Reviewed: Brand-new Titleist TSR drivers and fairway woods

Traditional looks collide with a new way for golfers to think about their fairway woods.
Titleist's new TSR line of drivers and fairway woods is attractive and full of surprises.

After showing up on the PGA Tour in June, Titleist's new TSR line of drivers and fairway woods were released to the public recently. After meeting up for a fitting, GolfPass staffers Tim Gavrich and Drake Dunaway have spent the last few weeks testing them. Here are their thoughts on the new clubs overall, as well as some insights they've gained from hitting the clubs themselves on the range and on the course. That includes a revelation that might have you rethinking the composition of your golf bag.

Fitting location: Lake Nona Golf & Country Club
Fitter: Joe Lewandowski

- Driver: Titleist TSR3, 9 degrees, Mitsubishi Tensei 1K Black 65, X-Flex, 45" (-0.5"), standard loft/lie
- Fairway: Titleist TSR3 16.5 degrees, MitsubishiTensei 1K Black 65, X-Flex, 43" (standard), standard loft/lie
- Fairway: Titleist TSR2 18 degrees, Mitsubishi Tensei 1K Black 65, X-Flex, 42" (standard), +1.5 deg loft (19.5 deg total), -.75 deg lie

- Driver: Titleist TSR3, 8 degrees, Graphite Design Tour AD UB7, Tour X-Flex, 45" (-0.5), standard loft/lie
- Fairway: Titleist TSR3 16.5 degrees, Graphite Design Tour AD UB8, X-Flex, 43" (standard), standard loft/lie

TIM GAVRICH: Drake, is there a better sight for a golfer to come home to than a long cardboard box with brand-new clubs inside?

As long as I've been playing golf, Titleist has always been the ultimate traditionalist's brand. From the unchanging cursive name font to the simple looks of their clubs to Jim Nantz's voiceovers on their TV ads, they're as classy and timeless as it gets in golf equipment. I personally really like how clean the TSR drivers and woods look at address, especially the TSR3 driver.

Golfers who salivated over the legendary 975D and 975J will immediately recognize the inspiration in 460cc form with the players-oriented TSR3 and low-spin TSR4. Heck, even the TSR2 driver, which tends to be a little shallower and more rounded in order to maximize forgiveness, is much more pear-shaped than its predecessor, the TSi2. There are no paint accents anywhere to be found, only glossy black metal across the crown, just like there's always been. The only "modern" touch is that a small TSR badge serves as the alignment aid.

GolfPass' Tim Gavrich tests Titleist's new TSR3 driver at Lake Nona Golf & Country Club in Orlando, Fla.

Feel and sound follow the looks, too. Titleist drivers and woods tend to make modest music, and I've found the slightly muted metallic "ting" of the driver to be very pleasant. The same goes for my TSR2 5-wood. But whereas I like the sound and feel of the driver and 5 wood, I love what the longer of the two fairway woods has to offer. I'm kind of obsessed with it actually - it has that pear-shaped player's look I prefer and it gives as close to a persimmon "THWACK" at impact as any metalwood I've hit in years.

DRAKE DUNAWAY: Yes, heading to the course with a couple new sticks, especially a new driver, is a great feeling. I am always looking for consistency off the tee and one critical aspect that a club can help with is the confidence you feel with it at address. The solid black head with just the small TSR for alignment is a look I love. I also like the darkness of the clubface itself; it has helped me avoid opening the face a little at address. The sound is a little quieter than I am accustomed to, but that doesn’t bother me much.

Just like you, the TSR3 fairway wood has quickly become a favorite of mine. I had gamed a Titleist 915Fd 13.5-degree fairway wood for years, so I have experience with Titleist fairway woods. The TSR3 has a sharp look to it and its head is wider to my eye, which I like because sometimes fairway woods can look quite small and intimidating when you’re trying to hit a green from 200+ yards out.

GolfPass staffer Drake Dunaway dials in a Titleist TSR3 driver

So far, the 16.5-degree 4-wood has provided a great combination of playability from the fairway and off the tee. My natural ballflight with it is rather high with most of the distance being carry yardage. Distance is my greatest strength, so I like the ball stopping close to where it lands on approach shots. The ball being in the air longer has led to not much distance loss from my old 13.5-degree fairway wood. Off the tee I can bring the flight down with a few swing changes to control it more and prevent it from ballooning.

T.G.: Not to belabor the point, but that fairway wood was the eye-opener of the fitting experience for me as well. I've been a driver-3-wood-5-wood guy forever, which has always made me think I need a wood with no more than 15 degrees of loft in order to attack par 5s and put myself in position off the tee on shorter and/or tighter par 4s. But it's just not true - my 16.5-degree wood goes just about as far as my previous 3 wood gamer (a Srixon from about six years ago). Not only that, I don't feel as though I have to work as hard to get it in the air from the fairway. That alone makes it more versatile than my previous 3 wood. What's more, a hosel adjustment to my TSR2 5-wood has preserved a solid distance gap between the two clubs.

You and I are both lower-handicap players, and if we're both questioning the need for lower-lofted non-driver fairway woods, it's safe to say that there might be millions of higher handicappers who should seriously assess whether they really need a 3 wood, or whether 16 or 17 degrees is actually the right loft for their longest fairway wood instead.

It's worth noting that neither of us would have come to this realization if we hadn't gone for a proper, outdoor fitting.

Drake (left) and Titleist fitter Joe Lewandowski (right) confer over Drake's TrackMan numbers during the fitting.

D.D.: For any avid golfer, getting fitted for clubs with a professional club fitter outdoors is just a fun experience. Joe was wonderful to us and during the fitting, I felt like we were a team of two working together to maximize my game with the swing I have. Making similar swings back-to-back and picking up 5 to 10 yards is a great feeling.

In general, going into any fitting, I think it’s important to know what you want in your new club the most because you know your shortcomings better than anyone. I knew I wanted a driver head/shaft combo that would reduce spin and lower my ballflight a little bit. My miss with the driver is a super-high, spinny tee shot that gets crushed by any amount of wind in the face. Joe was able to help fight that miss and I've noticed a lower, more controllable launch with my TSR3 driver.

If you love golf and have never been fitted for clubs, I cannot recommend it enough.

Titleist's new TSR line of drivers ($599) and fairway woods ($349) are now available at, retail stores, greengrass locations and custom-fitting shops.

July 27, 2018
Click here for more insight into golf equipment courtesy of GolfPass.

Tim Gavrich is a Senior Writer for GolfPass. Follow him on Twitter @TimGavrich and on Instagram @TimGavrich.
Drake Dunaway grew up in Dayton, Ohio, where he started playing golf at a young age before playing collegiately at DePauw University. Recently he’s lived in Phoenix and now in Orlando, where he still tries to play once or twice a week. He’s worked in golf since 2016 and joined the GolfPass team in 2019. Follow him on Twitter @drake_dunaway
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Reviewed: Brand-new Titleist TSR drivers and fairway woods