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If you are looking for great irons i.e. that have won majors and PGA tours but are still suitable for the mid-handicapper, then you might want to take a look at the Titleist 716 AP2 irons. Though this model is yet to win a major, its predecessor the 714 AP2 won the major with Dufner while Jordan Spieth became the first player to win a PGA tour using the 714 AP2 (at 20 years btw). Such was the success of the 714 AP2; and since there is not that much difference between these irons, we expect to have a few winners using the 716 AP2. Continue reading this Titleist 716 AP2 irons review to see if (why) they’re worth investing in.
To see our ultimate buying guide to irons, click here.
Plenty of Forgiveness
Titleist 716 irons are almost a club weaker, and they are not going to challenge on pure distance. However, what they lack in distance, they make up for with extra forgiveness and accuracy, thanks to the tungsten weights (more on this later). Despite the incredible forgiveness, don’t let these irons fool you, they are better player irons meant for the mid-low handicappers.
The 716 AP2 are the irons to beat on the market and this claim can be substantiated. Aesthetically, the irons are just sublime; a total pleasure to look at. The feedback and sound are remarkable, and they are quite consistent and accurate.
An extensive breakdown of these irons will only go to show how great these irons are and validate my claim that these irons will be major winners.
Shall we get started . . .
Hmmm, Titleist was quite modest and did not incorporate too much tech in the 716 AP2s. However, the little they did was trailblazing, and boy doesn’t it deliver.
Compared to the 714 AP2, the bar that sat across the back has been shifted and now sits diagonally on the 716 AP2. This enlarges the cavity and guess what? Increases the forgiveness thanks to the extra weight redistributed to the perimeter of the club. However, the largest change is one you cannot see.
Both the 716 and 714 AP2s have tungsten weights on the heel and toe of the 3 to 7 irons. The only difference is, the weights on the 714 were meant to increase stability but those on the 716, though still boost stability, have more of the heavy stuff (56 extra grams to be exact) to lower the Center of Gravity (CG). This positions the CG close to the impact point of the ball on the face.
Another point of interest is the fact that the tungsten weights are co-forged. i.e. the head is forged and then the tungsten is forged onto the frame of the head. This means no glue or screws are used doing away with the extra weight. These irons also feature the stock dynamic AMT (ascending mass technology) shafts which as you move down the set, get lighter by 3 grams.
Tech-wise these irons are a reserved/modest update of established player irons.
Build and Looks
The AP2 calling card is their better player looks and performance but with a bit of forgiveness. Well, this hasn’t changed in the 716 and still feature that compact mid-sized profile head that we have all come to love. Better players will enjoy the minimal offset, while mid-handicappers will find confidence from the medium width top line.
The biggest update on the 716 AP2 irons comes from the cavity and badging. The cavity has been enlarged with the bar that sat on the back of the 714 being moved down. They also have as features badges on the back of the head which is somewhat a deal breaker for most Titleist loyalists. Most have criticized the brand for the badges and say Titleist should have gone with their traditional look. However, this new look is in line with the 915 series and adds some modern aspect to the irons.
The 716 irons still feature a slim sole which has a pre-worn look and the trailing edge has a little camber to help it go easily through the turf.
Compared to the 714 AP2, these irons are not as handsome largely due to the badges on the back. However, if you can get past this, you will notice the irons still have that traditional look. And I don’t think the badges are that bad: different, yes, but calling them terrible is going overboard.
Sound and Feel
At this, Titleist 716 AP2 irons supersede all expectations with the acoustics outshining the former 714 AP2s.
These irons have a crisper sound on center strikes with a little emptiness on mishits to let you know you have missed the sweet spot. At impact, the feel is softer and buttery but still enough to let you know when you have mishit the ball.
They also feel much easier to control primarily due to their greater MOI.
Finding room to improve on the sound and feel of what are arguably the best feeling irons in the market goes to show the dedication of the R&D team at Titleist. That is quite impressive.
Titleist irons are favourites for tour players and rightfully so thanks to the ingenuity behind them. With that in mind, the 716 AP2 did not disappoint. They lived up to the Titleist standards we have become accustomed to and surpassed (though not in large measure) more so in accuracy.
Unlike the 716 AP1s which were cranked one degree, the 716 AP2s remain largely the same as the 714. The only difference being the lower CG on the 716 thanks to more mass from the tungsten weights in the 3 to 7 irons.
The lowered CG is placed directly behind the point of impact of the ball on the face increasing ball speeds. The mid and short irons do not feature the tungsten weights as these irons require higher CGs.
The 716 AP2s are not the longest irons and are for reasonable ball strikers who are looking for consistency. But what they lack in distance they make up for in accuracy. These are arguably the most forgiving better player irons, with off-centre strikes flying close to the intended path with very little dispersion. Distance lost on mishits will be no more than 10 yards. However, this might make all the difference as they are not long irons.
The dynamic gold AMT shafts are also key components. With their ascending mass technology, the shafts increase in weight as you go down the set from the long irons to the PW. This results in more speed and higher launch on the long irons since they are lighter and more control as you approach shots inside 150 yards since the short irons are heavier.
There is no denying that Titleist irons are more on the demanding spectrum of irons. Nevertheless, they are the most forgiving and playable better player irons. Forgiveness on long irons ensures consistent distance and accuracy while the short irons provide more control.
The Bottom Line
If it’s not broke, don’t fix it. This is pretty much the adage Titleist followed as they were designing the 716 AP2s. They are quite similar to the 714 AP2s apart from the sound, feedback, and forgiveness. In these 3 areas, the 716s outclass their predecessors - They are consistent, accurate, incredible sound and feel, and magnificent to play.