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With an average drive of 271 yards, Nelly Korda is already considered one of the longest hitters on the LPGA Tour. But even big bombers will take extra distance, especially when it requires only minor gear changes.
After winning her first major championship last year with Titleist’s TSi1 driver — Korda is one of the only pros using the lightweight model — Korda made the jump to the new TSR1 two weeks ago after going through extensive testing at home, and with Titleist Tour rep J.J. Van Wezenbeeck.
According to Korda, she was content to continue on with her previous driver for the rest of the season.
“It was a great driver,” Korda told GOLF.com. “I had success with it and knew what it could do, but the numbers I saw with TSR1 made it clear I should give it a try.”
Working with Van Wezenbeeck, Korda noticed her spin rate with TSi1 continued to hover around 3,200 to 3,300 RPMs — a number that kept the ball in the air for maximum carry but made it difficult to gain any additional rollout once it hit the fairway.
During testing with TSR1, Van Wezenbeeck suggested going from a 10-degrees head (her TSi1 loft) to a 9-degree TSR1 to lower launch.
The minor modification allowed Korda to drop roughly 400 RPMs and lower launch from 12 degrees to 11.5 degrees. Ball speed also increased from 152 mph to 154 mph, resulting in an additional 10 yards of carry distance (290 yards).
“It’s a lot less spin, which is what I’m looking for,” Korda confirmed. “My [TSi1] was flying nicely, but it was spinning a bit much. Since we’ve been able to drop the spin, I’m still seeing a similar carry and more rollout. The overall look of the two drivers is pretty similar, except where the shaft is inserted on the TSR1. It looks a bit more pronounced. It’s nice to look at, and it doesn’t hurt when you can make the switch without having to make a bunch of adjustments.”
With windy conditions expected during the final few events of the season, a lower launch will come in handy for Korda. So, too, will the added distance.