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Titleist 716 AP1 irons review

Equipment: Titleist 716 AP1 irons video review

All-new AP1s steal the show in Titleist’s biennial irons launch writes James Savage
 

For more reviews from the 716 AP1 irons launch CLICK HERE

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First impressions

The new chrome finish instantly elevates the new AP1s above their 714 predecessors in terms of how they look on the shelf, in the bag and at address.

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The top line is also slightly thinner giving the feel of an “all-ability” iron rather than just a “game-improvement” model.

I had used the 714 AP1s for some time but actually stopped using them in favour of something a little sleeker and more pleasing on the eye.

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However, after getting fitted into the 716 AP1s at the launch event in St Andrews, I put them straight in the bag and have been using them for the past six weeks.

For more reviews from the 716 irons launch CLICK HERE

The tech

We’ve got a 360Ëš undercut around these cavity-back irons with an unsupported face. This helps add more ball speed as the face can flex on impact.

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High density Tungsten has been used to drive the centre of gravity down resulting in higher launch. This has allowed Titleist to make the lofts a degree stronger. The 7-iron loft has gone down from 32Ëš in 714 AP1 to 31Ëš in 716 AP1.

More Tungsten, 50 percent more than 714, has also been added to the heel and toe areas to make it even more forgiving. There’s also a thinner, faster face.

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The stock shaft option is the True Temper XP90 which is exclusive to Titleist for the first six months after launch.

For more reviews from the 716 irons launch CLICK HERE

The performance

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Like I said, I’ve been using the 716 AP1s for six weeks and have been very impressed with their performance, particularly on off-centre hits.

This was backed up when we tested a 716 AP1 6-iron against a 714 AP1 6-iron using our ES14 portable launch monitor (available from www.golfswingsystems.co.uk).

My average carry distance with the 714 AP1 was 149 yards that was because the off-centre hits weren’t carrying very far.

714 AP1 6-Iron 
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The good shots were going 160-165 yards but there were a few going 135-140 when hit out of the heel or toe.

714 AP1 6-Iron 
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With the 716 AP1 my average carry distance was 163. This was due to better performance on hits not quite out of the middle.

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My average ball speed increased from 106 to 114 mph while the average swing speed for both was 88mph.

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The launch was actually slightly higher with the 714 AP1 but there was more backspin on the 716 AP1 making it more likely to stop on the green.

NCG Verdict

This is a really positive move from Titleist as the new 716 AP1 will appeal to both the improving golfer and the better player.

For me personally (17 handicap), I want forgiveness but I still want a good looking iron. I don’t want it to be overly chunky.

I love the look of these new irons when in my bag. And I think the new chrome finish is a big factor.

They look a lot more similar to the AP2s now which opens up the opportunity for people to get fitted into combo sets. Previously a couple of AP1s would have looked out of place in a bag full of AP2s but this is no longer the case.

I’ve even heard single figure handicappers say they are torn between the two.

I think many may opt for AP2 up to 6-iron and then maybe AP2 for their 5 and 4 iron. Or they may even go up to 7-iron in the AP2.

Either way, this shows that Titleist are fully aware of how even the best players in the world still need forgiveness.

It’s for these reasons that, in my opinion, the new AP1s really are the standout performer in the 716 launch.

Star Rating: ***** (5)

Details

Available: October 2015
SRP: £93 per iron (steel) £107 (graphite)
Shafts: True Temper XP90 / Kuro Kage TiNi 65

James Savage

Former equipment editor of NCG. Inconsistent ball-striker and tea-maker.

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