Callaway tapped into its Tour roster to build a high-performance utility wood with fairway wood distance and hybrid precision. Great value considering one club does the work of two with outstanding efficiency.
Can do the job of a higher lofted fairway wood and a strong hybrid
Longer than a five wood, easier to hit than a 2-iron or utility iron
Looks are plain for such a high-tech club
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Callaway Apex UW Hybrid Review
We tested Callaway’s new Apex UW (Utility Wood) on the course, practice tee and using a launch monitor, here’s our verdict. Any new product launching under the banner Callaway Apex has a serious set of spikes to fill.
Apex is an iconic product line. In 2014, Callaway opened up a whole new market by introducing a long and forgiving forged iron for better players, innovation which has driven prodigious sales.
Now, Callaway is attempting to create a new gear niche with the launch of its Apex UW (Utility Wood), a club that looks and flies like a fairway wood but offers the versatility and precision of the best hybrids.
Callaway took its inspiration for this club straight from the Tour. Phil Mickelson was involved in its development and joined other Callaway staffers in calling for a “go to” club that better players can count on from the tee, fairway, or rough.
I tested this club around The Hunting Course at Slaley Hall, a former European Tour venue in Northumberland and on a TrackMan at Brancepeth Castle Golf Club. The Apex UW has a simple, compact, stylish profile; more fairway wood than hybrid. Black crown blends seamlessly with the Hazardus RDX smoke 70g shaft and dusky grey Lamkin grip.
The look, especially the Forged Flash Face SS21 is old-school, so much so it’s not obvious where the tech is until you reach the silver-grey soleplate that has a composite carbon-like appearance.
A MIM’D Tungsten weight (18g per club) sits behind two Jailbreak A.I. Velocity Blades in a neutral forward position close to the face. Callaway says this weight creates a neutral CG (centre of gravity) configuration for higher launch, steeper landing angles and better stopping power.
On course, I hit several tee shots that were exceptionally long, around 25 yards past similarly struck shots with other leading brand hybrids tested the same round.
These distance gains were evident into wind, across and downwind and certainly bear out the claim that the Apex UW is powerful enough to replace even some of the best fairway woods.
During launch monitor testing, the Apex UW proved to be the longest 19ׄ° hybrid/ utility on test, by 1.5 yards from the Callaway Rogue ST Max OS – with an average distance of 225.4 yards across the test sample. I was surprised by this. This club was undoubtedly longer out on the golf course than it was on TrackMan and I used a Bushnell Tour v3 Volt to check total yardages from ball to tee marker.
I loved the way this club sat flush and square on the turf, so it’s possible I clicked with it better out on the course than indoors hitting off a mat and tee.
Dispersion wise, in launch monitor testing Apex UW was among the most accurate when compared with other hybrids, solidly grouped around center line with more misses right than left. Callaway says the Apex UW delivered 17% tighter dispersion in testing, our launch monitor test results support that, as well as its claim to reduce draw bias.
Apex UW also performed well in all the situations that hybrids are perfect for, out of the rough, off tighter – in this case muddy lies - and for chipping from aprons or tightly mown greenside areas. It was easier to use in these situations than a fairway wood would be.
The forged face, made from C300 Maraging Steel, was a pleasure to hit and the feel is responsive and energetic. The Jailbreak A.I blades provide vertical stiffness near the sole, which helps keep ball speed up when a player hits it too low in the face, a common problem with hybrids and fairway woods.
Callaway Apex UW is an exciting multi-purpose product. I’ve used the same Sonartec MD 17° hybrid with UST Irod shaft for 15 years, precisely because it’s a hybrid that plays like a fairway wood.
It would take something extraordinary for me to change it, but, in Callaway’s Apex UW, I may just have found a modern equivalent that can do the job of a fairway wood and a hybrid. The Callaway Apex UW has an RRP of £299 and is available in the UK and Europe from January 2022.
Matthew Moore fell in love with golf hitting an old 3-iron around his school playing field imagining rugby posts were flags and long jump pits as bunkers.
He earned golf scholarships to the University of St Andrews and Emory University, Atlanta, U.S.A and dreamed of playing professionally before training as a journalist.
He has worked at Golf Monthly and CNN Sports as well as covering golf news, features, products and travel as a freelance writer and TV presenter for newspapers, magazines and corporate clients. Matthew has interviewed Ryder Cup Captains, Major Champions and legends of the game and rates sharing a glass of rioja and a bowl of nuts with Miguel Angel Jimenez as his favourite moment. Matthew plays off 1, has won five club championships and aced the first hole of Augusta National’s Par-3 course in 2002.
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