Titleist 718 Irons Review

So you like options? Well, Titleist has given golfers a plethora of irons from which to choose. Altogether the manufacturing titan has unleashed six, yes, a half-dozen, different sets of irons on the golfing public. They've updated previous, familiar models, unveiled a brand new line and upgraded irons that were already considered among the best in the world. Aspiring tour professionals and weekend warriors alike can find a Titleist set - or better yet, combination - of sets that suits their eye, swing and enables them to play their best golf while also garnering a gaze into the bag from their playing partners. So, sit back, take a breath, grab something cool to drink and learn about the Titleist half-dozen.

Titleist 718 AP1 Irons Review

Titleist 718 AP1 Irons Review

Pros

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    Head length and offset reduce as clubs go down toward pitching wedge
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    Extremely forgiving, yet aesthetically pleasing

Cons

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    The ridges on the bottom of the club might not be aesthetically appealing to all golfers.

KEY FEATURES

The 4 and 5-iron feature a hollow back instead of a cavity. The weight on the perimeter of the large hollow face (56 grams compared to 42 degrees in former models) promotes forgiveness and a lower center of gravity.  The lower center of gravity enables Titleist to get away with the extremely strong lofts. How strong? Glad you asked. While the 4-iron is relatively standard, albeit still strong 21 degrees, the pitching wedge is only 43 degrees.  A strong pitching wedge forces the need for two gap wedges (48 and 53 degrees).  Two gap wedges likely limits the AP1 swinger to only one sand wedge (bye bye Mr. 60 degree).

Titleist 718 AP1 Irons Face

Because the head length and offset reduce as you go down the set, the pitching wedge is not boxy.  All of the clubs are very playable featuring a pleasing thin top line. In an effort to upgrade the 718 AP1 Irons over their predecessors, Titleist aimed to minimize the "hot spots" on the faces while designing these irons. The hot spots were a problem in the past.  Titleist is confident it eliminated the issue this time around. The shiny finish on the AP 1 is quite attractive. The stock shaft for the AP1 Iron is the True Temper AMT Red, which is lighter in the long irons and heavier in the short irons. Of course, per usual Titleist offers a wide array of shafts to ensure golfers receive the proper fit to match their swing and skill.

Distance

With their jacked-up lofts and oversized sweet spots, the AP1s are hotter than Texas in the summertime. The ball will travel with these irons.  Golfers looking to hit shorter clubs into the greens would be wise to seriously consider this model.

With jacked-up lofts and oversized sweet spots, the ball will travels with the new Titlesit AP1 irons.

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Workability

As we mentioned earlier, the 718 AP1 Irons are lacking in the workability department. It's not that you can't sauce a high draw into the back-left pin with an AP1 Iron, rather there are other options better suited for such that we'll cover here shortly.

Aesthetics

They sure are pretty, which is what we've come to expect from Titleist regardless the model. Slightly larger than the 718 AP2 Iron but not unbearably so and actually quite compact in the short irons and wedges. As a bonus, the shiny chrome finish could distract or temporarily blind your playing opponent (especially if he's nosing around your bag) and impair his probably already shaky putting. So you have that going for you, which is nice.

From the single digit handicapper begging for a touch more forgiveness to the bogey shooter who wears out the toe and heel of his clubs, an array of golfers can achieve the desired results via these game improvement irons.

Titleist 718 AP2 Irons Review

Titleist 718 AP2 Irons Review

Pros

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    Beautiful aesthetics
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    Tremendous feel and sound
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    Improved turf interaction

Cons

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    Not the longest irons out there

KEY FEATURES

Titleist used multiple materials in a compact head with a thin forged body buttressed by a face comprised of high-strength spring steel. The manufacturer also developed a satisfactory center of gravity progression which should upgrade launch angle on long iron shots and help precision on short irons.

Workability

The AP may have cavity back characteristics but they are well above average in workability.

Titleist 718 AP2 Irons Face

Forgiveness

Again, put another check-in-the-box for the 718 AP2 Irons. The weights (57.4 grams) on the heel and toe have increased the forgiveness on off-center hits, although most of the players who will ultimately put the AP2 in the bag strike the ball squarely more often than not.

Distance

If you're a vanity swinger, wanting to hit an 8-iron to a water-guarded par-3 when everyone else in the group is hitting a 7, then the AP2s are probably not for you. Titleist has - at least with this offering - resisted the urge to join the launch-monitor-driven how-far-can-your-irons-go arms brigade that has swept through golf club manufacturing (although the Titleist T-MB falls squarely in that category). But with the AP2, which remains the company's most popular model on the Tour, they stuck to their roots, focusing on developing the feel, control and playability that seasoned players expect Titleist to deliver.

Aesthetics

The AP2 Irons have aged like Cindy Crawford, seemingly looking better each time a new model appears. There's a reason these irons have found their way into the bags of PGA Tour stars ever since they were introduced. The thin top line and mild cavity back combine to form a club that looks as good as it plays.

Titleist 718 AP3 Irons Review

Titleist 718 AP3 Irons Review

Pros

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    Brand new model!
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    Widespread appeal to golfers of all skill levels

Cons

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    Cavity back and thin face give long irons a hollow sound

KEY FEATURES

The new kid on the Titleist block may have already exceeded expectations, with the AP3 long irons working their way into the bag of several of the Tour players who are on staff. In between the size of the AP1 Irons and the AP2 Irons, this model was designed to cater to those who appreciate each one. The 3-7 irons have high density tungsten weights in the heel and toe (providing 78 grams of weight on an approximately 235 gram head). The cavity behind the Titleist badge is different as you progress through the set. The face insert is an L-shaped high strength steel and the leading-edge wraps around the sole of the club, which enhances power and precision.

Titleist 718 AP3 Irons Face

Distance

There's plenty from the AP3 Irons. They are two degrees stronger in loft in the 3-thru-6 iron and three degrees stronger in the 7-iron-thru-pitching wedge. Just for reference sake, the AP3 Irons are one degree weaker than the super-hot AP1s.

Workability

While not the primary intention of the AP3 Irons, they still clock in at least average in this department. The possibilities for fades and draws exists - if your swing and mind cooperate.

Forgiveness

The way in which the leading edge wraps around the sole of the club improves forgiveness, in particular on those pesky low-on-the-clubface thin shots that are the common miss for low handicap golfers.

Aesthetics

To picture the 718 AP3 Irons, just envision the AP1 Irons and AP2 Irons got married and had a baby. Some golfers felt there was too wide a gap between the AP2, which was clearly designed with low-handicappers in mind, relying on input from the Tour, and the AP1, which is clearly a game improvement club (although a darn fine-looking one). The AP3s fill the void. They have the best characteristics of both and will make a golfer feel good about himself or herself when gazing down at the ball before he shot.

To picture the Titleist AP3s, just envision the AP1s and AP2s got married and had a baby.

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Titleist 718 CB Irons Review

Titleist 718 CB Irons Review

Pros

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    Combines elite aesthetics and playability
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    More forgiving than previous editions

Cons

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    Similar to the AP2, the 718 CB Irons aren't the longest irons around

KEY FEATURES

Forged cavity back irons, the CB series was first produced in 2002. The muscle in the cavity is the latest model is smaller than the predecessors, the 716 CB irons. The 2-thru-7 irons feature forged 1025 steel body with a tiny cavity hidden in the low part of the muscle behind a thin high strength steel insert on the 2.1 millimeter face. While ultra-thin, the face doesn’t flex and provide additional distance like other manufacturers recent models. Titleist used it to move the weight and increase forgiveness. The heel and toe include high density tungsten weights held in place by 14 gram caps, which are heavier than previous models. Overall, there's 70 grams of tungsten in the heel and toe. The 8-iron to Pitching Wedge are fully forged 1025 steel with no cavity making them a mini-blade, packed with feel and shotmaking potential.

Titleist 718 CB Irons Face

Distance

Look, I know. We all want more of it. But maybe just haphazardly chasing iron shots that fly farther isn't the correct approach? That's for someone else to decide, however, when referring to the Titleist CB irons it's fair to describe them as long enough. Average when compared to other models produced by the manufacturer and likely slightly shorter than some of the hot irons produced by their competitors. The 2 iron loft is 18 degrees and PW is 47 degrees (same lofts as the MBs and same as AP2 Irons in long irons but one degree weaker in the 6-PW).

Workability

This feature is extremely important from say, 8-iron to Pitching Wedge. And because the cavity was eliminated on those clubs, hitting punch draws and three-finger hold off cuts should be within reach with the 718 CB Irons in hand. Shots can be shaped with the mid-irons as well, although 99 percent of us should just aim for a safe target in the middle of the green when we are wielding those weapons and hope we hit it solid ...

Forgiveness

And for those times when your swing doesn't produce a perfect strike, the CBs are your friend. The cavity back long and middle irons, in particular, offer pleasing feedback in the heel and toe.

Aesthetics

The CB has a thinner top line and smaller head than the AP2 Irons but slightly larger than the MB Irons. The shiny chrome finish on the soles is a nice touch. Straightforward cavity back iron geared toward better players.

Titleist 718 MB Irons Review

Titleist 718 MB Irons Review

Pros

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    Perhaps the prettiest club on the market.
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    Beautiful, classic forged bladeIncredible feedback and feel on solid strikes

Cons

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    The ridges on the bottom of the club might not be aesthetically appealing to all golfers.

KEY FEATURES

This is a pure blade with the traditional look, feel, shotmaking characteristics and pleasing chrome finish to create a classic looking iron that you can tell is a Titleist from the moment you see it. This head is significantly smaller than the CB or AP2 models has virtually no offset and a thin topline which explains why the MB Irons are the preferred weapons for major champions Justin Thomas, Jimmy Walker and Webb Simpson. The heads get progressively larger as you go through the set. The Project X shaft is standard but Titleist offers many options to ensure a clean fit.

Titleist 718 MB Irons Face

Distance

Asking about the MB's distance is similar to asking what's required to become a member at the exclusive country club down the road. If you have to ask ... it might not be the club for you. Let us leave it like this: Justin Thomas hit an MB 9-iron 191 yards during his winning week at the PGA Championship at Quail Hollow. The 3-iron measures 21 degrees and the pitching wedge is 47 degrees.

Forgiveness

Not going to say none, but we will say as close to none as there is on the current market. On a scale of 1 to 50, it's a 1.

Workability

As good as it gets. From Titleist or anyone. This is why you put these butter knives in your bag - to hit golf shots, man. If you can rightfully carry these beauties then you will be rewarded with silky smooth sliders and penetrating draws. By straightening the shape of the muscle on the back of the club, the moment of inertia is slightly lower than it was on its predecessor the 716 MB. Titleist claims this tweak will improve a player’s ability to work shots and control trajectory.

Workability?  Titleist 718 MBs are as good as it gets.  From Titleist or anyone.  This is why you put these butter knives in your bag - to hit golf shots, man!

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Aesthetics

Gorgeous. Like the Mona Lisa, the Regent Diamond and Taj Mahal rolled into one. Kate Upton, Raquel Welch and Jackie O beautiful.

Titleist 718 T-MB Irons Review

Titleist 718 T-MB Irons Review

Pros

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    Extremely long, the T-MBs provide the most distance of the six Titleist offerings.
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    Very forgiving
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    High launch with long irons

Cons

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    Could be too bulky for the purist

KEY FEATURES

The Long and mid-irons use SUP10 clubfaces and the hollow clubhead with an L-shaped face encourages flexing which leads to higher ball speeds. The cast construction augments ball speed and forgiveness as well. There are 91.5 grams of tungsten in each head which creates optimal launch angle and spin rates. The weight was added to the toe and heel of the 2-iron through 7-iron and only the toe of the 8-iron through pitching wedge. Comes standard with the Project X Xi shaft, but there are multiple options available.

Titleist 718 T-MB Irons Face

Forgiveness

The T-MBs deliver in this category thanks to the perimeter weighting (91 grams) that helps off-center strikes fly long and true. The clubface flexes effectively on those shots hit low on the clubface.

Distance

On average, the T-MBs produce a higher ball speed than the AP2s for most golfers. They are certainly longer than the MBs and can give a golfer a real boost in the long iron section of the bag.

Workability

The rounded edge provides excellent turf interaction and the compact clubhead has a muscleback appearance but the hollow head is the game - and ball flight - changer. Don't get fooled into thinking these are game improvement clubs. The bags of the Titleist staff members on the PGA Tour will indicate otherwise.

Aesthetics

A clean looking club all around. Perhaps a shade bulkier than some might prefer, but Titleist did a good job of disguising the muscleback so that very little of is visible as the golfer strikes the ball.

Titleist 718 Irons Comparison

Before delving into each iron, it's worth noting that Titleist claims 90 percent of its Tour players use some sort of mixed or hybrid set of irons. Keeping the varying lofts and distance characteristics in mind, it's wise not to rule out this option when getting fitted for and crafting your ideal set of clubs that deliver power and accuracy.

Now, let's start with the MB irons. If you don't have national amateur trophies on your mantle or a PGA Tour card, it's probably best to just keep on moving past this section of the Titleist aisle. They are comparable to the equally beautiful Mizuno MP-18 irons. Only ballstrikers need apply.

The AP2 irons are extremely popular with pros and scratch golfers because they are so solid in all areas, combining exceptional workability and forgiveness. The Callaway Apex Pros are a fair comparison here, with a similar cavity back designed to help loft those long irons without sacrificing control as the shafts become shorter.

The CB irons bring to mind the Taylor Made 700 series (730, 750, 770). They aren't a true blade, but certainly have no problem impersonating one, especially in the all important distance control area of the game down in the bottom of the bag. Again, Titleist is catering to the single-digit handicappers with these irons.

Model

Distance

Forgiveness

Workability

Skill Level

Availability

718 MB

Average

That's not why you buy these irons

Excellent, maybe the best on the market

Very Good Ball Strikers

718 CB

Average

A very slight amount of forgiveness

Very Workable

Aspiring  Good ball strikers

718 AP3

Very Good

Good bit of forgiveness in these irons 

That's not really the point of these iron

Mid to High Handicaps

718 AP2

Average

Very good forgiveness

Very workable with the amount of forgiveness in these clubs

Very Good Players thru Mid Handicaps

718 AP1

Extremely Long

Max Forgiveness

If you're buying these, you're not hitting draws & fades on command

Game Improvement Irons

718 T-MB

Extremely Long

Maximum Forgiveness with very High Launch

Very little workability but possible

7 - 15 Handicap

Coming in just behind the CBs are the newest addition to the Titleist fleet, the well-rounded AP3s, which could end up being a surprise star in the golfing world. They are similar to the Taylor Made RSI irons, which remain popular although they came out a few generations ago.

The T-MBs are in the same class as the Mizuno-MP 18 MMCs, which are only available in long arms. Titleist took the concept a step further, providing an option in the short irons with enhanced playability and feel. If your handicap has double digits, there's absolutely no reason not to give the T-MBs a long hard look.

Finally, the AP1s are the closest thing Titleist has to a game improvement iron. The larger faces and oversized sweet spots should appeal to golfers who care about the appearance of their clubs but are mainly pursuing some help on those less-than-perfect strikes. They fall in the same category as the popular Ping G series, Taylor Made M2s or Callaway Steelhead irons.

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