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Titleist AP1 714 Irons Review
15 Jan 2014
by Pete Wlodkowski of AmateurGolf.com

see also: Equipment Reviews

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If the new Titleist AP2 irons are as forgiving as the original Titleist AP1, as Titleist's VP of Product Marketing Chris McGinley recently told us, then how forgiving is the latest iteration of the AP1?

The answer is simple. If you haven't considered either of these two sets of irons on your short list of what to put into your bag, you need to hit not just the AP2 (the more used of the two irons on the PGA Tour) but the AP1 as well. (And by the way, Ben Curtis won a PGA Tour event with the previous iteration of the AP1, and switched to the new model, the 714, the first week it was available.)

Rather than get caught up in technical jargon, let's look at the big picture. The AP1 is a multi-material iron that uses tungsten weighting to progressively lower the center of gravity as you go from short irons to long irons. This helps you flatten out your shot shape and control your short irons while providing the help many players need launching the long irons.

PRE-WORN SOLE

Small things can make a big difference. For Mark Miller, one of Northern California's top senior amateurs, having a pre-worn sole helps reduce fat shots and better control the distance he gets from the irons. Many of us carry hybrids, but the tendency can be to rely on them too much, even when the lie is better suited for a long iron. The AP1 might make you feel more confident in choosing a 4 or 5 iron over a higher lofted hybrid, and eliminate some of those "weird" shots when the hybrid bounces off the turf, or you're afraid to swing down and through and you catch the leading edge. Hybrids are great, but sculling a hybrid? That doesn't result in a very good result. You end up defeating the purpose of using a high lofted hybrid in the first place as your ball either caroms over the green or plugs in the front bunker.

SHAFT SELECTION

I've said it before - it's easier to buy a set of clubs designed around a shaft than to install aftermarket shafts into an existing set of irons. There are a number of shaft options out there, and the lightweight True Temper XP95 or XP105 are fast becoming favorites for top players. Getting AP1s with XP95 shafts as "stock" is like buying a car with leather upholstery and no up-charge. Miller, the Northern California senior who still swings well north of 105 mph on his driver likes the fact that he can use a strong shaft (in his case an X100 flex) and retain control of the ball. And he also likes the feel.

"I just feel that under the gun you can feel the head better, because the shaft's lighter," Miller told amateurgolf.com after a recent tournament win before going on to add, "I really, really, like this shaft."

HEAD PROFILE

The AP1 set has been designed with progressive blade length, topline, and sole widths. The finish you see from the playing position is satin, with bright polish cavity highlights that make the set look as good as it performs.

 

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