Pros: Their hollow-bodied, multi-material chassis bares an uncanny resemblance to the shape of the 716 MB irons that most golfers wish they could play, yet offers a level of performance usually reserved for bulkier game-improvement irons.

Cons: One of the most expensive irons in its class. Individual irons (2-5) are available at retail for $199 (steel). Full eight-piece sets are exclusive to Titleist’s Made-Only-To-Order (MOTO) program and sell for $1,599.

Who they’re for: Golfers who like the looks of blade and blade-like irons, but realize they need a set that supplies more distance and forgiveness to play their best. The 716 T-MB irons also serve as great long iron replacements for the company’s MB, CB and AP2 models, providing more ball speed while retaining launch angle to improve golfers’ chances from long range.

The Review

  • Price: $199 per club (steel), $225 per club (graphite). 2-5 irons available at retail.
  • MOTO: Full 8-piece sets are available through Titleist’s MOTO Program for $1,599.
  • Irons available: 3-P
  • Construction: Cast (431 stainless steel steel bodies, high-strength steel club faces, tungsten)
  • Stock Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold AMT (steel), Mitsubishi Rayon Kuro Kage TiNi 65 (graphite)
  • Availability: In stores Oct. 23

The 716 T-MB irons are the boldest new iron design the company has released in eight years, when Titleist treated golfers to a revolutionary players iron called the AP2. In many ways, the 716 T-MB irons are the next generation of that breakthrough product, and Titleist’s attempt to make the ultimate players irons.

To create the 716 T-MB, Titleist merged the shaping of its traditional muscleback irons with the blade length of the AP2, while adding a three-piece construction that uses a cast body, high-strength steel face and the most tungsten it has ever used in an iron model — an average of 80 grams per head.

716_TMB_Tungsten
The 716 T-MB irons merge the forgiveness of Titleist’s larger irons with the classic lines of its MB line.

Most of Titleist’s T-MB irons will be sold as long iron replacements, as only the 2-5 irons are the only ones that will be sold at retail. Those irons are the direct replacement for the company’s 712U irons, which were designed to bridge the gap between the shortest fairway wood and hybrid in a golfer’s bag, and the longest AP2, CB or MB iron a golfer felt comfortable using.

Screen Shot 2015-09-21 at 2.06.38 PM

Through Titleist’s Made-Only-To-Order (MOTO) Program, however, golfers can buy the 716 T-MB in an eight-piece set (2-P), giving them a full set of the irons we found to be, pound for pound, Titleist’s best performing irons.

Titleist2016_TMB
All 716 irons were Trackman tested with the same shaft (model and length), same grip, and Titleist’s stock specs.
Titleist2016_TMB2
All 716 irons were Trackman tested with the same shaft (model and length), same grip, and Titleist’s stock specs.
Titleist2016_TMB3
All 716 irons were Trackman tested with the same shaft (model and length), same grip, and Titleist’s stock specs.

Until golfers compare the 716 T-MB irons directly to Titleist’s 716 AP1 irons, they won’t appreciate how impressive the 716 T-MB testing results truly are. At address, the 716 T-MB irons have toplines that are thinner than the 716 AP2’s, with less offset and a shape that’s unbelievably similar to Titleist’s 716 MB irons.

In effect, the 716 T-MB irons are the best we’ve seen a company merge the looks of a muscleback with the game-improvement features typical of longer irons. That may not justify the full-set price of $1,599 to some golfers — $400 more than Titleist’s next-most-expensive irons — but others will be more than happy to fork over four more Franklins for what’s sure to become a legendary model.

There are downsides to the 716 T-MB irons, the most noticeable of which is their sound. They’re a departure from the denser feel of the AP1/AP2 and CB/MB lines, with a higher-pitched, louder sound at impact.

The bronze PVD finish on the back of the iron is also sure to be polarizing. For some, it will be a prized part of their bag bling, and for others it will be a bit too much. Our testing also indicated a slight fade bias to the 716 T-MB irons when compared to Titleist’s other irons, which will be great for some golfers and bad for others.

There’s no denying, however, that the 716 T-MB’s could set the standard upon which all other future Titleist irons are judged. They’re long without sacrificing launch angle, and forgiving without sacrificing clean looks.

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The turf interaction of the irons is also nothing short of fantastic, with a pre-worn leading edge and a trailing edge chamfer that creates a sole that is effectively narrower than the 712U, and plays remarkably similar to the tour-validated AP2. They’re also approximately  2 mph faster than the 712U, have a moment of inertia (MOI) that’s 6.8 percent higher, and spin about 200 rpm less than their predecessors while retaining the same launch angle.

If you’re a golfer seeking more distance without having to compromise looks and versatility — and can stomach the hefty price tag — the 716 T-MB irons should be at the top of your list to test. And if you have found yourself seeking more long-iron horsepower than your solid-face irons can deliver, they’re a great replacement for those clubs.

See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the 716 AP1, AP2, T-MB, CB and MB irons in our forum. 

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Zak is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX.com. He's been a part of the company since 2011, when he was hired to lead GolfWRX's Editorial Department. Zak developed GolfWRX's Featured Writer Program, which supports aspiring writers and golf industry professionals.

He played college golf at the University of Richmond (Go Spiders!) and still likes to compete in tournaments. You can follow Zak on Twitter @ZakKoz, where he's happy to discuss his game and all the cool stuff that's part of his job.

26 COMMENTS

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  1. I just got these and they play long with a high launch angle. At 51 years old it feels great to be able to hit a 3 iron again let alone hit it 220 yards with some height to it! I know they are expensive but what a great club!! Bought the whole set. I keep clubs 5 years+ so the cost averages out compared to most golfers I know that replace every 2-3 years. My son has the new AP2’s and is much longer with these albeit the KBS tour shaft is probably the difference over the S300. Fantastic irons, easy to hit and highly recommend.

  2. Can’t help but notice the trackman stats in this article support my love of MB blades. Don’t see any penalty versus the improvement irons re: launch, speed, descent, etc., that is detrimental. This supports my personal preference that blades make you a better player if you can attack the ball effectively at all. I play 690.MB’s, and will be likely getting the 716MB’s. WRX, thanks for the info, very helpful. No trackman type stuff where I live!

  3. And those blue tungsten bits look like they were stuck on by car manufacturers from the 70’s as an afterthought, not much in the way of an “engineered” reason to be like that. Lame.

  4. At $199 per club, Titleist ought to let you buy any combo- or partial-set you want. I would think that some people might, for instance, want something like 5-9, with three Vokeys. At $199/club, that’s a this and dollar partial set. Or you could put some AMT’s in an old set of AP2’s or 680’s for a fraction of that cost.

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