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A deep dive into the development of Titleist T100 irons

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Since their introduction, Titleist T100 irons have been one of the most successful irons ever launched by the equipment manufacturer. Not only have they seen massive success on the PGA Tour by being at or near the top of the iron count since they were released, but they, along with the whole T-Series, have also made major waves with recreational players too.

As a complete gear junkie, and someone who has always had a fascination with the engineering and design process, I reached out to Titleist to get the inside scoop on the development of the popular iron and spoke with the team behind the T100.

titleist t100 irons

Ryan Barath: How long is your standard development cycle for irons, and was there any part of the process that was unique for the T100’s?

Titleist: At Titleist, we have a two-year product lifecycle, meaning we introduce new irons every two years. However, the creation timeline of new irons stretches well past those two years as we start working on early engineering three to five years before launch. In those early years, we focus on two areas

  • The first is the feedback we get from the best players in the world, our PGA Tour staff, what are they looking for to optimize their game.
  • The second is about researching the emerging types of engineering or material advances that our team can utilize in future performance enhancements. For T100 specifically, we started this process early as our stated goal was to create the best modern tour iron, ultimately replacing AP2 as the most played iron across global tours.

With T100 the goal was to give the club a tour-preferred look at address while retaining the solid feel and best in class overall performance. The response to T100 has been overwhelming as not only did we see AP2 players shift to T100, but so did many CB players helping T100 quickly become the new #1 iron across global tours.

RB: With the evolution of the players’ line beyond the MB and CB irons, what is the hardest part of making already great better? 

T: There are a couple of challenging things when improving tour irons. The first is that tour pros know exactly what they want an iron to look like in the address position. Generally, they want short, compact blade length, minimal offset, and a narrow top line.

Feel is also incredibly important and that comes from materials, engineering, and the sole for turf interaction. T100 stands out in all of these areas and delivers on both the look and feel players are looking for in an iron. The dual cavity design, combined with our tungsten toe and heel weighting, helps separate T100’s performance making it the true modern tour iron. This is an iron that has a blade-like look, feel, and versatility that tour players want, but also provides an extra degree of forgiveness and precision that players can take advantage of at the highest levels of the game.

RB: With tour player feedback being a crucial part of the process, how are players like Jordan Spieth involved in the discussion? Is it a wants vs needs discussion?

T: Tour player feedback is a key component in continuing to make our irons perform better as they give us input on size, shape, and performance attributes they are looking for such as launch and spin.

Jordan Spieth is one of the players we really enjoy working with as he gives very detailed feedback, especially on turf interaction. We worked extensively with Jordan and others to design a sole for T100 that would provide the turf interaction they are looking for. In fact, we have been working with Jordan on refinements to that sole for our next iteration of T100.

From a wants vs. needs standpoint, we try to give players all of their “wants” because that pushes our team to innovate and ultimately yields the best product.

Jordan’s “wants” in a new iron are for it to deliver consistent performance on every shot. He wants to be able to work the ball in both directions as well as control his launch window and spin. Jordan is also looking for a little bit of forgiveness as while he is one of the best ball strikers in the world, he still appreciates getting closer to his number when he doesn’t make perfect contact. This is where T100 really shines as even a player of Jordan’s caliber realizes the value of increased precision when his carry distance and spin are more consistent.

RB: As a follow-up, can it be difficult to have a player be critical of an iron they are currently playing when on the search for better?

T: In partnership with our PGA Tour team led by JJ Van Wezenbeeck, we believe we have our players in the best product for their game. But the constant quest for better is in large part what drives both our Tour players and our R&D team so we are always pushing them on what are they looking for in future products as we want to get better just as much as they do.

We love it when during the testing process when a player says, “I love this, can I keep it?” and it is a little disappointing to have to tell them “soon!” but it is worth it knowing that we have found something they really enjoy. And we know if the best players in the world have vetted an iron that the rest of us will love it too.

Another important thing to know is there are plenty of prototypes that we test that don’t work for the players and that feedback is just as valuable as it helps us refine or in some cases completely eliminate ideas. At the end of the day, we are fortunate to have such a large and diverse tour staff to rely on for insights, testing, and ultimately validation during our product creation process.

RB: The T100 and the T100s irons have demonstrated tremendous success all over the golf world from the PGA Tour down to everyday golfers. What are you most proud of with this iron?

T: It is incredibly rewarding to see the best players in the world have success with irons that we design, but it’s just as fun seeing the in bags of regular golfers when we are out playing. The T100 is a great iron as it is the perfect combination of performance, looks, and feel. We feel just as comfortable putting that iron in the hands of any single or even low double-digit handicap index golfer as we do Jordan Spieth.

That’s what I’m most proud of with this iron, that we’ve combined the look and feel of a tour iron, with modern technology that makes it playable for so many golfers.

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Ryan Barath is a club-fitter & master club builder with more than 17 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. He is the former Build Shop Manager & Social Media Coordinator for Modern Golf. He now works independently from his home shop and is a member of advisory panels to a select number of golf equipment manufacturers. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, and share his passion for club building, course architecture and wedge grinding.

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  1. Tom54

    Apr 16, 2021 at 9:50 am

    I have a set of T100-S model and not only are they a beautiful club and are very solid I was really surprised that they have plenty of forgiveness too.

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Whats in the Bag

Trey Mullinax WITB 2023 (February)

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Driver: Ping G430 LST (9 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Smoke Blue RDX 60 6.5

3-wood: Ping G430 MAX (15 @ 14)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black RDX 80 TX

7-wood: Ping G430 MAX (21)
Shaft: Project X HRDUS Smoke Black RDX 80 TX

Irons: Srixon ZX (3), Wilson Staff Model CB (4-9)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100

Wedges: Wilson Staff Model (46-08, 52, 56), Titleist Vokey Design Wedgeworks Proto (60-T)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Putter: Scotty Cameron Prototype
Grip: Scotty Cameron

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord

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Coolest thing for sale in the GolfWRX Classifieds (2/6/23): TaylorMade P790 Ti Iron Set

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At GolfWRX, we are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment of the game in many ways.

It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball. It even allows us to share another thing we all love – buying and selling equipment.

Currently, in our GolfWRX buy/sell/trade (BST) forum, there is a listing for a TaylorMade P790 Ti Iron Set

From the seller (@TaylorMadehunter1): “Flat out set of rocket launchers. Set is 5-A and shafted with Project X 6.0 shafts. Lengths shown in pics. They look stunning in the bag, behind the ball, and have the performance to match! $850.”

To check out the full listing in our BST forum, head through the link: TaylorMade P790 Ti Iron Set 

This is the most impressive current listing from the GolfWRX BST, and if you are curious about the rules to participate in the BST Forum you can check them out here: GolfWRX BST Rules

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TOUR REPORT: Jordan Spieth changes drivers, Josh Allen’s SICK putter, and Kisner’s new Wilson setup

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Welcome to Monterey Peninsula, one of the most beautiful golf properties in the world, for the 2023 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

In my opinion, this week is one of the most interesting weeks of the year for golf equipment entertainment. That’s because the field is stacked with celebrities who have varying levels of skill sets and industry access. Getting a peek at how the celebs setup their golf bags is intriguing and unpredictable; you just don’t know what kind of golf clubs you’ll find.

Also, Jordan Spieth, a celebrity in his own right in the golfing world, made a shocking driver change this week, and we got an awesome Arnold Palmer history lesson at Pebble Beach.

It was a packed week in the golf equipment world, so lets get right into this week’s Tour Report from the 2023 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

Michael Pena is a gear head?

Actor Michael Pena, who’s a single digit handicap golfer, was testing out two different drivers – a Callaway Paradym and a Ping G430 – at the beginning of the week. By the time the event started, Pena opted for the Paradym. He was also testing out two different putters – a Bettinardi BB8 and BB8 Tri.

Testing out different clubs at the event to get as dialed as possible? Pena must be one of us.

Michael Pena 2023 WITB

Carlton’s saucy putter

Alfonso Ribeiro, best known for his role as Carlton in the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, has been a longtime participant in the Pebble Beach Pro-Am, and he carries a low single digit handicap.

Ribeiro has fresh clubs almost through the bag, using Ping’s new G430 metalwoods and i230 iron models. He does, however, use an older Ping Sigma2 Tyne putter, which was released back in 2018. The putter is caked with lead tape on the sole, too, proving Ribeiro always does things with a touch of flair.

Alfonso Ribeiro 2023 WITB

Charles Kelley’s old flatstick

 

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Charles Kelley, a country singer and lead vocalist for the band Lady A, uses a TaylorMade Ghost Manta putter, which was first released in 2012. The paint job has certainly seen brighter days, but golf balls don’t care about the aesthetics of a golf club. If it works, it works, and Kelley says it hasn’t left the bag in three years.

Charles Kelley 2023 WITB

Kira’s 7-wood

Kira K. Dixon, a reporter for the Golf Channel and Miss America 2015, has an eclectic golf bag setup, highlighted by a Callaway Epic Max, which she equips with a Project X Cypher Fifty 5.5 shaft.

Kira Dixon 2023 WITB

Macklemore embraces bogeys

“Thrift Shop” rapper Macklemore isn’t the best golfer in the Pro-Am field, but his outfits are certainly some of the most eye-catching. The Seattle native actually has an entire lifestyle golf brand, called the Bogey Boys, which has a uniquely fun fashion style that also embraces bogeys on the scorecard. His “Bogey Boys” brand name is laser etched onto his custom TaylorMade P-790 irons.

Macklemore 2023 WITB

Amanda puts the mic down

Amanda Balionis Renner, a CBS Sports reporter, is usually the one asking golfers the questions. This week ahead of the event, however, she competed in celebrity challenges at The Hay, and we were able to get a look inside her club setup. She was spotted with all-new Callaway Maradym metalwoods, new Paradym irons, and a custom Odyssey Toulon putter with a white-and-green LA Golf shaft.

Amanda Balionis Renner 2023 WITB

Darius unveils a new PXG driver?

Unveiling unreleased golf club prototypes isn’t usually the norm for celebrity golfers, but who better to show off a new PXG Gen6 0311 XF driver than musician and PXG staffer Darius Rucker? Judging by the looks of Rucker’s Gen6, PXG has spread out the three weight ports to the outer perimeter of the soles, which is likely to add forgiveness to the design.

Darius Rucker 2023 WITB

Arnold Palmer’s $250k irons

Behind the first tee at Pebble Beach is a putting green, and surrounding that putting green is a line of golf shops with green awnings. One of those shops, called “Golf Links to the Past,” is filled with antique memorabilia and awesome stories to tell.

Along the back wall, a set of Arnold Palmer’s game-used irons is on display. In fact, they’re Palmer’s personal Wilson Staff Model Dyna-Powered custom irons that he used to win 14 times in 1960-61, including the ’60 Masters, the ’60 U.S. Open, and the ’61 Open Championship.

They’re selling for a cool $275,000 at Golf Links to the Past.

How did the store acquire the golf clubs, and why are they worth so much money? Click here for the entire story.

Another Arnie story you may not have known

Across the street from Pebble Beach’s clubhouse is the Pebble Beach Visitors Center, and it’s well worth a visit for anyone interested in the history of the golf course and the surrounding area. There’s gold nuggets all over the place inside. One that particularly caught my interest was the “Palmer on the Rocks” story told in the photo above.

Check out more photos and stories from Pebble Beach here

ScHoolboy Q – Wedge of the Year, ft. Callaway

ScHoolboy Q, a rapper who sings hits such as “Man of the Year” and “THat Part,” is an avid golfer with keen eye for fashion – check out his ski mask look on Wednesday for proof. He also covers up his golf clubs with stylish “Malbon Golf” headcovers, and he has an awesome blue-and-orange Callaway Jaws Raw wedge with a laser-etched Q on the back.

ScHoolboy Q 2023 WITB

Josh Allen’s insane Tour-Only Scotty Cameron

 

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NFL quarterback Josh Allen of the Buffalo Bills has a smooth-yet-powerful golf swing, and he also has one of the coolest gear setups of any player in the Pro-Am field. In the video interview with GolfWRX.com above, Allen shows off his Jordan sneaker putter cover, ultra-custom Scotty Cameron putter, and a new TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver.

Click here for more Josh Allen WITB photos, and check out our full story on Allen’s clubs over on PGATOUR.com

Jordan Spieth’s shocking driver change

Photo Credit: PGA TOUR

For the last several years, Spieth has mostly opted for Titleist’s TSi3 driver. He had a brief stint with Titleist’s new TSR3 driver model at the 2022 Travelers Championship, but he’s struggled to upgrade from his trusty TSi3.

This week, however, ahead of the 2023 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Spieth began experimenting with the Titleist TSR2 model, instead of the TSR3. Working with Titleist tour rep J.J. Van Wezenbeeck, Spieth found the TSR2, set in the D-1 hosel setting, was able to keep his spin numbers more consistent and provide greater forgiveness when hitting shots of varying trajectories and shot shapes.

On this week’s PGA Tour Equipment Report, we went in-depth on Spieth’s surprising driver change: Take a read here

A look at Camilo Villegas’ golf club lofts

Villegas has Srixon’s new ZX7 MKII irons in the bag, but his lofts are far from stock. Since Villegas writes his club lofts inside the back cavities, we can see his 7-iron is lofted at 36 degrees, which is 4 degrees weaker than the stock 32-degree iron spec. Interestingly, Villegas also plays one of the weakest driver lofts on the PGA Tour: a Titleist TSi3 11-degree head, although it’s in a C1 setting, which decreases it by 0.75 degrees.

Kevin Kisner’s new Wilson set

Kisner made one of the biggest off-season equipment switches on the PGA Tour, signing a new deal with Wilson for the first time in his career. This week at Pebble Beach, we got our first look at his equipment setup as a full-time Wilson staffer.

Check out his full setup: Kevin Kisner’s 2023 WITB

And, with that, we say goodbye to the beautiful cliffs of Pebble Beach. We’ll see you next week for “The Greatest Show on Grass” at the 2023 WM Phoenix Open in Arizona.

Click here to see all of our photos from Pebble Beach

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