Callaway Apex irons

Apex irons, the venerable name long linked to Ben Hogan Co., soon will be resurrected as a Callaway reincarnation.

Callaway Golf sold the Ben Hogan brand to apparel giant Perry Ellis in 2012, but it kept certain trademarks associated with Ben Hogan golf equipment, including Apex.

Now comes the new forged Callaway Apex iron, earmarked for the “distance forged iron” category. 

The lofts of the Apex are stronger than those of traditional forged irons. However, the flight trajectory also is higher, thanks to the cavity-back design and the ultra-thin face made of 455 Carpenter steel. This is the same material used in Callaway’s X Hot fairway woods, which have gained a reputation for their length.

The face is welded into the iron and, at impact, the ball “seems to jump off the face but is very consistent in the distance it flies,” said Luke Williams, Callaway’s global director of woods and irons, insisting that the Apex has resolved the flaw of many thin-faced irons: lack of distance control.

Such advances and a bit of nostalgia have raised Callaway’s expectations for the new iron.

“Apex is a name that resonates with a lot of people,” Williams said. “There will be players who never felt they had the ability to play a forged iron, but they will buy this one.” 

The body is made of 1020 forged carbon steel. The 3-, 4- and 5-irons have tungsten weights in the sole to lower the center of gravity and produce higher shots. The weights are not needed in the rest of the irons because Callaway engineers were able to place the CG where they wanted it without tungsten.

Stock shafts include the True Temper XP95 in steel (eight irons, $1,099) and the UST Mamiya Recoil in graphite (eight irons, $1,299). The Apex irons will be at retail Dec. 6.

An Apex Pro version, with a slightly smaller head, will be available later in January. “It is still a distance forged iron,” Williams said. “I expect it (the Pro version) to be our most popular iron on Tour next year.”

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