Callaway club designer Roger Cleveland said Phil Mickelson’s name can be added to the list of players who will carry a driving iron in this week’s Open Championship at Royal Liverpool.
In an interview that was conducted in the Callaway tour van parked at Hoylake and that appeared on the app @Open Live, Cleveland said, “We have a new utility iron that utilizes the high-strength stainless steel that we have in our fairway woods and hybrids. It’s a 455 Carpenter and creates a lot of ball speed. It’s got a beautiful cradle and a lower CG (center of gravity) and a very hot face. So that’s what (Phil) has put in and a lot of people have put in because of the firmness of the conditions and the potential for wind. You can knock this down and roll it a long, long ways.”
Cleveland was shown in the video holding two utility irons, one labeled as having 18 degree of loft and the other with 21 degrees. Both clubs were labeled Callaway Apex UT.
Like the Callaway X Utility Prototype Irons, the Apex UT irons feature a screw in the sole and what appears to be a beveled leading- and trailing-edge design.
Shortly after Cleveland talked about the club, player Branden Grace was asked to talk about his equipment at Royal Liverpool. The South African said he planned to replace his hybrid and use the club Cleveland had mentioned.
“Callaway has come out with this new Apex Utility with 18 degrees, which is going to come in pretty handy this week,” Grace said. “It’s a great looking club. It feels great as well and is going to be a club which I’m probably going to hit a lot off the tee, you know, to keep it in play. You know, it does run quite a bit.”
When he was asked if the club was going to act as a 2-iron, Grace replied, “Yes, that is basically a 2-iron, yeah.”
Cleveland said in the same interview that Mickelson has played practice rounds with Callaway 2Deep and 3Deep fairway woods.
“He’s been working with one around 11.5 degrees and another at about 12.5 degrees to see if he can drive with that,” Cleveland said. “Again, those have the same material in the face as the utility irons and create a lot of speed. He doesn’t necessarily need a driver, because this goes so far.”