Review: The Titleist TS fairways are easy-to-hit distance machines
The new TS fairways provide distinct performance benefits similar to their TS2 and TS3 driver counterparts.
The TS2 is the longest, most forgiving Titleist fairway wood ever, generating incredible speed, accuracy and forgiveness.
The TS3 delivers speed-tuned performance through Titleist’s adjustable SureFit CG technology with dynamic forgiveness and maximum shot control.
For more on the technology packed into these powerful and accurate fairways, click this link, but let’s dive into how I got on with these new speed machines from Titleist.
• FIRST LOOK! Check out the Titleist TS fairways in more detail!
Well, what can I say, other than three shots and straight in the bag. I’ve had my current 3-wood in the bag for a little over five years and have been unwilling to change. I think, however, with the TS3 I have at last found a new gamer.
First off, it looks fantastic. The classic head shape and black finish are simply stunning. I hit three shots at my initial fitting and that was practically enough to convince me it was the one. The numbers were solid and the flight was incredible - exactly what I want to see from a 3-wood.
• TS2 vs TS3 - which one of the new Titleist drivers is right for you? We've got the answers...
The slightly lower launch it offers gave me the penetrating and powerful trajectory I look for in a fairway wood. It is an incredibly playable club, both from the tee and off the deck. The improved ARC 3.0 technology and optimised weight distribution help to noticeably improve the launch off the deck, making both of these fairway woods a real weapon in your arsenal when approaching the greens from long range.
• REVIEW - Titleist TS2 and TS3 offer speed that will "blow you away"
The inclusion of the SureFit CG technology certainly gives the TS3 the edge on the adjustability side of things, so if you are a bit of a tinkerer then it is something worth baring mind.
The TS2, meanwhile, is a high-launching, low-spinning and easy-to-hit bomber. The speed it delivers off the face is nothing short of astonishing.
The higher launch it delivers means it has a very broad appeal, from the best golfers in the world to those who struggle to get their woods airborne.
• Everything you need to know about the new Titleist TS drivers
Although the TS2 is the more forgiving of the two models, both deliver such consistent ball speed across the face that you might have a hard time deciding which one is best for you. For that reason, it is well worth taking the time to get properly custom fitted to ensure you have the model that works best for you in your bag.
Every aspect of both models made them an absolute delight to play with. The looks, feel, turf interaction and forgiveness were all top notch but once again, as was the case with the drivers, it was the speed that stood out most.
Available: September 28
Shafts: Kuro Kage Black Dual Core 55, TENSEI AV Series Blue 65, HZRDUS Smoke Black 70, Even Flow T1100 White 75
Loft options: Titleist TS2 - 13.5°, 15°, 16.5°, 18°, (21° RH only); Titleist TS3 - 13.5°, 15°, 16.5°, 18° (LH 15°, 16.5°)
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First Look – Titleist TS Fairway Woods
If you’ve read our piece on the Titleist TS Drivers, you already know plenty about the TS platform and how it came to be. We can save quite a bit of time here because a good bit of what’s true for the TS Driver is also true for the TS Fairway Wood. As you’d expect, there’s plenty of overlap in the technologies.
Like the driver, the fairway woods feature Speed Chassis construction. That gets you faster face and an updated titanium crown that’s 27% thinner than the 917’s. That weight savings and the requisite reallocation of mass gets you an 11% boost in MOI.
Frankly, I’m not a huge proponent of sweating MOI in fairway woods. I’m not suggesting you should look for a low MOI option, but there’s one school of thought that says that if you’re a competent fairway wood player, forward CG (and the comparatively lower MOI that goes with it), often works better. Our testing hasn’t found a significant correlation between MOI and playability. The best advice we can give based on our testing is that once you find a fairway way that works, stick with it until you find something you’re certain outperforms it. I digress…
ARC Lives On
The noteworthy departure in construction from the driver is that with the fairway wood, not only does Active Recoil Channel carry on, it’s been improved. ARC 3.0 is taller and that improves its ability to preserve ball speed, most notably on the low face hits that are common with fairway woods.
As with the driver, TS fairways are available in two models.
Titleist is billing the TS2 as the default bomber, while emphasizing that it’s significantly different from any fairway wood it has created made previously. It’s the higher launching distance machine in the lineup that Titleist says is its easiest to hit fairway ever.
Hedging just a bit, Titleist isn’t calling the TS2 mid-spin. While golfers have been conditioned to crave low spin, Titleist says the spin level as appropriate for a fairway wood to produce the desired performance. Super-low spin in a fairway isn’t always desirable. Playability should come first.
As with the TS2 driver, Titleist is describing the shape as modern as opposed to the traditional shape of the TS3.
The TS2 is available in lofts of 13.5°, 15°, 16.5°, 18°, and 21°. The 21° is available in RH only.
The TS3 is the replacement for the 917F2. It offers a taller face, which makes it a bit better suited for golfers who like to hit 3-wood off the tee. Compared to the TS2, It offers a lower spin, flatter ball flight. Like the TS3 driver, it offers SureFit CG weighting, which when properly fit, can align the CG with your typical impact position and created a bit more ball speed.
The previous F2 proved popular enough with golfers that Titleist decided to expand the number of available lofts. The TS3 is available in 13.5°, 15°, 16.5°, and 18°. The 13.5° model is available in right-hand only.
Both TS Fairway models are 175cc and both feature SureFit Hosel adjustability which allows for independent loft and lie adjustments.
The stock shaft lineup is essentially the same as it is for the driver, though most are 10g heavier on average.
- Kuro Kage Black Dual Core 55 (High Launch/Mid spin)
- Tensei AV Blue 65 (Mid Launch/Mid Spin)
- HZRDUS Smoke Black 70 (Low Launch/Mid Spin)
- EvenFlow 75 (Low Launch/Low Spin)
Which TS Fairway is Right For You?
When choosing a TS fairway wood, Titleist suggests that you don’t make any assumptions based on the driver you fit into. “We don’t want people to approach them as if they’re Garanimals,” says Stephanie Luttrell, Director of Metalwoods Development at Titleist. “Don’t assume that if you fit into a TS2 driver, you’ll fit into a TS2 fairway. In early testing there’s been a lot of mixing and matching…what you need out of a driver might not what you need out of a fairway wood.”
There are plenty of us, for example, that need spin reduction with the driver, and a bit of help getting the ball in the air with the fairway. The latter has never been among my long list of issues, but I proved to be a mix and match guy. I was fit into a TS3 driver and a 13.5° TS2 fairway.
As with any other piece of golf equipment, the recommendation is to get fit. Failing that, try both and see which one gives you what you need from your fairway wood.
Titleist TS Fairway Woods are available to try now. Full retail availability begins 9/29/18. Retail Price is $299.
You can schedule a Titleist TS Fairway Fitting now or visit Titleist.com for more information.
Tony is the Editor of MyGolfSpy where his job is to bring fresh and innovative content to the site. In addition to his editorial responsibilities, he was instrumental in developing MyGolfSpy's data-driven testing methodologies and continues to sift through our data to find the insights that can help improve your game. Tony believes that golfers deserve to know what's real and what's not, and that means MyGolfSpy's equipment coverage must extend beyond the so-called facts as dictated by the same companies that created them. Most of all Tony believes in performance over hype and #PowerToThePlayer.
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Titleist TS2, TS3 drivers, fairway woods are result of new "speed project" and "taking it to another level"
To put the new Titleist TS2 and TS3 metalwoods in perspective, consider this comment regarding how much of a departure the lineup is from the company’s relatively conservative, though effective, approach to driver design in the past.
“We pursued so many different things that in the past we might have said, ‘Oh, that’s not traditionally us,’” said Stephanie Luttrell, Titleist’s director of metalwood development. “Well, this time we did look at those things. This is taking it to another level for us.”
What Luttrell is talking about is a departure from the big-brother/little-brother approach in drivers that Titleist has employed for more than a decade. In recent years, that included D2 and D3 versions that were more similar in their technologies and player profile than they were different. With TS2 and TS3, though, there’s been a fundamental shift. While TS3 in many ways picks up directly from where 917 D2 and D3 left off with its cylinder weight in the sole that tweaks center of gravity in the heel-toe direction, TS2 is more what Luttrell calls “that high launch bomber trajectory.” It’s a large profile, high moment of inertia driver that’s built for both forgiveness on off-center hits and aerodynamic efficiency. (The MOI on TS2 is 12-percent higher than 2017’s 917D2.)
Those two elements, which also help boost the MOI on the TS3’s more workability-focused frame (vs. the 917D3), reflect a renewed focus on ball speed. That includes improving on-center hits through a thinner face, and boosting off-center hits through better perimeter weighting, as well as lowering the center of gravity to improve launch conditions and performance on impacts low on the face. The Titleist team even developed a “virtual wind tunnel” to digitally test computer head designs to improve swing speed-enhancing effects through aerodynamic changes to where the crown meets the face and the high toe area. (The “TS” refers to the company’s internal nomenclature for the new drivers: “Titleist Speed Project.”)
“The cool thing about these is they deliver the speed in two different ways,” Luttrell said. She explained that TS2 is about “maximum forgiveness, maximum distance potential,” and the TS3 builds on the company’s idea of manipulating a driver’s center of gravity to match a player’s preference because “we know that fitting a player to the right center of gravity can absolutely unlock more distance potential for some players.” One of those is Justin Thomas, who used the TS3 driver in winning the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in his fourth tournament with the new club, which debuted at the U.S. Open.Michael Kim became the first player to win with one of the new drivers when he used the TS2 in his victory at the John Deere Classic in June.
These new drivers both incorporate a 20-percent thinner crown than past models for weight savings and a sleeker curve to the meeting of crown and face for better aerodynamics. Luttrell said the new crown and lighter face meant there was no need to add a carbon composite crown.
“Where that puts us is really at parity in terms of what we could accomplish with a composite crown in terms of center of gravity and inertia properties,” she said. “We also know that we can develop a better player preferred sound and feel with the all-titanium constructions. So for us it really solidified our direction.”
A further piece in the TS2 and TS3’s approach to speed is their face design, or more specifically, how the face design is maxed out. During manufacturing, Luttrell said, every driver is tested for spring-like effect at the USGA limit. Those that fall short of the goal speed are reengineered to match the goal number.
“It allows us to for sure push it,” Luttrell said of the 100-percent inspection process. “And we get an even tighter tolerance.”
While both clubs continue Titleist’s 16-way adjustable hosel, one other change gear geeks might notice is that the TS2 and TS3 have done away with the sole slot (“active recoil channel”) seen on previous Titleist drivers that was designed to provide more face flexibility for more distance. It’s not needed, Luttrell said, because of the weight savings that yield a lower center of gravity.
“We could accomplish the launch and spin that active recoil channel was giving us without using active recoil channel so we’ve been able to reallocate that mass,” she said. “Another added benefit is better sound and feel.”
The line includes new TS2 and TS3 fairway woods, as well. Both also embrace speed-enhancing features including a lower, more forward center of gravity through an 11-percent thinner crown and a taller internal slot on the sole’s “active recoil channel.” The face insert is a high-strength Carpenter 465 steel. Like with the drivers, the TS2 is the more forgiving of the two models, while the TS3 offers a weight cylinder that moves the center of gravity between draw and fade bias.
Titleist offers a wide selection of custom shaft offerings, but its stock options include three new models that are five grams lighter than past versions. They include the Mitsubishi Kuro Kage Black Dual Core, the Mitsubishi Tensei AV Blue, the Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black and the Project X Even Flow T1100 White. With the shaft weight savings, the TS2 and TS3 drivers feature a 45.5-inch shaft, a half-inch longer than Titleist’s past drivers. It’s one final piece of evidence that these Titleist drivers are a distinct departure in a search for new ways to boost speed.
The TS2 (8.5, 9.5, 10.5, 11.5 degrees) and TS3 (8.5, 9.5, 10.5 degrees) drivers begin fittings Sept. 6—and can pre-ordered now—with in-store availability on Sept. 28 ($500). Those dates hold also for the TS2 (13.5, 15, 16.5, 18, 21 degrees) and TS3 (13.5, 15, 16.5, 18 degrees) fairway woods ($300).
Vs wood ts2 ts3 3
Titleist TS2 and TS3 Woods Review
Now that they’re out, I’ve been fitted for the new drivers and fairway woods and to agree with (allegedly) Justin Thomas these drivers really are the ****. As with previous designs, Titleist have produced two different models, the TS2 Driver and TS2 Fairway, a higher spinning theoretically more forgiving model and the TS3 Driver and TS3 Fairway which is lower spinning, potentially long but maybe less suited to the inconsistent golfer.
In a way, Titleist have reacted to the market. The TS2 features hosel only adjustment which is great for the golfer that knows what they like and like what they know whereas the TS3 features absolutely every bit of Titleist driver tech including the sure fit system. Combined with some incredible (longer) aftermarket shafts, these drivers are great for every level of golfer and, hopefully going to go some way in helping Titleist drop its reputation for being exclusively for the better player.
Andy's Pro Tip
Hit the ball out the heel as your bad shot? Set the head in the upright position to realign the middle of the face and watch it head off like a rocket.
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