The new Titleist 716 irons are now on sale, offering more distance and forgiveness thanks mostly to an increase in the use of high-density tungsten. This concentrates weight exactly where Titleist engineers want it, to optimize the centre of gravity position within each iron to create the best trajectory and playability through the set.
As Steve Pelisek, Titleist Golf Club General Manager, told us at the official launch at Fairmont St Andrews back in August, Titleist are using tungsten on an unprecedented scale to increase the performance. It is found in three of the four new 716 models which range from the game improver 716 AP1 all the way through to the bladed 716 MB model.
“In the case of AP1 we wanted the tungsten really low,” Pelisek told GM. “A low CG increases launch, which meant we could normalize this trajectory by strengthening lofts slightly while maintaining stopping power on the greens.”
The AP1 has a larger overall size, longer blade length, thicker top line and more offset compared to the AP2. The AP1 has a higher MOI and is on average 3° stronger through the set but both have the same stock shaft length. The AP1 3-7 irons have 42g of tungsten on average, 50% more than 714 while the AP2 3-7 irons have 56g of tungsten on average, 25% more than 714.
In terms of feel, the 716 AP2 irons feel a little softer than AP1 down to the co-forging process but also because AP1 is geared more towards distance and has a feel to match that.
Where both irons excel is the distance control on offer. Both AP1 and AP2 offer very tight levels of distance consistency from front-to-back on both well-struck shots and slight mishits while maintaining a high level of accuracy. Shots that you would expect to miss the green may now find the putting surface.
If you want more of a traditional looking iron and are more worried about feel and distance control, the AP2 should be your choice. But if you want as much help as you can get to achieve out-and-out distance and aren’t too fussed about looks, the AP1 could well be your perfect match.