NEWS FROM THE TOUR VANS
BROUGHT TO YOU BY GOLF PRIDE, THE #1 GRIP ON TOUR
It’s never certain whether a company’s new driver will become popular with top players, but the Titleist TSi is off to an impressive start.
At last week’s BMW PGA Championship on the European Tour, the TS3i was the most played driver model, and helping that cause were two notable equipment free agents who have joined the driver club. Tommy Fleetwood, ranked No. 14 in the world, and Matthew Fitzpatrick, ranked No. 20 in the world, switched from their respective TaylorMade drivers in favor of Titleist.
Both Fleetwood and Fitzpatrick use Titleist Pro V1 balls but are known otherwise for mixed bags. Fleetwood has TaylorMade M6 fairway woods, irons split between Srixon Z785 (4-5) and TaylorMade TF Prototypes (6-9), Callaway Jaws MD5 Raw wedges and an Odyssey #3 White Hot Pro putter. Fitzpatrick relies mainly on Ping, including its G410 fairway woods and S55 irons, but has three Titleist Vokey SM8s in the bag. Fitzpatrick had been using a TaylorMade driver since 2017, so it will be interesting to track whether the move to Titleist is a long-term play.
This past week also was significant for Titleist on the PGA Tour as the next-generation Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls are available now for competitive use. It’s just the beginning of Titleist’s seeding and validation process that includes gaining feedback from players in the coming months. TPC Summerlin in Las Vegas, host of last week’s Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, is where the original Pro V1 prototypes were introduced in October 2000. More than 74 percent of players on the PGA Tour and other major worldwide tours use Pro V1 or Pro V1x balls.
Other gear talk in Vegas revolved around the endless adventures of Bryson DeChambeau. The practice range at TPC Summerlin could not contain DeChambeau’s mammoth drives as he sent several balls careening toward the equipment trailers parked on a road behind the range. One of the balls dented the rental car of Titleist rep Aaron Dill. It was at that point that DeChambeau moved 40 yards back to prevent additional damage.
As previously noted here, DeChambeau is testing a 48-inch driver in an attempt to hit the ball even farther. He did not put that model in play last week, but his update on the testing process should be concerning for the far reaches of driving ranges everywhere.
“Still need to get some things worked out, but so far, it’s been pretty amazing,” DeChambeau said. “If it’s as consistent as what I’m doing now, there’s no reason why (I wouldn’t use it). I’d be using it everywhere out here. It would be even more of an asset to me.
“I watched Happy Gilmore a little while ago, and it just re-inspired me to try and hit it as far as possible.”