Our Titleist 718 irons fitting feature took place at the brand’s national fitting centre at St Ives Golf club.
Titleist 718 irons fitting feature – The methodology
It can be a tricky one for the consumer.
Golfers often have preconceptions when it comes to irons. We decide which models we do or don’t fancy before even hitting them. Ego can play its part.
But as we all should know, the only way to get a set that is right for your game is to go through the full custom-fitting process with an expert.
So we wanted to send four golfers from our office – armed with a good mix of handicaps and some pre-conceived ideas – to Titleist’s National Fitting Centre at St Ives Golf Club near Cambridge.
We wanted them to test out all of the models in the 718 range under the watchful eye of experienced expert fitter Daniel Friend – the man tasked with building them the perfect set.
Would our team get fitted into the irons they expected? Or would there be some surprises along the way?
Titleist 718 irons fitting player 1: Dan Murphy
Current irons: Ping i-200
Thoughts ahead of the Titleist 718 irons fitting: I’ve previously been in AP2 and occasionally gone towards CB. But AP2 has been the one which has worked best for me in the past.
Thoughts after the fitting: The new AP3 was brilliant for me. The main reason being that the lofts are a bit stronger than the AP2 and my ball flight is generally very high.
The flight for me was so much better with the AP3. For me, the flight on the AP2 is too soft. The feel is great but the ball just isn’t going forward.
I was tempted by AP1 because the ball comes off so quick – it’s so powerful and easy to use. But the AP3 just offered that little bit more finesse and the short irons suit my eye much better.
Fitter’s comments: The AP3 was just providing a hotter ball speed and a stronger flight for Dan. The AP2 just didn’t quite have the forward movement he was looking for.
The AP1 was providing a very strong flight but Dan was really enjoying the look and the feel of the AP3.
Equipment editors verdict: I wasn’t surprised to see Dan go into AP3. Of all the models in the Titleist 718 range, they were most similar to his current irons. Dan doesn’t let his ego get in the way and will always go with whatever works best out on the golf course.
New iron set: Titleist 718 AP3 4-W
Titleist 718 irons fitting player 2: Steve Carroll
Current irons: TaylorMade PSi
Thoughts ahead of the Titleist 718 irons fitting: I expect to be fitted into the AP3. I’ve had the AP1 and AP2 previously so I think the AP3 will be a happy medium. I found the AP1 a bit large and the AP2 was a bit difficult for me to hit if I was having a bad day. So AP3 should be the answer.
Thoughts after the fitting: As I suspected it was the AP3 I was fitted into. I did give the AP2 a try but they were launching a little bit too high for me. I love the ball speed and the really hot face on the AP3.
Fitter’s comments: For Steve we decided to go with the AP3 to help him control his launch conditions a bit better – he naturally launches the ball very high. We had more ball speed and distance compared to the AP2. He enjoyed the feel and feedback of the AP3 more than the AP1.
Equipment editor’s verdict: I would expect most players of Steve’s handicap and ability to lean towards the AP3 because they offer the best of both worlds.
The distance is right up there with the AP1 but they are just a bit sleeker and more workable. However I wouldn’t have been overly surprised had he gone into the AP1 because it’s still a fantastic looking iron. But if you feel you don’t need the extra forgiveness then just go with whatever looks and feels right.
New irons set: Titleist 718 AP3 5-PW
Titleist 718 irons fitting player 3: Tom Irwin
Current irons: Ping i
Thoughts ahead of the Titleist 718 irons fitting: I’m having a bit of a mid-life crisis at the moment and I’ve really got my eyes on a set of MB blades. People tell me I’m not good enough to use them but I’m hoping to prove otherwise.
Thoughts after the fitting: I hate it when I’m right but I did get fitted into the blades. We tried various different head combinations with the AP2s, AP3s, AP1s and CBs. But the MBs were performing the best for me from 6-PW then I went with the forged cavity CBs in the 5 and 4-iron. I left with a smile on my face.
Fitter’s comments: Tom had his heart set on the MB but we always like to test what the ball speed is like coming off a head like that. It was actually working very well for him. We tried the CB product as well but there was no real gain in the mid part of the bag.
We did introduce CB in the longer irons to help a little bit with the flight as it produced a slightly higher flight and a steeper landing angle.
Equipment editor’s verdict: Tom is already a solid player but wanted a set of irons which could help him improve further. He really wanted the blades and there was no evidence from the Trackman numbers that anything else would work better.
New iron set: Titleist 718 CB 4-5, Titleist 718 MB 6-PW
Titleist irons fitting player 4: Alex Perry
Current irons: Titleist 712 AP1
Thoughts ahead of the Titleist 718 irons fitting: I’m really looking forward to a fitting as I’ve not had one for about five years. I’ve been playing the AP1 since then. I’m hoping I might move into the AP3 but I’m happy to leave it up to the fitter. If he thinks I should stay in the AP1 I’m not going to argue.
Thoughts after the fitting: I was right in that bridge between the AP1 and the AP3 but the latter was just giving me slightly better launch and tighter dispersion. I was really pleased to have moved up through the range since my last fitting.
Fitter’s comments: With Alex we thought it would be nice if he could move forwards from the AP1 he was currently using.
There was a very small difference between AP1 and AP3 in terms of carry but if anything the AP3 provided a slightly steeper landing angle and a better flight. We thought the AP3 presented a good opportunity for him to move forwards with his game.
Equipment editor’s findings: Alex de-lofts the club quite a bit so I wouldn’t have ruled out the AP2 with their more traditional lofts. But the technology in the AP3 was really getting the ball up in the air so he was getting that added forgiveness and confidence with a nice high flight.
New iron set: Titleist 718 AP3 5-W
To book a Titleist 718 irons fitting visit the Titleist website.