But the folks at Titleist apparently aren't content with simply being wildly impressive. And if their new 2016 irons are any indication, it's pretty clear Titleist is gunning for a clean sweep in the majors next season.
Today Titleist announced the release of their new 716 AP1 and AP2 irons. And no matter what your skill level, there's a lot to be excited about, with real improvements that can benefit everyone.
They won't be available until October 23rd, but here's an quick preview of what you can expect, with a few impressions and pictures highlighting the new technology and features. I'll also have a full on-course review of these irons later this year.
The 716 AP1 irons are all about distance and forgiveness, and no matter what kind of golfer you are, let's be honest, we can all use more of both.
But making game-improvement irons longer and more forgiving often comes at the expense of distance and trajectory control. And Titleist understands that more distance and forgiveness is pointless if it doesn't translate to improved shot-making and scoring.
So the new 716 AP1 irons are designed with an extreme 360* undercut cavity, combined with high-density tungsten, in a high MOI head design that retains the AP1 preferred blade length many of us have come to love.
Strong lofts in the short irons provide distance with trajectory and spin control. While strong lofts in the long irons (but not as strong as in the short irons) provide distance with ideal launch, longer carry and shot-stopping ability (see specs below).
The result is a new 716 AP1 iron with tighter dispersion at the short end of the set (where control is crucial), and less yardage gap compression at the long end of the set (where launch and trajectory are paramount). Basically Titleist is saying, "Go ahead, have your cake, and eat it too."
What's new in the 716 AP1 Irons?
- An Extreme 360* Undercut Cavity creates a large, thin, unsupported face area to flex more at impact, increasing both speed and launch for more distance.
- High Density Tungsten is placed low in the toe of the mid and long irons, producing a lower center of gravity (CG) for a higher launch angle. And the improved launch allows for stronger lofts to further increase speed for even more distance.
- A High-MOI Design (with 50-percent more tungsten than the 714 AP1) maximizes heel and toe stability for higher ball speeds and more consistent distance on off-center hits.
- A new pre-worn leading edge and cambered sole reduces digging and allows for a smoother entry and release from the turf.
The 716 AP1 irons will feature two high performance stock shaft options. The True Temper XP90 steel shafts (mid-high launch) will be available in R300 (95 grams) and S300 (97 grams) flexes at a price of $899.
While the Mitsubishi KuroKage TiNi graphite shafts (high launch) will be available in A (62 grams), R (64 grams), S (66 grams), and L (52 grams) flexes at a price of $1099. Additional shaft options will be available through custom order.
716 AP1 Specifications
3 Iron: 19* loft, 60* lie
4 Iron: 22* loft, 61* lie
5 Iron: 25* loft, 62* lie
6 Iron: 28* loft, 62.5* lie
7 Iron: 31* loft, 63* lie
8 Iron: 35* loft, 63.5* lie
9 Iron: 39* loft, 64* lie
PW: 43* loft, 64* lie
W1: 47* 64* lie
W2: 52* loft, 64* lie
Offset: .236” .209” .177” .157” .137” .118” .110” .098” .091” .091”
Length: 39.00” 38.50” 38.00” 37.50” 37.00” 36.50” 36.00” 35.75” 35.50” 35.50”
716 AP2 IronsThe improvements in the 716 AP2 irons bring distance control and forgiveness in a players iron to an entirely new level. And these improvements are a direct result of new achievements in Titleist's forging process.
First, Titleist shaped tungsten weights so far towards the perimeter of these irons, that it's literally part of the irons profile.
This may not seem like a big deal. But that's maximized MOI to such an incredible degree, that forgiveness of the 716 AP2 iron (a players iron) is actually on par with forgiveness of the 714 AP1 iron (a game-improvement iron). Jaw. Drop.
The 716 AP2 irons also optimized CG placement lower with a slight progression through the set, and closer to the point of impact for solid feel and reliable yardage gaps.
Titleist is essentially giving you the green light to attack with every swing, no matter where you might be on the course.
What's new in the 716 AP2 Irons?
- Forged 1025 Carbon steel body with extreme perimeter tungsten weighting in the long and mid irons creates an unparalleled combination of low CG and high MOI.
- High Density Tungsten weighting creates a lower CG, perfectly aligned at impact to increase speed and distance.
- Tungsten weights are shaped into the perimeter and precisely placed low and outside using an advanced forging process for solid feel and higher MOI (compared to the previous generation, 716 AP2 has 8.5 percent higher MOI in the long irons and 5.5 percent for the full set) .
- A new High-MOI Design (with an average of 56.2 grams of tungsten per head, 25 percent more than AP2 714) increases ball speeds across the face for more consistent distance on off-center hits.
- A Tour-Preferred blade length allows workability and shot control, and a fractionally wider sole (compared to 714 AP2) with trailing edge relief helps the club get through the turf faster with less dig.
The 716 AP2 irons will feature True Temper Dynamic Gold AMT steel shafts (low launch), available in R300, S300, and X100 flexes (ranging in weight from 112 to 130 grams) at a price of $1199.
716 AP2 Specifications
3 Iron: 21* loft, 60* lie
4 Iron: 24* loft, 61* lie
5 Iron: 27* loft, 62* lie
6 Iron: 30* loft, 62.5* lie
7 Iron: 34* loft, 63* lie
8 Iron: 38* loft, 63.5* lie
9 Iron: 42* loft, 64* lie
PW: 46* loft, 64* lie
GW: 50* loft, 64* lie
Offset: .161” .150” .137” .122” .110” .098” .087” .075” .063"
Length: 39.00” 38.50” 38.00” 37.50” 37.00” 36.50” 36.00” 35.75” 35.50”
Player reaction so far has been incredible. Here are what a few of the players are saying:
Jordan Spieth: "The first time I looked down at the new AP2’s they looked even cleaner. I thought they looked almost like a blade. As an amateur, you can now get the look of a tour blade while still having the consistency and forgiveness of a forged cavity. For a true golf lover that can’t be beaten – and I’m really looking forward to getting dialed into my new set after the Presidents Cup."
Zach Johnson: "With the new AP irons, there’s something for everybody. Bottom line is, you can get fitted and find something that, regardless of your handicap, is going to work. That’s just the way the technology is in these golf clubs."
And speaking of Zach Johnson, to help kick-off the release of the new 716 AP irons, I'm giving away a Zach Johnson autographed Titleist cap.
To win, simply retweet my 716 AP Irons Preview tweet, and be sure you're following us both on twitter. The giveaway will begin Tuesday, September 22nd, and run until Sunday, September 27th.
You can enter once per day, multiple entries increase chance to win. And I'll pick a winner in a random drawing on Monday, September 28th. As always, this giveway is open to everyone WORLDWIDE.
Be sure to let Titleist know what you think about their new 716 AP irons. They'd love to hear from you. And I'll have another preview of the new 716 MB and CB irons, as well as the new hybrids and woods later this week.
In the meantime, you can find out more about the new 2016 Titleist line of clubs by checking out Titleist, and following them on twitter @Titleist.
Follow Pete on twitter @PGAPappas