There are some days when being a golf blogger really sucks. Take for instance, when I was asked to play the four new series of irons from Titleist which come out in November and December 2009, the MB, CB, AP1 and AP2 irons. Talk about tough duty. Maybe I should quit doing this and look for a more fun gig like being a photographer for Playboy or something.
New Titleist AP1 Irons – In stores November 15, 2009
“Advanced performance, multimaterial, dual cavity irons provide improved feel, great looks, shot control and higher flight with forgiveness for the avid to skilled golfer.”
- “Tuned Feel System” improves performance and feel
- Perimeter weighted back flange and sole bar lower center of gravity
- Lightweight NS Pro 105T Shaft
AP2 Changes from last year’s model AP1’s include a thinner face (from 3.3mm to 2.0mm), removed weighting in the back and top of the club and a more lively feel. The very cool looking back of the head has visually changed a bit as well. In my Titleist gallery, you can see graphs showing the changes between last year’s AP1 and this year’s.
My AP1 Comments
The AP1’s are as close to “game improvement” irons as you’ll see Titleist get. But hold on a minute. They’re not overly offset or super anti-slice. If they were I’d be hooking the hell out of them on every shot and I don’t. I hit them perfectly straight, EVERY time.
The heads of the AP1’s are the largest footprint of any Titleist irons you’ll see. These are forgiving clubs which are very easy to hit. So easy in fact they made me wonder why I play clubs which are “harder” to hit.
All of the AP1 irons fly nice and high. They fly higher than any of my current irons in my bag. Despite not being forged I still get a nice feel from them, but these are definitely NOT blades. Mis-hit shots still “go” well and don’t hammer you with tons of feedback (zingers) like blades.
These babies go fairly straight, but I can definitely work them either way if I need to.
Would I play them? Hell yes. I could really benefit from hitting irons exactly where I want them to go on 99% of my shots. 🙂
New Titleist AP2 Irons – In stores November 15, 2009
“Advanced performance, multimaterial, dual cavity forged irons provide improved feel, classic blade looks, and playability with shot control for the serious and skilled golfer.”
- Tungsten nickel sole box reduces vibration, gives soft feel
- “Tuned Feel System” improves performance and feel
- Dual cavity pushes weight to perimeter for forgiveness, yet still provides workability
- Reduced bounce one degree sole on short irons (P-7) for improved ground contact
My AP2 Comments
The AP2’s are the closes model Titleist offers to what I’m accustomed to playing. They’re player’s clubs, yet still have some “help” for off center shots.
I love the feel and look of these clubs. Like the Ap1’s the AP2’s all launched my shots higher than my current irons. The AP2’s are very easy to hit and provide great feedback on mis-hit shots. I know exactly where on the club face the ball is impacting.
Shot making with the AP2’s is a blast. I set out to hit about six different types of shots with them, high fade, high draw, low punch, punch cut, punch draw. The AP2 performed just as I wanted and I was able to manufacture every shot I tried.
I had my son lasering my shots as I tested out these irons. Though they launched higher, the distances were the same or longer than my regular irons. I determined through the performance and feel of the AP2 4-iron, that this particular club was the holy grail of 4-irons. I couldn’t miss the thing, despite not being able to hit a four iron in any of my three iron sets all year. My son lasered each shot at 225-230 yards and I was hitting into a slight wind.
For my game, a 1-3 handicap, the AP2’s are the ticket.
New Titleist CB Irons – In stores December 15, 2009
Traditional cavity back blade for skilled golfers. “Required performance niche for peak of the pyramid.”
- Rounded leading edge similar to 690 CB
- Constant, longer blade length and top line
My CB Comments
The CB’s are very nice to play. The traditional look standing over the CB’s inspires shot making. For a blade these aren’t overly difficult to hit. The cavity back makes this club’s feel much better than one would expect from a traditional blade. Feedback is high and I could tell to a fine degree where off center shots were impacting the club face.
I don’t launch the ball as high with the CB (or the MB) as I do the AP1’s or Ap2’s.
Manufacturing shots with the CB’s is a joy and the long irons surprisingly easier to hit than I expected.
All those compliments taken into consideration, I’d still need to have my A or B+ game to truly take advantage of these clubs. If I had my C game it could get ugly.
New Titleist MB Irons – In stores December 15, 2009
Traditional muscle back blade for skilled golfers. “Required performance niche for peak of the pyramid.”
- Increased muscle behind point of impact versus Titleist ZM irons
- Toe rounded a bit more at the top and bottom versus ZM model
My MB Comments
It is a shame to even hit these shiny clubs and scuff them up. They have to be the most visually appealing irons I’ve ever seen. They also have to be some of the most visually intimidating irons as well standing over them. These are pure blades, small heads and not “easy” to hit for me. I’m no Adam Scott (though I may be better looking) so hitting these babies is a real test for my game, despite being an above average amateur player.
When I DO hit the MB’s on the center of the face nothing feels better, responds better or flies more true. The problem is, that happens about 50% of the time.
Would I put these in my bag for every day play? My low handicap hack swing is obviously not at the “peak of the pyramid.” Unless my game improved a great deal I won’t put the MB’s in my bag.
More images of the AP1, Ap2, MB and CB’s
I have MANY images and diagrams of all these new Titleist irons in the HOG Titleist gallery for you to drool over.
I’m all for busting counterfeiters of golf gear. Acushnet (parent company of Titleist, Cobra and FootJoy) aided in bringing down some major counterfeiters on eBay, resulting in nine arrests. This is good.
Click “read more” below to read the press release.
Went to the range last night and hit well over 200 balls, two jumbo buckets. This is the most balls I’ve probably ever hit in one session. The tennis elbow / golfer’s elbow is doing much better than I expected.
I tested out the new Titleist AP1, AP2, CB and MB irons.
I also tried out the Weszty Zt – C and Double-U irons. Weszty is a loyal Golf Space member whose profile can be found here .
I shot a bunch of pictures which I’ll be posting soon as well.
I’ve created a Weszty image gallery which can be found here.
I’ve added images of all the new Titleist fall 2009 irons to my Titleist gallery.
My reviews of these irons will be coming soon so stay tuned.
Two days ago I had a box on my doorstep. This isn’t an unusual event. There are boxes on my doorstep almost every day.
This time around was special. It is always a good day when a box from this company is waiting to be opened, and the shiny tools inside waiting to be discovered… and played.
Coming soon: reviews of all the new Titleist irons which are coming out this fall!
Sometimes it really sucks to be a golf blogger. I mean, it is no fun at all to have to test awesome golf gear. It really sucks to have to go play golf round after round, testing and evaluating high end golf gear. I should quit this gig and take up something more enjoyable some day. I hear there’s an opening for photographers at Playboy.
Rife Putters are very popular these days and winning many tournaments on all of the professional tours, and for good reason. Rife Putters are awesome.
Rife Hybrid Tour Mallet Overview
The Hybrid Tour Mallet fits right into the awesome category. The Hybrid Mallet has two weighted bars behind the club face which aid in two ways. First they provide a great visual feedback of the target line, promoting a straight back and straight through stroke. Second, they physically promote that same line due to the weighting and weight distribution.
The Hybrid Tour Mallet is simple and elegant in it’s design. The body is cast from 304 stainless steel while the face insert is milled from anodized aluminum. The face insert’s grooves promote better roll on the greens.
The putter comes with two sets of milled stainless steel weights for the bars in the head: 15 grams and 22.5 grams each. I’ve had such great results with this putter I haven’t even changed out the default 15 gram weights yet.
Included in the box
The putter comes with a soft Winn AVS grip which feels very nice.
Stepless stainless steel shaft.
The putter comes with a lie bending tool so you can fine tune the putter for your personal setup. This can be a little scary, but it is fun tweaking the putter.
A Putting to win DVD is available if you ask for it.
Head cover which has a zippered pouch for storing extra weights.
I have one critique. The head cover on this putter is weak. I’m not a fan of Velcro seals on head covers because they wear out and look shabby. This head cover is no exception. In fact, after only about five rounds of golf the stitching which holds the Velcro on the cover has come undone (see image to right). I got tired of fidgeting with the head cover and replaced it with a generic magnetic one.
On the next revision of the head cover, I suggest magnets instead of Velcro.
Available shaft lengths include 33, 34 and 35 inches.
You can order this putter with a custom lie between 65-75 degrees. Keep in mind you can tweak the lie yourself with the included lie bending tool.
Custom lofts include 1, 1.5, 2, 3 and 4 inches.
Customization charge is $19.95.
Sorry lefties, there’s no left handed version of this putter available.
There’s a reason why so may pro golfers use Rife Putters. This is a great putter. Though I’m not typically a mallet player, I really enjoy putting with the Hybrid Tour Mallet, especially on my bumpy home course greens.
The weighting and MOI of this putter keep the face aligned square during my strokes. This helps out if I lose concentration a little as the putter simply wants to stay square.
Rife Web Site
HOG Rife Photo Gallery