Titleist has long been known to produce some of the most playable and popular irons on the market, especially with their AP line that was first introduced almost a decade ago and continues to evolve.
The company’s current AP1 and AP2 lineup for 2016 has shown some remarkable improvements in both feel and playability in comparison with earlier versions of these clubs, and Titleist’s increased use of tungsten in them has paved the way for some dramatic changes.
The AP1 model is being called the longest, most forgiving club in company history and with 50% more tungsten used in the 2016 model, the CG is lowered, forgiveness is improved and the 360 degree undercut cavity face produces greater speed and launch at impact.
High density tungsten, precisely placed low and in the toe of the long and mid irons, also moves weight to the perimeter, increasing moment of inertia (MOI).
A forgiving High-MOI Design at an average of 42.5 grams of tungsten per head – maximizes heel and toe stability without increasing AP1’s preferred blade length, while producing higher ball speeds across the face for more consistent distance on off-center hits.
“Golfers are getting a double helping of distance with new AP1 without sacrificing trajectory,” explained Marni Ines, Director, Titleist Iron Development. “By carving more mass from the undercut and thinning the face, we get more launch and speed. On top of that, we’ve added a significant amount of tungsten, which lowers the CG and increases launch. We’ve taken that extra launch and used it to strengthen the lofts. Stronger loft means more speed. More speed means more distance. There are a lot of companies that chase distance mainly by strengthening lofts and lengthening shafts, but we think we’re doing it the right way, with superior technology.”
The larger use of tungsten, according to Titleist, is allowing for more technological improvements than would otherwise be possible.
“Remember, when it comes to good iron play, distance is still just one part of the equation,” added Dan Stone, Vice President, Golf Club R&D. “Distance control and accuracy are just as important, and that’s where forgiveness comes into play. We are the only company in this category using high density tungsten. You can make a club more forgiving just by making the club head larger, but golfers don’t always want that. Through our technology we have the best combination of low CG and high MOI in the game improvement category. What that means to the golfer is hitting the ball far enough to reach the green and stopping it close to the pin more often, and maintaining distance consistency and trajectory even when you hit it off center.”
The 716 AP2--which is designed for better players but as a cavity back iron--provides forgiveness plus distance. It is a forged club that many Tour players have in their bags and has been the Titleist flagship club when it comes to providing both workability and forgiveness.
Made of 1025 forged carbon steel, the AP2 for 2016 has added 25% more tungsten with an average of 56.2 grams per club head and features a thin top line, very solid feel at impact and a noticeable wider sole with the “pre-worn” leading edge that makes this club very easy to hit off of a variety of lies. 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 featuring extreme perimeter tungsten weighting in the long and mid irons.
“There isn’t a tour-played iron with better technology than AP2,” Stone added. “It’s been the forgiveness leader by a substantial margin for years now and we just keep expanding on that. Our 712 series AP2,