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Tech Talk: Callaway Apex Pro Irons




The ingredients that go into tour-quality “players” irons are usually about the same. They need to have short blade lengths, thin top lines, narrow soles and a minimal amount of offset to meet the needs of the most accomplished golfers.

Callaway’s new Apex Pro irons are no exception, at least at address, where they look nearly identical to the company’s forged players iron from last year, the 2013 X Forged. But when they’re viewed from the back, the irons tell a very different story.


Above: Callaway’s Apex Pro irons (left), look nearly identical to the company’s 2013 X Forged irons (right) at address. The sole designs are also roughly the same. 

The Apex Pro irons are forged from the same 1020 carbon steel as the 2013 X Forged, but their multi-material construction and new 37WV grooves bring modernity to the former one-piece design.

In the long irons, for example, Callaway engineers added high-density tungsten to the soles, which lowers the center of gravity (CG). That accentuates the irons’ CG height progression, a weighting scheme that gives the long irons a lower CG that launches the ball higher, and the short irons a higher CG that launches the ball lower.

Screen Shot 2013-11-04 at 2.32.42 PM

Evan Gibbs, Callaway manager of performance analysis, says the lower CG of the long irons adds about 1 mph of ball speed to the clubs (compared to 2013 X Forged), and the higher launch it creates makes them more forgiving as well. But in the short irons, where better players tend to create too much spin, the CG was moved higher to help golfers control their trajectory.

The discretionary weight needed for the new mass placement was made possible by the extensive milling of the iron’s cavity, which allowed the faces of the irons to be made 17-percent thinner than those of the 2013 X Forged. But according to Gibbs, that change won’t negatively affect sound and feel, which was tuned with a polymer insert added behind the impact area that helps eliminate the harsh frequencies golfers associate with bad feel.


Above: The 37WV grooves on the Apex Pro irons are wider and not as sharp as the 20-degree V grooves the company used for the 2013 X Forged irons. They’re also duller than the 30WV grooves used on the company’s Apex irons

Maybe the most intriguing part of the Apex Pro irons is their new groove design, which is the result of extensive testing done with Callaway tour players in 2013. Last year’s X Forged irons had the company’s 20-degree V grooves, which were spaced closely together. But Callaway received feedback from its tour players that the grooves actually spun the ball too much from the rough, causing the ball to launch too low.

Tour players prefer to hit what Gibbs called a “controlled flyer” from the rough, which allows them to hit the ball higher to carry obstacles such as the tops of trees, and a farther total distance as well. But they didn’t want to hit the shot at the expense of consistency.

After much testing, Callaway found that wide-spaced V grooves with 37-degree side walls were the most consistent from the rough, and they offered the additional launch that tour players wanted. While the 37WV grooves will be the only grooves offered at retail on the Apex Pro irons, tour players will have their choice between the 20-degree V grooves, 37WV grooves and even duller 45WV grooves, which launch the ball higher and with even less spin.


Above: Callaway’s Apex Pro irons (left) have slightly shorter blade lengths, thinner top lines, less offset and narrower soles than the Apex irons (right).

They Apex Pro irons hit shelves on Jan. 17, and will sell for $1099 with KBS’ new Tour-V steel shaft, $1299 with UST Mamiya’s Recoil 600 Series graphite shafts. Check out the specs and additional photos in the gallery below.

Screen Shot 2013-11-04 at 2.33.24 PM

Click here to see more photos and what GolfWRX Members are saying about the irons in the forums.

Click here to see more photos and what GolfWRX Members are saying about the irons in the forums.

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  1. Rafael

    Jun 18, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    I read these post and wonder how many have truly tried the Apex pros. I own and love my titleist 714 MB’s. I bought a set of apex irons because they are really excellent clubs. I had longer distance and more good shots than with my MBs. I averaged 10-15 yards more depending on the club over my MB’s irons. The clubs are great deal more forgiving than the MB’s. I was amazed at the high ball flight with the apex irons. I can hit a 6 iron 190-200 yards consistently with the apex irons and with my MBs I would struggle with pure shots and distance. I was more in the sweet spot with the apex irons and so I bought them ASAP. I’ve never hit a gap wedge 135-140 yards. I was flying the ball over the greens with the extra distance. I’m having to re-learn the carry distance of my irons. I could always hit them far but now it happens more often. Don’t get me wrong. They are not beginner clubs and still require good contact. But they are awesome! I’m not selling the titleist I love them too.

  2. Steve

    Mar 27, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    After 8 years enjoying my Titleist 755’s I decided to go buy some AP2’s. While getting fitted the fitter brought out some other clubs and we hooked up to the launch monitor and then went out for some real world results on the range. Hitting of both mats and grass I was amazed that the clubs I wanted were not the APs! The Apex Pro irons were a bit longer, but more importantly the dispersion was much tighter, the feel was butter and the control was great. I can move these around a bit, not as much as the APs, however the big factor was ball speed – consistently 5 to 6 MPH faster. The ball just leaps off the face. I walked out and ordered up my Apex Pros. I’ve played them for two weeks now and wow, what a blast these are to play! Anyhow, I’ve never purchased anything Callaway and had no interest in their products before…after this I’m glad I was open to trying out some different clubs to see which one was going to truly fit and benefit my playing style and swing.

  3. Golfer great

    Dec 13, 2013 at 11:39 am

    Interesting to hear the back insert does not reduce shock. Has anyone hit the Apex pro and Pings new 55 to compare the impact feel?

  4. nick

    Nov 20, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    Great feel on these. Definitely will be replacing the long irons in my xforged set with these.

  5. MWP

    Nov 10, 2013 at 10:37 am

    I’ve hit them and they’re very nice. However, I play the Callaway Prototype irons and was surprised that the polymer insert in the Apex didn’t really make anything feel softer or more forgiving than my fairly traditional musclebacks.

    This leads me to the question: CALLAWAY when will you release another true blade?

    – A loyal consumer

    • KK

      Nov 14, 2013 at 12:04 am

      When more golfers can actually hit them consistently…..which is never going to happen. I think there is a market for “true blades” for people like you and the other 0.00001% of non-professional golfers. I know just as much as anyone who plays the game frequently, golf is hard. Manufacturers, golf course designers, the USGA, need to make the game easier for golfers, not harder. All club companies are in the business to turn a profit, not satisfy the <0.01%. Sometimes, it doesn't make sense to make a club that is only going to account for a very very small percentage of their total sales. If you want "true blades", go buy Mizuno, Miura, Titleist. On the other hand, if you think about it, no club design is advancing less than the "true blade" so go on eBay, buy a used set of Tony Lema blades and you'll never have to buy another set of irons for the rest of your life.

      • RDM

        Jan 23, 2014 at 10:39 am

        I still have my Ben Hogan Apex irons which are eight years old now and it’s great to see Apex back in the mix. I’m sure they will keep evolving and might even loose the plastic backing.
        I have been happy playing Mizuno irons, but will buy a set of Apex irons as soon as they get closer to their original form. Ill certainly check out the latest version!

  6. Lee

    Nov 7, 2013 at 3:18 am

    Callaway can stick them as far as I’m concerned. I shelled out £675 of my hard earned 4 months ago on a set of X forged only now to find them being cleared in the UK for circa £350. Thus my used clubs are worth very little if I was crazy enough to invest another £700 ish on the latest and greatest which frankly wouldn’t make me play any better. I’m so disgruntled I might go and by the new AP2’s and bin the X forged!

    • Joe

      Nov 12, 2013 at 10:13 am

      They all do the same. At least they do lower the prices, with the anticipation of the latest and greatest…unlike Titleist who gives nothing a price break…even with the newness rightness to the old.
      It certainly helps people upgrade at a discount. This is especially good with wedges and irons, where the tech doesn’t really change all that much from model to model.

      • Nick

        Nov 12, 2013 at 4:06 pm

        This is a big reason I was happy I got fit into Titlist. They and Mizuno roll out new lines less often so your sticks seem to keep their “newest and greatest” luster a little longer. With TMAG and Callaway I feel like you will be playing “old news” clubs within six months. Not that I have to have the latest and greatest. I’m still playing 712’s and will pass on the 714’s but when you do get to buy new clubs, you’d like to enjoy that feeling of having the latest and greatest a bit longer than a few months, no? Lord knows, you pay for it though.

    • Wade

      Jan 7, 2014 at 12:15 pm

      AP2’s cost the same as Apex Pros. Nonsense. You are just sour that you could have waited a year to buy what you have. That’s the way technology works. The older a product is, the more it goes down in cost. How can you not know this?

  7. Paul

    Nov 6, 2013 at 10:58 pm


  8. JS

    Nov 6, 2013 at 4:32 pm

    Take away the Apex name, they’re no Hogans!

    • Gaz

      Nov 7, 2013 at 5:11 am

      Mate, they are Callaway clubs. Marketing people use the Apex or Hogan name…….Callaway. That is the manufacturer. Not Mr Hogan, he is no longer with us.

    • Barry

      Nov 7, 2013 at 9:44 pm

      Hogans were great in their day……that was many many days/years ago.
      Those Hogans couldn’t compare to today’s clubs.
      We have better technology, better forging & better shafts than yesteryear.
      I will reiterate what Gaz said, it is not a slam on the man, I think it honors him.
      These look amazing!

    • be_right

      Nov 9, 2013 at 9:56 am


  9. Gaz

    Nov 6, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    As a Callaway Icon Professional, I have hit both clubs and the feel is very soft. In fact quite a bit softer feel provided through the apex head……these will be a winner

  10. scott dalrymple

    Nov 6, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    The Apex name seems that Callaway is at least trying to reintroduce the Hogan line. The Hogan Apex and Apex Pro were awesome clubs. I found it odd that Callaway would completely shutter the Hogan brand.

    • willM

      Jan 16, 2014 at 2:43 pm

      I still game my Hogan Apex irons. After a custom fit and reshaft with DGs, they feel amazing and produce a great ball flight. I might look to the new Cally Apex as a more forgiving 2,3,4 iron option.

      • Greg

        Mar 29, 2014 at 10:01 am

        It’s in the shafts. Apex pro 6 iron was longer than apex 4 iron. Into the simulator,anyway.

  11. cg

    Nov 6, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    and what will be coming out next month? that will be MUCH better than these?

  12. Jamie

    Nov 5, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    The same money as the legacy black,
    Will they perform the same ?

  13. Tom

    Nov 5, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    I’m a fan of the brushed no glare finish.

  14. Mark

    Nov 5, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    SuuuWEET! Can’t wait to demo them.

  15. Brian

    Nov 5, 2013 at 1:18 pm

    Clean looking club and the remind me a bit of the PING S55

  16. tyler

    Nov 5, 2013 at 11:18 am

    Very nice looking club. Price tag is a bit much though.

    • GolfDad907

      Nov 6, 2013 at 1:00 pm

      Price is competitive with other major OEMs forged irons, I don’t see a problem with price.

  17. Tom

    Nov 5, 2013 at 10:58 am

    Ummm…I can use that new groove technology that only available to tour players. Other than that I like the look and write up. Great job Zak.

    • GolfDad907

      Nov 6, 2013 at 4:17 pm

      All you need is access to Tour rep and can get the grooves you can use 😀

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Whats in the Bag

Troy Merritt WITB 2023 (March)



Driver: Titleist TSi3 (10 degrees @9.25)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana BF 70 TX

3-wood: Titleist TSi2 (15 degrees @ 14.25)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana 80 TX

Hybrid: Titleist H2 818 (19 degrees)
Shaft: KBS Tour Hybrid Prototype 105 S+

Irons: Titleist T200 (2-5), Titleist T100 (6-PW)
Shafts: KBS Tour C-Taper 125 S+

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM9 (50-12F, 54-14F, 58-08M)
Shafts: KBS Tour 120 S

Putter: Yes! C-Groove Mollie Tour
Grip: SuperStroke Traxion Pistol GT Tour

Ball: Titleist Pro V1
Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet

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Whats in the Bag

Sam Burns’ winning WITB: 2023 WGC-Dell Match Play



Driver: Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond S (9 degrees @10.3)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Blue 7 TX (45 inches, tipped .5)

3-wood: Callaway Paradym Triple Diamond T (16 degrees)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 8 X

Hybrid: Callaway Apex UW (21 degrees @19,9)
Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Blue 8 X

Irons: Callaway Apex TCB (4-PW)
Shafts: Project X 125 6.5

Wedges: Callaway Apex TCB (AW), Callaway MD5 Jaws Raw (56-10S @55, 60-12X)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue X100 (AW), True Temper Dynamic Gold Tour Issue S400 (56)

Putter: Odyssey O-Works #7S Black
Grip: Odyssey

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Align

Ball: Callaway Chrome Soft X

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19th Hole

The current average driving distance of men and women amateur golfers by age and handicap



Distance in the game of golf is one of the hottest topics currently in the sport, especially with the USGA and R&A’s recent announcement that a plan is in place to roll back the golf ball for professional players.

When it comes to the amateur game, just how far are you hitting the ball compared to those in your age and handicap group?

Thanks to Arccos and their recently published study, you can find that out.

Per the report, which used data based on over 20 million drives – using Driver only – from the Arccos dataset, the numbers show that men’s numbers have increased on the previous year’s study but are down on the 2018 data. At the same time, women’s distance trends are continuing a downturn.

As for age and handicap, you can check out the full data and breakdown below, which also includes accuracy off the tee.








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