Monday, October 14 2019


Watching the battle of the brands

Update: September, 23/2018 - 10:00

By Robert Bicknell

First, a disclaimer.

I am a TaylorMade/Adidas sponsored golf professional. This means, among other things, that when it comes to my professional responsibilities, I always recommend TaylorMade clubs to people who ask. I also personally think that they’re the best in the market.

However, my golf column is separate and not sponsored by TaylorMade, so I occasionally review other brands as honestly and as transparently as I can. Sometimes this gets me in hot water, but so be it.

OK, with that out of the way, let’s get on with it.

It’s always exciting when the biggest name in golf comes out with a new line of clubs and Titleist is undoubtedly the biggest name, and they just launched their new “TS” series of drivers and I have been hearing a lot of good things about it.

The new heads promise to be “faster” than previous models. (If you notice, nobody says “longer” anymore, or guarantees “10 more yards” as it’s not really quantifiable. The new buzzword is “faster” which actually makes more sense because every additional MPH (Miles Per Hour) gained translates into additional distance.)

But, Titleist has never been a manufacturer touting improved distance. Traditionally, they have been about improved “playability” and “control”.

That’s not to say Titleist drivers weren’t long, they were. Just not as long as some of the other boom sticks out there in the marketplace who focused mostly on going longer and longer.

Extra yardage has always been a huge selling point for the majority of golfers. Everyone wants to hit it big and expects to lose a few balls in the trees, lakes or even off the planet, but Titleist was always about helping players keep the drive in play and hitting greens (irons).

Sometimes, this came back to bite them in the butt as some people mistakenly believed Titleist clubs were only for accomplished players and professionals. This was untrue as they had many models which helped everyone regardless of handicap.

In recent past, Titleist offered some of the most forgiving drivers in golf, but SureFit CG aside, 917 wasn’t much different from the 915, which arguably wasn’t radically different from the 913, so this new launch is actually quite exciting because it’s an entirely new direction for them.

Titleist says they spent two years completely redesigning and reconstructing the entire clubhead to create a “Speed Chassis”, thus allowing increased velocity of the club while still maintaining stability. It also has a variable thickness face to deliver faster ball speeds and increased forgiveness.

The new TS models are all about speed.

The TS2 lets you swing aggressively with maximum forgiveness across the face which many of the mid-high handicappers will appreciate. The TS3 offers an adjustable sweet spot for speed-tuned performance, so lower handicap and pros will most probably go for the TS3.

Both models have a new ultra-thin titanium crown (top) which they claim is the thinnest in golf. Less weight on top allows them to add weight to more important areas.

Personally, I can’t wait to try one...

To be fair, some people will claim the Titleist TS is the best club they ever hit, others will prefer a different brand. That’s human nature, but if you want the best performing club for your game, the single best way to achieve that is to get fitted properly ...

And this is where Titleist Vietnam excels over the other brands.

When you go to a Titleist demo session at one of the Driving Ranges, they bring out a huge fitting kit with all the bells and whistles, including Trackman and their staff are professionally trained. Occasionally, they even bring out one of their top experts to assist if they happen to be in the region.

Most players really have no idea what club model/shaft combination, loft or lie is right for them, but the fitting experts can figure it out quite quickly. You would be surprised how much of a difference fitted clubs can make to your game.

My advice, even if you haven’t played Titleist before, is to attend one of these demo sessions, set up a fitting session and try the TS series for yourself.

You might end up with a new weapon in your bag. VNS




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