AP2 714

Andy Roberts's picture
Andy Roberts
Sun, 15 Sep 2013
AP2 714
The long irons are making a tremendous difference to my game right now, albeit thanks to a 2-degree upright tweak in lie angle

Need To Know

Improved flight, forgiveness and feel; Thinner upper cavity and dual-cavity constructions aids forgiving long irons; Thicker upper faces and narrow soles in short irons; Added camber controls divot depth; Custom fit process;
Hard to fault. Ideally I'd change current grips from standard Titleist to Golf Pride
Our score:
Overall: 
5
PRICE: £800.00 YEAR: from 2013

The new Titleist AP2 714 - which I was recently fit for at the official AP 714 launch at Royal Lytham & St Annes – are by far and above the most impressive irons I’ve tested in my young golf career-to-date.

For some reason or another, I've always held the belief as a high single-figure capper that Titleist AP2 irons are just that little bit too good for me. How wrong I could be. The new AP2 714s are as forgiving as the original AP1.

Forgiveness is particularly apparent in the AP2 714 long irons. In fact, far more forgiving than I initially thought they’d be for a club with better-player appeal and as used so impressively by Titleist staffer Jason Dufner to win last month's PGA Championship.

This abundance of forgiveness is largely down to the 43g of High Density Tungsten (formed of two tungsten weights) placed low and out on the perimeter of each club. In fact, Titleist explained to me this equates to approximately 20% of the overall headweight. Tungsten is apparently twice as heavy as steel.

Titleist has also ensured there's a wider distance between the two tungsten weights in the AP2 714 to present these babies with a higher MOI without having to increase clubhead size - an important consideration for better golfers, most of whom prefer smaller-sized iron heads.

A lower CG in the long irons have already improved my ball flight considerably, too. Balls are stopping within several feet of their descent, rather than scurrying on the front edge and running through to the back fringe.

The thinner upper cavity face and dual-cavity construction of the 714 AP2 creates additional discretionary weight to the club and this has helped me strike the ball much higher and purer than ever before – and pleasingly, with a little extra carry distance to boot.

And the shorter irons have been just as effective. Thicker upper faces and narrower soles, on top of stronger lofts, make the 7-iron to PW much easier to flight.

In terms of feel, everything is solid. The lower CG in the long irons and higher CG in the shorter irons feels like it improves my sweetspot location. Another positive for feel is the added camber, which helps control divot depth.

A multi-layer medallion also fine tunes levels of vibration and aids terrific feedback through impact.

While the AP2s have a similar amount of offset as before, the offset appears much better hidden through a hosel blend that makes the space between the hosel and leading edge less apparent.

Yet that’s not the only change, as some of the lofts have been strengthened too – commonplace in the iron market today. The AP2 6-iron through PW has been strengthened 1-degree, making the pitching wedge 46-degree.

And the finish of the AP2 just oozes class. The combo satin and mirror finish reduces glare but at the same time, doesn’t give up its bag appeal. AP2 714 is a modern, high performance iron, all in a progressive, Tour-proven chassis.

AP2 714 Custom Fitting Experience

The long game is where I struggle most and my Titleist custom-fitter-for-the-day Jack quickly saw why as I pulled the trigger on my first shot of the day.

‘I assume you like it when the pin’s at the back of the green,’ said the club expert-turned-comedian, as I thinned a low, piercing 6-iron under the breeze out on the range at Royal Lytham & St Annes.

Okay, I’d just stepped out the car after a four-hour drive down the M6. Let’s just say it wasn’t just my True Tempers that were feeling a tad stiff.

But I knew I could confide in my custom fitter and that he would have the answer to my problems.

While Jack probably would have loved to have informed me on how best to hit a high-towering 6-iron down the 200-yard marker, he resisted temptation and looked to accentuate the positive things, if any, and offset the chronic mistakes in my swing.

That was the beauty of my Titleist experience during the official AP 714 launch as Jack had access to every possible shaft and clubhead - aided by the Titleist Tour truck parked next to us - to help me reach my full potential.

Spin rate with my new AP2 6-iron, while not exactly breaking Tour records, had improved dramatically in comparison to my previous bats and I had pleasingly cut the deficit between carry (174-yard average) and distance (190). Launch angle was also much better than previous at a higher 19-degree.

But the key behind my improved performance with the AP2 714 6-iron was not just a new clubhead and shaft combination but a dramatic change in lie angle.

Following several rounds of golf now with my new bats, a tweak of 2-degree upright has made an unbelievable difference to my ball striking - testament to what Titleist sought after with the 714 AP2 for improved flight, forgiveness and feel characteristics.

In order to get the sole perfectly perpendicular to the ground, I was asked to hit several balls off a hard board to see what my ball striking was like - using a carbonated paper sticker on the bottom and face of the club.

From markings on the tape, Jack explained how I was striking the ball flatter than ideal, hitting the ball low and towards the toe as the club pointed down at impact.

As a result of the face pointing slightly right of my target line, Jack was able to set the lie of the AP2 to 2-degree upright to improve my overall ball striking and trajectory. A little tweak has made a giant difference.

If I was to make one switch from my current setup it would be to apply Golf Pride grips instead of the traditional Titleist. I can feel the grip starting to go already.

Verdict

The long irons are making a tremendous difference to my game right now, albeit thanks to a 2-degree upright tweak in lie angle.

Yes these irons are at the top end of the market but if you’re after improved flight, forgiveness and feel, particularly with your 4-, 5- and 6-iron, look no further than the AP2 714 for the new season.

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Performance: 
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Quality: 
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Value: 
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