Callaway Apex Hybrid Review (2016)
Here I’ll be fully reviewing the Callaway Apex hybrid, the very first hybrid created for the Apex player. This hybrid features the Forged Face Cup technology that has become standard in the Apex family of hybrids and irons.
Callaway claims that the Face Cup delivers faster ball speeds across the face as well as more ball flight control. How do these claims hold up when put to the test? Is this a worthy hybrid offering for lower handicaps? What are its strengths and weaknesses? Read on to find out what you need to know to make an informed purchase.
What are the reviews like?
The Apex hybrid has had a superb reception overall — average customer ratings of 5/5 on Amazon and 4.7/5 (94% recommended) on the official Callaway website, and glowing reviews from many professional critics.
It has been praised for its neutral bias (rare among hybrids), excellent distance, control/accuracy, ball speed forgiveness, playability, satisfying impact feel and terrific workability (high, low, curved) — just about everything one would look for in an ideal hybrid. There really isn’t much that the Apex hybrid doesn’t get right. Just be aware that it’s not adjustable. Also keep in mind that while mis-hit forgiveness in terms of distance is top, the same can’t be said for directional forgiveness — those who tend to struggle with hooks and slices might have a hard time with this hybrid.
What are the features?
The Apex hybrid is the first to feature a Forged Face Cup, also found in the Apex CF 16 irons. The face cup is made from 455 Carpenter Steel and allows for more face flex at every impact location, resulting in more ball speed and distance on both mis-hits and solid strikes.
The center of gravity (CG) is positioned low and in such a way that the bias is actually neutral, allowing for versatile shot-shaping control in every direction. The Apex hybrid is bringing skilled golfers who have avoided hybrids in the past because of their draw biases back into the hybrid game. Responsible for this low CG position is an Internal Standing Wave (a weight low in the head) and a 6 gram weight on the sole of the club.
The stock shaft offered is the Mitsubishi Kuro Kage Hybrid, a great offering that feels light yet solid throughout the swing. A selection of additional custom shaft options are also available at no extra cost. The specs of the Apex hybrid and the Kuro Kage shaft can be found in the tables below:
|Name||Loft||Availability||Standard Length||Lie||Swing Weight|
Mitsubishi Kuro Kage Hybrid Shaft Specifications
How does the hybrid perform?
Distance: The Apex hybrid truly is long. It’s one of the longest hybrids currently on the market, playable by just about anybody including those who hit a natural draw and would otherwise have hooking problems with draw-biased hybrids. In many cases players will find that they can hit these hybrids higher and farther than an equivalent iron. The ball launches hot off the Face Cup clubface with plenty of height to take advantage of the relatively low spin rate.
Forgiveness: In terms of ball speed preservation on mis-hits, you can’t ask for much more. There is hardly any difference in distance and trajectory between mild mis-hits (including thin shots) and solid strikes. Moderate and more severe mis-hits still retain a good height and ball speed, and in this respect the Apex hybrid is extremely generous for a players club. However, a natural consequence of its versatility is reduced directional forgiveness. Keep in mind that while hooks and slices won’t be exacerbated, they won’t exactly be mitigated either.
Ball Flight/Playability: The typical ball flight with the Apex hybrid is high, straight and penetrating, but at the same time this flight can be easily altered. Want to hit a cut around a dogleg right? A high bomb that carries some trees and lands softly into the green? It can all be done no problem by savvy players. The Apex hybrid does best off the tee and out of the short grass. Accuracy, versatility and workability are all top notch. One thing I noticed during my testing was the tendency of the clubhead to catch and open in thicker rough, something that’s a little less of a problem with larger head hybrids.
What about look, sound and feel?
Look: The Apex hybrid has a slim, sleek, iron-like profile and design that appeals to better players – a longer blade length from heel to toe, a fairly narrow width and a fairly tall face that allows for easier contact out of hairy lies. The matte black crown contains no alignment aid, but the club sets up very comfortably (square) behind the ball at address. The sole, with the 6-gram weight in the center, contains some straightforward labeling in a simple black/white/red colour scheme. Very nice overall.
Sound and Feel: Can definitely compete with the big dogs in the hybrid market. You would expect a players hybrid to have a premium sound and feel, and the Apex hybrid doesn’t disappoint in this respect. Both can be described as a light, crisp, solid and slightly metallic. The Kuro Kage stock shaft really complements the hybrid well by accentuating these qualities. The weight of the clubhead feels just right during the swing, and the clubhead provides ample hit feedback for the good of your improvement.
Where should I buy this hybrid online?
Follow this eBay link to see discounts ($30+ currently) for brand new Apex hybrids of all different loft and shaft configurations, as well as some pretty sweet used deals. Aside from eBay, it’s difficult to find prices lower than that set by the manufacturer for new hybrids such as this. It’s definitely worth checking out and comparing the Apex hybrid offerings (new and used) at other trusted locations — see this Amazon page, this Global Golf page, Golfsmith (free online fitting available for a custom-order Apex hybrid) and the official Callaway website.
Pros: Monstrous length on solid strikes and impressively forgiving length on mis-hits; very accurate, workable and versatile; extremely playable out of the short grass; neutral shot bias brings natural drawers back into the mix; premium sound and feel
Cons: Not as reliable out of the semi rough as other hybrids with larger heads (tends to pull open the face through impact); doesn’t really help to straighten out slices and hooks; no on-club adjustability
Best suited for: Professionals and low to mid handicappers looking for a neutral-bias hybrid with maximum workability, top distance and everything else demanded from a quality hybrid.
Rating: 4.9/5 (highly recommended to try)
The Apex hybrid is an amazing addition to the Apex family of clubs that is able to meet the demands of low handicappers all the way to even the best Tour pros. When you consider the fact that within a week after its debut it was already the most played hybrid on the PGA Tour, you realize that it must be doing a lot right. It’s not just for the best players, though; even higher handicaps who want to challenge themselves can get a tremendous amount of value out of the Apex hybrid. No matter what your skill level is, I would strongly advise giving it a try.
Have any thoughts or questions about the Callaway Apex hybrid? Drop them in the comments below!