Callaway Apex Muscleback irons

Callaway's Apex Muscleback irons are designed to make it easier to get shots with the long irons up in the air while helping players flight short irons lower.

On the outside, designing golf clubs for mid- and high-handicap players would seem like a tougher job than creating irons for single-digit players with fast, consistent swings.

After all, companies stuff their game-improvement irons with the latest technologies, while muscleback blades looks so . . . simple. But discussions with people such as Alan Hocknell, Callaway's vice president of research and development, quickly lead to the conclusion that making clubs such as the new Callaway Apex Muscleback irons can be very tricky.

"This is really an exercise in attention to detail," Hocknell said. "We've taken feedback from tour players and advanced amateurs and put it into this iron."

To be clear, things like distance and forgiveness are not emphasized with irons such as the Apex Muscleback. Callaway is taking aim at low-handicap players, aspiring club champs and the game's discerning pros. For players seeking forgiveness or help with distance, Callaway will point toward the company's Apex irons or X2 Hot irons.

Forged from 1020 carbon steel for a softer feel, the center of gravity in the Apex Muscleback irons rises from low in the 2- and 3-iron and higher in the mid and short irons. This should make it easier to get shots with the long irons up in the air while helping players flight short irons lower.

Tour pros told Hocknell and Callaway not to change the look at address, so in the hitting position these irons look very familiar to golfers using the Razr X Muscleback irons. However, the new clubs have been given updated grooves, and Callaway modified the sole to make it work through the turf more easily.

The Apex Muscleback irons will be available starting Sept. 12 with KBS Tour-V steel shafts for $1,099 only through Callaway custom order.

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