The AP in Titleist’s irons stands for advanced performance and came about as a result of research showing that golfers wanted performance and great feel together, not one or the other. The original irons came out and were an immediate success both on tour and with golfers everywhere. Together, the AP1 and AP2 irons cover a large spectrum of golfers as they are very different irons geared towards very different players. While most consider the AP1 irons a Game Improvement (GI) set and the AP2 irons a Game Enhancement (Players) set, THP feels that those names are thrown around a little too often and that the lines are getting closer together with each passing golf season based on new technology. In this review THP will take a look at the new line of AP1 irons from Titleist and whether or not they live up to the hype around the line.
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From The Company
Building upon the high technology design and resounding success of the original AP irons, Titleist introduces the new high performance AP1 irons for avid golfers. The Titleist AP1 are multi-material, dual cavity irons that take the design mission of “Advanced Performance You Can Feel” to new heights.
The concept for the original Advanced Performance irons arose as a result of research that indicated serious golfers want performance with great feel, not performance at the expense of feel. The Titleist R&D teamâ€™s advanced research group has been conducting extensive sound and vibration analysis aimed at reducing the harsh lower frequency vibration that causes poor feel in irons. This research led to combining several technologies and materials in the back cavity of the new AP irons resulting in a new Tuned Feel System to take feel to a new level.
The new Tuned Feel System is a co-molded medallion of soft elastomer and aluminum plate. This insert has been specifically designed to improve the sound and feel of each new iron. For the thinner face, larger cavity AP1 a hotter, more lively feel has been enhanced.
Extensive improvements to the new AP1 structure include reducing the face thickness to provide enhanced heel, toe, and deep weighting to the frame and moving the tungsten nickel material to the sole resulting in increased stability and forgiveness.
Features & Tech Specs
Advanced Performance with Feel: High quality, high technology design and construction featuring a precise cast 431 stainless steel body, high-density tungsten nickel sole and Tuned Feel System to enhance performance, forgiveness and feel.
Improved Feel: A thin face with integrated aluminum and soft elastomer Tuned Feel System in the back cavity improves sound and feel at impact for a hotter, more lively feel. The high-density tungsten nickel sole bar reduces low frequency vibration for solid feel.
More Forgiving: A perimeter weighted back flange and tungsten nickel sole bar locates the CG low and deep for increased MOI, forgiveness and stability.
Higher Ball Speed: A thin face, dual cavity design pushes weight to the perimeter for a hotter face and flight.
Improved Short Irons: Shorter blade length, thinner topline, and reduced visual offset deliver control and performance.
Improved Confidence Inspiring Appearance: Contemporary, confidence inspiring appearance features a traditional profile with modern proportions. A slightly thinner topline and improved hosel blends for reduced visual offset provide an enhanced set-up appearance.
Stock Shafts and Grip: Stock NS Pro 105T is a high performance lightweight steel shaft with a medium tip for control and softer mid section for feel. Stock graphite shaft is Aldila VS Proto-T 75 exclusively for Titleist. Stock grip is Tour-proven feel and traction of the Titleist Tour Velvet Rubber by Golf Pride. Other shaft, grip, length and lie options are available through Titleist Custom.
High Performance Sole: High performance sole with width, camber and bounce specs designed to deliver playability from a variety of lies and turf conditions without excessive bounce or dig.
Dual Hosel Lengths: Shorter hosel in long irons helps bias weight low for improved launch.
Progressive Offset and Stronger Lofts: Blade length is the same throughout the set with enhanced progressive offset. Lofts are two degrees stronger versus AP2.
Grooves: Modified U (28 degree wall), 2010 conforming.
Price/Availability: Available in both right and left hand beginning November 15, 2009, with a suggested retail price of $100 per club/steel, and $125 per club/graphite.
We gathered up 6 testers total and went out to the range for some testing of the new AP1 irons from Titleist. Each tester warmed up with their current irons and then switched over to the new set for comparisons. On looks alone, most of the testers agreed that they preferred the subtle changes that Titleist made for the new line compared to that of the previous AP1 set. Once on the range we each took turns hitting buckets of balls with the different clubs in the set. One immediate thought that was unanimous was that everybody liked the shaft choice that Titleist made with these irons. They “felt” better and the ball flight was nice and high. Less penetrating than some were used to, but not a single complaint by any single person. The feel that the shaft gives off is something that quite a few of us felt might have been the missing piece in the previous version of these irons. After 2 hours of testing, it was fairly unanimous that Titleist may have a winner on their hands.
Over the course of 3 weeks, 12 testers put the Titleist 710 AP1 irons in play for a round of golf. Including myself gaming them for 6 full rounds. Out of those 12 golfers 9 said that they would put these on their short list when upgrading their set in 2010. Those that left it off the list really had no major issues or complaints about the clubs, they just preferred other sets more for any number of reasons. The most liked feature that people spoke about with the AP1’s was the improved feel that they offer. Last year’s iron set felt fine and was a solid set of clubs, but this year with the subtle head changes and the change in stock shaft left players smiling as they hit balls with them. The biggest issue that people had with them was the looks. Many thought the cavity was just a little too busy for their taste (purely personal preference), ironically that is one of my favorite things about this set. I really like the changes that Titleist made to the new AP1 in terms of aesthetics.
My game over the course of the time I played the Titleist irons stayed about the same. They are not magic wands and my score did not drastically drop all of the sudden, however that by itself is a feat. Many times when we test irons, my scores soar for the first few rounds as I get used to feel and distance. I had absolutely no problem adjusting to the ball striking of this set and found my yardages to be right where they should be. One thing that I want to note here is that many believe that Titleist irons overall are geared towards better players, and THP was able to have quite a few mid and high handicappers test these irons with no issues. The overall large amount of golfers that can play the new AP1 irons is something that we feel is one of its best features.
There is a lot to like about the new AP1 line from Titleist Golf. They have an improved feel, solid distance, and in my opinion, very good looks. They can be played by players of so many different skill levels and the overall consensus was that Titleist has a great set of irons on their hands. For more information on these or any other Titleist Golf Product, check out their website at www.titleist.com.
Till Next Time