Three models offer range of results
To say the least, Titleist is a traditional golf equipment manufacturer.
The company rarely goes out on a limb and is best known for its classic club designs, which engenders it with a loyal following among golfers, especially among better players. An unscientific look into bags at the U.S. Amateur in Pinehurst in August found that Titleist is quite popular with the country’s top amateurs.
All of which makes the company’s T-Series irons seem radical by comparison, especially when it’s revealed that Titleist’s AP irons franchise — an 11-year success — no longer exists. The APs have been replaced by three models that are packed with technology without sacrificing looks that are preferred by players who gravitate toward Titleist.
“We have a really good group of golfers who have enjoyed our brand for years,” said Josh Talge, Titleist’s vice president for golf club marketing. “We don’t want to do anything that frustrates them. We want to help them make educated decisions as to what helps their game.”
But the company is committed to technology, given that when Titleist started working on the AP line about a dozen years ago, there were 13 people in the research and development department. Today, Titleist has almost 75 people in R&D. “With that kind of team, we can do some pretty neat things,” Talge said.
But in order for Titleist executives to agree to wholesale change in technology, there had to have been results. “It’s 100 percent based on performance,” Talge said.
The T100 is pure traditional Titleist. Although it’s not a one-piece design, it’s fully forged with a thinner face that produces more distance. And tungsten is added to the heel and toe for more forgiveness. More than 20 PGA Tour players, according to the company, have put the T100 in play.
The T200 is in the relatively new category of players distance iron. It features the new Titleist technology of Max Impact. The face of the T200 is extremely thin at 1.8 mm. But Max Impact ensures that the club generates
more speed across the face.
There’s something that looks like a button on the back of the club, which is a polymer core that designers liken to a Swiss exercise ball underneath a trampoline. If you jump on the area where the exercise ball is, you get even more bounce, but every other part of the trampoline generates a lot of bounce.
Max Impact technology gives the T200 higher launch and more distance but the technology is only in the 4-7 irons and those irons also have tungsten in the heel and toe for more forgiveness. Progressive blade lengths, sole widths and hosel lengths deliver optimal center of gravity positioning. And it’s all in a package with a thin top line and a shape that better players prefer.
The T300 is the game improvement model of the series. Max Impact is a critical part of the T300, which creates high-launching distance with
“The T300 is going to be the club that brings other people into the brand,” Talge said. “There are a lot of people who think they aren’t good enough to play Titleist. Having this completely new line will hopefully attract people who haven’t tried us in a long time.”
The stock steel shafts are the AMT from True Temper and the graphite stock shafts are from Mitsubishi. But Titleist is known for a multitude of shaft offerings, many of which are at no upcharge. Talge says that 80 percent of Titeist clubs are custom and they are turned around in an average of 1.8 days.