Titleist 718 AP3 Irons Review

50 Words or Less

The Titleist 718 AP3 irons are the long-desired blend of the AP1 and AP2.  Disappointing.  These irons don’t have the AP2 feel or the AP1 forgiveness.

Introduction

In every equipment category, golfers want it all, but nowhere more than irons.  We want thin top lines and minimal offset but huge distance and forgiveness.  Titleist  attempts to deliver that with the 718 AP3 irons but falls short of the goal.

Looks

The one area where the Titleist 718 AP3 does deliver is in the looks.  The top line and sole are much thinner than the AP1, though still slightly larger than the AP2.  It’s also much closer to the AP2 in terms of blade length.

One slightly jarring visual element is the offset.  There’s noticeably more offset in the AP3 compared to the AP2, and that offset combined with the thin top line is unusual to my eye.

Sound & Feel

Where the 718 AP3 starts to fall off is in the feel.  It does feel markedly softer and less clicky than the AP1, but it’s still well short of the AP2’s forged feel.

Mishits are easily identified and occasionally feel very harsh.

Performance

Titleist is calling the 718 AP3 “the player’s distance iron,” so let’s start with ball speed and smash factor.  I tested it against some of the category leaders and found the AP3 to be lacking.  The differences were not huge, but it was 3-4 MPH slower with lower smash factor.

That said, it ended up being nearly as long as some of the best players irons because it tended to launch the ball lower, with lower spin.  This made up for the lower ball speed and created equal carry distance and longer total distance.  The problem, of course, is that most players don’t want their irons to roll out 10+ yards.

Finally, we get to forgiveness.  The AP3 is certainly more forgiving than the AP2, particularly when it comes to shots hit thin, but it’s not equal to the best players cavity backs.  You can easily lose 10 yards of carry or more with a mishit on the toe or heel.

All of this adds up to an iron that is perfectly adequate, but not a category leader.  It has some forgiveness, but not elite forgiveness.  The distance is good, but could be much better with higher ball speed.  Importantly, some players will struggle to hold greens with the low spin.

Conclusion

The Titleist 718 AP3 isn’t a bad iron, but it’s a victim of the hype.  It is a good looking iron – if you can get past the offset – but it’s lacking in feel and forgiveness.  In a crowded market of forgiving players iron, the AP3 doesn’t stand out.

Buy Titleist 718 AP3 Irons HERE

Titleist 718 AP3 Irons Price & Specs

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Matt Saternus

Co-Founder, Editor In Chief at PluggedInGolf.com
Matt is a golf instructor, club fitter, and writer living in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Matt's work has been published in Mulligan Magazine, Chicagoland Golf, South Florida Golf, and other golf media outlets. He's also been a featured speaker in the Online Golf Summit and is a member of Ultimate Golf Advantage's Faculty of Experts.

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13 Comments

  1. Thanks for the frank and honest review -it’s not often reviewers highlight inadequacies- which is what we need to know! You refer to the category leaders in the player’s distance irons, which are these as it’s exactly what I would like to play? thanks Rolf

    • Matt Saternus

      Mike,

      I would look at the new Callaway Epic irons. The PING i200 are excellent in terms of forgiveness, and with Power Specs, may be as long. Bill has also spoken highly of the TaylorMade P irons.

      Best,

      Matt

  2. Thanks for a great review.

  3. Cuirtis Brzyski

    I was ready to buy the 716 CB . You stated that the diffrence from 714 to 716 was worth it.
    how is the 718 compared to the 716 CB ? Is it worth the upgrade ?

  4. I have played AP2s for 4 years (712s then 714s), and took my 7 iron to a AP3 fitting. My 7 iron swing speed was 80-82, and spin was high 6,000s with the AP2. The spin with the Ap3 was mid 5,000s. After a dozen shots with each, the averages showed 8-10 extra yards carry distance with the AP3s.
    I took the set home, then to the range. I hit 20-25 7 irons with each, and the AP3 carry was definitely further, trajectory lower. I always felt I hit my AP2s too high, especially into the wind (too high a spin rate). I will play 18 with the AP3s tomorrow, and based on the range session expect positive results.

    • The lower spin and distance is due to the loft. The 7iron’s loft for the AP3 is closer to the loft of the AP2 6iron’s.
      Regardless, good to know that the setup suits you well.

  5. I believe that you are one sided against these irons. I have hit them and they look fab, feel good, good sound, good spin numbers, great distance and packed with forgiveness.

    • Matt Saternus

      Josh,

      Look and feel are subjective, and if these irons fit your swing, I’m happy you found them.

      I just have to wonder, if you enjoy the irons, why do you care what this review says?

      -Matt

  6. Excelente Josh, thank for the review

  7. a question, some experience or reference of ap1 718?

  8. Hi, I was fitted for the AP3 and didn’t like the black AMT shaft as they hit it too low and with low spin. The AMT white were better and the project X LZ had a really good flight and spin rates.

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