Titleist TS3 Driver Review

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.

Introduction

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.

Looks

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.

Performance

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.

Conclusion

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.

Titleist TS3 Driver Price and Specs

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Matt Saternus

Co-Founder, Editor In Chief at PluggedInGolf.com
Matt is a golf instructor, club fitter, and writer living in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Matt's work has been published in Mulligan Magazine, Chicagoland Golf, South Florida Golf, and other golf media outlets. He's also been a featured speaker in the Online Golf Summit and is a member of Ultimate Golf Advantage's Faculty of Experts.

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36 Comments

  1. Hi Matt,
    114mph swing speed and 267yd carry . I thought carry was normally swing speed x 2.5 ?

    • Matt Saternus

      Dave,

      The 2.5 multiplier, while not entirely accurate, is used as a measure of what’s optimal. I needed a different shaft to get to a fully optimal situation. More on this coming soon.

      Best,

      Matt

  2. Chad Hershberger

    Good review! I notice your clubhead speed was way up during this test (114) have you been doing anything recently to get your speed up?

  3. Are you certain your data is correct. Especially, club and ball speeds, but overall, I question the entire graph. Should the club speed have read 104 as opposed to 114?

  4. John Grajek

    ahhhhhhhh ballspeed!!!!!!!

  5. Matt,

    With all due respect because I enjoy your reviews…. but did you hit the center of the face at all?? That smash comes out to 1.38. 285 total from 114mph (by the way, awesome improvement in CHS) is not super awesome. Were the measuring devices not tracking ball speed or club speed properly?

    • Matt Saternus

      Zach,

      Two things:
      1) The shaft was not optimal which hurt smash somewhat.
      2) More importantly, most people are used to Trackman numbers (which we often use, too). These numbers come from Foresight. Trackman routinely spits out 1.5 smash factors with higher ball speeds. Foresight does not. Just another reason why we always say not compare these LM graphics as apples-to-apples.

      Best,

      Matt

  6. I’m starting to feel Titleist would gain more by doing their own ‘driver vs driver’ show than trying (or not trying) to follow the leader. All I know is I went from a Callaway I liked (and found FW’s with) to a 915D2 a few years back and absolutley embarressed myself from the tee for a season before going with an M4 (that I love and immediately began hitting FWs again). If there’s two things I’d be fine never swinging again it’d be a TaylorMade T2Bubble driver and any Titleist driver. Just sayin’…..

  7. Clubhead speed 114 and ball speed only 158?
    That doesn’t sound right, matt.
    Also when did you start swinging 114?!

  8. Hi Matt,

    I enjoy all your reviews and knowledge of the products on the site. I’m looking to replace my Titleist 917D3 with either the Titleist TS3 or Srixon Z785 drivers. What’s your thoughts on the ball speed, forgiveness, and feel between those two since you’ve just recently tested them? I know it’s subject to each person and fitting, just thought I’d see what you thought? Thanks!

  9. Game the Callaway Epic in Adilla Rogue max but after the great reviews on YouTube went to my shop and tried the demo TS3 with the Hazardous Smoke on trackman in several loft and hosel settings. After that took it for 9 holes out on course and only fairway hits. Even (slight) mishits found the fairway. Great feedback and sound. Maybe not as far as the Epic can get but good distance and found only fairways and that makes golf a lot easier🤓 will take it out a second time for 18 holes to see if that round gives the same results. Love my Epic but TS 3 could be replacing it ….jury is still out

  10. Kenneth Thomas

    Why do you think you got 13 more mph club head speed in the TS3 vs your recent review of the Srixon 785?

  11. Sir Matt,
    114 ss, wow!!!! Would you game it at it’s standard lenght of 45.5″?

  12. Oddly your club head speed has increased significantly, but the yards, while going up, didn’t increase at the same rate. Not sure how to compare the Srixon with the Titleist.

    • Matt Saternus

      Ben,

      We always emphasize that the LM data should not be compared apples-to-apples. Those reviews happened pre vs. post swing changes and on different launch monitors. Foresight vs. Trackman is a big difference on ball speed.

      Best,

      Matt

  13. Matt – did you eat your wheeties before this review? Big jump in swing speed and distance vs review a few weeks ago; I’m assuming this isn’t the TS3 doing that. How would you compare TS3 to Srixon z785? Thanks for the review.

  14. Not to be pesky, but I assumed you were using the same launch monitor technology (i.e., Trackman 4, GC Quad, etc.) for your reviews as a baseline. All review sites settles on one for their reviews. I have your site as a favorite and frequent it often for the reviews (which I appreciate). But the idea of not having a standard for testing is oft-putting and quite astonishing, to be frank w/you.

    Additionally, all good launch monitors are all in the same ball park w/respect to the most pertinent data (ball speed, smash factor, spin rates, carry distance, total distance, directional flight, and ball height), so your statements above about how one system measures smash factor vs. another being FAR different is simply not accurate.

    I work in the golf industry and work w/both Trackman and GC technologies and though there are some differences (as well as pros and cons to both), the differences are nominal at most.

    That smash factor is either not right, you didn’t hit anywhere near the center of the club face, or you had an absolute dud of a TS3. A 1.39 smash factor is what you would see in an iron, not a modern metal wood, let alone a driver.

    Perhaps you should do the test again on another system considering the responses you’ve received on this topic, and while you’re at it, decide on one technology for all your testing and maintain that as a standard going forward. Club Champion, where I’ve noticed you do a lot of your trials and reviews, should be able to accommodate quite easily.

    Ideally, I favor Trackman 4, but considering you’re in a cold weather city like me (I’m in Detroit) GC Quad is better indoors whereas Trackman needs outdoor usage to really shine.

  15. “Nave” is it? (not quite sure about that?) but anyway… The idea that “all good launch monitors are in the same ballpark w respect to the most pertinent data” is just WRONG. That’s cool (I guess) that you work in the golf industry but your assessment shows you as by no means an expert in this topic. First lets take a little educational walk and understand the difference between Doppler (TM) and Camera (GC-Quad).

    TM: By definition can’t measure ANYTHING until the ball actually starts moving through the air. FACT. Yet TM starts fictitiously “guessing” prior to the ball flying based on algorithmic coding… In addition, TM CAN’T report club data. All it sees is a blob like image. IT’S guessing people! Oh yes, almost forgot, it’s been inflating ball speed numbers for almost 15 years because of the algorithms

    QC-Quad: Knows precisely what the face is doing and where the ball is impacting on the face, how fast the COM of the face is moving, and measuring everything from the true COM of the clubhead.

    Now, this is just an introduction to the differences between the two technologies but you can clearly see they are NOTHING alike. Not even close. Do your homework people. There’s a new player in town. Just look on a PGA Tour range for goodness sake. I’m out there with players that I coach 2-3 times per month… Just because “Coke” was the only option for years doesn’t mean it the best…Anymore.

  16. It’s pronounced Na-vay. Yes, it’s cool. The chicks dig it, too.

    Anyhow,this will be my last post because a little silliness is fun, but I have a limit and mostly because now I know why comments are delayed before being visible. I linked for your readers an informational comparison piece on these two platforms, but it was deleted (along w/I don’t remember what else). Hopefully, this post will be posted in its entirety.

    Rick, I’m not certain where to even begin, but in short, you didn’t touch on any of other points I made (which is okay because they weren’t directed towards you) and the one you did get on the ol’ soap box for (the differences) I conceded that already. I didn’t learn anything from you (other than you are a GC fan boy). And being selective w/your points isn’t cool. Reality is that they both guess. GC doesn’t measure club head speed, but uses an algorithm — an awfully good one, but it’s still guessing.

    None of them are perfect, which is why I didn’t demand one over the other. They are both excellent, but the most important point wasn’t the differences (Radar vs Doppler, etc.) but that they both provide incredibly similar results — that was the main point. The data! How they get there is another discussion that you’re having by yourself.

    I just ask that a reviewer, any reviewer of golf clubs, that they should just pick one and stick w/it. In other words have a standard for testing. I’m not wrong about that.

    • Matt Saternus

      Nave,

      I’m going to be brief.

      1) We have stated countless times that the data is not there for apples-to-apples comparisons. It’s just a way to add some color to what the writer actually writes.
      2) Contrary to the other sites you reference, PIG is not a job (in the sense of providing an income) for anyone here. We test when we can, where we can, with what we can. We do not take huge dollars from OEMs to build testing facilities. Everyone who writes here has a strong enough background that they can understand the differences from one machine to another and write about the performance of a club.
      3) Your sense of entitlement is amazing. You pay nothing to read this site. You are not bombarded with ads, we don’t spam our email list, we don’t cover social media with sponsored content, yet you feel you are entitled to tell our writers how they should go about reviewing a club because you “work in the industry.”

      We have one thing in common: we have both reached our limit on this. You are more than welcome to post constructive comments, but this particular discussion is over.

      -Matt

  17. Great review Matt. Keep up the good work here; I really enjoy the site for it’s honest feedback.

    I am currently deployed, but just prior to leaving I did a 3 day fitting with the TS2 and TS3. While my clubspeed was a little down (I’ll be reading your swing change articles that facilitated your SS gains for sure), my launch conditions and ball speeds were awesome with the TS3. 12.9 degree launch, 2,300 backspin, 280/305 average.

    Long story short there is a TS3 already at home still in the shipping box waiting for me to get home next summer.

    Keep up the good work.

  18. Hi Matt, nice review.
    After reading your and other reviews,
    I tested a Ts3 driver outside today near freezing temperature with a Titleist Product Specialist.
    I was very impressed by this product.
    Short story, it is in my bag to replace my 915 D3

    Best regards,
    P.s. when will you test the Ts3 fairway wood.

  19. Nicholas Mulvaney

    Matt,
    Ever since I started looking to replace my ping I-20 driver from 2012 I’ve been reading your posts. I went with the epic subzero last year but ended up snapping the weights in the head on 3 different occasions. Luckily I was refunded. So this year I’ve done the search again and went with the ts3. I ended up with a +4 gram weight in the head with the even flow 65 shaft. I do love it but I am having a problem getting the smash to 1.5 on a trackman. I was able to do this extremely often with my old ping.
    Recent combine stats
    120.1. 170.8. 2520. 289.9. 314.6
    121.6. 176.3. 1850. 290.7. 328.9
    120.4. 176.3. 1870. 287.2. 326.8

    Question is should I take this back to figure out a different shaft? Have you seen anyone get 1.5 with the ts3? The last 2 hits where dead middle of the face. Thanks for any tips you can give me
    Nick

    • Matt Saternus

      Nick,

      I wouldn’t get too obsessed with smash factor IF your ball speed with the TS3 is as good as better than your I20. If you haven’t gained ball speed, then I would go back and find a better fit.

      Best,

      Matt

  20. Lord, I look at just about every review site known to man; and have since the internet began (yep, I’m old). It always amazes me what people expect from these sites; but for a lot of people it’s, “tell me what to buy”. How freaking ludicrous! Case in point: my interest was piqued by your review of this product, so I took my trusty Rogue driver in and tested it against all the new drivers, including the TS3. I found it to be an excellent, but no better than my Rogue. People, take the adviseof all reputable reviewers…..GET FITTED! As always, love PluggedInGolf!

  21. Emmet Nicholson

    Matt, im with Nave on this. Are you happy wirh a smash factor under 1.4? Was this a unique poor strike? Surely that distance from a 114 chs is a poor return? Very frustrating that you put it down to launch monitor differences. Surely you should rake this variable out of the equation, otherwise how can any comparison be made between products reviewed.

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