Today I met with Titleist to see the new products which will launch in the UK late October but as we are a Titleist fitting center we will have our fitting heads arriving next week which is about 3 weeks ahead of the launch date. This means that any irons/hybrids fitted now will be ready for the official launch at the end of October.
Where have Titleist gone with is new version of the familiar AP1, AP2, CB and MB irons? Well it appears that by adding more tungsten weights to these irons Titleist have achieved greater results in feel, performance and usability in each of the four 716 irons which makes them in my opinion a much stronger proposition than the 714. Don’t get me wrong the 714 range were supremely successful, 714 AP2 is the most used cavity back iron on tour and Jordan Speith used his to win $22m dollars in one season so you can see Titleist didn’t just rebadge the 714’s. 716 is a new iron that just happens to look a little like the 714 range.
Where Titleist did make a massive leap, again my opinion, is in redesigning the AP1. As a fitter, this year I have probably seen more less skilled players than low handicap players. I have fitted lots of game improvement irons from Callaway (XR) Wilson (D200) Ping (G30) and Mizuno (JPX 850) But very few Titleist AP1 irons. The reason being that Titleist haven’t been able to match its competitors in ball speed and carry distance. The redesign of the 716 AP1 we are told as helped to increase ball speed and the 1 degree stronger lofts have helped that increased ball speed to equal greater carry distance without the ball ballooning up when it is fitted correctly. I have never really found the AP1 appealing on the shelf either but this 716 looks soo much better and very similar to the AP2 on the shelf. I really can’t wait to hit these next week when the demo heads arrive as I have high hopes for where they fit into my custom fitting options and possibly even into my own bag.
816 Hybrids. Titleist say that their research shows them that most people change hybrids when they change their irons and this has prompted them the now make the life cycle of the hybrids fall into sync with the irons. That means that 816 Hybrids will replace 915 hybrids. They look very different to 915, firstly they are metallic grey in colour and the sole uses the key features of the 915 but looks very different in doing so. The Active Recoil Channel is there still but covered to ease cleaning as grass gets stuck in the 915 ARC quite easily.
Lastly I saw the 716 MB-t long iron replacement / Hybrid iron. This looks pretty much like the conventional MB at address but is hollow headed, which produces very high ball speeds and high MOI. In turn it makes this very sleak club extremely easy to hit and hit it a long way. These are only available in the UK market 2,3,4,5 whereas the rest of the world gets the option to have a full set of them. (?)
Keep checking back to read reviews of the irons as they arrive and we hit them. Also stay posted for some great Scotty Cameron news.
Tungsten weights in the new AP2
AP1 Tungsten weight location.
716 MB-t iron, you really need to see these!
And 816 Hybrids.