ClubTest 2016: Titleist 716T-MB Utility Iron Review
CATEGORY: Better Player Hybrids
PRICE: $200, steel; $225, graphite
WE TESTED: 2 (17°), 3 (20°), 4 (23°), 5 (26°) with True Temper Dynamic Gold AMT steel shaft
KEY TECHNOLOGIES: Tungsten weighting in the heel and toe contribute to a higher MOI than its predecessor, the 712U.
PLAYABILITY: Works it both ways and manages trajectory off the tee -- a good, safe play as a driving iron; low launch by the standards of modern irons; easy enough to pick clean from smooth, flat lies; for someone playing a full set of straight blades, these could add a little versatility.
ACCURACY/FORGIVENESS: If you put a perfect move on it, the 716 T-MB will do exactly what you have in mind -- it rewards the best swings; misses tend to fall fairly short but not offline.
DISTANCE: Its best shots are on par with most irons, including Titleist's own AP2; picks up a lot of yards on the ground -- low, boring darts land and release; rollout makes it sneaky long off the tee.
FEEL: The 716 T-MB has the weight and balance of a well-made iron; catch one dead center and the ball disappears in a smooth, compressed swoosh; old-school feedback -- lets you know how and where you hit it every time.
LOOK: A serious club that looks like something you'd want to hit -- or want to be able to hit; fits seamlessly at the low end of a set of muscleback blades; refined, two-tone finish melds high-end with high-tech.
A hard-nosed club -- some of our single-digit testers struggle to get the most out of it; many guys find that they're lower-launching, less versatile and harder to hit than AP2 irons and not as long or useful as the 816 hybrids; for a few panelists, the 716 T-MB is no better than a standard long iron from the rough.
BOTTOM LINE: It's ideally suited for skilled, stronger players who can safely handle blades. Best off a short tee, these handsome clubs offer a precise feel. They're specialized sticks, though, so wannabes need not apply.