Martin Hopley
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The Titleist 716 AP1 iron is the next evolution of the AP1 model last tweaked in 2013, but this time the changes are more significant.

Titleist 716 AP1 Irons

It is all to do with the weighting, the design of the sole and the cavity back which work together to create what Titleist say is their longest and most forgiving iron.

What you will see straight away is a long deep 360° undercut cavity in the back of the 716 AP1 head. This in itself is not new as various manufacturers have been doing this over the last couple of decades. It helps to move the Centre of Gravity (CG) low and back to increase the launch and the forgiveness.

Titleist 716 AP1 Irons

This is a big change to the previous 714 AP1 iron that had a supporting bar across the back of the cavity, which is now gone. This saves 14g of weight and leaves an unsupported face that is strong enough on its own, but can also flex a little to improve ball speeds.

Titleist 716 AP1 Irons

The head is cast from 17-4 Stainless Steel to provide this strength and it is also treated to ensure that it is malleable enough to bend if you want to adjust the lie.

This is the biggest cavity I have seen on a Titleist iron, but I think it looks pretty good and even in the 4-iron you can't see the back of the cavity at address, which is great so it still looks nice and clean.

Titleist 716 AP1 Irons

The other major change is something you can't see because Titleist has increased the amount of high density tungsten that they have put in the sole of the club by 50% over the previous model.

Having held the cutaway version of the head and the tungsten section, which is not really blue, I can vouch for the fact that this small piece of material is extremely heavy for its size.

Titleist 716 AP1 Irons

Like before it is in the toe area of the head and moves the CG lower and more towards the toe of the club. This is good because dropping the CG puts it more behind the impact point on the head meaning that you get more ball speed and accuracy.

Titleist 716 AP1 Irons

The tungsten toe weights are only in the 3 to 7 irons and not in the 8 iron to wedges. This is because the extra loft and greater head mass means the impact point is higher up the face and also less forgiveness is required.

Titleist 716 AP1 Irons

Normally this bothers me when materials are in one part of the set and not another. I understand the reasons though and in this case it does not seem to affect the sound, feel or flow of the set, so Titleist has done a good job here.

The feel right through the set was very good for what is a cast, oversized set of cavity back irons. The 42 grams of tungsten in the head is hardly noticeable when you swing and helps increase the stability of the club through impact.

Even the wedge felt very good, although calling a 43° club a wedge is starting to push it a little and leaves a big gap that will need to be filled carefully with gap wedges. As you went up the set, the generously sized 4-iron did sound a little hollow though.

Titleist 716 AP1 Irons

The lofts on all the 716 AP1 irons are 1° stronger than the 714s, which therefore makes them 2° stronger than the 712s.

Titleist 716 AP1 AP2 Iron Lofts

It all seems like a bit of an arms race and whilst it is all to do with keeping the trajectory height the same from faces that go faster, it does not seem compatible with traditional wedge numbering.

Titleist 716 AP1 Irons

On Trackman outdoors with Pro V1s, I was hitting the AP1 7-iron only a yard behind the AP2 716 6-iron and it was landing more steeply, so was therefore more likely to stop.

Titleist 716 AP1 Irons

It did make me wonder why I would consider the AP2 at all, but the same gains applied with the AP1 wedges and I would have had a huge gap to fill at the bottom of the set before my first specialist wedges at 50 degrees if I took the AP1, but all that distance is tempting.

This is the choice here between the 716 AP1 and AP2. Do you need the extra distance and forgiveness of AP1 or do you want the better sound and feel of the forged AP2, which are reasonably forgiving too?

Fellow single figure players will probably still head for AP2, but I spent most of the Titleist launch day asking myself why and I am not sure I gave myself a decent enough answer.

Titleist 716 AP1 Irons

When the AP2's get to the 4-iron it looks tiny by comparison to AP1 and the extra distance, forgiveness and steeper landing angle maybe provide the crossover point to blend in an AP1 long iron. On Trackman I was showing an extra 5 yards on the AP1 4-iron over the AP2 so if you need a little extra to cover a gap at the top of your bag then this is a worthy option.

If you are mid single figures upwards then the Titleist 716 AP1 irons are very playable and provided you fix the gap at the bottom of the set with one of the two of the set gap wedges, then you may find yourself in the larger AP1 iron wondering why on earth you did not do this years before.

Golfalot Rating: 5 stars
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Titleist 716 AP1 Irons - Product Details

Launch UK23 October 2015
Launch USA23 October 2015
Launch RRP£651
Handicap Range
Low
High
GolferMens
Hand AvailabilityLeft, Right
ManufactureCast
MaterialSteel
Shaft NameTrue Temper XP90 (Steel), Kuro Kage TiNi 65 (Graphite)
Shaft TypesSteel, Graphite
Shaft FlexRegular, Stiff, X Stiff
DesignCavity Back
Set Makeup4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, PW
Additional Clubs3, GW, SW
Manufacturer's WebsiteTitleist Website

User Reviews

July 2016

I purchased my set after my fitting and I just couldn't believe the forgiveness and distance. The head is soft enough that it is sometimes difficult to tell the difference between cast and forged. I was fitted for the DG Tour S400 shaft and 1 degree upright. The ball is flying high and straight. I love my blades but the day has come for them to make appearances on special occasions. These AP1's will be in the bag for a long time. By the end of the summer, I expect to be in the high single digits. Thank you Jim and Titleist.

June 2016

Oh what joy. I have had my AP1 irons for 4 weeks and have never hit more consistent, straighter shots in my life. They have no comparison with my old AP2's. Far, far better. And I am hitting the ball nearly 2 clubs further. Well done Titleist.

June 2016

I bought a set of 716 AP1's 5-W, with Kurokage graphite shafts. My old set were Ping I-3 O. I'm easily hitting the ball 10-20 yards further depending on how hard I swing. I've played about 25 rounds with them now and can swing slower with the same club I used to hit and still gain 10 yds or more. Very forgiving club. Ball flight is higher, causing more accuracy and less roll. Hitting greens more easily now, where I used to either fall short or roll off the back. I've lowered my handicap by 4 strokes. The only downfall with these clubs is that they seem to "mark" easily, compared to the Pings. Not much of a negative considering the confidence I've gained in my game. Highly recommend these clubs for the higher handicapper.

June 2016

Absolutely fantastic clubs. Was playing Mizuno MX-300s. Don't practice much and was looking for more forgiveness. Demo'd Ping G, Mizuno JPX EZ, Titleist 716 AP1& AP2 and Callaway Apex CF16. All excellent clubs but AP1's fit my swing the best. Ball flies off face with nice high ball flight. Balls come down at steep angle and stop quickly. Doesn't require perfect strike. Forged clubs "feel" better but easily forgotten with performance as I am 1 club longer. Pitching wedge 130 up from 120. 7 iron 160+ up from 150 and with a better dispersion. Broke 80 first time out and regularly shoot in mid 80's. I don't have to be as precise and this probably relaxes me. Purchased 4-iron to Gap Wedge (47) standard lie, regular shafts. I have 50* and 56* wedges. Hope this is helpful. Bottom line, you should try hitting several different clubs and compare them to yours. I also tried different shafts.

May 2016

Just played my first round with these today . They are almost like cheating as I am getting 20 yards more a club with the 716 AP1's. They are the longest, most forgiving Titleist irons I have ever played.

May 2016

Fabulous clubs and a full 15 - 20 yards longer than my old set. There is a huge gap at the bottom as others have said, which is difficult to fill. Shots fly straight and very high. Shots typically take one bounce and stop on a dime.

One over on the front, two over on the back first time out with these sticks. I'm a 7 handicapper and I expect these clubs to shave 3 - 4 strokes off my game this summer.

I am super excited about the new AP1's.

March 2016

Great irons! Have had these for about three months now and cannot fault them. They are much more forgiving than my previous cavity backs and longer into the bargain. I got 4-pw and find even the 4 iron easy to hit. I have kbs tour shafts fitted and lies adjusted from titleist and found the service excellent. These will be in the bag for a good few seasons.

March 2016

Just started playing them and they are great - long and with a nice feel . The only problem is the PW has the same loft as my last 9 iron so I now have a big gap to my 52 wedge. Have ordered an AP1 47 degree gap wedge to sort the problem.

February 2016

I played the 712 AP1's and they really helped my game out. I switched over to the AP2s last year but the distance loss was massive. I was losing literally 10-12 yards per club. I was hitting a Vokey 46.08 further than the AP2 9 iron. What I can credit the AP2 to is my short game, because anything beyond 140 yards was almost impossible to land on the green. Who knows, maybe I just wasn't cut out for the AP2's, but I already ordered the 716 AP1s and am ready to go back to getting the awesome distance and forgiveness instead of sacrificing it for feel.

February 2016

I have owned the previous version the 714 AP1 irons but I was not happy with the ball flight and went back to playing my old blades. I was not interested in another set of AP1's until I went through the club fitting process to find a new set of irons. After trying out everything else I was persuaded that that the 716 AP1's are the best fit for my swing. So after 2 rounds I can saying that playing these clubs is cheating. They are better than any club I have ever played. They are long! They are forgiving! I can control the flight of the ball. They won't balloon up like the last model. I was on a long uphill par 4. I had about 170 uphill to the flag. I hit a 6 iron poorly. So I dropped another ball same swing miss hit again. I got to the green both were pin high 10-15 feet. I am not a long hitter but on a par 3 I hit my 5 iron 195. This is 15 yards longer than my old blades. These clubs make golf easier. Every other set of irons that I have owned are now in a category of old technology. This new AP1 716 are in a class of their own. Game improvement irons finally means just that to me. I bought them and I got better at golf.

December 2015

Hi I've just got my 716 AP1 irons. They feel great on the ball and the ball flight is straight and seems to be a lot higher than my old irons.

December 2015

Great feeling when hiting the ball. Perfect balance with the XP90 shafts. Good look. Made a combo with 5 to 9 AP1 + P and W AP2s. Just great.

November 2015

Great clubs. Does what it says on the tin but finding that the irons mark very easily I bought some covers as I would dread to think what they would look like within a year.

November 2015

Very nice clubs. Forgiving and give good distance. Titleist have done a great job. I am very happy to play with them. I use a graphite shaft and the weight is just right for me. The ball flight is consistent and high. Congratulations to the Titleist team and a big Thank you from my side. AV

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