The new T100•S might have caught us a bit flat-footed but Titleist T400 iron is the one we’ve been waiting for. If you’re a serious golfer with a penchant for big irons, it could be the one you’re waiting for, too. Titleist has finally created a legitimate super game-improvement iron.
Offering something (at this point, anything) for the SGI crowd is just good business but Titleist says T400 was inspired by what’s happening in Japan and other parts of Asia. You think lofts are jacked in your neighborhood? On the other side of the globe, what are being described as Super Distance Irons have taken hold.
Strong lofts notwithstanding, you can think of T400 as the reimagination of TMB. That means it’s also a bit like a full-set adaption of the U•510 utility. Titleist took a big, deep, wide-bodied iron and tweaked it to suit a different type of golfer. I should probably mention that part of the reimagination process was to improve the sound and feel (compared to U•510), particularly on the off-center strikes that are anything but uncommon for the target golfer.
U •510 off-center doesn’t suit anybody.
Look Small(er), Play Big
All of this might sound like a recipe for the kind of massively oversized shovels our readers sometimes rail against, but Titleist says T400 maybe isn’t as big as you’d expect and, for some golfers, maybe not as big as you want. It’s big, but hopefully not so big that you’ll forget it’s a Titleist.
That’s no small detail. A good bit of Titleist’s reputation – and in recent times, its entire reputation – is built on its appeal to better golfers. T400 is part of a larger effort to subtly shift perceptions away from Titleist as a brand for elite golfers to Titleist as a brand for serious avid golfers. You don’t need to be a better player to play Titleist.
The company seems to have come to terms with the reality that all the tour use in the world won’t change the fact that game-improvement is where the money is made. T300 is Titleist’s best-selling iron so there’s logic in extending the lineup to reach the golfer looking for even more Far-Giveness.
That’s Titleist’s word, not mine. I’d ask that you not hold it against them, or me for that matter.
Here’s what it looks like on paper.
Go big or go home, right?
Please suspend your outrage (over both the lofts and the Far-Giveness thing) long enough to read (or re-read) my thoughts on loft-jacking from our T100•S story. The relevant piece is that static loft seldom paints a complete picture. I understand you’re concerned that hitting low-launching “super distance”-inspired worm burners that skip over the green on their way to whatever lies beyond doesn’t exactly sound like golf the way it’s meant to be played, but Titleist says all of that is accounted for in the design.
The expectation is that spin rates will be about one club less but you’ll make up for it with a steeper landing angle.
Disclaimer: Everybody says that about their strong-lofted irons. And yeah…4-6° stronger lofts than what’s typical for the category is a lot to overcome.
Here’s how Titleist says it’s done it.
Split Sole Design
To drive centers of gravity low to promote higher launch, higher peak heights and those steeper descent angles (green-stopping power), all while saving the worm population, Titleist has put a massive amount of tungsten – up to 100g depending on loft – in the sole of the club.
While the transition from the leading edge to the hump is more aggressive, it’s not entirely dissimilar from Cobra’s Speedback. (Shrug emoji/good design travels.) As with Cobra’s offering, Titleist’s Split Sole design pushes the center of gravity even lower and provides a little extra help getting through the turf.
A deep body combined with more weight in the sole means more dynamic loft for the given static loft. It’s the reason Titleist says golfers who demo T400 will find that it launches similarly or better than a normal 7-iron. You can rant and rave and discount it entirely or you can spend 10 minutes hitting them and then decide. Your call. I’m good either way.
“It launches really high and far and it’s fun to hit,” says Josh Talge, VP of Marketing for Titleist Golf Clubs. What more can the super game-improvement player ask for?
Not that I’m convinced any of you care what the face of your irons is made from, but I’ll go ahead and let you know that Titleist is again using a forged SUP-10 L-Face insert that’s around 1.9mm thick. Details.
Other than an eye-popping 38° pitching wedge, the oddity here may be the 4-6° gaps on the short end of the set. That’s undoubtedly a bit wider than you’re likely accustomed to but Talge says it’s about designing for the speed of the target player. If you’re a moderate (i.e., slow) swing-speed player, it should work really well. If you’re a faster swing-speed player, the bigger gaps will likely be a problem. Sorry, T400 isn’t for you.
Pricing and Availability
Retail price for the Titleist T400 Irons is $185.70 per club ($1299/7-piece set) in steel and $199/$1399 for graphite. The stock steel shaft is the True Temper AMT Red. The graphite option is a Mitsubishi Fubuki MV IR 50g/45g (ladies). The stock grip is Golf Pride’s Tour Velvet 360 Lite+.
Availability in the Sun Belt begins February 1. Full US availability begins March 27.
For more information, visit Titleist.com.