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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

The drivers used by the top-10 most accurate players on the PGA Tour

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What drivers do the PGA Tour’s most accurate golfers use to find the short grass? Now that the 2017-2018 PGA Tour season is behind us, we can do a thorough examination.

First, here’s a tally of what the top 10 in driving accuracy on Tour are using by driver manufacturer.

  • Callaway: 5
  • PXG: 1
  • TaylorMade: 4

But this is GolfWRX, so of course you want to know more. Below is a breakdown of the driving-distance leaders on the PGA Tour in 2017-2018, the available specifics of their drivers, shafts and how often their tee shots found the fairway.

10. Jim Furyk

Driver: Callaway Rogue Sub Zero
Loft: 9 degrees
Shaft: Fujikura Motore Speeder VC 6.2X
Driving accuracy percentage: 69.77

9. Steve Wheatcroft

Driver: Callaway Rogue
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS T1100
Driving accuracy percentage: 69.79

8. Emiliano Grillo

Driver: Callaway GBB Epic
Loft: 9 degrees
Shaft: Aldila NV 2KXV
Driving accuracy percentage: 69.89

7. Brian Gay

Driver: TaylorMade M2
Shaft: Aldila Rogue MAX 65TX
Driving accuracy percentage: 70.92

6. Kyle Stanley

Driver: TaylorMade M1
Loft: 10.5 degrees
Shaft: Fujikura Speeder 757 Evolution
Driving accuracy percentage: 71.20

5. Brian Stuard

Driver: Callaway Rogue Sub Zero
Loft: 10.5 degrees
Shaft: Project X EvenFlow Max Carry
Driving accuracy percentage: 71.21

4. Ryan Moore

Driver: PXG ZZ
Loft: 9 degrees
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD IZ-6
Driving accuracy percentage: 71.94

3. Chez Reavie

Driver: TaylorMade M2 2017
Loft: 9.5 degrees
Shaft: Aldila Rogue 60TX
Driving accuracy percentage: 72.09

2. Ryan Armour

Driver: TaylorMade M1 2017
Shaft: UST Mamiya Elements Proto 6F5
Loft: 10.5 degrees
Driving accuracy percentage: 73.58

1. Henrik Stenson*

Driver: Callaway Rogue
Loft: 9 degrees
Shaft: Project X HZRDUS 6.5 62
Driving accuracy percentage: 74.79

*Stenson, as we know, tees off with his beloved 13-degree Callaway Diablo Octane Tour 3-wood with a Graffaloy Blue shaft the vast majority of the time.

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Forum Thread of the Day: “New Ping G410 Driver?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from hervygolf21, and it surrounds the new G410 driver from Ping that is allegedly set for release at the beginning of 2019. Our members have found out plenty of information on the latest driver from Ping since the thread began, apparently, and here’s a quick look at some of the features you might expect from the new model (if you take forum members’ word for it).

According to the thread, the PING G410 will be black with red accents, will have a higher MOI than the current G400 model, will still contain the Ping Turbulators and will be offered in 12 degrees without draw weighting. It’s also believed that the G400 Max will remain current until July/August 2019, but at a lower price point.

Here are a few posts in the thread reflecting on the news, but make sure to check out the entire thread and join the discussion at the link below.

  • lc1342: “Love both the G400 LST and G400 Max, but if they are bringing out something better… I’ll take it!”
  • cz13x4: “This sounds like a very interesting update. Not keen on red but very interested to see what comes out.”
  • roho: “Late January?  Sounds like maybe a PGA Show unveil in Orlando.”

Entire Thread: “New PING G410 Driver”

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Ben Hogan adds Ft. Worth “White” to iron lineup

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After the launch of Diamond Black Metal finish Ft. Worth “Black” irons earlier this year, Ben Hogan’s nickel-chrome Ft. Worth irons are back…sort of. The Texas-baed company today announced the launch of Ben Hogan Ft. Worth White irons.

Now with respect to the “White” designation, If you’re skeptical/confused, well, let’s just have a look at a comment on BH’s Instagram post announcing the iron launch and the company’s response…

jonmodica: “Very unclear the changes from previous model… also… white? It’s chrome…..”

Benhogangolf: ”@jonmodica More progressive specific to each club head, a more aggressive V-Sole pattern and the ‘white’ is opposite of the popular and newly designed Ft. Worth Black.”

There you have it, folks. “White” as in contrast to the Ft. Worth Black irons, and the Ft. Worth White is not merely a re-issue of original chrome Ft. Worth, according to the company.

With respect to the changes to the V-Sole system, the company said this in its marketing materials for the Ft. Worth Black.

“Feedback from strong players and robot testing indicated that the leading edge could be increased on certain irons, and trailing edge softened … especially with less-than-full shots in the shorter irons.”

“So, in our ongoing quest to design and manufacture the best clubs in golf, we’ve modified the V-Sole Technology used on the Ben Hogan Ft. Worth BLACK slightly. The sole maintains the same basic design principles as the original V-Sole but has been optimized for each iron in the set. In effect, we’ve strengthened the leading edge from the sole to the face on some of the Ft. Worth BLACK irons, while reducing the trailing edge bounce on others.”

Obviously, the company scrapped the PreciseLoft system introduced with the original Ft. Worth irons. That system offered four loft profiles, all with consistent four-degree gaps. After finding the vast majority of players preferred the “mid-high” launch profile, the company did away with the others…and returned to tradition iron number (rather than loft) stamping on the toe.

The aforementioned lofts in the 4-PW set range from 22 degrees to 46 degrees.

“The Ft. Worth White Irons are illustrative of how Ben Hogan Golf Equipment Company interacts with and listens to its customers,” said Scott White, President and CEO, Ben Hogan Golf Equipment Company. “On the heels of our sales success with the Ft. Worth Black Irons, we found many ‘traditionalists’ who wanted to play this iron design with the standard nickel-chrome finish, so we accommodated them with this launch.”

Ft. Worth White irons are available for purchase on the Ben Hogan website exclusively for $700.00 per seven-piece set (4-PW).

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