What’s in my bag: Irons – Titleist AP1 714

23 Jun

I have recently switched from Nike Slingshot Irons (the first generation which were named Iron of the Year in 2004 by Golf Digest – yeah, they were old!) to  Titleist AP1 714 irons (the 2014 version).

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I took a decade long hiatus from golf before starting up again last summer with all my old equipment. I went from an 8 handicap to an absolute hacker – fortunately it didn’t take me too long to get back into the “swing” of things and as it stands, I feel like a bandit playing off 16 (I haven’t scored less than 32 stableford points in ages – the EGU handicapping systems needs some work I guess).

Oddly enough, my swing seems to be a lot better and much more fluid. My iron striking is more pure and my natural shot shape has changed from a fade to a draw – big bonus!!! Although I am now playing off a higher handicap I am hitting my irons a lot better than when I was playing off a lower handicap.  I was heavily reliant on my short game playing off an 8, I was short off the tee, short with my irons and didn’t strike my irons particularly well (the forgiveness of the Slingshots was well appreciated) but my short game was good enough to rival a Pro (even if I do say so myself!). It was a short game born out of countless hours spent practising on chipping greens, pitching areas and practice greens on almost daily basis. Inside 100 meters, I was deadly…rarely needing more than 1 putt from mostly from within 10 feet, I could land my lob wedge on a dime!!! I don’t think I’ll ever get back to that level again given that I won’t ever have the same amount of time to invest in getting back there 🙁

With my new swing and better ball striking, I decided the old Nike Slingshots were not going to cut it any longer. The set was still in fantastic shape but I needed irons with more feel that were less chunky. My swing was still nowhere near good enough to play with blades and I still wanted the forgiveness of a cavity back – enter the Titleist AP1 714.

I had hit a few different irons and liked the softness of the Taylormade RSi 1s, the look of the Nike Vapor Speeds were appealing but I didn’t enjoy the feel. The Callaway XR Irons were incredibly easy to hit but didn’t offer much in the way of shot shaping. The clubs that appealed most to me were the Titleist AP1s – they checked virtually every box except price. While carrying out some further research, I was finally convinced that these were the clubs for me as not only were they were Gold rated on the Golf Digest hot list, but the first line of the description read:

“If you’re a former single-digit struggling to break 80, these will have appeal”

It was almost as if they had been custom made for me 🙂

Via Ebay, I managed to secure a set of the 2014 Titleist AP1 714s. I ended up with 5 to PW with an extra wedge – oddly enough, the set came with a 46 and 48 degree wedge – go figure ?!?

They’ve all been fitted with Red and Black New Decade MultiCompound Golf Pride Grips which I think is a nice touch.

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I have played about 4 rounds since acquiring a set and it’s brought a new level of enjoyment to my golf game. Granted, this may be the “honeymoon” period with my new irons and could all fall to pieces after a few more rounds but so far I am loving them (I still have the Slignshots – just in case!).