Titleist 718 AP3 Irons - Review

Titleist 718 AP3 Irons - Review and Testing Performance

October 06, 2017 8 Comments

Titleist 718 AP3 Irons

Review and Performance Testing 

You'll find our FlightScope Doppler Radar report to back up everything we're about to say about the new Titleist 718 AP3 iron.  Our goal is to test the AP3 and provide FACTS about its performance and not just say "trust me, this club is good"..  So, we put it through the gauntlet.  In short, the new Titleist 718 AP3 iron is mind blowing..  Ill first talk about the testing, then results, and lastly the AP3 review.  SPOILER ALERT - We liked it!


Mind Blowing

/mahynd-bloh-ing/

adjective, Slang.

1. to overwhelm someone; excite someone. The distance was so long, it blew my mind.  The ball-flight was so perfect, it blew my mind.
2. Producing hallucinatory effects: The NEW 718 AP3 produced mind-blowing results.

Who tested the Titleist 718 AP3:

Everybody, meet Jon!  Jon is one of our club-fitters here at Spargo Golf, he is also our journeyman off the mini-tour events and local tournaments.  In college, he had the privilege of being named to the PING All-American Team 2010-11, has won five times on the Pepsi Tour, and has made an appearance at the U.S. Amateur 2011.  Thus, he knows how to strike the ball.  Jon and I teamed up to test some new stuff coming out this year, (718 AP3 being one of them) to bring a un-biased view to the new equipment.  Jon will act as our "Iron Byron" for all the new 718 testing.  So, lets get started!

What are we testing:

We tested the entire line of 718 irons, we broke them up into separate blogs to give each 718 iron its own fair review, so this one, we'll only focus on the AP3 iron.  However, we had to test the AP3 against something, so we chose the 716 AP1.  We did this because a big part of the marketing of the new AP3 was that it's LONG.  Literally, Titleist.com explains the 718 AP3 iron as "the players distance iron".  Knowing that the AP1 has the strongest lofts in the Titleist family of irons, we thought it would be best to set a high mark for the AP3.  Lets prove that the new clubhead design and its technology is long because of those factors, not just because the lofts are juiced up.  In this test, both 7-iron (716 AP1 and 718 AP3) models are 31º loft.  

How we conducted the Test and Performance:

Here is our control while conducting the test.  Jon was our sole tester, as stated above, he's pretty accomplished at striking the ball...  We used the same exact shaft throughout all our testing.. Whether hitting a 716 or 718, AP1 or AP3 or AP2, Jon was using the Project X LZ 6.0 shaft.  Thus, the only variable at play was changing the club-head..  Lastly, the FlightScope report (below) shows one line, this one line shows of the averages of the 10 shots Jon hit with the irons.  (For full 10-shot detail report, see bottom of page.)

Results:

Now, the long awaited testing results of the 718 AP3!  After only a few shots, Jon was looking back at me and saying "I want..." :D  It was mind blowing seeing the results we where getting.  Below, there is a chart from our friends at GolfWRX that matched swing speed (in the gray at the top of the chart) to total carry distance (listed below per each club).  Knowing that this chart is an overall general assumption, it does not hold true to be exact for everything, but still a good overall/general view of what club-speed to carry distance should be within a +/- variance a few MPH/Yards of each other..  

GolfWRX Chart

During our test of the Titleist 718 AP3 (see FlightScope Report below), Jon averaged a 91.4 MPH club-head speed and a carry distance of 183 yards on the 7-iron.  Comparing loft of a 7-iron in this chart is 34º, which our test 718 AP3 is 31º, so let's use the 6-iron for equal comparison.  Obviously, the AP3 can definitely be called a "players distance iron".  The 718 AP3 is performing a club stronger (because of loft).  

Titleist 718 AP3 FlightScope Report - Test and Review

 

Remember how I said before, we tested the 718 AP3 against the 716 AP1?  Here where the AP1 results to compare against.  Keep in mind, the lofts are identical at 31º, so AP3 vs AP1 is a good apples-to-apples test and comparison.  Also note (full disclosure), Jon's club-speed dropped by 3 MPH with the AP1, but would only account for maybe 2-3 yards lost with a 7-iron..  The 718 AP3 still out-performed the AP1 as a longer hitting iron.

Titleist 716 AP1 FlightScope Report Test

Same golfer, same shaft, same ball, same loft, different club-head, you can see the 718 AP3 achieved higher ball speed for more distance.

Want to be impressed even more?  Below is the grouping chart.  The AP3 had a much tighter dispersion than the AP1.  This could be because the AP1 is a little larger than the AP3, and Jon is not used to the larger head and hit the AP3 more comfortably to what he is used to.  BUT, you can still interpret the AP3 grouping as tight and accurate iron.

716 AP1 vs 718 AP3 - Grouping Report

AP3 - BLUE     AP1 - RED


Titleist 718 AP3 Review / Final Thoughts:

"I want" - Jon P.

From year to year, model to model, there can only be so much technology introduced to make a drastic difference.  But for a player who wants to work the ball flight, which this iron is designed for, the distance is a big gain.  Golf courses are only getting longer, not shorter, so to gain upwards of a whole club makes a huge difference.  Some may not be impressed, because the AP3 is juiced up iron, however, rather than a player taking their current clubs and bending to a stronger loft, the Titleist 718 AP3 are designed with the appropriate bounce.  For every 1º you bend an iron stronger in loft, you loose 1º of bounce in the sole.  This causes problems at the top of the bag, especially with the longer irons.  Typically, a 4 or 5-iron may only have 2º of bounce, so if you wanted to bend your clubs 3º stronger (like the AP3 offers), you'll make a club that has -1º bounce.  Big thick divots, club getting stuck in the ground, and overall bad turf interaction is what will happen.  This alone is how the AP3 iron becomes an offering that is rarely seen across the industry for a "players iron".  Most smaller player irons being traditional in lofts, and bending 3º strong creates problems.  The Titleist 718 AP3 offers the stronger lofts WITH the optimal bounce designed with it.  For a tournament player, you'll be playing a golf course at 7,000+ yards, adding distance can be beneficial to attack more greens, easier, in regulation.  Mission Accomplished Titleist!  

Titleist 718 AP3 Iron

Customize & Build Your Titleist 718 AP3 Iron Set

 


Titleist 718 AP3 vs. 716 AP1 Comparison

FlightScope Report


FlightScope Report - Titleist 718 AP3 - Line Average

FlightScope Report - 718 AP3 v 716 AP1 - Grouping Chart


Titleist 718 AP3 - FlightScope Report (Detailed)


FlightScope Report - Titleist 718 AP3 - Shot Chart

FlightScope Report - Titleist 718 AP3 - Ball Flight/Side View

FlightScope Report - Titleist 718 AP3 - Ball Flight/Top View


Titleist 716 AP1 - FlightScope Report (Detailed)


FlightScope Report - 716 AP1 Shot Chart

FlightScope Report - Titleist 716 AP1 - Ball Flight Side View

 FlightScope Report - Titleist 716 AP1 - Ball Flight Top View



8 Responses

Michael Nowak
Michael Nowak

June 16, 2018

Id like to see a club to club comparison between the 718 ap2 and ap3. Really how much more demanding are the ap2’s and how playable are the ap3s. I did really like the article.

Peter
Peter

May 05, 2018

First I liked the article. But carefull knowledgeble reader blows the results easily. First, statement that 3mph difference in swing speed makes for 2-3y, is totally wrong. 1mph makes at least 2y difference, so at least 6y of the extra gain can me attributed to higher swing speed with AP3. Further, AP3 the tester hit with 0,5deg more negative angle of attack which surely at this speed maked for another 1-2 yards. So from 10y distance, 7-8y can be attribited to different swing, not different club head.
Likewise, with AP3 the range of swing speeds was 90-93, with AP1 it was bigger range 86-91. That of course influences the Grouping.
And you ignored steeper angle of descent of AP1, which would surely hold more greens as AP3.
Still, AP3 results are impressive and they are great clubs, otherwise the pros would not take it to their bags as long irons replacements. But the main conclusion for me is that a good golfer (I assume tester plays players irons normally), much faster adopts himself at AP3, which is logical. It really seems that the tester never got comfortable with AP1… (too big offset? too big clubhead? dunno…)

Kurt
Kurt

February 06, 2018

Just purchased the 718 ap3 (4-P plus 48 gap) and saw the same results. “Mind blowing” is right on. Previously played the 714 ap2. Great clubs but lacked the distance I wanted. Not an issue with the ap3 plus more forgiveness. Put the test against the 718 ap1 and ap3. Was hitting the 7 iron between 160 to 165 with both clubs but with a tighter grouping with the ap3 just like your data shows. I’m in my late 50’s and play to an 8 Handicap and needed more distance and closer to the pin when up against the young guns. Very happy with the look and feel.

Glenn
Glenn

January 28, 2018

I am strongly considering making the change from my 716 AP2 to the AP3’s. I’ve tested and the distance is excellent with tighter dispersion. My concern is my wedge set up. I play the AP2 50 degree W wedge, a 54 Vokey and a 58 Vokey. The AP3 W wedge loft is 48 degrees. I’m concerned with the 6 degree gap from the AP3 W wedge and my 54. Should I add another wedge and drop a long iron? What set set up would you suggest?

todd
todd

May 05, 2018

good info with specs to back it up but I’d be more interested to see how it ranks against other mfgr’s players distance models….not just the other Titleist heads. Seems to be a rather lopsided pro Titleist article to me. Not really helpful to someone in the market looking at all clubs.

lary
lary

November 08, 2017

I play ap2 and love them. getting a little older. thinking about buying 4,5,6 in the ap3 and playing my 7,8,9 ap2….anybody any thoughts??

Spargo Golf
Spargo Golf

October 19, 2017

Dan,

The AP2’s do have more traditional lofts. In your case (if you where considering a set like the AP3’s), so you don’t encroach on your hybrid/woods distances, you would consider a 5-P set make-up, rather than a 4-P set… The issue arrises towards the bottom of the bag, wedges, where you may need a 4 wedge system, not just 3 wedges. Something to consider thinking about.

Anyways, we’ve got both Project X LZ’s and KBS in the fitting studio, we are ready whenever you are ;) We’ve been pretty successful with the PJX LZ iron shafts, depending on the flex, but generally has been a competitive option for many golfers, and certain flexes are available at no up-charge in the 718 irons!

Dan
Dan

October 16, 2017

great information. I currently play 714 AP2 w/ PXi 5.5 and looking at the new 718 AP2. Reason for staying with the AP2’s is because all of my woods degrees are built off of this set and know that I will potentially screw things up with the AP3’s. I am curious about the Project X LZ’s and plan on hitting those and KBS with my next fitting. It was nice to see the test being done with those particular shafts with a very similar swing speed.

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