Here I’ll be fully reviewing the Callaway Apex Pro 16 iron, sibling to the Callaway Apex CF 16 and one of two new upgrades to the Apex line of irons (reviews of older models are here and here). The Apex Pro 16 iron set is Callaway’s premium forged iron offering intended for skilled players wanting to take their game to the highest level. The shaping of the Apex Pro 16 was directly influenced by the input of Tour players.
Is the Apex Pro 16 a worthy Tour iron? Can scratch golfers and lower handicaps use it as well? What are its strengths and weaknesses? Read on to find out what you need to know to make an informed purchase.
In a hurry? Here’s the quick overview and verdict for you…
Rating: 4.9/5 (Outstanding)
Pros: Goes above and beyond the call of a players iron; forgiveness is very good for a forged Tour iron; distance is very solid and reliable; gorgeous slim shape and design; affords a ton of workable control over distance and ball flight; incredibly playable and easy to get the ball up in the air; sound and feel is as amazing as you would expect out of a players iron
Cons: Not ideal for higher handicaps looking for pure distance or forgiveness; expensive
Recommended for: Elite amateurs and professionals. They’re also a very viable option for mid or high handicappers who want to challenge themselves to become better players.
Best places to buy online: For new Apex Pro 16 irons, see this eBay page ($150 discounts), this Amazon page (individual irons also available) or Global Golf (check their coupon page for current coupons that you can use at checkout). For used Apex Pro 16 irons, you should look through this eBay page (some $200+ discounts). At the time of writing, free online fittings for custom Apex Pro 16 irons are available on Golfsmith right here.
Want a high-resolution look at the Apex Pro 16 irons? Click on the composite image at the top of the page and navigate the photos on the left-hand side of the screen.
What are the reviews like?
The Apex Pro 16 irons have received very high ratings from customers and critics. They have, for instance, an average customer rating of 4.8/5 (100% recommended) on the Callaway official website and a 5/5 score on Golfsmith.
The irons have been praised for their terrific versatility and flexibility in terms of altering shot shapes and trajectories. Players love the superb playability in general as well as the solid distance, gorgeous looks, soft feel and wide shaft selection offered. Like with the Apex CF 16 irons, however, the price of Apex Pro 16 irons are on the high end, and some people may not be willing to make that investment.
What are the features?
Like the Apex CF 16 irons, the Apex Pro 16 irons feature progressive offsets and centers of gravity (CG). The longer irons have more offset and a tungsten insert to lower the CG, while the shorter irons have less offset and a higher CG for optimum control, feel and a penetrating ball flight.
The Apex Pro 16 irons have a classic super-compact shaping and design influenced by the extensive input of the best Tour players. The advanced quadruple net forging of the 1025 mild carbon steel head produces a soft feel that better players love.
The stock shafts offered are the Project X in steel and the UST Mamiya Recoil 95/110 in graphite, with a wide selection of additional shaft options being available at no upcharge. More information on the shafts and their specs can be found on the Callaway website. The specifications of the Apex Pro 16 irons are detailed in the table below. Note that the lofts are slightly weaker (more traditional) than those of the Apex CF 16.
|Name||Loft||Availability||Length||Lie||Offset||Graphite Swing Weight||Steel Swing Weight|
How do these irons perform?
Distance: Distance is very good for a players iron, but I certainly wouldn’t say it’s one of the main selling points. The Apex Pro 16 iron doesn’t have Cup 360 technology built in like the CF 16, so you’re not going to get as much explosiveness off the face. Still, though, distance is extremely reliable and plenty long for most skilled golfers.
Forgiveness: As expected, the Apex Pro 16 irons aren’t quite as forgiving as the CF 16 irons. Nonetheless, forgiveness is still very solid and quite impressive for a pure players iron — you’ll probably find that mild mis-hits hardly stray from the intended line nor do they lose much ball speed at all. With that being said, golfers who prioritize forgiveness should probably look into other options like Callaway’s CF 16 or Big Bertha irons.
Trajectory: The progressive CG of the Apex Pro 16 irons result in relatively high long iron trajectories and lower penetrating short iron trajectories. Although this is the natural behaviour, the ball flight can be easily modified to suit the situation.
Playability/Workability: You might expect the Apex Pro 16 irons to be extremely playable and extremely workable, and you’d be right. Ball flights (heights, curves, etc.) and distances can be controlled easily and with precision without exaggerated swing movements. The Apex Pro 16 irons are your best friend when it comes to maneuvering out of hairy lies.
What about look, sound and feel?
Look: The Apex Pro 16 irons have a beautiful slim profile — small offsets, thin soles, thin top lines and an efficient blade length that frames the ball nicely. They are finished in a mirrored gloss chrome that some people think doesn’t age as well as the brushed chrome of the CF 16 irons. Nonetheless, it’s a clean and classic look that elite amateurs and professionals should really love. Mid to high handicappers who want a look that’s a little more confidence-inspiring should look to irons like the Apex CF 16.
Sound and Feel: Sound/feel are fantastic overall. They’re about what you would expect from a high-calibre forged players iron. Compared to the Apex CF 16 (both irons have similar sound and feel), the Apex Pro 16 irons sound a little sharper and quieter at impact. Feel is soft and crisp but not quite as explosive.
Where should I buy these irons online?
Locating prices lower than the price set by the manufacturer for new golf irons such as these is difficult. However, new Apex Pro 16 irons are being sold in all different configurations and shaft types by trusted sellers on eBay, often $150 off the standard price. I can’t find online prices this low anywhere else and I strongly recommend checking it out.
Aside from eBay, the best, most trusted places to purchase new Apex Pro 16 irons would be Amazon (sets and individual irons available), the official Callaway website, Global Golf and Golfsmith (with a free online fitting).
What about a used set?
If you’d prefer to save money and get used Apex Pro 16 irons, eBay would be the best place to look — just follow the link in the top overview to get taken to the correct page. You can often find used sets being sold there for more than $200 off. Unbelievable value!
The Apex Pro 16 iron is a wonderful true blade offering. It delivers the reliable, quality performance demanded by professionals, scratch golfers and low handicappers, with the added bonus of very decent forgiveness. There is no other Tour iron like it, but not everyone will be able to stomach its steep price tag.
If you have any thoughts or questions about the Callaway Apex Pro 16 irons, be sure to leave a comment below!