In a new series of articles coming to you from the Forum Staff we bring you the Titleist T-Series Irons.
Every iron has a purpose and there is a purpose for every iron.
This is what has become abundantly clear throughout my time using the Titleist T-Series irons and it all started with the fitting. However I have to go back a little further to connect all the dots.
In 2018 I was selected to test and review the PING i210 irons. As I had been using the PING iE1 irons I thought the transition would be easy. It wasn't, however my struggles soon drifted away and this set of PING irons became my main set for the next 4 years.
I had some great rounds with them and fond memories, but being a bit of an equipment junkie I soon wanted to take in the full forged iron experience and transitioned to a set of Sub70 659 TC Irons. I wanted the superior feel of forged irons and felt I had the iron ability to play something with a little less tech, more feel. I wasn't concerned with any distance loss, even though I didn't find much of any. However once again I had early struggles with the new irons.
I know enough about equipment to be able to know what works and what doesn't for my game. I was a bit surprised, however again I had a few stellar rounds, but still felt something was missing. My next step was into the players distance category with a set of TaylorMade P790 irons. Having found I was using a lot of my longer clubs in previous sets I wanted to see if my game could be elevated by using a set of irons on the complete opposite end of the Sub70 659 TC's.
This time around I didn't have the early struggles. I clicked nearly right away with the P790s, but something was still missing. It was hard to put my finger on what that was until I had my fitting with Titleist.
Titleist T-Series Irons
Titleist created their new T-Series to be blended and according to Titleist "80% of tour staff have blended sets." and this is where the light bulb moment came. Even though I had success with all my previous sets and most of the sets had some sort of progressive design to improve performance throughout the set they still were just that one set. In truth this moment should have come much earlier as I had long ago replaced the PING i210 4 iron with a PING Crossover, but that was to create better gapping at the top end of the bag which is normal for many.
What I ended up with for my Titleist set is purposefully selected specific irons for each area of my game and bag to ensure that I have all the proper irons for each situation. So what does this mean exactly? Well let me walk you through my setup.
My Golf Bag - The Finer Details
I prefer to use a 58, 54 combo of wedges. I also prefer and have had more success with cavity bag type wedges (Mizuno S23 and Ping Glide series). For my next club I either wanted to add another one of those wedges or as what happened add a set wedge.
The main reason I go down this route is forgiveness. I am a solid ball striker, but I consider any opportunity with a wedge or less to be a scoring opportunity. I want to be set myself up for the most success possible, even if that means a less sexy looking club. When discussing this situation with my fitter and going through several shots we landed on a GW(50*) and PW (46*) in the T100. These are an all forged, slim top line and built for greater precision. If I want the best scoring club possible that fits my comfort zone this was going to be the choice.
The next section of my bag we wanted to be able to add a little extra distance, keep a certain level of forgiveness and still have the ability to use these irons as potential scoring clubs. While I don't expect to hit every green I still want to see if I can make improvements in that area. While my fitter did suggest I could continue with the T100 set throughout this area, I wasn't as confident. I knew the gapping would be easier, however the Iron distance was a little shorter than I would prefer to see knowing the courses I play and the clubs I would have more confidence in playing.
When we factored all of this together we landed on the Titleist T150 9-6 irons. The T150 have a bit more technology in them, while aiming to mimic the feel and the performance aspects of the T100. The T150 have an added 2 degrees of loft meaning a bit more distance. However this also left a decent gap with the T100's which we needed to address and did by making both the GW and PW 1* stronger. I now had a middle section which was better suited to longer approach shots and tee shots into par 3s. The nice part with these together is they look nearly identical. Yes the topline on the T150 is marginally bigger, but it isn't enough to truly matter.
The feel for both is exceptional and the main difference I can say is that the T150 have a bit more pop to them. I am sure that is partly their tech, but also the loft. The other key feeling both keep is their responsiveness to strike location and turf interaction. In this area both sets excel and versus any of my previous sets.
This left me with one more club to select for my set and where I often use my 5 iron. There are two main areas that I have need or use this club. One is off the tee on shorter par 4s or situational par 5s, sometimes into longer par 3s and to progress up the fairway on par 5s. While not a max distance club I was less concerned about exact carry number and more in getting a club that would meet those needs of distance versus accuracy.
Once again the fitter did give some leeway in the decision as he felt I could use either the T150 or make the leap to T200, which is where I ultimately settled. The look on the Titleist T200 is a lot different to to the T100/T150 irons that have the brushed look. The T200 is shiny and does a better job appearance matching the T350. That is where the similarities end though, as at address the T200 has the same shaping of the T150 as well as offset. The topline again is marginally thicker, but not by much.
All the irons used the same Project X IO 6.0 shaft that matches up well for my swing and it was a toss up between that and the Project X LZ. Both performed really well, but with a slightly higher peak height on the IO it just felt really good and we loved seeing the window that the ball came out of.
With the fitting done and everything awaiting arrival the anticipation grew. When irons arrived it didn't take me long to get them out to the range. A slightly similar trend followed and while not my first round, but my first session on the range I struggled. This meant a lot of my initial excitement dampened and maybe expectations lowered because the first round turned it all around.
Key Takeaways - On Course
I have since played 20 or so rounds with these irons and here are my biggest takeaways from this time.
- I wish I had never played a straight set of irons and it will be nearly impossible to consider a non blended set in the future.
- PW and GW are way more forgiving than I had initially anticipated and the quality of precision is exceptional.
- With the mid irons (non T100) my GIR have gone up along with my confidence.
- T200 is not my favorite club, however the purpose in which I need it for does the job.
- Stopping power! I have never owned a set that has had this level of stopping power. Not just spin, but flight and consistency.
I have still of course had awful shots and struggled at times, as with any amateur golfer. I also still have not reached my ceiling in terms of potential. But I can say with extreme confidence that my floor has been raised. This is due to each iron being purposefully selected and built to work best for not just my game, but having the proper purpose. Where previous sets aimed to fit the bill everywhere and do everything well, this set is built to excel only where it needs to and not provide performance aspects which are not going to be utilized.
The Titleist experience is exceptional, from fitting, to delivery to putting them in play. I had never owned a set of Titleist Irons before and much like my PING i210 irons staying in the bag for several years, I can see these irons holding their spot for many years to come.