You cannot fault Titleist for trying to cater for every possible type of golfer with it's T-Series range. Last year they introduced three new irons models in the T-Series range: the T100, T200 and T300.
They did this at same time as bringing out two bladed iron models in the 620 CB and MB. Therefore, you wouldn't be wrong in saying that they already had a pretty comprehensive iron offering for all ranges of golfers.
In 2020 however, they have taken this to another level with the introduction of two new models in the T-Series family: T100S and T400. The T100S is a fully-forged player's iron with slightly stronger lofts to provide quality ball-strikers, or 'better players' who still want to use a ‘tour-shape’, that extra little bit of distance. Titleist are categorising this new iron as 'Players Distance'.
As expected, the T100 iron has been a huge success, it's the most popular iron on the PGA Tour and Titleist have listened to the feedback of their professional players and introduced the T100S. No prizes for guessing what the 'S' stands for then - strong.
In recent years manufacturers have realised that they can’t put the word 'distance' into ‘tour’ or 'players' irons as it may prove detrimental to the user, or more importantly the potential user - you or I. Hence why they have used the word strong.
What's It All About?
So, with the T100S, have Titleist literally just taken the T100 irons and cranked the heads to make them stronger? You'd think that might be the case, but if they were to do that, the head would be nowhere near as effective through the turf. The leading edge would dig a lot more and the club wouldn't feel anywhere near as good. So, apparently not...
The T100S irons have been designed with the following technologies to ensure the same forged feel and precision in the T100 isn't lost:
Carefully calibrated T100 design with 2-degree stronger lofts enhances carry distance throughout the set.
New fully-forged dual cavity construction provides precise distance and control.
Co-forged dual-density tungsten (with an average of 66g placed in the heel and toe of the mid and long irons) delivers exceptional stability.
Tour-refined sole shape (same as in T100) features a thin topline, minimal offset and enhanced camber for improved turf interaction.
Progressive set design - with progressive blade lengths, sole widths and hosel lengths - delivers optimal CG positioning with preferred shaping through the set.
Earlier in the year, we caught up with Titleist at the PGA Merchandise Show and asked them to explain the difference between the T100 and T100s. Find out all you need to know here:
Josh Talge, Vice President of Titleist Golf Club Marketing, also explained the decision to produce the T100S:
"T100S was developed as a Player's Distance iron with an emphasis on the word 'Player's'. We've taken the most popular irons on the PGA Tour and carefully engineered them to maximise distance.
As we were launching the new T-Series, we met a lot of golfers who were really excited about T100 but had become accustomed to playing stronger-lofted iron sets. It would have been really easy to just take the T100 and bend them stronger for those players. But by doing that you start to sacrifice the incredible feel and turf interaction - the reasons why players were gravitating toward them in the first place.
So our engineers went back and redesigned each individual iron to give these players the stronger lofts and distance they're looking for, while preserving the performance of that pure forged shape and sole."
To see if the tweaks Titleist have made to create the T100S have really been worthwhile, and Titleist being Titleist, I had to get fitted for all of the the irons in the range first. I had a full custom fitting session with Frazer to get the optimum irons for me in each model of the T-Series Range.
I then compared the 2019 T100 and T200 models directly to the 2020 T100S model at LSH Auto, Stockport and the T100S against the other new iron for 2020, the T400. I then took my custom fitted irons for a spin, on course at Houldsworth Golf Club to see if the the T100S had added benefits over the T100 in real life scenarios.
Titleist T100S Irons Review
If you can see the 2 degrees difference in loft strength than you have better eyes than me. I have to say the head looks exactly the same as the T100. It has the same compact body, a thin topline and a narrow sole.
It's everything you would expect from a forged Titleist iron. It looks special. This is all very positive as it means Titleist have succeeded in reducing the loft but not reducing the quality of looks. Titleist have proven that you can still make a tour iron and disguise it with a couple of tricks beneath the hood to help us out.
Even though I would be considered an elite player, I’ll be honest due to the small profile of the head, even I felt pressure to strike these irons well. You be the decision maker on whether that is a good thing or not...
My extensive indoor testing of the T-Series irons range and the T100S range in particular, gave me the kind of results I was expecting from this new iron.
In terms of forgiveness, yes you get some, but not a lot. Trackman showed a difference in 17 yards carry between a good and a bad strike which I would expect from a forged golf club. If you don't catch it out of the meat of this club, you're going to lose distance. Simple as that. If you're surprised or frustrated by that when testing these irons, they're probably not the iron for you...
My dispersion from left to right, again, was very consistent with both the T100S and T100 irons. Looking at data, you can't really tell them apart (Blue dots = T100, Orange dots = T100S, Purple dots = T200). Compared to the T200 however which is the next iron up in the T-Series, my dispersion was less consistent. Simple findings really - the further I hit it, the more chance I have of hitting it off target.
I didn’t notice too much difference in any area of stats between the T100 and T100S to be honest, until my final shot of the testing which highlighted the potential capability of this iron. I managed to squeeze one out 142 yards carry and 147 yards total. This is a great number for me and 6 yards further than my furthest hit with the T100 iron.
Looking at the Trackman data, the T100S are doing exactly what they say they should, but unless your ball striking is excellent it's not going to happen every single time.
On The Course
The turf interaction with this iron was excellent, I felt like I had the workability of a blade. When I thought I had pulled one, the ball pulled, when I thought I had caught one perfectly the ball performed as I wanted to and dropped and stopped. This iron does exactly what it says on the tin.
The difference in yardage carried between the T100S and T400 was the same both indoors on the simulator and on the course. However the stopping capabilities were different outside. The ball stopped within a few feet on the green with the T100S compared to a few yards with the T400. This can be a big difference depending on what club you are hitting into a green and what conditions you're playing. On dry, links turf - you may struggle a little with the T400 but you'll have no worries with the T100S
In terms of forgiveness, it was lacking from the T100s but that’s what I expect. When I miss hit one out of the heel it flew low and right with a noticeable yardage difference.
Titleist T100S Irons Verdict
I enjoyed experimenting with the T100S irons and looking down on a beautifully crafted forged iron. The peak height of the ball during flight wasn’t lower for me than the T100 irons although they did fly slightly longer in my testing indoors.
However, an interesting point I'd like to make is that in my custom fitting with Titleist, I was told that I needed a higher ball flight to increase my distance due to my launch and slower swing speed. The T100 is the most used iron on the PGA Tour and though the T100S does go a little further it was probably still too tough for me to hit consistently at my speed. I do not strike the golf ball well enough on enough occasions and like most golfers need some help in the ball speed department.
If you are somebody who strikes the ball well but struggles to keep the ball flight down (if you flick your wrists at impact) the Titleist T100S irons could be a very easy fix instead of changing your swing. Also if you do strike the ball well and want to hit the ball slightly further (about half a club) this is another easy way to do that without losing feel or resorting to a bigger head like the T200 or T300 iron models.
The T100S reminded me a little of when I reviewed the Mizuno MP-20 iron range last year. My heart was begging me to hit the pure blade MP-20 MB, which looks incredible, whereas my head was telling me that the MMC provided that little bit more distance and forgiveness whilst still looking and feeling pretty good.
This iron is aimed at elite golfers with 7 iron ball speeds of 105 mph plus. If this is you, money is no object and you're in the market for some shiny new sticks that will last a lifetime, then look no further.
Looked brilliant at address
Sounds like a blade
Excellent feel and feedback off the clubhead
Genuinely gained some yardage compared to T100
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