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Titleist U500, U510 utility irons make a case for the return of the long iron—including the 1-iron

July 15, 2019

Titleist’s new U500 and U510 utility irons are an attempt to do what on first blush seems unthinkable and maybe even inadvisable: bring the long iron back to the game of golf. But these new low-lofted hollow designs bring a technology package that suggests that yes, tour players are eager to at least situationally bring the 2-iron and even the 1-iron—yes, the 1-iron—back to their games, but also some average golfers may find themselves eyeing a low-lofted iron to replace that hybrid in their bags they can’t hit.

The U500 and U510 were officially unveiled this week on the range at the Open Championship and will be available at retail in August.

The U500 and particularly the average-golfer-targeted U510 represent a transformational product for Titleist’s iron line. The U500 builds on the L-face design seen in Titleist’s T-MB from 2017. The new models use a forging process to thin the high-strength steel L-face even further to 1.9 millimeters, or less than the thickness of a nickel. That saves weight, which is then repositioned in the form of tungsten weighting. That tungsten weighting—an average of 98 grams per head on the U500 and 95 grams on the U510—lowers the center of gravity, making these low-lofted irons easier to launch. That’s 4-7 percent more tungsten than was used in the T-MB irons.

“It’s really a unique product for us because in the case of the U510 we’ve really never had something with this footprint before,” said Marni Ines, Titleist’s director of product development for irons. “The 510’s low-profile shape and wide sole allows us to put weight down low and back. That combination with the faster face gives us launch plus launch with ball speed and that equals high and far.”

Indeed, some Titleist tour players are even exploring the idea of the lowest-lofted U510 models replacing a fairway wood. That includes a 16-degree model which will have the numeral “1” on the sole. The rise of utility irons gets its fuel annually at the Open Championship, but it may be a viable alternative for more players more than one week a year.

As Josh Talge, vice president of golf club marketing for Titleist puts it, “The U500 is definitely for the better player who wants to play a utility iron. It’s a very compact shape with a lot of speed in it. The U510 is a totally different animal in that it’s for the guy who might be the vocal minority but who says I know I should play a hybrid but I just can’t hit them. This really gives them hybrid-like performance from a utility iron. When these guys hit this club it literally gives them the kind of performance a hybrid might give for other golfers.”

The U500 and U510 use a 17-4 stainless steel body hosel to frame the thin L-face and house the internal tungsten weighting. Both models are offered with stock shafts in graphite. The U500 uses the 90-gram HZRDUS Smoke Black, while the U510 uses the 80-gram version of the same shaft.

The U500 is offered in three lofts (17, 20 and 23 degrees), while the U510 is available in four lofts (16, 18, 20 and 22 degrees). Both models will be available for fitting at authorized Titleist locations on Aug. 8, and will be available at retail Aug. 30 ($250 each).