Tour gossip: Building irons for Mattero Manassero

Golf Equipment

The Italian youngster has already put Titleist’s latest 714 irons in his bag – but it is a set with a difference

Take a peak into the bag of Matteo Manassero and you will see two different models of Titleist irons. For some time now, he has chosen to carry bladed MB short irons and at least one cavity-backed AP2 long iron. We spoke to Phil Dimmock, Titleist tour technician who is pictured above, to find out why and learn more about the challenges of building the Italian’s clubs…

Why did Matteo decide to blend from MB short irons to AP2 long irons?

He actually originally went with a blended set on 712 as he felt he had more control over MB short irons, particularly the trajectory. With 712 this was generally from 7 iron down with MB (occasionally 6 iron). With 714 he has now gone with MB from 5 iron down. With the new model, he felt that the MB gave him the trajectory he wanted.

Where in the set is the transition?

The 4 iron is AP2 and 5-PW is the bladed MB iron.

How tricky was it to achieve even gapping given the different characteristics of the two models – presumably it is not as simple as moving from, say, from a regular AP2 6 iron into an MB 7 iron?

It was actually very easy as it was all done by loft requirements. Matteo has his desired lofts for each iron and they were built to that specification. This would differ from the stock lofts on offer for our new iron line. Anybody looking to do a mixed set will certainly need to take into consideration the loft increments as they move through the set as well as the extra forgiving nature of a more technical iron like AP1 or AP2.

Were you surprised that he jumped from a blade to AP2 rather than CB?

When he first turned professional, Matteo had a full set of AP2s and has gradually gained more and more confidence with blade-like irons making it easy for him to transition into the pure blade offered in MB.
The new pre-worn sole design on MB 714 has further aided his confidence in the playability of these irons. From a long iron perspective AP2 provides more of the trajectory he was looking for than CB hence the AP2/MB combination.

Can you explain the difference in performance for Matteo between an MB 4 iron and an AP2 4 iron?

This is entirely down to flight. Its not a strike or confidence element – Matteo is a pure ball striker and as such he can hit the MB long irons well, but he enjoys the flight of AP2 for his shot preference

To what extent would you recommend a club player consider a blended set like Matteo’s?

Any player of any level can certainly give consideration to a mixed set be that MB/CB, AP2/AP1 or even a combination of more than two. The keys are having confidence in what each iron provides and ensuring that you are properly custom fitted and certainly ensure gapping is taken into consideration especially given loft differences in our standard set make-up and forgiveness provided by each series in the line.

  • Titleist’s new 714 AP1, AP2, CB and MB irons are available now. Visit titleist.co.uk for more information.
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