Back in 2019 Titleist updated their long iron range with the U500 and U510 utilities, so it stands to reason that the U505 will probably sit somewhere in the middle in terms of size and flight characteristics.
The brand describe the U505 as the 'do it all utility iron' which looks like an iron yet flies like a hybrid. Whilst the women's game is dominated by hybrids at the top end of the bag, more and more of the men are putting UDIs like this in their bag, particularly on firmer courses as we recently saw at The Open.
Utilities have a reputation for being great for the safety shot off the tee, but they weren't always particularly versatile from the fairways or rough. Until now?
The U505 is aimed at golfers who are looking to improve launch and speed from their longest irons, without having to switch into clubs with headcovers.
What's It All About?
The story behind the new U505 utility is the Max Impact 2.0 chassis and design, which is engineered to deliver high-launching distance and forgiveness.
This is made up of a new core support design, to add power and improve stability in the head, a high resilience polymer core which adds speed across the face whilst retaining feel, and the forged SUP10 L face which is the key technology behind the claims of high ball speeds.
A new Wide Sole Chassis comes as a result of feedback from Titleist's tour players, featuring a wider sole but with a shorter blade length, and a more heel-based CG location.
The multi-material construction features a 'muscle plate' like the one used in the T200 irons, made of a type of plastic which helps to improve sound and reduce weight, whilst still looking like metal. This combines with the polymer core to dampen both the vibration and the high-pitched noise that a head of this size would usually make, giving it that 'better player' sound and feel at impact.
Titleist have also added D18 tungsten weighting to improve the weight distribution throughout the head. Tungsten is expensive but it's a key tool for ensuring that the CG is in the right place to provide easy launch characteristics.
The standard shaft for the U505 is graphite Hzrdus Smoke Black, whilst you can pay the extra cash and upgrade to one of Titleist's 'Featured Shafts' if you want to channel your inner Jordan Spieth and try out the orange and white Tour AD model.
Graphite shafts in utility irons continue to grow in popularity not only in the amateur game but on the global professional tours too. The same reasons that the best players in the world use them will be of benefit to amateurs too - graphite allows for more speed and launch, both of which improve utility performance and just make things a little bit easier on the whole.
In order to put the new Titleist range to the test I was lucky enough to visit the brand new Titleist Performance Centre at Woburn Golf Club for a full custom fitting session.
I hit the U505 in the 22 degree 4 iron model, using Titleist Pro V1x golf balls and the Trackman simulator to collect data. I compared the utility with both the T200 4 irons to see whether the new technologies can aid performance at the top end of the bag. Is there need for an iron like this in the modern game?
Titleist U505 Utility Iron Review
Looks and Feel
To describe this simply for you, the U505 looks like a blown up version of the new T200 iron complete with much of the same technology in the head.
Whilst the sole is large, the topline is still relatively slim which means that it should still appeal to better players.
Putting the iron down by the ball, you can see a little bit of bulk from the back cavity but this is normal for clubs of this type and is actually quite a reassuring look.
Despite having a forged face insert, the U505 feels extremely springy and easy to launch straight up into the air, and combines with a really stable feel.
Titleist says that the U505 looks like an iron and performs like a hybrid, and that's exactly what I found during my testing.
My ball speed, launch, spin rate, peak height and carry distance were all higher when using this iron compared to both the T100 and T200 4 irons.
I felt incredibly confident both picking the ball off the tech and hitting normal tee shots, including even when hitting a few shots from light rough.
The wide sole chassis seems to skim across the surface nicely at impact, so much so that I barely took a divot or scratched the turf with most of my shots whilst still getting the launch I wanted.
When testing this iron, I found that it produced more of a 'loopy' ball flight rather than the flatter one that I am used to seeing from my 4 iron.
As proven in the numbers, the U505 carried a little further than the T100 and T200 but the total distance was slightly less at 170 yards, producing that hybrid-like performance which suggests it could even be usable into par 3s as it should stop quickly enough on the greens.
I also plucked up the courage to try the U505 1 iron at the end of my testing session. This may have said 1 iron on the sole, but it's nothing like the butter knives used by the likes of Ben Hogan back in the day - it's as different as the change in driver heads from years past.
The 1 iron design as we know it seems to be a thing of the past, as this was one of the easiest clubs I've ever tried to hit!
Titleist U505 Utility Iron Verdict
Titleist say that the U505 looks like an iron and flies like a hybrid, and I have to agree that this really does perform like a hybrid in disguise.
I'm getting more used to testing golf clubs like this now but I'm still always grateful when I see that there are graphite shafts available. This allows me to generate more clubhead speed and improve launch, and although you can order these irons with steel shafts I wouldn't recommend it.
Historically players would've wanted a long iron like this to produce a low penetrating ball flight which gets under the wind and runs down the fairway. In recent years there has been a shift however, because it's just as important to have the higher flight when necessary to be able to stop the ball quickly on greens or carry hazards.
The combination of the forgiving, lightweight shaft and sole design meant that this was the best utility that I have tested, and it also sounded a lot less hollow than others on the market which was a big plus for me.
Who Are They Aimed At?
If you shudder every time you have to take a headcover off your clubs, then make sure that you give the U505 a try. You no longer have to hit the ball low and chase it down the fairway when you use a driving iron - they can be used from a tee, the fairway or even in the rough.
There are a number of different loft variations too, which make it easier than ever to find a club that fits into the gap in your bag.
If you already have the T200 or T300 irons in the bag then considering adding the U505 4 iron may help you out at the top end of the bag, or if you're looking for a driving iron then you can pick which of the four models fits your current setup best.
It can still be used for links golf like a traditional long iron, but the versatility can now be transferred to any course conditions.
The only negative I found is that if you are already a T100 player, then the T200 2 iron may be a better, and cheaper option, because the head shape is a much easier transition compared to the chunkier U505.
Would I Use Them?
I'm still a hybrid lover, but using the U505 in the 4 iron loft did get me thinking that modern day utility clubs are much more playable for a wider range of players, especially if the course I was playing on had some longer par 3s.
- Very easy to launch
- Forgiving and straightforward to hit
- Versatile both off the ground and from the tee
- More expensive than a T200 iron and the performance isn't too much different
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