Titleist 712 AP2: A Duffer's Testimony

Lou

Before this discussion took a huge turn, I was merely trying to convey words of encouragement to those whom may have been considering a move to less forgiving "player" clubs, but received feedback from others suggesting that they shouldn't make such a move.  In reading my opening post, I suggest "Player" clubs, more specifically the AP2s, can fit one's game despite being a mid/high handicapper - given ball striking ability/consistency.

The first two respondents to my post realized exactly what I was saying, possibly because there were similarities in our experience - either with feedback from lower handicappers or those whom felt comfortable enough to summarize our game without being aware of the intimate details.

Having played X-18 for three years, the AP2s are player clubs.  Comparing the two sets, the AP2s are by far less forgiving, more compact, thinner sole/top line, extremely less offset, and have less perimeter weighting.  Not to mention, you would find more tour players using the AP2s them most any other iron set.  With the pros ability to shape shot coupled with the performance they demand from their equipment, I fail to understand the debate on if AP2s are or are not "player" clubs.

Bret P
I see that there is a lot of argument on wether the ap2 is indeed a players club. I would have to say no. I used to play ap2 irons (710 model) and that was when I was a 16 handicap. I think that the ap2 irons are a great transition set into players irons. I currently use an old beat up pair of mp-30 irons ( 1* flat, 1* strong in 8-pw, project x 5.5 with golf pride vdr grips) but I love them because they are even more a players club than the ap2's are but not they are not like mb's or mp 68's. In my opinion nothing beats a good set of forgings but if I had a second choice titleist is the way to go. What I would reccomend is keeping the ap2's and using them on a different course that chalet hills. Trust me that course can be brutal. Go to countryside golf course or Deerfield golf course, both of them are more manageable.

Bret 

My initial point was to encourage those who may have been told they are not good enough to use such irons, because their handicap was too high.  Many provide feedback based on assumptions and/or the golfer's handicap.  I suggest that those are not the definite indicators, as the game is comprised of multiple facets (short-game, mid-game, long-game, GIR, FW hits, course management, up-and-downs, putting, etc).  I was simple trying to convey in selecting player clubs and/or forged is that confidence that one has in their ball striking versus feedback received from others.  By no means, was this discussion meant to turn into a debate.  I guess I am somewhat at fault for entertaining it.

As for Chalet Hills, let's just say, I think I can play well there for it being the first time I had ever played that course.  Despite the numerous water hazards, island greens, and narrow fairways, I finished the round without losing a ball.  If it weren't for the brutal putting due to slow wet greens, I think I would have saved myself at least 6 strokes and definitely wouldn't have 3-putted.  I do not like "manageable" courses.  In my view, the more challenging the course, the more my flaws are pronounced - making what I need to work on more obvious.  

Here are the courses I typically play, none of which are merely manageable (well maybe Gleneagles and Carriage Greens):

  • Gleneagles CC (Red and White courses)
  • Odyssey CC
  • Silver Lake (North course)
  • Cog Hill (Dubsdread)
  • The Glen Club
  • George Dunne National
  • Ruffled Feathers
  • Arrowhead Golf Club
  • Carriage Greens
  • Downers Grove Golf Club (an after work 9-hole stress release played weekly)
  • Prairie Landing
  • Seven Bridges

Most we play between 3-5 rounds a season, others (Dubsdread, The Glen Club, Ruffled Feathers, George Dunne, and Arrowhead) we may only play once/twice.  I am hopeful to play Whistling Straights this year.  And I'd love to play Medina, however, I don't have the right person in my network to make that happen.

Lou G

I would say that the AP2 iron falls somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. 

The extreme Player end would be MBs because they are one piece clubs with thin soles.   The other extreme would be Adams OS where short irons have rounded inch and a half soles with all sorts of dampers, moveable weights, rounded soles and about 10 pieces. 

They consider an Eye 2 to b e a so-called GI iron but it is probably half the width of the super-duper GI irons these days and is only a one piece club.  It is pretty easy to shot shape with, almost impossible to hit fat and still can pick the ball off a tight lie. 

My two cents on someone who considers carrying a 24H or 9 wood "wimpy" is that individual needs to be schooled by some old guy with a 15 wood that plays to a single digit.  I got schooled  a bit myself in 2007 by an elderly gentleman that used a 4H on a 169 yard par 3; at the end of the round his score for 9 holes on a regulation golf course was +3. Now that I am close to "senior citizen" age (I'll be 55 this year), I believe in playing smarter and not harder.  If a 26 and 34H  sticks greens and gets on the par 3s in regulation, why bust your hiney with a 5-7 iron? (I just went back to using a 34H and I cut my score by 2 strokes for 9 holes the last two rounds I played).

I wouldn't consider 3 over as "getting schooled". But either way it's whatever is best for you the player himself. Unless it's a PGA professional I wouldn't listen to their opinion over stuff like this.

Bret P

...What I would reccomend is keeping the ap2's and using them on a different course that chalet hills. Trust me that course can be brutal. Go to countryside golf course or Deerfield golf course, both of them are more manageable.

By-the-way, this is only my 4th season playing.  Being able to post better than boogie golf score at Chalet Hills to me was a great experience and shows promise.  Although this may be a bit unrealistic, my goal is to break 70 this year.  Let's see what happens.

Marc J

Lou

Before this discussion took a huge turn, I was merely trying to convey words of encouragement to those whom may have been considering a move to less forgiving "player" clubs, but received feedback from others suggesting that they shouldn't make such a move.  In reading my opening post, I suggest "Player" clubs, more specifically the AP2s, can fit one's game despite being a mid/high handicapper - given ball striking ability/consistency.

The first two respondents to my post realized exactly what I was saying, possibly because there were similarities in our experience - either with feedback from lower handicappers or those whom felt comfortable enough to summarize our game without being aware of the intimate details.

Having played X-18 for three years, the AP2s are player clubs.  Comparing the two sets, the AP2s are by far less forgiving, more compact, thinner sole/top line, extremely less offset, and have less perimeter weighting.  Not to mention, you would find more tour players using the AP2s them most any other iron set.  With the pros ability to shape shot coupled with the performance they demand from their equipment, I fail to understand the debate on if AP2s are or are not "player" clubs.

To the other individual who said "+3 isn't getting 'schooled' " ...... in a roundabout way I was stating that if some would drop their egos and quit trying to kill the ball, they might play better golf.  The other lesson learned (and this is a Navy buzzword) - work smarter and not harder.  

I would be one of those who would encourage one to make the move from GI irons to player irons.  Part of the better golf equation is being able to shape shots.   Better ball striking is the benefit of using a player iron and if it takes slowing the the swing speed a little then so be it (one CAN put a senior flex shaft on an AP2 iron).   There is also nothing wrong with a mixed bag if it helps for better golf.

Jacob L
Lou G

I would say that the AP2 iron falls somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. 

The extreme Player end would be MBs because they are one piece clubs with thin soles.   The other extreme would be Adams OS where short irons have rounded inch and a half soles with all sorts of dampers, moveable weights, rounded soles and about 10 pieces. 

They consider an Eye 2 to b e a so-called GI iron but it is probably half the width of the super-duper GI irons these days and is only a one piece club.  It is pretty easy to shot shape with, almost impossible to hit fat and still can pick the ball off a tight lie. 

My two cents on someone who considers carrying a 24H or 9 wood "wimpy" is that individual needs to be schooled by some old guy with a 15 wood that plays to a single digit.  I got schooled  a bit myself in 2007 by an elderly gentleman that used a 4H on a 169 yard par 3; at the end of the round his score for 9 holes on a regulation golf course was +3. Now that I am close to "senior citizen" age (I'll be 55 this year), I believe in playing smarter and not harder.  If a 26 and 34H  sticks greens and gets on the par 3s in regulation, why bust your hiney with a 5-7 iron? (I just went back to using a 34H and I cut my score by 2 strokes for 9 holes the last two rounds I played).

I wouldn't consider 3 over as "getting schooled". But either way it's whatever is best for you the player himself. Unless it's a PGA professional I wouldn't listen to their opinion over stuff like this.

I responded to Marc J's reply and your comment about 3 over.   My point, obviously, was the old man was swinging pretty easy, hitting accurately and not exactly a long hitter.  To further that point, my stepmother is 77, barely drives a golf ball 170 yards and manages to shoot 95 for 18 holes.  

You may have read about my rather unconventional golf setup in some of the other discussions.   It is what works for me, bottom line.    

I think I am going to buy the AP2 712 irons this summer. I suck but man I love these irons. I have tried them out many times in the past year and when I hit it on the sweet spot, it's nice! 

Currently paying cally X-20 irons, uniflex shafts. I started taking golf seriously summer 2010.

I went from cally's Edge iron to Ap2's and found that my swing needed refurbishment....From Aug. - Oct. I  changed everything from my grip to fixing a divot....I knew that my swing had faults,but not until the Ap2's enhanced them....Are they game improvement iron or player's clubs?. I say both, my swing is solid now and my game is competitive because of the AP2's...I became a better golfer all around .....I shot my 1st under par round in HH on Thanksgiving thanks to the changes...I forced myself to be better and AP2's showed me the direction...They are a great looking iron also:) 

That's awesome Ron! I hope I see improvement to.

I have practided my a$$ off the last two seasons, playing and driving range 4 - 5x a week. I have seen some improvement between 2010 - 2012.

I bought myself a 36"x48" practice turf for my living room for the offseason (I live in upstate NY) to keep my swing loose and hitting yellow foam golf balls into my bed comforter - Yes, I have no life other than work and golf! but I am okay with that.

When I buy these clubs, I will have no choice but to force myself to be a better ball striker.

I'm similar to the original post and one about two back.  I came from custom X-18 Pros and I'm about a 20 handicap. 

I really wanted AP2s and tested them along with AP1s and other brands, Cally, and TM.  I'm also very tall so I struggle often with my posture and my biggest problem is not my swing (although it's not perfect), is my grip.  When I don't feel that it's comfortable I struggle mightily.

In the interest of full disclosure, I purchased AP1s, even though I went into the store planning to purchase AP2s.  Testing them out thoroughly and using the objective evidence of distance, launch angle, spin, etc. the AP1s were the clear winner.  Subjectively, I preferred the feel of the AP1s as well.  I never felt quite comfortable with the AP2s. 

You can't go wrong with Titleist clubs.  They're the best out there.  That said, there is no substitute for a proper fitting.  If I hadn't spent the time hitting the clubs I would have been very disappointed in my choice, diminished my love of the game, $200 poorer, and probably never bought Titleist clubs again.

AP2s are fantastic clubs, they just weren't right for me.  All I would say, is go try them all out, then make your choice.