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Today I’ll be reviewing the Callaway MAVRIK Standard iron, a gold medal winner on the 2020 Golf Digest Hot List.
As a natural successor to the Rogue iron, the MAVRIK is affordable and built for distance. It’s the first Callaway iron to utilize artificial intelligence to produce unprecedented ball speeds, or so that’s what the claim is.
The MAVRIK iron is also characterized by pure feel and optimal launch throughout the set.
How does the MAVRIK iron perform at the end of the day? Just how long is it really? Is it worth putting a set in the bag?
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?
The MAVRIK Standard irons have been received fantastically well by consumers, and critics generally view them positively as well. Much of this is due to the fact that the MAVRIK delivers amazing distance and feel without having a four-figure price tag.
What People Like
- extremely long with good forgiveness
- amazing buttery feel
- many love the look
- straight, stable ball flight
- very affordable
What People Don’t Like
- strong lofts mean certain golfers may struggle with getting the ball up in the air
- the chrome finish scuffs quite easily
- the club head is pretty thick
What are the features?
The MAVRIK iron has similar features to the Rogue from a couple seasons ago.
One key difference is that instead of Callaway’s traditional 360 Face Cup with VFT, the MAVRIK uses artificial intelligence in what they call a Flash Face Cup, based off the technology first seen in the Epic Flash drivers.
This Flash Face Cup consists of a complex face architecture that is unique for every iron in the set. This is claimed to boost ball speeds to unprecedented levels and result in more spin consistency as well.
The other main features of the MAVRIK iron are:
Callaway precisely locates the center of gravity (CG) by using custom tungsten-infused weights. Tungsten is twice as heavy as steel and allows for a lot of mass to be concentrated in a small area.
The end result is optimal launch conditions, trajectories, spin rates, and land angles throughout the set.
Urethane microspheres are a proprietary creation of Callaway that provide the benefits of urethane (absorbing unwanted vibrations and improving sound & feel) while still retaining the very high COR of the Flash Face Cup.
These have been featured in some of Callaway’s previous irons and have been proven to improve feel considerably.
There are many set configurations to choose from, from the 4-iron all the way to the sand wedge and everything in between. The stock set is 4-PW, and of course, individual irons are available.
The stock steel shaft is the True Temper Elevate 95, while the stock graphite shaft is the Project X Catalyst (55/65/75). The stock grip is the Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360.
There are over 100 different grips to choose from and many custom shafts. You can also customize your lie angles and lofts.
If you’re interested, information on shafts, grips and other customizations can be found on Callaway Golf Pre-Owned.
Below are the specs of the MAVRIK Standard irons. Click or zoom to enlarge.
How do the MAVRIK irons perform?
Callaway says that the MAVRIK irons produce “incredibly fast ball speeds”. After testing it throughout the set, I can say that this definitely looks to be the case.
The MAVRIK irons are definitely one of the longest irons I’ve ever played up until this point. Now, that’s not saying much when you simply have stronger lofts and lower trajectories, but what’s awesome about the MAVRIK is that you still enjoy the benefits of a high ball flight.
Notice that the lofts are on the strong side and consider this example: a 6-iron might go as far as you would expect a 5-iron to go, but the peak height and spin rate would be normal for a 6-iron.
That’s what you get with the MAVRIK: amazing distance with the trajectory and stopping power that you need to get close to pins. There’s little to no tradeoff, which is an impressive thing to pull off.
Despite the strong lofts, the MAVRIK irons tended to produce a solid middle-of-the-road ball flight during my testing. I’m able to get a great launch angle from the mid and long irons that allows for some stopping power around the greens.
The short irons are just great to hit; you can certainly be precise with them and go flag hunting or hit your spots depending on the situation.
All in all, the trajectory is what you would want from a solid set of irons, only in this case there’s a ton of distance to go with it.
Forgiveness is very much overshadowed by distance in the advertising of the MAVRIK, so it’s not something that most golfers would think about.
It turns out that the forgiveness is very good. It’s tied to consistency and is a natural consequence of a face that produces better ball speeds at every location.
On all but the worst mis-hits, you’ll only see ball speed drops of a couple of mph or so. Furthermore, the directional dispersion is fairly tight.
Sure, I’ve seen better forgiveness in certain iron models, but golfers looking for good forgiveness in their irons certainly won’t be disappointed with the MAVRIK.
The workability of the MAVRIK irons is decent — I would say it’s on par with the Rogue.
I was certainly able to flight my ball to an extent, but if you want workability, you should probably look at the MAVRIK Pro.
What about look, sound & feel?
The MAVRIK Standard is a game-improvement iron, which means that you should expect some offset and thickness in the top line.
In this case, it definitely has more than the Pro, but just a touch less than the MAX. The MAVRIK has quite a large footprint, and the top line is pretty sharp.
I think the badge design is pretty good, but I suspect that many would find it unappealing. The cavity is very noticeable, and some might think the overall geometrics and aesthetics take a step back.
Overall, I think the look is just fine, with the size and shape being in line with what you would expect from a GI iron. In fact, I find that most MAVRIK users care far more about the performance than how the iron looks at address.
The Sound & Feel
Superb, I would say better than the Rogue. Many people describe the feel as “like butter”, and I did get a similar feeling during my testing.
It seems like the urethane microspheres make a clear difference. They dampen otherwise jarring vibrations but yet keep the strike from feeling dull.
At the same time, there are elements of solidness and hotness, particularly on sweet spot strikes. This is reflected in the sound as well.
Mis-hits sound very similar but produce more vibration and don’t feel as hot. You might not be able to tell where you make contact based on sound alone, but you should feel it in your hands.
Where should you buy these irons online?
The MAVRIK irons are now more than a few seasons old, and you can no longer order them custom directly from the official Callaway website.
The best you can do now is look for them on Callaway Golf Pre-Owned and eBay. CGPO has a 90-day buy-back policy, 12-month warranty, and condition guarantee.
They’re much less expensive than many of Callaway’s premium iron offerings that cost four figures, but if you want to find good savings, definitely look on eBay.
Alternatively look at what’s available on Global Golf.
Best suited for: Mid to high handicappers looking for a great game-improvement iron at an affordable price.
The MAVRIK irons are distance machines. The ball speeds are crazy good, it’s easy to get the ball up in the air, and the feel is immensely satisfying.
For the most part, you get the added distance without compromising with a lower ball flight. I’ve very rarely seen this pulled off with any iron manufacturer.
On top of that, the irons are very affordable, just as the Rogues were. So if you want a modern game-improvement iron with a ton of distance, great forgiveness and superb feel without having to spend $1000+, definitely give these a try.
Thanks for reading this review. Have you tried the MAVRIK irons? Are you still unsure about something? Feel free to leave a comment below.