50 Words or Less
The Titleist C16 irons are good irons but they don’t merit the giant price tag.
better or worse, PXG dramatically changed the way golf clubs are priced. By finding success with clubs that cost double what other OEMs charge, they showed the rest of the industry that there’s a market for sticks with massive price tags. Thus was born the Titleist C16 iron – a Titleist iron with a PXG price tag.
In terms of size, the Titleist C16 irons fall between the AP1 and AP2. Titleist, of course, focuses on the comparison with the AP1 so that they can emphasize the “slightly narrower sole, thinner topline, and shorter blade length.” None of those statements are inaccurate, but they shouldn’t be taken to mean that the C16 is a tiny iron – it’s firmly in the middle of the pack.
One clever visual element of the C16 is that the top line is partially matte (like the face) and partially chrome (like the back). This has the effect of making the top line look much thinner than it is.
Sound & Feel
After hitting the Titleist C16 for a while, my conclusion was that every shot felt ok. Hitting it really flush isn’t that rewarding, but misses are barely punished. Mishits still feel soft, not stinging. You’re not going to confuse a toe shot with a centered one, but the feedback is far from precise.
If you read Titleist’s description of the C16 irons, you’d think that they had reinvented the wheel. It’s buzzword bingo: “multi-material hollow construction,” “maximum carry distance,” “increased ball speed,” “greater consistency,” and I’ve barely scratched the surface.
I’m going to skip the technical bits and marketing jargon to give it to you plainly: this is a fine iron, but it’s not special. Is it forgiving? Sure, but no more so than a half dozen other irons that look just as good. Is it long? Absolutely, but no longer than other irons with similar specs. This is not a top secret, USGA-defying prototype, it’s a solid iron with a new marketing pitch.
The Titleist C16 irons are a fine set of clubs, but there’s nothing here that merits the $3000 price tag. What’s being sold here is exclusivity, or at least the appearance thereof. If you want to pay for performance, you’re much better off getting a proper club fitting for the shaft and head that are best for you.