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This is a full review of the Callaway Apex TCB irons.
The Apex TCB are tour-calibre irons built for a high level of shotmaking control in a classic, compact, forged package. They’re the same irons that world-class pro golfer Jon Rahm used to win the 2021 U.S. Open Championship.
Rahm loves the turf interaction, launch and forgiveness of these irons. 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.
Note: Unless otherwise stated, stock shafts and stock grips are used when evaluating this club. 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?
In addition to being endorsed and used by Tour pro Jon Rahm, the Apex TCB irons won a gold medal on the 2022 Golf Digest Hot List and have received top marks from critics across the board.
What People Like
- like a blade but with some added forgiveness
- pure, buttery soft feel
- produces ample spin
- highly workable
- gorgeous looks
What People Don’t Like
- unaffordable for many
Apex irons are defined by big distance, great forgiveness, and pure forged feel. The TCB is no exception, but it’s one of Callaway’s slimmest, most compact models.
The center of gravity (CG) of the Apex TCB irons are located extremely precisely thanks to customized internal and external tungsten weights that are metal injection molded (MIM).
The external tungsten weight (visible as the back plate with two screws) is adjustable and allows you to change swing weight without altering the CG position. The internal tungsten weight helps locate the CG to optimize workability and control.
Beyond this, the Apex TCB iron consists of:
- a forged 1025 mild carbon steel body, a signature of Apex irons that contributes to pure feel, sound and turf interaction
- a face plate designed to provide the best distance control and performance consistency across the face
This iron was developed with extensive input from Tour players, ensuring that it can meet the demands of the best players in the world.
There are many set configurations to choose from, from the 3-iron all the way to the gap wedge. Individual irons are available.
Custom shaft options include brands such as KBS, True Temper, Project X, UST, and Mitsubishi. There are many custom grip options to suit your preferences.
With the Apex TCB being such a high-level players iron, you of course have full customization control over lengths, lies and lofts. More on that can be found here.
Below are the specs of the Apex TCB irons. Click or zoom to enlarge.
With these kinds of players irons, there aren’t specific technologies meant to maximize distance such as an A.I. Flash Face. Instead, you can think of great distance as a byproduct of a great swing produced by skilled golfers.
In this sense, the Apex TCB irons rank above average. They put a bit more of a focus on distance than pure blades like the Apex MB.
Solid strikes will produce high ball speeds, and when you combine this with weaker lofts and moderate spin, you get plenty of carry along with high stopping power into greens. Where the Apex TCB irons really shine is in their consistency from shot to shot.
If you were looking for a serious players iron that still offered a bit of forgiveness, the Apex TCB is it.
Callaway recommends these irons for professionals and low single-digit handicaps, but I think even higher handicaps who want to challenge themselves to become better golfers could do really well with them.
If you’re a poor ballstriker, you will no doubt have a hard time. But good shots will be rewarded, and mild mis-hits won’t be disastrous in terms of ball speed and direction.
My tests with the Apex TCB irons tended to produce a nice medium trajectory with a mid-high spin rate. In most cases, long irons were powerful enough to reach par-5s in two without rolling through the green.
Like the Apex Pro, the Apex TCB irons have impressive turf interaction, which is a relief considering that thin, compact irons can sometimes struggle through the turf depending on bounce and other factors.
These are certainly some of the most workable irons I’ve ever tested. Shots can be shaped easily without needing to make exaggerated swing movements, and because the Apex TCB iron was designed with Tour input in mind, you can be sure that it can accommodate even the most zealous shot-shapers in the game.
The Apex TCB is a forged cavity back iron with a classic look. The top line is thin — thinner than both the Apex Pro and X Forged CB irons — and the head is more compact. The slim profile really becomes apparent when you set up over the ball with the longer irons.
In addition, a straighter leading edge, reduced offset, minimal sole width, and smooth hosel transition really hit it home that this iron is geared towards the best players in the game.
The styling of this iron bears similarities to the X Forged with an adjustable plate weight on the back. This plate is darker than its surroundings, adding some contrast and pop to the aesthetic.
Of course, the Apex TCB irons have phenomenal bag appeal. I got a ton of compliments out on the range.
The Sound & Feel
The feel of the Apex TCBs is largely soft, with a side of crispness. Solid strikes produce a light “snap” sound and and feel tremendously pure.
Compared to the more forgiving models in the Apex line, impact feel is not as hot/explosive, but at the same time, there’s no issues with clickiness or hollowness.
Although mis-hits tend to sound a little more dull and less crisp, feedback mostly comes through feel. You’ll know immediately if you make poor contact, but at the same time, your hands and arms won’t be punished too harshly.
Where To Buy These Irons Online
For a brand new set of (or individual) Apex TCB irons with custom shafts, grips, lengths, lofts, etc., definitely head over to this page on the official Callaway website before it gets taken down.
Used (“Average” to “Like New” condition) Apex TCB irons are available on Callaway Golf Pre-Owned.
If you want to find good savings on these irons, definitely check on eBay.
Alternatively, you can order custom Apex TCB irons at Rock Bottom Golf, which offers a 90-day performance guarantee, free shipping, and other perks.
The Callaway Apex TCB irons deliver all the distance, launch, control, consistency and precision that single-digit handicaps and the world’s best players could ever want. A touch of added forgiveness makes them one of the most accessible forged Tour irons out there.
Many pros have carried them in their bags at one point or another including not just Jon Rahm, but also Marc Leishman and Sam Burns.
Even if you’re not a pro or a scratch golfer, if you’re in market for new irons, you have a larger budget, and your swing speed is high enough to be able to bring out the best of what the TCB has to offer, they are definitely worth trying.
Thanks for reading this review. Have you played the Apex TCB irons yet? What do you think about them? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.