How often should you change your irons?

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By Stephen E

  • 34 Replies
  1. I've had my AP2 2008 irons for about seven and a half years now. In that time, I've updated my driver, 3 wood, hybrid and putter. I check in with the club professional from time to time for him to assess them in terms of general wear and tear and shaft performance. Needless to say they've been re-gripped loads of times.

    About a year or so ago, I spent some time on the range with the professional comparing newer irons (Cobra/TM - he doesn't stock Titleist) and his view was that there was no great performance improvement switching to newer irons. His assessment was very reassuring but I got to thinking that surely the idea of newer technologies is that it is supposed to ball striking easier.

    So before I go and and spend shedloads of money, what do you do? Do you continuously buy new technology or stick with your old, tried and tested sticks?

  2. As a PGA Pro i focus very much on clubfitting and use Flightscope in all fittings. When a member/ client asks me this question my answer is simple. Test your 2008 AP2 irons against 716 AP2 irons and other brands for that matter. Using a launch monitor you will be able to see distance, spin rates, shot dispersion etc. Flightscope also allows you to see how your shaft is reacting in the swing.
    If you do not see a benefit with newer irons (very unlikely) then there is no reason to change.
    But i would predict that you will see a big advantage with some of the newer models, if not in distance then at least in shot dispersion. Newer clubs are generally more forgiving and "bad" shots are not as bad as they used to be.
    Ask your pro/clubfitter to test other shaft combinations with the 716 AP2 irons as there has also been a huge improvement in shafts the past few years and a good fitter should have a few shafts for you to test.
    Good luck and good golfing
    Donovan Goosen
    PGA Professional
  3. jackie d

    jackie d
    tulsa, OK

    My personal opinion is stick with what works until you find something that has a drastic difference. I too had irons for a long time bought the 710 AP2 when they came and and just switched to the 716. Yes I could tell a huge differance in all aspects. The longest I kept a club was a 3 wood and putter for 8 years replaced them both for new technoligy and regreated it for a year until I found something that worked just as good. So like I said what ever works until you find something that works better.
  4. Gary D

    Gary D
    Cranston, RI

    I agree with Jackie. Stick with what you have until you find something that works better. New equipment, over time, bring enhancements and performance improvements but don't chase after the "latest and greatest" unless it does improve your game. This advice is probably counter to the massive marketing campaigns run by most large equipment manufacturers.
  5. Doug E

    Doug E
    Urbana, MD

    I wasn't even aware the AP2 was available back in 2008. I thought they were released for the first time in late 2009. I was still playing Titleist 755 forged irons back then. Got my first set of AP2-712s in November 2011, the first day or so after they were released. Played them until October of 2015, when I got fit for AP2-716s and got them a couple weeks later. I have never hit my irons as well as I do with the 716s. There is a marked difference in forgiveness between the 712s and 716s. I get slightly better distance too. I noticed this the first day I started gaming the 716s. I give credit to the new technology, but maybe I have become a better ballstriker in the meantime. Who knows? I just know I love the AP2-716s and would not want to play with my old AP2s (which I loved when I played them) after having the AP2-716s now in my bag for nearly a year and a half. My handicap is 3 points lower since I put the 716s in the bag and I'm now over 60. (At this age, generally, I would expect it to rise, not fall.) I am curious to see what Titleist comes up with for the next iteration of AP2, but I will likely wait until the AP2-720 (or equivalent) comes out. 4 years in between iron sets is about as much as I can wait.
  6. I have played with my Wilson Di11 for 2,5 years and they have halped my to handicap 14,8. Now i have purhased Titleist Ap2 718, because i wanted to try some semibladet irons. I bought 5-pw and i hit them ok. offcourse i have bad shots because i think there will be a period to learn how to play them. But i with them on the Driving range så hopefully i will learn to play them :-). A what index/handicap did you switch to bladed irons/semi like ap2 ?
  7. Don O

    Don O
    Madison, WI

    The Wilson D11 is most comparable to the the AP-1/T-300. The AP-2 is a much smaller face so it is less forgiving on off-center hits. But the feel is different and the face is more workable to shape shots both cut and draw. Handicaps are the result of driving (in the fairway), approach shot accuracy, and putting accuracy. The decision to move to a less forgiving model is bases on how well you can hit greens in regulation (GIR) with your irons. My handicap is higher than yours and I depend a lot on short iron/wedge play to get on in GIR+1. On trials on a flat range, I hit the AP2 well, but on course I need the forgiveness. As much as I l love the feel of an AP-2 well struck, the AP-3 is as much of a player's iron that I can expect some success. Your results may vary.
  8. Stephen,
    You bring up a question that everyone asks. Go with new clubs or stay with the old. You seem to have been doing the most logical thing, cam paring your old clubs to new ones with the help of a professional. I to am swing an older model of Titleist irons, but I gain no improvement or distance when compared to new models.
    One thing I will say though is try and get a swing analysis and comparison by a Titleist fitter being you are swing a Titleist iron and if they don't stock the new 716 per say you cannot get a valid comparison.

    But in the end, if you don't gain anything with a new model or shaft style/flex I would say continuing using what you have and changing the grips our yearly.

    Good luck.
  9. I was fitted in 1993 by Titleist. I used Blades until until 2005. Still play 690CB Forged. I'll change when I quit breaking par.
  10. I might try the newer titleist irons! Finding a titleist rep is very easy with technology world that we live in today... see what they say about the newer models and have them compare you
  11. I just got back into golf. Playing with a set of DCI 981's I had fitted back in 99' I think. I've read a lot of posts on the issue of new clubs vs sticking with what you have. While I'd love a new set, is there any benefit to practicing with older technology and maybe purchasing a newer set once I get my fundamentals down or would newer technology reduce the learning curve?
  12. PRO V

    PRO V
    golf course

    usually every 2 years, but I changed them out from 716AP2's to 716 T-MB. Whatever works for you!
  13. Don O

    Don O
    Madison, WI

    What you want irons to do is be consistent. A little bit o heresy, but either looking for more distance or ordering pre-launch are the wrong reasons to buy clubs. Every 2-3 releases it is worth a trial to see there is a better combination of heads and shaft that has less dispersion or can help with where your game is at. After 50, there will be a time to recheck your ideal fitting. Donovan G expressed it well.
  14. Its hard to tell when the right moment to change irons are, some say look at the trackman/foresight data other say change them when you find clubs that suits you and feel great.
    But when people ask me the same question i tell them a rule that i have used for a while. Iron clubs are made from a shapeable material and forge iron is hard but its not going to keep is shape as long as people think. A normal golfer plays about 90 rounds per year and in my opinion he has to change irons at least every 5 years with a normal wear on his irons. I have seen players have so hard wear on there irons that a iron change is to recommende every 2 years.
    But as other where writing here i really think that if you go and get new titleist irons fitted from a professional you will se an improvement in you iron game. Clubs have changed and become more forgiving and given more feel in the last years and with your clubs almost beeing 10 years old it should make an big improvment!
  15. James Harris

    James Harris
    Brentwood, Essex

    I would try out the AP2 and would be surprised if there wasn't some improvement. However it may come from a shaft change more than the head as there are so many choices now. I have the 714 AP1 but have found the 716 AP2 to be better performing for my swing and just as forgiving to be honest. Haven't pulled the trigger yet though, need to clear it with the boss!
  16. GMillar


    That's the biggest and best thing about Titleist imo - they build quality irons that last the test of time. Each new edition offers minor improvements on the last without reinventing the wheel. If your current set is working, i say stick with them!
  17. Carl T

    Carl T
    Little Rock, AR

    I would agree with Donovan G. It has been my experience that technology changes the fastest in Drivers. Getting fitted with the proper clubs/shafts is key in my opinion because it cost very little if anything. I usually will change irons every 4 to 5 years (if they out perform what I have) and drivers about every 2 years. Oldest clubs in my bag is my 3 wood. 3 wood technology lags behind almost everything. I went to the counter balanced putter last year which I liked better than my old putter that at that time was my oldest club.
  18. Marc W

    Marc W
    las vegas, NV

    One of my best friends who is a head pro recommended 5 years on irons, 2 years on a driver, and every year on wedges
  19. I'm new to Titleist having been a swoosh or cally guy for most of the time I've been golfing. Went from Covert Forged irons to 716 AP2s and my iron play has never been better. I don't plan on switching anytime soon. Having said that, it seems the faces of my new irons are wearing down much quicker than my Nikes or Callys did so I may end up having to replace them sooner than I want to with another set of 716s.
  20. Thanks everyone for your feedback..........I guess there's no harm in trying out the 716 AP2's.
  21. Darron K

    Darron K
    Fate, TX

    If it ain't broke.
  22. Joey L

    Joey L
    Walnut Creek

    I like to get irons when I want to. My first Titleist irons were DCI 990’s. I didn’t buy a new set until the AP2 714’s came out, the the AP2 718’s. There shouldn’t be any guild line, just when you feel like it.
  23. MattW

    Thetford, 0

    Joey L said:

    I like to get irons when I want to. My first Titleist irons were DCI 990’s. I didn’t buy a new set until the AP2 714’s came out, the the AP2 718’s. There shouldn’t be any guild line, just when you feel like it.

    I’d go along with this. I have tended to keep for 2 years before fancying the need for new shiny equipment.
    Have hit that spot about now and look forward to replacing everything after my Titleist Fitting in a weeks time
  24. Deno

    New Jersey

    I sold my AP2s and went back to my 695 CBs. I played the beginning of the year with 695MBs. I did upgrade my driver and FW from 910 to 917 with good results. I'm way past the "gotta have it" stage.
  25. I have to lean with Matt and Deno on this. Once I get used to my gear I just keep using it. Not sure that in today's equipment world there may be so many choices that there may be a bit of confusion as to what works for you, fitting aside. Not a fan of foam filled irons and other new discoveries. I too like Deno will grab the old blades from the garage and go out and remember "feel". I am out of Balata balls though!

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