What we say...
If you're drawn to forged models, make sure you have Callaway Apex on your list to try in 2019.
Callaway have combined tradition with technology in a timeless premium, forged iron to create the latest Apex 19 irons.
Callaway's first stab at an Apex iron was successful, but the second generation Apex CF16 lit up the idea of combining the best performance technology with a forged body, which made it look and feel a million dollars.
Callaway's R&D team told TG "we had to look pretty hard for feedback that was negative when it came to Apex. People always want to hit the ball further, so that was a given, so it seemed we had the green light to go for more ball speed, as long as we kept a lot of the valuable things about Apex right – the timeless look, the precision, feel and the forging".
So they set about adding more technology than the CF16 with the idea to create more ball speed and distance in a way that didn’t come with any control penalty.
"If you want to hit the ball far, you still want predictable distance, and that was our challenge with this iron" added head of R&D at Callaway, Alan Hocknell.
Watch: Which Callaway iron suits me?
Callaway Apex 19 Irons: TG Verdict
Callaway Apex irons were already seriously good before this new model hit the shelves. The 2019 version focuses on fine- tuning sound, feel and looks, while a new shaft helps ight shots higher to drop and stop approaches onto a green. Simply, they're a beautiful forged iron. If you're drawn to forged models, make sure you have Apex on your list to try in 2019.
The Cup Face and reasonably strong lofts made it (along with the PXG 0311 SGI, which has a stronger loft) our longest forged iron of 2019. The reasonable head size, wider sole and a fraction more hosel off set (than the Apex Pro) mean they sit on the fence between a player and game improver design; we reckon they'll suit up to about a 12 handicapper.
Watch: Head to head - Apex 19 vs Apex Pro 19 irons
The majority of the mass is in the forged carbon steel body, which is then machined to ready it for the high tech bits that are added, like the laser-welded face cup, a pocket for tungsten weight and a channel for urethane microspheres.
Consistent distance comes from the variable thickness and flexible face. It takes away backspin from the long irons, to maximise distance, but adds it for control in the scoring clubs.
For the first time Callaway reckon they’ve used the thickness pattern to control the deflected shape of the face, and they've called the tech Spin Control VFT.
So while the ball is in contact with the face, the thickness controls the shape the face takes on while the ball is in contact with it. Basically meaning they're able to add backspin to shots that otherwise wouldn’t have enough spin.
It’s a bit counter-intuitive, especially when you hear people say high launch/low spin is the recipe for distance, it’s true but too low spin is the recipe for inconsistency. Callaway say there's loads of energy available in this face, and the majority of it goes into ball speed. But some of that energy along with the thickness of the face is used to add extra spin. They reckon it’s an idea no one has ever really thought through before.
WATCH: Best New Forged Iron 2020
Another way to improve distance and forgiveness is to move the centre of gravity, and Callaway engineers have done it by using tungsten. Their tungsten weights are made using a metal injection moulding process, where they take tungsten and steel powder, and form it into precise shapes which fit into the head; and those shapes are different for every iron in the set.
The amount of weight, its shape and position varies from the 3-iron to the PW, allowing the CG progressively to lower in the long irons (great for higher launch and forgiveness) and raise in the short irons, adding spin and control.
Once you have a face that’s flexible though, it typically has a tendency to vibrate after impact, which introduces undesirable feel and sound characteristics. Vibrations controlled in the new Apex though by using urethane mircospheres, which act like a sponge. They're injected in the bottom of the cavity, behind the face in liquid form and become solid. When the face deflects, the microspheres collapse on themselves; retaining ball speed, but limiting vibration after impact.
Callaway say the previous Apex irons were just a little oversized for some players’ eyes. And although they loved everything about the set, they struggled to play the 9-iron-AW, because they were a little big, with a fraction too much offset. So for Apex 2019 they’ve scaled them down slightly, to fit the eye better without taking anything away from forgivness.
Finally, a Smoke version will be available in exactly the same specs at the standard version, it will have a black PVD finish.
Callaway Apex 19 Irons: Key Features
Extremely Soft Feel
Callaway say they have created a new standard for incredibly soft feel from a forged 1025 mild carbon steel body, and for the first time ever have engineered our proprietary urethane microspheres into a forged iron. The carbon steel body promotes amazing Apex sound and feel, and the urethane microspheres consist of over one million tiny air pockets that absorb unwanted vibration without slowing the face.
Long, Consistent Distance
The brand's 360 Face Cup employs a shallow, flexible rim around the perimeter of the face that flexes and releases at impact to promote fast ball speed for consistent distance on centre hits and off-centre hits. In the short irons, the spin control VFT Face is designed for aggressive shot-making in your scoring clubs.
Optimum Ball Flight and Control
The tungsten-infused, multi-material construction allows Callaway to locate the position of the CG in each iron with extraordinary precision while maintaining the flexibility of the Face Cup. This promotes optimum launch, ball flight, and pinpoint control for scoring performance through the set.
Premium Craftsmanship and Components
Apex is expertly crafted with a beautiful players shape, a platinum chrome finish and premium components, including a new True Temper Elevate 95 Shaft and Golf Pride Tour Velvet 360 Grips.
WATCH: Best 2020 Mid-Handicap Iron video
READ NEXT: Callaway Apex Pro 19 Irons
Review written by: Simon Daddow
Job title: Today's Golfer - Equipment Editor
- RRP: £186 (s) £200 (g) per club
- Availability: 3 - PW, AW, SW
- Stock shaft: True Temper Elevate 95g (s) True Temper Catalyst (g)
- Seven iron loft: 30.5°
Apex 19 Smoke Finish
- RRP: £200 (s) £214 (g) per club