Pros: Soft feeling, great to look at, perfect spin and forgiveness in a players body. Considered “Game Changers” to many top club fitters interviewed. One of the most popular models for Titleist Tour Players and well as top players.
Cons: Finish of the satin could be improved and these irons are not cheap.
Bottom Line: We have a winner with the 712 AP2’s. These AP2 irons have the appeal and look of a players club. Some tour players as well as top club fitter we have talked to say the AP2 chassis is the perfect size and shape.
Technology packed multi material construction allows the Titleist engineers the ability to move might to the perimeter and move the center of gravity that only game improvement irons could do in the past. Bravo Titleist for designing and selling a premium iron with nothing spared to save costs.
While I think these will appeal to a lot of golfers, I don’t think they are a GI club by any means.
They aren’t going to make a bad swing good, and a chunky shot is still a chunky shot. What they will do is, allow you to sneak away with a slight miss hit and not bat an eye. I’m sold on them, and can’t wait to use them more.
The time has finally come, my 712 have arrived, and I was able to get out give them a quick test drive.
Background: I played a combo set of 710 CB/MB’s last season. Not the greatest ball striker, but I’m not bad. I play to a mid/high single digit. Really enjoyed this set up, and thought it was about as close to perfect for me. 3-5 Cavity back, 6-PW in the MB. Love the set up, and despite the try to change, I can’t stand a huge top line, and a chunky over weight looking club.
The set up: I decided on a 4-PW set, and will order the 3-iron later if I decide to go that route perhaps.
4-PW 712 AP2
Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400
2* Flat lie
D3 Swing weight
Lamkin PP 3 Gen grips
The low down and dirty
TItleist this year, went about trying to tweak the AP2 series a good bit. The 710’s were without a doubt a hit for Titleist, and while I didn’t play them, who couldn’t notice the love everywhere you looked. Tours abound, and even your local club.
While it was always geared to be a “players” club, it wasn’t quite received as that by some. Stuck in a middle of the road between a players CB/GI type of world. Would launch high, spin more, and in the end left many yearning for a lower stronger flight, and more consistent ball speeds from the face. Many also felt although touted as “forged” they really lacked that feel of a forged club.
Titleist heard that, and decided to work on it. Enter the 712 line up. Titleist has this to say about them:
AP2 irons are technically advanced blades that provide increased forgiveness without sacrificing shot workability while combining traditional blade length and sole width with a more efficient multi-material weight distribution.
They claim they are 7% more forgiving, with no loss of workability.
Sounds like some decent claims, but when it gets down to it, who will really be able to see that.
They split the weight in the bottom of the club, pushed it towards the toe and the heel, and with this, allowed them to make the club easy to work, yet still offer the forgiving technology they have in them, without making it launch any higher.
We took the 712’s out, very windy day, with gusts around 10-15mph, around 50*, and pretty damp conditions from previous rain.
First thing I noticed is, that they set up similar to my 710 combo set. Although you can’t say they are AS small, they are pretty close. Very similar blade length, which is the easiest to notice at first. Offset was very close. The AP2’s have roughly the same. According to the specs, the 7 iron has the same offset as the 710 AP2, and .01 mm MORE than the MB’s. Close, like I said.
The top line is slightly larger than the MB, but from address looks much thinner, and very close as well.
From address, I love these. Very clean, no visual of the cavity, nice square look. Similar to what I’m use to looking at. No hint of all the tech packed away in them.
The soles on the clubs have also been thinned down from the previous model. They have a nice blunted leading edge, less bounce and with that, they interact with the turf very well. I can have a steep swing and I take long heavy divots with them. These work perfect for me. No digging, despite the wetter conditions I played in. No trouble sending off a nice divot with the swing and it was effortless to do so.
I don’t naturally hit the ball that high. I’m not a low ball hitter by any means, but I’d say close to low/medium trajectory, generally with a decent bit of spin. With my CB/MB combo, I LOVED the flight. Very strong flight, enough to hold greens with a 5-6 iron consistently. I could stand to raise my flight, but honestly don’t care too.
With the AP2’s my flight is slightly higher. This may be a turn off to many, but it is compared to a muscle back. It’s going to be higher. It’s not much higher though. I’d suspect that most won’t notice them to launch much higher than what they might be using. Very flat flight, and doesn’t seem to over spin and fall steep. The wind gusting was interesting, I was able to flight them down and still maintain my distances with them like I could the combo set. Impressed as this I think is the reason many feel they can’t deal with a higher flight. No shooting up in the wind and falling down.
I was able to hold greens even with a 4 iron, and have them land and stop within 5 feet of my pitch mark. Nice high strong flight! I loved it!
Lofts are the same as what I’ve been using, and aren’t the juiced up strong lofts. I found myself to have roughly the same yardages, although I think I’m maybe a bit longer due to hitting them better from a more current fitting. 8 iron was flying around 155-160 yards.
So how forgiving are they?: This is the portion that blows me away. Maybe I’m not used to a forgiving iron. Maybe I needed it all along, but WOW. I tend to have a slight flip at impact as my miss. A pull, perhaps a nasty hook. With that comes a thin shot at times. My playing partner when I hit the new clubs today, didn’t notice I had new clubs. From trajectory to sound, it was all he knew, so it was funny to hear him comment on how “flush” I was hitting it today. I hit a thin PW that still flew my yardage, althought a bit short. Hit the green and spun BACK.
Hit a few off the toe, and while a back swing is bad, these still helped fly decently. Low on the face was still slightly okay, and high on the face was fine. Amazed with them, but again, could be the fact I haven’t used anything like this since my TM 09′ TP’s.
I am very impressed with the amount of forgiveness in them. Is there 7% more? I can’t tell. But what I do know is, that they are indeed really forgiving. I mis-hit them and I still didn’t have a terrible shot. I was able to get away with a decent bit and it was fun to be able to do so. I could also tell WHEN I hit it bad, even though the flight might have been lower, or higher, I could feel the mis hit, which is again, nice to be able to discern when that happens.
Can’t say there is anything missing here. I could make them do everything I could with my 710 CB/MB’s and while I’m not big on working it a lot, I could do it easily. High or low, draw or cut. It was all simple to do, and even a simple punch shot was easy to flight low and hit well.
I think they have a winner with the 712 AP2’s. I love TItleist stuff, and while I could have gone another season or two with 710’s, I’m glad I switched. I think the fact that they were able to make a club as forgiving as it is, with the appeal and look of a players club is great. While I think these will appeal to a lot of golfers, I don’t think they are a GI club by any means. They aren’t going to make a bad swing good, and a chunky shot is still a chunky shot. What they will do is, allow you to sneak away with a slight miss hit and not bat an eye. I’m sold on them, and can’t wait to use them more.