Pros: The addition of tungsten to the design of the 716 CB irons makes the long and mid irons noticeably easier to hit, without compromising the looks and feel of past models. The 716 MB irons are more refined than their predecessors, and they’ll be a hit with those who enjoyed Titleist’s still-relevant 680 irons.

Cons: The changes to the 716 MB irons are mostly aesthetic.

Who they’re for: The 716 CB irons are a great choice for golfers who think the 716 AP2 irons are too bulky at address, as well as those looking for more forgiveness than one-piece cavity-back and muscleback irons can provide. The 716 MB irons are designed to be used by golf’s most accomplished and feel-orientated players. Their thin soles give better players maximum versatility, particularly if they have a shallow angle of attack.

The Review

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  • Price: $1,099 steel, $1,299 graphite (MB), $1,199 steel, $1,399 graphite (CB)
  • Irons available: 3-P (MB $137.50 each steel, $162.50 graphite), 2-P (CB, $150 each steel, $175 graphite)
  • Construction: MB — Forged (1025 carbon steel), CB — Forged (1025 carbon steel, tungsten).
  • Stock Shaft: MB — True Temper Dynamic Gold (steel), Mitsubishi Rayon Kuro Kage TiNi 65 (graphite), CB — True Temper Dynamic Gold AMT (steel), Mitsubishi Rayon Kuro Kage TiNi 65 (graphite)
  • Availability: In stores Oct. 23

Titleist’s 716 CB and 716 MB irons target a small subset of golfers who are more concerned with looks, feel, versatility and trajectory control than they are distance and forgiveness. In recent years, however, the irons have never been more different than they are in the 716 line.

Titleist_716_CB_review
Titleist’s 716 CB irons use the company’s co-forged, tungsten-laden design.

For the first time, Titleist has given its 716 CB irons a multi-material design, while shaping tweaks to the 716 MB iron make it reminiscent of the 680 irons Titleist released more than 10 years ago.

With the 716 CB irons, Titleist added tungsten to the design through its co-forging process. Like the 716 AP2 irons, each 716 CB long and mid iron receives its own specially designed set of tungsten weights, which are forged into the corners of the sole to boost moment of inertia (MOI), a measure of ball speed retention on off-center hits.

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The move to tungsten includes an average of 55.52 grams of tungsten per club head (3-7 iron), which is only fractionally less than the average of 56.2 grams of tungsten used Titleist’s 716 AP2 iron heads. Compared to the 714 CB irons, the 716 CB irons have 12.3 percent higher MOI. To put that into perspective, the MOI of the 716 CB matches that of the 714 AP2 irons. That’s remarkable.

Titleist2016_CB
All 716 irons were Trackman tested with the same shaft (model and length), same grip, and Titleist’s stock specs.
Titleist2016_CB2
All 716 irons were Trackman tested with the same shaft (model and length), same grip, and Titleist’s stock specs.
Titleist2016_CB3
All 716 irons were Trackman tested with the same shaft (model and length), same grip, and Titleist’s stock specs.

Most golfers who choose the 716 CB irons won’t be playing them for the additional forgiveness, however. They’ll enjoy their overall shaping, which includes thinner top lines, shorter blade lengths, less offset and narrower soles than the 716 AP2’s. While there will be certain exceptions, as we saw club-by-club in our testing, most golfers will be able to hit the 716 AP2’s farther and more consistently than the 716 CB’s.

The 716 MB irons bring the classic design of Titleist’s 680 irons into the modern era. Unlike the 680’s, which were crafted on the bench, the 716 MB irons were created with computer-aided design (CAD). So yes, they share much of the DNA of those classics, but they’re far from a throwback release.

Of all the great muscleback irons Titleist has produced in the last decade, you may be wondering why the company specifically targeted the 680 irons. The answer is feedback from the best golfers in the world. Two of Titleist’s most prominent PGA Tour brand ambassadors, Adam Scott and Webb Simpson, played the vintage irons long past their time on retail shafts.

Titleist_716_MB_soles

Was their iron choice due to personal preference, or was there something for Titleist to learn about performance and shaping from the 680’s? The answer, as it typically is with the best golfers in the world, was both.

The 716 MB irons use a high-muscle design, but the area above the muscle pad has been thinned out compared to previous MB designs. That allowed Titleist engineers to keep the center of gravity (CG) in the same modern position as the 714 MB irons, yet honor the looks, sound and feel players like Scott and Simpson loved about the 680’s.

Titleist2016_MB
All 716 irons were Trackman tested with the same shaft (model and length), same grip, and Titleist’s stock specs.
Titleist2016_MB2
All 716 irons were Trackman tested with the same shaft (model and length), same grip, and Titleist’s stock specs.
Titleist2016_MB3
All 716 irons were Trackman tested with the same shaft (model and length), same grip, and Titleist’s stock specs.

Looking at the testing data, it’s obvious that the 716 MB’s aren’t going to win any distance contests. They do, however, offer a consistent ball flight for a muscleback iron, along with a classic size that better players will use to gain maximum control over shot shape and trajectory.

In this era of launch-monitor driven purchases, golfers often forget that the confidence they receive from a club at address can be just as valuable to their execution of the shot at hand as an improved CG position. The 716 MB irons are a testament to that.

Titleist_716_CB_Specs

Both the 716 MB and 716 CB irons are designed to be used in mixed sets. For that reason, they use the same stock lofts. For true purists, the 716 CB is available in a 2 iron (18 degrees).

Titleist_716_MB-Specs

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.

12 COMMENTS

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  1. This was a great article, especially regarding the conclusion regarding confidence at address. I was really impressed with the trackman data which showed that the players hit the MB’s as well as the game improvement irons, despite the difference in lofts for some of the clubs.

  2. Wait; I think you buried the lede, Zak.

    I thought a stock shaft was going to be Dynamic Gold AMT. It was the absolute Number One reason I was looking forward to trying these clubs. It was the main subject of interest in the biggest product launch this fall.

    What is up with the DG AMT part of this story?

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