Our Callaway X Forged irons review took place at the Golf Shack at Moor Allerton in Leeds.

We gathered data using a Foresight GC Quad launch monitor thanks to PGA professional James Whitaker.

Callaway X Forged irons review – First impressions

Callaway X Forged irons review

The irons arrived into our offices at the same time as the new Apex MB.

They both look sensational but after putting them both into the address position it was clear the X Forged were the most appealing to me.

It just looks like there’s a bit more golf club so they aren’t anywhere near as intimidating.

Callaway X Forged irons review

The finish on the X Forged is also superb it’s more off a brushed chrome effect compared to the mirror-like Apex MB.

This is a model that many players have loved over the years – Phil Mickelson has been using the 2013 X Forged model for some time now.

I actually spotted Callaway staffer Alex Noren testing the 2018 X Forged at the British Masters so he may be making the move from the 2016 Apex Pro irons.

Callaway X Forged irons review

Callaway X Forged irons review – The technology

Callaway X Forged irons review

The X Forged will offer a bit more forgiveness than the Apex MB thanks to its cavity-back design. Think of it as the CB to the Titleist 718 MB or the SC to the Mizuno MP-18 blade.

But I feel the X Forged has wider appeal than those models and can work for the low-mid handicap golfer with no problem at all.

Callaway X Forged irons review

Like with the Apex MB the enhanced feel comes from Callaway’s triple net forging process.

The design of the new X Forged should also offer improved turf interaction and more spin from the 20v precision grooves.

Callaway X Forged irons review – The results

Callaway X Forged irons review

There’s a lovely crisp sound and feel off the face with these and they aren’t difficult to hit.

They do feel a lot more playable than the Apex MB and they seem to perform slightly better on off-centre hits.

But like with the Apex MB, I was noticing a bit of a drop in distance from what I would expect from the ‘game-improvement’ irons I am used to.

Callaway X Forged irons review

The lofts are a factor. The 7-iron in the X Forged set has 33˚ whereas I’m more used to 30˚.

And they don’t quite have the same ‘bouncy’ feel off the face as say the Steelhead XR, Titleist AP1 or Ping G400.

These are precision clubs rather than distance clubs and players with similar swings speeds to me might notice a drop in distance if they are used to more ‘helpful’ irons.

Callaway X Forged irons review

Callaway X Forged irons review – NCG verdict

If you’re a mid-handicapper looking to improve then irons like these may be a wise move.

You’ll get more feedback on where you are striking the ball and you’ll be able to work the ball both ways with a bit more ease.

The looks, sound and feel of these clubs is fantastic – you’ll really enjoy using them and look forward to playing golf with a set of these in the bag.

For me personally, I’m not quite ready to give up that distance and help I get from my current irons but if I could improve the consistency of my ball-striking I’d be delighted to put these into play.


SRP: £1,049 (7 irons)

Available: 3-PW

On sale: January 26, 2018

More information can be found on the Callaway website.

James Savage

Former equipment editor of NCG. Inconsistent ball-striker and tea-maker.

Handicap: 17

Ireland Golf Package: Play Portsalon, Old & Glashedy courses, Ballyliffin, for £375 per person


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