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An inside look at Callaway Apex UW on tour

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Highlighted by Phil Mickelson’s early adoption, the Callaway Apex UW is having a bit of a moment in professional golf.

The fusion of elements of both hybrid and fairway wood and the absence of traditional drawbacks make it an intriguing option at the professional level and a club that better players are gravitating toward (including our Brian Knudson, who reviewed it on his Club Junkie podcast).

We spoke with Callaway’s PGA Tour manager Jacob Davidson about the rise of Apex UW on tour.

GolfWRX: We know the tech story of the UW. But from your perspective, where does the club succeed? How is both “utility” and “wood”?

Jacob Davidson: The great thing about Apex UW’s success is that Callaway has been leading the industry in this space, and it’s almost as if we’re creating a new category. With the increase in speed for a lot of these players, we want to make sure that fitting for a 5-wood or hybrid type of club is a focus for our players, when maybe they wouldn’t think about it as much in the past.

Using analytics, we really understood how important having a club that could work well as an option for high-speed guys and for players who maybe wanted something that provided a balance between a hybrid and a 5-wood, something that is versatile and that they can work both ways. It’s really filled a need in a lot of players’ bags and the reason that it’s been successful is that once we’ve explained it to them, and they’ve had the ability to test it, they quickly realized that maybe there was a hole that they didn’t even realize.

GolfWRX: What is it that appeals to tour pros, though? Why is this club working for them?

JD: It obviously allows for a fairway wood shaft which gives you a lot more options for tour guys, where they’re getting a shaft that they’re familiar with in their driver or 3-woods or even 5-woods. The ability to have a 2-hybrid, a 3-hybrid, or filling the gap of a 5-wood with a spin robustness that’s easier to a control, a flight that’s much better, and a sole design with forgiveness with the long heel-to-toe really allows guys to avoid that left miss that might peel off on them, especially off the tee.

GolfWRX: Who on Tour has put the UW in play?

JD: It’s been a popular choice already with our staff pros for guys like Marc Leishman, Phil Mickelson was the first to put it in play, Kevin Kisner, Wesley Bryan, and Adam Hadwin, among others. We’ve seen some strong conversions as well on the LPGA, Champions, and European Tours.

What’s especially stood out over the past few weeks is that more and more players who aren’t on Callaway’s staff are coming onto our tour truck and asking us to build UWs — more than we’ve seen for a club like this in a long time. There’s a lot of buzz, and we know we have a great product when guys who aren’t on our staff are asking for a club like this as much as they are.

GolfWRX: Can you share any stories about players testing and putting the UW in play?

JD: One thing we’ve really noticed initially is how happy players are after they try it — since it is a new category, and they didn’t know what to expect with how it would perform. Once they hit it, they usually love it. A few guys have delayed testing it because they were comfortable with their setup until they see other players hit it on the golf course, then they’re coming and asking for it.

Specifically, Tyler McCumber and Sam Burns weren’t early adopters for Apex UW, but they were coming to us because they saw other pros play with it in competition and they said, “Wow, that’s really good.”

GolfWRX: Sam Burns recently put a UW in play. A younger, higher-speed guy…what worked for him?

JD: He’s been playing an older Apex Hybrid, he’s liked it, he’s been playing well all year, and he’s probably the hottest golfer in the world so he’s very hesitant to make a change in his bag. However, we sent some to his house, where he did some initial testing. Then last week in Houston we really had a chance to work with him.

What he really liked about it is how aggressive the flight is without the ball spinning high up into the air. It launches quite a bit higher than his hybrid and spins less at a higher apex. For a guy like Sam who likes to work the ball slightly left or right, he couldn’t believe how neutral it was whether he was trying to take a little off a cut into a par 5, or flight it lower off the tee with a little bit of a draw. It gives him more versatility than his old hybrid.

GolfWRX: Why should better amateurs, who haven’t taken to hybrids in the past, give the UW a shot?

JD: Overall, this is the next thing for what a players hybrid can be. It gives you the benefits of hitting a reliable club into longer par 3s or second shots into par 5s where they can hold the green, particularly on firmer, faster conditions. This club gives them the height to do that without overspinning it when they get into conditions where they are slightly into the wind or they slightly mishit it. That ball is not going to spin into the upper 5,000 RPMS and come up 15-20 yards short. This club is a lot more forgiving in that aspect.

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1 Comment

  1. Peter

    Nov 24, 2021 at 10:54 am

    Sounds like it’s not a club for high single digit handicap players,??

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2021 GolfWRX Holiday Gift Guide: Gifts for the Gearhead

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It’s that time of year again, GolfWRX members, the moment we start filling our wish lists with the golf gear we want this holiday season.

The GolfWRX Holiday Gift Guide was created to ensure that our readers give (and hopefully receive) the very best golf gifts on the planet. These gift ideas will suit any budget, and each item was hand-picked by our staff.

In an effort to provide more value and tailored recommendations, we’re presenting our guide as a series this year, targeting “the purist,” “the gearhead,” “the value seeker,” “the golfer looking to get better,” and “the big spender.”

You know the gearhead by his/her tired eyes from scouring the GolfWRX forums late into the night and his penchant for bringing two bags to the course—the gamer set and a bag full of demo clubs and shafts.

Here are our best recommendations for “the gearhead” in your life.

TaylorMade MySIM2 – $629.99

What’s better than a TaylorMade SIM2 (top 5 in GolfWRX’s Members Choice)? How about one in custom colors? Five different options for personalization including the aluminum ring, topline paint, and more.

Buy here

1withGolf bag – Varies

What gearhead wouldn’t want — nay, need — a custom golf bag? And when it comes to the combination of customization and quality, we can’t recommend 1withGolf enough.

A personalized and customized golf bag makes for a super cool, special, and memorable holiday gift. 1withGolf has over 135 color combinations for you to choose from and has the fastest turnaround in the industry.

Besides custom bags, their Xpress 3.5, Xpress 4.0, Xpress 14-way stand bags, and Z-100 15-way cart bags are all lightweight and of great quality with sleek design. They are full of consumer-friendly features to provide extra comfort on the course.

Buy here

Cobra King GrandSport-35 – $349.99

What screams gearhead in 2021 more than “3D printed putter?” Cobra’s King GrandSport-35 is 3D printed and folds in Sik’s DLT face to complete this ingredient-intensive gearhead stew. Yum!

Buy here

Rapsodo MLM – $499.99

Rapsodo’s MLM is the only launch monitor that uses the power of your iPhone or iPad to provide immediate feedback on launch data, instant video replay and active shot trace. Recognized by industry leaders for its pro-level accuracy for shot distance, ball speed, club speed, shot shape, smash factor, launch angle, and launch direction, the MLM is uniquely positioned and priced and merits a long look as you weigh your launch monitor options.

Buy here 

Fujikura Ventus – $350

Winner of GolfWRX’s Member Choice for best shaft and one of the most-played wood shafts on the PGA Tour, the Fujikura Ventus hype train rolled on in 2021 — and for good reason: Velocore is no joke in terms of dispersion control, particularly on off-center hits. Black, Blue, and Red target three distinct ball flights and deliver on all three fronts.

Buy here

Vokey WedgeWorks T Grind – $199

The T Grind is a Voke original, inspired by work with a former Titleist Brand Ambassador, fine-tuned by the master craftsman and Aaron Dill. The characteristics reflect the great hands of the inspiration; this is a low-bounce wedge with a narrow crescent surface. Unique from the L Grind, this wedge has a wider back flange, which creates unique playing characteristics and allows for a lower measured bounce, in addition to the narrow bounce surface.

Buy here

 

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2021 GolfWRX Holiday Gift Guide: Golf gifts for the Big Spender

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It’s that time of year again, GolfWRX members, the moment we start filling our wish lists with the golf gear we want this holiday season.

The GolfWRX Holiday Gift Guide was created to ensure that our readers give (and hopefully receive) the very best golf gifts on the planet. These gift ideas will suit any budget, and each item was hand-picked by our staff.

In an effort to provide more value and tailored recommendations, we’re presenting our guide as a series this year, targeting “the purist,” “the gearhead,” “the value seeker,” “the golfer looking to get better,” and “the big spender.”

You know the big spender by his/her when the math “golf bag + 14 clubs = more than the value of your car…and maybe house.”

Here are our best recommendations for “the big spender” in your life (and yes, in this scenario, you are a big spender as well).

Vessel LUX LE Midsize Staff Bag – $475

Vessel has long been one of the biggest luxury golf bag makers, and the new Lux LE Midsize Staff bag continues the tradition. Many of us love full-size staff bags but hate the weight, so Vessel scaled down the size, but not the quality or the features. Tons of pockets, including a lined cooler pocket, all accessible while on a cart. Premium leather touch-points, quilted stitching, and microfiber wrapped club dividers finish off the build.

Buy here

Ecco Biom Cool Pro – $260

If you know, then you know. Ecco has the reputation of making some of the most comfortable and durable shoes in golf. The new Boom Cool Pro includes Boa technology for a secure and comfortable fit without traditional laces. Gore-Tex Surround makes these 100 percent waterproof and the Tri-Fit-Grip sole gives you traction in any lie.

Buy here

ForeSight GC3 Sim-In-A-Box – $14,995

A complete golf simulator, with 20 courses, ready to go in one package. The new Foresight CG3 launch monitor is the heart of this offering. Featuring three high-speed cameras for great accuracy and shot data, the CG3 can be used indoors or out. FSX 2020 simulator and FSX Pro performance tool software are included along with an impact screen, projector, turf, hitting mat, and even a computer cart!

Buy here

Garia Supersport – $88,696

Is it a road-legal car or a golf cart? How about both? Garia has been making super high-end golf carts for a while now, and the Supersport is the wildest to date. From hand-stitched leather steering wheels and specially designed lounge seating to full carbon fiber body panels the Supersport sets itself apart from anything else. Powered by lithium and packed with technology, the Supersport even comes with a built-in fridge to keep your beverages cool when an emergency 9 is needed!

More info here

Rolex Day-Date 40 in 18ct Gold – $36,550

I know it isn’t a piece of golf equipment, but a Rolex is what the majority of PGA Tour players wear when they are holding trophies. The Day-Date is what Jack wore for decades and is considered THE gold luxury timepiece. The Day-Date has been nicknamed the “President” because of the President bracelet and since it has been worn by many presidents and world leaders over the years. This 228238 reference is made from solid 18ct gold and contains a Calibre 3255 self-winding automatic movement that is Swiss certified to be extremely accurate. Not only do you get the date window at 3 o’clock, but you get the day of the week displayed at 12 o’clock.

More info here

OXEFit XP1 – $35,000

Strength training meets supercomputer! Every golfer is taking fitness seriously and there isn’t a fitness machine more serious than the XP1. Digital weight training, motion sensors, and machine-learning track your movement to ensure you are using proper form and reducing strain. A 43-inch touchscreen controls everything from what exercises, how much weight, a rep counter, and even acts as a mirror to ensure you are doing everything correctly. The XP1 can create workouts where each rep can increase or decrease weight by specific amounts to really dial in the workout. Look out, Bryson!

More info here

Louis Vuitton Andrews Golf Kit – $915

Named after the most famous golf course in the world, this kit is an expensive way to carry three golf balls and four tees. Black Louis Vuitton patterned leather with a zippered opening allows you access to the three LV logoed golf balls. The four tees are held to the outside of the case, so they are easy to grab when you need to re-tee. A chrome clip holds this accessory to your bag.

Buy here

Gibbons Handmade Crocodile Belt – $489

While the Anthony Kim-inspired belt buckles are a thing of the past, high-quality leather belts are still in high demand. Gibbons has many exotic leathers and colors to choose from, but it is tough to deny that saltwater crocodile is one of the best. The iconic crocodile “horns” run down the center of the belt and perfect squared edges show off the handmade quality. These are custom made, so you know it will fit, and with so many colors to choose from, you know it will match or contrast your favorite outfit.

Buy here

Zen Green Stage – $24,000

All golfers dream about having their own simulator and putting green at home and Zen Golf makes those dreams come true. Their Green Stage is a large adjustable platform that can bring more realism to putts and full shots. It mechanically adjusts so you can hit breaking, and double breaking, putts as well as hit full shots from uneven lies! The Green Stage connects to your WiFi and you can control the whole thing from your phone or tablet!

More info here

Scotty Cameron Circle T Prototype Phantom X T-12 – $4,750

Scotty Cameron putters are hard to get your hands on but the putters he makes for professional players, Circle T, are even rarer! This tour only Phantom X T-22 prototype has a welded FloJet neck and twin 10g weights in the sole. Scotty doesn’t make the FloJet neck on a retail Phantom, so this is a true custom. The face and center section is made from a single piece of milled 6061 aluminum while the outer “wings” are milled from 303 stainless steel. This design creates a higher MOI design with plenty of stability to keep putts on their intended line.

Buy here

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What club do you consider your weakness and why? – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our members have been discussing their shortcomings. WRXer ‘Jjfcpa’ kicks off the thread explaining why his woods are an issue, saying

“I would consider my weakness to be woods. I only carry a 5w because I found that I can’t hit my 3w any further than my 5w, and I get better dispersion with the 5w. I probably need to get fit for a 3w to see if I can find something that will perform better, but as of right now, I just don’t take up a spot in my bag with a 3w. 

It’s probably costing me when it comes to scoring because on long par 4’s or par 5’s I generally have to play for an up-and-down because I just can’t get on the green in regulation. I am playing from the right tee… only have this problem if the par 4 is over 380 and the par 5 is over 500.”

And our members have been sharing their weak spots and why they are having issues with those clubs specifically.

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.

  • lefthack: “My driver for sure. It’s gotten fairly playable, but it still isn’t consistent, and there is little faith in it. I am keeping it in play more than not. But I have fairly reasonable faith in the rest of my bag.”
  • Kmagnuss: “I agree with the lob wedge (60 degree) guys… Taking a full cut from that distance just has ‘skulled into the lake behind the green’ written all over it for me. I’ll choke down a SW, thank you.”
  • 2ndCut16: “Lob wedge – 100% mental as well. On the range or in the SIM, I’m fine, but on the course, good chance I will duff or skull it. No other club do I struggle like that with.”
  • AP76: “Most definitely 3 wood for me, which it’s why it’s been extracted and replaced with a 2 iron! Driver not exactly my friend either a lot of the time, so I tend to hit a lot of long irons off the tee.”
  • Esox: “Driver is my weakness. Irons and wedges keep me in the hunt. Zipcores ( 50 & 54) are almost assured of an up and down from 110 in. Lob wedge (58 degree SM7) gets played only as needed, but we get along just fine. Still need a driver to love me as much as those zipcores do….. I am just too inconsistent with the big stick. It’s the golfer, not the club……”

Entire Thread: “What club do you consider your weakness and why? – GolfWRXers discuss”

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