50 Words or Less
The Titleist TS3 driver puts modern performance into a traditional package. Along with the TS2, it puts Titleist’s drivers on a level with the other major OEMs for the first time in a long time.
Titleist’s release schedule is as predictable as any in the industry, but it doesn’t stop their fans from getting excited. What’s different with the TS woods is that, once people started hitting them, it wasn’t just Titleist fanboys who were talking. The hype around the TS2 and TS3 drivers has been enormous, and I was eager to test a TS3 driver to see if the performance backed it up.
Traditionalists will gravitate toward the look of the Titleist TS3 driver. It’s round, symmetrical, and significantly shorter from front-to-back than the TS2. Combined with a gloss black crown, it’s the most classic-looking driver on the market. If you’re tired of graphics and two-tone crowns, the TS3 will be your jam.
Above you can see the TS2 on the left, the TS3 on the right. While the visual difference is substantial when they’re next to each other, my experience is that when they are on their own, they look quite similar.
Sound & Feel
If you expected Titleist to bring out a driver with anything other than traditional (by modern standards) sound and feel, you haven’t been paying attention. Just like the look, the sound of the Titleist TS3 driver is understated. The volume is between average and quiet, and the tone is bass-y when you hit the center. Audio feedback is clear: when you wander off-center, the tone gets shrill.
The feel of this driver is equally satisfying and educational. Shots on the sweet spot feel very solid. When you miss the center, the club clearly tells you where the ball was struck.
There are two reasons why the new TS drivers are drawing rave reviews from golfers at all levels: ball speed and lower spin.
Ball speed on from the TS3 is very strong, and, more importantly, it’s robust. While the TS3 is the less forgiving of the two drivers, higher MOI and a thinner face help to keep ball speed up even when you move off the center of the face. The fear of Titleist drivers as being only “for better players” should officially be a thing of the past.
More importantly, Titleist has brought the spin down on this new generation of drivers. Most golfers now realize that high launch and low spin are the keys to longer drives. While the TS3 is not the #1 spin killing driver, it’s more than capable of competing with – and often beating – any other driver on the market.
Titleist has made the TS3 driver adjustable in two ways. First is the SureFit hosel, which they’ve been using for many generations. The other is the SureFit CG Weight. Titleist first introduced this in the 818 hybrids, but they’ve made a slick upgrade with the TS woods. Rather than asking golfers to have two weights – one Neutral and one Draw/Fade biased – they’ve created one weight which can be neutral or biased. The weight is slid into a port in the head which keeps the adjustment incognito.
Finally, Titleist continues to offer a strong selection of stock shafts. They have two relatively new offerings from Project X – the HZRDUS Smoke and the EvenFlow T1100. Additionally, there are two MCA shafts – the Kuro Kage and Tensei AV Blue. A Titleist fitting found the EvenFlow T1100 – a smooth-feeling shaft with a stable tip – to be the best fit for me.
Prior to testing the Titleist TS3 driver, I wouldn’t have thought seriously about gaming a Titleist driver. Now, it’s a very serious possibility. The look and feel are tremendous, and the performance is comparable with PING, TaylorMade, and Callaway.