Every once in a while, Titleist surprises us, and they did this week when they announced the TS4 as an addition to their Titleist Speed Project series of drivers.
The new TS4 driver, which is going to be put into play by 2016 PGA champion Jimmy Walker this week at the 2019 Valero Texas Open, features a smaller, 430cc head designed to kill speed for not just low-handicap players with high swing speeds but golfers who find it difficult to optimize spin and launch angle using modern 460cc heads. Titleist is claiming the TS4 not only kills spin, but it also still packs the ball speeds found in the TS2 and TS3 drivers, which have proven popular on the PGA Tour for their remarkable performance.
The TS4 still boasts Titleist's thinnest titanium crown, a thinner, variable-thickness face, as well the SureFit hosel for 16 lie-and-loft adjustments. The big design change in the TS4 compared to the others in the TS family of drivers is a low-and-more-forward center of gravity. There's a 5mm difference forward compared to the TS2, thanks in large part to the SureFit Flatweight located on the forward part of the driver's sole.
By putting the CG location closer to impact, that's going to knock down spin for a more piercing ball flight. It's not going to launch high, like the TS2 might for this type of player. There's a trade-off of some moment of inertia -- a smaller package will do that -- but a player hitting nearer the center of the face in this smaller package will appreciate the gain in distance. I can speak to the value of that trade-off from personal experience, as someone who almost prefers a smaller-head on my driver to get maximum distance from certain manufacturers.
Golfers can choose the same aftermarket shafts made available in the TS2 and TS3, including the Even Flow T1100 White 65, HZRDUS Smoke Black 60, Mitsubishi Tensei AV Series Blue 55 and Kuro Kage Black Dual Core 50.
The Titleist TS4 driver will be available in 8.5-, 9.5- and 10.5-degree heads in June for $499 each.