With World No 2 Jon Rahm on board, the question now is which of the new Callaway Apex range will he put in his bag? Let’s take a closer look at what’s on offer…
Callaway Apex irons and hybrids: First impressions
They’ve always been great looking clubs and this year’s offering look to be their best yet. The MB irons, in particular, had me swooning during the unboxing and, as an Apex Pro player, I am a huge fan of the updated look.
As for the hybrids, I’m not usually one for a squarer iron-like hybrid – but I think that might be about to change.
Right, shall we get under the bonnet?
There are five new irons in the Apex 21 iron line-up this year – all of which are designed to deliver forged performance.
Although each model varies in terms of performance characteristics, there are a few shared technologies across the range.
The MB irons aside, they all feature an AI-designed flash face cup. Each iron face has been specifically designed by Callaway’s super computer to provide high ball speeds and the spin robustness needed for that club.
Callaway Apex MB irons
These are designed for the best players in the game and we’re expecting to see these in Jon Rahm’s bag. So while we may all drool over the pictures, realistically these aren’t going to work for most of us.
They have a classic tour shaping with a compact blade length, refined sole, and thin top line. The top of the 4-iron is so slim it’s scary.
The clubface features what Callaway are calling ‘precision grooves’ designed for control and consistent spin. They also stand out off the face to help reduce fliers from the rough continuing that control story.
Finally the most obvious new tech is that massive new weight in the back of the clubhead. Believe it or not this allows Callaway to dial in the swing weight of the club without affecting the centre of gravity. Pretty neat right? Pretty is probably the right way to describe this club too.
Callaway Apex TCB irons
Again this is specifically design for tour players and elite golfers and we see pretty traditional specs in terms of lofts, bounces, and blade lengths suitable for those stronger high swing speed players.
These have a similar footprint to the previous X Forged 18 offering but now have a hollow body construction, meaning it isn’t a solid metal club head there is a open gap in the middle. It features a tour-tuned face plate on the back and tungsten weighting to maximise performance.
Callaway Apex Pro irons
Again we see these out on tour a lot but these feature an added level of forgiveness that means more of us mere mortals can get them out in play.
This is thanks to a huge tungsten “energy core” – I’m sure they name these things to keep us on our toes – which is a 90-gram plate which sits inside the middle hollow section of the club. This is the largest amount of tungsten per iron ever in an Apex club which is pretty cool.
Why do we want this? More weight lower makes these easier to launch and adds forgiveness too. Win win.
Although this has a hollow club head construction it is still a forged head which combined with Callaway’s urethane microspheres gives you that lovely sound and feel at impact.
Urethane microspheres? This is a piece of urethane with 500,000 minuscule hollow spheres inside it. These are positioned so they are touching the back of the club face. This compressed during impact and absorbs any unwanted vibrations to improve the impact feel for you. And it does all that without affecting your ball speed. Pretty cool, right?
After using the Apex Pro last season I am really excited to test these out.
Callaway Apex irons
Here we have the forged distance category and a more mass market club.
These feature five times the amount of tungsten we saw in the previous iteration so expect to see some serious forgiveness on those off centre strikes.
Although you’re getting more distance in this model you are still not losing out on feel. The body of this iron is 100% forged and again we have Callaway’s urethane microspheres. These combined with the new shaping helps to enhance feel.
Callaway Apex DCB irons
The new DCB has been added to the Apex line up to give golfers the opportunity to play a deep cavity back iron in a forged players’ club shape.
This is the most forgiving Callaway Apex iron ever and feature 50 grams of tungsten energy core per club.
This allows Callaway to very precisely control where the centre of gravity is in each individual iron to get the correct launch and more forgiveness.
Even though this is a game improvement offering it is still forged from carbon steel with addition urethane microspheres to deliver great sound and feel.
Callaway Apex Pro hybrids
Aimed at pros and low handicap golfers, these feature a fixed hosel and squarer iron line look at address as typically this is what pros and better players prefer to see over the ball.
Callaway Apex 21 hybrid
The Apex 21 is then designed to be more of a players’ distance offering that would suit a wider variety of handicaps and golfers. This is thanks to new ball speed technologies and some game improvement features, but all packaged in a smaller players shape.
These hybrids are all about providing high launch with forgiveness thanks to a rather large tungsten weight in each club head. This moves the centre of gravity lower to give you that nice high launch you desire.
They also have an adjustable hosel so a club fitter can dial in the exact loft and trajectory you want for maximum versatility.
So what’s new with the tech?
Jailbreak is again a key story here. This technology has been around for quite a few years now but it has been updated for 2021 with the help of Callaway’s super computers.
So how is it different? New ‘velocity blades’ have been added onto the Jailbreak structure. This increases the vertical stiffness of the club especially near the sole. This provides more ball speeds on those shots hit low off the face.
They also allow the face, which wraps over onto the crown, the ability to flex and produce more consistent spin numbers. Finally they add forgiveness as the clubface doesn’t twist open or closed as much on off-centre strikes.
The hybrids are available in 19°, 21°, 24° and 27°.
If you’ve made it this far, well done. Here’s what you need to know…
Available: February 11, 2021
RRP: £249 (hybrids); £1,089 (irons, steel); £1,399 (irons, graphite)
Hybrid stock shafts: UST Recoil Dart 75g (Apex 21); Mitsubishi MMT 70g (Apex Pro)
Iron stock shafts: Custom only (Apex MB, Apex TCB); True Temper Elevate ETS, Mitsubishi MMT (Apex Pro); True Temper Elevate ETS, UST Recoil Dart (Apex, Apex DCB)
Grips: Golf Pride Z Grip Soft (Apex hybrid); Golf Pride Z Grip (Apex Pro hybrid, Apex Pro irons)
More information: Callaway website