Review: Titleist 714 CB and MB irons
Summary: The 714 CB and MB irons are everything elite golfers could ask for from a one-piece forged iron.
Titleist at its best
Pros: Titleist’s 714 CB and MB offer no-nonsense looks and a soft, forged iron feel for all the feedback accomplished golfers need for precision iron play.
Cons: Not much difference between these and the 712 CB and MB irons.
Bottom Line: Unless you’re a golfer who pures it often, you probably want to look at more forgiving offerings. But these are about as good as it gets for one-piece forgings.
“Don’t screw them up.”
That was the advice Titleist’s touring professionals gave the company for the redesign of the 714 CB and MB irons, Titleist’s latest forged cavity-back and muscle-back irons that are played by several of the world’s best including Adam Scott, Bill Haas, Graham DeLaet and Jimmy Walker.
And the company listened, which is why the new irons are very similar to their predecessors. Both are forged from 1025 carbon steel, and offer compact blade lengths, thin top lines and narrow soles. Because of that, they have the highest center of gravity of the four irons in Titleist’s 714 lineup, making them fly the lowest.
Technological advances are much less important to the design of irons like the 714 CB and MB, because they’re intended to be used by the most accomplished golfers; players who almost always hit their iron shots on the sweet spot or very close to it. Golfers interested in these should be willing to sacrifice distance and forgiveness for added workability, consistency and the one-piece forged feel that irons like the CB and MB offer.
That being said, there were still a ways Titleist felt it could improve the new clubs. Like the new 714 AP1 and AP2 irons (click here to read our review of those), the new CB and MB models have a new hosel blend that lessens the appearance of offset at address. They also have straighter leading edges, and the CB irons have more camber, or a “rounder sole” from front to back that helps the club move more smoothly through the turf, particularly for golfers with steep angles of attack.
The 714 CB and MB irons are available at retail beginning Nov. 8, and carry a street price of $999 (for a set of eight irons) with stock True Temper Dynamic Gold shafts.
There is no fooling these clubs and little room for error, but golfers are definitely rewarded for pure strikes. Distance control and shot shaping are vitally important when it comes to quality iron play, and the 714 CB and MB are exactly what the doctor ordered. Demanding as they are, the CB and MB are also one of the most consistent one-piece forged irons I’ve ever used.
Above: The soles of the 714 MB iron (right) are slightly thinner and flatter than the CB irons, making them better suited to golfers who “pick” their iron shots of the turf.
While the CB and MB are similar in nearly every way, there are slight nuances that differentiate the two. The CB is slightly more forgiving, and launches the ball slightly higher. I also found it easier to work the ball with the MB.
Looks and Feel
The 714 CB and MB are what one would expect when it comes to a new Titleist offering; clean lines, minimal offset, satin finish and a solid feel. They are a pleasure to look at, and provide plenty of feedback to let golfers know if they caught the ball a groove too high or too low.
Titleist 714 MB 8 iron at address
Titleist 714 CB 8 iron at address
At address, both have thin top lines, with the MB being slightly slimmer than the CB. The blade lengths are nearly identical. The CB irons also have slightly more offset in the long irons.
With fresh badging and a slightly scalloped muscle back pad reminiscent of the old Titleist 660, the 714 CB and MB irons have a modern touch of elegance in a time-tested, tour-proven chassis.
I’d relate the 714 CB and MB irons to a supermodel girlfriend. These irons will let you know if your game gets even the slightest bit off track.
I tested the CBs alongside with the MBs extensively, and I have to say that a split set of these might be the trick for golfers who want to play a full set of blades but know that they can’t. The addition of the CBs in the mid-and-long irons would add some forgiveness, while smoothly flowing into the MBs in the short irons.
Whatever set you choose, the beauty of these irons is also going catch the attention of everyone on the range. And if you’re good enough to be able to play them, you will be rewarded with some of the best-feeling, most versatile irons on the market.