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101: A Simple Guide to Callaway Irons

It’s been almost a year since I published my initial guide to our player’s irons but now, with the launch of the Rogue ST line, I thought it would help to provide a simple reference guide to the entire line-up so that all golfers have a landing spot to “pick a winner.”

Keep in mind that ALL of these sets can be a combo at your whim but I suggest doing this under adult supervision…AKA the expertise of an authorized Callaway fitter:)

So why stand on ceremony, let’s get into it!!

SUPER GAME IMPROVEMENT

Rogue ST Max/OS

Key Words: Long, Fast (Flash Face Cup), Forgiving, Mindless, Multi-Material Construction, Fun, High Launch (up to 62g of high-density tungsten), Optimum feel (Urethane Microspheres)

WHO: Higher Handicappers/Slower Swing Speed Players looking to have fun. These irons perform almost like an oversized tennis racket and provide the player opportunities for success ALL over the face—end of Story.

Apex DCB

Key Words: PREMIUM, Forged (1025 Carbon Steel), Fast (Flash Face Cup), Forgiving, High Launch (up to 50 grams of tungsten)

Who: For the player who wants the same experience the Rogue ST Max offers but prefers the premium experience of a forged construction. If Rogue ST Max is a Cadillac, Apex DCB is a Rolls Royce. Make sense?

PLAYERS PERFORMANCE (Some call it players distance, I don’t. This class offers the widest swath of PERFORMANCE for all golfers)

Rogue ST PRO

Key Words: Hollow body, players profile, long, forgiving, mid-high launch (up to 48G of Tungsten), Tour spin package (AI Tuned face), INSANE feel (Urethane Microspheres)

Who: In my opinion, it’s for ANY better player (Tour to 8-HDCP) that seeks the performance of a forgiving cavity back with the look, feel, and curb appeal of a true players iron. I put them in the bag four months ago, and I’m NOT LOOKING BACK. The secret sauce to these irons is the spin profile; although I’m more or less a club longer across the set, my spin numbers are THE SAME. 7-iron still maintains in the 6800-7000RPM range. That’s unheard of. I’d put these up against any iron in the player’s class. They will outperform them all.


APEX ’21

Key Words: The Alpha, PREMIUM, Long, Forgiving, Precision, Tech Packed

Who: From Annika Sorenstam to a 12-15 HDCP. The Apex ’21 is the gold standard of a “Players Performance” iron. With all of the Callaway Tech packed in (Flash Face Cup, AI Tuned Face, Tungsten Energy core, Forged from 1025 Mild Carbon Steel body), the Apex ’21 leaves no stone unturned. They are fast, forgiving, and responsive. The performance across the set will attract better players (me last summer) and the avid golfer seeking a forged iron experience in a forgiving profile.

Apex Pro ’21



Key Words: 
Hollow body, faster face, mid/high launch, mid/low spin, forgiving

Who: VERY popular Iron on the LPGA and Champions Tour for its increased ball speed and overall playability. This iron has the DNA of a player forging but also has some serious game improvement aspects cooked in. Where the Apex Pro ’21 separates itself from the competition is 1) feel and turf interaction, thru the turf the Apex Pro ’21 doesn’t live too many houses down from TCB or Apex MB 2) the CG placement on these things is nuts, in some cases up to 90G of tungsten placed in the perfect spot. That’s an obscene amount in a player’s iron. 

TOUR IRONS

Apex MB ’21



Key Words: Precise, workability, spin, custom, sharp, short blade, the ownness is on the player, TOUR blade

Who: The Apex MB ’21 is (like Phil likes to put it) a Ferrari. Its sensitive, responsive and tries to match in flight what the player is feeling in their hands. This iron is for players that like the look of a muscle back, hit the middle of the face at least 90% of the time, and would rather trade forgiveness for spin manipulation and control. The point is, this iron will mirror the quality of your strike more than anything else. 

Apex TCB (Tour Cavity Back)

Key Words: A muscle back DNA in a forged cavity back, sharp, short blade length, true players CB, shotmakers club, forgiving to a point, crisp off the face, spin control, flight control, our most played iron on the PGA Tour

Who: Who? Well, to start our Apex Pro 2 Dot players IE Xander, Dylan, Leish, Wesley, etc. The Apex TCB is a TRUE player forged CB. Jon Rahm responded to these quickly for two reasons, the short blade length which represents control, and the low launch, higher spin launch windows. Shotmakers that don’t trust a muscle back enough typically land on an iron like TCB. For the gearheads, THIS is what replaced the Apex Pro ’18. If you like that iron you will LOVE TCB. 

X-Forged CB

Key Words: Longer blade length, crisp off the face, mild offset, easy to hit players cavity back, mid-launch, Tour iron


Who: This is where it gets interesting as the TCB and X-Forged may appear to live in the same bucket. They do…and don’t. X-Forged CB is an iron that players seek out more than others. You are kind of looking for something if you land on this club. Traditionally this profile has had a longer blade length, a touch more offset, and has been easier to turn over. On TOUR the players that run to this iron seem to look at the ball in the air to choose an iron rather than down at the address position. What I mean by that is, the iron needs to fly a certain way before the optics become important. Don’t get me wrong, how they sit is important but in my experience players that like the X-Forged profile will work into the look if the ball flies correctly. I love these irons and have them in the bag now. 

My boy Kellen Watson did a great bullet point breakdown based on what he sees out on the big show, this is cool:

Apex MB

  • Classic Blade look
  • Solid feel from the movement of weight to a central location
  • Very suitable offset for the better player
  • Easy to maneuver the golf ball – high, low, cut, draw

Apex Pro ‘21

  • These are an interesting lot:
    • Most tour players will shy away from the look of the offset incorporated in the iron
    • The long irons seem to gain traction out here for the ease of launch paired with the increase in distance with the faster face
    • In the same terms, the speed of the face limits the efficiency of the shorter irons because of the variance of carry yardages

Apex TCB

  • Classic look with limited offset
  • Increased feel and sound from the movement of weight to central hitting location
  • Launch and spin numbers are right on when moving from older or different models
  • An essential grab and go iron for almost every player on this Tour
  • Shape and offset stayed the same from Apex 2 Dot
    • We limited the option of the groove configuration
    • Shifted CG location to better enhance feel and sound whilst making the builder and fitter’s lives much easier

X Forged CB

  • The X Forged player is one that likes the idea of the TCB iron but prefers to see a bit more offset
  • The increased offset and blade length provide ease of closure rate of the face for most players
  • The increased offset also allows some players to flight shots down easier

Conclusion:

Choosing the proper iron setup can sometimes be challenging, especially in the modern-day market. There are simply so many options, and they are all solid. HOWEVER, I believe that our lineup is by far the deepest in terms of performance and quality from top to bottom. YES, getting properly fit is essential to getting this right, but if I had to offer any advice, I’d say this…ALWAYS favor a quality mis-hit over a pure strike. Let’s be honest; they all fly great out of the middle. It’s the rest of the face where all the performance is measured, and as I stated earlier..our line-up, top to bottom, does that better than anyone in the business. Flash-Face Cup, A. I Tuned face and Tungsten packed designs, Callaway R&D seems to be three steps ahead at all times, and I speak from experience. My iron play is the best it’s been in the last 15 years.

Happy Hunting

Click HERE to order YOUR Callaway Irons

JDub

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