Jumbo Polished

by admin on June 16, 2010

Jumbo Polished

Jumbo Polished

Titleist Forged AP2 Irons Reviews and Discount

There have been few reviews as eagerly anticipated by Sand Trap forum members and readers as this one  and our upcoming review of the Titleist AP1s. Our Bag Drop article announcing these clubs has well over  50 comments and my follow-up field test will likely reach 50 before this review is published. In the  forum, people are being fitted for, buying, and asking questions about the AP2s and AP1s left and right.  Titleist VP of Golf Clubs Chris McGinley feels that this is "the most technically advanced forging ever  made" and adds that "demand for this iron is unprecedented in the forged category. Not since the Hogan  edge has there been this much buzz and demand for a forged iron."

Titleist, always at or near the top in the "player's irons" category, has in 2008 simultaneously  simplified its product lineup and broadened its target market. Though their ZB and ZM models are still  available for those who like player's cavity and musclebacks, the AP1 and AP2 are intended to cover  pretty much everyone from the PGA Tour golfer to the "aspiring" golfer.

This review takes a look at the Titleist Forged AP2s - the irons intended for the "skilled" player in  Titleist's parlance. The "skilled" golfer is anyone with a single-digit handicap right on through to PGA  Tour stars like Adam Scott. Like Scott, I've been playing musclebacks for several years due to their  superior feel, tremendous workability, and stringent demands that kept my swing in check. Read on to  find out what I think of Titleist's fairly radical departure from even their recent past.
 

Design and Technology
The AP1 and AP2 were designed by Titleist veteran Peter Gilbert, designer of almost every notable DCI  iron of the past, with the guidance of Dan Stone, new head of Golf Club Research and Development.  Gilbert started with a fresh slate, casting aside the well received 775s and 755s and the technology  that had brought them to their current state. He looked at new materials, new shapes, and new processes  and created a revolutionary pair of irons - the AP irons.

The elastomer cushion sits behind the clubface and tweaks the feel and sound. As seen here, it appears  to be much wider than it is in reality.

Titleist describes the Forged AP2 as "advanced performance, multi-material, dual cavity, technical  forged irons providing traditional solid feel, looks, and shot control for the skilled player." Uhm,  yeah. Let's crack the marketing mumbo-jumbo to see what we've really got here.

The acronym "AP" stands for "Advaned Performance," and the AP2 is constructed with several materials,  hence "multi-material." The AP2s are formed with a 1025 carbon steel body. Laser welded to the back and  sole, a tungsten nickel box lowers the center of gravity, creating an optimal CG location low and deep  in the clubhead. The lower, deeper CG results in improved launch conditions with consistent ball speed  for distance control and optimal launch and spin for trajectory control. Titleist calls this a "process  break through" and, in the words of Chris McGinley, says "never has a back piece with that kind of  function or complicated geometry been welded to a forged body." The breakthrough is on the order of the  undercut cavities employed by the likes of TaylorMade and Callaway.

An elastomer cushion and a metallic cavity plate complete the list of materials. Both of these materials  soften the feel at impact, tune the sound for optimal pitch, and generally make everything feel just a  bit sweeter.

The minimal offset and varying hosel lengths are apparent in this shot, as is the line between the  carbon steel and the tungsten nickel box.

Titleist considers the AP2 a "dual cavity design." The first cavity is obvious: it's the top portion of  the club, above the elastomer cushion and below the topline of the club. The second cavity is hidden by  the tungsten nickel box. Both cavities push the weight to the perimeter, improving forgiveness on off- center shots. The lower cavity is "capped" with what Titleist bills the "central cross member." It's a  metal shelf that connects the back of the cavity to the clubface, right behind the impact area, and it  improves the rigidity of the rather thin clubface while acting in cooperation with the elastomer cushion  to reduce face vibration.

Finally, the sole itself is optimized for better players. Though the sole is a bit wider than most good  players are accustomed to, it features a relieved trailing edge and optimized bounce that seek to  achieve the delicate blend between forgiveness and playability for the better golfer.

Esthetics
Better players care a good bit about a club's esthetics, and to say the look of the AP2 has been the  topic of many discussions would be an understatement of sizable proportions.

Whether it's the metallic insert on the back with the venetian blind look, the "silver "AP2" logo lodged  in the toe of the tungsten nickel box, or simply the shock of seeing a Titleist iron with some graphical  "stuff" on it, I do not know. After all, the 775 and 755 weren't exactly austere and simple in  appearance, either, what with their colorful backs and aluminum bars and things.

Personally, I grew to like the looks of the AP irons, and find that they look a fair bit more handsome  in person than in JPEGs on the Internet. Not that it matters much - you don't see any of the cavity back  inserts or the toe decals at address. It's simply there for "bag appeal," and whether you like it or  not, the AP2 is undeniably recognizable.

At address, the AP2 does have a noticeably thicker topline than the musclebacks I've been playing in  prior years. The thickness is on par with other skilled player cavity backs, like the Cleveland CG Red,  the TaylorMade r7 TP, and is barely thicker than even Titleist's 695.CB or their new ZB models.  Additionally, the slightly thicker topline hides the back of the club, presenting a clean look at  address.

The AP2s have what Titleist bills a "confidence inspiring appearance." They're contemporary, with a  satin groove area framed by polished steel on the toe and heel. They feature a traditional profile and a  blade/hosel junction that flows smoothly and with little offset. The hosels themself vary in length  throughout the set: they're shorter in long irons to help promote launch, and longer in the short irons  to help control trajectory.

The simple ferrule continues the clean look at address and matches the simple, un-stepped look of the  stock Project X shafts right on through to the stock Tour Velvet grip.

Performance
Again, I've always played musclebacks for the feedback they provide. If I play a cavity back iron - even  the "good golfer" cavity backs like the TaylorMade r7 TP or the Cleveland CG Red - my game and swing  quickly suffer from their lack of feedback. Poor swings are rewarded with decent shots and a generic  "feel," and my ballstriking suffers. I can't play the variety of shots I like to play around the golf  course. After a short, subtle scoring drop, my swing suffers and my scores rise.

The backs of the clubs feature an aluminum medallion that helps fine-tune the sound and feel.

In other words, I've learned to stay away from the "good golfer" cavity backs. I need all the feedback I  can get and find it critical to keeping my swing in tune.

So it was with some trepidation that I first hit the AP2s. To be honest, Titleist's ZM and ZB models  seemed more up my alley. But long-time muscleback players and traditionalists like Adam Scott had made  the switch to the AP2, so who was I to argue?

Nobody, that's who. Though my initial impressions were quite positive, I only came to like and  appreciate the AP2 more the longer I used them.

With other clubs in this class (r7 TP, CG Red), only the worst shots transmitted enough feedback to let  me know where I'd struck the ball. Contact near the center of the face (but not necessarily on the sweet  spot) all tend to feel about the same and a bit dull. I needn't have worried about the AP2s, as they  provide nearly all the feedback I've come to expect from my muscleback irons. Every bit of feedback is  transmitted, albeit in a muted form. If you pay attention, you can discern the differences between a  well-struck shot and one that just missed. I've found that virtually impossible with the others, but the  AP2s excel in this area and I cannot commend them highly enough.

For those times when you find the sweet spot, contact cannot be described as buttery smooth as with a  muscleback, but it's awfully close. I'm also not sure I've ever heard an iron "crack" with as much  clarity and power as these do when you catch one on the sweet spot, either, but it's music to my ears.  Miss it a little and, again, a muted tone of a slightly different pitch lets you know.

The 3-, 6-, and 9-irons. Look at the 3-iron topline. When I say "thicker" topline, I mean "barely."

Feedback on mis-hits is great, but it was also nice to discover that the AP2 does not punish you  severely for small mis-hits. If contact ½" towards the toe would result in your golf ball landing short  and right in a bunker with, say, the Titleist 695.MB, the same strike with the AP2 will put the ball on  the fringe or the front right portion of the putting green. This seems true of contact all over the  face: the AP2 consistently outperforms all the musclebacks I've played and a fair number of the "good  player" cavity-back irons as well.

If you're accustomed to working the ball, the AP2s will not disappoint. Though I was skeptical at first  of the amount of control and workability these irons would provide, I've found that I've had to make few  to no adjustments when playing shots that curve left or right or go higher in the air. These clubs do  hamper my ability to hit the super-low shot, such as when playing out of trees, but this is mitigated  somewhat by the Project X shaft. It's a low-spin shaft, so shots played into the wind don't need to be  knocked down quite as much, limiting the number of times you'll be forced to flight the ball really low.

I had but one final concern: the wider sole. In reality, the sole plays thinner than it looks due to the  trailing edge relief. Having played in wet conditions, dry conditions, from bent/poa fairways and  Bermuda fairways, and from all sorts of other lies (that I'd rather not talk about), I found my concerns  to be unwarranted. I can still pick the ball off of hardpan or other difficult lies. I can get down to  the ball when it's nestled in the rough. I can even hit the ball just a tiny bit heavy with no real  detriment. Whether I'm opening or closing the face or moving the ball up or back in my stance, I never  felt that the sole was getting in the way or hampering my ability to pull off a shot, and in the case of  the ever-so-slightly heavy shots, felt as though the sole provided just enough glide to move into the  back of the ball without losing much clubhead speed.

One thing you may not be aware of is that the grooves on the Titleist AP1s and Forged AP2s conform to  the proposed revised specifications. While I applaud Titleist for treating their customers well (you can  buy these irons reasonably comfortable in the knowledge that they should meet revised rules), it did  take me a little while to get used to having to deal with fliers again. Knowing how to judge a flier lie  isn't a skill a lot of golfers have ever learned, but it's a skill that's fairly easy to pick up and may  very well be something all golfers will be dealing with very soon.

In the end, the AP2s have what I consider to be just about the perfect blend of forgiveness, feedback,  and playability. Before, my choices were muscleback clubs with lots of the feedback I craved but  virtually no forgiveness or cavity-back clubs that transmitted little to no feedback to me on slight  mis-hits but which rewarded those mis-hits with good results. The AP2 offers me the best of both and  doesn't take away my ability to hit creative shots against the wind or to access tucked pins.

Specifications
The AP2s come with Project X shafts stock, Tour Velvet grips, and in a set of eight irons (3-PW) with  the lofts and lies below. Retail pricing is about $999. They're available for both righties and lefties.

They're Titleist irons, though, so custom options abound. Righties can customize the length from +2  inches to -1 inch (lefties from +1" to -½"). Lofts can be adjusted +/- 1°, and righties can adjust the  lie angle from +4° to -2° (+/- 2° for lefties).

I'm a fan of the New Decade Multicompound grips, so mine came with those. You may also opt to replace  the standard Tour Velvets with Golf Pride grips like Dual Durometer, Tour Velvet Ribbed, Tour Velvet  Cord, and Tour Wrap or Lamkin grips like the Crossline and Crossline Cord, or Winn grips like the Black  RF or V17 AVS.

Shaft options include several in both graphite (Aldila VS Proto-T in various weights, Graphite Design  YS-IRON+ w/GAT) and steel (Project X, Project X Flighted, Rifle, Nippon NS Pro, Tri-Spec, Dynalite Gold,  Dynalite Gold with Sensicore, Dynamic Gold, Dynamic Gold HL, and more).

A 51° "W" Wedge is available, and eight-iron "4-W" sets are available for those who would rather not  carry a 3-iron.

            Loft      Lie      Length     Swingweight      Offset
            ----      ---      ------     ------------     ------
3-iron      21°       60°      39"            D2           0.160"
6-iron      31°       62.5°    37.5"          D2           0.120"
9-iron      43°       64°      36"            D2           0.090"Lofts of the clubs are fairly  traditional. you may balk at what appears to be one degree less loft than normal on some irons, but I  can assure you the tungsten nickel box lowers the CG and raises the ball flight to make up for the  slightly stronger loft. Your distances should remain consistent unless your current irons "cheat" with  super-strong lofts.

Overall
Though Titleist has long been in an "evolutionary" phase (see the 690MB -> 695.MB -> ZM lineage), making  subtle tweaks to proven designs, the AP1 and AP2 represent a revolutionary break from the old and a bold  new direction for Titleist.

Revolutions do not come without risk, but this risk has paid off for Titleist. The AP2s are some of the  best "skilled player" non-muscleback irons I've ever played. They offer the perfect blend of forgiveness  and feedback that good golfers need. If you can get past the slightly thicker topline and you don't  often need to hit a super-low shot, these clubs may very well find their way into your bag. If they do,  your scores should drop, your consistency should rise, and your satisfaction could very well hit an all -time high. I know mine has.
 

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Bold shock pink + white matte make up for TV!!! (Yes!!!)

What's in your purse??

Heres whats in mine:
Keys
Extra Key
iPod
Headphones
Gum
Eyeshadow Pallette Quad with eye primer
Wallet
Eye Drops
Coin Purse with cough drops and Jolly Rancers in it
Phone ( EnV2 )
Tide To Go Mini
Pencil
Pen
Pad of Paper
2 Hand Sanitizers
3 MINI Lotions
Face Moisterizer
2 Claires Perfume Scent Sticks
Calgon Boyd Mist
2 MINI Nail Files
Hair Ties
Band Aids
Floss
*eh em* Girl..... Items ( ugh embrassing )
Fold a brush with mirror
Clear Coat
Nail POlish im currently wearing incase it chips or somethin

Makeup Bag:
Powder
Some glosses
Lip Balms
Chapstick
Blush
Bronzer
Mini Kabuki
Mini Fan Brush
Clear Mascara
Mascara
Mini Lip Brush
Jumbo Eyeshadow Pen
Eye Liner
Consealer

Sounds like alot, but its a smallish purse with all this stuff CRAMMED into it.
HEHE

Is there anything I should add or take out?
Whats in your purse?

Thx in advance
-Emily

I love questions like these :]

Wallet
Phone
iPod Touch with ear buds strung onto it
Bottled water
Sunglasses
Tissue
Mirror (one of those little compact-type ones)
Current book
Pads
Makeup worn that day
Hair stuff (ties, clips, etc)
Candy (tic-tacs or whatever) (I have braces so no gum for me)
Floss
Moisturizer (It has SPF 15)
Chapstick or whatever
Gift cards and coupons
Hairbrush (one of those mini compact-type pop-outs)
Blotting tissue
Hand sanitizer
Deodorant
Quick-fix acne thing
Small body/hand lotion
Multi-tool
Mini umbrella
Tide To Go pen (this thing rocks)
Band aids
Dry shampoo
Socks (I wear shoes that don't require socks a lot)
Baby wipes or makeup removing wipes/face refreshers
Favorite solid perfume
Body mist
Eyelash curler

But I usually don't bring a bag with me. I prefer my pockets and maybe just some money and chapstick. But I would have these stuff in my gym bag and school bag :]

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