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Callaway Apex MB and Apex UT irons



Callaway’s new Apex Muscleback (MB) and Apex Utility (UT) irons were designed with the better player in mind, as you’d expect from blade-style and driving irons. The company worked with tour players and elite golfers to establish the look, feel and playability of the new models.

The Apex Muscleback irons will suit the eye of a player looking for the traditional blade look and forged feel. Callaway also added game-enhancing grooves to the sleek bodies, and a sole camber that will improve turf interaction and playability.

The Apex Utility irons will appease golfers looking to either:

  • replace fairway woods and hybrids with a more versatile option off the tee,
  • replace long irons (2,3 or 4 irons) from a less-forgiving set to add speed and forgiveness,
  • and/or fill in distance gaps throughout the bag.

The UT irons have a strong steel forged face for higher ball speed and a lower center of gravity for added forgiveness – even elite golfers struggle hitting low-lofted irons consistently.

See more in hand photos and discussion in the forums

Apex MB


The Apex Muscleback irons were developed using feedback from Callaway’s tour players, so its no surprise these irons have the look and shape of a traditional blade. The MB’s are forged from 1020 Carbon steel, using a quad forged design, providing the softest feel that Callaway has to offer, along with a satin-chrome finish that’s consistent with the Apex line.

Callaway designed the grooves on these irons to be wider than on previous players’ iron models for more control and consistent spin rates. There is also added camber in the sole to make it slightly more rounded, which adds versatility for shot-making and playability.

See more in hand photos and discussion in the forums


The Apex MB irons will be available on Sept. 15, 2014 for $1099, offered in 2-PW with a KBS Tour-V (custom only) shaft.

Apex UT

Screen Shot 2014-08-15 at 10.19.02 AM

Callaway’s Apex Utility irons, which were introduced at this year’s Open Championship, have a forged face and cavity back design. The irons use a “forged face cup design” that is said to create higher ball speeds, producing the distance players want from a utility iron. Also, weight was added to the sole with a tungsten screw, which lowered the center of gravity (CG) raising the launch and further adding forgiveness to the hollow-bodied irons.

They have a similar iron shape to the MB’s but are made with a taller face, which spreads out the sweet spot, because players tend to use them more off the tee. The blade length was made shorter than Callaway’s previous utility irons to enhance versatility and workability.

See more in hand photos and discussion in the forums



Built from 455 Carpenter steel, the Apex UT irons have the same satin-chrome finish as the Apex MB. The irons (18, 21 and 24 degrees) will be available on Sept. 15, 2014 for $229-249 each, and come stock with either a KBS Tour-V or a UST Recoil 680 F4 shaft and a Lamkin Crossline grip.

See more in hand photos and discussion in the forums

<<< LINK- Callaway Apex MB in hand pics- with new comparison pics to Nike mmproto, Mizzy mp-4, s55 and more >>>

<<< LINK- Callaway UT Iron in hand pics >>>

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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.



  1. Erich H

    Sep 27, 2014 at 1:00 pm

    is this the replacement of the callaway apex?

  2. Scott

    Sep 16, 2014 at 4:10 pm

    These clubs look nice. Whats the problem here? Has anyone tried them yet? How do they compare to Titleist MB or the AP2s?

  3. Scooter McGavin

    Aug 21, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    I think Callaway needs to do this type of stamping or milling (whatever it is) into the cavity of all of their premium forged irons. I think it’s ridiculous that you will pay $1100 for a set of Apex’s, just to have the cavity decorated with a cheap badge that’s glued in. Maybe it’s a silly thing to get picky over, but it makes me respect Callaway less, and not want to play their premium clubs. Because why would I, if I can get a different brand’s premium club and have it look “not cheap” in the cavity?

    • Nick

      Aug 26, 2014 at 8:55 am

      Isn’t it just paint fill? Where’s the glued badge?

  4. MattK

    Aug 17, 2014 at 12:04 am

    Apparently the patents for the Mizuno T-Zoid True has expired.

  5. Kyle

    Aug 16, 2014 at 11:17 am

    So they took their blade, changed the name, and release it as a new product? Lol callaway

    • Scooter McGavin

      Aug 16, 2014 at 4:40 pm

      That’s basically the story with every blade…

  6. Wait

    Aug 16, 2014 at 1:22 am

    Wait 3 months they’ll be discounted at $899 so why pay full price?

  7. Ryan

    Aug 15, 2014 at 9:27 pm

    Why is Callaway not publishing the bounce of their clubs? It is almost like they are hiding it…..

    • benseattle

      Aug 16, 2014 at 3:16 pm

      Yes — hiding those bounce numbers is VERY suspicious. Almost sneaky, as though they Know Something Secret and don’t want to share it. Callaway could have only ONE reason for not revealing that critical data and it’s because …. well, uh…. hmmm…. oh I don’t know — just what COULD they be hiding? (Perhaps because it’s of only the most minor concern to just about everybody? Nahhhh.)

  8. Pingback: Callaway Apex MB and Apex UT irons |

  9. Zip it

    Aug 15, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    I’m not a callaway cheerleader but people are just old fuddies duddies when it comes to the “Apex” name. It’s only a Ben Hogan thing, he would never approve, blah, blah, blah. Get over it! You want old clubs go play lousy MacGregors from Golfsmiths. I think the new Apex lines are fine.

    • Inthejonzone

      Aug 15, 2014 at 6:12 pm

      LOL…brand affiliation….people get attached to identity!

  10. Mike

    Aug 15, 2014 at 4:11 pm

    Badging looks much better compared to RAZR MB, however that isn’t saying much.

    Why can’t Cally just release a blade with nothing but the Chev in the center? Blades aren’t meant to be busy by design; these aren’t going to be a large scale release anyway…

    *secretly can’t wait to rationalize picking up a set*

    • Tommy 2sticks

      Aug 15, 2014 at 5:19 pm

      Callaway X PROTOTYPES are what you are looking for. They are beautiful blades much like Tigers old nike blades before victory red.

      • JB

        Sep 5, 2014 at 10:05 am

        Still in my bag..but the Apex MB have my attention.

  11. Joe Staley

    Aug 15, 2014 at 2:23 pm

    I am not a fan of Callaway using the APEX name when they know Ben Hogan is launching clubs again.

    • Sammy Moon

      Aug 15, 2014 at 2:45 pm

      While I agree with you, this iron line was well in the works before there was any decision to make Ben Hogan clubs again. It was expected when Callaway sold Hogan to Perry Ellis in 2012 that Ben Hogan Clubs would never be made again. And other than the loyal following of Hogan irons (which I am one of), I am not sure this is a great move for Hogan equipment. In a golf market that is down big time, to try and restart a company that had very little market presence in since the early 90’s, is probably going to be a very challenging task.

    • benseattle

      Aug 16, 2014 at 3:18 pm

      Nobody under the age of 40 has any clue about Ben Hogan and the “Apex” name. So insignificant it’s not even worth talking about.

  12. LLoyd

    Aug 15, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    Callaway has issued almost the same set of blades over the past few years. The Prototype MB, Razr MB, and now the Apex MB look nearly identical.

    Just my two cents.

    • Philip

      Aug 15, 2014 at 9:07 pm

      That was my first impression – same clubs, different name.

  13. golfpunk46

    Aug 15, 2014 at 1:50 pm

  14. Big Dick

    Aug 15, 2014 at 1:38 pm

    Great stuff

  15. Joe W

    Aug 15, 2014 at 1:28 pm

    why picture the 16 and not offer the 16… They look real nice but doesn’t seem worth 229-249 and over a grand for blades that will be old news soon anyway.

  16. Inthejonzone

    Aug 15, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    Too good for my blood. But they’ll fly with all the WRX pros scouring the next greatest blade on here!

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7 takeaways from an AWESOME equipment talk with Padraig Harrington



Fans of golf equipment have long known that Padraig Harrington is one of us. Throughout his career, Harrington has been willing to test new products, make changes from week to week, and play with a bag of mixed equipment brands.

What equipment fans may not know, however, is just how brilliant of an equipment mind Harrington truly has.

Ahead of the 2023 Valero Texas Open, I caught up with Harrington to pick his brain about what clubs are currently in his bag, and why. The conversation turned into Harrington discussing topics such as the broader equipment landscape, brand deals in 2023, his driver testing process, why he still uses a TaylorMade ZTP wedge from 2008, square grooves vs. V-grooves, and using a knockoff set of Ping Eye 1 irons as a junior.

Padraig Harrington’s 2023 WITB

Below are my 7 major takeaways from the extensive gear talk with Harrington.

1) Padraig’s stance on equipment contracts, and why he prefers Wilson

Harrington is a longtime Wilson staffer, and although he supports the brand and uses their equipment, he doesn’t use a full bag of Wilson clubs. He finds Wilson’s understanding of a player’s need for flexibility to be beneficial to the player, and it’s attracting more and more professional players to the company (such as Kevin Kisner and Trey Mullinax).

“Wilson wants me to play whatever I’m comfortable with. It’s very important. They’re not a manufacturer that says, ‘We want you to play 14 clubs.’ There’s always a club you don’t like. That’s just the way it is. So Wilson is like, ‘We want you playing well and playing the best clubs for you.’

“I am very comfortable with their irons. I’m very comfortable with their wedges, as you can see. They have an old hybrid 4 iron that I love. They have a new hybrid 4-iron that is too powerful. I put it in the bag last week and I had to take it out. The thing is, I use a 4-iron and a 5-wood. My 4-iron has to go somewhat relative to my 5-iron, and then I have to bridge that gap between 4-iron and 5-wood, so it has to do both. The new 4-iron was going 230 yards. My 4-iron goes about 215-235, maybe 240 on a warm day. And my 5-wood is like a warm-day 265 in the air, but I have no problem hitting it 235, so I can cross it over. But this 4-iron, the new version, it just went. I couldn’t hit the 215 shot with it; it’s just too powerful. That’s why I have the old 4-iron in the bag, but it does the job to bridge the gap…

“As players get more money, they’re less dependent on manufacturers. They need the service of a manufacturer – because, like I need to be on that truck and get things checked. But you’re seeing more players see Wilson as an attractive option because you don’t have to use 14 clubs. If you’re not happy this week with the putter; you know, Wilson has the putters, they have everything, but if you want to chase something else for a moment…remember, there’s two things you’re chasing. If you’re a free agent, it’s not good to be changing a lot. That is a distraction. But it’s nice to have the option that if somebody…like I feel Titleist has come out with a great driver. And I’m able to work my way straight into Titleist and say, ‘Hey, gimmie a go with that. Oh, this is a great driver, I’m going to use this.’ Wilson is aware of that. They want their players to be happy and playing well. Like it’s still 10 clubs, but it’s just not 14 and the ball.

“The irons are great, there’s no doubt about that. They’ve won the most majors. They make a gambit of irons. If you want to use a blade, they have the blade. If you want to use my iron, which is just a good tour composite, it has a bit of a cavity-back, you can do that. If you want to use the D irons that have rockets going off there, you can have them. Like the 4 iron, the one they gave me, it was a rocket! And guys are happy to carry driving irons like that, but mine has to match in with the 5-iron. It was just too high and too fast.

“So yeah, I think you’re going to see manufacturers go more of that way. Our players want to be independent, but the problem is that full independence is not great. You don’t want a situation where you’re turning up – as you see kids who make it into their first tournament, and the manufacturers start giving them stuff, and they’re changing. You don’t want to be the guy changing too much.”

2) The dangers of a 64-degree wedge

Although Harrington himself uses a Wilson Staff High Toe 64-degree wedge, he seldom practices with it. Here’s why he warns against it:

“The big key with a 64 wedge is DO NOT use it. No, seriously, do not use it. It’s a terrible wedge for your technique. That club is in the bag and it gets used on the golf course, and it gets used when it’s needed, but you don’t practice with it, because it’s awful. So much loft will get you leading too much, and you’re going to deloft it. Hit one or two shots with it, then put it away. You’re better off practicing with a pitching wedge and adding loft to be a good chipper instead of practicing with a lob wedge and taking loft off. A 64-degree wedge is accentuating that problem. It’s a dangerous club. It does a great job at times, but it certainly can do harm.

“It’s not bad having it in the bag for a certain shot, but it’s a terrible club to practice with. I literally hit one or two full shots with it, a couple chips with it, and that’s it. I know if I spend too long with it, I’ll start de-lofting.”

3) The interchangeable faces on TaylorMade’s ZTP wedges from 2008 were Padraig’s idea?!

I couldn’t believe it myself, but Harrington says that the idea for TaylorMade to offer interchangeable face technology on its ZTP wedges in 2008 was originally his idea…

“The TaylorMade is obviously attracting a lot of attention, but that was my idea! Myself and a consultant for Wilson, I got him to build changeable faces and he sold that to TaylorMade…that’s fully my idea. He sold that then to TaylorMade, and TaylorMade produced them, which I was happy about. But TaylorMade couldn’t sell them. You can’t get people to clean the grooves, so they weren’t going to buy a new face. Why have 400 faces at home? So I went out and bought these faces to make sure I had them for life. And I was home chipping a while ago, and I have a nice 58. I like the grind on that wedge, and the fact I can just replace the face and have a fresh face every three weeks, it’s just easy, so that’s why that’s in there.”

4) Driver testing isn’t all about speed

“The driver companies know I’m a free agent when it comes to drivers, so every time a new driver comes out, they’ll come to me and say, ‘Hey, would you have a look at this?’

“I will test everything, yeah, but it has to beat what I have in the bag. And Wilson’s new driver is the same. They brought out a new driver and it’s great, but I love the driver I’m using. So I say, ‘Look, guys, not only do you have to be as good as the incumbent, you have to be better, because I already know this and I’m familiar with it.’

“Wilson has built a very, very good driver. There’s know doubt about it. But I love the driver I’m using. And none of these manufacturers can build me a driver that’s better.

“Ball speed gets a driver into the conversation, and then you bring it to the golf course. So the driver has to be going as good as my current driver, and then I bring it to the course and see if I can hit the thing straight. I have gone down the road [of prioritizing speed]…I used a driver in 2014, and it never worked weekends. But it was fast. I used it for about six weeks I’d say – six tournaments – and I missed six straight cuts. It never worked the weekend. It was really fast on the range, but it just wasn’t good on the course.”


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5) Playing with knockoff irons as a junior

“I played as a junior for Ireland, under 18’s, and I owned half a set of golf clubs, and they were imitation Ping Eye 1’s. I borrowed the other half set off my brother. We had a half set each. I had the evens, he had the odds. In that tournament, there was a guy playing with Ping Berylliums with graphite shafts. They cost 1,900 pounds. Mine cost 100 pounds, and they were knockoffs. So I played, for my country, with a set of knockoffs. Before I used those knockoff clubs, I used a mixed bag of clubs. As in, I picked up whatever club they had. The 6-iron might go farther than the 5-iron. The 5-iron might go with a fade and the 7-iron might go with a hook, but I knew what my clubs did. Each club had a purpose.”

6) Using square grooves and V-grooves simultaneously

Square grooves – or “box grooves” – were outlawed by the USGA in 2010 because they were said to help golfers spin the ball too much. V grooves are said to provide less of an advantage because they restrict the sharp edges of the grooves, thus reducing the amount of friction imparted on the golf ball. Prior to the rule change, however, Harrington actually used both V grooves and box grooves, and he’d adjust his setup depending on the golf course.

“What’s interesting is, when the box grooves were around – very few people know this – I carried two sets of clubs at all times. I carried a V groove and a box groove.

“Yeah, see, the box grooves were unbelievable out of the rough, spin wise, but if the rough got to a certain level, the ball would come out so low and with spin that it wouldn’t go very far. Your 7-iron coming out of this rough would only go like 140 yards and it wouldn’t get over any trees because it would come out so low. What I was doing was, if I got to a golf course with this sort of a rough, I’d put in a box groove 7-iron and a V-groove 8-iron. If I got in the rough and I had 170 yards, I’d hit an 8 iron and get a flyer, because the 7 iron wouldn’t get there depending on the lie. And I couldn’t get it over things. So if there were trees, you needed the V groove to get over the trees. A box groove wouldn’t get up in the air.

“No one else was doing it. I played with the box groove for a couple years before I realized that in certain rough, you need the V groove to get there. Hale Irwin played a U.S. Open seemingly with no grooves. Off the fairway it’s meant to make no difference. I would disagree, but that’s what the officials would say. But out of the rough you needed the flyers to get to the green. The V grooves were doing that for me. You get your flyer to get of the rough to get the ball there, but then if it was the first cut of rough, or light rough, or Bermuda rough, or chip shots, it would come out so low and spinny that you’d have no problem.

“I can’t believe that people didn’t realize that I was doing this two-groove thing all the time. I swear to you, you could stand here, you would not launch a 7-iron over that fence there if it was box grooves out of light rough, and V groove would launch over it. The launch characteristics were massively different.”

7) Blame the person, not the putter

Interestingly, Harrington, for all his tinkering, has only used a handful of putters. It turns out, there’s a good reason for that — although he’d like his current model to be a few millimeters taller.

“I used a 2-ball when it came out. Then I used a 2-ball blade, which I won my majors with. I always had a hook in my putts, so not long after I won my majors, I went to face-balanced putter because it helps reduce the left-to-right spin. I started putting really badly in 2013 and 2014 – I had some issues. And then come 2016-2017, I just said, look, I putted well with this putter. If I use this putter, I can’t go back and say it’s the putter’s problem. It’s gotta be me. So I went back to the face-balanced 2-ball blade because I’ve had good times with it. I may have only used 5 or 6 putters in my career.

“I’m really happy that I’ve got a putter that I know I’ve putted well with, and I don’t blame the putter. I can’t say that anymore. I don’t blame my tools, I blame myself if I miss a putt. So it comes down to…I know the putter works, then it’s me. Me, me, me.

“You know, I’ve toyed with using other shafts in the putter, and I will look at other putters, but things are askew to me when I look down. So I can’t have a putter with a line on it. It doesn’t look square to the face. I’ve never putted with a putter that has a line on it for that reason. I line up by feel. I know that putter works, I know it suits me, so that’s why I go with that…

“I prefer a deeper putter (a taller face). The one issue I have is I hit the ball too high on the face, but they won’t remodel the whole system to make me a deeper putter. I’ve tried some optical illusions to try and get it where I hit the ball more in the center, but I hit it high. It seems to be going in the hole so I’m not going to worry about it too much. But in an ideal world, if someone came along and said they could make the putter 3-4 millimeters higher, I’d be happy with that.”

See more photos of Padraig Harrington’s 2023 WITB here

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TaylorMade survey on ball rollback finds everyday golfers massively against introduction of Model Local Rule



In response to the USGA and R&A’s recent announcement that they plan on rolling back the golf ball for the professional game, TaylorMade Golf issued a survey asking everyday golfers to voice their opinion regarding the topic of golf ball bifurcation. Today, they are sharing the results.

Almost 45,000 golfers across more than 100 countries spanning a variety of ages, abilities and participation levels took the time to complete the survey and have their voice heard, with some of the major findings shown below:

  • To the best of your knowledge, do you agree with the proposed golf ball rule?
    • 81% No
    • 19% Yes
  • Do you think average hitting distances in professional golf need to be reduced?
    • 77% No
    • 23% Yes
  • Are you for or against bifurcation in the game of golf (i.e., different rule(s) for professional golfers versus amateurs)?
    • 81% Against
    • 19% For
  • How important is it for you to play with the same equipment professional golfers use?
    • 48% Extremely important
    • 35% Moderately important
    • 17% Not important
  • If the proposed golf ball rule were to go into effect, would it have an impact on your interest in professional golf?
    • 45% Less interested
    • 49% No impact
    • 6% More Interested

The results also show that 57 percent of golfers aged 18-34 years old would be less interested in the pro game should the rule come into effect, while five percent said they would be more interested.

“The goal of our survey was to give golfers the opportunity to voice their opinion on this proposed ruling as we absorb the MLR and its potential effects on the everyday golfer. We are grateful that nearly 45,000 golfers across the world felt the need for their voice to be heard. The overwhelming amount of responses show the passion, knowledge and care for the game our audience possesses. Each response and data point is being reviewed as we will utilize this feedback in our preparation to provide a response to the USGA and R&A.” – David Abeles, TaylorMade Golf President & CEO

You can check out the survey results in full here.

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Spotted: Odyssey Tri-Hot 5K Three “anti-right” prototype putter



Odyssey Tri-Hot 5K putters have really taken off on tour, and we have seen a handful of models in tour player’s bags. The latest version we spotted out on tour is a very unique design.

Odyssey makes this putter head with a standard flow neck that offers plenty of toe hang for golfers who prefer or need that weighting. This prototype has a long slant neck installed more near the center of the putter head that lets the toe sit slightly up in the air when held horizontally. This is pretty different since most putters sit with the toe hanging down towards the ground or are face balanced (face sits parallel to the ground). A full shaft offset looks to be achieved with the slant neck and the look at address is definitely different.

We spoke to Callaway PGA Tour manager Joe Toulon about the putter and he had the following to say

“On course [we had a player who] had a little push bias that didn’t necessarily show up in practice but it is something that he felt on course. So we wanted to build something that was a little easier to release and maybe not necessarily open the toe as much in the back stroke and not have to work as hard to release it in the through stroke. That was kind of designed to give a little offset and when you rested it on your finger it would rest toe up a little bit. We thought for that player it would help him square the putter face at impact rather than leave it open a little bit.

“It was more of a concept we had and will continue to work on it. When we had it on the truck and we were hitting some putts with it we noticed that you had to work really hard to push this putter. We wanted to make an anti-right putter. Just a fun little concept that we have an idea and work with our tour department to test things out.

“It isn’t something that ended up in a player’s bag but we learned some things in that process and will keep in mind for future builds and projects.”

The finish also looks to be a little different than the standard Tri-Hot 5K putter’s black and silver motif. The face and neck are finished in silver and the rear done in more of a blueish-gray tone. The White Hot insert looks to be standard and the sole still contains two interchangeable weights.

The shaft looks to be painted in the same metallic red as their standard Stroke Lab shaft, but we don’t see a steel tip section. Not sure if this putter has a full graphite shaft or painted steel.

Toe sitting slightly up

Check out more photos of the Odyssey Tri-Hot 5K Three Putter.

More “Spotted” pieces

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