classroom series

09/23/2015

Titleist made an announcement this week about their new line of 716 irons– releasing them for public consumption. All four models (the AP1, AP2, CB and MB) have been historically popular and Titleist worked to even further optimize performance, look and playability.

Now how have they done this? Through feedback.

Titleist has an intricate network of PGA Tour, European Tour, mini-tour players along with club professionals worldwide. They work with the best-of-the-best and learn what the best ball strikers in the world want from their irons. Performance, look, feel, sound, results– all play a role in the club development phase. Then, the engineers work to create that experience in their clubs.

Now, you’ll notice tungsten mentioned throughout this review. It’s stamped on the back of both the AP1 and AP2, so I did some research. Here’s what I found on tungsten:

  • Tungsten is a hard and dense
  • Tungsten tarnishes in air, and wears an oxide coating.
  • Tungsten has the highest melting point of all metals (1600 degrees C)
  • Tungsten also has the highest tensile strength

Consider yourself better versed in science now, a Tungsten expert, per se. Titleist boasts a “significant amount more Tungsten” than their competitors and in the AP1 models, actually increased the tungsten by 50% from the 714 models.

So let’s take a look at each set.

Blow up hole

The AP1s

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“For golfers looking for maximum distance and maximum forgiveness.”

This is the club designed with the higher-handicaps in mind. They’ve made every technological advance to help golfers hit the ball further and control their misses better. High-handicappers miss often, and Titleist assumed the responsibility to help these misses turn out better.

The most immediate change I noticed (and obviously so), was the visual change from the back. The top line looked like an AP1 always has historically, but the look on the design surprised me. When you keep your irons consistent for years on end, it’s important to differentiate the models. Titleist has done this wonderfully with the new AP1 irons.

Watch this video to learn about some of the changes made:

Screenshot 2015-09-24 14.51.01

Top line of the AP1

The AP2s

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The AP2s have, for a few years now, been Titleist’s number 1 iron. I’ve played them since 2009, and I love them.

PGA Tour player agree. Jordan Spieth, Zach Johnson, Kevin Na and Bill Haas (who has played the 716s since the Quicken Loans in July), among others, play the AP2 model and have for some years. It’s the most-successful Titleist iron on the market. It’s sleeker than the AP1, giving golfers a cleaner, simpler look with added ability to work* the golf ball.

*hitting the ball right-to-left, left-to-right, high and low all on demand*

My favorite element of the AP2 could be the feel. With the insert behind the face, impact feels so inviting. With the 716 model, they’ve reduced the sole, making it faster through impact with less dig– potentially improving the feel even more.

This AP2 has 25% more tungsten in the head than the previous models (714) which adds to both the consistency, as well as the increased ball speeds, to some degree.

The 716 AP2s pride themselves as being the “most forgiving AP2 in history” while not compromising by making the club head bigger, the easy vice to achieve added forgiveness.

The CBs

Titleist CB

The CBs have continued on providing shot control with forgiveness in an understated design. This CB model is boasting 12% higher MOI than the 714 models. More spped, more distance and the same control. Winning!

The most high-tech cavity blades in the game, with the use of “extreme high density tungsten weighting to position the center of gravity (CG) low.” In simpler terms, the weight is concentrated in areas of the club to give you the most control possible.

Thanks to a co-forging process (which they’ve used throughout the 716 line) they’ve been able to get more creative than ever with weight displacement in the club head.

If you’re a cavity back fan, these CBs are definitely worth the peek– and maybe a few hits on the range.

The MBs

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The MBs are the designed for only the world’s best ball strikers.

Sure, if you prefer a slim profile with top of the line shot making capabilities, the MB may be the club for you. Catch one thin when the temperatures are sub-60? Ouch. But that’s the feedback desired when trying to perform with precision.

Straight from Titleist, the new muscle-back design features “a squarer toe, thin topline and pre-worn leading edge that delivers maximum shot control with pure, forged muscle back feel.” A.k.a. if you can hit the shots, these things are pure butter.

They worked to modernize the old Forged 680 irons, which were a popular mold.

Overall, the MB model is the smallest, most-dense, simple design of them all, yielding the best results, while requiring the most ability to be successful with. 

Blow up hole

BONUS VIDEO