Last April, Titleist did something out of character. It released a line of golf clubs called C16 without the extensive testing and validation process that’s typical for the company’s products. Like concept cars in the auto industry, these were “concept clubs” created for the purpose of experimenting with new technologies, materials and manufacturing processes in an effort to push existing boundaries.

“We weren’t really sure how it would go and how the products would do,” said Josh Talge, Vice President of Marketing for Titleist.

Titleist did no marketing for the clubs, and as you might imagine, they were expensive: $1,000 for a driver and about $3,000 for a set of irons. They were also available in a very limited supply — about 1,500 drivers and 1,000 set of irons — and restricted to buyers willing to be fit for the clubs at Titleist-authorized locations. Despite those hurdles, the clubs sold quickly. And due to popular demand, Titleist is releasing an additional 1000 sets of the C16 irons.

“So many people who hit the C16 irons would say things like, ‘I’ve never done that before or I didn’t think I could do this.'” Talge says. “Golfers were getting a club more distance … all in a package that looks like a players club.”

C16_Group

As with the original launch, fittings are available at the company’s TPI Oceanside and Manchester Lane test facilities, as well as Titleist Fitting Days and Titleist Thursdays trial and fitting events. With the relaunch, Titleist has also added 50 select fitting partners around the country who can now fit C16 irons. The reason Titleist is requiring golfers to be fit for the C16 irons is two-fold, Talge says. The company wants to make sure C16 iron buyers are confident they’re getting something limited and special. Just as importantly, Titleist wants to continue to learn from the C16 irons.

Much has been learned already. When Titleist originally launched the C16 irons it did so with the option of a special “SureFit Grip,” an adjustable counter-weighting feature that gave fitters the option of positioning a 20-gram weight at the bottom or top of the grip to change the way a golfer’s hands rotated at impact for improved performance. It proved beneficial for some C16 buyers, but Talge called it “complex.” He pointed to Titleist’s inability to offer it as an option in more than one grip model and the complications of re-gripping clubs with SureFit grips as the reason it will not be included in the re-launch.

“You could only get [SureFit Grip technology] in a grip that was basically a Tour Velvet,” Talge says. “And when it came time to change your grips, it had to be done by Titleist … We’re still working out some of those kinks.”

nullTitleist’s C16 driver, on the other hand, proved to be a product with technologies that were immediately ready for mass production. It introduced a moveable-weight technology called SureFit CG that was added to the company’s 917D2 and 917D3 drivers, which were released in the fall of 2016.

Talge emphasized, as Titleist did with the announcement of its C16 clubs in April 2016, that there is no set launch schedule for its concept clubs. New concept clubs will only be released when the company feels it has created a ground-breaking design… or in this case, when golfers can’t get enough of a previous design.

Titleist’s C16 irons ($375-$415 per club) will be available April 15 in the U.S. and in select global markets for right- and left-handed golfers. All of Titleist’s custom shafts and grips are available at no additional cost with one exception: AeroTech’s Steelfiber (+$56 per shaft). Learn More about the C16 irons from Titleist. 

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  1. I’m beginning to think that the golf companies are pandering to the .1% or .10% of Americans that can afford clubs like PXG, Honma and these current clubs. The everyday working class golfer who gets out every other Saturday is getting lower on the totem pole. Even $500 drivers are getting to be too much. I guess class discrimination knows no bounds. As I’ve said before, I’m still playing my Cleveland 588 MT’s and shooting in the 80’s. :)

  2. These are some sweet sticks, know why mean. My mom said she will buy me some when I move out of her basement. She’s just went to get me a 50 and a pack of cigs. Later fellas…..

  3. Now I can buy a backup set of clubs to use when my PXG’s are in the shop. My buddy Jim Grundy has these and they are friggin’ incredible! He hits them long and straight on every shot. From an engineering standpoint they are second to none, and none left town!

  4. Lower lofts on irons are necessary with the new club technology. Titleist sold the initial run of irons………..so obviously they had the need to produce more.

    Golf is a sport but also an industry….

  5. I know I’d like to try them. Are they hollow, like T-MB’s? I’m guessing not, since there’s no hole in the toe which I think is sort of required in the manufacturing process.

    So; is there a single tour player, on a single tour (U.S., Euro, AustralAsian, etc.) who has a single one of these clubs in play?

    I remember when some of the Japan-only stuff notably made it into tour bags. Ernie Els’ cherished 690.CH 3-iron comes to mind. If these were so magic, you’d think that there’d be some of that.

  6. With the weight moved low in the head they launch high, therefore the need to strengthen the lofts. These are some awesome irons, forgiving yet workable. I have them with the KBS Tour X. I have a Trackman and an E6 simulator and everyone that’s hit them likes them. They are in a league of their own.

    • … furthermore…. it’s not satisfying ‘market demand’, it’s all about ‘creating’ market demand using brand name ‘sizzle’ for clubhead ‘steak’ at ~$50 per ounce … Mar-o-Lago pricing ..lol

  7. So a 22d 4-iron and 43d pitching wedge and claiming to be longer? Following in TM’s footsteps with a club that costs 3 times more? Now that’s good thinking!

    This club is for “special” grown children who don’t know any better.

    Proud mizuno gamer for 30 years for a reason.

  8. These clubs are most no better than any other club in it’s category. If you have the swing you can pretty much play whatever you want and there is no need to pay 3k for a set of irons.

  9. I hate to say I told you so, but this is what PXG is doing to the market. For every club that PXG sells for $350, the others will do the same. Its about to get really stupid in the equipment business….

  10. guys these irons are magical. crazy ball speeds and feel and sound awesome. sold a bunch of sets to all skill levels. guys just hit them better. if you haven’t tried them you don’t know!

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