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In this review, I’ll be taking a look at the Callaway 2021 Apex MB irons.
The 2021 Apex MB is the latest and greatest Callaway iron for the world’s best players. With a single-piece forged muscleback design, classic blade shape, high-performance grooves, and adjustable weight port, it’s designed to serve the needs of skilled players in every way.
Apex MB irons have been used by many top golfers. But how do they perform when put to the test? Do you have to be an elite player to succeed with them? How do they compare to other Apex irons?
Read on to find out what you need to know to make an informed decision.
What are the reviews like?
Apex MB irons have been in the bag of many of the world’s top pros including Phil Mickelson, Talor Gooch, and Erik van Rooyen.
They have received top marks from critics across the board and enjoy a 4.8/5 (95% recommended) average customer rating on the Callaway store and Callaway Golf Pre-Owned.
What People Like
- a modern take on the performance blade that’s a bit easier to hit
- great control and reliability out of the rough
- the feel when hit solidly is just the best
- slim, sleek, simple looks
- best-in-class spin consistency and control
What People Don’t Like
- even professionals might find them too unforgiving
Apex irons are defined by big distance, great forgiveness, and pure forged feel. The 2021 MB is no exception, but it’s Callaway’s slimmest, most compact model.
The 2021 Apex MB are also one of Callaway’s simplest irons. They take on a classic blade style with a chrome finish and are forged from 1025 carbon steel. They also feature:
- 20V Grooves: these high-performance grooves, also found in Callaway’s best wedges, are designed to produce a consistent spin and flight out of a variety of lies, thus reducing fliers out of the rough.
- CG Weight: a weight in the center of the clubhead allows swingweight to be precisely adjusted without altering the CG position.
There are many set configurations to choose from, from the 3-iron all the way to the gap wedge. Individual irons are, of course, available.
Also sold is an Apex Player Combo Set. This combines the 2021 Apex MB (8-AW) irons with the Apex Pro 21 (3-7) irons, giving you an ideal blend of technology, precision and feel throughout the set.
Custom shaft options include models from brands such as KBS, True Temper, Project X, UST, and Mitsubishi. There are many custom grip options to suit your preferences.
With the 2021 Apex MB being an elite players iron, you have full customization control over lengths, lies and lofts. More on that can be found here.
Below are the specs of the 2021 Apex MB irons. Click or zoom to enlarge.
Compared to the Apex 21 irons, launch and spin were both up considerably with the 2021 Apex MB during my tests. As you would expect, this led to less carry, and ball speeds were slightly lower as well.
The 2021 Apex MB will probably give you the lowest total distance in the Apex line. However, with a good swing and enough skill, this will be made up for by a tremendous amount of control and stopping power into greens.
There’s no two ways about it: if you’re a mid or high handicapper, the 2021 Apex MB irons won’t help you score. Moderate to severe mis-hits will see you lose a significant amount of ball speed, miss greens, and get into hazards.
Having said that, if you can make consistently good contact with the ball, your results will be extremely consistent and repeatable, basically down to the yard.
For what it’s worth, I’ve tested many blades over the years that are even less forgiving than the 2021 Apex MB, so you’re not left completely out in the cold.
My tests with the 2021 Apex MB irons tended to produce a nice mid-high trajectory with a lot of spin. If you hit a good shot, it’s easy to reach par-5s in two and hold the green.
Because of the exceptionally thin sole, these irons will tend to work best off of tight lies with a shallower swing arc. If you often play in soft conditions, you may not do as well.
The 2021 Apex MB irons give you total control of your ball flight. Whether you want to work it low, high, or with a fade or cut ball flight, they are fully capable of doing it without you needing to make exaggerated swing movements.
The 2021 Apex MB iron has the classic blade, “muscleback”, one-piece design that is typical of a pure players’ iron, but this time with a modern Callaway flare. With its beautiful satin chrome finish, you could perhaps say that this is how the ideal iron should look.
Its traditional shape consists of a super-thin topline, narrow sole, and compact blade length from heel to toe. The offset is also the lowest in the Apex line.
One of the most visible features of the 2021 Apex MB is the adjustable screw weight on the back of the head, which I think adds some sophistication to the aesthetic aside from having a functional purpose.
The Sound & Feel
Simply put, when you make center contact with the 2021 Apex MB irons, there’s no better feel in golf — soft and smooth, with just enough solidness to be satisfying to the hands. The sound at impact is a well-balanced “smack”.
Of course, the tradeoff associated with this is the degraded feel on mis-hits. Even slight mis-hits won’t feel as good as sweet spot strikes, and moderate or severe mis-hits will come off substantially firmer.
With these irons, you might find that you’re hitting “down” on the ball and taking more of a divot. As a result, you’ll often feel like the ball is staying on the face a little more and rolling up it to generate a nice amount of spin.
Where To Buy These Irons Online
For a brand new set of (or individual) 2021 Apex MB irons with custom shafts, grips, lengths, lofts, etc., definitely head over to this page on the official Callaway store before it gets taken down. You can order an Apex Player Combo Set here.
Used (“Average” to “Like New” condition) 2021 Apex MB irons are available on Callaway Golf Pre-Owned.
If you want to find good savings on these irons, definitely check on eBay.
The Callaway 2021 Apex MB iron is a wonderful modern blade offering that is calling out to every golfer looking for the ultimate in feel, workability and feedback.
The main drawback of this iron is the same as it is for any Tour blade: there is little to no forgiveness, leaving a very small margin for error at impact.
In fact, most golfers who are good enough to game them only put a select few in the bag (e.g. short irons, wedges) and will fill out the rest of their set with a more forgiving model like the Apex Pro.
Whatever the state of your golf game, if you can adjust to these beauties, it will pay dividends for your long-term golf game.
Thanks for reading this review. Have you played the 2021 Apex MB irons yet? What do you think about them? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.
Callaway 2021 Apex MB Iron
- Delivers the best in feel, workability and feedback
- Consistent, repeatable results
- Looks as good as a blade ever could
- Perfect trajectory and plenty of spin
- Good strikes are rewarded with fantastic feel
- Lack of forgiveness can be a problem for some people