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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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Andrew Tursky is the Editor-in-Chief of GolfWRX. 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

Fujikura launches new Pro 2.0 and Pro 2.0 Tour Spec shafts

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Fujikura has announced the launch of the second generation of its Pro series shafts: the Pro 2.0.

The first iteration of the Pro shafts were designed with a soft handle section to aid in loading. The Pro 2.0 presents an even more effective loading zone, according to the company, which also says torsional stiffness is 14 percent greater in the 2.0.

“Like all of our shafts, the Pro 2.0 has been designed utilizing enso, a 3D motion-capture technology that no one else in the shaft industry has,” said Alex Dee, Vice President at Fujikura Composites America.

“This technology and advanced data analytics has allowed us to crack the code on how club performance and ball flight are affected by shaft characteristics and swing type. When we compared to the original Pro, we saw the 2.0 was significantly easier to swing, had tighter shot dispersion, and lower spin to deliver the club head with more power, control and distance. We were thrilled with the result.”

The Pro 2.0 is painted “Destroyer Grey” with a metallic blue design in line with the original Pro shaft. The Tour Spec model is painted “Tour Spec White.”

The shafts will be available in weight ranges from 57 to 87 grams (5, 6, 7, 8) and in flexes starting at R2 up to X. $225 MSRP; $250 for the Tour Spec model. Hybrid option available for $140.

Available at over 600 qualified Fujikura charter dealers beginning February 1. Full specs at Fujikura.com.

See what GolfWRX members are saying about the Pro 2.0 in the forums.

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Fred Couples signs with Bettinardi, will continue to use FCB putter

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Fred Couples has been using his namesake Bettinardi putter, the FCB (Fred Couples Blade), for the past four years. Now, he’s officially joining Bettinardi’s Tour staff.

Couples, who has won 15 times on the PGA Tour and 13 times on the PGA Tour Champions, will putt exclusively with the company’s flatsticks.

(Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

“I’m really looking forward to representing Bettinardi and its beautiful range of hand-made putters, as they always give me great confidence when I’m standing over putts,” said Fred. “Having won 5 times already with a Bettinardi putter, there’s nothing I’d rather be putting with.

Couples averaged 1.70 putts per hole when playing in 12 events with the Bettinardi wand last year.

“Having Fred Couples join our Tour staff is a massive endorsement for Bettinardi Golf,” said founder Robert Bettinardi. “We’re so proud and excited to welcome him to our growing Tour staff. I’m sure he will prove to be a great ambassador for our brand, as he attracts huge crowds and media attention wherever he plays.”

Here’s a look at Boom Boom’s FCB putter.

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Odyssey’s new EXO 2-Ball, Works Red and Black, and Toulon putters

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There’s one thing Odyssey has never struggled with: giving golfers options. Today, the company launched a trunk-full of new putters, including eight Works Red and Black putters, Toulon Atlanta and Portland models, and an Odyssey EXO 2-Ball putter that gives the classic 2-ball design a very new, and premium look.

Most of the new putters, actually, are mallets. More specifically, they are mallets that Odyssey says feel like blade putters; that’s because they’re made with toe hang (like a blade putter) rather than face-balanced designs of typical mallets. Toe hang frees up the face of a putter to open and close, a stroke-style that many golfers employ — amateurs and pros alike.

According to Austie Rollinson, chief designer of Odyssey, there’s been a trend of blade users on Tour switching into mallets because of this toe hang, and that will continue to happen. Odyssey says that of the PGA Tour wins last year, 29 winners used mallets — 14 of those were mallets with toe hang — while there were 20 blade winners. Also, of the top-50 in Strokes Gained: Putting, 31 players used mallets, 13 of which were toe-hang mallets, and 19 players used blades.

Therefore, many of the new putters from Odyssey are toe-hang mallets. Check out all of the new putters below, with info on design, pricing and release dates.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX members are saying about the new putters here

Odyssey Works Red and Black putters

 

The new Works Red and Black putters — adding on to the line of putters released in 2017 — continue to use microhinge face inserts that are designed to “grab” the ball to impart more topspin on the golf ball to get it rolling faster. The new offerings launched today include a No. 1 Wide S, No. 1 Tank, No. 7 Tank, 2-Ball Fang, Marxman, Marxman S, Jailbird Mini and Jailbird Mini S.

They will sell for $199 with a standard Winn AVS midsize pistol grip, and $219 with a SuperStroke grip starting on February 23.

See more photos and join the discussion about the Works Red and Black putters here.

Odyssey EXO 2-Ball

The new EXO 2-Ball, made with Rose Gold PVD, is a premium version of the iconic 2-ball shape. It’s CNC-milled with a microhinge insert, has an aluminum crown with a steel sole plate and Tungsten in the rear portion of the head. The EXO 2-ball also has black circles instead of the familiar white color for which 2-balls are known.

According to Odyssey, it’s a “statement product,” and it will only sell 5,000 of these putters globally. They will sell for $499.99 starting on February 2.

Odyssey says: “Our new Odyssey EXO 2-Ball is a premium limited edition putter unlike any we’ve ever offered. It combines one of the game’s most innovative and iconic putter designs with top-notch materials and meticulous production to create something truly special.”

Toulon Atlanta and Portland

Odyssey’s premium putter brand continues dipping its toes in the mallet style with its new mid-mallet Atlanta and Portland models. They have gunmetal finishes and are 100-percent milled from soft, 303 stainless steel. They also have Toulon’s familiar diamond-milled faces for improved roll.

The Atlanta and Portland models will sell for $399.99 apiece and hit retail on February 2.

Discussion: See what GolfWRX Members are saying about the Toulon Atlanta putter here

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