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In this review, I’ll be taking a look at the Callaway Apex MB 24 irons.
As the direct successor to the Apex MB 21, the Apex MB 24 is the most players-oriented model in the Apex 24 line, with a forged muscleback blade construction geared towards the best players in the game. It’s designed to provide the ultimate in workability, efficient turf interaction, and a classic feel.
How does the Apex MB 24 actually perform when put to the test? How does it compare with the other models in the 2024 Apex line? Is it worth putting a set in the bag?
Here’s what will be covered in the review:
Read on to find out what you need to know to make an informed purchase.
Note: Unless otherwise stated, stock shafts and stock grips are used when evaluating clubs. In most cases, the golf clubs reviewed on Golfstead are acquired temporarily for testing purposes and are not purchased. The review that follows is based on the personal experience and research of the author. Because everyone’s swing and body are different, results with a particular club may differ from person to person.
What are the reviews like?
The Apex MB 24 irons enjoy an average rating of 5/5 (100% recommended) on the Callaway store. Critics praise the irons for their terrific workability and outstanding turf interaction.
What People Like
- exquisite satin finish
- buttery soft feel at impact
- controllable, workable and accurate
- exceptional turf interaction
- outstanding bag appeal
What People Don’t Like
- black MIM back weight makes for a slightly unconventional look for a blade which may turn off some hardline traditionalists
The features and makeup of the Apex MB 24 is very similar to the CB model, with the exception of lacking a cavity back.
The body and face of the Apex MB 24 is shaped as one piece from 1025 carbon steel via a proprietary forging process. This ensures a premium, extremely pure feel.
The center of gravity (CG) of the Apex MB 24 becomes progressively higher as you move from the long to the short irons:
- 3-5 irons: the lowest CG helps promote a high launch and soft landings into greens
- 6-8 irons: a mid CG balances launch and spin
- 9-11 irons: the highest CG promotes a lower trajectory with increased spin for maximum control
This progressive CG optimizes performance through the set, giving skilled players what they need for every shot.
This new addition to the Apex MB 24 iron consists of:
- a dual chamfer on the leading edge to cut through the turf more efficiently
- trailing edge chamfer to provide relief after contact and a clean exit
This Dynamic Sole design helps maintain speed through the turf, thus helping you make more consistent contact for all different types of shots.
MIM Back Weight
A metal-injection molded (MIM) back weight allows club fitters to find a swing weight that works best for you. It also allows for consistent visuals when building a mixed set with Callaway’s other Apex 24 models.
The Apex MB 24 irons come in 3-AW (20.5°-50°). Sets and singles are available.
This iron is also available in the following Combo Sets:
- Apex Pro Series Triple Play: consists of Apex Pro 24 long irons, Apex CB 24 short irons, and Apex MB 24 wedges
- Apex Pro Series Elite Set: consists of Apex CB 24 long/mid irons and Apex MB 24 short irons/wedges
The Apex MB 24 irons are meant for custom fittings and thus do not have stock shafts or grips. For this review, I used the True Temper Dynamic Gold MID steel shaft and the Golf Pride ZGRIP. Custom options are available.
Below are the specs of the Apex MB 24 irons. Click or zoom to enlarge.
As a muscleback blade, the Apex MB 24 is about as long as any elite player would need a blade to be, although unsurprisingly, raw ball speed and distance is marginally less than the cavity-backed Apex CB 24, particularly in mis-hit areas.
Lofts are the same as the CB model, but because of the lack of a cavity, I was getting spin numbers that were slightly higher than the CB by about 50-100 RPMs on average depending on the iron.
Distance control with the Apex MB 24 is the best you could ask for, and gapping is very consistent through the set.
The Apex MB 24 is the least forgiving iron in the Apex 24 family.
There’s no two ways about it: if you struggle to make good contact, you won’t do very well with these irons. Moderate to severe mis-hits will see you routinely miss greens, lose a significant amount of ball speed, and get into hazards.
Having said that, I have certainly played less forgiving blades in my days, and the Apex MB 24’s forgiveness is actually quite good for a blade.
The blade length is a touch longer than is typical for a muscleback, so that should help a bit with contact. In addition, the chamfered sole helps to minimize face deviations and loss in clubhead speed if you hit behind the ball, making your shot a more consistent and pleasant experience.
When hit solidly, trajectories with the Apex MB 24 irons are low-mid. Spin is high when you make quality ball contact.
These irons are extremely consistent and controllable, and are fully capable of precisely hitting your approach targets. Similarly, they are the most workable irons in the Apex 24 family — if you can visualize the shot, you can count on being able to hit it.
As I alluded to in my review of the Apex CB 24, I suspect that many will shy away from the long MB irons, which can be difficult to hit even for many elite players, and instead opt for the CB model for the 3-5 irons for a little more forgiveness and distance.
As a true blade, the Apex MB 24 predictably has the thinnest top line, narrowest sole, and least amount of offset compared to the CB and Pro models.
Like the other Apex 24 irons, the Apex CB 24 boasts a beautiful satin chrome finish, with a clean and traditional aesthetic. At the same time, the black weight cavity on the back of the iron gives the Apex MB 24 a bag appeal that you could call a bit unconventional and/or modern compared to typical blades of the past.
I’m not sure I prefer the look of this one or the previous model Apex MB 21, as they’re both appealing in their own way. The length of the blade does appear to be slightly longer than the 21 iteration which some may not like.
I tend to like the look of Callaway’s musclebacks the most out of any OEM, and the Apex MB 24 doesn’t disappoint in this regard.
The Sound & Feel
The feel of the Apex MB 24 irons at impact is deep and buttery soft, similar to the CB and just like you would expect from a traditional iron.
The best feel in golf is when you hit the center of the face with a blade, and the Apex MB 24 certainly lets you know it. On the other hand, you’ll know when you stray from the sweet spot since the feel will be much firmer and harsher.
Mis-hit feedback is precise, so you should have no trouble determining where you make contact on the face. The sound at impact is a muted and subtle “swoosh” that is pretty consistent across the face.
My field testing suggests that the chamfered sole of the Apex MB 24 really helps to mitigate the negative effects of coming too steeply into the ball in tight or wet conditions. The world’s best players don’t necessarily need this help, but it’s really nice to have nonetheless.
Where To Buy These Irons Online
If you want a brand new set of (or individual) Apex MB 24 irons with custom shafts, grips, lengths, lofts, lies, etc., definitely head over to this page on the official Callaway website before it gets removed.
The Apex CB 24 irons are very expensive. If you want to find good savings, you can look on eBay. However, we highly recommend a custom fitting for these irons so you know what configuration works best for you.
Alternatively, check out PGA TOUR Superstore which currently allows you to place custom orders.
The Apex MB 24 is one of my favourite blade offerings from Callaway, not just in terms of performance but also looks. Distance control, workability and feel are all top notch, and forgiveness is at least as good if not marginally better than the 2021 MB.
I’m probably not quite skilled enough myself to actually game irons like these long-term, but if you’re a very good ballstriker and want as much workability and control as possible, consider putting a few in the bag.
Are you interested in the Apex MB 24 irons? Have you tried them yet? What’s your experience? Let us know in the comments below.