November 22, 2017
By Jonathan Wall, PGATOUR.COM
- Jordan Spieth plays his tee shot during a practice round ahead of the 2017 Australian Open in Sydney, Australia. (Getty Images)
One year ago this week, Jordan Spieth won the Australian Open using a new set of Titleist 716 AP2 irons and the 2017 Pro V1x golf ball. He'll try and make it two-for-two with new gear after inserting the company's recently released 718 AP2 irons and Vokey SM7 prototype wedges ahead of his title defense at The Australian Golf Club.
Spieth has used the end of the year as a proving ground for new equipment but has historically been slow to change when it comes to his irons. Prior to committing to 716 AP2 the second time around — he used the irons briefly during a missed at the 2015 NORTHERN TRUST — Spieth stuck with the previous-generation 714 AP2's for close to three-and-a-half years, using the irons to win the 2015 FedExCup and two major championships.
While it marks his first go-around with the irons, it should be noted that Spieth only used 716 AP2 for one full year before adding 718 AP2 to the bag. Spieth was lethal with his irons last season, ranking first on TOUR in Strokes Gained: Approach the green (plus-.906) and fourth in greens in regulation percentage (70 percent).
Compared to the 716 version, the 718 AP2 iron Spieth's using this week underwent some significant changes, including the addition of a new high-strength Japanese spring steel, called SUP10, that was used to make the forged body and face insert — 1.8 millimeters at the top and 2.1 millimeters at the bottom — of the 3-6 irons.
In the past, Titleist has used 1025 carbon steel (body) and 17-4 stainless steel (face) to create AP2; moving to a lighter material made it easier for designers to push the center of gravity location lower in the head for higher ball speeds and a higher launch angle.
The 7-iron has a 3-millimeter 1025 stainless steel face insert, while the 8-iron through pitching wedge are forged from 1025 carbon steel for better feel and control.
Vokey's SM7 prototype wedges should be a seamless transition for Spieth, who normally uses three different grinds (F, S and L) in his four-wedge setup. If Spieth's wedges are identical to what he's used in the past, they are made from carbon steel and have no additional finish applied, allowing them to rust over time. The raw finish also gives Vokey Tour reps the ability to adjust Spieth's grinds as needed.
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