stopped at my local club fitter/ proshop today on my way home from work initially just to hit a bucket of balls, got there and decided i wanted to hit the 712MB's from titleist and compare them to my current set of AP1's.. turned into a mix and match shafts with 4 different sets and compare to my current set...here's how my personal experience went. (all 6 irons used)
First up were the 712MB's from Titleist. these were the clubs I really went in there to hit. I learned how to play the game at age 10 with a set of blade irons my grandfather cut down for me. Now at age 30 and being a HUGE Titleist fanboi, I've been drooling over these clubs for months. i had the salesman / fitter (his name was Scott) set up a club for me. project X 6.0 shaft (+1/2", wanted 2* up but only had standard lie available.) I was making very crisp contact, but the ball felt weak off the club. i hit about 10 shots and hit my current AP1 for comparisons sake. my AP's were going 10 yards farther on average but had a much wider shot dispersion. i couldnt work my ap1 as much left or right as the 712 but the blades just couldnt measure up distance wise. Scott suggested we try a different shaft and see if that had any bearing. we swapped in a DG S300 shaft and i hit about 10-15 more shots then compared it to my AP1 again. again the shot dispersion was much tighter with the 712's but now the 712's were carrying 20+ yards farther than my ap1's EASILY. it was no contest. i just coouldnt hit the club with the project X shafts. the S300 woke the 712 MB's up to the point i didnt want to give him the demo club back.
I relented and asked him if there were any other clubs he recommend i hit just to do my due diligence and not go with titleist stuff on name alone. Scott came back with a built Mizuno MP-69.
This is the setup i wanted to hit with the Titleist. shot after shot they were long rope after rope over top of the 150 marker by 20-30 yards. i loved the distance off of them. they had great workability but felt almost mildly muted in comparison to the titleists. a softer face feel thats hard to describe. im still deciding on whether or not i liked it.
yet again this club he set up for me with the S300 shaft and it seemed to work very nicely with shots surpassing my AP1's by 20 yards. all in all a very similar ball flight and distance to the 712's. The Mizzy's are $100 cheaper than the Titleists which is a good selling point, but im not sure if itd be enough to sway me away from my full Titleist bag.
next up Cleveland 588 Blades.
also set up with the S300 shaft but only in standard length and lie. i dont know if it was the length, the lie or what but i could not get this club to perform. It felt very crisp off the face but no distance, i couldnt get the ball to draw for the life of me, and fades looked like weak flares. after trying to hit 15 to 20 shots with this club i gave up. it just wasnt for me and after swinging the titleist and liking it this just wasnt going to find its way into my bag.
finally the Nike PROVr Blades
(+1/2, standard lie, S300 shaft)
I took several swings with this club, and it had a higher ball flight than the previous clubs i tried, but was about on par with my current AP1's with length and shot dispersion. i could work the ball left or right at will but everything felt very clicky. i never felt that "buttery" contact i felt with the titleists or the mizzy's. lack of distance and the clicky feel ruled these out as well.
all in all i pretty much confirmed im a titleist fanboi but i did have a few fleeting moments of misguided love for the mizzy only to come back to my senses when i finished off hitting a few last shots with the 712MB before he put it away. i will be posting my AP1's up for sale effective immediately and i will be placing my order for a set of 712MB's (+1/2", 2*up, S300 shafts) within the next 3 weeks. the added distance, accuracy and workability of the blades is just too much for me to pass up. i love the AP1's ive got but they are like a girlfriend that you've outgrown. its time to say your goodbyes and move on to the next figurative big boobed blonde! haha
Cant wait to get my 712's!!!!