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Tursky and Knudson tested Titleist’s new TSR drivers: Here’s what happened

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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.

GolfWRX spoke with Poston and Lanto Griffin to get their initial feedback on the TSR drivers and fairways, and we caught up with Zalatoris at the Scottish Open to hear his thoughts.

 

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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

Handicap: 9.9

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

Handicap: 2

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.

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He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. BirdieKing

    Sep 11, 2022 at 8:14 pm

    That Titleist fitter has been a busy boy. I’ve seen him in like 20 fitting videos posted in the last 3 days. X’D

  2. Paulo

    Sep 9, 2022 at 1:02 am

    Wow not one person found the previous model to be better than this one. Logical conclusion, the tsi range was poor. Can’t trust Titleist so won’t be buying.

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Whats in the Bag

WITB Time Machine: Danny Willett’s winning WITB, 2016 Masters

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Driver: Callaway XR 16 (9 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana W-Series 60 X
Length: 45.5 inches

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3-wood: Callaway XR 16 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana W-Series 70X

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5-wood: Callaway XR 16 (19 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana W-Series 80X

Irons: Callaway Apex UT (2, 4), Callaway Apex Pro (5-9)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 Superlite

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Wedges: Callaway Mack Daddy 2 (47-11 S-Grind) Callaway Mack Daddy 2 Tour Grind (54-11, 58-9)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 Superlite

095d4bb85f28f016040c873b5e06e098

Putter: Odyssey Versa #1 Wide (WBW)
Lie angle: 71 degrees

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Ball: Callaway Speed Regime SR-3

Check out more photos of Willett’s equipment from 2016 here.

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Equipment

Project X Denali Blue, Black shaft Review – Club Junkie Review

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Originally, Project X was known for low-spin steel iron shafts. However, the company might now be known for wood shafts. Denali is the newest line of graphite shafts from Project X. With the Denali line, the company focuses on feel as well as performance.

There are two profiles in the Denali line, Blue and Black, to fit different launch windows. Denali Blue is the mid-launch and mid-spin profile for players who are looking for a little added launch and Denali Black is designed for low-launch and low-spin. Both models are going to offer you a smooth feel and accuracy.

For a full in-depth review check out the Club Junkie podcast on all podcast streaming platforms and on YouTube.

Project X Denali Blue

I typically fit better into mid-launch shafts, as I don’t hit a very high ball so the Denali Blue was the model I was more excited to try. Out of the box, the shaft looks great and from a distance, it is almost hard to tell the dark blue from the Denali Black. With a logo down install of the shaft, you don’t have anything to distract your eyes, just a clean look with the transition from the white and silver handle section to the dark navy mid and tip.

Out on the course, the Blue offers a very smooth feel that gives you a good kick at impact. The shaft loads easily and you can feel the slightly softer handle section compared to the HZRDUS lineup. This gives the shaft a really good feel of it loading on the transition to the downswing, and as your hands get to impact, the Denali Blue keeps going for a nice, strong kick.

Denali Blue is easy to square up at impact and even turn over to hit it straight or just little draws and most of the flex of the shaft feels like it happens right around where the paint changes from silver to blue. The Blue launches easily and produces what I consider a true mid-flight with the driver. While it is listed as mid-spin, I never noticed any type of rise in my drives. Drives that I didn’t hit perfectly were met with good stability and a ball that stayed online well.

Project X Denali Black

When you hold the Denali Black in your hands you can tell it is a more stout shaft compared to its Blue sibling by just trying to bend it. While the handle feels close to the Blue in terms of stiffness, you can tell the tip is much stiffer when you swing it.

Denali Black definitely takes a little more power to load it but the shaft is still smooth and doesn’t give you any harsh vibrations. Where the Blue kicks hard at impact, the Black holds on a little and feels like keeps you in control even on swings that you try and put a little extra effort into. The stiff tip section also makes it a little harder to square up at impact and for some players could take away a little of the draw from their shot.

Launch is lower and more penetrating compared to the Blue and produces a boring, flat trajectory. Shots into the wind don’t rise or spin up, proving that the spin stays down. Like its mid-launch sibling, the Black is very stable and mishits and keeps the ball on a straighter line. Shots low off the face don’t get very high up in the air, but the low spin properties get the ball out there farther than you would expect. For being such a stout shaft, the feel is very good, and the Denali Black does keep harsh vibrations from your hands.

Overall the Project X Denali Blue and Black are great additions to the line of popular wood shafts. If you are looking for good feel and solid performance the Denali line is worth trying out with your swing. Choose Blue for mid-launch and mid-spin or Black for lower launch and low spin.

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Equipment

What we know about Bryson DeChambeau’s 3D-printed Avoda irons

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Bryson DeChambeau fired an opening-round 7-under 65 at Augusta National, hitting an impressive 15 of 18 greens in regulation in the process. Golf’s mad scientist’s play grabbed headlines and so too did his equipment. In place of the Ping i230 irons he had in the bag last week for LIV Golf’s Miami event, DeChambeau is gaming a prototype 5-PW set of irons from little-known direct-to-consumer manufacturer Avoda.

What is Avoda Golf?

Founded by Tom Bailey, also a Mike Schy student like Bryson DeChambeau, Avoda Golf is a direct-to-consumer golf equipment company that currently manufactures both single and variable-length irons in one model that are available for pre-order.

What irons is Bryson DeChambeau playing?

Per multiple reports, DeChambeau is playing a custom-designed set of single-length irons that incorporate bulge and roll into the face design. The two-piece 3D-printed irons were reportedly only approved for play by the USGA this week, according to Golfweek’s Adam Schupak.

Regarding the irons, DeChambeau told Golf Channel the irons’ performance on mishits was the determining factor in putting them in play this week. “When I mishit on the toe or the heel,” DeChambeau said. “It seems to fly a lot straighter for me and that’s what has allowed me to be more comfortable over the ball.”

What can we tell about the design of the clubs?

These days, it is a little hard to speculate on what is under the hood with so many hollow body irons. DeChambeau’s irons look to be hollow on the lower section as they do flare back a decent amount. That “muscle” on the back also looks to be fairly low on the iron head, but we can assume that is progressive through the set, moving up higher in the short irons.

A screw out on the toe is probably used to seal up the hollow cavity and used as a weight to dial in the swing weight of the club. From pictures, it is hard to tell but the sole looks to have a little curve from heel to toe while also having some sharper angles on them. A more boxy and sharper toe section looks to be the design that suits Bryson’s eye based on the irons he has gravitated toward recently.

What are bulge and roll, again?

Two types of curvature in a club face, traditionally incorporated only in wood design. Bulge is heel-toe curvature. Roll is crown-sole curvature. Both design elements are designed to mitigate gear effect on off-center strikes and produce shots that finish closer to the intended target line. (GolfTec has an excellent overview of bulge and roll with some handy GIFs for the visual learner)

What else is in DeChambeau’s bag?

Accompanying his traditional Sik putter, Bryson builds his set with a Ping Glide 4.0 wedges, a Krank Formula Fire driver and 5-wood, and a TaylorMade BRNR Mini Driver, all with LA Golf graphite shafts.

 

 

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