In September of this year, the new Titleist TSi2 and TSi3 drivers made their debuts on the European Tour and since then they have proven themselves to be some of the most popular drivers among the pros.
Just this week, Titleist topped the driver count at the European Tour’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship.
This comes hot on the heels of Titleist topping the driver count at The Masters for the first time since 2000.
Almost every single one of Titleist’s brand ambassadors has made the switch to TSi. We’ve also seen plenty of non-contracted players do likewise.
Two marquee names to have done so are Patrick Reed and Tommy Fleetwood, who sat first and second respectively in the Race to Dubai Rankings heading into this week.
To try and understand why TSi has been such a huge hit on tour this year, we spoke to Liam MacDougall, Titleist’s European Tour rep and driver fitter extraordinaire.
How did the launch of TSi compare to previous Titleist metalwood launches?
TSi is the most successful metalwoods launch Titleist has had to date on to the European Tour. For it to have happened in the midst of pandemic, with limited numbers of our tour team at events and all of the challenges it has presented, is testament to just how good these new TSi drivers and fairway woods are.
When we launch a new line-up of products, we aren’t actively trying to top any equipment counts or make players switch from their current gamers to the new ones. My goal is to provide the best possible service for each player and to put the best possible products in their hands.
The vast majority of our brand ambassadors almost instantly switched to the new TSi driver models, with the TSi3 proving especially popular.
What’s more, we now have the most non-contracted players in the company’s history using Titleist metalwoods. Having so many non-contracted players using our drivers is a huge validation of the performance they deliver.
Did the immediate popularity of TSi on tour surprise you?
I knew we had two unbelievably good-looking shapes in TSi3 and TSi2. When you put these drivers down behind the ball – and, for the tour players, the TSi3 in particular – it is almost impossible to not fall in love. The classic pear shape of the TSi3 is a bit of a throwback to the Titleist drivers of old.
I also knew that the work our R&D team carried out to improve on every aspect of performance, and the brilliant sound of these drivers, would stand us in good stead.
All that being said, there is no way I could have foreseen just how popular TSi would become.
When you put a new driver into the hands of one of the best players in the world, it will either be hero or zero. Each player has their own personal preferences and sometimes it can be tricky getting a good driver out of someone’s bag.
For our new models to be the ‘hero’ for so many different players is just remarkable.
I think one of the driving forces of the popularity of the TSi drivers when we first launched them on tour was word of mouth. The buzz about these new drivers among the tour players meant that I was completely run off my feet trying to fit everyone who was excited to test them.
When you have the pros talking among themselves so positively about a new product, you know you’re onto a real winner.
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What are the main performance benefits the pros are seeing?
First and foremost, players would comment on the feel off the face. The TSi drivers have a real classic sound and feel that most of the pros just love and is noticeably different to every other driver out there at the moment.
I would say for about half of the players I fitted it was the jump in ball speed that really grabbed their attention, while the other half were noticing a real improvement in stability over what they had been using.
When you’ve got a phenomenal product to fit with, it makes my job a lot easier. When I hand over a TSi driver to someone, I do not have to make too many changes to dial it in. It’s usually just a few small tweaks and the products are doing the rest of the talking.