Titleist 718 AP1 irons review – mid-handicap testing

Titleist 718 AP1 irons review – mid-handicap testing

Once again the AP1 irons are the standout performers in Titleist’s biennial launch according to equipment editor James Savage.

Our Titleist 718 AP1 irons review took place at Archerfield Links during the 718 launch event.

I have played the 716 AP1 irons for the best part of two years now so was really looking forward testing their successors.

After a brief introduction to the product from the guys at Titleist, I headed to the range for a fitting with product specialist Tim Baker.

Then I had a chance to hit some shots out on the course and interview Steve Pelisek, Titleist’s president of golf clubs.

Titleist 718 AP1 irons review – First impressions

Titleist 718 AP1 irons review

These clubs had a lot to live up to because I loved the looks and the performance of the 716 AP1.

And for the first time the AP1s were the best-sellers after the 716 launch. That came at no surprise to me.

The 718 AP1 certainly don’t disappoint from a shelf appeal point of view.

There are arguably the best-looking game-improvement irons on the market at the moment.

They don’t look bulky, have heaps of style and look far more in line with Titleist’s other 718 irons rather than sticking out like they have done in the past.

At address they look user-friendly with a thicker top line and more offset than the AP3 and AP2.

Titleist 718 AP1 irons review

But at the same time they are not offensive in anyway and think even single figure players will be more than happy staring down at these.

In fact I know of at least three single figure players who gamed the 716 AP1.

Titleist 718 AP1 irons review – The technology

Tungsten was the big tech story in the 716 AP1 and it is again a key material in the construction of these irons.

What’s also really interesting here is that the irons go down to a 53˚ model.

So the pitching wedge is 43˚, then there’s a 48˚ wedge and 53˚ gap wedge.

That would then just leave room for a specialist sand wedge.

We have hollow body long irons for more distance and forgiveness and undercut cavity mid and short irons to offer a bit more control.

Titleist 718 AP1 irons review

The high-density tungsten weighting produces a lower CG for higher launch. That helps counteract the strong lofts – 7-iron is 30˚

There’s an average of 58.5 grams of tungsten per head, placed low and in the toe of the long and mid irons for more stability.

Titleist 718 AP1 irons review – The results

My hitting experience of these clubs came during my fitting on the range at Archerfield.

I definitely didn’t have my best stuff on the day but in a way that highlighted the strength of these irons.

Once I got dialled into the right shaft – True Temper AMT Black S300 – the grouping of my shots was really impressive.

Titleist 718 AP1 irons review

I was striking the ball 8/10 at best but never saw the carry dropping below 140 yards.

This was highlighted further when I hit the AP2 irons as an 8/10 strike with those carried about 130 yards.

Titleist 718 AP1 irons review

There is a lot more loft on the AP2 – 7-iron is 34˚ – so even on a good strike it would be behind the AP1.

One area that surprised and impressed me was the performance of the AP1 4-iron.

Titleist 718 AP1 irons review

I currently use a Ping G400 Crossover as a substitute for a 4-iron as I hit a 4 hybrid too high and a bit too far (big gap from 5-iron and too close to 3 hybrid).

With the AP1 4-iron I was getting a consistent 180-yards total which is the perfect gapping number for me.

Titleist 718 AP1 irons review

Titleist 718 AP1 irons review – NCG verdict

What these irons gave me was a consistent performance even on ropey shots and swings.

Which is exactly what they are supposed to do. And it’s exactly what I need them to do to help me shoot better scores.

I went into my fitting eyeing up the AP2 and AP3 but my fitter just couldn’t make a case for using anything other than AP1.

Titleist 718 AP1 irons review

Titleist say there should be a little more ball speed on the new AP1 which I can’t really verify at this stage but we will bring you some more ‘dry’ data from testing back at Moor Allerton soon.

There’s also an improved sound and feel.

It may be a little bit early to trade in your 716 AP1 but after giving these a hit I think you will be tempted…

Details

SRP: £115/£140 per club (steel/graphite)

Available irons: 4-P, 48˚, 53˚

Specs:

Titlesit 718 AP1 irons review

Shafts: True Temper AMT Red, Black, White (steel)
Mitsubishi MRC Tensei Red (graphite)

On sale: September 29, 2017.

More information can be found on the Titleist website.

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