Teacher’s Comments: The best feeling, most accurate irons I have ever played.
Callaway’s Apex Irons are an aspirational set of irons. They demand that you improve your swing to get the most out of them, but won’t completely beat you up until you arrive at that point.
In short, Callaway Apex irons have made me a better player—not just with the irons, but also with my wedges, hybrids, fairway metals and driver … especially the driver. They’re “game improvement” irons in the best possible way. The Forged Callaway Apex irons don’t cover up my mistakes and gain ten yards in the process. Instead, they let me know when my swing faults are creeping back in. I can “feel” the mishits and know instantly what I have done wrong.
Callaway Apex Irons reward a smooth, inside out swing with a full follow-through. When I pull this off, the shot feels like the proverbial knife cutting through butter, and the ball soars beautifully down the line to the target.
And yet, somehow, even when I can’t pull off such a shot, the Apex irons still allow me to move the ball forward. A set of forged irons that I tried some years ago just embarrassed me on every swing that wasn’t textbook: balls dribbled down the fairway, or flew off in random directions. They were enough to make me swear off “players’ clubs.” The Apexes, on the other hand, are forgiving enough to avoid all that, while still demanding improvement.
I’m shooting my best scores in years with the Apex Irons, and not all of that is from improvement with the irons. I’m hitting my driver further and more accurately, too. As crazy as it may seem, I ascribe that directly to the Apex Irons. I think that smooth move with the full extension and finish bleeds over into the driver. And to the woods. And the hybrids.
Recently, a lady I was playing with complimented me on my “beautiful swing.” Another time a player asked “do you ever miss a green?” (I do, but not on that round.)
That’s the Apex irons speaking.
All of that said, I am not getting as much distance on the Apex irons as I do on my R7 XDs. They’re all a club shorter than my R7 XDs (which to be fair, are longer for me than any club I’ve ever tested).
I can explain away three of the yards due to the difference in loft. The XDs likely have a bigger sweet spot, so I’m getting more there. There may also be a difference in the shafts. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Apex irons have a stiffer shaft than the XDs.
But none of that matters. The Callaway Apex irons are much more accurate than my game improvement sticks and I’m hitting more fairways and greens. My scores are falling.
A few other notes:
- There’s a lot of spin on these irons. For the first time, balls are stopping dead on the green. My previous strategy has been to land a ball short and let it kick forward. Now, I need to pick a club that puts me in the middle of the green.
- As I noted before: these are somewhat shorter for me. I’ll mitigate that by saying that they may very well be longer for you, depending upon what you’re playing.
- They are eye catching. I’ve gotten complements.
- I can’t say enough about the feel of these clubs. Simply the best I’ve played, including my set of forged Mizuno clubs.And while I’m dishing out praise, I’ll note that nothing I have never played a set that was as good around the green. The seven iron in particular is a wonder for me. I recently had a five round streak with at least one chip-in. Even when I’m dropping it in, I’m finishing close.So here are the obligatory technical details of the clubs:Callaway’s Apex design consists of a forged steel frame to which a 455 Carpenter steel face has been welded. The face insert, Callaway says, increases ball speeds one to two mph, which in turn delivers more distance.
A deep undercut cavity increases the unsupported portion of the face, allowing more flex, and presumably, more speed. A rubber insert and badge work to dampen vibration.
In the three, four and five irons, tungsten inserts are designed to help improve launch conditions.
On the face, wide space grooves are designed to deliver more consistent spin.
Apex Irons Specifications
Name Loft Length Lie Graphite SW Steel SW 3 19° 39” 60° D0 D2 4 21.5° 38.5” 60.5° D0 D2 5 24° 38” 61° D0 D2 6 27° 37.5” 61.5° D0 D2 7 31° 37” 62° D0 D2 8 35° 36.5” 62.5° D0 D2 9 40° 36” 63° D0 D2 PW 45° 35.75” 63.5° D0 D2 AW 50° 35.5” 63.5° D0 D2 SW 55° 35.25” 63.5° D0 D2
In size and look at address, they are somewhere between a standard game improvement iron and a player’s blade.
Mid handicappers who aspire to better play would be well served to take a good long look at the Callaway Apex Forged Irons. I’m convinced that they will make you a better player.
Thanks to Callaway for the opportunity to test these irons (and incidentally, to improve my game).