It’s been a long few months without the chance to review golf equipment, as COVID-19 has left golf courses across the country closed, and most of us stuck at home on lockdown.
Thankfully we now seem to be on our way back to normality and I am really excited to get back out and test all of the gear we had planned to put through its paces this summer... LOTS of catching up to do. What better place to start than with the newest models from the Titleist T-Series irons? Under the microscope in this review is the T400 irons.
I have had the Titleist’s T400 and T100S irons sitting in my spare room at home just asking to be hit for the last three months, finally now I've had the chance to see how they perform.
After such a long break without playing I was a little relieved that the first product I’d be testing was the T400 Iron – the longest and most forgiving model in the T-Series range, and dare I say it, arguably Titleist's longest and most forgiving iron ever!
What's It All About?
First things first, I think it’s fair to say that Titleist are best known for developing ‘Player’s Irons' - classic looks, traditonal designs and shapings, every golfer knows what a Titleist iron should look like. So when I saw the T400s the first thing I thought is that these couldn’t be much further from the traditional Titleist iron look!
They are contemporary in design, they are meaty, they look modern, they look like they were made in 2020, and they certainly don't look like a traditional Titliest iron, but that's not necessarily a bad thing...
The T400 Irons are designed to be high launching, forgiving, and best suited to golfers with slower swing speeds. I never thought I’d see the day where Titleist make golf clubs specifically designed at ‘less capable’ golfers and possibly even women. It's been a strange year eyyy...?
As you’d imagine, Titleist can’t make these claims about forgiveness and launch without including some new bits of technology to help golfers to achieve this:
A Super Thin L-Face insert is situated at the lower edge of the face and wraps around the sole, helping to maintain ball speed on strikes at the bottom of the face – something which can be a common fault in long irons particularly. The head has a bigger profile than the rest of the T-Series range which also inspires more confidence down by the ball.
Up to 100g of high-density tungsten weighting is also added to the toe and heel of the long irons in order to lower the centre of gravity and launch the ball higher and longer.
The wide body shape, highlighted by a new Split Sole design, improves turf interaction for a smooth and more forgiving strike from a variety of different lies out on the course.
Finally, the T400’s hollow structure allows weight to be shifted back and the MOI to be increased, so that shots fly longer and straighter even if not struck from the centre of the face.
"T400 is the super distance Titleist iron. This club is engineered to get the ball in the air and launch it as far as possible, even when the strike isn’t perfect. There are so many golfers, particularly players with moderate swing speeds, who can benefit from this technology."
"T400 gets the absolute most out of your swing while still providing the playability of a Titleist iron along with that look, sound and feel that dedicated players demand."
Josh Talge, Vice President of Marketing for Titleist Golf Clubs
We also caught up with Corey Gerrard at the 2020 PGA Merchandising Show back in January before the release of these new irons to get the lowdown.
To see whether the T400 Irons really did provide ‘the most forgiving experience’ as Titleist claim, as well as discover which type of golfer they would suit, I headed to my Trackman 4 Simulator at LSH Autos to gather some dry-ball data, before getting out onto the course at Houldsworth GC to see how they performed in real-life situations.
It's also important to mention that as with any Titleist golf club we test here at Golfalot Towers, I went through a full custom fitting process first with Frazer to find out my optimum spec.
Titleist T400 Irons Review
With the T-Series it’s clear that as you increase in model number, you also increase in head size. Therefore the T100 and T100s irons represent the smallest irons in the range, and the T300 then the T400 has the largest and thickest head. The T200, as you guessed, sits somewhere in the middle.
If your previous set of irons was more towards the game-improvement category and you’re looking at trying the T400s, the chunkier look may not be too much of a shock. But if you’ve been using blades, musclebacks or even sleek cavity backs, then the change in profile may take a little getting used to.
When I first saw the T400 irons I couldn’t help but think that the hollow head made them look like a driving iron, such as Titleist’s U500 and U510 models, but I think they have done well in softening the lines.
Down at address, the friendly head shape gives you plenty of confidence of making a good solid connection with the ball.
The noise at impact is noticeably louder than the other irons in the T-Series range thanks to its hollow-head construction, and is more high-pitched too. There is a real "thwack" what you catch the T400.
If you’re thinking that you might be put off by the sound, however, you will soon forget it when you see how well the ball flies off the face. It sounds silly but the face felt so springy and forgiving that it actually felt like it was hard to strike these irons badly. This is therefore reflected in the performance.
Even the ones I didn’t hit well produced good numbers with just a couple of yards drop-off. These are some of the most forgiving irons I have ever hit, possibly even surpassing the super forgiving likes of the TaylorMade SIM Mas OS irons and the Callaway Mavrik Max Irons
This forgiveness can be really useful on the course, because if your bad strikes only lose a couple of yards that means that they’re more likely to still hang on to the front of the green rather than dropping back into a hazard that’s short, for example.
Hitting these irons indoors using the Trackman simulator I was extremely impressed as the performance was fabulous, and the dry-ball numbers I captured were probably the most consistent of any of the irons in the T-Series range. They were simply the longest and straightest.
One of the fears for me when using these bigger, game-improvement irons is that you struggle with distance control and with overdrawing the ball to the left, often because the irons have a little bit of offset to help those slicers among us.
However I didn’t have any issues with this, as I can’t remember losing one shot left during indoor or outdoor testing, the head was just so stable through impact. My Trackman carry numbers also stated that there was only a 4 yard dispersion between my shortest and longest carry, which is excellent. I was able to hit nice controlled fades which felt very similar in terms of my swing, and also came out with very similar numbers on the shot data which was reassuring.
The launch and peak height of the 7 irons was higher than my own 7 iron average, presumably due to the centre of gravity placement, but the spin rate was lower, averaging more like a 6 iron. This is one of the common trade-offs if you want more distance with your irons and so needs bearing in mind if you’re looking to stop the ball on firm summer greens.
These clubs made me want to swing smoother, rather than harder, as I knew the technology was in the head and the lightweight graphite shaft would do the work for me.
On The Course
The irons impressed me indoors and this continued out on the course too. The T400 5 iron carried 6 yards further than Titleist’s newest iron, the T100S, and it was noticeable that the irons did run out a little further when they landed due to the lower spin. The average distance increase was consistent across the set, as I was gaining 5 yards per iron compared to my own set.
The most noticeable difference for me was the forgiveness of the T400 irons, when even the shots hit poorly from the heel resulted in a minimal change in distance.
I also dropped a few balls down and hit some 9 irons out of the rough to see how they performed in less favourable conditions. Now, I thought that I would get a lot of help from this club and that I would catch a flyer, and that is exactly what happened.
To be honest I don’t really see this is a disadvantage though as I played for it, and so in that situation I would have hit a wedge instead of a 9 iron.
Titleist T400 Irons Verdict
Well played Titleist, the T400s do exactly as you said they would. You may all watch YouTube reviews of men who swing their 7 irons at over 90mph, but I don’t and so I think that’s why it may be more relatable for you when I review clubs like this.
This iron is aimed at golfers who swing like me, with a 7 iron swing speed of around 79mph, or even slower. If you are a higher handicapper, woman or senior gofer who struggles with launch and speed then this could be the perfect iron for you.
Titleist states that the lighter graphite shaft will increase your swing speed. I already use graphite shafts so it’s hard for me to judge this, but I did find a club that was easy to hit and made me feel like hitting the ball was effortless.
The size of the head will put off many lower handicap golfers, but then this club isn’t aimed at them anyway and Titleist’s T-Series has plenty of other options like the T300 or T200 for those mid-handicappers.
The T400s are aimed at people who don’t like hitting their irons, struggle with confidence when standing over the ball and are looking for improved launch. In this regard, I think looks and feel are far more insignificant for these golfers.
The forgiveness and consistency was incredibly clear in performance both on and off the course with the T400. However, packing all that technology in does come at a price, as the irons are priced at £180 per club which puts it up at the top-end of the market with the likes of the Ping G710.
You are very much paying for your game improvement, but I can say that this was noticeable in my performance and data.
Would I Use It?
When I first looked at the iron I would have said 100% this is not for me, however after a day of testing I really enjoyed the lack of stress when hitting them.
Now I don’t think I need to use these clubs just yet as I need more spin when hitting into firm greens with tight pin positions, but I will certainly be recommending them to my clients who might need help with ball speed and launch. They are great clubs.
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