Titleist 716 AP1 Irons Review

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50 Words or Less

The Titleist 716 AP1 irons are a forgiving high-end game improvement club that carries on the traditions of previous generations of AP1s.

Introduction

The Titleist AP1 is highly coveted by golf fanatics that are willing to make a serious investment into their golf game but need a little more forgiveness.  The new 716 AP1 is a perfectly fine game improvement iron, but a very small upgrade from the previous version.  While there are a few subtle changes, the general delivery of the 716 AP1 is a carryover from previous generations.

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Looks

The biggest difference in the new Titleist 716 AP1 irons is in its appearance.  The top line is still a bit thicker, the club head is about the same size, and the offset is moderate, but the cavity badging is completely different from the previous versions.  The black, silver, and red theme is still there, but the overall look is much different.  From address, I don’t see much difference between the 716 and the previous 714 AP1’s appearance.

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Sound & Feel

At impact, the Titleist 716 AP1 doesn’t have the same thwack you hear out of the AP2.  The sound is somewhere between a metallic thump and a pop and is fairly consistent across the face.  This is not unexpected from a large and thin face.  It’s the same principle as the acoustics of a wood.

The feel is nice and forgiving with really good response for a game improvement iron.  Off center shots don’t feel like they are as bad as they actually are, but I know when I miss the shot.

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Performance

Titleist claims to have created increased forgiveness in the 716 AP1 by adding tungsten weighting to the perimeter of the club head.  Now, agreed, the 716 AP1 is an extremely forgiving game improvement iron.  You won’t receive any argument from me there.  However, I also think the previous versions of the AP1 were just as forgiving.  If you have the money burning the hole in your pocket, and you want to upgrade your 714 AP1 to get better performance, will the 716’s give you that benefit?  I don’t really think so.  They do the same thing they have done for years, and they do it well, but there really isn’t a new benefit to the 716 AP1s.

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Conclusion

The Titleist 716 AP1 irons have cool new branding and the desired forgiveness they’re historically known for, but at the end of the day, they’re essentially the same AP1 we have seen time and time again.  Much like the 716 AP2, the 716 AP1 is a great option if you are just looking to replace a crusty set of 710’s or 712’s, but if your 714 AP1s are good to go, then there’s no need to hurry into the new set.

Buy Titleist 716 AP1 irons HERE

Bill Bush
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26 Comments

  1. You missed the bigger point that Titliest is selling with these clubs. The distance. The forgiveness was meant to be similar to the last generation of AP1s, maybe a little better with the added tungsten, but with the full depth cavity these irons are supposed to longer than before. Surprised you didn’t even mention the new cavity or the additional distance.

    • Your comments would imply that I found the traits you mentioned to be true. I didn’t really see any added distance from the previous AP1’s so why would I comment that there was additional distance? I suppose I could have spoken more to the “intent” of the “new cavity” or “distance gain” but the review is more based purely on experience with the club. In my opinion, I didn’t really see any major difference between these and the 714’s aside from the new badging.

  2. I’ve been playing Titleist irons since the DCI days. I even had that earlier model with the two tungsten weights in the back. Progressed into the AP1 710, 712 and now using the 714s. Each year my ball striking and scores have improved. When the 714s came out I asked how much better can they be over the 712s. But they are with a better ball flight and dispersion and more forgiving, not to mention consistent distances. I am so satisfied with the 714 irons. The new 716s boast good changes, but I can’t afford to upgrade so I’m sticking with the 714. But I am not complaining. They are superb!!!

  3. I currently play r11 irons and am thinking about updating. Do you think these are longer or more forgiving?

    • I can’t speak to that comparison. I have never hit the R11 irons. The AP1 is plenty forgiving and the distances are on par for a modern game improvement club.

  4. Arthur Frey

    Bill – I typically buy new irons in 10 year increments. I currently have the 704CBs which I like but felt the DCI Blacks I had before the 704s were more forgiving.

    Would you recommend? My only concern is the loft on my current PW is 48 & I have Vokey wedges 52 and 56 degrees.

    • I mean, you’re talking apples to oranges. The AP1 is going to be nothing like old 704 CB’s or DCI’s. As far as your concern, I think it’s a non-factor if you choose these clubs because you’re looking to take a totally different approach with your clubs.

  5. Bill, I have always wanted to play AP1’s however I’m not sure if my game is quite ready for a GI iron. I’d be coming from the D100’s With money not being an issue and the 716 not that much of an upgrade from the 714’s. Would you recommend starting with a use set of 714 to see if my game and the irons are match?

    • I think you’re looking at 6 to one, half dozen the other. Going with 714 or 716 won’t really make a difference so you just have to choose what’s important to you between looks and dollars.

  6. Bill, I’ve been playing with Mizuno MX-23s for over 10 + years. Love the forged feel, but until I retire, my playing and practice time are limited. Seeking something a bit easier to hit….with more distance….without going to an ugly, max improvement iron. Been looking at the new 716 AP-1s and considering the leap to graphite – at least through the 9-iron. ‘Hearing that Graphite in irons is not the distance control disaster waiting-to-happen as they used to be. Thoughts?

    • Steve,

      Unfortunately I don’t have a great answer for you. You could read how perfect any shaft, steel or graphite, is for your game and then have a total different experience when you actually put it in play. Everyone has a totally different interaction with equipment due to their unique swings so the only way I would be able to accurately inform you of what to expect from graphite iron shafts is see what your data looks like on a monitor compared to alternative shafts. Should you choose to graphite, there are plenty of high-quality options these days.

      Best,

      Bill

  7. PV Sunil Kumar

    Do you suggest me to shift from Callaway Warbird set to AP1 ?
    My Handicap is about 20 now. When I have started it was 30

  8. Over the last 15 years I have bounced around from TM R7, to Ping G20, to Ping GMax irons and my handicap has seemed to stay the same. I hit the ball progressively farther with each new set…father, and farther left it seems which I never did before, and I have lost lots of feel around the greens as the club heads grew bigger. I fully realize that my swing isn’t the greatest, but my golf buddy picked up a set of Titlelist DCI762’s at an estate sale for $50 and let me hit them a few times during a round. I loved them! After some searching I then picked up a set of DCI762’s myself and continue to love them more with each round. I know they aren’t anywhere near the GI type irons I had played in the past, but what a positive difference these have made to my game after playing for over 30 years! My question is if Titlelist or other manufacturers offer newer versions (modern technology ) that set-up and play like these old classics (Minimal offset, modest sole width, and not Clunky)? After all of this time I am finding out that I didn’t need that huge offsets and super wide sole and am looking for upgrade. Any thoughts? I appreciate what you guys do in this forum.

    • Bob,

      The AP1 is only one of Titleist’s iron offerings. Right now they have the AP1 (most GI), AP2 (player’s weighted cavity), CB, MB, and TMB. Within that range they try address the wants and needs of a range of golfers. If you are into the more traditional DCI, you’re really not far off from the 716 CB and I will 100% standby the statement that the 716 CB (review here) feels and looks better than the old DCI’s.

      Don’t know if that’s what you’re asking, but hope it helps.

      Bill

      • Thanks Bill,

        That was helpful. I found your review of the 716 CB and yes they are the modern DCI style club I am seeking with the added decade+ of technology. I will definitely be looking at these in the spring when the bog-like conditions of the Seattle area golf courses improve. I can’t wait to hit these!

        Thanks again…

  9. I have a set of 710ap1 in great shape looking to possible upgrade I have hit the 718,716 and 714. I liked 716 and 714 best , would either be worth upgrading to I usually by used and season or 2 old to save money.
    Thanks

    • Matt Saternus

      Brian,

      Did you see a noticeable improvement in the performance of any of the newer models over the 710? If not, there’s no reason to change.

      Best,

      Matt

  10. Dave Cordova

    I have been hitting the Titleist 981s and I feel like I am ready to upgrade. I have a 10 handicap and am looking to improve my game. Will these help?

    • Matt Saternus

      Dave,

      The only way for equipment to definitely help your game is to get fit for it. The AP1 is a fine iron, there’s certainly plenty of forgiveness for a 10 handicap, but it’s not going to do its job if it doesn’t fit your swing.

      Best,

      Matt

  11. Hello,
    currently I play a nice set of AP1 710s and wonder if the 716 version would bring a noticeable difference to my play. Are these irons a lot better?
    Regards,
    Peter

    • Matt Saternus

      Peter,

      When you move up three generations, you should see a decent improvement in forgiveness, but it’s not going to be night and day. My recommendation is always to get a fitting so you can see if the difference in performance is worth the money to you.

      Best,

      Matt

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