Last fall, Titleist quietly seeded some of its prototype 712U utility irons among its staff players , and said that their reaction would help the company determine whether the clubs would be released to the public. Not quite six months later, we know what that determination is – they'll be available to the public by custom order starting May 15.
Three irons will be available – an 18-degree 2-iron, a 21-degree 3-iron and a 24-degree 4-iron.
All three clubs are forged from 1025 steel and include a high-speed 455 steel face insert. They have a traditional profile with a rounded back design that many better players prefer over cavity back long irons with more offset.
''During the development of 712U, we worked closely with our tour players to design a utility iron that delivers a great combination of consistency and control,'' said Titleist Golf Clubs General Manager Steve Pelisek. ''The deeper CG (Center of Gravity) results in a higher MOI (Moment of Inertia) that increases stability at impact, helping players achieve more consistent distance and trajectory control, whether hitting shots high or low.''
The heads are chrome plated with a satin finish, and are slightly larger than the standard 2-irons, 3-irons and 4-irons in the Titleist MB 712 and CB 712 series. They have a wider, camber-sole design than traditional long irons, which promotes clean turf interaction and is more effective for a variety of attack angles. They also utilize a tapered-tip iron shaft for additional trajectory control.
Each iron carries a suggested retail price of $235 with a steel shaft and $259 with a graphite shaft. Custom up-charges may apply.
After their introduction to Titleist staffers last fall, 712U clubs are currently in the bags of such players as Adam Scott (2-iron), Tim Clark (4-iron) and Geoff Ogilvy (2-iron), who prefer a utility iron over a hybrid as an alternative to traditional long irons. In fact, Titleist says, the 712U already has become the most-played utility iron model on the PGA Tour this season.
''I don't like the look of hybrids, but the 712U (2-iron) looks great at address,'' said Ogilvy. ''It is a bit stronger than a 2-iron, it goes farther than a 2-iron and it's easy to hit. It feels great, performs how I need it to, and I like having it in my bag.''