Sweet Stuff

Golf Vacations - - News - by Terry Ross

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,

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