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Callaway (finally) launches new Apex MB and X Forged irons

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It’s been a long time coming for the release of Callaway’s new Apex Muscleback (MB) irons to the public. It was all the way back in January of this year when we first spotted Apex MB irons. Patrick Reed was testing the irons, and Rory McIlroy — before he joined TaylorMade’s staff — was testing a raw, prototype version of the clubs. Since then, the new Apex MB irons have popped up in the bags of other tour players, most notably Danny Lee (full set) and Phil Mickelson (8-PW).

Finally, Callaway has officially launched the Apex MB irons.

Along with the Apex MB irons, Callaway has also announced that it’s releasing another highly anticipated set of irons that are made for better players: the new X Forged, which we’ve only recently spotted in the bags of Phil Mickelson (3, 5-7) and Sang-Moon Bae (full set).

Callaway 2013 X Forged (left) vs. 2017 X Forged

Callaway 2013 X Forged (left) vs. 2018 X Forged

Callaway’s X Forged irons — first released in 2007, then in 2009, and not again until 2013 — are on a lengthy release rotation, far from the company’s Apex line that gets a new model at least every two years. The X Forged name, possibly due to that few-and-far-between release schedule, has garnered a cult-like appreciation from better players over the years, so this new release of X Forged irons will certainly be significant for those long-time fans.

Find out below what’s new and improved about the Apex MB and the X Forged irons compared to their predecessors, and see what GolfWRX members are saying here.

Callaway Apex MB ($1,299.99)

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Callaway’s Apex MB irons are the product of direct feedback from the company’s Tour staffers, according to Luke Williams, Director of Product and Brand Management at Callaway. Forged from 1025 Carbon Steel, the irons are unapologetically made for the best players in the world, and they’re designed with the needs and wishes of Tour players in mind.

These blade irons have the shortest blade lengths, the thinnest soles and the smallest overall heads in the vast line of Callaway irons. They’re designed for maximum workability, for tour-desired turf interaction, and to cut through the thick rough that tour players face week-in and week-out.

CallawayApexMBSpecsGolfWRX

With what Williams calls “classic lofts,” the irons are designed for players who know their distances and place more importance on consistent distances than hitting the ball farther. That means the clubs have weaker lofts than any of the other irons in Callaway’s lineup, and the single-piece forgings are not juiced with distance-enhancing technologies.

These irons, which are made with “20V” grooves and “optimized CG (center of gravity),” are for players who strike the center of the club consistently, and who want complete control over spin and trajectory.

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Callaway’s Apex MB irons (2-PW, AW), with a Chrome finish, will sell for $1,299.99 starting on November 3 in both right- and left-handed options.

See what GolfWRX members are saying about the irons in our forums.

Callaway X Forged ($1,299.99)

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While the new X Forged irons are also designed for Tour players and better amateurs, these irons aren’t “as intimidating” as the Apex Muscleback irons, according to Williams. That’s because, although they’re also single-piece forgings, the blade lengths are slightly longer, the overall head shapes are slightly larger, and they are cavity-back irons made for a bit more forgiveness.

CallawayXForged2017specsWRX

Like the Apex MB irons, the soles of the X Forged irons are built for the turf interaction that’s desired by Tour players, and the head profiles are tour-inspired. The lofts are slightly stronger throughout the set than the Apex MB, but are still weaker than the game-improvement style irons in Callaway’s stable. That means better players will see the ball launch in the “desired window,” according to Williams.

Callaway 2017 X Forged (left) vs. 2017 Apex MB

Callaway 2017 X Forged (left) vs. 2017 Apex MB

The X Forged irons are “triple net forged,” according to Callaway, and they have progressive CGs with 20V grooves on the face.

Sets of X Forged irons (3-PW) will hit stores on November 3 in both right- and left-handed options, and they will also sell for $1,299.99.

See what GolfWRX members are saying about the irons in our forums.

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He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

65 Comments

65 Comments

  1. Stephen Finley

    Nov 7, 2017 at 11:12 pm

    MB: just friggin’ _woof_.

  2. Mat

    Nov 7, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    Looks like OEMs are starting to settle into 33/37/41/45 for the long haul on 7/8/9/P.

  3. Scott

    Oct 23, 2017 at 10:05 pm

    Wonder how the X Forged will compare against mizzen jpx 900 forged? I really like the feel I have with my mizzies but I’ve always loved Callaway

  4. Tom Duckworth

    Oct 20, 2017 at 6:03 am

    The new X Forged clubs look way better than the older ones much more put together on the back side. First set of Callaways I have like the looks of in some time. The blades are OK a blade is a blade I guess. I think I like the MP-18s better but I would think they would play just the same as any other blade iron.

    • OB

      Oct 20, 2017 at 9:54 am

      If they “look way better” then they must be better because the look of your WITB is half the game.

  5. AB

    Oct 19, 2017 at 10:59 pm

    TM came out with their fake ‘forged’ P790s…. and now Cally with their mystery forgings. What’s happening?

  6. jgpl001

    Oct 18, 2017 at 5:02 pm

    Both look really good

    MB’s so like the mp69’s, unreal..

    • 2putttom

      Oct 23, 2017 at 1:57 pm

      ya ya ya Mizuno has a lock on look a likes.

  7. Kool Aid

    Oct 18, 2017 at 12:05 am

    No cup face?

  8. finish it

    Oct 18, 2017 at 12:04 am

    Andrew Tursky is the Assistant Editor at GolfWRX. He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men’s Golf team while earning a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.
    ————-
    ….. and he forgot to ask where the forging is done ….lol

    • Thomas A

      Oct 18, 2017 at 2:11 pm

      Lol. Like any company is going to admit where their club heads are made.

      • OB

        Oct 20, 2017 at 9:55 am

        Then we must assume the forging was done in Bangladesh for ¢¢¢¢¢¢ ….

    • AB

      Oct 19, 2017 at 10:57 pm

      If the clubs are expensive forgings by Endo as has been suggested ,without proof, then Cally should proudly declare it.
      If not, and the clubs are forged in Bangladesh for a couple of dollare each then I can understand why they would want to keep it secret.
      All the forum gearheads are so proud of their Japanese-made clubs and know all about the forging factory in which they are made.
      If Cally keeps it a secret then we must suspect the worst… and they are overcharging for inferior forging with their name on the clubs to exploit the gullible golfers.

  9. Miz

    Oct 17, 2017 at 11:26 pm

    Who stole my MP-69 designs

  10. MB

    Oct 17, 2017 at 9:27 pm

    “Classic” lofts they say, yet the 9 iron is at 42, then the PW at 47, and then an AW at 51????? NOT classic at all. lol

  11. Milo

    Oct 17, 2017 at 3:17 pm

    Meh, no reason to upgrade my 13s, actually been thinking about getting some Maltbys to try out.

    • etc.

      Oct 17, 2017 at 5:50 pm

      But the Maltby forged clubs will not feeeel the same as the Cally MBs or X-Forged…. and then there is the staaaatus. Do you really want to bag Maltbys when they have never won a tournament? After all, you are what you own.

      • Milo

        Oct 17, 2017 at 6:50 pm

        I probably would of bought the maltby DBM forged if i knew about them when i purchased by 13s. I like the look of the DBM forged. If i needed status i would get PXG irons, haha.

      • 2putttom

        Oct 17, 2017 at 10:25 pm

        say’s a guy gettin round town on a skate board

  12. Luke

    Oct 17, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    Was confirmed that these are forged at the Endo Forging House. The creme de la creme of forging.

    • LenG

      Oct 17, 2017 at 2:52 pm

      Anti-MAGA Callaway clubs. No wonder they are so expensive and useless.

    • Jim T

      Oct 17, 2017 at 9:06 pm

      I want Tursky to tell us where the clubs were forged and finished. You say “confirmed” but by who? It’s Tursky’s job to be open and transparent in his reporting on a most important question.

    • 2putttom

      Oct 17, 2017 at 10:27 pm

      ya stepped in what?

  13. Jerry

    Oct 17, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    Bounce on both sets?

  14. Jim T

    Oct 17, 2017 at 11:32 am

    “Forged from 1025 Carbon Steel” ….. “triple net forged” …. “Forged 18” …..
    Okay, Tursky, now tell us where were they manufactured, where were they forged?
    No mention here or on the WRX main forum. Seems like nobody knows.

  15. Dat

    Oct 17, 2017 at 11:19 am

    Take $300 off those prices and MAYBE they will sell.

    • etc.

      Oct 17, 2017 at 5:52 pm

      But that $300 is what Cally will pay Tiger for playing their clubs.

  16. Scott

    Oct 17, 2017 at 9:19 am

    I’ve always liked Callaway. I’d try the x forged to compare against my miz jpx forged which I’m happy with.

  17. Tim

    Oct 17, 2017 at 9:06 am

    More Callaway product?!?!??

  18. Ian

    Oct 17, 2017 at 8:33 am

    Blades have changed little in what the last 30 or 40 years?
    So basically zero RnD and they still try sell them for $1300

    • 2putttom

      Oct 17, 2017 at 10:37 pm

      oh ye of little faith. Google and research and get back to us.

      • Ian

        Oct 18, 2017 at 3:45 am

        Lol if you think these will do anything different

      • LD

        Oct 18, 2017 at 9:38 am

        Are you seriously stating that there is new “tech” in blades? SMH

        • Thomas A

          Oct 18, 2017 at 2:14 pm

          Forging processes have improved to allow for stricter tolerances. So yes, there is “tech” in new blades.

          • LD

            Oct 18, 2017 at 3:20 pm

            Forging processes have not improved dramatically in 40+ years. You bought that marketing trash hook, line, and sinker.

            • 2putttom

              Oct 18, 2017 at 9:44 pm

              ” Not only did this 5th forging step improve the density consistency of the raw forgings, which in turn tightened the +/- weight tolerance of the raw forgings, but this additional forging step further reduced the number of internal voids and improved the consistency of the grain structure of the carbon steel. “

              • etc.

                Oct 18, 2017 at 10:14 pm

                Tell them about that “soft buttery feel” after the 5th forging step…. which requires more ‘soaking’ in the furnace to keep the forging temperature up….. or do they only do the ‘custom’ forging for the pro’s who endorse the clubs?!!

                • 2putttom

                  Oct 23, 2017 at 2:06 pm

                  etc checked in with Mr. Wishon.

                  Tom Wishon October 20, 2017

                  The 5th forging step is to hit the head after the flashing is removed one more time with a die that packs the steel more densely and reduces the final flashing to a very small and narrow line of material that is removed very easily from the outer edges of the head. So not only are there fewer and much smaller voids in the grain structure of the steel which makes the raw forgings MUCH more consistent for weight but it also reduces the amount of grinding to clean up the heads to prepare them for machining and plating. That results in more shape consistency of the heads.

              • LD

                Oct 19, 2017 at 6:06 am

                They added another die (5th) to the process. Nothing new under the sun. The rest of that statement is marketing gibberish.

                • 2putttom

                  Oct 19, 2017 at 9:00 pm

                  etc good question and one to research I’ll ask Mr. Wishon. LD oh wow… do you have some info to share that will support your mood?

    • Dave

      Oct 20, 2017 at 10:01 pm

      You know what they could do? Make the chrome and nickel plating thicker so they never get wear spots. That’s about the only thing that could improve the mizunos/endos/etc.

  19. Dj

    Oct 17, 2017 at 8:32 am

    $1300 for a set of blades? Hard pass

  20. ibogeyalot

    Oct 17, 2017 at 8:22 am

    these companies want people in golf , yet are still charging over 1,000 for clubs! it is insane!

    • Thomas A

      Oct 17, 2017 at 11:01 am

      These clubs aren’t exactly aimed at people just being introduced to golf.

    • Grandpa Gord

      Oct 20, 2017 at 4:37 pm

      The only people playing golf nowadays is the “baby boomers” born between 1945 and 1966…. because they are retired or near retired and they have all the money and time to play. These expensive clubs are aimed for that market because the next generation, the X-generation, is too poor to play golf. They are squeezing the last $$$$ out of the dwindling golf club market before the Big Collapse takes full effect…. and you better believe it’s happening now.

  21. Carmen Sandiego

    Oct 17, 2017 at 8:03 am

    I could have sworn they said they were going to release the MB’s in raw finish….Another chrome blade. Hrmph.

    • Matt Schulze

      Oct 17, 2017 at 11:19 pm

      There is a raw finish as well.

      • Sam

        Oct 18, 2017 at 12:35 pm

        Will they release a raw version? Will that be limited quantities? Where did you hear this? I’m interested in the raw finish set.

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Equipment

WRX Spotlight: GolfBalls.com’s AlignXL personalized golf balls

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Product: GolfBalls.com’s AlignXL personalized golf balls

Pitch: From GolfBalls.com: “Featuring a durable, Tour-Proven golf ball alignment aid printed halfway around the golf ball with your personalization, AlignXL will take your game to the next level by giving you ultimate visibility to your ball alignment both on the green and the tee.”

Our take on GolfBalls.com’s AlignXL personalized golf balls

Beyond drawn-on designs with your own Sharpie, golf ball custom printing is nearly ubiquitous in the year 2019—and that’s not a bad thing. GolfBalls.com, for example, offers a full range of text and graphics printing. So do plenty of other sites. Heck, Titleist itself offers a myriad of custom options for your Pro V1.

All that by way of saying, it takes something unique to catch our eye in the custom ball space. Enter GolfBall.com’s AlignXL printing blends two concepts: drawing a line on your ball for alignment and adding personalized text. Plus, the font is pretty cool too.

Check it out below.

 

 

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Equipment

Tour Edge launches 3 new HL4 iron sets: HL4 Iron, HL4 Iron-Wood, and HL4 Triple Combo

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Three new Tour Edge Hot Launch iron sets are hitting the market: Tour Edge’s HL4 Iron set, the HL4 Iron-Wood set and the HL4 Triple Combo set. This is the fourth edition of the Hot Launch series from Tour Edge founder and master club designer, David Glod.

Tour Edge promises “the best technology and performance at a mid-tier price point,” per a release, with national availability of the irons beginning August 1. Also notable: the company promises all custom fit orders will ship within an incredible 48 hours.

Tour Edge HL4 Iron Set

Tour Edge crafts HL4 irons from 431 stainless steel, and all irons feature an expanded undercut cavity for maximum forgiveness. The cavity allows engineers to position more weight away from the club face, thus elevating both MOI and CT. The company also credits the cavity with elevating launches and ball speeds, in combination with a shallower face and wider sole. In brief: easier to hit and hit high.

“The HL4 Irons are traditional in looks only,” said David Glod. “Their advanced game improvement tech and design techniques make them beautiful performers at a price well below the majority of irons available on the market.”

Additional HL4 features include advanced toe weighting technology for enhanced stability and Variable Face Thickness for better performance on off-center strikes.

The HL4 Iron set is a 7-piece set with options from 4-iron to 9-iron, as well as a pitching wedge, approach wedge, sand wedge and lob wedge. Right- and left-handed availability.

Tour Edge HL4 Iron-Wood Set

“The iron-wood is a best-seller for Tour Edge and this revolutionary set has become famous for vastly improving countless numbers of golf games,” said Executive Vice President of Tour Edge John Craig. “We were one of the first to ever make a hollow body iron and we have been able to perfect it over the years to the point where this set provides the very best in launch, distance and forgiveness. Every golfer can benefit greatly from this club and from this set.”

The seven-piece set is available in 12 different individual lofts and is designed to fill the space between 2-iron and lob wedge in a set.

Tour Edge HL4 Triple Combo Set

“The Triple Combo set combines three different HL4 models in a perfect seven-club blend,” according to Tour Edge. “The set earns classification as a maximum game improvement set due to the ease of use and added distance it provides, but it really stands out as a set that will bring added distance, efficiency and control to your golf game.”

The HL4 Triple Combo includes two HL4 hybrids (22 and 25 degrees), two HL4 Iron-Woods (29 and 32 degrees) and three HL4 Irons (35, 40 and 44 degrees.)

HL4 Custom Fitting

“We see HL4 as being the best value available in the custom fitting market,” said Glod. “That is why we created our 48-hour custom fitting delivery guarantee and why we are making a significant commitment to advertise HL4 heavily on the Golf Channel and elsewhere with the message of Get Fit. Spend Less. Play Better. We want to open up custom fitting to thousands of new golfers who are looking for innovation and performance at logical prices.”

“We are aggressively marketing the message that every golfer should be getting custom fit, and that it is especially mid to high handicap players who have the most to gain by getting fit,” “Our goal is to open the flood gates on custom fitting and HL4 has proven to be the perfect product to accomplish this goal with its advanced technology, top-tier performance and amazing price structure.” —Tour Edge Vice President of Marketing Jon Claffey.

The company plans to have 750-plus custom fitting centers across the country. All custom fit orders received by Tour Edge by 2:30 PM Central standard time will be built at Tour Edge headquarters in Batavia, IL and shipped to any continental U.S. state in 48-hours (either back to the Tour Edge fitting location or directly to the end consumer).

HL4 Iron Specs

The HL4 Iron set: $419.99 in steel. $489.99 in graphite. The entire set will be available in right and left-handed models.

7-piece HL4 Iron-Wood set: $529.99 in steel. $599.99 in graphite. The entire set will be available in right and left-handed models.

HL4 Triple Combo set: $569.99 in steel. $599.99 in graphite. The entire set will be available in right and left-handed models.

Stock shafts: UST Mamiya. Also available: KBS Tour 90 steel shafts.

 

 

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Equipment

Forum Thread of the Day: “If you could get one thing from any tour truck, what would it be, and which truck?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from NYCGolfNut who has created an interesting discussion which our members have got stuck into in our forums. NYCGolfNut has asked, “If you could get one thing from any tour truck, what would it be, and which truck?”.

Our members have shown a diverse taste in their answers to NYCGolfNut’s question, even if they have found it difficult to pick just one item!

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.

  • bodhi555: “I’d go back in time to the Nike truck and get another set of Satin VR Pros, 1 inch longer with S400 Tour Issues fitted. Failing that a new set of Engage Wedges.”
  • sharkiesj: “Confirming groove set of i3 Blades from the Ping Tour van. And a freakin’ Tour finish PLD putter. Then I’d take the putter and smash the inside of the van to smithereens. I’d throw the putter back and say, Yo, I’ll see you next week at the next tour stop. This van better be fixed, and my putter fixed too. JC, that outta get them to release the PLD.”
  • cmagnusson: “Cobra truck, CB/MBs in a custom made One-Length set. Either that or go to the Odyssey truck and get a custom made White Hot Pro #1 arm-lock with a Stroke-lab shaft.”
  • golfingguru11: “Callaway lefty tour only stuff. Diamond epic flash, apex dots and one of Phil’s backup putters.”
  • martinritch1: “I have a specific shopping list. 1. Callaway 10.5 triple diamond head. 2. Taylormade GAPR lo bonded head with a Nippon Modus GOST shaft. 3. Vokey Raw 60 low bounce K. 4. Taylormade Hi-Toe 60 low bounce. 5. Scotty Cameron Circle T X5 flow neck.”

Entire Thread: “If you could get one thing from any tour truck, what would it be, and which truck?”

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