We got our first look at the Titleist 718 CB and MB irons at the brand’s 718 launch event at Archerfield Links.
Although these clubs have been seen on tour for a while now. And what a superb start they’ve had.
Both players use the MB with Rafa going 3-PW and Thomas doing the same but opting for a CB in the 4-iron.
The MB model is actually the most popular on the European Tour. The likes of Andrew ‘Beef’ Johnston and Matthew Southgate opt for the pure bladed look and feel.
On the PGA Tour it’s the AP2 which is used the most.
So what’s new with the 718 and what has been changed from the 716 CB and MBs?
Titleist 718 CB and MB irons – First impressions
To be honest, there’s not a great deal which has changed – these are forged clubs which don’t have the same technology as the APs and T-MBs.
They are all about looks, feel and workability. Yes, there’s a cavity and a bit of tungsten in the CB which is going to make it a bit more forgiving but these clubs are for the best ball strikers.
Titleist 716 CB and MB
I’d be hard pressed to pick out five differences between the 716 CB and MBs and the 718 models.
We spoke to Matthew Southgate at the launch event and asked him how and why he switched from 716 to 718.
He said that the numbers and the look at address was exactly the same – that’s why he had no trouble making the switch.
If they started going five yards further, he probably wouldn’t have changed. He wanted them to do exactly what his 716 MBs did but was happy to have a shiny new set.
He also admitted that although he has always played blades and that’s what he is used to, there is definitely an ego factor in why many tour players use them.
Titleist 718 CB and MB irons – The technology
The MB is a hunk of soft, forged metal. They are Titleist president Steve Pelisek’s words not mine.
But it’s true. Much of the skill of the Titleist R&D team here is getting the look absolutely perfect – not how far they can make the ball go.
However Titleist say they have still managed to strategically place the CG locations to deliver the right flight and feedback.
The weighting is optimally positioned behind the sweet spot to provide that pure forged feel on every shot.
In the CBs there is an average of 74.8 grams of tungsten placed in the heel and toe in the long and mid irons for more stability and improved performance on mis-hits
But Titleist say this added forgiveness comes without the loss of workability or shot control.
Titleist 718 CB and MB irons – NCG verdict
I find the AP2 quite intimidating so wouldn’t really be going anywhere near these.
However I did hit both during my 718 fitting and found the looks sound and feel sensational.
On a good strike, I can get the numbers I want but on an 8/10 strike – the sort of strike I will produce regularly out on the course – I was losing 15-20 yards compared to the AP1.
So they are not really for me but there are plenty of people out there who will appreciate that feel and feedback on offer.
I have to say I am quite surprised when I see handicap golfers using models like this when the AP2 is the most popular model on the PGA Tour.
I’d be amazed to see a 5-handicapper get better and more consistent trackman numbers with a CB or and MB than they would an AP2 or AP3.
Titleist 718 CB address
But I have to appreciate that golf isn’t played on Trackman, it’s played on a golf course where having the right look at address can give players confidence to hit the shots they want.
And there’s arguably more satisfaction hitting a good shot with a CB or MB then there will be with a more ‘helpful’ iron.
Titleist 718 MB address
And who wouldn’t want to look at something as stunning as the 718 MBs? I’d be unsure whether to put them in my golf bag or my bed.
SRPs: (MB &CB): £150/£175 per club (steel/graphite)
Available clubs: CB 2-P, MB 3-P
On sale: September 29, 2017
More information can be found on the Titleist website.