship.
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The general consensus seemed to be that Tour players liked the new sound and feel, and they were finding distance gains compared to the previous TSi lineup. They also spoke highly of the increased launch in the fairway woods, without adding too much spin, and they liked the new full-faced grooves.
OK, so the pros are loving the new TSR drivers and fairways, and they’ve been switching into the new models quite seamlessly. Got it.
Now it’s our turn to try them out.
Recently, before the official retail launch of the TSR products, GolfWRX’s Brian Knudson and Andrew Tursky visited the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI) in Oceanside, California to get a full driver and fairway wood fitting, and to test out the new TSR products against their current gamers.
Here’s what happened for each of them:
Brian Knudson’s TSR fitting
Driver Swing Speed: 101 – 104 mph
Typical Driver Miss: Hook Left. Ball starts left of target and hooks with low trajectory
Previous Gamer Driver: Titleist TSi3 (9.0 degrees, set to C4 w/ Miyazaki Kusala White 61x, 45 inches)
New TSR Driver Model: TSR 2 (10 degrees, set to B1, Project X HZRDUS Black 4th Gen 60g 6.5, 44.5 inches)
Knudson’s Thoughts on the TSR Drivers: The TSR drivers really look and feel great, and the TSR2 gives you confidence that you can get away with a bad swing. I loved that on a less-than-perfect swing I saw really good ball speed and dispersion numbers. The TSR2 offered me better consistency on spin, ball speed, and launch compared to my TSi3 across all shots.
Previous Gamer Fairway Wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max 3 wood (15 degrees, w/ Fujikura Speeder NX 70x, 42.5 inches)
New TSR Fairway Model: Titleist TSR2 (15 and 18 degrees, w/ Project X HZRDUS Black 4th Gen 70g and 80g 6.0, 42.5 and 42 inches)
Knudson’s Thoughts on the TSR Fairways: The biggest thing I noticed immediately was how easy the TSR woods are to launch. I don’t hit a high ball, and these easily got the ball in the air and went a long way. The 15-degree was set a little lower with the SureFit hosel, and I was still able to launch it off the deck with no issues. The 18-degree fit my gapping better than the 21-degree and still hit the launch window that I was looking for.
Andrew Tursky’s TSR fitting
Driver Swing Speed: 110-115 mph
Typical Driver Miss: A pull hook that starts left and goes left, and spin tends gets a little too high. Low-spin, fade-biased drivers are beneficial.
Previous Gamer Driver: Callaway Rogue ST Triple Diamond LS (10.5 degrees, Mitsubishi Tensei AV White 65X shaft, 45.5 inches)
New TSR Driver Model: Titleist TSR3 (10 degrees, Mitsubishi Tensei 1K Black 75X shaft, 44.75 inches, +2 grams SureFit Weight, Toe 2 SureFit CG Setting, C1 hosel setting)
Tursky’s Thoughts on the TSR Drivers: “Within my first few swings with the TSR3, my immediate takeaway was that the face felt soft and springy, and the sound was a bit more muted than TSi3. I preferred the profile and performance of the TSR3 vs. the TSR2, because the TSR3 was offering a bit lower spin and launch numbers for me, and I prefer the more compact shape.
My fitter and I decided to go slightly shorter on the length for control, slightly heavier on the head weight, and we put the SureFit CG weight in the most fade-biased position; this helped me feel like I could really release the club face without losing the ball too far left. We also went to a midsize grip instead of standard with two wraps. Grip fitting is underrated, in my opinion, so in your next fitting, make sure to mention you want to try some different grip sizes.
In the end, I gained both distance – despite the 0.75-inch decrease in length – and accuracy compared to my previous gamer. Looks wise, the TSR definitely has that classic glossy black ‘Titleist’ look that’s appealing in its simplicity. Longtime Titleist users will love the clean profile from address, and the modern look of the soles. This is definitely an upgrade from the TSi drivers, which were all-around great performers across the board, and probably the best Titleist drivers of the last decade. They changed just enough with the TSR to make improvements, without messing up a great thing. I think that was the goal, and they achieved it.”
Previous Gamer Fairway Wood: TaylorMade AeroBurner TP (12 degrees, Graphite Design Tour AD-DI 7X)
New TSR Fairway Model: Titleist TSR3 (15 degrees, Mitsubishi Tensei 1K Black 75X shaft, -0.25 inches, +6 grams SureFit Weight, Toe 1 SureFit CG setting, C1 hosel setting)
Tursky’s Thoughts on the TSR Fairways: “I wasn’t really in the market to replace my longtime AeroBurner Mini driver, because it’s been so reliable over the years. I mostly use it off the tee, but occasionally I’ll hit it from the turf when the time is right. The new TSR2+ blew the Mini Driver out of the water in terms of distance and accuracy, but it was actually going a bit too far and the profile was a touch larger than I wanted when hitting off the deck. Those who want something slightly larger and want to maximize distance/forgiveness will love this new option.
The TSR3 was right in my wheelhouse of looks, and it was offering a really easy launch off the deck. Somehow, although it’s 3 degrees weaker and an inch shorter, the TSR3 fairway was matching my max distances with the Mini Driver, even off the tee, and it offered way higher launch and forgiveness from the turf.
Compared to the previous TSi fairways, I already know everyone will like the full face grooves. And I do, too. They really help frame the ball properly and make aligning to the target a bit easier for me.”
Tech Talk: The new TSR designs
During GolfWRX’s visit to TPI, GolfWRX’s Andrew Tursky sat down with Stephanie Luttrell, the Director of Metalwood Development for Titleist, to learn about the new technology.
Here are the most prominent takeaways for the new TSR driver designs:
- There are 3 models: TSR2, TSR3 and TSR4, each with distinct designs (the TSR2 is built for speed and forgiveness, the TSR3 is for speed and distance, with a SureFit Adjustable CG track, and the TSR4 is for low spin, also with adjustable weighting in the sole)
- A new “boat tail” head shape is designed to improve aerodynamics for faster swing speeds
- Two different face structures are used within the lineup: the TSR2 and TSR4 use a “multi-plateau variable face thickness (VFT)” that’s designed for more forgiveness and constant CT (characteristic of time) across the face, while the TSR3 uses a new “Speed Ring” that focuses on centering max CT into the sweet spot to increase speed on center strikes
- The TSR drivers continue to use aerospace grade titanium face inserts, like the previous TSi drivers, and they have compatible SureFit hosels for lie and loft adjustments
And here are the most notable takeaways for the new TSR fairway woods:
- There are 3 models: TSR2, TSR3 and TSR2+ (the TSR2 has Titleist’s lowest ever CG for a steel construction and is made for high launch/mid spin, the TSR3 has a lower and deeper CG than the TSi3 and comes with an SureFit Adjustable CG Track on the sole; it’s made for mid/high launch and low spin, and the new TSR2+ has a larger profile, taller face, and the deepest CG to maximize distance and forgiveness off the tee)
- An “Open Hosel Construction” removes unwanted weight from the high-heel section of the head, which helps moves weight lower, deeper and toward the face center
- Zalatoris spoke on the new TSR2+ fairway: “This is an absolute rocket. I love this thing. It’s the best 3-wood I’ve ever had. It’s pretty cool to be able to have something besides driver that I can hit off the tee and basically hit it as far as I want. And then if I need to hit high and soft into greens, I can do that as well.”
To get the full picture of the TSR technologies, designs and improvements, head over to our TSR Tech article here, and see all of our in-hand photos of the new products in GolfWRX’s TSR Forum Photo Thread.
Bettinardi unveils new 2023-2024 Queen B line of putters
Bettinardi Golf has today introduced its new Queen B Series of putters that includes four timeless models.
The 2023-2024 Queen B Series enhances the Queen B 6 & Queen B 11, while also introducing two brand-new models, the Queen B 14 and Queen B 15.
The entire series is crafted using 303 Stainless Steel and features an all-new Caramel Copper PVD finish, which aims to not only accentuates the classic beauty of each model but also optimize visual cues on the greens to give a confidence-inspiring appearance at every crucial putt.
In addition, the new Queen B line debuts Bettinardi Golf’s new Mini Honeycomb face milling. This newly developed face utilizes an 8% smaller machine tool in order to provide the softest Honeycomb face to date.
“By utilizing an even smaller machining tool during the milling process, we were able to remove more material from the face of the putter, creating a softer feel at impact. Since 1998, Bettinardi putters have been world-renowned for our Honeycomb face milling. Twenty-five years later, my patented face continues to evolve and produces one of the most recognizable looks and feels in golf.” – Bob Bettinardi, CEO/Founder of Bettinardi Golf
The 2023-2024 Queen B Series will be available for pre-order on Tuesday, November 22nd online at Bettinardi.com, and will be available for purchase at authorized Bettinardi dealers worldwide, starting January 17th.
Bettinardi adds BB28 putter to brand’s BB series
Bettinardi has today unveiled the addition of the BB28 to its BB series line.
The BB28 features Aggressive Flymill face milling designed to give the putter a responsive, yet soft feel off the putter head, and offers a full-flange design, which provides greater perimeter weighting and higher M.O.I.characteristics.
This latest addition uses a PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) finishing technology, which is a thin, yet resilient coating that shows off the mill marks in an artisan way.
Each BB Series putter is one-piece milled from 303 Stainless Steel, which is the same blend of material preferred by all Bettinardi Tour staffers, with the metal offering a more durable, responsive, and solid feeling putter for optimal performance.
Bettinardi have also launched the center shaft BB28 putter featuring a 1/4 toe-hang wide-body blade, as well as a BB28 Armlock containing a near-face-balanced wide-body blade.
The BB28 model is available for pre-order at Bettinardi.com ($430) from November 22nd and at retail on January 22nd.
2022 Joburg Open: Betting Tips & Selections
And that was the DP World Tour season over.
And here is the DP World Tour season beginning.
Just a few days after Jon Rahm produced an exhibition display to beat a stellar field in Dubai (and earn less ranking points than Adam Svensson did at the RSM), the tour starts its 2023 season with a co-sanctioned Joburg Open, a mixed field of the best of the Sunshine Tour, some European stalwarts, and others that might well not bother turning up.
Viewers will not have seen Houghton GC for many years, but in the years of hosting the Dunhill Championship (2000-2004) the names Adam Scott, Charl Schwartzel and Justin Rose call for the halcyon days of the tour in South Africa. There are very few in this field that could reach that major-winning standard, and it will be of interest to see if the internationals can wrest away the title from the home contingent, something they could not do when that event turned to Leopard Creek, the Springboks winning seven from the last ten.
The Nicklaus course now hosts the Joburg Open, where in 14 runnings over various courses, home players have won nine and been out of the runner-up spot just twice.
Back to the Dunhill and it’s most recent winner, Christiaan Bezhuidenhout, easily the most likley victor this week.
Like many of the more promising youngsters in South Africa, Bez’s career starts with early victories on the Big Easy Tour and has progressed ever since.
Although with just four wins to his name at this level, the 28-year-old has built his reputation on a stellar short game, something that enabled him to win at tricky Valderrama by an incredible six shots, before going back-to-back at Leopard Creek and the Gary Player GC, to win two of his home country’s most prestigious events.
Having spent much of the last two years inside the world’s top 50, a series of acceptable rather than impressive results has seen him slip to number 72 but he will surely see this as a chance to get going in the right direction again.
Clearly Bez likes Gary Player designed tracks, and it may be no coincidence that his best recent effort was last time out at the Nedbank (held at the GPGC), but like Nicklaus, Player asks questions of the golfer, and with Bez having a short game at a level higher than the majority of these, it is easy to see him thrive here.
Stats on the recent PGA events are very mixed, but he was third in greens-in-reg and eighth in putting at the John Deere – a course that requires low scoring and a bogey-avoiding round – and he was again top-10 for the flat stick stats at Sedgefield and at the BMW, the penultimate FedEX Cup event.
The mention of that lucrative title certainly puts Bez in a different league to his rivals this week and, having relished the return home a couple of weeks ago, can continue that form and take a win into the 2023 PGA season.
Despite losing strokes off the tee at the Gary Player, Bez ranked 11th for tee-to-green, 4th for around-the-green and top 20 for putting. Add that to his figures when playing at home since 2020 – 1/15/1/1/6/5 – and anything bigger than 6/1 looks worth a pop.
Should Bez get beaten, both George Coetzee and Thriston Lawrence are clearly the biggest dangers, especially given their win records compared to Hennie Du Plessis, Oliver Bekker and Louis De Jager.
Coetzee loves it when dropped back from the DP World Tour and has already won twice when arriving back from either the Korn Ferry or European tours, but he seems happier in weaker fields where he is favourite and can dominate.
However, Lawrence, who, with a win last year finally lived up to some big early hype, won his first true DP World event at Crans after running-up at Kenya – both significant moves towards this event.
Off the boil for a while, he bounced back to form when sixth at potentially linkable Valderrama, before an eventual 15th at the Nedbank disguises that he was third going into Sunday.
19th off-the-tee for the season, the 25-year-old backs that up with top-30 for approaches, tee-to-green and greens-in-regulation, with 18th for putts-per-greens-in-reg.
This is, of course, a huge drop in class from the DP World Tour Championship last week and on overall stats, he looks an each-way play to nothing.
It would be surprising if one of the top lot were not to win, so I’ll take just one, far more unexposed, player to grab a place on the first couple of pages of the board.
Deon Germishuys was a tempter after an excellent Challenge Tour season, but perhaps he’s best left as a ‘follow’ throughout 2023. Instead, take a chance with Tom McKibbin, a name that should be on everyone’s list going into 2023, 2024, and beyond.
Coming from Holywood brings a sense of foreboding, as surely he will rarely escape the comparisons to that Northern Irish town’s most famous son, Rory McIlroy. The 19-year-old isn’t at all fussed, though, telling Irish Golfer, “I try not to read much about myself or anything like that. I’ve heard the comparison since I’ve been nine or 10 years old, so if anything, it’s got a little old now.”
Ignore that and we have one promising player, and one that has broadcasted his ability for a few years, despite his current age.
An outstanding junior and amateur, McKibbin had verbally agreed a move to the University of Florida before Covid ruined those plans and, it seemed, the 2021 Walker Cup, an event he was almost certain to be selected for.
Again, this is a cool head on young shoulders – “It meant I got off to a bit of a head-start in pro golf. I don’t think Walker Cup would’ve been much of a benefit and I haven’t really thought much about it since.”
So, let’s talk about the play.
In his first year with limited status and invites, the JMC-managed player recorded a 12th and 16th at Challenge Tour level before a 26th place at the higher level at Galgorm Castle (11th and 20th after the first two rounds).
That gave McKibbin entry into a few of the better Challenge Tour events, and he has taken advantage in style.
The beginning of the year saw the traditional exodus of trophy-seekers to South Africa, and McKibbin took a lead into the final day of the Cape Town Open before finishing in third place – “I played fine, did the same things I did the first three days, it just wasn’t meant to be. I didn’t tense up or anything like that. I thought I did the right things. It just didn’t pay off.”
A week later, he finished seventh after a level-par Sunday would never be enough to exploit an overnight position in the final group, but the experience would be yet another notch on the post.
The second half of the year was to be McKibbin’s highlight, with 14 events played from July onwards, rewarding him with six top-10s, including an almost repeat effort at Glagorm Castle, and three top-20 finishes.
Latterly, sixth place at the Challenge Tour Grand Final would leave him in 10th place on the CT rankings and a full DP World Tour card, something he can exploit before the bigger events next year.
Mentored by Rory, with Chris Selfridge – ex-professional and ex-caddy of Ryan Fox – on the bag – “It obviously costs money getting a top caddie like him but I think you’ve got to do it right if you want to get something really good out of it in the end. No point not investing in yourself and ending up in the same spot in five, 10 years’ time,” and with one stats line that reads ‘overall stats leader’ at Galgorm, McKibbin is something special.
It may take a few years, as it did Thriston Lawrence, to make a real mark, but it will come. Why not this week?
Other to note for big performances are Oliver Hundeboll, winner in this part of the world on the Challenge Tour last year and fifth at Fairmont at the Hero Open, and Casey Jarvis, a multi-decorated junior who in a short professional career has proven too good for lesser grade and has improved in contention throughout the year, finishing runner-up to Coetzee at the South African PGA at the beginning of the month.
I’m expecting the trophy to be lifted by one of the more obvious types, but eyes down the board to see how some of the youngsters get on, for they will be winning soon enough.
- Christiaan Bezhuidenhout – Win
- Thriston Lawrence – Each Way
- Tom McKibbin – Top-20
- Oliver Hundeboll – Top-20
- Casey Jarvis – Top-20
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