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Today I’ll be reviewing the Callaway X Forged iron, a gold medal winner on the 2019 Golf Digest Hot List.
After a couple of previous iterations in 2009 and 2013, the X Forged made a return in 2018. It’s is described by Callaway as “Tour-inspired look and performance”, and it’s the model that Phil Mickelson currently has in his bag.
As a forged cavity-back, it was designed based on extensive feedback from Tour players, and is meant to deliver precise shot-making with a classic finish.
I was excited to get my hands on these irons and try them out. How do they perform? Do I recommend them over similar forged iron offerings?
Read on to find out what you need to know before putting these in your bag.
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 X Forged irons have been received extremely well by both recreational golfers and professionals.
What People Like
- excellent club weighting
- looks beautiful at address
- feel is soft
- still long despite being a players iron
- great accuracy and consistency
What People Don’t Like
- mishits can feel harsh
What are the features?
Tour players had a hand in designing the Forged X, based on what they think would perform well for better players.
Triple Net Forging & Tour Soles
High performance and excellent feel is the result of very precise triple net forging.
The soles are Tour configured for exceptional turf interaction out of a variety of lies.
Progressive CG & Precision Grooves
Firstly, the center of gravity is progressive — lower on the long irons, greatly improving control.
The X Forged irons also feature 20V grooves that produce high spin for even more control, as well as reduce fliers out of the rough.
The X Forged irons have a classic, clean, smooth look at address. The design was based on some of Callaway’s most popular forged irons.
You can buy the X Forged irons individually and in sets 3-PW, 4-PW, or 5-PW.
The stock shaft is the Project X Steel. You can choose from several different steel and graphite shafts.
The stock grip is the Lamkin UTx CHEV, one out of many options.
If you’re interested, full information on shafts, grips and their specs can be found on the Callaway website.
Below are the specs of the X Forged irons. Click or zoom to enlarge.
How do these irons perform?
Distance control with the X Forged irons is excellent, as I expected it would be. Distances are comparable to the Apex Pro.
Although my skill level isn’t sky-high to where I can hit yardages bang on, I can definitely see how the iron can be relied on in pressure situations to fly the right distance.
Contributing to this great consistency is the progressive CG, which produces optimal ball flights all throughout the set.
Yes, I know, forgiveness shouldn’t be a top consideration in a players iron, but I want to mention it anyway. Everyone could use a little forgiveness, after all.
Sure, you’ll definitely know if you strike the ball off the center of the face — fat, thin, towards the heel or toe — but the forgiveness isn’t that much worse than many game-improvement irons I’ve played.
There is some forgiveness there despite the fact that this is a full-on players iron, and that’s a nice bonus that I think deserves mentioning.
Overall, I found ball flights with the X Forged to be very consistent and highly controllable. Capable golfers should have no trouble flighting the ball, hitting draws, fades, and straight balls.
During my testing, I was easily able to dial in my short irons and hit precision shots into the green.
One thing I should also mention is that these irons go through the turf beautifully. Whatever grass you’re hitting from, you can count on the X Forged to get you to where you want to go.
The X Forged irons aren’t going to put lipstick on your mis-hits, but when you do hit it solidly, you’ll be handsomely rewarded.
What about look, sound & feel?
I really love the look of these irons, both in the bag and at address. It just screams “professional” and “performance”.
There’s hardly any offset, the top line and soles are quite thin, and the clubhead frames the ball very nicely.
I love these kinds of looks much more than chunky game-improvement heads, even though I’m aware of the benefits GI irons offer. It all just looks really clean and good. For me, I feel better over the ball when I’m setting up with a thinner clubhead.
The X Forged irons have a satin chrome finish, with a very straightforward, no-frills badge design.
The Sound & Feel
As is typical with players irons like these, the feel gets firmer and harsher as you move away from the center of the face.
Hitting the sweet spot with the X Forged irons feels crisp and stable, with a hint of softness to it. The sound can be described as a solid snap, whack, or a combination of the two.
And feedback is some of the clearest that I’ve felt — you’ll be able to tell where you made contact with the face with great precision.
All in all, I would say that the sound and feel are above average for a players iron.
Where should I buy these irons online?
The X Forged irons can no longer be ordered from the official Callaway store because of their age.
For example, CGPO has a fairly large selection of used sets with a 12-month warranty, 90-day buy-back policy, and condition guarantee.
The X Forged is a premium players iron that doesn’t compromise on control, precision, or feel. And the truth is that there’s hardly anything I can criticize about it.
If you’re a better player (or even if you’re someone who wants to challenge yourself with better clubs) and you want a top-quality players iron with a touch of forgiveness, I strongly recommend you give the X Forged a try.
What have you heard about Callaway’s X Forged irons? What have your results been with them? Let us know in the comments below.