Expert Review: Titleist TSR3 DriverPublished on 03/08/2023 · 6 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the driver, which I purchased with my own money in September of 2022.
TSR 3 after 3 months of heavy use. All photos courtesy of Tim Norton
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the driver, which I purchased with my own money in September of 2022.
One of the top drivers on the market today in my opinion, the Titleist TSR3 offers a classic design with loads of modern tech. This driver is geared toward players looking for a classic pear shape, a fast face, and great performance.
About the club I own
- Model: 2022 Titleist TSR 3
- Loft setting: A1
- Shaft type: Diamana D+ Limited 70 X
- Shaft flex: X Stiff
- Average score: 78
- Handicap: 6.0
- Experience: 20 years of golf
- Right/Left-Handed: Right-handed
- Typical ball flight: Low/mid draw
- Golf ball used: Titleist ProV1X Left Dash
- Club swing speed: 125mph
- When I bought the club: September 2022
- Days tested: 50
- Where I’ve used it: Range, course, and simulator
- Weather and wind conditions: Sun, rain, and heavy wind. I have played in temps from 40–85℉ with this driver.
How it performs
What I was looking for
I was looking for a low-launch and low-spin driver head that had a classic shape. The Titleist TS series has been on my watch list for years, as they continue to introduce more speed, forgiveness, and distance in their series.
Why I chose this club
I wanted to keep it simple in terms of style, but I did not want to compromise on performance. I looked into several other options from Callaway and TaylorMade when I originally got fit for this driver. I did not like the looks of the other companies' drivers—with their ultra-modern designs and colors. The Titleist may not stand out on a rack, but it surely stands out on the tee.
What I love about it
- Distance: The Titleist is just as long as the other top OEMs with a classic titanium face. The face on this driver is pushed to its maximum thinness to help produce a faster ball speed and more distance. The speed ring helps maintain ball speed throughout the face to reduce distance loss on mishit shots. On average, I see 305 carry and a 325 total in normal playing conditions.
- Feel: The ball feels soft off the face and provides instant feedback when hit. The softer feel has allowed me to gain confidence in knowing my alignment and address with the driver. The softer feel of the face after each drive instantly gives feedback on the projected landing zone of my ball. More feel results in better feedback before the ball even lands, which is ideal for the moderate- to high-caliber player.
- Sound: This driver offers a classic metallic sound when hit square. There is a noticeable but faint metallic sound when it's not hit on the sweet spot.
- Workability: It’s easy to play a cut or draw with the head, and adjusting the weights in the rear help with the optimal flight.
- Adjustability: The rear weight track helps influence the ball flight, while the loft sleeve helps dial in lie angle and loft.
- Shaft Feel: The shaft is one of the best on the market; Tiger played this style for years. It’s stout throughout with enough feel at the load point.
- Shaft Performance: I achieved a low spin and low launch with this shaft. With the stock shaft from Titleist, the Tensei 1k Black, I saw my ball spin in the mid-3k range. The higher spin was causing my ball to balloon in the wind and drop shorter than expected. With the Diamana D+ I was able to achieve 2500–2700 rpm backspin, which helped the ball cut through the wind and have a decent roll out.
- Aesthetic Appeal: This driver has a timeless design with minimal graphics showing.
- Grip Feel: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord grips are a custom option, but Titleist offers a branded version as well. These are hard, corded grips that help me feel every shot rather than the heavy rubber grips that are meant for comfort. I gain more control with the Tour Velvet cord grips with the reduced gap between my shaft and hands.
- Launch Angle: The launch angle, on average, is about 12 degrees, which is ideal for my swing speed and spin numbers. I can launch the ball high enough to see long carry distances every time with this driver.
- Spin: Spin held in the 2500–2700 rpm range, which is plenty to carry the ball to its peak and roll out after impact. The driver did not move outside of that range after I dialed in the correct shaft.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Forgiveness: This club takes some getting used to for dialing in the sweet spot and weighting for the players liking. Though the more advanced player will be able to control ball flight with practice. Off-center hits travel about 10–15 yards less on average due to the increase of topspin on the left miss or the increased side spin on the right miss. While I was able to control the driver in most instances, early on, I found it difficult to replicate the center strike every time. I find my standard shot is more toe biased but does not overdraw.
Best shot with this club
Playing in my final money game of the year, I relied on this driver for 12 drives. On the 10th hole, downhill about 540 yards, I hit a tight draw over water and landed perfectly on the left side of the fairway where I was aiming. The ball's total distance finished around 350 yards, and I left my group well behind. Having played the driver for a few months, I have complete trust that I can play the shot I need in any situation.
Value for the money vs. other options
As the driver market gets more competitive and expensive, the TSR 3 stands out amongst the rest: right in the sweet spot on price without the compromise of performance off the tee. A wide variety of custom, no-upcharge options can keep the cost lower than most other companies' offerings. The TSR line is about the same price as the other offerings from TaylorMade and Callaway this season. I chose the TSR based on performance overall versus the Stealth Plus and Rogue Triple Diamond, as the TSR looked, sounded, and performed better than the others. The TSR checked all of my boxes: a simple design that was packed with technology to gain distance and forgiveness. I did not enjoy the TaylorMade Stealth address due to the red face, and the sound was somewhat muted for my liking. The Rogue produced very low spin, and the head was about 10 grams lighter than the rest, which forced more of a left miss with the increased speed.
This is the best driver that I have had the chance to play or own over the past five seasons. I have finally found a driver that checks every box in performance and looks that no other could match. The TSR 3 reigns supreme with pros and amateurs alike, and I think Titleist found the perfect mix of classic and modern tech in this driver.