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Today I’ll be reviewing the Titleist TSR2 driver.
As the successor to Titleist’s TSi2 driver, the TSR2 has been engineered with a faster aerodynamic design and a new, ultra-forgiving face technology. This will ostensibly help golfers of all skill levels maximize their distance and find more fairways.
Titleist set out to eliminate the weaknesses of the previous TSi2 model in the TSR2. But how does it perform when put to the test? Who is it best suited for? Is it worth putting in the bag?
Read on to find out what you need to know to make an informed purchase.
Note: Unless otherwise stated, stock shafts and stock grips are used when evaluating this club. In most cases, the golf clubs reviewed on Golfstead are acquired temporarily for testing purposes and are not purchased. The review that follows is based on the personal experience and research of the author. Because everyone’s swing and body are different, results with a particular club may differ from person to person.
What are the reviews like?
The Titleist TSR2 driver has been received very well by critics, earning high marks across the board. The driver currently has a 5/5 customer rating on Rock Bottom Golf.
Most people feel that the driver is much closer in performance to the TSi3 than the TSi2 was.
What People Like
- gains in distance and forgiveness over the previous TSi2 model
- light yet explosive impact feel
- high launch
- nice ball flight
What People Don’t Like
- doesn’t differentiate itself much from previous TSi family
Multi-Plateau VFT Face
The TSR2 driver features a new face design called Multi-Plateau VFT (Variable Face Thickness). This technology builds the face inward layer-by-layer so that CT across the face is nearly constant, thus significantly improving forgiveness.
CT, which stands for “characteristic time”, is the metric that the USGA and R&A currently use to measure energy transfer from the face to the ball at impact. It’s very similar to the concept of COR (coefficient of restitution) which is still used for fairway woods, hybrids and irons.
Low & Forward CG
The center of gravity (CG) in the TSR2 has been shifted lower and more forward, which has the effect of increasing launch and reducing spin for maximum distance.
Fast Aerodynamics & Player-Preferred Shaping
Titleist made a number of shaping adjustments to the TSR2 meant to improve looks and aerodynamics from the previous TSi2.
The first is that the back of the head has a flatter “boat tail” shape in order to promote faster movement through the air.
The second is that the toe has a less angular, more natural appearance, the purpose of which is to produce an address look that is more appealing to better players.
The integrated SureFit hosel, which enables sixteen (16) unique loft and lie combinations, can be used to fine-tune your ball flight to best suit your swing
The TSR2 driver is available in 8°, 9°, 10°, and 11° standard lofts at 460CC.
The stock shafts offered are:
- featured graphite shafts: Project X HZRDUS Red CB (mid-high launch), TENSEI AV Blue W/ Xlink Tech (mid launch), Project X HZRDUS Black 4G (low-mid launch), TENSEI 1K Black (low launch)
- premium graphite shafts: Tour AD UB, Tour AD DI, Tour AD IZ, Project X HZRDUS Red CB (Women)
The stock grip is the Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360. The Golf Pride Z-Grip is available as a premium option.
Below are the specs of the Titleist TSR drivers. Click or zoom to enlarge.
What I find quite remarkable is how there’s a clear improvement in speed over the previous TSi2: carry distance is up, ball speed is up, and clubhead speed is up.
Smash factor is darn close to the optimal value of 1.5, while spin is noticeably reduced by about 700-1000 RPM. What’s more, the smash factor in mis-hit regions is better than it is on the TSi2.
It goes to show you that the reshaping of the TSR2 head and CG shift aren’t just marketing gimmicks; they produce real results.
I can safely say that the TSR2 is Titleist’s most forgiving driver yet in terms of ball speed preservation across the face.
However, one of the consequences of moving the CG low and forward is a lower MOI, so while the technologies Titleist packs into the head keep the speed high, there is less directional forgiveness. On this front, I didn’t notice an improvement over the TSi2.
Still, I think Titleist has done an admiral job creating the conditions for massive distance while keeping dispersions relatively tight.
The TSR2 driver tends to produce a high trajectory with a slightly draw-biased ball flight.
I did find that the launch of the TSR2 was excessively high, to the point where many of my drives were close to ballooning. As a result, total distance was less than I was hoping it would be. This suggests that I may see even better results with the 8-degree.
Because of the more forward CG, the TSR2 is more workable than the TSi2 to the extent that skilled players should feel comfortable shaping their shots off the tee. At the same time, it’s easy to just step up there and just let it rip because it doesn’t place such a premium on making dead-center contact.
Between the TSR2 and TSi2, you’ll notice quickly that the TSR2 is slimmer, sleeker, and has more of a players’ shape, which is what many people prefer when set up behind the ball.
The TSR2 also has a softer, more rounded, more symmetrical pear shape that is more in line with the TSi3 and TSR3 drivers. The new toe shape makes the topline of the TSR2 appear to set up slightly open.
When it comes to branding and design, the TSR2 is very understated. There is rather subtle logoing towards the heel and toe that leave the sole very clean, and the glossy black crown is very clean as well.
I really love the face designs of Titleist drivers in general, and the TSR2 is no exception, with very intricate linework and an appealing diamond pattern in the center.
The Sound & Feel
Overall, sound and feel are very similar to that of the TSi2 and are uniquely Titleist.
The TSR2 carries forward an all-titanium construction from the previous TSi line, leading to a classic “metal wood” sound at impact that is quite high-pitched. At the same time, the TSR2 feels both light off the face and explosive.
I found that the TSR2 tends to be a little louder than the TSi2, but the difference is small.
Another thing I noticed was that while mis-hits don’t feel overly punishing, there is plenty of feedback to be able to discern where contact was made on the face. This is not surprising since Titleist is trying to attract more skilled players to the TSR2 while maintaining the driver’s appeal to higher handicaps.
Where To Buy This Driver Online
In addition to being able to input custom specs, Global Golf and Rock Bottom Golf offer financing, performance guarantees, and club trade-in programs to help you minimize the financial hit. eBay is a fantastic source for golf equipment, both new and used.
Titleist gives you several different avenues to get fit or to understand which loft, length, shaft, etc. would be best for you.
With that said, new driver models don’t stay new for long, and eventually the option for custom orders will disappear. At that point, you’ll have to look at an off-the-rack TSR2 or even a used one.
With the TSR2, Titleist has managed to improve on what made the TSi2 great, while also addressing its weaknesses.
Distance? In spades. Forgiving? Oh yes. Easy to launch? Definitely.
The TSR2 is a strong performer in practically every category. And the cherry on top are sleek, uncomplicated looks with a signature Titleist feel that’s better than ever.
That said, if you already own a TSi2 or TSi3 and are happy with it, it may not be worth making the jump to the TSR2 because the performance difference isn’t huge. The driver is going to set you back at least $600, or more if you opt for a premium shaft and grip.
Are you interested in the TSR2 driver? Have you played it? What’s your experience? Let us know in the comments below.