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6.jpgFinal Review 3 Oct 2023
Titleist T-Series Irons (T200) – Official MGS Forum Review by Greg Barker

First Impressions 18 out of 20

From the very beginning the testing experience for the T-series irons was first rate. You can read more in-depth about the fitting and un-boxing in those posts. My fitter, Joe, is one that I’ve worked with before so it didn’t take him long to get me dialed in with the T200 5-PW, and the TRS2 4-Hybrid all matched up with the Mitsubishi Tensei Blue graphite shafts.

Truthfully, the two-point deduction is only for the packaging for shipping. Given Titleist’s reputation of class and prestige, And how hard they work to maintain that image, the packaging was plain and minimal, but effective. The simple carboard box with basic wrapping on the club heads and not much to keep the clubs separated in the box falls a little short of what some of their DTC competitors do to make receiving the shipment feel special.

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(photo package)

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The clubs themselves look fantastic. Titleist has marketed the new T-series as more easily blended than previous sets. And, while I didn’t wind up with a blending of the T-series this time, my previous set was blended T-300/T-200. Not so much for looks, but for playability differences I went back and ordered the T-200 club heads to replace the two 300s.

Aesthetics 9 out of 10

Titleist continues to make really great looking clubs with a simple and classic appeal. The T-200s really nailed the look for taking a player’s distance design and giving it the classic look of it’s more blade-like siblings. The look at setup frames the ball nicely, and the slightly thicker top line keeps the bulkier back side of the club head out of view, which for me helps give a bit of confidence when I’m trying to shape a shot. The change in the badging, enclosing the cavity and other inner workings of the clubhead gives these that classic ‘look at me, I’m a great club’ appeal that has become Titleist’s go-to. (photos 7setup, 5 setup)

 

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Sound and feel are where the T-200s lost a point for me. The previous T200 got a bad rap for sound because the badge enclosing the back of the clubhead made a goofy, annoying, clicky sound if you happened to tap a ball with the back of the club. Granted, you would only do that on the range and not when hitting a shot, but it was still there. They improved that mightily with the new version. Comparing these directly to the original T200s, the sound of the strike tells me a little bit more than the feel. Maybe it’s the combination of the updated design and the graphite shaft but the feel feedback I get from this set feels a bit muted versus their predecessors that really told your hands when you flushed it or missed it. The sound and feel together though is more than enough to decipher the quality of the shot. The good news: Even when sound and feel say you missed it by a bit, the inner workings of the club provide a shot that stays pretty close to the one you intended.

It took me a few range sessions to get accustomed to the feel and balance with the graphite shafts. It seemed strange to me that the lighter graphite shaft had what seemed like a stiffer, or more rigid feel to it than the steel shafts in the other irons. I got over that quickly when I saw the consistency in the numbers and the ball flight.

The Numbers 10 out of 10

I put these irons through a number of range sessions using the Rhapsodo MLM. I had a couple of lessons with my coach using them. I played a number of practice rounds, and had them almost immediately in play in league competition for the final event of they year and post season match play. I could see right away, consistently higher ball flight. That was identified as a target during the fitting to improve carry and descent angle. I started very consistent club and ball speeds using the MLM, and as a result, more consistent distance with each club. It was doing some impact drills that really honed in the sense of the sound and feel mentioned above. Once I get to (or at least close to) the A swing, the side-to-side

dispersion seems to be A LOT better to boot. All-in-all this set of T200s with the TSR hybrid was really easy to get dialed in and ready to take on the course with confidence.
(photo rangedata)

 

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I used them in a practice round on the course immediately after the hurricane passed through. So the fairways were not cut down to their usual height, and there were some soft conditions to deal with as well. These irons flowed really nicely through the deeper fairway grass and at the same time I’ve had no issues, and even hit some really good shots, from thin or other troublesome lies. The sole design seems to be working as advertised in that regard.

On-Course 20 out of 20

For the past several seasons, I’ve pretty steadily averaged 5-7 GIR per round and scored pretty steadily in the high mid 80-s to low 90s range. Looking back at my scorecards with these irons, including one 9-hole irons only round, I’ve seen that GIR average bumped up to 7-9, included one round with 10 GIR. Two of five rounds with the T200s in the bag had 10+ holes at par or better, with 5 individual 9 hole scores under 40. On top of those competitive rounds, was the irons only 9 that carded a 38. I managed to break 80 for the first time in something like 3 years. The last round I played was in a team match play event. Even with some early miscues in the first round, the T200s kept me competitive through the weekend. I hit a handful of difference making shots in 4-ball and alternate shot. Then in singles, with the match even after 14 holes; I hit 3 of 4 GIR coming in, including slightly mis hit layup and approach shots on the par 5 18th, but that was enough to take the match 2-up and earn my second full point for the weekend.

(photos T palms card, Consvtry card)

The Good, the bad, the in-between 20 out of 20

The good – with my previous set, I dreaded pulling the 4 or 5 iron for approach shots. I had just about zero confidence in either of those clubs. Interestingly, it’s been the 5 iron and 4 hybrid that have generated some of the best, and most clutch shots I’ve hit with this new set.
The bad – with the very slight increase in carry distances, this set managed to stretch out what I already thought was too great a gap between my PW and lowest lofted wedge. That’s left me without a club in the bag for the 105-115 distance. The in-between – going into the fitting, I told Joe, “everything is on the table” as far as set makeup, shafts, etc. I’ll admit I was a little skeptical when he grabbed the first graphite shaft option. The performance of this combination though was just too hard to beat and the Tensei blues got the nod over the Nippon Zelos lightweight steel shaft.

The only other negative to all of this? If I keep scoring this well, I’m gonna wind up in the A Flight and one set of tees further back (at least the 4h and 5i are pulling their weight now)

Play it or Trade it? 20 out of 20

If you’ve read this far, you can probably guess the answer to that one. These irons are definitely in the bag to stay. Giving props to Joe for yet another really good fitting and further testimony to the value of that in selecting clubs, I’ve played some of my best golf in years with this set in the bag. I’ve regained some lost confidence in using the longer clubs for approach shots. Seeing my GIR number on the rise, and looking at score cards with 10 and 11 holes played to par or better has me more excited about where my game is, and where it could get to, than I have been in a long time.

(And the Gap Wedge to work into the bottom of the set to fill in that yardage gap is on order)

Conclusion

What does Titleist claim for the T200 irons? They call it a Player’s Distance iron, so it should be the middle ground between the workability of a muscle-back/blade design, and the forgiveness of a cavity back, perimeter weighted game improvement iron. In other words, the sweet spot for my mid-handicap game. Even comparing these directly to their original release predecessors, I got improvement all across my iron game using the new T-200.

Titleist also claims:

Enhanced Feel – If by enhanced they mean softer, I can concur. If you’re accustomed to the more distinct feedback to the hands of a forged blade or muscle back, these will feel “muted” to quote myself and another tester. That doesn’t mean

they don’t tell you enough to know when you nailed the sweet spot, or got one a little thin. I also felt like I had a little better club head awareness through the swing and transition with these.

Clean and Confident Shape – Titleist has changed their mindset on whether or not they want you to blend their iron sets. The T-series is designed just for that. While I didn’t wind up with a blended set after my fitting, the lines and appearance at setup frame the ball nicely. Closing the back of the clubhead and making it more of a hollow body cavity back makes the look consistent when you do blend the set, and, at least for me, gave me a little more confidence up and down the set.

Effortless Turf Interaction – Definitely a Check! I got to play these in a variety of conditions, and from a variety of fairway and off-fairway lies. My divot shape had been a little shallower, but definitely more consistent on the range. I’ll also testify to seeing far less distance given away on shots where I said “caught that one a little heavy” while the ball was in fight. Also very consistent performance for me through the set in this category, helping to restore some lost confidence in the longer irons.

Better Tungsten for Better Scoring – Also Check! I’ve carded some of my best scores in years during this test period. The upgraded tungsten in the new design generated higher ball flight and better descent angle than my earlier version T200s. My GIR numbers improved along with my number of par-or-better holes each round.

Final Score 97 out of 100
At least for this mid-handicap, self-described “B-Flight hack”, the Titleist T-200 irons more than fit the bill, and proved out

just about every detail Titleist claims. If you are in the market for a new set of Players Distance type irons, I am more than a believer in these.

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(photo final bag)

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