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Steve Pelisek Podcast #331 – Titleist TSi

Worldwide Golf Shops INSIDER PODCAST #331! In this installment, we chat with the President of Titleist Golf Clubs, Mr. Steve Pelisek! Steve talks Titleist’s new TSi1 Woods, TSi4 Driver, TSi2/3 Hybrids! Please Enjoy this INSIDER Podcast.

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Podcast Transcript:

Welcome to the worldwide golf Shops Insider Podcast episode 331. Hello everyone, Tom Brassell here. Thanks so much for joining us. So glad you did. Whether if you’re a first-time listener, longtime subscriber, or maybe a fit somewhere in the middle doesn’t matter. 

Which is glad that you joined us. Today is a great day to join us as well because we have one of our longtime guests on the show. A wily veteran joins us every year this time, he’s the president of Titleist clubs, Mr. Steve Pelisek.  Peli, great to have you with us, man. 

Hey Tom, thanks for having me. 

Well, we hate that It’s gotta be this way this year, you know, we normally do this at the PGA merchandise show.  But I guess I guess everything we’ve done in the past year has been virtual anyway in it. 

Yes it has. We were. Wearing out Microsoft Teams and zoom in just.  Like everybody else. 

Before we get into clubs, take us back about 10 months or so.  When everything started, all this craziness hit. In the what you guys want to do ’cause it’s been some it’s been some weird time. 

Yeah, yeah it was. It still is. You know this is still an issue in especially in California and and I think one of the things I’m most proud about is is we worked really hard to true all of this. Yeah, we’re trying to run a business, but we’re also first and foremost trying to keep people safe and our priorities all along has been the health and safety of. The of the team and.  And then the quality of what would we continue to produce and and then productivity?  But yeah, when when the governor issued that first stay at home order back in March, it was.  It was. Use some unique is the first time we’ve ever faced anything like that, we close the factory. You know that half our folks work in the factory and the other half out here work on everything else. You know, sales and marketing in the R&D team and the planners and then. But the factory was closed for about two months and when we opened back up, we had you.  Know this has started to pick up and they put you know considerably, and so that was a real challenge.  You know? Trying to run the factory and keeping people safe and but we we worked through it made it very clear what the rules were and and and so again, I’m really, really proud of that part of the business and then the other part was just how seamlessly the team transition to working remotely.  You know, we we we, I’ve told the story a couple times this week but we actually finished.  The TSI driver design during the shutdown isn’t working with the new material in that driver is called ATI 425 and.  Limited use of it.  And it’s in the face, and face designs are pretty comp.  Created and just highly iterative process and and obviously you want to get it as as as fast as you can and still conforming and all that stuff and so we weren’t done and so had to finish it.  We had to finish it remotely, which was really an amazing process and and.  Hats off to RIT team.  For getting everybody in April.  But anyway, it was.  It was really cool actually to see people come together like that and stay focused.  And really it was some of our best work.  Ironically, because the product came out fantastically well, so it was.  It’s been wild from the shut down to the surge in the second half.  You know where where business was, you know was better than we thought.  Just there’s just.  It’s been an amazing and amazing here. 

Yeah, the silver lining you coming together when you physically can’t come together and pull the whole thing off.  That’s that’s amazing.  When we talk with Steve, it’s always new clubs.  An odd number of years.  It seems like it’s always drivers, fairways, and hybrids and you mentioned TSI two and three. Why don’t you take us through?  A little bit behind backstage.That’s pretty cool stuff. 

Yeah, I’d. Love to thanks for the time to do it.  You know we run on two year life cycles and we think it works.  It takes us a couple years.  Anything shorter than that.  We’re not genuinely convinced that the product is better.  If that’s a rhythm that we’re in that seems to work for us, you know a lot of times the stuff that we’re working on has been in process for way more than two years.  You know ’cause the Advanced Research guys and the innovation guys are working on new technologies that when they’re ready, they’re ready.  And in the case of some of the stuff in TS I’ve been working on.  Some of the inertia improvements for four and five years, but so it’s time, you know, we launched the new drivers TSI two and three on tour up in Napa at the Safeway and Dan.  But you.  Know there’s quite a bit of work that leads up to a tour launch. 

You know we started doing legitimate finished product testing.  You know in April, May and we knew right away that we had a really, really good product.  You never can quite tell because up to that point all your estimates are.  You know they’re virtually there that the computer is telling you, hey, this is going to be really good.  But then you gotta tweak the sound and you gotta make sure the shape looks just right.  Then of course the launch numbers.  You know the speed, spin, launch, launch angles are good, but we knew by June July we that we had a really good product and an.  And then we went to Napa and 26 guys put the driver and play the new driver. Play the first week, it’s just pretty amazing. We’ve never had a transition that quick. Then we launched in.  November and so we’re a couple months into the life cycle of you know what we hope will be a nice 24 months and it’s been terrific. Two and three. You know the two drivers are aligned similar to the way we’ve done it in the past. TSI two is kind of that default bomber setting driver.  Everything there is set kinda new too.  The CDC is really deep for us. The MRI is really high for us and there’s an optimization there.  You know that you got to be careful with, but the case I choose a bomber and we talk about there are different ways to get speed out of a driver.  Tom and TSI 2 is really more of an inertia play.  It’s out of forgiveness.  And so your peak ball speed is going to be great, and but your average ball speed is going to be great because it’s very, very forgiving.  And and and then TSI three is more both 460CC drivers. They don’t look it, but they both are. They just get there in different ways. TSI 3 looks a little more compact. The CG isn’t quite as deep, it’s a little more forward, which if you’re if you’re techie, you know that that’s probably a little lower spinning driver. But the key to TSI three is its adjustable CG.  So you can.  You can slide the CG out toward that.  Oh, you can slide it towards the heel and that gives a good fit.  Are a ton of opportunity to maybe just, you know, squeeze a couple more miles an hour, speed out of a driver.  If you can align the CG with where you tend to hit the ball and face.  It also, can you know, be directional.  You know a directional help, so it can also affect spin.  So choose a bomber gets its distance from forgiveness.  Three’s a little more adjustable, a little lower launch, a little lower spin, but if that’s what you need, you’re going to hit a car there and then. I’m sorry for this long answer, but then we’ve got a couple of others that are coming here in a couple of months or next month.  Yeah, let me see, let me get my date straight now we’re end of.  Feb on TSI.  One and TSI 4 launch so those are two other plays that there are other ways to get dish inside of a driver and one TSI one gets it through.  It’s very very very light.  There are some folks who just swing a lighter club faster. Tom an and. Faster clubhead speed.  Swing speed generally translates into faster ball speed, so TSI one is a really light.  We use a slightly light.  Head generally lighter shafts a lighter grip, so just pull weight out of the Golf Club.  For some it’s going to be too light and it’s going to be too spinning, but for others, yeah, that could be the ticket.  And then on the other extreme end of the spectrum is TSI 4, which is the ultra low spin driver.  You know spin can be a distance robber if you let it be.  If you got too much spin, you really want the right amount of spin ’cause you need some to keep the ball in the air.  All golf balls are dynamic.  And so TSI four is just super low spin so.  If that’s what you need.  That’s going to be the one that goes the farthest, so I really, really love by the time we’re done here, the lineup of TSI 123 and four, which is kind of four ways to figure out.  You know how do I hit the ball?  As far as I possibly can, you know, and it was forgiveness.  With the right launch conditions.  With the right spend a great look.  Feel you know it’s a cool line up by the time. 

Yeah, and you don’t want to assume that you know what you need, and I use Titleist as the great example.  Two years ago I went out to TPI and I told Lucas, hey, here’s what I need, and boy did he prove me wrong.  You know you don’t know until you actually get down and look at the numbers and look at the windows it’s going through. Thank you.  Look at the spin rates. Even if you’re going to get the roll out what you think you might need.  Might be completely different than what you, what’s the right fit for you, right? 

It happens time and time again, Tom and it.  It’s really through the bag driver.  Feeding might be the most straightforward of them because you know you’re trying to hit the ball far and straight.  Then you transition to fairly good play.  And yeah, you still wanna hit Florence St, but now you gotta consider the fact that you’re probably hitting that club into a green so it’s got stop.  You gotta, you gotta choose a club that.  You can stop.  Iron play is all about, you know, precision and precision is both directional and its distance and its.  Carry distance, you really want drop and stop.  Wedge Play is all about, you know, the the bounce you need the grind you need, how you like to play, the different shots, the gapping of your distance is, you know, and and so it’s it just keeps going and it’s it’s really a cool.  It’s a fun process when you get a golfer who cares and is is dedicated enough to their game to say I want to go through this.  OK.  I want to outfit my bag. I get to carry 14 friends with me and hopefully my Pro V1 an and and an you work with a fitter who can go through that whole process.  It generally has a dramatic impact on your ability to go score.  A low score wins man. 

They take us through fairways and hybrids.  While we’ve got you with us, that’s something we don’t want to miss. 

Yeah yeah.  So we launched TSI two and three Fairway Woods that are similarly positioned to the drivers, you know, DSI two is generally a little bigger, profile, a little higher, launch, a little higher spin TSI, turn again. It’s just the same thing. A little smaller profile, maybe a little more penetrating. Interestingly though. We’ve. TSI has proven to be really popular on tour and not that the tour is the measuring stick for. Whether a Golf Club is all is best for everyone, but it does give you some insights on tour of that 60 65% of the drivers in play each week or TSI three. I think the guys are really like the adjustability.  Generally, they’re very consistent with their point of impact, and so you can tweak the CG to align it with that, and that gets you a little more.  Speed, but it’s exactly the opposite. In fairways TSI, two is about 2/3 of our fairways in play. I just think the guys are generally looking for you know, greens are getting harder and faster, harder and faster. They’re really looking for something that they can bring down softly.  So we introduced two and three last fall and then now we’re going to introduce TSI 1 fairways.  We didn’t do the TSI 4 fairways and ultra-low spin fairly.  It is not something that we that the markets being the doors down for.  But yes I want is again, it’s it’s ultra lightweight.  Right, if that’s what you need to generate speed and it’s a little more spin built into it, then two and three ’cause that will keep the ball in the air at moderate speed.  It’s very cool and then we’re going to introduce, you know, at the same time here.  TSI 1, two, and three, just like the Fairway Woods hybrids and there again positioned the same way.  We continue to see hybrid use go up either in the past year.  Last year we saw an increase ironically, in high lofted fairway.  Woods and hybrids.  And hey, we’re a company or brand.  It’s generally marketing itself.  Toward players that you know they kind of know what they want, and they’re pretty dedicated to their game, and some are better skilled.  But we see we see a lot of golfers migrating towards just that ease of use.  Soft landing I want high speed.  I want directional accuracy but I also want the ability.  Drop the ball where, where, where, I want and have it stop there.  So high lofted fairway wood and hybrid uses is on the rise and you know.  So the next thing working down the set then is we’re seeing fewer and fewer.  You know even four irons and and and in some cases 5 irons.  They’re coming out of the sets were selling a heck.  Of a lot of 6.  Because in a lot of ways to high lofted fairways and hybrids are just getting so good.  Right? 

Well, that’s some good stuff.  And also you want to take the time and get fit on these two.  Like you said, just because you’ve got a 3 driver doesn’t mean you’re going to go three in the fairway.  That’s proven on tour. 

Take the time and get fit ’cause you can use that fairway wood in a lot of lot of places.  100% it is. I really can’t emphasize that enough and and there you if you can get yourself with a filter that you trust who’s got good tools to understand your game, work through it. Man, it’s a it’s a really good process an it it absolutely.  Yeah, it gets you the the maximum value out of your investment and your investments, money and time and and it matters.  You know most people keep their driver two or three years, so most of the folks that are looking at buying the premium stuff with two or three years in the driver you know and and three plus years and fairly Woods and maybe even four or five years in a set of irons come on.  Take an hour and and and make sure you’ve gone through with with a good fit or to pick the.  Stop. 

Well, I couldn’t say it any better myself Steve.  Hey thanks so much.  We always love catching up with you about some final words for our listeners out there in in podcast land. 

Yeah, you know, I think.  The the thing that I don’t wanna stay shape everybody you know we’re so fortunate that the game of golf was proven to be such a good outlet through all of this and we’ll get through it and enjoy the game.  Respect the game, go get yourself the right equipment and and it’ll help.  It’ll help you play your best gift kits for the good stuff. And and we’ll see you around, thanks. 

Thanks so much Steve.  Take care. 

Thank you Tom. 

Steve Pelesek referred to in the golf industry, is Peli.  The President of Titleist golf clubs. Our annual catch-up with him and he said it best, it’s in great clubs in this new TSI line, but take the time go get fit, make sure you find the right combination.  Of shaft head. Launch everything to fit your game special shout out to Steve for joining us and to your listeners. Will do it again next time. We have another episode of the worldwide golf Shops Insider podcast here at  So long everyone.