By ED TRAVIS
Fall is the time for companies to announce new clubs and fans of Titleist irons will not be disappointed when they see the 714 line which will hit stores in November. According to the company the new 714s (AP1, AP2, CB, MB) build on the companies history for quality and performance.
The AP1s, Titleist’s cast clubhead game-improvement iron, have long and mid irons with a dual cavity and tungsten weight to lower the center of gravity which helps the ball get airborne. The center of gravity moves higher in the blade as lofts increase to help produce a flatter trajectory in the short irons. A somewhat thinner topline for a cleaner look at address is matched with a thinner face another feature for added distance. There no question the 714 AP1s will appeal to anyone looking for irons in this category.
“When it comes to iron play, distance without the ability to stop your shot is meaningless. You have to hit the ball far enough to reach the green, but also have the proper ball flight to stop it near the hole,” said Steve Pelisek, General Manager, Titleist Golf Clubs. “What our R&D team has accomplished with the new AP1 and AP2 models is impressive, effectively taking each individual
iron as its own design and optimizing its performance to provide longer distance, more consistent distance and stopping control, even when you don’t hit a shot perfectly.”
AP2s also have a pair of rear cavities with the upper being 25 percent thinner. As with the AP1s there is tungsten weighting and an additional tungsten weight near the heel, forged during the clubhead making process (called “co-forging,” a technique pioneered by Titleist). This type of weighting gives the AP2s, which are targeted at low handicap players, better launch conditions. It also builds in lots of forgiveness while allowing a consistent length of blade from iron to iron that better players like.
The short irons in both AP1 (#7-W) and AP2 (#6-W) are stronger by 1 for a slightly lower ball launch. Since, in the AP1s this makes for a 44 pitching wedge, Titleist added a 52 gap wedge in addition to the regular 48 gap wedge. AP1s and AP2s also have a “pre-worn” leading edge along with more sole camber to help avert digging at impact and make a shallower divot.
The 714 AP1 and 714 AP2 have been in the hands of touring professionals since June and users have already posted a couple of notable wins. Then 19-year old Jordan Spieth shot three consecutive rounds of 65 with his AP2s on his way to winning the John Deere Classic in July and in August Jason Duffner won his first major, the PGA Championship, at what proved to be a very difficult Oak Hill Country Club East Course with a set of AP2s.
Pricing for a 10-iron set (3-W2) of the 714 Titleist AP1s will be $1000 (steel shaft) and $1250 (graphite). A 9-iron set of AP2s (3-W) will be $1238 in steel and $1449 in graphite.
The 714 CBs and MBs are very similar to their predecessors of the 712 series models on purpose. These beauties are aimed specifically at touring professionals and elite amateurs, the soon-to-be professionals. Titleist wanted to improve the performance of both models but not change the look or feel that the pros depend upon.
“When we ask tour players what we can do to improve the CB or MB irons, their immediate reaction is always the same: Don’t do anything. It’s a welcomed challenge for our R&D team,” said Pelisek.
From early indications they succeeded.
Both are forged from 1025 carbon steel and the CBs have a shallow cavity with an inner cavity muscle bar behind the center of the clubface to improve feel. The MBs retain their classic muscle back design with slight adjustments to the weighting. The look at address has been tweaked too with a somewhat straighter leading edge and a smoother hosel-to-leading edge transition that minimizes the look of any offset.
“The type of player that plays CB or MB does not want to see any offset,” said Marni Ines, Director of Titleist Irons Development. “We’ve been able to reduce the appearance of that offset in the new models by better blending that transition from the hosel to the clubface. “We’ve really taken our designs to a new level using CAD technology, by creating formulas that drive the shapes and proportions we want to achieve. As a result, we have more consistent shapes and more consistent performance through each set.”
Also available in November an 8-iron set (3-P) of either the 714 CB or MB irons will be $1000 with steel shafts and $1200 with graphite.
By ED TRAVIS