Gear: Callaway Apex, Apex Pro 2019 irons
Price: Apex: $1,399 with True Temper Elevate steel shafts and Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360 grips. ($1,499 graphite); Apex Pro: $1,399 (steel)
Specs: Forged 1020 carbon steel, cup-face design in long and mid-irons, steel/tungsten internal weights and urethane-injected, vibration-dampening material.
Available: Feb. 1
With the updated Apex irons, Callaway wanted to deliver more distance in a design that would appeal to better players. The newest Apex Pro, made for elite golfers, also has distance boosting technology that blends into game-enhancing scoring clubs.
After three years, Callaway decided it is time to update the Apex and Apex Pro irons, clubs that have been popular among lower-handicap players, elite amateurs and pros since they were released in 2016.
The standard Apex, referred to as the Apex CF 19, is forged from 1025 carbon steel for soft feel at impact, and it has hidden features that provide more pop than might be expected from a club with a short blade length and thin topline.
First, Callaway designed the Apex CF 19 3- through 8-irons with a variable-thickness cup face. It allows the edges of the hitting area to be thinner, so the face flexes more efficiently at impact.
Behind the face, Callaway injects liquid urethane that contains millions of microscopic glass bubbles. The urethane microspheres absorb vibrations created at impact to enhance sound and feel, while the materials do not inhibit the face from flexing or reduce ball speed.
The long- and mid-irons were made with a metal-injected-molded steel and tungsten weight in the toe. The weights are different in each club, but they are all designed to counteract the mass of the hosel so the sweet spot is in the center of the face instead of being slightly toward the heel. They also allowed Callaway to lower the center of gravity in the longer irons to make it easier to hit high-flying shots.
From a shaping standpoint, the short irons (9, PW) are more compact than the previous Apex irons, and they have less offset.
The Apex Pro 19 irons were first spotted on the PGA Tour as prototypes in Xander Schauffele’s bag during the 2018 FedEx Cup Playoffs. Slightly more compact than the standard Apex CF 18 irons, the Pro version is forged, and the 3-7 irons feature urethane microspheres injected behind the face for an exceptionally soft feel.
The 3-7 irons also have a cup face, MIM’ed steel and tungsten weights to lower the center of gravity. However, the 8-iron through attack wedge have weights in a higher position and flat faceplates instead of cup faces, which should make it easier to flight approach shots down for improved control in the scoring clubs.
Callaway is making an Apex Combo set available that blends Apex CF 19 long and mid-irons (3-7) with Apex Pro 19 short irons (8-AW). In that set, the sole shape in the Apex Pro 19 irons was given extra camber to match the sole of the Apex CF 19. They also have slightly strong lofts to better address gapping issues.
Both the Apex CF 19 and Apex Pro will be available in platinum chrome and smoke finishes.