Golf

Our 5 favorite insights from robot testing Titleist's T-Series irons

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Titleist’s 2023 T-Series lineup won’t hit retail shelves until later this week, which still gives you time to glean some important insights from our recent robotic testing with Golf Laboratories before taking them for a spin. For our latest round of testing, we had the robot swing at 88 mph with the same attack angle and shaft installed in each 7-iron to determine where the differences existed within the lineup.
Below are our 5 favorite insights from testing.
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If you’re looking for significant performance benefits between the previous T200 and the version that recently dropped — you won’t find much in the way of more ball speed. With nearly identical numbers, golfers playing the current T200 might wonder where the improvements lie. With this particular version, Titleist spent time shoring up the overall sound and feel at impact, two areas golfers highlighted during the iron’s development.
But there’s another area where the two versions differ — and it’s in the spin department. During robotic testing, the latest T200 saw spin increase by nearly 700 RPMs on geometric center strikes, and roughly 350 RPMs on heel and toe misses, when compared to the previous iteration.
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Low spin is a surefire way to generate more distance, but it can come at a cost when the spin drops to levels that compromise launch and stability. In addition to generating more spin, the deltas between center, toe and heel impact are tighter than in the previous version. Even with irons that are designed for speed and forgiveness, you need consistent spin rates across the face to bring the entire package together.
Based on our data findings, Titleist engineers have made T200 better in areas where golfers need it most.
As you’d expect from an iron lineup boasting four different models, significant launch and spin deltas exist between models. Outside of the T150 and T200 — we’ll get to those in a moment — there’s roughly a 750 RPMs difference in spin between each model and 1 degree of launch.
Many manufacturers in the industry have similar differentiation from one model to the next, but based on our 7-iron data from 2023 ClubTest, there tends to be some overlap in launch with tighter spin rate deltas.
Keeping the deltas noticeably wide should make it easier for golfers to find the ideal iron model and remove any doubt regarding whether they selected the best option for their game. Going this route also guarantees an offering for every skill level/handicap.
It’s fair to say T150 is the biggest upgrade in the T-Series lineup. Golfers who complained there was too big of a performance gap between T100S and T200 will be happy to know the T150 and T200 produced nearly identical numbers on geometric center strikes during testing — but we’ll get to that shortly. Looking strictly at the T150, the addition of more tungsten and a livelier face turned Titleist’s Tour iron into a serious weapon.
Ball speed jumped 1.5 mph on geometric center strikes, and 0.5 mph on heel and toe misses. Launch and spin numbers remained in line with the previous T100S, so golfers are simply getting more distance that falls in with what we saw out of the T200.
It’s easy to look at the numbers for T150 and T200 and wonder if Titleist made the two models too similar. At the same swing speed and attack angle, the irons generated eerily similar launch, spin and ball speed numbers on center strikes. It’s the one area in the lineup where little differentiation exists, which might not make sense to some golfers.
Why have two irons that do the exact same thing? However, if you go beyond the numbers, the decision to close the gap between T150 and T200 makes sense.
Arguably the two most popular options in the lineup — they also fit the widest range of handicaps — golfers now have the ability to pick the best option for your game, without having to sacrifice speed or go to a different launch or spin window.
For the golfer who wants a smaller profile and has the ability to work the ball a bit more with consistent impact, the T150 offers attributes a better ball striker might prefer. On the flip side, the T200 has a nearly identical profile address but delivers even more forgiveness for the 7 or 11 handicap who doesn’t necessarily find the center on a regular basis.
Looking at off-speed numbers, the T200 was nearly 3 mph faster on toe strikes and 1.4 mph on heel strikes. Therein lies the biggest difference between T150 and T200 — it comes down to whether you need more ball speed protection in your life.
If there are two models that could easily be paired together to create a combo set, it’s T150 and T200.
Similar to the new T200, the T350 was a faster and more consistent product during robotic testing. Compared to the T300, the T350 was 1.4 mph faster across the entire face with a ball speed delta of 4 mph — comparing geometric center ball speed to heel and toe ball speed — versus 6 mph with T300. And it’s all done in a sleeker profile.
Taking a page from the T150, launch and spin numbers remained within the noise between T350 and T300 — but ball speed jumped. This is a case where the iron got faster and more consistent on mishits.
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Jonathan Wall is GOLF Magazine and GOLF.com’s Managing Editor for Equipment. Prior to joining the staff at the end of 2018, he spent 6 years covering equipment for the PGA Tour. He can be reached at jonathan.wall@golf.com.
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