ClubTest 2016: Titleist 716 AP2 Irons
CATEGORY: Better Player Irons
PRICE: $1,200, steel; $1,400, graphite
WE TESTED: 4–PW with KBS Tour C-Taper 105 steel shafts
KEY TECHNOLOGIES: The 3- to 7-irons have 25 percent more tungsten in the heel and toe than the 714 AP2 to increase MOI.
PLAYABILITY: Top-notch marks -- the new AP2 makes shot-shaping effortless; medium to high flight but trajectory can be altered on command; updated sole slides through all types of turf with skill.
ACCURACY/FORGIVENESS: Laser-guided when caught well; surprisingly forgiving for the amount of precision it provides, both in terms of direction and distance; forgiveness high in the face may be greater than others tested; offers more help than the previous AP2.
DISTANCE CONTROL: One of the top rated for consistency; yardages between each iron are well spaced, and it's easy to play finesse shots to cover any remaining gaps; longer carry than its predecessor.
FEEL: Works well for a lot of testers -- long irons seem slightly lighter to encourage a faster swing, while the scoring clubs seem heavier to promote consistency; impact is soft with refined feedback and muted sound.
LOOK: Smallish head with a thin topline; polished chrome finish wins a lot of fans; elegant, easy to align, and begging to be swung.
The longer irons get airborne easier than others tested, but not enough to replace your hybrids; some guys would like more carry distance on both pure shots and misses.
BOTTOM LINE: The Titleist AP2s are one of the top models in the category. Players who value precision over extra pop will benefit from having these sticks in their bags.
MORE INFO ON THE TITLEIST 716 AP2 IRONS
From GOLF.com, September 22, 2015:
Added forgiveness (and ball speed) should expand the AP2’s appeal in 2016 without compromising its Tour pedigree. The 3- through 7-irons have 25 percent more tungsten in the heel and toe than the 714 model (56 grams per club), which concentrates mass low and toward the perimeter. And because the AP2 716’s blade length is identical to the AP2 714’s, the result—an 8.5 percent higher MOI—is even more impressive. The 3- through 5-irons have a slightly lower CG that’s positioned closer to where you typically strike the ball, which helps increase speed. And by design, this model has launch and spin characteristics that are similar to the AP2 714. $1,200, steel; $1,400, graphite -- Michael Chwasky