The Big Review – Titleist 710 CB
Titleist have always positioned themselves as the players brand – serious clubs for serious golfers as they like to say. Regular tour wins from the likes of Steve Stricker, Geoff Ogilvy and Robert Karlsson cement this view and any new club needs to be good enough to be seen in their bags. The 710 CB irons are their new cavity back irons for better players.
So what do Titleist tell us about these clubs: "Throughout our ongoing research in irons, it became very clear that there exists a community within the better player market that requires the simple design and traditional feel and responsiveness of a classic forged iron," said Steve Pelisek, General Manager Titleist Golf Clubs. "The feedback we received from this competitive and better player audience is that they want a compact blade length, minimal offset iron with solid feel and shot workability." With the snows having finally melted, Bag Chatter got to give them a thorough test over the last few weeks.
Material: 1025 carbon steel
Forged V-Grooves (2010 USGA/R&A conforming)
Standard shafts: steel – TrueTemper Dynamic Gold
Custom shafts: Additional shafts available through Titleist custom
Standard grips: Titleist Tour Velvet by Golf Pride
A very good looking set of irons. The head size and amount of offset clearly state that these are players clubs and all clubs look the business at address. The consistent sized heads look especially good in the short irons and also manage to make the long irons look approachable. One thing that others have commented on is the size of the number on the sole. Since it's on the sole it doesn't matter but while it makes it easier to see from a distance it doesn't seem to match the rest of the elegant look. The 1025 carbon steel has a high shine chrome finish which is top draw but I can't help but think how good they would have looked in a satin finish.
Titleist forgings are generally held to be firmer than Japanese forgings and that feels true here but the difference is minuscule. That's not to say the a shot out of the sweetspot doesn't reward you with a gorgeous thrill as you feel the benefit of the soft carbon steel used in this forging. The feel in general is super solid and feels much closer to a blade than a typical cavity back. Mishits off the heel or low on the face are dealt with very well. Toe strikes are only slightly less well dealt with and one high off the face produces a 'clack' that will surprise you but the perimeter weighting ensures that there is no real loss of distance in either case.
With the 710's very successful stablemate, the AP2, being more orientated towards golfers looking for a little more forgiveness Titleist have unashamedly aimed the 710 at the better player. With the more compact head, smaller perimeter weighting and sizable muscle pad in the cavity you expect a powerful flight and that is what you get.
The greatest strength of these irons is how precise you can be across a wide range of shots. From full shots to knock downs, there isn't a shot you can't play with them. They are absolutely as good as anything else out there. While the perimeter weighting gives you a higher ball flight than the MB versions it's still no higher than mid trajectory. The dual hosels, shorter in the long irons for higher flight and longer in the mid and short irons allow a controlled flight and there is no ballooning from the grooves. On the topic of the grooves, there are actual V-grooves in these clubs which provide plenty of spin when nipping the ball off the turf but as you would expect with any club without super aggressive grooves, you run the risk of a flier when hitting out of the rough.
If you are the sort of player that looks to move the ball then these irons have that covered too. With no shot bias it is equally possible to fade or draw the ball at will. While offset has more impact on launch angle than whether the ball goes left or right, too much can have the appearance of forcing the ball left. Thankfully the offset here is the right balance of reassurance without affecting the address.
The sole of the club is wide enough to help you in softer conditions without being too intrusive. For those coming from blades it might be slightly wider than expected but the excellent sole grind (there's a blunted leading edge and a cambered trailing edge for better turf interaction) makes it a non-issue in firmer conditions.
These irons are out and out performers that upholds Titleist's serious clubs credo. The players cavity iron is one of the most highly competitive areas as golfers move from blades towards a cavity back that offers the same performance as a blade but with much higher levels of forgiveness. With the demand that this type of iron looks and feels as blade like as possible the bar is set very high and the 710 CB has met the challenge that Titleist set themselves by creating a classic looking iron with glorious performance.