Exclusive Podcast – Titleist Distance Irons & 818 Hybrids


President of Titleist Golf, Steve Pelisek, joins us for episode #249 of the Golf Better Podcast to introduce the new Titleist 818 line of hybrids and the distance iron side of the new 718 line in the 718 T-MB, 718 AP1, and 718 AP3.

In the second part of this episode, we discuss the 818 H1 and H2 hybrids, the 718 T-MB, 718 AP1 and 718 AP3 irons, the different shapes and looks of the hybrids, how these clubs can benefit your game, what players are using on tour, how Titleist puts a new spin on these scoring clubs, and how who can benefit most from the new 818 line.

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Tom Brassell: Welcome to Golf Better, and Worldwide Golf Shops. Episode 249. Tom Brassell here everyone. Greetings and salutations. Whether you’re a first-time listener or long time subscriber, maybe somewhere in the middle. Doesn’t matter. We’re just glad you joined us.

Back for an encore appearance today is our good friend, Mr. Steve Pelisek from Titleist Golf. Steve, thanks so much for coming back man. It’s good to have you.

Steve Pelisek: Oh, thanks for having me Tom. It’s always a pleasure.

Tom Brassell: Hey, last time we talked about all new from Titleist, with regards to the tour clubs. I think for me, and for the most of us, the distance clubs are what’s gonna really get us going, because that’s gonna fit most of us. Take us through that.

Steve Pelisek: Yeah. You know, the iron category is pretty exciting around here right now, because there are … We’ve got a platform that we know works. We know how to take where we are today, which is we’ve got a great history of making high performance irons with ultimate precision. We make custom irons. Number one iron on tour. Our pedigree is in making really good irons. This new platform, this distance platform works. And we know we can do it while maintaining and protecting all the things that dedicated golfers expect from us. So, we can take the package they’re expecting, and add quite a bit of distance to it. And that’s always an exciting time. So yeah, we’re introducing within the family, ’cause we’re introducing six new iron models here in the 718 family. But three of them are built for speed. They’re build for distance, Tom. We’ve got the tour family, which is MB, CB, and AP2, but then we’ve got these distance irons that are really, that’s what they’re built for. They’re not the same. It’s a different construction, the slightly different look, maybe a little different feel. But AP1, AP3, and the TMB, they’re distance irons. That’s what they’re for.

Tom Brassell: Well take us through a little bit about, of course, the importance of being custom fit for them, but after you’re custom fit, what’s gonna be in your bag, ’cause this is exciting stuff.

Steve Pelisek: Yeah, it is. It is. Well, I, like many, have been playing the AP2 for a while. AP2 is a phenomenal iron. It’s such a technologically advanced iron. But we’ve used the technology Tom, frankly to drive up the forgiveness, the inertia properties of the iron. We haven’t tweaked the loft. They’re still very traditional. Compared to some strong lofted irons in the marketplace, AP2 is not built that way. And so, hey man, I started playing AP2 ten years ago. I’m five of six yards shorter than I was ten years ago, and we noticed there was, frankly a lot of our iron loyalists were in that same position.

818-heroSo, we knew that we needed an iron in between AP1 and AP2. And that’s what AP3 really is. It combines … It’s a relatively thin top line, compact blade, but it has a loft progression more like AP1, so it’s stronger lofted, and it has a ton of tungsten in it, which keeps the center of gravity very low, which keeps the trajectory high, so you can strengthen lofts and not worry about losing trajectory. So now, all of a sudden, we have this tweener club. We call it AP1 plus 2 equals 3, that is perfect for a lot of golfers who like the look and the sound, and the somewhat traditional aspects of a Titleist iron, but want to get back or add that six, seven, eight yards that they maybe once had, or they just want it.

Tom Brassell: Right. It’s really exciting. Also new is the 818 hybrids, correct?

Steve Pelisek: Yes. Yeah

Tom Brassell: Yeah.

Steve Pelisek: You know, we take hybrids seriously around here. We’re the number one hybrid on tour, have been for years. Some folks may not know that. But we look at hybrids as maybe a little different than some. We don’t consider hybrids trouble clubs. We consider them scoring clubs. You get a lot of players who may be from 190, 185, 190, all the way out into the 220’s and 30’s. You’re playing some long Par 4’s, or reachable Par 5, I’m thinking hit the green, get the ball close. Let’s get up and down. Let’s make birdie here. That’s how we approach hybrids, as really almost from an offensive standpoint, so the lineup is lad out a little differently than some, recognizing that most of the time, hybrids are long iron replacements, and or maybe some players prefer to play a hybrid as opposed to maybe a five wood.

818H1(6)We make hybrids in two different shapes, H1 and H2 because players like different shapes. H1 is a little bigger. It’s a little more pear-shaped. It’s more like a traditional hybrid shape, maybe fits as a progression with a fairway wood. So maybe you go driver, three wood, hybrid. And then there’s H2, which is a smaller profile. It’s really more to reflect a guy who would rather play a long iron than maybe a fairway wood. So, it’s more compact, straighter leading edge, slightly lower profile for a steeper slight little trajectory, so for a steeper player who likes to hit ball then turf, like an iron, H2 is the perfect choice. So, you get two shapes. We do lofts every two degrees, and then the lofts are adjustable at plus or minus one, so you can really dial in exactly the gap you’re looking to fill. So, to us, hybrids are a really important part of the set, and for the 818 hybrids, we actually incorporated the Purefit CG, the adjustable CG weighting that we put in 917 drivers and fairways, which is a really powerful fitting tool, which allows you to dial in right to left adjustments in your shot shape. So really excited about 818 hybrids as well as the new irons.

Tom Brassell: Well there’s so many options, and there’s so many different players, and so many games, and so many needs. The most important thing is get to your fitter at Worldwide Golf Shops retail locations and get dialed in. Make sure you find not only the right set, but the right combination of clubs for your game.

818H2(3)Steve Pelisek: Yeah, Tom. Couldn’t say it better. We put this line together, again, whether you’re looking for maximum distance and maximum forgiveness, that a club like AP1 gives you, all the way to the most traditional of soft carbon steel forged blades that an MB gives you, and everything in between. We’ve really tried to take a step back and say, “Okay, what do we need to include in this lineup? How do they need to perform distinctly, and then how might they perform together in a mix and match situation, so that any dedicated golfer with a qualified fitter can pick and choose here, and really arm themselves with a set of irons and hybrids that enable them to truly fill all their gaps, hit every shot they’re gonna encounter on the golf course, and do it in a way that they’re looking down at a package that looks, and sounds, and feels exactly the way they want.

So, we encourage folks to have a ball, try them all. We made all the tour players hit every one of our models. We don’t just say, “Well, you’ve been an MB guy for years, so here’s your new set of MBs. No. Each time we introduce a new family, we encourage the guys, when we go to the tour … This year we did it at Sawgrass at TPC. We have them hit all the models, just so they’re aware of it. So, I encourage everybody to do that. The fitting systems are set up to allow you to do that. Go take an hour, and explore, and walk out with a set of clubs that really fits all your needs.

Tom Brassell: And September’s the great time to do it, because presale starts on 9/1. I believe launch date’s on 9/29. Is that right Steve?

Steve Pelisek: Yep. Yep.

Tom Brassell: Yeah, so-

Steve Pelisek: Global launch, September 29.

Tom Brassell: It’s a great time. Final words Steve, for our listeners?

Steve Pelisek: Enjoy. Enjoy. We are so grateful at Titleist for having such a great brand, and great history. Thanks to all the golfers out there who respect what we do. We respect what you do, and we promise you that these new clubs are gonna perform better than what’s in your bag, so enjoy.

Tom Brassell: Steve Pelisek. Thanks so much. It’s great having you with us. We’ll do it again soon. Thanks.

Steve Pelisek: Thanks Tom.

Tom Brassell: Undoubtedly the message again is the so many variables, the different types of clubs available from Titleist, the different golf swings that are out there. Make sure to take the time to go get custom fit for the right clubs for your game. Not only the right set, but also each individual club, to make sure your bag is stocked with the right weapons for you to score your best. And it’s all the best from Titleist Golf.

Well, special thanks to Steve Pelisek for joining us again, and to you, our listeners. We’ll do it again next time. We have another episode of Golf Better at WorldwideGolfShops.com. So long everyone.