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Titleist 718 AP1 Irons Review

50 Words or Less

The Titleist 718 AP1 irons are designed to be the Titleist iron for the average player.  Long with solid forgiveness.

Introduction

The AP1 has always been a bit of an outcast in the Titleist line up.  The brand is built around an image of appealing to better players, an image the larger, game-improvement iron doesn’t fit.  Does the 718 AP1 offer enough performance benefits to get the Titleist fanboy to swallow their pride?

Looks

The Titleist 718 AP1 irons look like game improvement clubs.  Titleist keeps the cavity classy, but it can’t get around the substantial offset, thick sole, and thick top line.  One trick they employed is making the top line two-tone so that it appears thinner.

Titleist did succeed in giving the 718 AP1 a lot more “in the bag” appeal than your average GI iron.  The lack of color – it’s all black and silver except for the red “1” – makes it look more like a players iron, as does the simple shape of the cavity.

Sound & Feel

Feel is another way in which the 718 AP1 is a departure from the other Titleist irons: it’s very clicky at impact.  This does make it feel fast and long, but it’s not a feel that better players typically look for.

Mishits, by contrast, are very dull.  The click of pure shots disappears, making it very clear when you’ve missed your mark.

Performance

While the 718 AP1 may not be what Titleist players aspire to in terms of looks, the performance will help them get over that quickly.  The ball speeds that it produces are among the highest I’ve seen.  Smash factors were routinely above 1.4 in my launch monitor testing, which is very high for an iron.

Despite the strong lofts (the AP1 is a club stronger than the AP2 in the long irons), these irons launch the ball high enough to create loads of distance.  The spin is pretty low, so you’ll see very strong ball flight.  Players who tend to hit it low may need to pair these irons with a higher launching or spinning shaft so they can hold greens.

What impressed me most in reviewing my testing data was the forgiveness.  My worst mishits launched only a degree lower than my best strikes and the spin rates were within a few hundred RPM.  Most importantly, the carry distances on misses were within 10-15 yards of good strikes.  That’s a playable gap that will keep you on the green with good course management.

Conclusion

I’ve been down of some of Titleist’s iron offerings in the past, but I’m very impressed with the 718 AP1.  These have the “Titleist look” that the brand’s fans love, but the performance is up there with the better GI and distance irons.  If you’re looking for more distance and forgiveness, these are worth a swing.

Buy Titleist 718 AP1 Irons HERE

Titleist 718 AP1 Irons Spec & Price

Matt Saternus
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16 Comments

  1. Good review. I hit these with the black AMT shaft and saw the ball flight improve to a lower trajectory. Compared to the AP3 I actually preferred the feel of these and as you mention the forgiveness is quite impressive. I’ve been thinking about doing a mixed set with AP1 and AP2 and skipping the AP3. I’ve seen some guys handle the gapping so that they actually play two 8 irons which from a loft perspective sits well, not sure how it works in real life but an interesting idea.

    Keep up the good work.

  2. @Tomas You are right in line with my thinking. I got to hit the entire 718 line at the Team Titleist event right before the release of these. I went in thinking I might get a combo set of AP1/AP3 or if I did really well with the AP3 go all in on those. But I actually came away from my demonig, loving the AP1 flight and distance and got better results visually and number wise with the AP2 vs. AP3

    So I ended up with 4-7 in AP1 and 7-P in AP2, the two 7 irons have different lofts, 30 degrees for the AP1 and 34 degrees for the AP2. So i call them my “strong” and “weak” 7.

    So far the results have been very good, and I have had no issue hitting the AP2 end consistently, and I’m a 17.4 index.

    Great job Titleist on this line.

  3. How does the AP1 compare to the Cobra forged tec? I’ve had the forged tec, Paderson reg. a couple years. I really like the forged tec but was wondering about more forgiveness. (60yrs 10hcp) thanks

    • Matt Saternus

      Mike,

      I’ve only hit that Cobra a couple times. My guess is that they’re not worlds apart and the difference would largely be preference on looks and feel.

      Best,

      Matt

  4. Hello Matt,

    In your other reviews (G400 irons and JPX-900 Hotmetal) you indicated that your choice would be the G400. After hitting the AP1, have you changed your opinion ‘away’ from G400?

    I am going to get a fitting tomorrow and will try above Ping and Mizuno irons. Should I add the Titleist in the mix also?

    Thanks.

    Roger.

  5. Matt,

    Love your reviews. I’m a 45 year old high handicapper (high to mid 90s, occasionally breaking 90 on munis) that played a a lot in my early 20s before life got in the way. Picked it up again over the last 5 years and started taking lessons last fall (first lessons since I was 10 years old). I still only play about 6-8 times a year and an annual golf trip with my buddies, but I go to the range religiously every Friday (when I don’t have a lesson).

    I currently hit the Titleist AP1 710s. Was thinking of upgrading to the 716 ap1s or the Callaway Apex CF16s this season (tested both and liked the feel of both over the m1s). Should I get an early birthday gift from my wife and spring for the 718 ap1s?

    Thanks!

    • Matt Saternus

      Mark,

      I think that you’re likely to see a pretty decent improvement in forgiveness and distance since you’re looking at moving up 3 generations and 8 years of clubs. That said, I’d test them head to head before I spent that money to make sure I was getting what I wanted.

      Best,

      Matt

  6. I’m a 10 handicap and have been playing Big Berthas with graphite shafts for 14 years or so. In fittings this winter, I came down to AP1 and Rogue Pro. Both offer substantially improved accuracy, greater distance, less spin, lower trajectory for Colorado’s oft-windy conditions, and welcome forgiveness for my imperfect swing. As mentioned, the AP1s emit a clicky sound whereas the Rogues are quieter and more solid sounding. Trackman and my club pro leaned very slightly to the Rogues for me, but I chose AP1 for look, feel, and – simply- a change in brand after so many years. I believe either would have been great and I’m looking forward to receiving my new set in a week or so. It’s going to be a great summer!

  7. Richard McComb

    I just purchased a new set of 718 AP1s, but even on the Titleist web pages, I cant find any references to cast or forged? any ideas guys?

  8. Tony tomas

    I’m playing the king cobra forged tec one lenght but I’m thinking about buying the titlest 718 ap1 or the mizuno JPX919 hot metal what u guys think ? Or any other ideas

    • Matt Saternus

      Tony,

      Either of those is a fine choice. My suggestion would be to get a fitting.

      Best,

      Matt

    • I’ve been swinging graphite callaway ft irons and was recently told I need to swing a steel stiff shaft. At a local golf store, these titleist clubs are on a pre-owned sale. Are they worth the buy given I am a 8handicap with graphite shaft?

      • Matt Saternus

        James,

        My advice is always to get fit. I’m not sure who told you that you needed stiff steel. That may be true, maybe not. Also, there is a lot of diversity within steel – different weights and profiles.

        Best,

        Matt

  9. Dennis Dowdy

    Been playing 718 ap1 for 2 years. Love the feel. Getting older so changed shafts to matrix graphite, the best think I ever did!!!

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