Category: Game-Improvement Irons
Price: $799, steel; $959, graphite
WE TESTED: 4-PW with True Temper Dynalite Gold XP steel shaft
KEY TECHNOLOGIES: The long irons (3-6) have a 4 percent higher moment of inertia than the previous AP1 in a similar blade length. The result is improved accuracy and more consistent ball speeds across the face for better control. Scoring irons have shorter blades for improved playability.
OUR TESTERS SAY: One of the top-rated irons in the game-improvement category. Scores highly in all categories, particularly playability and feel.
PLAYABILITY: Shapes shots more so than other game-improvement irons; the sole design with additional weighting makes the AP1 effective from thick or tight lies.
ACCURACY/FORGIVENESS: Short irons target the flag; these are relatively friendly clubheads on mis-hits.
DISTANCE CONTROL: Good swings deliver consistent trajectory and easy, better-than-average length; off-center hits produce predictable output and typically sacrifice little distance.
FEEL: Noticeable head heft during the swing and stability through impact; soft, subtle feel on center hits; cavity insert cushions errant blows.
LOOK: Simple, classy appearance; handsome, modest cavity with minimal offset; two-tone face frames the ball.
Some testers prefer more forgiveness from long irons; a few guys want a bit more feedback and a bit less shock absorption.
From The Shop Blog (June 27, 2011)
NEWTOWN SQUARE, Pa. - You'll have to wait about four months to try Titleist's new 712 Series irons, but pros at the AT&T National are getting their first chance to hit the new AP1, AP2, CB and MB irons this week.
While the heads of the new AP1 712 irons are the same size as their predecessors, their most significant new feature is a progressive blade length.
"The long irons are about the same size," said Chris McGinley, Titleist's vice president of golf club marketing. "But as you go through the set, we brought the blade size down. That lets us make the long irons more forgiving and the short irons more traditional."
When it comes to the AP2 irons, which are designed for low handicappers, McGinley says Titleist has significantly increased the club's moment of inertia (MOI) by re-positioning tungsten weight within the heads.
"The overall goal was to better apply the different materials we use in the design," McGinley said. "To make both [the AP1 and AP2], in essence, more forgiving. But when you are talking about the AP2 player, he's not really looking for forgiveness. For him, iron play is all about distance control. When we can make an iron more forgiving, we're really giving the AP2 player more consistent ball speed over a larger area of the face. Read more ...
Key Technologies: A soft medallion insert (made of elastomer and aluminum) in the back cavity enhances sound and feel. The stainless steel body has a heavy tungsten-nickel weight along the sole to improve overall forgiveness on mis-hits.
OUR TESTERS SAY: Solid performer across all categories. A game-improvement iron for players who prefer a more traditional profile.
PLAYABILITY: Predominant ball flight is high, especially in short and middle irons.
ACCURACY/FORGIVENESS: These are deadly accurate clubs—it's super-easy to hit the green (or your target); the AP1 generates very little sidespin.
DISTANCE CONTROL: Several testers are up to one full club longer than with their set.
FEEL: Testers concur that the multi-material cavity badge does what it promises—soft, authoritative feel on good impact.
LOOK: Clean and classy; game-improvement features such as perimeter weighting, offset and cavity badge are hardly noticeable in the address position.
Some testers experience limited shotmaking capability due, in part, to high ball flight; feel is too muted for a few.
From Golf Magazine (ClubTest, March 2010)
Category: Game-Improvement Irons
We tested: 4-PW with Nippon NS Pro 105T steel shaft
Company line: "These multi-material, dual-cavity irons take 'Advanced Performance You Can Feel' to new heights. The 'Tuned Feel System' is a co-molded medallion of soft elastomer and an aluminum plate. We reduced face thickness to provide enhanced heel, toe, and deep weighting and moved tungsten-nickel to the sole for increased stability and forgiveness."
Our Testers say:
PROS: Top-tier performers; accurate sticks, they're straight shooters so aim where you want to hit it; delivers consistent, precise distances; some testers experience easy, high ball flight from poor lies; tight dispersion allows you to go pin seeking; leans to playability more than forgiveness; overall balanced weight distribution breeds confidence; soft feel eliminates any harshness; among the best on greenside shots.
CONS: Some testers prefer more forgiveness on iffy swings; soft, muted feel on mis-hits—you know you miss it but not much beyond that; a few testers get adequate distance but want more.
From Sports Illustrated Golf+ Equipment Issue (February 8, 2010)
Building on the high-tech design and success of the original AP (Advanced Performance) irons, Titleist is offering two new multiÂmaterial, dualÂcavity sets this year — the AP1 and the AP2. "The AP1 and AP2 embody significant improvements in feel, forgiveness and shot control to what had already been recognized as a revolutionary step forward in iron design," says Steve Pelisek, general manager of Titleist golf clubs. "The AP1 and AP2 feature the most successful marriage of playability and forgiveness — plus traditional looks, feel and feedback — in the market today."
The concept for the original AP irons came from research showing that serious golfers want performance but not at the expense of feel. The Titleist research and development team has been conducting extensive sound and vibration analysis aimed at reducing the harsh lower-frequency vibration that causes poor feel in irons. This research led to combining several technologies and materials in the back cavity of the AP irons, resulting in a Tuned Feel System that enhances feel.
"The AP1 and AP2 irons retain the dual-cavity design and multimaterial construction that is the key to their advanced performance," says Dan Stone, Titleist's vice president of R and D . "However, the designs have been upgraded for feel with the addition of the Tuned Feel System. The structure of the AP1 also provides improved forgiveness, while a modified sole on the new AP2 provides improved ground control."
The Tuned Feel System is a comolded medallion of soft elastomer and an aluminum plate. This insert has been designed to improve sound and feel. For the thinner-face, larger-cavity AP1, a more lively feel has been created. For the AP2 a softer, more solid feel is achieved.
Extensive improvements to the AP1 include reducing the face thickness to provide enhanced heel, toe and deep external weighting to the frame as well as an internally perimeter-weighted, tungsten-nickel sole bar for increased stability and forgiveness.
From GOLF Magazine (November 2009)
The new-and-improved AP1 has a smaller blade length and less offset than the previous version. It features a 65-gram tungsten nickel bar along the sole (the center of gravity is 8 percent lower) for added forgiveness. A thinner face with a cavity medallion (made of aluminum and soft elastomer) elicits solid, lively impact feel. The proprietary lightweight Nippon steel shaft facilitates shotmaking.