The new Titleist 716 T-MB irons bear some resemblance to the 712U driving irons they replace in the company’s line, but really, they are nothing like any iron that Titleist has ever produced.
The 712U was designed to be a hybrid alternative for golfers who prefer irons. Available in several versions, they were given a flat face, like an iron, instead of a curved face typical of a hybrid, so players more easily could hit a fade or a cut. The hollow-bodied construction kept the ball down in windy conditions.
With the new 716 T-MB irons, Titleist wanted to create more speed and carry distance without sacrificing the shot-shaping ability and looks that characterized the 712U.
The 716 T-MB irons have the same compact profile and blade length as the 716 AP2 irons and are cast from 431 stainless steel. A high-strength stainless steel face insert is attached to the muscleback frame, creating a hollow inner cavity that allows the face to flex more at impact.
“With the 716 T-MB, we really just focused on making it as good as it can be, so adding tungsten creates more forgiveness and more ball speed on off-center hits,” said Marni Ines, Titleist’s director of product development for irons.
Ines said an average of 80 grams of tungsten was added to each 716 T-MB iron, split between two weights. One weight is positioned low in the heel, and the other is low in the toe. Together, they lower the center of gravity and increase the moment of inertia (MOI). The result is much greater forgiveness than players might expect when they look down at the thin top line.
In fact, the 716 T-MB irons have a 6.8 percent higher MOI than the712U. Titleist also says the 716 T-MB irons produce 2 mph more ball speed, 200 rpm less spin and a similar launch angle with less offset than the 712U.
“Pound for pound, it delivers the most deceptively shocking performance result that you get versus what you are looking at,“ said Dan Stone, Titleist’s vice president of iron research and development. “You look down and see a muscleback and see the shape, and then all of a sudden after you hit this thing, it’s like, ‘Oh my God!’ You say to yourself that this is not exactly what I thought it was. It’s a lot easier to hit than it looks.”
The 716 T-MB irons arrive in stores Oct. 23 and will be sold separately in 2- (17 degrees), 3- (20 degrees), 4- (23 degrees) and 5-iron (26 degrees) versions for $199 each with a True Temper Dynamic Gold AMT shaft. Through Titleist’s custom-order MOTO program, golfers can buy a set of eight T-MB irons (2-9 or 3-PW) for $1,599.