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Review: Titleist 716 AP1 irons

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Pros: A serious distance upgrade. The 716 AP1 irons have thin, unsupported club faces that make them a challenger in the distance category. The addition of 50 percent more tungsten allowed engineers to keep the size of the irons the same, yet make them more forgiving than their predecessors.

Cons: The PW has an unusually strong stock loft of 43 degrees. Golfers will most likely need to use an AP1 “W” wedge (47 degrees) or another specialty wedge to maintain consistent yardage gaps.

Who they’re for: They’re designed for golfers looking for maximum distance and forgiveness, but anyone can play the 716 AP1 irons. Those interested in Titleist’s players irons may want to consider AP1 long irons as part of a mixed set.

The Review

Titleist_716_AP1_Feat_2

  • Price: $899 steel, $1,099 graphite (for eight irons)
  • Irons available: 3-P, W, W2 ($112.50 each steel, $137.50 each graphite)
  • Construction: Cast (431 stainless steel, tungsten)
  • Stock Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold XP 90 (steel), Mitsubishi Rayon Kuro Kage TiNi 65 (graphite)
  • Availability: In stores Oct. 23

Titleist’s changes to the 716 AP1 irons has made them, without a doubt, the longest, most forgiving irons in company history. While distance isn’t everything, there wasn’t much left for Titleist engineers to improve other than the distance the clubs few, as their predecessors, the 714 AP1 irons, were already considered one of the most consistent irons in the game-improvement category.

Maybe just as important as the performance of AP1 irons, however, has been Titleist’s commitment to making a set of game-improvement irons that garner the same respect as the players irons for which the company is known. Sure, the AP1 blade lengths have always been long, the top lines have always been thick and the offset has always been noticeable — but the sound and shaping of the irons has always been impressively traditional.

The science of adding distance to irons is well known, so there was no question if Titleist could make the irons longer. The question was, could its engineers make the AP1’s longer and continue to maintain the qualities that have made the irons a favorite with everyone from PGA Tour players to Peter in Pittsburgh?

After extensive testing of the 716 AP1 irons, it was obvious that Titleist achieved its goal of making a set of irons that were longer and more forgiving than past models, while actually improving the little things that have made the irons a leader in the game-improvement category. The sound of the irons is slightly louder, as expected from irons with thin, unsupported club faces, but its far from the hollow, “tingy” sound golfers have come to expect from distance-driven, game-improvement irons.

Here’s how Titleist did it.

Titleist_716_AP1_360_undercut

Less structure, more performance: The 716 AP1 irons have a 360-degree undercut cavity

The company removed a supportive bar from the cavity of the 716 AP1 iron, which had two important benefits:

  1. It allowed the new thin, heat-treated club faces to flex at impact, creating more ball speed across the club face.
  2. It saved approximately 12 grams from the design, which was redistributed to improve moment of inertia (MOI), a measure of ball speed retention on mishits, and increased launch angle.
Titleist_716_AP1_Tech

With an average of 42.5 grams of tungsten in the 3-7 iron heads, the AP1 irons are now more forgiving.

 

Skeptics will point out that the lofts of the 716 AP1 are stronger than previous models, which also leads to distance gains. And they’re right; each of the 716 AP1 irons are 1-degree stronger than their predecessors, with a stock pitching wedge loft of 43 degrees.

Titleist_716_AP1_specs

What our testing data says about the lower lofts, however, is that they do not come at the expense of launch angle. Launch angle is most important, particularly for the game-improvement crowd, in long irons. Looking at the data, however, you’ll notice that the 716 AP1 4 iron (22 degrees) actually launched as high or higher than the 716 T-MB (23 degrees), 716 AP2, 716 CB and 716 MB (all 24 degrees).

It should also be noted that the AP1’s, unlike many other game-improvement irons, have a stock 4-iron length that is the same as Titleist’s other iron models (38.5 inches). Each iron was tested with the same shaft (KBS’ C-Taper S+), shaft length, grip, and Titleist’s stock specs.

Titleist2016_API1s

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

Titleist2016_API1s2

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

Titleist2016_API1s3

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

What doesn’t show up on the charts, and will be important for golfers interested in the 716 AP1’s, is the attention to detail on the soles of the 716 AP1 irons. Titleist uses what’s called a “pre-worn” leading edge on all of its 716 irons, but it’s most important to the performance of the wide-soled AP1’s because it helps golfers make crisp contact from tight lies. For golfers with steeper attack angles, the soles of the clubs are also heavily cambered, or rounded, to limit digging and help the club exit the turf smoothly.

Titleist_AP1_sole_widths

In short, the 716 AP1’s perform at a high level, both at impact and through the turf, which is one of the reason they’re a popular choice for a variety of golfers, either as a full set or as long-iron replacements.

The Takeaway

If you’re considering a set of AP1 irons, keep in mind their strong lofts so that you gap your wedges appropriately. You may want to consider a W (47 degrees), or another specialty pitching wedge of a similar loft, to help bridge the gap between your highest-lofted AP1 iron and lowest-lofted wedge.

Golfers interested in replacing their longest irons with 716 AP1 should have no problem doing so, and can expect a more forgiving club that is longer than Titleist’s other 716 iron models.

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.

43 Comments

43 Comments

  1. David Petrie

    Sep 9, 2017 at 5:40 am

    Strange how last years model was the best ever……goes for all club making companies. But this year the new model is better. I’m afraid it’s all a game….no the game is not golf….the game is making money……Simple as that……don’t think ANYBODY on this forum would disagree….would they???
    Dave the Fifer.

  2. TB

    May 29, 2016 at 11:19 pm

    I recently purchased the 716AP1. They are excellent clubs. Not sure why there is always so much hate about the lofts and numbers on the club. I simply went to Ping/Titleist/Mizuno demo days. Then I went to Edwin Watts and hit these clubs (AP1&2, Ping G, Mizuno EZ, Callaway CF16) and compared them to my Mizuno MX300. I liked the forgiveness, height and distance the best with the AP1s. (They were all excellent and all more forgiving and longer than the MX300s). I don’t get to practice much and the MX300s were a little to exacting. I get about 1 more club length per iron but more importantly don’t need to hit as perfect to get that distance (P 130v120, 7i 160v150, etc) and accuracy. Not sure what my swing speed is but hit driver about 250-270. I swing easy and hit regular steel in my irons. I’ve got 4i-GW and also carry 50/56 wedges. I have a Ping G driver, 5W and 22* rescue. I’ve played a few rounds and broke 80 for first time in 10+ years. The irons go mostly straight. When I miss with irons usually a little left. Bottom line, everyone has to find the iron that bests suits their swing and needs. For me, I love my new Titlist 716AP1. They do not feel as nice as the Mizunos but that’s easy to forget when the ball is sitting nicely on the green.

  3. Steve G

    May 29, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    45 years ago I started golfing in my parents backyard in Detroit with five clubs and two balls I got from an 80 year old neighbor. Under the circumstances you learn a lot of different shots to play without breaking windows. During the last 20 years technology has made this game much easier but has made it too mechanical. Enough with the data analysis. 95% of golfers can’t hit it within plus or -10 yards consistently. I believe if the average golfer would play a few rounds each year with just five clubs their game would drastically improve and they would have more creativity in different conditions. They would then worry less about the number but more about feel. The variables for each shot on any day are infinite and so should your ability to create a shot for each challenge.

  4. Jack

    Dec 16, 2015 at 6:29 am

    Come on there are people who need the distance help. They won’t play volkey wedges. Even their wedges will be gi. I’m glad we all hit very far with no distance help needed. But truth is the gi clubs help them make the game playable. Same reason I hit ap2s and not blades cuz I’m not good enough for blades.

  5. Dave

    Nov 13, 2015 at 6:35 am

    Hello! Taylor made has been juicing their clubs for years on their low to mid irons. Check the Ap1’s against any of their clubs and the 4 irons alone are 2 to 3 degrees less. Not to mention their shaft lengths and longer than standard for those that by off the rack.

  6. Dennis

    Nov 12, 2015 at 2:36 pm

    Sorry, but some of the comments are pretty ignorant. I have these clubs and they are @ 1-club longer than my 712 AP2. To maintain the distance continuity with my existing wedges (52 & 56), I went 4-GW (compared to 3-PW in the AP2). The bottom-end is covered, so I’ll be getting a 816h to fill the gap between my 3w (230) and my 4i (200). FWIW, my driver SS is 102.

    As far as what handicap range for these, it doesn’t matter. There are touring pros that play these all the way to the average golfer (@15 handicap). At the end of the day, clubs are just “dumb animals”. It’s up to the user to decide what works and what doesn’t based on their personal needs and preferences.

  7. ScottC

    Oct 28, 2015 at 2:15 pm

    i love seeing all the comments, but what I want to know is how do they perform, how to they feel, how does the ball launch, do they help you hit more greens, what do these shafts feel like (XP 90). How do they perform? What shaft (R,S,X, steel, graphite) did you like and why?

    I like seeing the numbers posted, it gives me an idea of what they might be like especially compared to other Titleist clubs. My 95 mph driver speed will certainly will lead me to extrapolate though based on those swing speeds shown in the charts, lol.

    I want to figure out if they will PERFORM better for me than what I have today. Will it make the game easier physically and mentally? I would prefer lofts on the clubs, but will get used to the numbers (and what they mean to my game).

    I look forward to trying these out. Thanks

  8. MRC

    Sep 25, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    Forged AP1 is in the works!

  9. Golfinnut

    Sep 25, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    All this did was make the stock go up for the Vokey wedges! You will see an increase in sales of wedges for those buying the AP1 716. So $899 + $199*3 wedges to fill the gaps = $1500 for a new set

  10. KK

    Sep 24, 2015 at 9:05 pm

    Let’s be honest. Every half-legit iron club review will have a section comparing distance. That only feeds the beast in this never-ending arms race for more distance. When will it stop? 6 irons are already 5 irons in disguise. Soon, the 6 will really be a 4 iron and you won’t even be able to demo it because no average golfer will be able to hit it. The 7 will really be a 5 and few will be able to hit that as well. 8 irons only in the demo bag at your local store which are really 6 irons like they were 10 years ago. Book it.

  11. Ping Lover

    Sep 23, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    I always wondered what would happen when the lofts got so low that they needed a gap-gap-wedge. So now we have 8I, 9I, PW, W1, W2….

    Ridiculous.

    Roll on 2018 when we’ll have 9I, PW, W1, W2, W3….

    Then 2021 with PW, W1, W2, W3, W4….

    Eventually, something has to give. Or we’ll end up at W1, W2,…., W10.

    I will look on with interest and keep my money in my pocket. A golf club is a hunk of metal on the end of a stick and no amount of engineering is ever going to make more than a handful of percentage points of performance difference over what we’ve had for several years now. Most of the wins have already been made, e.g. cavity back. Tom Wishon tells this like it is, I encourage you to seek out his writings.

    Wake up! It’s all marketing.

  12. John Krug

    Sep 23, 2015 at 11:37 am

    The loft on the PW is 43 degrees! How do you select wedges ? Makes no sense to me. Any ideas?

    • Rob

      Sep 23, 2015 at 12:33 pm

      Think of the 43 degree ‘wedge’ as your 9 iron. Subsequent wedges would be 47, 51, 53, 57 or 47, 53, 58 or somewhere close to those numbers based on your yardage gaps.

      • Mike

        Sep 28, 2015 at 11:18 am

        Really wish they would stop listed iron numbers and just put the loft on clubs. The name of the iron is not relevant.

        I personally will be testing their 47 degree “W” vs a 48 degree vokey, as my current setup has a 45 degree PW and my first wedge is a 52.

  13. BC

    Sep 23, 2015 at 10:05 am

    The issue with the lofts is that the long irons have changed marginally so the gaps have not been as drastic. The majority of changes have been from ~8-iron and down. The gaps that it creates forces you to add more wedges but rules still only allow for 14 clubs.

    • Rob

      Sep 23, 2015 at 10:59 am

      Then don’t buy the long irons. With the length and loft of today’s irons, a 5 iron is the longest iron most people should carry in their bag. 5i-GW in the iron set, pick-up a sand wedge and a lob wedge there’s 9 clubs, that leaves room for your driver, your putter, and a combination of 3 hybrids or woods.

  14. John Ineson

    Sep 23, 2015 at 6:13 am

    This is my 68th season playing golf. I started with a cut down, hickory shafted mashie niblick, and it has taken me this many years to finally realize that those irons are just tools of the trade. They have numbers on them for easy identification. With experience we discover how far we can carry each number. Sometimes someone will ask us what number we hit on our last shot, but most of the time (and according to the rules of golf) that number is strictly our own business — unless we have some ego investment in announcing it after a shot. A 39 degree 9 iron horrifies me. When I started playing, in 1948, that was the loft of a 6 iron. But so what? Pull the number that goes the distance you’re looking for and enjoy the game. Oh, don’t forget to drop another two or three hundred on extra wedges. I mean, isn’t that what’s really driving the development of the way-too- long short iron thing?

  15. Jordan S

    Sep 23, 2015 at 2:30 am

    Clubs need re-labeling. The PW is a 9 iron.

    And who hired Adams clubs designers for this one?

  16. TinWhistle

    Sep 22, 2015 at 10:37 pm

    P = 8 ?

  17. Alan

    Sep 22, 2015 at 9:29 pm

    Man, agree with you all with jacked up PW.
    Might have to do combo set now, but how will a combo AP1/AP2 set work now?
    Might not work with replacing my 5,6 AP2 with 5,6 AP1. Might be huge gap in distance from i6 AP1 vs my 7i AP2.

  18. Pablo

    Sep 22, 2015 at 7:54 pm

    Rob’s comment above might be the best description of current club design as I’ve read on these blogs. Spot on! The OEM’s need to make the stronger lofts on the short irons so they do not balloon. Purely based on club head design.

    • christian

      Sep 24, 2015 at 10:41 am

      Too bad Wishon have explained in depth that what you are saying is just marketing BS..A typical MB blade will have lower CG than any SGI

  19. DJ

    Sep 22, 2015 at 6:16 pm

    So in reality, these aren’t distance irons. They are 9 irons labeled as pitching wedges and 4 irons labeled at 5 irons etc. Dumb.

  20. jc

    Sep 22, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    I just got my ping g30 irons and there is no more 3 iron…starts with a 4 and the pw is 45..and that is kind of low…..but they go high so …but that leaves me trying to figure out what wedges to put in.

    • Jordan S

      Sep 23, 2015 at 2:32 am

      Which is exactly what the manufacturers want you to do – buy one of their more expensive wedges instead of the cheaper one that comes in the set, making you believe you need more precise wedge play gapping feel control touch (roll eyes here)

  21. Johnny

    Sep 22, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    Anyone else hearing that a forged version of the AP1 is coming out sometime next year?

    • Jordan S

      Sep 23, 2015 at 2:32 am

      Lies.
      Why would they? Defeats the purpose of the need of either club designs, then.

  22. Joe S

    Sep 22, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    Amazing: Pitching Wedges from the test players carry 150 yards. The wedge is the same loft as my R9 TP 9 iron that I carry 140 (my driver swing speed is 103 mph). The 7 iron is exactly the same loft as my 6 iron that I carry 170. They carry them 194 and 182? The 4 iron is 2.5 degrees stronger than my 4 iron, that I carry 195, These test brutes carry the Titleist 4 iron 221 and 214.

    All I can say is Wow! Where did these test beasts come from and what business do they have hitting a club made for chops? These guys must swing in the 115 range (with driver). Top 3% of all golfers?

    This is beyond stupid and insulting to the intelligence of the people reading it. I am a current 1.2 handicap, 43 years old. I am glad we get to see the pictures and the reviews, but please, I really question the credibility of these numbers.

    • WOW

      Sep 22, 2015 at 7:13 pm

      Wow, all this negative comments. If you do not like it then don’t buy it and move on.

      • Joe

        Sep 23, 2015 at 8:03 am

        I hear what you’re saying about the negative comments, but I think Joe has a point. I thought the same thing when I saw how far the ball was going. In the end… I’m gonna buy these clubs.

  23. Johnny

    Sep 22, 2015 at 11:49 am

    I hit these last Friday at a demo day. Even though the 6 iron has the same loft as my current set (jpx ez forged), I hit the AP1 (with the kuro kage shaft) about a half club farther and noticeably higher. The AP1’s actually felt better than my Mizuno’s. If I were to ever buy these I would have the lofts weakened 1* for the 7-PW.

  24. Scooter McGavin

    Sep 22, 2015 at 10:53 am

    They could just start making a 10 iron for these sets… then you could still have your strong lofts, but your wedge lofts wouldn’t be as affected. I remember my Nickent 3DX’s had a 10 iron. Granted, then you have to rethink your bag setup because you have an extra iron… I think a lot of people complain about strong lofts forget that the clubs launch higher than clubs from the past, so you still end up getting the right launch conditions.

  25. Rob

    Sep 22, 2015 at 10:52 am

    The higher the MOI of the club, the higher the launch. As companies increase MOI, they have to strengthen the lofts to keep the launch angles manageable. Also keep in mind that the ‘3’ iron is actually a 2 iron. If they knocked the 3 iron out and started the set at the 4-iron and changed the numbers on the clubs, the clubs would fall in line with tradition club lofts. As much as club technology has changed the 24/38 rule hasn’t. A player who is targeting these irons should not get the 3 or 4 irons. A set from 5-W2 (traditional 3/4-PW/GW) with a couple more wedges and a hybrid would be a good setup.

    • Philip

      Sep 22, 2015 at 8:54 pm

      Great, why don’t they just reset the numbers? Why confuse things even more? So a part of increasing MOI is adding backspin – interesting, since I know more higher handicap golfers that struggle with getting the ball airborne and holding greens. Also, explains why when I increased all my lofts to more sane lofts “48 degree PW” that I gained not only height and straighter ball flight, but 1 to 2 clubs extra distance from an old CB/MB combo – I was quite surprised at the huge distance gain.

      • Joe

        Oct 7, 2015 at 8:55 am

        Does it really matter? In reality all you need to know is how far each club goes. With a new set distance always takes awhile to dial in anyway. Just know your yardage and grab your stick.

        • Double Mocha Man

          Oct 24, 2015 at 7:13 pm

          Of course it matters! On that long par 3 when your buddies exclaim they had to lay into a five iron to reach the green you get to say, “Oh, I babied a 7 iron.” 🙂

    • TS

      Jan 22, 2017 at 9:10 am

      I have the 5 thru w2 AP1 716 irons. I am a 1 handicap in my late fifties. I really like the launch and added distance. The numbers on the clubs make no difference to me. I just took a sharpie and wrote my carry distance on the shaft by the grip. And I do that on my wedges as fell for full and partial shots.

      Went with KBS 105 shafts and it is a fine shaft for the AP1.

      I am hitting these clubs about 5 yards farther than my previous taylormade blades and the stop quicker due to decent angle.

  26. Joe

    Sep 22, 2015 at 9:16 am

    Grabbing these ASAP!

  27. joro

    Sep 22, 2015 at 8:24 am

    Titleist has not been the gimmicky club until now. The shape is copying TM and Cally, and the lofts are ridicules. A 43 degree PW? and 2 gab wedges, wow, and they have the gonads to say they are long. Sure, the PW is yesterdays 8 iron, sure they are long.

    Too bad to see a Company with Titleists reputation turn to this for more sales. I know distance sells, but to get it this way. Be honest Titleist.

    • Will

      Sep 22, 2015 at 11:09 am

      +1….couldn’t agree more.

    • Double Mocha Man

      Oct 13, 2015 at 3:42 pm

      Why wouldn’t you want an iron that goes farther but launches at the same angle?

    • Seth

      Dec 2, 2015 at 4:38 pm

      My thoughts exactly. With a 43 degree pitching wedge you could end up with five wedges. (43 PW. 47 GW, 51 GW, 55 SW, 59 LW). Who designed these clubs? Mattel?

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Review: Honma TW737-Vs Forged Irons

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GolfWRX Member Reviews: TaylorMade 2017 M1 and M2 Irons

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One of the many benefits of being a GolfWRX Forum Member is exclusive access to Giveaways and Testing Threads. For Giveaways — we give away everything from golf clubs to golf balls to GPS units — all it takes is a forum name. Enter any Giveaway, and we select winners randomly. You’re then free to enjoy your prize as you wish.

For Testing Threads, the process a bit more involved. GolfWRX Forum Members sign up to test the latest and greatest products in golf, and then they provide in-depth reviews on the equipment. Being the intelligent golf-equipment users they are, GoflWRX Members are able to provide the most-informed and unbiased reviews on the Internet.

df5745825623a9697f92315cd9d8f1d7

In this Testing Thread, we selected 75 members to test a TaylorMade M1 2017 7-iron and TaylorMade M2 7-iron. Each of the clubs were built with the stock lofts and shafts — M2 2017 (28.5 degrees) with a TaylorMade Reax shaft, and M1 2017 (30.5 degrees) with a True Temper Dynamic Gold S300 shaft — and the testers were instructed to post their review of the clubs here.

Below, we’ve selected what we’ve deemed the most in-depth and educated reviews out of the 75 testers. We have edited each of the posts for brevity, clarity and grammar.

Thanks to all of those involved in the testing!

Brock9007

To be honest, looking down on the TaylorMade M1 and M2 irons at address, there is really not much difference. I would have to pick one up to see which is which.

The first 10 balls I hit were with M1 and 6/10 felt great, while the other 4 were toe hits, which I felt and the distance reflected that. Kinda what I expected with a club design for lower-handicap players. Distance was about 1/2 longer than my Srixon iron and dispersion was close, as well. I will say they did not feel as good as the Srixon on center hits.

Next 10 (ok, 15) balls were with the M2. Wow, can you say “up, up and away? The ball really popped of the club face, but wasn’t a ballon flight. Waited for the ball to come down and WTH, with the roll out it was 5-8 yards longer than balls hit with M1, and that is with a few toe shots. I did some smooth swings and then very aggressive swings and was a little amazed at this iron. Just like the M1, it does not have the forged feeling and does have a clicky sound (which I hate).

Bottom line: M2 is the longest iron I have ever hit. I love my 545s, but I could see myself playing M2 very easily. Matter of fact, I will be taking this M2 7 iron in my bag and play it more head-to-head against my Srixon 545 on the course.

deathbymuffin

These are both beautiful clubs. What surprised me the most is how much alike the two clubs look at address. I was expecting a chunky topline and significant offset in the M2, but it’s footprint looked almost exactly the same as the M1, outside of the chrome finish on the M2 versus the frosted finish of the M1. The M2 could almost pass as a player’s iron to my eye at address. These clubs both get A’s from me in the looks department.

The M1 felt a tad thicker than most player’s irons I’m used to, but it seemed to come with a bit of added forgiveness too. Well-struck shots felt good, with a nice mid-trajectory and with the workability that I’ve come to expect from a player’s iron. But true to TaylorMade’s claims, the M1 seemed more forgiving than a traditional player’s iron. Had a nice soft feel at impact, mishits didn’t sting and left you with a more playable result. A really nice combination of the better attributes of both player’s and game improvement irons. I’ve been playing with an old set of Tommy Armour blades, but I’ve been recently wanting more forgiveness for when I’m stuck with my B or C swing. Based on the early returns, I could definitely see myself bagging these.

I’m not sure if it’s the shaft, the design of the clubhead, or a combination of both, but the M2 is definitely a different animal than the M1 at impact. This club launches the ball high, arguably ridiculously so. I was hitting Jason Day moonbombs with this bad boy. Didn’t seem to matter what kind of swing I put on it, the ball launched high, flat and dead straight. The club was super forgiving and if not for the insanely high ball flight, I would love to have a set of these for when my swing is out of sorts. I didn’t really try to flight it at all, so I’m not sure what it’s capable of at this point. One other note was that the M2 had a clicky feel at impact. It didn’t bother me since it still felt so sweet… so strange as it sounds, clicky, but smooth and sweet at the same time. I think these clubs will be big winners with the mid-to-high handicap set.

The M1 is a fine iron, but doesn’t really stand out in any way from other irons of its class.

The M2, on the other hand, is an iron on steroids. I’m really starting to love this thing. It’s super forgiving and just goes and goes. According to my laser, flush shots were going 195 yards (my usual blade 5 iron distance) and very high. I can’t help but think golf would be a whole lot easier, particularly longer courses with long par 3s, with a full set of these in my bag.

poppyhillsguy

M1 feels softer than the M2 and I felt the ball flight was more consistent and what I want in an iron. The M1 did have a harsher feeling in my hands than I typically like, but I’m going to credit a lot of that to the range balls.

M2 flies very high. It was a windy afternoon and about 100 degrees. I love the high ball flight on the range, but I have a concern what that ball flight would be like on the course. I like to hit the ball different heights for different shots and I don’t think I could do that confidently with the M2, but I could with the M1. I don’t like the sound of the M2. It sounded “clicky” to me.

Fourpar18

Initially on the range I was scared because the M1 had a regular flex in it, so I took it easy for my initial 10-15 swings with it. Ball SHOT off the face, loud crack (didn’t care for it, but not too bad) and ball just kept rising and rising but didn’t balloon. I thought, “whoa,” that’s not what I expected…did it again…another CRACK and the ball just flew. I set another down and I paid attention to how it looked behind the ball, not much offset for a game improvement and I thought…”I could actually play this club!”  The 5-7 were EASY swings, aimed at a target of 170 yards away (my normal 7 iron distance) and with a EASY swing I was flying it by 20 yards or so. The next 5-10 I really went after it, same CRACK and ball just flew but to my surprise it was a nice draw, harder draw than the first but it was a nice 10-yard draw. This time the balls were landing just short of the 200 yard marker. Damn, 200 yards with a 7 iron! I know they are jacked lofts but it feels good to say “my 7 irons just few 190-200 yards!”

P.S. LOVE the Lamkin UTX grip!

Now, this was interesting, the M2 was quieter then the M1… weird!  Now, there is more carbon fiber added to this one and there is a “Geocoustic” label on the back. I am sure that it has something to do with all that carbon fiber but it does have a better sound. Other than the sound, it played exactly like the M1: long and straight. The REAX shaft felt a little weaker than the True Temper shaft and it flew a little higher but nothing else I could pick up.

noahdavis_7

Finally got out to the range after getting these bad boys in on Friday. My first impression of them is that they look really sharp. The graphics and design really stand out and really give these clubs a cool, modern look.

They were both a little to big IMO, as I am currently bagging Mizuno MP-68s. The M2 isa definite “game improvement iron”, while the M1 was similar in size and shape to my previous irons, Titleist AP1s.

They both really launch it, high and far. Ridiculous for 7 irons. I don’t have access to a launch monitor, but it was about a 20-yard difference between my gamer 7 iron and these (stronger lofts, as well).

The M1 definitely was more suited for my eye, and produced more consistent ball flights. It felt much more smooth and solid as the M2 had a clicky, cheap feel.

The M2 just isn’t for me. I felt like it was launching too high and ballooning, which could be due to the shaft (the M1 had the S300, while the M2 just had a stock “Reax” shaft). The feel off the face of the M2 just turned me off, to be honest.

While I don’t think I’ll be putting either model in play, I can definitely see the appeal for mid-to-high handicaps. Both irons were super forgiving, and they should be a dream to the average weekend golfer who has trouble with ball striking consistently.

golfnut5438

Looks: As expected, I preferred the M1 with less offset, slightly smaller sole and a smoother finish. Less glare looking down on the iron. I must say the M2 did not look as bulky, or have as much offset as I thought it might have.

Feel: This was a close race, probably due to the shafts as much as the heads. The M1 was just a slight bit smoother feeling on solid shots. But the M2 was not bad at all, just not quite as smooth.

Distance and performance: Our range has a slight incline up the length of the range, so specific yardage gains or losses were difficult to measure. Both irons had a higher trajectory than my gamer 7 iron. Neither sole dug onto the turf either. The lofts for both irons are a degree or two stronger than mine, so I would think they probably flew a little further than my gamers. Neither iron flew “too” high, however. Might be a little harder to hit knock down shots, though.

Final thoughts: I had hit both the M1 and M2 irons last year during a fitting day, but did not like either. This year’s model were both better in my eyes. I asked a fellow member at our club to hit both and he felt the M1 was his preferred model, and he is a 20-index player. So coming from both a single digit, and a high double-digit, the M1 won this battle of wills. I will try and see if I can locate both a 5 iron and 9 iron to see if a full set might be a winner for me.

DblEgl

I was surprised that the M2 was the winner in this brief session. It felt better, flew higher, easier to hit and about 1/2 club longer that my gamer Apex CF16. The feel/sound was better than I thought it might be, but really not up to the CF16. I could, however, easily game the M2’s.

Bstein74

Feel: I hit the M2 first, and found it to be very solid when hit on the screws. There was almost no feel off the club face at all. When I mishit it, you knew it was, but it wasn’t harsh at all. Hit the M1 next, and same type of feel when hit solid. Much more harsh when mishit though, but I knew that was coming.

Distance and performance: This is was where I was curious to see how they would play. The M2 went out high in the air, and just kept going forever. Now granted my eyesight isn’t that great anymore, but it looked like I got about 10-15 yards more from the M2 compared to my Wilson D300. The only thing I didn’t like about the M2 was how much I was able to turn it over. Got a lot more hook compared to my D300. Don’t know if that was from the REAX shaft, but would love to find a less spinning shaft to correct that.

The M1 wasn’t a great performer for me. Same height as the M2, but much straighter off the club face. Didn’t get any great distance advantage as compared to my D300. Can’t game a player’s iron anymore, and testing this one just reaffirmed that.

Final thoughts: Was very happy with the distance I gained with the M2 compared to my current gamer. Very good-performing iron for me, and something I would definitely consider changing them out if I could reduce the spin off the face. If you’re looking for more distance, you need to try these out. The M1 just wasn’t for me, but as a player’s iron, I can see it as a great option.

Bobcat271

Like the other testers, I found the M2 to launch the ball much higher and is 10-to-15 yards longer than my Adams XTD forged 7 iron. Of the two 7 irons I prefer the M1. I like the design of the M1 and its visual appearance at address. I feel more confident in trying to work the ball with the M1. The M1 gave me more feedback as to where the club head was in relation to my swing plane. If I had my druthers I would put the M1 in the bag as it stands now. Will continue to test, what a treat to compare the two irons.

myurick2

Once I started making solid contact with a decent shoulder turn, the M2 really came alive in my hands. Towering flat height, for me, and very long. No more clacky hollow feel, just a very mild pleasant sensation… then zoom. Once I started making better swings, back to the M1, which was a very nice iron. Shorter than the M2 (though not short) and a little lower ball flight. Felt nice and substantial without being heavy. Very forgiving on slight mishits.

But the M2 was the star for me. High trajectory and very long. Club felt lively and fun. Frankly, unless a player wanted a lower trajectory, or likes to hit a lot of knock downs or feel shots, I don’t know why anyone wouldn’t choose the M2. They are very attractive and a very fun iron. I think folks who say that the M2 feels and/or sounds clicky, clacky or hollow may be mishitting the iron toward the toe. I am not judging — I mishit a lot of shots at first. I agree on toe mishits the iron did not feel great. It almost felt like plastic. The ball still flew pretty well, but it wasn’t a very enjoyable experience. Not painful, just felt very dead. But when hit nearer the center, the iron felt fantastic. Light, springy and very lively. 

hammergolf

They are both good-looking clubs. Not too long heel to toe and toplines were not that distracting. M1 is more what I like to see shape wise, but M2 was not bad at all. Personally, not a fan of seeing the face slots. But I could see how some people may like how they frame the ball. 

Ace2000

M1 

– Has a very odd sound on contact, almost sounds a tad like a fairway wood “ting. Not a fan
– Looks very good at address with the brushed finish
– Most shots I hit with it seemed to fall out of the sky (very likely a lack of spin). Ball flight was much lower than I would have expected (not super low, just not much different than my 7 iron)
– Inconsistent misses. Next to no distance gains vs RocketBladez Tour 7 iron

M2

– Doesn’t look as good at address as the M1. Chrome finish at address is not an issue in even direct sunlight for me
– Feels and sounds quite nice to my ears at impact. Not a classic sound but very good considering what type of club it is
– Ball flight is very strong (comes off hot). Ball stays high in the air for awhile. Very high and lands soft
– 10-12 yards longer on average vs my 7 iron, it even had the horsepower to hang with my 6 iron
– VERY forgiving on thin strikes. Couldn’t believe how a near-top still traveled to nearly the front edge in the air and still went as far as the M1 did on a good strike
– Shaft is too light

Even though I’m a 2-handicap and don’t fit the M2 “mold,” I could see myself playing this club from 4-6 iron (although gapping would be a major issue mixing these with almost anything else) if it had a heavier shaft in it (I can only imagine how far this 4 iron must go… yikes)

M1 = 2.5/5 stars
M2 = 4.5/5 stars

tpeterson

Visual first impressions: The M1 7-iron is visually appealing to me as far as the finish and overall look. Even though it is classified as a player’s iron, it doesn’t seem so tiny that it would be tough to hit. I am not a huge fan of the bright-yellow badging, but I probably could get over it. The iron inspires confidence with its topline and a little bit of offset. The “rubber” piece on the hosel is a little bit funky to me.

I thought the M2 7-iron would look clunkier than it really is. Besides the finish being a little bit different, the difference between the M1 and M2 is actually pretty small. The M2’s topline and sole are a touch wider, but not by much. Not a huge fan of the fluted hosel since it can be seen at address. The M1’s fluting is only on the rear of the club.

I did notice that the sole’s finish did scratch pretty easily. Overall, I thought the M1 and M2 are pretty good looking, but I would definitely give the edge to the M1. I also preferred the stock Lamkin grip on the M1 vs. the ribbed M2 grip.

On course action: They both feel solid. I tried hitting both irons in all different types of on-course situations over a two week period. Both clubs launch the ball high but I would not say they balloon. For me, the M2 was about 10 yards longer and higher than the M1. Compared to my Cleveland irons, they are 1 to 1.5 clubs longer.

M1 loft = 30.5
M2 loft = 28.5
Cleveland TA7 loft = 33.5

I know this accounts for the distance gain but the ball definitely comes off hot compared to my set. I was hoping I would hit the M1 better since I like the appearance better, but that was not the case. The M2 definitely felt better for me and I felt more confident with it in my hands.

Discussion: Read all 75 reviews and the responses in our Testing Thread

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Equipment

Members Choice: The Best Irons of 2017

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To help golfers find the best irons for them in 2017, we enlisted the services of GolfWRX Members, the most knowledgeable golfers on the internet. They not only understand the technology used in the latest golf equipment, but they also test new clubs extensively. Following their detailed experiences and words of wisdom about the latest products is the perfect starting point for anyone interested in purchasing new golf clubs.

To gather their votes and feedback, we as a company first needed to properly sort the irons into categories. We aimed to keep the categories as simple as possible with 2017’s crop of irons, and we broke them down into three general categories:

  • Players Irons: Basically, small-sized irons. These irons have sleek top lines and soles. They place workability and control over distance, and for that reason they’re irons you can expect to see in the bag of a professional golfer.
  • Game-Improvement Irons: Basically, medium-sized irons. This category includes a wide-range of clubs that blend distance, forgiveness, good looks and workability.
  • Super Game-Improvement Irons: Basically, large-sized irons. These irons are juiced with hot faces, wide soles, thick top lines, big offset and a low center of gravity, among other engineering feats, that are often unique to each company.

Note: Because of the abundance of Players Irons currently available, we divided that category into two categories: Players Irons and Exotics Players Irons. The Exotic Players Irons list included players irons from companies such as Epon, Fourteen, Miura, PXG, and Honma, which are not as widely available for testing in the U.S.

Below you can access the full results of our Members Choice 2017: Best Irons lists, as well as feedback about each iron from the GolfWRX Community. We’d like to sincerely thank all the GolfWRX Members who participated in the voting and provided feedback on the irons. We also want to thank those of you who provided feedback on the voting process itself. We assure you that we read and consider everything, and we’re going to continue to improve our process in order to provide the best and most useful information about the latest golf equipment.

Members Choice: The Best Players Irons

Mizuno_JPX_900_Tour_Feat-1021x580

Vote Leader: Mizuno JPX-900 Tour

“WOW! Great mix of buttery feel and forgiveness.”

Overall, the Mizuno JPX-900 Tour irons earned nearly 15 percent of votes on the Players iron category, giving them top billing for players irons. One GolfWRX member said he was “weak in the knees from first look at the satin finish and compact size,” and that the “feel is excellent, and there’s just enough forgiveness.” Another said the JPX-900 Tour irons are the “best irons out there right now in terms of blending feel, forgiveness, and the ability to shape shots.”

Full List: The Best Players Irons of 2017

Members Choice: The Best Exotic Players Irons

PXG0311t-600x377

Vote Leader: PXG 0311T

“I can’t say I have ever hit anything that feels as good as the PXG.”

With more 21 percent of votes for the Best Exotics Players Irons of 2017, PXG’s 0311T irons were described by GolfWRX members as “a great looking club,” and that they “felt unbelievable.” When comparing the irons to Titleist’s 716 MB irons, one member said, “The fact that you can barely tell if it has or doesn’t have more offset than the MB 7 iron just shows how little it has.”

Full List: The Best Exotic Players Irons of 2017

Members Choice: Best Game-Improvement Irons

CallawayApexMembersChoice

Vote Leader: Callaway Apex CF ’16 

“Apex CF is simply the most explosive, best feeling iron I’ve ever hit in this category.”

Acquiring nearly 20 percent of votes of all models in the Best Game-Improvement Iron category, GolfWRX Members described the Callaway Apex CF ’16 irons as “simply the most explosive,” and that they “perform very well on center hits and almost as good on mishits.”

Full List: The Best Game-Improvement Irons of 2017

The Best Super Game-Improvement Irons 

PingGironsWRX

Vote Leader: Ping G

“The Ping G takes what Ping has done for years and added in increased ball speed, improved feel and much better looks.”

An iron that “will appeal even to Ping haters.” GolfWRX Members described the Ping G as “stupid easy to hit,” providing a “high and straight ball flight,” and “an eye opener.” The irons also accumulated more than 22 percent of the total votes in the category.

Full List: The Best Super Game-Improvement irons of 2017

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