Best Callaway Irons 2024

We take a look at the best Callaway irons on the market right now

Best Callaway Irons
(Image credit: Golf Monthly)

Callaway is one the biggest brands in golf and a company with a huge presence amongst both the professional and amateur game. Renowned for producing high-quality golf equipment that caters to an array of players, including the best irons for low handicappers and most forgiving irons, Callaway really is one of the best brands when it comes to club manufacturing.

Along with producing the best golf drivers and best golf balls that money can buy, they also create some of the best golf irons which are crucial to get right when it comes to fitting and performance. Having the correct irons set-up to suit your game will help you find greater consistency. A good set will also give you confidence from an aesthetic and distance-control perspective too.

Acknowledging this, Callaway is most definitely a brand to consider if you are in the market for a new set of irons and, below, we have taken a look at their best irons in the current range. Alternatively, if Callaway is not for you, then why not check out our guides on the best Titleist irons, best Mizuno irons, best Ping irons and the best TaylorMade irons.

The Quick List

Best wide appeal

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Most forgiving

Photo of the Callaway Paradym Ai Smoke Iron

(Image credit: Future)

Reasons to buy

+
Very competitive on distance
+
Refreshingly sophisticated look
+
Impressively forgiving

Reasons to avoid

-
Low spin could hurt stopping power

Part of the Callaway family for 2024 are the Paradym Ai Smoke irons which attempt to sit amongst the best distance irons and also the most forgiving irons. The chief technology to mention is the all-new Ai Smart Face which optimizes iron performance using swing data from thousands of real golfers. The result is a face that is designed to promote maximum distance with tight dispersion into the green.

But how did it test? Well we found the sound and feel highly sophisticated for irons in this category, which was very much a plus. Impressive distance was evident on strikes all across the face and really took us by surprise. Whilst obviously the centre of the face yielded the fastest speeds, drop offs were minimal too which made the forgiveness outstanding.

Overall, of all of the distance irons I have tested so far this season, the Ai Smoke leads the way in a number of categories, including feel and sophistication of looks. If you are after some distance-enhancing irons that will really look the part in your golf bag and feel softer than most game improvement irons, then this may well be the set for you.

Best wide appeal

Callaway Paradym Iron Review

(Image credit: Future)

Reasons to buy

+
Fast and consistently so
+
Ample stopping power into greens
+
Stable, powerful feel

Reasons to avoid

-
Mirror chrome finish will divide opinion
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Short blade length could put off higher handicappers

From the rear, this iron impresses visually and at address, it combines a compact blade length with a generous sole width and top line to inspire confidence over the ball. The mirror chrome finish will continue to divide opinion, but the dimensions appear to be spot on for the avid yet inconsistent golfer this iron is likely to be aimed at.

Featuring an explosive and stable feel off the face, it also has an extremely appealing sound that will strike the right chord with a wide range of golfers. Certainly it ranks as one of the best compact mid-handicap irons anywhere on the market and, while we are at it, one of the best game improvement irons for 2023. This is because of how lively it feels without those harsh vibrations you sometimes get with distance irons while delivering repeatable carries.

Best for distance

Callaway Paradym X Iron Review

(Image credit: Carly Frost)

Reasons to buy

+
Exceptionally long
+
Playable ball flight
+
Modern, sleek looks
+
Explosive feel

Reasons to avoid

-
Has quite a bulky look at address

Callaway has always been synonymous with producing easy-to-hit irons and, with the Paradym X, it's no exception. As the name suggests, it’s something a bit different and that something unique has evolved by using the intricate suggestions of A.I. These advanced computers help Callaway’s engineers identify where boundaries could be pushed in materials, enabling designers to develop a new Forged 455 Face Cup.

One notable point are the strong lofts, with the 7-iron measuring in at 27.5°. This makes it one of the best distance irons on the market and, thanks to a strong trajectory, it is also extremely controllable. The Paradym X is crammed with technology and, because of its sleek shape, smooth lines and high-quality finish, it will make a fantastic addition to the golf bag.

Best for exclusivity

Callaway Paradym Star Irons

(Image credit: Future)

Reasons to buy

+
Lightweight and easy to swing
+
Cool cavity look in the bag
+
Decent distance and forgiveness

Reasons to avoid

-
We expected more forgiveness

The final Paradym iron in the range is the Star, which are optimized for distance via their powerful, lightweight construction. Design-wise, it has been built with consistently high launch and easy distance in mind, with each clubhead combining a Forged 455 Face with the all-new Speed Frame – together that gets the top speed and feel.

In testing, we were able to deduce that the Star is an easy-to-swing club that is geared for moderate swing speed players. It's worth noting that each club has a touch more loft (30° in the 7-iron) and a quarter-inch longer shaft than the models above. As a result, we were able to get a higher launch, faster ball speed and more distance. 

Aesthetically, we felt that, at address, they were very inviting to hit, with there being a moderate amount of offset that isn't distracting. The topline is also nice and thin, with the upper part of the cavity featuring a richly textured badge that just lets you know it’s going to dampen any unwanted vibration.

Best for feel

Photo of the 2024 Callaway Apex CB iron from back

(Image credit: Future)

Reasons to buy

+
Stunning visually
+
Lively yet soft impact feel
+
Stable flight

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited workability vs Apex MB

Callaway claim that the new Apex CB irons are designed for the most discerning Tour pros and elite ball-strikers, with a new forged construction promising pure feel, precise shot-making, and workability. In testing, they certainly didn't disappoint, with an array of new technology providing elite performance. 

Aesthetically, we thought these irons were fantastic, as the sleek and stylish design struck a great balance between a classic look while also leaving little clues and nods to modern innovation. They are slightly different to their predecessor, with the softer, more curved toe and smoother transition from hosel to topline really appealing to our eye.

Performance-wise, they were also hard to fault, with the Apex CB designed for players who desire a more forgiving iron than a pure blade, while still maintaining high levels of control and workability. In testing, the technology at work allowed for plenty of forgiveness, with distance and ball flight being the primary stand out.

Best looking

Photo of the 2024 Callaway Apex pro iron from the back

(Image credit: Future)

Reasons to buy

+
Outstanding forgiveness
+
Packed with technology
+
Great shelf appeal

Reasons to avoid

-
Larger profile of the short irons may not suit everyone’s eye

For the first time ever in an Apex iron, we see a hollow body construction that is paired with a forged face and 1025 carbon steel body to deliver a softer feel than its predecessor. 

Looks-wise, the 2024 Apex Pro iron features a progressive face design in an attempt to provide higher ball speed in the long irons and more precision through the short irons. In testing, the differences were subtle, but they were also noticeable between the longer and shorter section of the bag.

Along with the differences, we found that the miss with these irons were to the left, which we put down to the additional offset. This is something which will help those who slice the ball, with the overall strike extremely satisfying, albeit a touch firmer than the other models in the range. In conclusion though, it is certainly not unpleasant.

Best blade

Photo of the Callaway Apex MB 2024 Iron from the back

(Image credit: Future)

Reasons to buy

+
New sole enhancements notably improved strike
+
More tech than other irons in this category
+
Good strikers will appreciate the workability

Reasons to avoid

-
Purists may be turned off by the aesthetic

The Apex MB irons deliver a striking blend of classic aesthetics and cutting-edge technology. First things first, there has been a focus on pure precision and exceptional workability, with the new Apex MB 2024 iron ticking a lot of boxes for precise ball strikers shopping for a new set of the best golf blade irons

Although it is a blade design, the profile at address is slightly different from others on the market. How you may ask? Well, the Apex MB has a long topline that comes very directly out of the hosel, whereas others have a softer, more curved transition from hosel to topline. These visuals are always subjective, but we felt the MB was a treat to the eye. 

When it came to the performance, we were seriously impressed. Callaway has taken on board the feedback from their Tour staff and introduced a “dual chamfer” on the sole. Softening up the leading edge to help cut through the turf, we felt it was an important addition which made a huge difference, with remarkable shot control making way for tight dispersion.

Best for consistency

Callaway Big Bertha 2023 held on the golf course

(Image credit: Future)

Reasons to buy

+
Visually superb
+
Powerful impact sensation
+
Almost certain to improve your consistency

Reasons to avoid

-
Thicker sole may not be for everyone's tastes
-
Can feel a little heavy overall

A visually excellent set of irons that offer bags of forgiveness and plenty of power off the tee and the ground, the Big Bertha 2023 Irons are a fantastic set of clubs that will help high-handicap players improve on the golf course and shoot lower scores. On first impressions, they don’t actually look like a high handicapper iron, featuring a meaty but streamlined and feature a stealthy look that manages to look both powerful, modern and somewhat understated. Behind the ball they are chunky and offer a confidence inspiring look thanks largely to the club's wide sole. 

In the base of the clubhead, Callaway has installed a Tungsten weight that helps to improve the interaction with the turf when you strike through on the ball. It really does mitigate fat shots and players will enjoy being able to chunk the ground slightly while still getting the ball up in the air. 

Speaking of which, these irons deliver excellent ball flights and favorable carry distances, thanks to the A.I. Cup face technology which felt hot on impact. They are powerful and sent the ball flying consistent distances and nicely on line. Forgiveness was also great here too, with off-centre hits travelling towards my target nicely too! Overall, we really enjoyed playing with these irons and think they are up there as one of the best iron sets for high handicappers.

Used by Rahm

Callaway Apex TCB Iron Review new

(Image credit: Future)

Reasons to buy

+
Tour validated performance
+
Lots of specifications to fine tune set

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited availability

Another brand new model in the Apex range is the TCB. An iron that moves towards the better player end of the spectrum, this cavity-back design has already been seen on Tour in a number of high-profile bags like Jon Rahm and Xander Schauffele.

The iron has been engineered for a soft forged feel that offers excellent feedback, whilst also giving the player control over shot shape. It has a similar footprint than the X-Forged iron from 2018 but, like the other Apex irons in this list, is using a 1025 Forged Hollow Body Construction. It also has a tuned face plate and MIM tungsten weighting for greater performance.

We should also mention the fine-tuning that can be done when buying these irons as you can have an input into the specification package in terms of lofts, bounces, blade lengths, shafts and grips. It is a very Tour-player like experience and one of the best irons for low handicappers on the market.

Most forgiving 2022 iron

Callaway Rogue ST Max OS iron

(Image credit: Howard Boylan)
Callaway's most forgiving iron of 2022

Reasons to buy

+
Produces a towering ball flight
+
Comes in a Lite version

Reasons to avoid

-
Significant offset won't suit everyone's eye

The Rogue ST Max OS irons are slightly larger than the Rogue ST Max iron and offers higher launch, wider soles and enhanced offset in a very forgiving design for mid-to-high handicap golfers, with the Max OS ranking amongst the best golf irons for beginners that you buy. 

It's worth noting that the lofts aren’t quite as strong as the Rogue ST Max, which is an unusual quirk within the Rogue ST iron range, but if you are looking for a blend of high levels of distance and forgiveness in a confidence-inspiring package, then the Rogue ST Max OS iron is well worth trying this year.

How we test irons

Our testing for golf irons is built upon a comprehensive process combined with the knowledge and expertise of the Golf Monthly test team. As far as the specific procedure goes, before testing, the team will usually attend product launches and meet with the manufacturer's R&D experts to understand the new technology.

When it comes to testing, we often head indoors first to try the irons in a controlled environment. This usually takes place on an indoor simulator at Foresight Sports, with premium balls and the GCQuad launch monitor. Our outside testing normally takes place at West Hill Golf Club, a course with top-notch practice facilities.

We think it is vitally important to do both and continue to test the irons so they have been comprehensively put to the test in different conditions. It should also be mentioned that manufacturers cannot pay for a good review and we make our conclusions from the testing and our experiences. This is because we strive to give the best reviews possible so you can get a greater understanding of the irons themselves.

How to choose irons

As you have seen, the market for golf irons is crowded and confusing and being sure you're getting the most suitable iron for your game can be a minefield. Hopefully, this piece has given you an idea of what the best options are out there right now, but here is some more advice to help you in your quest to find the best golf iron for your game in this crowded and dense marketplace.

Your Handicap And Ability

This is probably the most important first step: knowing which type of iron best suits your game. This is by no means gospel, but higher handicappers tend to use cavity back irons that offer maximum forgiveness in a larger iron head, while mid-low handicappers tend to use more bladed irons that are forged, offer more feel and control but less forgiveness.

You'll know how good or perhaps not so good your ball striking tends to be, so make sure you invest in a set of irons that matches where your game is out now, not where you'd ideally want it to be. We have great guides that go into more detail on this, so check out our guide on the most forgiving irons if you're a higher handicapper and our guide on the best irons for mid-handicappers.

Price

This will be a major factor in anyone's decision of what irons to go for. As you'll have seen in this list, the price can vary dramatically between irons. Typically, for a set of cavity back irons - those that provide most distance and forgiveness - you'll be looking between $600-$800 for a set of seven irons.

This obviously can fluctuate between brands, and we've highlighted in this list the ones we think give the best value for money in this category. The price jumps quite significantly when looking at the forged and bladed options - up to and above $1000 - but this is par for the course and you'll be getting a high quality, premium product in return.

Custom Fit

This is probably the most essential part of the iron buying process, no matter the irons you're after or how good you are at the game. A custom fit session will make sure you get the right flex and length of shaft, correct lie angle and correct iron head for your game, meaning you'll finish with the best golf clubs that are as suitable as possible for you out on course.

Custom fits can be a daunting process if you're a true beginner or you aren't that confident hitting golf balls in front of people, but they're a vital part of the club buying process. We recommend having a shortlist of three or four iron heads you like the look of before entering a custom fit and then whittling them down to the best for your game during the custom fit process. Custom fits are provided by a number of golf retailers or club professionals at your local golf club.

FAQs

Which Callaway iron is the best?

This is very much player dependent as what iron is best for a low handicapper will be different to the best Callaway iron for a high handicapper. The Callaway Apex 21 iron arguably has the broadest appeal because of the distance, forgiveness and sleek looks on offer followed by the new Callaway Rogue ST Pro iron.

Which Callaway irons are the most forgiving?

The two most forgiving irons in the Callaway iron range for this year are the Apex DCB and the Rogue ST Max OS. Both have large chassis to provide maximum stability and consistency of ball speed across the face. The Big Bertha B21 iron is also very user friendly, with additional offset to increase the draw bias for golfers that struggle with a slice.

Which professionals use Callaway irons?

A number of professionals use Callaway golf clubs, with the likes of Jon Rahm, Xander Schauffele and Phil Mickelson all putting various models in their golf bags.

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