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Titleist have just dropped a pretty cool four-part ‘docuseries’ on YouTube, which covers the brand’s Titleist Speed Project. And on the golf geek-out scale, it’s pretty high up. 

Titleist say the series covers the R&D breakthrough that drove the resurgence of Titleist drivers on the PGA Tour. The series covers the move from Titleist from being one of the shortest driver models on tour to one of the most played.  

Knowing how massively competitive the driver market is, this is a refreshing insight with how a brand had to step up a push the limits. We watched all four episodes and the here are our big takeaways. 

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1. One of the shortest drivers on tour 

In 2016, Titleist launches their 917D driver and it’s received really well from tour players, seeing some success with Justin Thomas winning five times. But even though it had success, players were only concerned about one thing – ball speed. The video shows that Titleist had built this model for all-round performance, but admits they had missed this common trend. 

The models were now among the shortest on tour. Jordan Speith was their No.1 player at the time and he was being out-driven consistently. Remarkably, his coach said: “There were opportunities to dance with other drivers”. That’s a pretty big admission for a major manufacturer to make. 

• FIRST LOOK: The new 2023 Titleist Pro V1 and Pro V1x

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2. Players were testing on the range at the US open 

For a professional, it only takes a few swings for them to see if they like a driver or not. For the Titleist TS driver, players wanted to know if it ticked the ball speed box. Titleist drove their tour truck to the home course of Jordan Speith – which is unheard of – but it paid off.  

It’s fairly rare for a player to put a driver in play so quickly – for example, Rory McIlroy isn’t yet using the TaylorMade Stealth 2, but has the fairway in play – but, incredibly, Speith would play the TS in his bag at the US open, along with 17 other players that week.  

It seems players were testing on the range at a major and putting the TS into play just days later. Boxes ticked. 

• Titleist celebrates record year

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3. Uncontracted players wanted the TSi driver 

Off the back of TS, the next step for Titleist was to create a design that offered incredible speed and performance but TSi would face a few hurdles along the way because it was too fast. How is that possible? The face couldn’t withstand the speed over a long period of time, which caused them to flatten.  

Titleist said their R&D team stepped up with a material called ATI 425, which it describes as the missing piece of the puzzle. Now the brand were sweeping the driver and fairway count on tour across the board. Not only that, but players who weren’t contracted were using a Titleist driver. 

• REVIEW: Titleist TSR driver

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4. Aerodynamics 

Steve Ogg appears to have been a massive lightbulb guy for the brand in terms of shaping its design philosophy. Ogg has experience in aerospace and his expertise developed the new aerodynamic shaping of the TSR driver. Players would be happy in the TSi head because it was so good but TSR was on another level. Cam Smith and Cam Young would both play the TSR at the Open in St Andrews, where Titleist would take first and second place, a dream start for the brand. “It’s going to be tough to catch us,” said Steven Pelisek, President of Titleist Golf Clubs.  

He’s not wrong.  

You can watch the full ‘We Go Farther’ docuseries click here.

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James Tait is bunkered’s Gear Editor. Want to know how the latest Callaway driver, Vokey wedge or Scotty Cameron putter performs? He’s the guy to ask. Better yet, just watch his videos on the bunkered YouTube channel. One of the biggest hitters in the UK, James also competes on the World Long Drive circuit and is a descendent of former Amateur champion Freddie Tait.

Gear Editor

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