Gear: Callaway Apex, Apex Pro, Apex DCB irons
Price: $185 each with True Temper Elevate ETS 95 steel shafts and Golf Pride Z Grip Soft grips; $200 each with UST Mamiya Recoil Dart 75 graphite shafts
Specs: Forged 1025 carbon-steel body with tungsten inserts and urethane microspheres
Available: Feb. 11
Callaway’s Apex irons have bridged two worlds since they debuted in 2014, providing the feel of a forged club with the distance enhancement of an undercut-cavity, game-improvement iron. They provide power with feel, a combination any low or mid-handicap golfer should love.
The original Apex irons have been updated three times over the past seven years, and with the 2021 version of the Apex, Apex Pro and now the Apex DCB, Callaway believes it has the most advanced, broadest line of Apex irons yet.
The standard Apex features a body forged from 1025 carbon steel for soft feel and a thin, forged stainless steel cup face designed using artificial intelligence. Callaway started developing driver faces using artificial intelligence three years ago, and it was used to create the faces in last season’s Mavrik irons, but this is the first time Callaway is bringing artificial intelligence to a forged iron. Supercomputers ran thousands of simulations to determine how each face should be made, with different parameters for each club. The long irons are made to enhance distance and forgiveness, while short irons concentrate on spin consistency and control.
The help golfers hit higher-flying, softer-landing approach shots, Callaway added tungsten weights wrapped in urethane microspheres to the 3- through 9-irons. Referred to as a Tungsten Energy Core, the three-weight system varies the amount of tungsten in each club. The weights are metal-injection-molded to ensure precise placement, with lower-lofted clubs having tungsten designed near the bottom of the head to lower the center of gravity and encourage a higher launch. Higher-lofted clubs have tungsten placed higher in the chassis to enhance feel and promote a more piercing, controlled ball flight. On average, there is six times more tungsten in each iron compared to the Apex ’19 irons.
The urethane microspheres that encase the weights are tiny glass bubbles that absorb vibrations at impact. They enhance sound and feel but do not impede the face from flexing or reduce ball speed. Callaway said the new Apex irons are 3 yards longer than the 2019 model and 5 yards longer on shots hit low in the face.
The Apex Pro irons, like their predecessors, have a shorter blade length, thinner topline and less offset than the standard Apex irons. But the 2021 version is very different than last season’s Apex Pro.
Cosmetically, they have a more sophisticated look designed to appeal to better players, and the most significant difference is Callaway made the new Apex Pro hollow. This should help the forged, artificial intelligence-designed cup faces flex more efficiently to create more ball speed.
The Apex Pro 3-iron through 7-iron also have a Tungsten Energy Core system, like the standard Apex, but in the Pro model the mid- and short irons have the tungsten higher in the heads. The more elevated center of gravity in the mid- and short irons should allow accomplished golfers to shape shots more effectively.
Finally, for golfers who have admired the feel of the Apex irons but need more forgiveness, Callaway is offering the Apex DCB, which stands for deep cavity back. Like the Apex and Apex Pro, it is forged from 1025 carbon steel for soft feel, has artificial intelligence-designed faces and the Tungsten Energy Core system. However, for higher-handicap golfers the Apex DCB has a wider sole and thicker topline with more offset. The lofts are stronger, but Callaway said golfers can still hit their iron shots higher into the air because the center of gravity location is so low and back, away from the cup face.
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