TS vs. TSi Titleist Drivers Review

We can all agree we are ready for a new year and a fresh start! Many people and companies alike have written off 2020. Most golf equipment manufacturers have waited until 2021 to launch their new lines. However, one brand stands apart and was confident enough to launch its new driver line early last year – Titleist. 

Titleist drivers used to be slower and higher spinning than the leading drivers on the market. That is until Titleist’s TS line changed their reputation and proved to be a great performer. 

The TS3 was one of the straightest drivers in the drawer and appealed to many because of its traditional looks, great sound, and feel, so the new TSi line had big shoes to fill, and it has done so.

In this equipment spotlight, we will take a detailed look at the new TSi driver line from Titleist, specifically the specs and its testing versus the other TS drivers. 

Let’s kick things off with a bang by looking at the new TSi3 driver versus the TSi2 driver. 

The new TSi3 model boasts a compact, traditional shape with adjustable weighting, while the TSi2 driver has a more extensive, more stretched profile with a higher launch and better forgiveness. The form of the TSi3 looks smaller, while the TSi2 has a bigger footprint. 

But what are the features that make this new TSi3 model worth the fuss? The strike face or, in golf terminology, the ATI 425 Face. 

Insider knowledge:  ATI (Allegheny Technologies Incorporated) creates the driver’s strike face – the sweet spot where the ball and driver meet and create magic. This spot is crucial, so the materials used need to be both strong and ductile to be consistent, as in the 425 Face.
- Dustin Holcomb

The new TSi3’s ATI 425 Face is created from a titanium alloy initially developed for ballistic armor and aerospace applications such as the Mars Rover. What does that tell us? That this metal is bad to the bone. It’s made to resist bullets and space debris. It’s also lighter and more robust and allows for greater ball speed and precise weight placement for optimal CG position. TSi3’s ATI 425 Face is also more resilient and durable, and less prone to cracking or deforming from regular use.

How did Titleist make this magic possible? They used tighter tolerances in manufacturing to allow for  more aggression in approaching the legal limit. But don’t worry, Titleist CT tests each face during multiple phases of the manufacturing process to ensure every head’s tolerances, so you know you’ll be getting a durable, long-lasting product to bring speed and consistency to your game.

Let’s now look at the TSi3’s MOI. 

Insider knowledge:  MOI (or moment of inertia) shows how much resistance a clubhead has to twisting. The higher the MOI reading, the more resistance it has and the more forgiving the club will play. For most golfers, high MOI is a good thing. 
- Dustin Holcomb

We found that front to back, there was a 5% improvement in the TSi3 over the TS. Top to bottom, there was a 13% improvement over the TS2 and a 10% improvement over the TS3. These improvements help achieve more consistent spin rates on shots hit high or low in the face. This improved MOI also brings more consistent ball flight with a lower spin. We found that Titleist lowered the lofts by half a degree to account for the CG being lower and farther back, which also helps fitters improve ball flight. 

In addition, Titleist updated the weight track system in the TSi3. The updated weight track system makes it easier to move weight to the desired position and allows for weight alignment to match the impact location. For example, for toe impacts, you can move the weight to the T1 or T2 position to increase ball speed by putting more mass behind the impact area – another bonus for flexibility and ease of use.

Titleist created the new TSi3 models with all-metal construction – no carbon fiber. The all-metal construction means it’s easier to tune the sound and feel to whatever a golfer prefers. This is a great new feature for those who dislike the feel and sound of carbon fiber drivers.

Our Testing 

We tested the TS versus the TSi and found that the TSi3 showed better ball speeds overall and less spin than the TS3. One of our favorite findings was that the new weight track is more user friendly while adding more weight-placement options. This new feature also allows for additional weights to be added to the track for improved MOI, or added weight when using shorter shaft lengths. 

When comparing the TSi2 to the TS2, the TSi2 was the standout. Ball speeds and spin rates were almost the same as the TSi3! This feature gives players the excellent option of a driver that is more stable on mishits but keeps launch and spin in the desired windows. The TSi2 also looks fantastic. One of the two models is sure to appeal to every golfer. The TSi2 face has contrasting colors and lines meant to aid in framing the ball and alignment, giving the TSi2 a new look. 

My Experience

For my testing, I chose the TSi2 because its CG location is more in line with what I already play. I am a fan of the updated look and the face’s new color. I noticed that the sound is more muted than my current driver and has a pleasant feel. I was excited to see that my ball speeds have been impressive while it spins lower than other “forgiving” or rearward CG drivers. 

I found both models had similar ball speeds, but the most impressive was the almost identical TSi2 spin rate. Most players we see in fittings need help managing spin rate, but can’t play a forward CG driver due to impact dynamics. Lower-spinning heads that are still forgiving move the needle most, in my experience.

To sum it up, both of the TSi models have something to offer everyone, but the standout so far is the TSi2. The TSi2 is forgiving while maintaining a lower spin rate: the holy grail for recreational golfers and tour players alike. If you ever played an SLDR, you’ll know what we mean. The updates are welcome improvements over the last line, and the best part is you don’t have to wait to test them.

Dustin Holcomb
Master Club-Fitter
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