Titleist AP1 718 Irons Review

Reviewed by Dayton Diamond

  • 20 handicapper
  • 100 MPH driver swing speed 
  • Dayton upgraded from TaylorMade Rac OS irons with regular flex soft tip graphite shafts

Review in short

The AP1 series of irons from Titleist are cavity back clubs aimed at mid to high handicap golfers who want both powerful distance and ultra-forgiveness. This latest version of their best-selling game-improvement is packed with new technologies.

Why I play these irons 

Quite simply I was trying out a few different irons and these just felt the best. I'm a 20 handicapper, and I base a lot of how I play on feel, so having a set of irons that inspire confidence in your ball striking was a high priority for me. 

titleist ap1 718 iron

Looks and feel

Compared to my old TaylorMade racOS irons with soft tipped graphite shafts, (I got them from a dead man…that is….he was old) the feedback is so much better. Mishits make themselves known but aren’t devastating. These clubs feel great when you flush a hit.

Don't get mw wrong, I would love to play forged blades, but my skill level and budget can’t justify them. These irons really agree with my swing, and my misses aren’t terribly jarring. They aren’t as forgiving as my old irons, but they have better distance control and don’t leak as much to the left. I’m left handed and I think the soft tipped graphite shafts of the old clubs caused the ball to slice. 

Performance

My biggest gripe with my old clubs was that I could hit my pitching wedge perfectly and it would fly anywhere between 130 and 150 yards which is very frustrating. I was finding that a lot of approaches missed long or short but had a great line.

The Titleist AP1s have a much tighter (but not perfect) distance consistency than the old clubs. My pitching wedge now consistently travels 140 yards with these clubs which is number that I can rely on. 

My shots hold the green, and finish closer to the flag and I'm getting excellent playability. Hollow bodies in the long irons (4 – 5), undercut cavity backs in the rest of the set (6 – GW) and loads of tungsten weighting mean major forgiveness on off-center hits.  

I think I've gained about 10 yards with every club, but I have to say that this is only relevant because it's 10 consistent yards! I can moderate distance well with these clubs, like hitting a “light 8 iron” or a “spicy 6”. I like that. 

Pros

  • They look bomb— they aren’t as handsome as some of the muscle backs or blades, but I really like the look
  • They have a nice “clicky” contact when you hit the sweet spot. Decent feedback when you have heel or toe strikes
  • Reasonably consistent distances. Rarely do I hit these clubs and think “wow that went further/shorter than it ought to
  • Good for a wide range of handicaps (I’ve had friends of both higher and lower handicaps try and like my irons)

Cons

  • The lofts are too strong. I understand this is the direction “game improvement” clubs have gone for some time now, but these definitely prioritize distance and I feel like some days that leads to some holes in my bag on the approach
  • The club feel is good, but not fantastic. I realize this was one of the pros I listed, but it could use some improvement, especially with the shorter irons (GW, PW, 9) it seems like. I play Cleveland RTX 588 wedges and they seem to have better feel on a nice clean strike.
  • They are difficult to bump and run with. I have no idea why, but I will always overshoot a bump and run with these clubs around the green. The ball seems to explodeeeee off the club face when I just want a little tappy tappy.

Tech specs

Iron

Loft  

Lie

Length

4

21°

61°

38.5"

5

24°

62°

38"

6

27°

62.5°

37.5"

7

30°

63°

37"

8

34°

63.5°

36.5"

9

38°

64°

36"

PW

43°

64°

35.75"

GW

48°

64°

35.5"

SW

53°

64°

35.5"

Shaft options

  • True Temper AMT Red
  • MCA Tensei Red 

Price per iron

$140 per club (steel) RRP

Last Updated on July 20, 2022 by Matt