While it seems that certain companies (and one in particular) continue to pump out new clubs promising the latest and greatest in golf technology, Titleist golf has taken a somewhat different approach. Every other year, the company reveals a new set of irons and in the years in between we get the new drivers and woods. This year is an iron year for Titleist and with it brings the introduction of the new 714 series of irons. As with the past handful of iron releases from Titleist, this group is comprised of updates to the four existing sets; the MB, CB, AP1, and AP2.
This year will bring about the fourth version of Titeist's popular AP series of clubs. The first ones debuted in late 2007 and those were followed up by the 710s and most recently the 712s. As with the previous two updates, Titleist says that these are their best ones yet.
According to Steve Pelisek the GM for Titlist, "When it comes to iron play, distance without the ability to stop your shot is meaningless. You have to hit the ball far enough to reach the green, but also have the proper ball flight to stop it near the hole. What our R&D team has accomplished with the new AP1 and AP2 models is impressive, effectively taking each individual iron as its own design and optimizing its performance to provide longer distance, more consisten distance and stopping control, even when you don't hit a shot perfectly."
One of the big focus points with both the AP1's and AP2's is on a longer and more precise flight. To give the club a better combination of trajectory and distance control the long and mid irons in both sets have improved dual-cavity construction. In the AP1 this was achieved with a new, deep undercut and in the AP2 the did this by creating a face in the upper cavity that is 25 percent thinner and adding high density tungsten low in the head for a lower CG allowing for higher ball flights. The short irons in the AP2 are a little thicker in the upper face and have a narrower sole which raises the CG to give a flatter trajectory. Both sets have seen the lofts of the short irons (7-PW) strengthened by one degree to help flatten out the trajectory and increase ball speed.
To help boost forgiveness, both sets feature tungsten in the toe of the long and mid irons while the AP2 irons also have it co-forged into the heel. Doing this creates a high MOI that helps to get ball speeds up across the face; this means more consistent distance on off-center strikes.
The AP1 irons feature a both a larger overall size and a thicker topline than its AP2 counterparts. Both clubs also have seen work done to the soles to help provide better turf interaction. One of the changes is a new pre-worn leading edge that reduces digging at the point of entry as well as more camber to help control the divot depth. This was actually one of the biggest things that Jason Dufner liked about them saying "The soles are better, the bounce is configured a little bit differently and the feel is better... They just feel real solid through the strike, there's no turf grab with the leading edge and they're just going right through the turf really nice."
On tour, the new clubs have been a hit with Titleist pros. Jordan Spieth hand them in the bag two weeks after they came out and carded three consecutive 65s with them on his way to his first PGA victory. Not more than a few weeks later, Jason Dufner had them in his bag winning his first major at Oak Hill.
As far as shafts go, the AP1s will have two stock options. The first is the True Temper XP 95 which has a flighted launch and is 15 grams lighter than the stock steel shaft in the 712 AP1 irons. For those wanting a graphite shaft, there is the Mitsubishi Kuro Kage 65, which gives a higher, flighted launch. The stock shaft in the AP2 irons will be the Dynamic Gold steel shaft. As always, custom shafts are available.
With regards to pricing and availability both sets will be available in golf shops starting on November 8th. The AP1 irons have a MAP of $100/club with steel shafts or $125/club with graphite. The AP2 irons are a bit more coming int at $137.50/club with steel or $161/club with graphite.