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Spotted: New Callaway Apex MB Irons

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GolfWRX spotted a new set of Callaway Apex MB irons at the CareerBuilder Challenge on Tuesday, where they were being tested by Callaway Staffer Patrick Reed.

Callaway currently sells a set of Apex MB (muscleback) irons, released in late 2014, but the new irons are noticeably different. They have a chrome finish and a streamlined muscle pad, which gives them a more traditional look than the original Apex MB irons.

Old vs. New

Callaway_Apex_MB_2017

Callaway’s new Apex MB irons (left).

According to our boots on the ground, Reed tested the new irons only briefly, hitting the 6 iron and pitching wedge on the range. It’s not clear if he plans further testing of the irons.

See Photos from the Tour of the Apex MB in raw finish

At Address

Callaway_Apex_MB_2017_Top_Line

In last week’s BMW South Africa Open Championship on the European Tour, Rory McIlroy used a set of Callaway Apex MB irons that looked similar to the new irons.

Rory’s Callaway Apex MB irons

RoryMcIlroyCallawayirons-1021x580

It’s unclear if Rory’s irons are an initial prototype of the new model, or customized to his specific needs.

See MORE PHOTOS and what GolfWRX Members are saying about the new irons in our forum. 

See Photos from the Tour of the Apex MB in raw finish

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25 Comments

25 Comments

  1. Chuckle Barkley

    Mar 23, 2019 at 6:52 pm

    *Travis…….Dude, that observation is priceless. On the floor crackin’ up!! Great stuff!!

  2. Sheen

    Mar 24, 2018 at 11:14 am

    It is exactly same look of MP 69 except 4D concept.

  3. Travis

    Jun 13, 2017 at 3:24 pm

    HEY!!! That’s a design ripoff of that one company who ripped off that other company who took their design from that one company who copied that other person who’s club looked really similar to that other one!! Unbelievable Callaway…

  4. BWild

    Mar 21, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    They are the same design as the titelist 660’s take look…

  5. Barry

    Jan 23, 2017 at 10:01 am

    Agreed. Does the groove spacing have any impact on spin rate?

  6. Mr Poopoo

    Jan 21, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    The Mizuno MP-14/29 muscle design never gets old…

  7. westphi

    Jan 19, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    Simple and clean is always sexy. If they have good turf interaction and a soft buttery feel, I would game them!

  8. Mark

    Jan 19, 2017 at 2:52 am

    It’s a blade. T

  9. MP-4

    Jan 18, 2017 at 11:21 pm

    The satin finish looks much better.

    • MP-29

      Jan 19, 2017 at 2:33 am

      No, it does not.

      • Bob Pegram

        Jan 21, 2017 at 2:34 pm

        It does when you put your club down behind the ball and the angle causes you to get a face full of reflected sunlight. The satin finish doesn’t do that.

      • Satin is Better

        Jan 25, 2017 at 1:50 pm

        Yes, it does.

  10. golfraven

    Jan 18, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    What Rory played in SA was likely a proto set of MBs he got as a farewell present from Titleist before jumping to Nike. They probably said he can stamp it with whatever he likes even their compeitors name. Three years later here we are. Why else are Callys new Epic woods so similar in looks to Titleist’s 915 line – probably also protos from them.

  11. Scott

    Jan 18, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    I would try them compared to titleist mb which they now look exactly alike. That was one of the nice things about the “old” apex mb. The look. These do. Itching for me but I’ll wait, see, compare numbers

    • Max

      Jan 19, 2017 at 12:17 pm

      They are blades buddy, your strike will be the only thing changing the numbers by a noticeable amount.

  12. Mr. Callaway..

    Jan 18, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    we have Titleist 916 MB on line 1 for you

  13. chinchbugs

    Jan 18, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    dems purty

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Whats in the Bag

Dustin Johnson WITB 2020

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Driver: TaylorMade SIM (10.5 @ 10 degrees, D4 swing weight)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 6 X (tipped 1 inch, 45.75 inches)

Fairway wood: TaylorMade SIM Max (15 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila RIP Alpha 90 X

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max Rescue (22 @ 19 degrees)
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS Black 105 X

Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), TaylorMade P730 DJ Proto (4-PW)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 (soft stepped)

Wedges: TaylorMade MG2 (52-09, 60-10 @ 62 degrees)
Shafts: KBS Tour Custom Black 120 S

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Mini
Grip: SuperStroke Traxion Pistol GT 1.0

Ball: TaylorMade TP5

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet 58R (1 wrap 2-way tape + 2 wraps left hand, 3 right hand)

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Top 10 clubs of 2003—inspired by Adam Scott’s Titleist 680 irons

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As has been well documented, Adam Scott recently won the Genesis Invitational with a set of Titleist 680 blade irons, a design that was originally released in 2003. One of the great benefits of being one of the best players in the world is you don’t need to search eBay to find your preferred set of 17-year-old irons. Titleist has been stocking sets for Mr. Scott—even to the point of doing a limited production run in 2018 where they then released 400 sets for sale to the general public.

A lot of time has passed since 2003, and considering the classic nature of Scott’s Titleist 680, I figured now was a good time to look back at some other iconic clubs released around the same time.

Ping G2 driver

This was Ping’s first 460cc driver with a full shift into titanium head design. The previous Si3 models still utilized the TPU adjustable hosel, and this was considered a big step forward for the Phoenix-based OEM. The driver was a big hit both on tour and at retail—as was the rest of the G2 line that included irons.

TaylorMade RAC LT (first gen) irons

The RAC LTs helped position TaylorMade back among the leaders in the better players iron category. The entire RAC (Relative Amplitude Coefficient) line was built around creating great feeling products that also provided the right amount of forgiveness for the target player. It also included an over-sized iron too. The RAC LT went on to have a second-generation version, but the original LTs are worthy of “classic” status.

TaylorMade R580 XD driver

Honestly, how could we not mention the TaylorMade R580 XD driver? TM took some of the most popular drivers in golf, the R500 series and added extra distance (XD). OK, that might be an oversimplification of what the XD series offered, but with improved shape, increased ball speed outside of the sweet spot, and lower spin, it’s no wonder you can still find these drivers in the bags of golfers at courses and driving ranges everywhere.

Titleist 680MB irons

The great thing about blades is that beyond changing sole designs and shifting the center of gravity, the basic design for a one-piece forged head hasn’t changed that much. For Adam Scott, the 680s are the perfect blend of compact shape, higher CG, and sole profile.

Titleist 983K, E drivers

If you were a “Titleist player,” you had one of these drivers! As one of the last companies to move into the 460cc category, the 983s offered a classic pear shape in a smaller profile. It was so good and so popular, it was considered the benchmark for Titleist drivers for close to the next decade.

Cleveland Launcher 330 driver

It wasn’t that long ago that OEMs were just trying to push driver head size over 300cc, and Cleveland’s first big entry into the category was the Launcher Titanium 330 driver. It didn’t live a long life, but the Launcher 330 was the grandaddy to the Launcher 400, 460, and eventually, the Launcher COMP, which is another club on this list that many golfers will still have fond memories about.

Mizuno MP 33 irons

Although released in the fall of 2002, the Mizuno MP 33 still makes the list because of its staying power. Much like the Titleist 680, this curved muscle blade was a favorite to many tour players, including future world No. 1 Luke Donald. The MP 33 stayed in Mizuno’s lineup for more than four years and was still available for custom orders years after that. Unfortunately, if you are looking for a set now you are going to have to go the used route.

Callaway X-16 irons

The Steelhead X-16 was a big hit at retail for Callaway. It offered greater forgiveness than the previous X-14’s but had a more compact shape with a wider topline to inspire confidence. They featured Callaway’s “Notch” weighting system that moved more mass to the perimeter of the head for higher MOI and improved feel. There was a reduced offset pro series version of the iron, but the X-16 was the one more players gravitated towards. This is another game improvement club for that era that can still be found in a lot of golf bags.

Ben Hogan CFT irons

The Hogan CFTs were at the forefront of multi-material iron technology in 2003. CFT stood for Compression Forged Titanium and allowed engineers to push more mass to the perimeter of the head to boost MOI by using a thin titanium face insert. They had what would be considered stronger lofts at the time sounded really powerful thanks to the thin face insert. If you are looking for a value set of used irons, this is still a great place to start.

King Cobra SZ driver

In 2003, Rickie Fowler was only 15 years old and Cobra was still living under the Acushnet umbrella as Titleist’s game improvement little brother. The Cobra SZ (Sweet Zone, NOT 2020 Speed Zone) was offered in a couple of head sizes to appeal to different players. The thing I will always remember about the original King Cobra SZ is that it came in an offset version to help golfers who generally slice the ball—a design trait that we still see around today.

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Today from the Forums: “The importance of wedge fitting”

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Today from the Forums we delve into a subject dedicated to wedge fitting. Liquid_A_45 wants to know if wedge fitting is as essential for golfers as iron fitting, and our members weigh into the discussion saying why they feel it is just as imperative.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • Z1ggy16: “Super important if you’re a serious golfer. Even better if you can get fit outdoors on real grass and even go into a bunker.”
  • ThunderBuzzworth: “The biggest part of wedge fitting is yardage gapping and sole grinds. If you have a grind that doesn’t interact with the turf in your favor, it can be nightmarish around the greens. When hitting them try a variety of short game shots with different face angles etc. with the different grinds to see which one works best for what you need.”
  • Hawkeye77: “Wedge fitting I had was extremely beneficial when I got my SM6s a few years ago. Mostly for working with the different grinds and how they interacted with my swing and on different shots and having an eye on my swing to help with the process and evaluate the results. My ideas of what grinds were right for me based on researching on Titleist, etc. just were not correct in 2/3 of the wedges I ended up with as far as the grinds were concerned. Good to have an experienced fitter available to answer questions, control variables, etc.”
  • cgasucks: “The better you get at this game, the more important wedges are.”

Entire Thread: “The importance of wedge fitting”

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