When it comes to prototypes, Titleist is proud of its “tour seeding and validation process” that it conducts with its tour players to make sure a product is ready for launch. This process is normally highlighted by the debut of the product on tour. This week at the Memorial Tournament—oddly, an event at which no tour vans are allowed on site—the company has brought out its TS2 and TS3 hybrids as well as utility irons that bear “500” and “510” engraved on the hosel. As usual, the company was quiet about details on the product or when they might appear at retail, but some things can be deduced from a photograph posted on the company’s Twitter account.
The prototype hybrids appear to mirror the company’s driver line in that the hybrids have done away with the sole slot (“active recoil channel”) seen on previous Titleist hybrids that was designed to provide more face flexibility for more distance. In the drivers the explanation was that it wasn’t needed because of weight savings that yielded a lower center of gravity and more pop. It remains to be seen if a similar explanation is given for the hybrids. The TS2 hybrids also has a weight ner the front of the sole (the TS2 driver has a weight in the rear of the sole) while the TS3 does not have a weight, like the TS3 driver.
The U-Series utility irons appear to borrow from the company’s T-MB line in that from photos they appear to be a hollow construction that uses tungsten weight. The difference, at least from appearances, seems to be that the U510 looks a bit larger and has a wider sole than the U500.
Among those players putting the U-500 utilities in play last week were Ben An, Bud Cauley, Charles Howell III, Joost Luiten, Cam Smith, Jordan Spieth and Peter Uihlein while Charley Hoffman (17.0) and Robert Streb (21.0) had the TS3 hybrids in the bag.