Over the last two seasons, I have tried on two occasions to work a set of Titliest irons into my bag. The results left me feeling a bit like a modern-day (and male) Goldilocks. One set - the Forged 690.CB - was too hard to use. They were a great set of irons that looked great, but were a bit too demanding for my 10-handicap skills. Another set, the Forged 775.CB was too soft, loaded with game-improvement technology, and too much offset for my swing.
I've now had the chance to play several rounds with the new Titleist Forged 755 irons. Were they just right for me? Read on and see.
As I wrote in my review of the 775.CBs, my favorite old set of cavity back irons is a set of Titleist DCI Golds that I played in the mid-1990s. My first cavity backs after learning to play with blades, the DCIs are still my standard for how an iron should look and perform - simple, straightforward esthetics and a mix of playability and forgiveness.
In the years since I parted ways with the DCIs (still being used today by a good friend, by the way), I've always hoped that Titleist would dial down the "serious golfer" ethic of their sweet-looking blade irons and make another DCI-esque set of irons that blended Titleist's looks and performance with a more Callaway- or Ping-like level of forgiveness. When word from the PGA Tour came in that Titleist was testing prototypes of an iron code-named 755 - between the higher-handicapper design of the 775.CB and the cavity/blade combo 735.CM - I was eager to test it out. Titleist's Forged 755 irons have been available at retail for more than a month now, and here are my impressed impressions.
Design and Technology
Unlike the 735.CM and 775.CB irons, each of which feature designs that visibly change from the long to short irons, the 755s (no CB, CM, or other initials, for some reason) look essentially the same throughout the set. Each forged stainless steel iron has a cavity with a weight shelf across the bottom of the cavity. The center of this weight shelf area - directly behind the center of the clubface - is cut out and replaced by a red and silver aluminum chip. This design serves two purposes. First, it allows Titleist to move significant weight (10 grams) to the heel and toe of the clubhead for increased forgiveness and resistance to twisting on off-center hits. Second, the forged aluminum chip acts as a vibration dampener to give you a smooth feel at impact that is worth of an episode of "Yacht Rock."
The notch cut out of the weight shelf - and the red aluminum chip - are the dominant visual element in the 755 irons. The angular red chip gives the irons a sleek, modern look. The only other adornment on the clubs is the Titleist script logo in the upper toe of the cavity, and a FORGED stamp and two black rings on the hosel. The area around the aluminum chip has the same milling marks that were first seen in the cavities of the 775.CBs, but employed more subtly.
The lines of the cavities are smooth and clean-looking, and the clubheads have the classic Titliest shape: high, squared toe, low heel area. There is a moderate amount of progressive offset, but it is much closer to the offset in the 735.CMs than the 775.CBs. And the offset is also blended into the clubhead design much more attractively than on the 775.CBs. The 755s also make use of a dual-hosel design: The long irons through the 7-iron have a shorter hosel to shift weight lower and launch the ball higher, while the 8-iron through the pitching wedge have a longer hosel that lends itself to a flatter trajectory. The longer irons in the set also have thicker toplines and wider soles, while the shorter irons have thinner toplines. At first glance, all the irons in the 755 set appear very similar. But these small design touches Titleist has incorporated add elements of forgiveness without taking away feel or function.
Titleist designed the 755s with a thin face area, concentrating even more of the weight around the perimeter. The clubheads are forged from 410 stainless steel in a multi-step process, then finished with precise CNC milling. These are some great-looking irons, and the durability of stainless steel means that they stay looking great longer than softer carbon steel forgings.
Titleist has gone to a new standard steel shaft with the 755 irons. Instead of the True Temper Dynamic Gold used in the 735.CMs or the NS Pro by Nippon that is used in the 775.CBs, the 755s come standard with the Titleist TriSpec steel shaft. This lightweight steel shaft, likely made by True Temper and badged with the Titleist name, is available in regular and stiff flexes. These mid-weight shafts play softer than Dynamic Gold shafts, and of course you should always be custom fit before ordering irons. But most mid-handicap golfers will be fine with the TriSpec shafts. I chose the regular flex, and found it to be a good choice when I put a smooth swing on the irons, and comparable in flex to a Dynamic Gold R300 shaft. Plenty of custom shafts are available. The venerable Golf Pride Tour Velvet grips (with Titleist logo faced down) are standard as well, and you can't do much better than that.
Feel and Performance
As I mentioned earlier, the 755s are forged from 410 stainless steel. Stainless steel does not feel as soft as the carbon steel used in some other forgings, but it is also much more durable and rust-resistant. Playing with both urethane- and Surlyn-covered balls, I found the 755s feel solid but not harsh, and provided a crisp "click" at impact that was distinctly blade-like.
The aluminum chip in each cavity does seem to filter out any harsh vibration from miss-hits. A big help is the overall design of the 755 irons. There is so much weight concentrated both low and to the heel and toe areas that even off-center hits feel solid. Not solid in a numb, "where'd I hit that?" way. You can tell what kind of contact you made, you just don't get the stinging rebuke from the clubhead.
You also get much better results that you would normally expect on off-center hits. Heel and toe hits track back toward the target with a surprising lack of distance loss, and the concentration of weight low in the clubhead helps thin shots still get airborne nicely. And when you do find the center of the clubface, watch out. The 755s are easily a club longer through the bag than the 775.CBs.
Trajectory is generally high with the 755s, but it is controllable. If you know how to hit a knockdown, you'll be very pleased with the 755s. On full swings, the ball starts out high but doesn't balloon, making for a strong ball flight that holds the line nicely in the wind. You can hit five-yard cuts and fades with the 755s, but forget about carving 50-yard slices around trees like Seve Ballesteros or Tiger Woods. The 755s are workable, but they are not blades. And for the mid-handicappers who'll likely play these irons, that's a good thing.
My only quibble is that the 755s are so long that the pitching wedge is almost too strong. At 47°, I wish Titleist would have added a 51° gap wedge as an option for the set. Instead, I think I'll be getting my 52° Vokey Design wedge bent strong by one degree to compensate and keep consistent gaps between all my wedges. (It's a small quibble, I know.)
What Titleist has done with its iron lineup is amazing. From the 660 and 695 blades through the 775.CBs, the company has something for everyone. And with the 755s, that includes me, the 10 handicapper. These irons are exactly what I'd hoped for - plenty of performance, just enough workability to pull off minor cuts, fades and knockdowns, great feel and enough forgiveness to let me get away with a few mistakes a round. I'm not surprised that there are a fair number of 755 sets in play on the various tours, as these irons will appeal to the same players who like irons such as Callaway's X-18 Pro Series, Cleveland's CG4 Tours, or TaylorMade's rac LTs (or r7 TPs). Because even serious golfers need a little forgiveness sometimes.
If you're looking at trying either the 755s or the 775.CBs, know that the 755s are much closer - in fact, nearly identical - to the rest of the Titleist iron family in terms of offset, loft and swingweight, and depending on your swing and ball flight, the 755s could be an appropriate choice for 5- to 10-handicappers. The 775.CBs, on the other hand, are absolutely meant for 15-plus handicappers.
The Titleist Forged 755 irons are available from 2-iron to pitching wedge. A set of 3-iron through pitching wedge carries a street price of $799 with the TriSpec steel shafts.