I was selected to be one of the few Bay Area - Team Titleist members for the 718 Road Show, and get custom fit for the 718 irons and 818 hybrids at La Rinconada CC - Los Gatos, CA.
If you're like me, you've already done your research on the current 718 release, with an idea of all of the updates to each of the iron offerings (reading/watching reviews, comparing specs, etc.). So it was good to hear this information from the team, with some anecdotes from either other road show or tour pro fittings for the new clubs! After the introduction and presentation, we were able to warm up while the fitters were wrapping up w/ the earlier group. With the temperature being in the mid/high 90's that day, it was pretty easy to get loose and get the ball flying. Then it was go-time!
Kim and Cathi walked us up to the grass range, where all of the fitters were setup w/ the new iron/hybrid & shaft offerings. With all custom fittings, we started by going over my current setup (714 4i AP1, 5-9 AP2, 46* Vokey), for some Q&A: was I fit for the current set, lie check, reasons for the lead tape (8-9i), etc. Then to the range to hit some 7i w/ my current set for baseline numbers.
Let the tinkering begin...
We started w/ the 718 AP2 w/ the matching shaft to my current set (KBS C-taper Lite), so we could compare apples to apples. They felt great, and just what you're used to if you've played them before. Great feel at impact w/ the forged head, and more tungsten vs. my 714s. I think the AP2s are one of the best looking and feeling (non-blade) iron heads.
We then moved onto the brand new AP3s, and the formula was true! AP1 + AP2 = AP3! Since we had been going back and fourth on lie and shaft changes, I had forgotten that we moved into the AP3 line until a couple of shots in! That lets you know that down at address, the club truly looks like an AP2! The feel of the tungsten in the head, along w/ the sound at impact made this club so easy to get into the zone with. It just felt familiar... With me already gaming an AP1/AP2 combo set, I was able to feel the similarities to both models. The AP3 face is HOT with the mid/long irons! You could feel the ball spring off of the face, the moment you make contact which felt just like an AP1, but with the smaller blade lengths, and less offset, it was a seamless transition from the short and mid to long irons! I really felt like I could make a complete switch from AP2 into the AP3, with no transition period but plenty of benefits!
Lastly, we put the 818 hybrids through their paces, but that's a story for another time... Thanks Cathi and Kim!