Tech Talk: Titleist 714 AP1, AP2, CB and MB irons

by   |   September 3, 2013

Titleist 714 AP2 hero

Titleist’s new 714 AP2 irons are as forgiving as the original AP1 irons.

Think about that for a second. That means that the compact forged irons used by Jason Dufner to win his first major championship have as much forgiveness as one of the largest cast irons Titleist has ever produced. How is that possible? According to Chris McGinley, Titleist’s vice president of marketing, it’s because of tungsten and the irons’ progressive design.

Tungsten is important because of its density. It’s about twice as heavy as steel, which means it can impact an iron’s performance in ways that steel can’t. And it’s plentiful in the AP2′s. According to McGinley, there’s an average of 43 grams of tungsten in each head, which accounts for about 20 percent of the headweight.

In the AP2 long irons, the tungsten is positioned low and toward the edges of the head, which lowers the center of gravity (CG) and increases moment of inertia (MOI). The soles of the long irons are also slightly wider, moving even more weight to the bottom of the club.

A lower CG helps golfers to hit their long irons higher and carry them farther, while the increased MOI gives them more ball speed and less club head twisting on mishits. That means that on less-than-perfect shots with the 714 AP2′s, the ball will end up a little closer to the intended target with a little straighter flight than previous generations.

Click here to read about GolfWRX’s trip to Titleist’s Oceanside Test facility, where two members were fit for a set of 714 irons.

When most golfers think about moving weight to the edges of a club head, they think about the heel and toe sections of the back cavity, which is where most players irons like the AP2′s concentrate their discretionary weight. But Titleist truly took its weighting strategy to the edge with the 714 AP2′s, adding a tungsten weight slug in the bottom portion of the hosel.

The clubs are forged with the tungsten slug in place, which McGinley said gets the tungsten slug into a very critical area of the heel. The wider distance between the two tungsten weights gives the irons a higher MOI without having to increase the size of the iron — an important consideration for better golfers, most of whom prefer smaller-sized iron heads.

Titleist 714 AP2 3 iron at addressTitleist 714 AP2 8 iron at address

Engineers were also able to trim extra weight from the iron’s dual-cavity design. In the long irons, the upper cavity was thinned to 2.1 millimeters, which allowed more weight to be moved to the perimeter of the irons. But in the short irons, engineers did the opposite, adding weight to the upper portion of the club heads.

Adding weight to the top of the AP2′s short irons is key part of the set’s progressive design. Along with the short irons’ thinner soles, it moves the CG of the clubs higher, creating a lower, more penetrating trajectory that most golfers prefer from their higher-lofted irons. To further enhance the irons’ ball flight, Titleist strengthened the loft of 6 iron through gap wedge one degree, which will make them fly a little lower and go a bit farther as well.

Just like previous generations, the irons are forged from 1025 carbon steel, which gives them a soft, solid feel. They have the same amount of offset as previous versions, but it is less visible thanks to a new hosel blend.

Compared to the 712 AP2′s, the 714′s have soles that feature slightly more camber, as well as pre-worn leading edges, which remove a small amount of metal from the front of the sole to allow for better turf interaction, particularly in firm conditions.

The AP1 irons

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In 2013, Titleist’s 712 AP1 irons — the company’s largest, most forgiving model — became the best-selling Titleist iron in the marketplace, generating 51 percent of the company’s iron sales.

It’s very likely that the 714 AP1 irons will sell better than their predecessors, thanks to their extremely progressive makeup. The new long irons were made to be higher launching and easier to hit, while the short irons are noticeably more compact at address and offer a more penetrating trajectory.

Like the 714 AP2 irons, the AP1 long irons use wider soles and tungsten to lower the CG. They also share the AP2′s dual-cavity construction, but instead of thinning the top of the face, engineers removed weight from underneath the long irons’ thicker topline, creating a deep undercut that allows 10 grams of discretionary weight to be positioned around the perimeter of the irons for a higher MOI.

The 714 AP1 long irons are cast from the same 431 stainless steel as their predecessors, but they feel better because of a new support bar that was added in the cavity. Like the iron’s multi-layer medallion, the bar fine tunes vibration to give the irons a pleasing sound at impact.

The most dramatic change, however, are the sole widths of the AP1 short irons, which were made substantially more narrow and with thinner toplines than previous models to give the irons a much slimmer look at address. The faces were made thicker as well, which not only improved feel, but raised the CG to a level where tungsten was not needed in their design.

714 AP1 to MB photo-1

Like the AP2 irons, the trajectory of the short irons was lowered with slightly stronger lofts. The 7 iron through gap wedge were strengthened one degree, which brought the pitching wedge loft to 44 degrees and the gap wedge, or “W1″ as its stamped on the sole, to 48 degrees. To fill the gap between golfers’ pitching wedge or gap wedge and their sand or lob wedges, Titleist added a second gap wedge, stamped “W2,” which measures 52 degrees.

The AP1 irons come stock with either True Temper’s XP 95 steel shafts or Mitsubishi Rayon’s Kuro Kage 65-gram graphite shafts. Both shafts have a flighted design, which complements the AP1′s flighted make up.

The MB and CB Irons

Titleist’s MB and CB irons are the company’s smallest and most workable irons. While the 714s are very similar to their predecessor — they’re still one-piece irons forged from 1025 carbon steel — engineers made a few tweaks to their designs to improve the look and feel of the clubs.

Like the 714 AP1 and AP2 irons, the MB’s and CB’s have an improved hosel blend that makes offset less apparent at address. They also have slightly straighter leading edges, and the CB has a sole with increased camber to help improve turf interaction.

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The CB short irons also have a slightly shorter profile that makes them look more compact at address, which many better players prefer. Unlike the AP1 and AP2 irons, the MB and CB irons retain their traditional lofts — the 6 irons measure 31 degrees, while the pitching wedges measure 47 degrees.

The 714 MB and CB irons come stock with True Temper’s Dynamic Gold shafts in regular, stiff and extra-stiff flexes.

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Both the 714 AP1 and AP2 irons have a combo satin and mirror-polish finish that reduces glare at address, but gives the irons some “bling” in the bag. They’ll be available at retail on Nov. 8 along with the MB and CB irons, which come with a satin finish. 

The AP1 irons will sell for around $799 with steel shafts and $999 with graphite. The AP2 irons will carry a street price of $1099 with steel shafts and $1299 with graphite, while the MB and CB irons will cost $999 with steel shafts and $1199 with graphite.

Click here to read about GolfWRX’s trip to Titleist’s Oceanside Test facility, where two members were fit for a set of 714 irons.

About

Zak is the Managing Editor of GolfWRX.com.

He's been a part of the company since 2012, when he was hired to develop GolfWRX's front page. Since that time, GolfWRX has become the go-to destination on the web for golf equipment news, tour news, instruction and opinion.

Zak also developed GolfWRX's Featured Writer Program, which supports aspiring writers who want to improve their skills and allows established golf professionals to communicate directly with readers.

He played college golf at the University of Richmond, where he took too many strokes. Good thing he also studied journalism and creative writing.

You can follow Zak on Twitter @ZakKoz, where he's happy to discuss all the cool gear and insider info that's part of his job.


38 Comments

  1. Lee Steffeney

    December 27, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    I’m switching from TaylorMade to Titleist. I’m convinced that the AP1 or AP2 are superior than the RocketBladez of TaylorMade. I’m a 9 Handicap and could tell the response from the clubs was quite dramatic with Titleist irons giving much better results.

    • Gordon Smith

      June 11, 2014 at 10:50 pm

      I am toying with making a switch to the Titleist. A 3-5 most of my life, I no longer have the distance. For example, a 7-iron was a comfortable 155 yards for many years. Now it seems I am fortunate to hit a 7-iron 135 yards. I am in the throes of trying to find five or more yards. Iam 70 and closer now to a 12 handicap than a five. Seems like everybody is telling me to go to the cast irons, but they don’t feel the same. Looking for advice from other seniors.

  2. Pingback: Please Allow 714 Days

  3. Jordan

    November 30, 2013 at 5:29 pm

    Everyone needs to quit complaining about the price. You’re only complaining because you know Titleist makes the best clubs on the market and you want them but can’t afford them. I bought my combo set because it’s an investment. Knowing that my irons will be the newest available for the next two years is refreshing, especially because within the next two years companies like taylormade and callaway will come out with 4 or more new models of clubs.

    If you want top of the line you gotta pay up. Mizzy irons are $1000, same as the CB and MB. New callaway apex forged irons are more expensive than the AP2s, but in my opinion Titleist is better quality and performance for the same price. If you only wanna pay $500 for new irons then you might wanna look into pine meadow irons or 3 year old irons from any other manufacturer.

    I sleep even better at night know I made a great investment on a product I’ll be using for the next 5-10 years.

  4. Jordan

    November 30, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    After extensive research and demoing the 712 AP2 and CB I just ordered an AP2, CB, MB comb set. I tried Mizzy, Callaway, and other brands of irons but because I’m left handed I didn’t have a big selection. Thanks to Titleist for offering all their irons for lefties and righties, that’s part of the reason I went with them. The other reason is because the irons are absolutely superb. I couldn’t decide between the AP2s or CBs so I decided to order both and complement them with MB short irons.

    I highly suggest trying out Titleist’s new offerings because they are perfect; you can work the ball however you want and they’re more forgiving than you would expect. Make sure you get fitted by an authorized fitter to get what’s right for you.

    I order AP2 3,4 irons for some extra forgiveness without sacrificing workability, 5,6,7 CBs for even more workability with some forgiveness, and 8,9,PW MBs for maximum workability without worrying about forgiveness since short irons are easy to hit.

    I would suggest a combo set for anyone who is serious about maximizing their iron game. I am now and will always be a Titleist iron man.

    Exact specs:
    -AP2 3,4 irons; 5,6,7 CBs; 8,9,PW MBs; all have KBS Tour X-Stiff shafts, 2 degrees upright, Golf Pride Patriot grips

  5. Mike M

    November 7, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    mmmmmmmmmm that is all !

  6. chris

    October 25, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    Just placed my order for the AP1/AP2 combo set …. 3,4 AP1′s, 5-PW AP2′s …. with the Project X PXi shafts 5.5 (I’m getting older so I need all the help I can get)
    Can’t wait for them to arrive! They are going to be sweet sticks!

  7. Richard

    October 19, 2013 at 4:18 am

    What is everybody crying about 1 degree of loft! About the price tag, first hit them then you’ll know its worth the money or not! I’ve had a demo day this week and believe me everyone with 712 where blown away by the performance and details wich makes it a better club then 712! Good products have a pricetag, stop crying!

  8. beef

    October 19, 2013 at 12:19 am

    Look around for some better pricing. Discount Dan’s for example. That’s were I am ordering from.
    gb

  9. Zachary Yaz

    October 16, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    To me it just seems more like a cosmetic upgrade rather than anything else. Although it is mentioned that there are changes. I don’t think I will notice much. But I might be wrong. With hit a few AP2 714′s and compare them to my 712′s. But somehow I get a feeling it won’t be necessary.

    Btw just to add I am not a fan of the stronger lofts!! Although I’m not sure how much a degree stronger loft would change my distances but I’m sure most people will have to adjust their wedge lofts with the stronger lofts in the irons in mind or maybe in just overthinking.

  10. Regis

    October 10, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    Always love the posting wars between brand loyalists. Here our concern seems to be profit margins, hard goods,elitism and snob appeal. Not much chatter concerning performance. We are still talking about a game whose origin dates back to Scottish shepards. No?

  11. Mike D

    September 5, 2013 at 4:20 am

    Hmm, I think I love my bore-thru, forged 735 CMs even more now. Paid $150 for them.

  12. Bill

    September 4, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    Come on….$799 for AP1′s and $1099 for AP2′s…Ridiculous.
    Yes, they are great clubs, but come on Tileist, control the costs a little better. Again, Ridiculous!!

    • KK

      September 8, 2013 at 8:48 pm

      What is with everyone on this message board complaining about Titleist prices. If you don’t like the price, don’t buy the clubs. Sounds to me like the people complaining have champagne taste with beer money. If you want the best, pay up. If you think something else is better and/or cheaper, why would you even comment??

  13. dg7936

    September 4, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    Never could keep up with the changes from the OEMs….I grant you Tieleist is the most consistent and traditional mfgr. but overpriced. I gave up looking for newer and better. Still play the Hogan Edge and Apex Edge Pro, 3-FW. Perfect loft progressions. And just as consistent, especially with Sensicore shafts installed. Over a grand for new irons? Not for me.

  14. Sean kent Killeen

    September 4, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    I am truly excited about these for my game and I just recently purchased a set of AP1′s three months ago. Here’s why. I really started to play better went from 14 handicap to 7 with them. Now I am ready for a smaller looking less clunky at set up and I can now work the ball a little. The AP2 714′s are exactly what I need for my game to keep the long iron ball flight up bit bring the short iron flight down as my current AP1′s are a little too high. Last my 54 and 58 volley wedges are the best and although I swapped out my AP1 gap wedge for a TVD 50 degree I don’t like the feel as good as what I think the stock 714 gap wedge will be. Anyways I think it’s a perfect offering for a guy who wants to play at his best ability without sacrificing a little forgiveness. I was a taylormade guy for 25 years and glad I jumped ship as every two years is soon enough and titleist holds its value.

  15. neil

    September 4, 2013 at 8:20 am

    have a couple demo clubs and sell the direct give the retailers 10% commission no stock

    Always wondered why shaft companies dont sell direct even 10 shafts at a time.eliminate retailers 40% margins

  16. Jarryd

    September 3, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    Looking to replace my Long Irons with the AP2′s. High launch will help me get a better higher trajectory with my long irons then I do right now with my 712 MB/CB combo set. Maybe a AP2 4,3 or AP1 4,3. Which One?!

  17. Nick

    September 3, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    The stregthening of the lofts is discouraging. My Ap1′s are already a touch strong. I would not want them any stronger than they are now.

  18. JL

    September 3, 2013 at 9:56 am

    I guess I’ll keep playing my 712 AP2s. Not sure if there’s that big of a difference, despite the marketing spiel.

    • Shawn

      September 6, 2013 at 12:33 pm

      JL, I said the same thing about my 710 when the 712 came out. My numbers weren’t any different to upgrade to the new model. I have to by a new set before the end of the year because of the face wear on my 710 AP2. I’m sure these will be at the top of my list because I love the feel/ workability of these. I wouldn’t upgrade just to upgrade though as I highly doubt you will notice any difference than your 712.

  19. Danny

    September 3, 2013 at 8:40 am

    Pay a premium to play Titleist, knowing they won’t be half off and obsolite next week like Taylormade. They can ask the higher price because they have the best name brand in golf. It’s the same reason if I chose a BMW over a Ford I can expect to pay more.

    • chowchow

      September 4, 2013 at 4:37 pm

      if Titleist is such a great brand. Why were they sold to the Korean’s? The US OEM’s that bid on the Titleist – FJ – Scotty Cameron Brands only wanted the ball division. Hard goods breaks even.. the balls is where the cash is.

      Danny are you one of those that think if the pay the most they get the best? Eli Callaway dispelled that therory when he charged the most and then gave you crap made by communist Chinese. If you don’t think Titleist changes models often. Buy a golf shop. You will soon change your mind.

      Why are you worried what the largest golf company does(TaylorMAde)? You do not have to buy. Taylor did close to 1.5 billion in hard goods. Next closest was 900 million(Titleist) If I have to choose between the two companies and their programs. I will take TM. Their stuff sells thru faster.

      The object in business is to sell and make money. Maybe that is why most people work for the other guy. 99% are unable to run a profitable businesses.

  20. Rhys

    September 3, 2013 at 7:18 am

    I’m not the greatest golfer and have been only playing for <3 years but is anyone else sick of the increase lofts on the lower irons? I don't need/want a pitching wedge to be 44d, go 5m further and have to have 2 gap wedges to fill the hole between it and a sand wedge! My vote is: titleist please don't follow TM! Plus the annoying thing is most brands are doing so you can't go anywhere else… Is mizuno the same? Haha! Thanks for the rant!

    • Brian

      September 3, 2013 at 8:03 pm

      Simple either don’t buy the set or don’t buy the pitching wedge that comes with the set. U should find wedges that fit ur irons not irons that fit ur wedges. I mean it’s not uncommon to need new wedges when u get new irons.

      U should just wait till u hit them before u worry I mean u don’t know what ur distances are yet. Or u should get the ap2′s the pitching wedge for them is 46

    • Justin

      September 13, 2013 at 12:53 am

      They’re only strengthened because of the low CG of the club. If you had like a 47* pitching wedge with that low of a CG the ball would most likely go right up in the air like a lob wedge or a sand wedge.

    • Joe

      October 10, 2013 at 10:40 am

      Should have a time limit of how long you’ve played before contributing. After 3 years only thing one degree is gonna change is your mind.

  21. J

    September 3, 2013 at 6:56 am

    Just pricing a good segment of the market out…. Good for Titleist… Help foster the elitism.

    One of these days… On of these OEM’s will get a brilliant idea…

    Better price = More sales.

    BRILLIANT !!!!!

    • chowchow

      September 4, 2013 at 4:15 pm

      A long time ago the western regional rep for Titleist told me they would worry about hard goods when their ball stopped selling. Seeing how Titleist balls cost the most.. don’t expect their hard goods to go down.. for that matter any or the OEM’s prices to go down.

      Titleist did have problems with the balls. 5 years ago Bridgestone sued and got over $5 billion out of them for stealing their soft ball compound. Future Brands got tired of it and sold Titleist to the Korean’s

    • KK

      September 8, 2013 at 8:30 pm

      Titleist’s prices don’t foster elitism, they aren’t any more expensive than TM or Callaway. If you want a cheaper price, go buy your clubs at Big 5. R&D, advertising, advanced materials cost money. I don’t drive a Ferrari because I can’t afford it, but I don’t expect Ferrari to come out with an affordable car just so regular guys like me can buy one. If you don’t like their prices, don’t buy their clubs. Why do you care whether they sell more units or not, you have stock in Acushnet???

  22. Joe Golfer

    September 3, 2013 at 3:30 am

    Yes, that price of $1099 for the AP2 irons is way too high.
    And the stronger lofts of the AP1 irons makes for a difficult set makeup.
    PW of 44*. GW of 48* and yet another GW of 52*.
    Titleist needs to start giving options at local retailers for the consumer to purchase iron sets that do not necessarily start with the 4 iron. More and more consumers are using two hybrids nowadays, and with the stronger lofts, that usually means a set can start with a 5 iron since the lofts are so much stronger nowadays.
    You could purchase the 5 iron through BOTH gap wedges and still be getting a set of eight irons.
    And if you already have gap wedges that you like, you should be able to purchase even less irons.
    I think some manufacturers are leaning towards this, allowing buyers to purchase directly from the manufacturer rather than a golf store.
    I don’t know how the price comparison works out though.

    • Michael

      September 3, 2013 at 1:04 pm

      Not sure what golf store you are going to but everyone I know of lets you special order for customization including only ordering what clubs you want. Want 6? ONly order 6 and the price goes down.

      • chowchow

        September 4, 2013 at 4:11 pm

        short sets can be ordered. Most retailers will drop an iron from a set to make the sale. We do it a lot in store.

        If you order directly you can bet your last penny you will pay what is called MAP(minimum advertising price) which is usually $100 under suggested retail.

        Price of golf is going up. With the OEMS cracking down on the deals on ebay. Expect top pay the full boat price this coming spring.

        Titleist is also know for some of the highest prices on their stuff. We carry all major lines. Titleist is one of the highest priced OEM’s at the wholesale level to golf shops.

        • Conrad

          September 5, 2013 at 11:23 pm

          chowchow I was just wondering how retailers where cracking down on ebay sales. Im not saying your wrong just never really heard of it. how would they go about that?

    • KK

      September 8, 2013 at 8:38 pm

      Joe, where have you been the last 8-10 years?? You probably bought your last set of irons off the rack at Golfsmith. Manufacturers have been selling irons individually to golf courses for years. Plus, if you got fit, you can order the irons in whatever loft you want (within reason). If you lost your 8 iron, you wouldn’t have to buy an entire new set just to replace 1 iron. If you want 5 hybrids and 3 irons, you can do that….its been like that for years.

  23. tyler

    September 3, 2013 at 12:28 am

    Love the new look and changes to the AP2. 1099 is too steep though. These should be about 200 less IMO.

    • Billy

      September 3, 2013 at 2:12 am

      Yup, plus upgrades steel shafts could cost about $1,300 + for 8 irons?

    • Frank Garrett

      October 14, 2013 at 3:49 pm

      I love such strong lofts that 2 gap wedges are available
      Lol

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