PREVIEW: Titleist 716 AP1, AP2, MB and CB irons

PREVIEW: Titleist 716 AP1, AP2, MB and CB irons

Titleist is introducing four new sets of irons under the 716 line. The model names are the same, but the technology behind them is improved, with a particular emphasis on the use of tungsten in the irons to improve moment of inertia and lower center of gravity.

Titleist 716 AP1 irons

The AP1 iron is Titleist's most forgiving line, designed for maximum distance in what is as close to game improvement as Titleist gets. The 716 version of the AP1s continue that tradition with the company saying, as you might expect, that this is their longest, most forgiving iron ever.

The big feature improvement here is a new, 360-degree undercut cavity design. The idea with the undercut, found in other competing irons, is to leave as much of the club face unsupported with weight directly behind it, allowing the 17-4 stainless steel face to flex more and deliver more energy to the ball at impact and improve launch conditions.

Tungsten weighting -- 42.5 grams of it, a 50-percent hike over the 714 model -- is placed low in the toe to offer increased MOI through the set, particularly in the long and mid irons. It also lowers the center of gravity, meaning a higher launch angle. In response, Titleist bumped up the lofts 1 degree stronger over the 714 model to add some length without affecting launch. The pitching wedge is just 43 degrees, stronger, the company says, because it offers better gapping from the short irons.

The Titleist 716 AP1 irons will be available Oct. 23 for $900 per set of eight clubs.

Titleist 716 AP2 irons

The 716 AP2 iron is Titleist's forged players iron, offering a mix of benefits of a cavity-back design, a forged head and, with the new model, tungsten weighting that's molded to fit the iron head in the toe and heel to move the center of gravity lower and improve moment of inertia.

The forged 1025 Carbon steel head features an average of 56.2 grams of tungsten per head in the long and mid irons, a 25 percent hike over the 714 AP2, that's placed using the company's co-forging process. The hike in forgiveness comes without making the head bigger, which isn't something most better players care to look at behind the ball. Retaining head size, albeit with a slightly wider sole, allows for confidence that a player can work the ball as they need.

Meanwhile, the AP2's center of gravity progresses through the set to align more with where players impact the ball with each club, improving ball speed and launch conditions at impact.

The Titleist 716 AP2 irons will be available Oct. 23 for $1,200 per set of eight clubs.

Titleist 716 CB and MB irons

Much like the AP2 irons, the 716 CB irons are made with the co-forging process to bring in tungsten weighting -- again, an average of 55.2 grams of tungsten per head -- to the toe and heel of the 1025 Carbon steel head to move the center of gravity lower in each club, more toward the common impact point for better players. The MOI improvement is bigger in the CB model compared to the AP2s.

It's hard to change a whole lot about a muscleback club. There's a sacrifice of distance for workability and control. However, with the 716 MB, Titleist started with a 680 series head, which was preferred by several staffers, and extended the muscle back higher up the face to give a little extra weight where the ball meets the club.

The Titleist 716 CB irons will be available Oct. 23 for $1,200 per set of eight clubs, while the MB model will run $1,100 for eight clubs.

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