The following is a comprehensive review of the Callaway Apex Pro forged irons, a high-quality better-player iron set that earned a gold medal on Golf Digest’s 2014 and 2015 Hot Lists.
As the “players” brother to the Callaway Apex iron, the Apex Pro is designed to offer a more compact look, premium feel and superb workability.
Is it worth the buy? What are its weaknesses? Read on to find out what you need to know about the iron to make an informed purchase.
In a hurry? Here’s the quick overview and verdict for you…
Rating: 4.8/5 (Excellent)
Pros: Super high quality construction; wonderfully accurate/consistent/reliable; very workable and controllable; versatile out of a variety of lies; has a premium look and feel
Cons: Quite expensive; satin finish doesn’t seem to be very durable and wears quickly even with careful handling; higher handicappers will likely have trouble getting the most out of this club
Best suited for: Professionals and low to mid handicaps looking for premium feel, reliability and control in their iron game. The Apex Pro irons are also great for high handicaps who want to challenge themselves to get better.
Want a high-resolution look at the Apex Pro 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 irons have a very high average rating on Amazon (click here to read the customer reviews), on Global Golf (5/5) and on Callaway’s official website (4.8/5, 96% recommended), among other places.
Reviewers have praised the irons for their excellent control/workability/consistency, top-quality construction and feel, awesome traditional look and great distance (a definite gain over many other irons). In terms of negatives, some have expressed displeasure with the relatively steep price tag, and many have found that the finish of the irons tends to wear quickly.
What are the features?
The features and technologies of the Apex Pro iron can be summarized as follows:
- a premium forged construction — the Apex Pro iron has a “1025 Carbon Steel” head that provides the type of soft and responsive feel demanded by skilled golfers.
- tungsten weighted inserts, found in the soles of the long irons (2-5), make the irons easier to hit (improves forgiveness) and produce “Tour-type” launch conditions by lowering the center of gravity (CG).
- high-performance wide grooves that reduce spin, heighten launch, as well as improve spin control and consistency from all types of lies.
- a thin, ultra-hot face that delivers faster ball speeds and hence distance.
The KBS Tour V steel stock shaft is “built to maximize energy transfer”; it offers smooth feel and a penetrating ball flight with faster ball speeds. Specifications for the Apex Pro iron and the KBS Tour V shaft can be found below:
|Name||Loft||Length||Lie||Offset||Steel Swing Weight (R / S X)|
|2||18°||39.5"||59.5°||0.135||D1 / D2|
|3||20.5°||39"||60°||0.135||D1 / D2|
|4||23°||38.5"||60.5°||0.125||D1 / D2|
|5||26°||38"||61°||0.115||D1 / D2|
|6||29°||37.5"||61.5°||0.105||D1 / D2|
|7||33°||37"||62°||0.100||D1 / D2|
|8||37°||36.5"||62.5°||0.095||D1 / D2|
|9||41.5°||36°||63°||0.090||D1 / D2|
|PW||46°||35.75"||63.5°||0.085||D1 / D2|
|AW||51°||35.5"||63.5°||0.080||D1 / D2|
|Flex||Torque||Shaft Weight (g)||Kickpoint|
How do these irons perform?
Forgiveness: Countless golfers have remarked that the Apex Pro irons are quite forgiving for players irons, and this is what I found during my testing as well. In particular, mild to moderate mis-hits will maintain a reasonable line and distance. Shots struck low on the face (thin) will produce an impressive carry. Keep in mind, though, that these irons probably won’t be a game changer for the high-handicapper; they are designed for golfers who can strike the ball solidly with consistency.
Distance: Distance results with the Apex Pro irons are very good, with many people realizing large gains (10-20 yards and upwards) over their previous irons. Of course, results will vary from person to person, but those who could benefit from a mid-high trajectory with a lower spin rate will likely see the best results.
Reliability: One of the most valuable attributes of the Apex Pro irons are their exceptional consistency, accuracy, realiability and distance control — expect similar shots to yield very similar if not almost identical results from just about every lie.
Playability/Trajectory: Typical of a players iron but perhaps even better than you might anticipate, the Apex Pro irons allow you a ton of control over your ball flight — shape, height and spin can be engineered with relative ease. Whether you want to hit a runner up the green or land the ball high and soft, it can certainly be done with the Apex Pro irons. Out of the rough, good swings should get the ball up in the air with plenty of spin. The Apex Pro iron interacts smoothly with the turf. Typical trajectories tend to be mid-high and penetrating, and therefore perform well in the wind.
What about look, sound and feel?
Look: The Apex Pro irons have the clean, compact and elegant look characteristic of most players irons. Offset is very minimal, the toe is rounded and the top line is reasonably thin. It’s a little disappointing that the soft satin finish, which looks beautiful, tends to show noticeable signs of wear after only a few rounds on the course. The back cavity has sticker inserts that also tend to wear over time.
Sound and Feel: The feel at impact is hot and soft yet solid; feel is balanced and stable at address and throughout the swing — it’s the quality you would expect from a forged players iron, and Callaway certainly doesn’t fail to deliver here. Sweet spot strikes sound very crisp and solid. Feedback is very good; mis-hits are not jarring, but you are definitely able to tell where contact is made on the face.
Where should I buy these irons online?
Because there is now a newer model of the Apex Pro irons available (the Apex Pro 16), the Apex Pro irons can now be found at substantially lower prices. Amazon has several configurations of new sets at some of the lowest prices I’ve seen anywhere. You can also find new Apex Pro irons at really good prices on eBay. Check it out! Rest assured that you’re completely protected by both companies’ quality guarantees.
What about a used set?
At this point, probably the best place to find used Apex Pro irons at unbeatable prices is eBay — it’s hard to beat eBay when it comes to used golf equipment. You can also look through the Amazon search results (link above) for more listings of used Apex Pro irons.
The Callaway Apex Pro irons remain some of the best players irons available today. They will not disappoint the more skilled golfer — Tour level, low or mid handicap — looking for the premium feel, control and reliability, as well as some added distance and forgiveness, that they can count on to shoot low rounds. Even high handicappers can have success with these clubs if they’re willing to really challenge themselves to become a better player.
If you have any thoughts or opinions about Callaway’s Apex Pro irons, be sure to leave a comment below!