As golf equipment design has evolved, equipment manufacturers have been able to dial in more specifically with each club they make if they so choose, carving out clubs that fit a particular player type. Those players range from the duffer who needs super game improvement as a gateway to a better game all the way to the Tour-level player who demands a blade that can let them do what they want with the ball and stay out of the way.
With that improved ability to design and produce irons with more niche benefits, Titleist has expanded its iron offerings. Now, for the 2018 cycle, Titleist has six -- yes, six -- sets of irons in the 718 line that cater to most every type of player 20 handicap or better.
In the 718 line, Titleist has six sets: 718 AP1, 718 AP2, 718 AP3 (which is new), 718 T-MB, 718 CB and 718 MB.
The AP1 iron is Titleist's offering with the most forgiveness and distance. The construction of these longer irons progresses from hollow-body long irons to undercut cavity mid- and short irons, helping players through design where they need it most. The thinner unsupported face inserts generate improved ball speeds, while high-density tungsten lowers the center of gravity location for higher launch. An average of 58.5 grams of tungsten is placed in each head of the long and mid irons. Available 4-iron through 53-degree wedge in True Temper AMT Red shafts for $125 per club, $140 per club in graphite.
The new 718 AP3 irons might have a counter-intuitive name if you're trying to create a spectrum of the AP irons, but AP1.5 probably didn't make sense. This new offering is in the quickly developing player's distance iron category. This hollow-construction iron, shaped to appeal to a player who likes a tour-inspired blade, is inspired by the Concept C16 irons, using what's been gleaned from the AP1 and AP2 development over time. A thin, unsupported L-face insert launches long and high, while very forgiving. On average, 84.9 grams of tungsten are placed low and in the toe of the long and mid irons. This is the best-of-both-worlds kind of iron better players have been clamoring for from manufacturers. Available 3-iron through 48-degree wedge in True Temper AMT Black steel shafts for $162.50 per club in steel, $197.50 per club in graphite.
The AP2 iron has been improved for the 718 line, offering the benefits of technology in a tour-inspired, forged package. The body is thinner in 2018, with a face insert constructed of high-strength spring steel. The center of gravity progression has been refined, too, with a lower and more centered CG in the long irons. The tungsten profile is different in these AP2s than the 716s, with an average of 57.4 grams of high-density tungsten placed in the heel and toe of the long and mid irons. New high-density tungsten caps co-forged into the perimeter to further improve MOI. Available in 3-iron through 50-degree wedge in True Temper AMT Tour White steel shafts for $162.50 per club in steel, $197.50 per club in graphite.
The T-MB line was originally thought of as a long-iron replacement for players who maybe liked the long iron look but needed more technology. It has evolved into a full set packed with technology that makes a utility iron great in each iron. The hollow-back construction iron has a thin, unsupported L-Face insert which flexes more at impact for length and forgiveness. The two-tone look sports the most high-density tungsten in the 718 line, with an average of 93.9 grams in the heel and toe, to produce higher-launching, softer-landing shots. A pre-worn leading edge improves turf interaction. Available in 2-iron through 50-degree wedge in True Temper Project X PXi steel shafts for $249 per club, $275 per club in graphite.
The 718 CB irons offer a classic-looking cavity back with modern components, including high-density tungsten, with an average of 74.8 grams precisely placed in the heel and toe in the long and mid-irons. New tungsten caps are co-forged into the perimeter of the club to further improve MOI and forgiveness. All of this comes in a blade length a better player prefers while delivering higher ball speeds across the face without sacrificing the ability to work the ball and be consistent from shot to shot. Available 2-iron through pitching wedge in Project X LZ steel shafts for $162.50 per club in steel, $197.50 per club in graphite.
As you might imagine, the muscle back iron doesn't evolve a whole lot over the years. Infusing gobs of technology isn't the point. However, with the 718 MB irons, the center of gravity locations are custom to each club, placing mass behind the sweet spot to deliver optimal performance. The forged carbon steel billet offers consistency in metal and a classic, polished look. Available in 3-iron through pitching wedge in Project X steel shafts for $162.50 per club in steel, $197.50 per club in graphite.