50 Words or Less
The Titleist U-500 utility iron helps the stronger player take advantage of high tech iron design. Traditional look at address.
While utility irons have become a major trend in the last couple years, the choices have been fairly limited. Each OEM has tended to put out just one utility iron, making it hard to find exactly what you want.
For fall of 2019, Titleist has unveiled two utility irons. If you want maximum forgiveness, check out the U-510 (review HERE). The U-500 is designed to be the option for the high level player who wants to keep hybrids out of the bag or replace a long iron.
In the bag, the U-500 utility iron looks almost identical to the U-510. Both have only the Titleist script logo across the back, surrounded by thin strips of chrome. You need to look to the hosel to see the numerical difference.
At address, however, the U-500 is distinct from its brother. This is clearly a better players utility iron: the top line is slimmer, and the blade is shorter from heel to toe. There’s very little offset and only a small amount of the club sticks out behind the top line.
Sound & Feel
Players of all levels will love the feel of the Titleist U-500 when it’s hit pure. There’s a wonderfully crisp sound that tells you the ball is going to fly, coupled with a feel that has a little softness.
Players of all levels will know when they’ve mishit the U-500. It doesn’t take a big miss to get the feel to change from soft to very firm. Though this is a larger head, its “players club” character shines through in the form of very clear feedback.
Titleist’s descriptions of the U-500 is their version of the famous sign at Bethpage Black: “We recommend this club for only highly skilled golfers.” Though I suspect that, much like the sign, the description will do more to entice golfers than dissuade them from picking it up.
Let’s start with forgiveness. The U-500 utility iron uses tungsten weights to increase stability in the head, and they work…to a point. This club is akin to any players iron: there’s enough forgiveness to cover up small mishits, but if you’re regularly venturing into the deep heel or toe, the results aren’t going to be good.
Similarly, the U-500 is designed to be “extremely versatile” which means you need to bring a fast, quality swing if you want to see the ball rise about chin-high. Titleist made this club for their Tour players who want to control their trajectory. If you’re looking for a utility iron to raise your launch angle and forgive your thin shots, this is not the one for you.
Please don’t take any of this to mean that the Titleist U-500 isn’t a good club – it is. When you hit it on center, the ball speed is excellent. It produces enough spin to hold greens and allow for more shot shaping than your average utility iron. This is a perfect example of a club that fills the exact niche it was designed for.
The Titleist U-500 utility iron is a great long iron or hybrid replacement for the highly skilled ball striker. It has excellent ball speed and allows for total control over trajectory and shot shape. However, if you’re expecting your utility iron to be your security blanket on the course, consider the U-510.