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Report: Callaway to revive the ‘Apex’ name

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Members of our forums have been buzzing for weeks about the possibility of a Callaway forged iron that would bear the name “Apex,” a nod to the fan-favorite forged irons produced by the Ben Hogan golf brand, which Callaway purchased as a part of its acquisition of Top Flite Golf Co. in 2003.

Last week, we snapped photos of a prototype Callaway driver and two prototype irons at the Deutsche Bank Championship. According to a report by Golfweek’s James Achenbach, the larger iron model, which had yellow tape placed in the cavity to hide its logo, will be called “Apex.”

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Unlike the Ben Hogan Apex FTX irons released in 2004 (pictured left), the new Apex irons are a multi-material iron with a deep undercut. That makes them more similar to Callaway’s 2010 Diablo Forged iron (pictured right), which were forged from 1020 carbon steel but featured welded 455 carpenter steel faces to increase ball speed and forgiveness.

In 2012, Callaway sold the Ben Hogan brand to apparel company Perry Ellis Inc., which has been the official licensee of Callaway apparel since taking over for Ashworth in 2005. According to Achenbach, Callaway retained the rights to certain Ben Hogan-related trademarks, however, such as Apex and Edge.

Callaway has yet to release any details on the Apex irons, but we expect that they will begin to surface in the near future. You can see more photos of the Apex irons in the gallery below.

Click here to see what members are saying about the irons in the forums.

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29 Comments

29 Comments

  1. Sheen

    Jul 15, 2015 at 7:31 pm

    Interesting business & marketing case :
    APEX is symbolic product identifier of Ben Hogan ironw, which casts the image of best performance and high quality forged iron like top notch product. In this case, it only can do the role of premium line endorser of Callaway Iron for whom considering or might to buy Callaway irons by comparing with Taylormade, Cobra etc…but NOT Titlelist or Mizuno something high flying payer’s brand supplier.
    So it would be NOT best strategy for Callaway. Just could be GAP closing strategy.
    But on the other hand, if Ben Hogan Equipment used this name, and reintroduced powerful old hit products such as APEX pus, Edge pro and Redlines through re-trimming in modernized version, I could image very fantastic marketing case of ‘Oldest but Goodiest’.
    Any Opinions?

  2. Jeff

    Oct 8, 2013 at 11:56 am

    Just seen the X2 Hot clubs today and I like them, the orange paint scheme along with the hyper speed frame face should perform quite well on paper. Also seen the putters for 2014 as well, nice to to see callaway releasing the versa tank line, should be a good seller. Also nice to see new additions to the versa and white hot pro lines, with new putter shapes such as the jailbird and havoc putters.

  3. joe

    Sep 12, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    oh boo hoo. complain complain complain. the golf club could be named peewee herman. long as it performs, shouldnt matter. “the ben hogan” name. WHO CARES?!

  4. Go Low

    Sep 12, 2013 at 11:21 am

    Callaway is out of touch with reality. they have no appreciation for the workmanship that was put in the apex line by the Hogan company.
    Callaway does not realize that there is suck a srong market if they make something similar to the Ben Hogan 50th Anniversary Irons. It is a disgrace they butchered the Apex name….What a Shame!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • JHM

      Sep 13, 2013 at 3:28 pm

      If there is such a strong market, why did the Hogan brand fold. Seems to me Callaway is very in touch with what the public will purchase.

  5. Chris

    Sep 12, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Callaway has some interesting stuff in the pipeline…Apex and Apex Pro, X hot 2 irons, X hot 2 Driver with Aldila Atx blue and green in Pro model….milled metal x coming in February….new product looks pretty darn good to me, but I agree maybe the Apex name should have been on a blade.

  6. Kyle

    Sep 10, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    I can honestly say that each and every one of you will be proven wrong. The Apex irons to be released from Callaway are fantastic. Callaway just had their sales meeting regarding 2014 product. There will be two Apex irons released. Both of them forged from a newly refined forging process which allows Callaway to introduce a new, and much faster, face design. Testing down at ECPC have shown to produce enhanced spin robustness as well as extra distance. There will be an Apex Pro series which is not the one featured. I understand that many and most of the Apex fans are desiring a beautiful blade like construction in look as well as feel. The forged Pro model, which has not been released in images will satisfy those desires in my opinion. The Apex Pro will offer the look and feel that Hogan fans are looking for. From everything I have seen and heard, this is going to be a monster year for Callaway. At least they are not offering a gimmick “speed slot” in their irons. X 2 Hot irons and fairway woods will be the best performers. Let’s hope callaway can keep up in the marketing and social community to allow their superior performance to get noticed by consumers and customers alike. On top of the two apex lines, which are both forged, there will also be a revamp in the forged players clubs series as well. I do not believe any tour level drivers or irons were discussed in the meetings. The new X Hot line will offer an even faster face design!! The new process for constructing the face gives Callaway the ability to obtain higher CT testing. Whereas before, they could not reach any closer to the limit in fear of variances causing some product to be above the CT limit. The new process allows them to approach that limit safely and provide more distance. But even more importantly, the new face designs on fairway woods and also being introduced in the new hybrids and the concepts will also be introduced in the irons. The new design does increase ball speed but most importantly is much more consistent and much better performing on off center hits than previous models. MUCH!! more consistent. Anyways, I’ll get off this little rant of mine. Keep an eye out for 2014 Callaway product. There is much more to come than you may know. Wait for the actual release photos before making a judgement. They are beautiful!!

    • OhioGolfDude

      Sep 11, 2013 at 1:57 pm

      2013 was a big step forward in regards to design and performance of all Callaway products. I personally love the look of the unbadged iron in the pix, and if the non-pro version performs anything like the DF did, look out. Current trends seem to point that even hackers like the forged feel, but could use the extra forgiveness (even players like Stenson using the Legacy black). I’m currently gaming the Razr XF and these are some of the best feeling and performing irons I’ve used.

    • tom

      Sep 11, 2013 at 11:06 pm

      AMEN brother! At least hit the dang thing first before you start complaining, people.

  7. Matthew

    Sep 10, 2013 at 1:35 pm

    You guys do know that there were cavity versions of the Apex right? I don’t see what all of the fuss is about. There just isn’t enough of a market for Callaway to make two different verisons of blade irons.

  8. Andrew

    Sep 9, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    Ely would not have approved…. hell, he would not have approved of much of what is coming out of the company these days…

  9. michael

    Sep 8, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    Callaway should be ashamed in using the apex name on any club that does not have the Hogan name attached to it. Those irons were some of the best made period. The pictures of the next generation is a disgrace to the name and to the great golfer Ben Hogan. I have often wondered why the irons have not been made they were again some of the highest quality irons made even better than the Titleist Irons that were made and I had a set in the 1980s and 1999’s.
    I hope that someone will make the irons again.

  10. Devin

    Sep 8, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    YUCK… Its probably going to come with the all too famous UNIFLEX shaft as well. Just as Callaway had made a turn for the better they try something like this. If Phil talks about what a dream his new “APEX” irons next year at TPC Scottsdale it wouldn’t even surprise me.

  11. jgpl001

    Sep 8, 2013 at 6:32 pm

    A real step backwards

    Callaway – let the Apex rest in peace

  12. MBAISLEY

    Sep 7, 2013 at 3:46 pm

    I agree 100% with the previous comments. I will be sorely disappointed if the Apex name winds up on this club. And that isn’t to say that I don’t like the looks of the new club….. I am actually quite interested to see more of it. (I can’t hit blades like I used to…. have to take advantage of some of these forged cavity irons that are out these days.)

    Mainly, I am just sad that the Hogan brand is gone from the equipment scene. I wish Callaway could’ve found a way to keep the Hogan line of forged irons alive. I guess it just wasn’t profitable to do it.

    I feel the same way about the unfortunate demise of the MacGregor brand.

    I played MacGregor forged irons for a long time, dozens of different models (V-foil, MT, Don White customs, 1991 VIPs, CB92 VIP Tours, JNPs, Muirfields, you name it), but I stopped buying MacGregor stuff when Golfsmith bought the brand. Golfsmith’s “VIP” forged iron isn’t a piece of junk, but it isn’t up to the standard that I have always associated with MacGregor forgings.

    Moreover, it’s been 4 or 5 years since MacGregor was sold to Golfsmith, and they’ve only offered a single forged iron…. the aforementioned VIP. How about some new stuff, Golfsmith? I’d be willing to give it a chance (but my hopes won’t be too high).

    Maybe if Callaway hits one out of the park with this new iron, I’ll forgive them for calling it Apex. But they’d better give it their very best effort!!

    • purkjason

      Sep 9, 2013 at 8:02 am

      I still have the Macgregor Muirfields and the Macgregor Jack Nicklaus Celebrity Iron Set. I agree that Macgregor is a timeless classic of forged beauty and quality. I still take these irons to the driving range when I need to improve my ball striking. I wish Jack Nicklaus could buy Macgregor and show the American People once again that Macgregor can rise to its past glory against all the OEM Marketing Scam giants.

  13. Roger

    Sep 7, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    Could be time for an Apex appreciation thread
    from those of us who have bagged a set and appreciate a Classic.
    Clearly, the clubs pictured are a dissapointment.
    Callaway have produced some superb products lately!
    Plenty of time for Team Callaway to LISTEN to what WRX’ers
    feel is a Club Design that pays respect to Mr Hogan’s legacy.

  14. Jack

    Sep 7, 2013 at 9:23 am

    I guess we have a consensus. Apex should be on players irons. Maybe it doesn’t even matter cuz it won’t be Ben hogan brand anyway.

  15. Mike

    Sep 7, 2013 at 7:46 am

    Calling that pig “apex” is an abomination!

  16. BigBoy

    Sep 7, 2013 at 2:26 am

    Callaway engineers/designers wouldn’t have a clue about why Hogan called it the Apex nor do they have the ability to design such an iron…hack engineers=hack clubs.

  17. John

    Sep 6, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    Make a iron for strikers to give a nod to hogan…

  18. snowman

    Sep 6, 2013 at 11:20 pm

    No Way that shovel should called Apex. The Hawk would not be pleased.

  19. TravisLG

    Sep 6, 2013 at 9:55 pm

    I hope this is all a rumor…

  20. JD

    Sep 6, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    A bloody disgrace that the classic Apex name is tagged onto that monstrosity. Shame on you Callaway.

  21. Andrew

    Sep 6, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    Definitely NOT the right product to wear that badge…

  22. Matthew Bacon

    Sep 6, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    Diablo Forged look cheap where the Apex was classic

    • Jim Santelli

      Sep 11, 2013 at 1:24 pm

      Callaway destroyed the Ben Hogan name! Walmart in Texas is carrying Ben Hogan branded clothing and now this. Won’t even look at another Callaway product ever!

      • wes

        Sep 19, 2013 at 10:27 am

        Callaway doesn’t own the Ben Hogan name…

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Justin Thomas’ winning WITB: 2019 CJ Cup

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Driver: Titleist TS3 (9.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana ZF 60TX

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3-wood: Titleist TS3 (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Blue 80TX

5-wood: Titleist 915Fd (18 degrees)
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Wedges: Vokey Design SM7 (46, 52, 56 degrees), Vokey Design SM6 (60 degrees)
Shaft: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400

Photo via Vokey Wedge Rep Aaron Dill

Putter: Scotty Cameron X5

Grip: SuperStroke Pistol GT Tour

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

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Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord

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*Equipment accurate as of the Houston Open

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5-wood: Ping G410 (@17 degrees, flat standard, 5g face weight)
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WRX Spotlight: EV3D putters

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We hear the buzz words “3D printed” all the time these days. It’s a newer technology that has shown to have lots of applications in other industries, but golf hasn’t been one of those until now. 3D printing a putter is a pretty new adventure, but EV3D Golf is showing that it is going to be much more common very soon.

EV3D Golf is bringing new putter designs to us golfers that CANNOT be made through traditional casting or milling. 3D printing is the process of creating a putter layer-by-layer, allowing any supported shape you can think of. Even hollow designs like EV3D’s signature lattice features!

This gives EV3D engineers the ability to create putters that push the limits of MOI, feel, and of course look. The intricate lattice design does more than just look really cool, it also helps move weight to the outside and rear of the putter, increasing MOI in all models. All EV3D putters are printed from a combination of 420 stainless steel and bronze. This alloy gives the putter its responsive feel, excellent durability, and the ability to offer 3 finishes. They also offer a ton of different hosel designs to fit your eye and putting stroke, all are 3D printed as well. EV3D even adds custom touches like text in the cavity, different site lines, and paint fill to make it your own. Right now they offer 6 different head shapes, but if none of those are what you are looking for, they will work with you to print your dream putter from scratch!

We got our hands on 2 models, the EV3D Golf Ares X and Hades, to take out to the course and putt with. In hand the first thing that grabs your eye’s attention is the intricate lattice work on the putters.

All you want to do is hold the putter closer to your face and see how the heck they did it. At the right angles you can actually see through that lattice structure, but we were told that debris getting stuck in there isn’t an issue. The next thing you will notice is the rough texture of the head. This is created by the process of 3D printing the head, showing off the layers of material used to build the shape of the head. I don’t know if was intended but that rough texture does help with reducing glare, making the putters easy on the eyes even in the brightest conditions.

I personally really like the Antique Bronze finish, but EV3D does offer a Natural and Slate Black finish to suit your personal taste. Out on the putting green the Ev3D putters performed really well, offering a hefty dose of forgiveness and a crisp feel and sound. Traditionally modes like the Hades don’t offer much in the way of forgiveness compared to mallets, but the Hades shocked me with its off-center putts. Putts hit off the heel or toe stayed on line much better and I even made a couple that had no business even being close to the hole.

Distance loss on those mishits is about what you would expect, coming up a little short, but defiantly not a drastic difference. Since the EV3D line doesn’t have any fancy face milling, I was a little worried about the initial roll and if the ball would hop or skid. Initial contact was great, only met with a tiny bit of skid before rolling out. Nothing that I think effected even my longest putts. The feel off the face is something that reminds you of a quieter classic Ping BeCu putter, crisp with an audible click. If you are looking for a silent impact, like an Odyssey Microhinge, then the EV3D line might not be your cup of tea. If you are on a quest for exceptional responsiveness on well struck and mishit putts then you should be very pleased with any of the EV3D putter models. The feel of impact is a little firmer than I think we are all used to these days with so many inserts and deep milling. The crisp feel and slightly more audible EV3D is somewhat refreshing and mishit putts are extremely easy to recognize.

Overall, the EV3D putters are a solid offering from a new company utilizing a new technology in the golf club space. With all the combinations of putter heads, site lines, and hosels, I can’t see you not being able to find a putter that fits your eye. Looks for any putter are going to be subjective, but there is no denying that EV3D is pushing the limits at a time where we see a lot of similar putter designs from all manufacturers. And if you are the type of person who wants to create an original design of your own that has never been done, EV3D is waiting for that call to help you take your idea from thought to printed putter head! Check the entire EV3D putter line at the company website.

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