Lamkin Grips

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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.
Click on each picture for large Hi-Res Image
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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 team’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.
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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.
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Range Testing
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.

Course Testing
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.
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Overall
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

Josh B.

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Category: Equipment, Irons

About the Author ()

Josh is the Publisher of The Hackers Paradise and co-founder of THP Media with his wife Morgan Babbitt. Together they share a passion for golf, and they travel the country along with their two dogs in the THP Tour Van bringing their love and knowledge of the game to golfers everywhere.

Comments (43)

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  1. Smallville says:

    Nice looking clubs. You mention that sometimes when you test it takes a while to get used to. Do you find you like the clubs you are testing more when you have that issue, or more when you are able to hit them well from the beginning?

  2. Admin says:

    It is not really one or the other Smallville. However I will say that being able to hit them normally from the beginning makes the review process easier.

  3. marky mark says:

    Really informative. This is the place I go for reviews. It seems as though most of the people that tried these out liked what they saw, other than looks. I am with you Josh B., I like the looks of them. They were not on my short list before, but might be now.

    These and the R9s both offer so much that I am looking for.

  4. jay rice says:

    I play last year’s Ap1 irons and like them quite a bit. The only issue that I may have is that they feel kind of harsh, but it seems as though the new shaft and changes that were made might have fixed that issue. Good pictures by the way.

  5. Mike the golfer says:

    I really like the looks of the AP line from them. I have not played Titleist irons since the original DCIs but these could bring me back. I love that picture of the 3 together by the way.

    I am going to attempt to go hit these this week and hopefully will have some feedback after that.

  6. Rory T says:

    Excellent review as usual. I play the current AP2s and am thinking about making the switch to the AP1s for a little more forgiveness.

  7. The ECHO says:

    Love the look of these and will be looking for them in stores

  8. Steve Fox says:

    Not sure about these. I did not care for the AP line this year, but will try them out. I really like the looks, but I just did not think they felt as good as others.

  9. Golfingcop says:

    Nice review! I do have this on my shortlist!

  10. Dave S says:

    Im on the fence about the looks of these. At setup I think they look as good as anything I have played, but the cavity is super busy. And now they seem to be following Callaway (again) with the cross and are looking more like X22s.

    Still i think they are worth hitting as I am in the market for new irons.

  11. itsbarker says:

    I just got back from a lunchtime visit to a local golf shop and was able to compare the old AP1 to the new version. I prefer the looks and thinner sole of the new version AP1. Not sure about the flex and consistency of the new stock shaft by Nippon. They felt good and this set is on my short list as well.

  12. Nick70 says:

    How was hitting the long irons (3, 4, 5)? Seemed like the first set of AP1’s long irons weren’t any more forgiving than a player’s long iron.

  13. Administrator says:

    Nick,
    They are more forgiving than last years set in the long irons. But they are still not as forgiving as many GI sets.

  14. G says:

    Is it just me or do they look allot like the Callaway X-22?

  15. Timmy T says:

    G,
    It is not just you. I thought the same things. I like the looks quite a bit. This is why I use this site as my review tool. Very honest and thorough.

  16. DefCon1 says:

    Those are some classy looking irons. I wouldn’t mind giving them a “shot”. And, Nippon makes some great shafts.

  17. Carl says:

    Recently took delivery of a set of AP1 710’s. First time on the range was pleased to hit the 4 iron about 185. I could never do anything close to that with my old clubs. Happy camper here.

  18. Marko says:

    Hit the AP1, CG7’s and the R9’s, The AP1’s for me performed the most over all. Mishits I could hardly tell distance wise a few yards shorter and 5-10 yards right or left. If you are in the market hit these clubs along with others. These are going in my bag.

  19. Luke says:

    How forgiving are these exactly? Are they pure forgiveness or do they offer playability as well? I want a blend so I can work the ball too. I’m deciding between these and the Ping i15’s.

  20. thainer21 says:

    you should be deciding between the AP2s and the i15s

  21. Luke says:

    Thainer, are the AP2’s forgiving enough my handicaps an 18, but I hit the i15’s great so I’m not a bad ball striker.

  22. Luke says:

    Or how about the mizuno mx300’s? Think those would be better?

  23. Jerry says:

    What affect if any, does the stronger lofts have relative
    to distance ?

  24. itsbarker says:

    The feel is solid and consistent. I just ordered a set over the weekend, expected March 1st delivery. Thanks for the continued input.

  25. Alan says:

    I have the original AP1 irons and before that I played (for a long time) the Callaway S2H2 irons. I also switched to R300 shafts. The AP1’s are about 10% shorter partially due to the higher loft and weaker shafts. I was an 8 handicap but don’t play enough anymore to maintain that; however these irons are more consistent and almost as playable as my old ones. I like the smaller head thin top line style iron. Why is that the improverd modifications Titleist made to the AP1 iron after it was out for a short period? I am a firm believer that all mfg’s work on the new improved model before they ever put the original on the market. I am very happy with my original AP1 irons and they are definately good enough that there is no need to trade up to the improved AP1’s.

  26. JJ says:

    I demoed the AP1, CG7, Burner and X22’s the last couple of weekends at a local demo days event. I decided on the AP1 710 and was fitted tonight. Personally, I like the look of these sticks from all angles and I agree that they were as easy to hit as my current TA7’s with equal if not better results even though it was at the range. I decided on the DG S300 shafts because the stock Nippon shaft were flying too high for me. Because of my height I went +1/2 and 2* upright. Can’t wait to get them out onto the course.

  27. Bill says:

    I heard the old AP1’s dinged up badly after little use. Is the 2010 version any better?

    Thanks

  28. Mark says:

    Has anyone compared these with the R9’s? And what are your conclusions?

  29. Anthony says:

    I was looking at these as well as the tm burners. Any thoughts?

  30. Administrator says:

    Anthony,
    The forum is a great place to get a ton of opinions on this subject

  31. leftychris says:

    After testing every possible iron I could think of and all the recomendations from u guys I bought the AP1s. they fly straight and high with alovely feel,just what I was looking for.Thanks for all the great unbiased reviews.

  32. JdB says:

    Saw my pro for a clubfit and tried half-dozen different irons, including AP1, AP2, R9, X-22, G15 and I15s, and the AP1’s were an easy choice for me. I’m a former 10 hdcp who hasn’t played for 6 years (kids!) and am just getting back into the game. These were the perfect balance — just like the review says — of feel and forgiveness. My shortlist was G15 and AP1, and I picked the AP1 because of better feel. Kind of wanted the AP2, but I worried they’d work me – instead of other way around!! After 6 weeks on the course, I love these AP1s even more than I did on the range. I’m starting to be able to work them too, which is pleasantly surprising. Only issue to adjust is a much higher trajectory than my old X-14s, but I think that’s because my old clubs were too short and I used to just skull the ball a bit every time! Overall, love the AP1’s … perfect for anyone who wants a bit of everything.

  33. Jude Ryan says:

    I recently purchased a set of 710 irons after testing 6 sets on a demo day. I hit G15s, X22s, Bazooka, and others. Most felt good, but the 710s were far and away superior in look and feel. I have had them about three weeks now and find them more comfortable every time I play. One change in my game is now I aim straight at the pin instead of having to work the ball. The ball flies straight and true. I have always liked Ping irons, but these are longer and fit my game. (5.6 handicap)

  34. itsbarker says:

    Its been 4 months since I put my AP1 710 irons into play. They are very solid consistent irons. Distance and Feel are very good. These are keepers.

  35. Polo says:

    I am 67, with a 7, love the new AP1’s, have played stiffs, wandering about whether I should go to reg shafts? Any thoughts?

  36. Polo says:

    Has anyone specifically tested the Burner with the new AP1? I am referring to the straight Burner, not the Plus, Tour or whatever other Burner models Taylormade has flooded the market with just to confuse everyone.

  37. SH says:

    Polo – the AP1 710’s stock steel shaft is the Nippon NS PRO 105T for Titleist lightweight steel shaft – it’s a fantastic shaft, with a low/mid bend point and a mid-high trajectory. The difference between the Regular and Stiff shafts are only 3 grams of static weight (110g for Regular, 113g for Stiff), and probably a few Cycles per Minute in frequency. 7 is a nice Handicap, so it sounds like you’ve got game. I would demo the club outside on a driving range. Let your ball flight be your guide. If you’re hitting it lower than you want with stiff, I would go with regular (vs. stiff). Too high flight with regular shaft, go with stiff (vs. regular). Any player should probably use the softest iron shaft they can (while still getting the desired ball flight) because it will be easier to hit (you won’t have to fight the shaft)… and don’t take this the wrong way, but at 67 yrs old, hitting a regular flex Nippon might be your best bet. FYI – Nippon is a great feeling shaft, but plays a little stiffer frequency wise than most other steel shafts in the marketplace due to their superior & unique construction. One last suggestion – you may want to try the Nippon NS PRO 970 lightweight steel shaft, which is a FREE custom option in lieu of the stock Nippon NS PRO 105T… and is a slightly lighter static weight shaft than the 105T. The regular flex is 99 grams, stiff flex is 103 grams… and the ball flight is more mid flight. Very close to Nippon’s 950GH lightweight steel shaft, which I’ve played for about 10 years. Both the gram weight of the shaft and the flex will impact which shaft works best for you. Between those 4 shafts, you can find the right combo of static weight, ball flight, and feel. FYI – I think that the Titleist fitting cart has both shafts in it… look on titleist.com to find a fitter near or in your zip code. Good luck!

  38. John Browning says:

    I am 58 years old and have a smooth tempo swing in the 85 MPH range with 6 iron. Hit a TM R7 driver about 245. Currently own a set of the original AP1s for the last 4 months. I have had over 20 sets of clubs in the last 10 years. Recently Mizuno, 2009 Burner, R7, X14, X20, to name a few. I am 58 years old and play to a 9 handicap. I found the HL shaft in the original Titleist AP 1 to really work me over even in regular shaft. AW through 7 iron was ok but harsh. Range balls and then playing 18 holes with this shaft wore me out. I felt like I had to swing out of my shoes to get the ball in the air. Never have been able to do anything with the 5 and 4 iron. Really messed up my timing for awhile. I am picking up a new set of Titleist 710s today with the NS Pro 105T shaft in regular flex. I sincerely hope I have not made a mistake.

  39. CConley says:

    I was playing the old Tommy Armour Evo’s and just picked up a new set of the 710 AP1’s with S-Flex on Craig’s List. I think the s-flex is gonna work in my favor b/c I’ve always hit my irons pretty high. My question is this….I went to the range yesterday with just the PW & 7 iron. When I left the range I noticed the club faces appeared to have been hit 100’s of times, when I just hit a small bucket. I admit I was hitting barefoot with no glove and the clubs were slipping a little, but do these faces get dinged up pretty easily?? They had never been hit before btw……..Thanks for any input!!

  40. Mike says:

    Older AP1 or the 710s? Do you think I would be happier with the newer version? I see some around and would love some input.

  41. marty says:

    best clubs I have ever owned A flex shafts just feel great

  42. SH says:

    Mike,

    AP1 710s are much better than old AP1s. Better forgiveness/feel/look. I own the AP1 710s, and they’re great! Over the same year as the needed improvements from AP1 (2009) to AP1 710s (2010), Titleist didn’t change the more “players iron” AP2 nearly at all… changed the bounce angle by 1 degree on a few of the irons. Now, that they are happy with the AP1 710s… they didn’t change them at all from 2010 to 2011. They are perfect the way they are… a far cry from the changes from 2009 to 2010 when they created the AP1 710 designation. I have hit the old AP1s and the AP1 710s, and I like everything about the 710s better.

  43. Rowan says:

    i am considering getting these on ebay for only $400 but am not sure how much workability these have. I am a 5 handicap but my old tommy armour blades are 10-15 yards shorter than todays irons.

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