The Callaway Apex CB irons are a must-try. With their stunning aesthetic, impressive forgiveness, exceptional feel, and consistent distance, these clubs will suit mid-to low-handicap players who value accuracy and control without sacrificing forgiveness
Lively yet soft impact feel
Limited workability vs Apex MB
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Callaway says that the new Apex CB irons are designed for the most discerning tour pros and elite ball-strikers. With a new forged construction, they are promising pure feel, precise shot-making, and workability. This is something I was keen to put to the test.
The first thing I noticed about the Apex CB iron is the sleek and stylish design. I really feel that Callaway has managed to strike a great balance between a classic look while also leaving little clues and nods to modern innovation. The clubhead boasts a pleasingly slim profile and a thin topline, giving it a clean and elegant appeal that I very much enjoyed. The combination of the understated satin finish and the minimal offset adds to the overall aesthetic, making these irons one of the most visually appealing I have seen in a long time. I particularly enjoyed the very subtle Callaway logo on the back of the club which is somewhat disguised in the same tone as the rest of the head but gives off a really classy, premium visual. While the blade length has definitely increased from the Apex ‘21 model, this is barely perceptible due to the shaping of the head. The sharper, more angular Callaway 2024 Apex MB may appeal to some, but the softer, more curved toe and smoother transition from hosel to topline really appealed to my eye. These irons are absolutely dripping in shelf appeal.
Designed for players who desire a more forgiving iron than a pure blade, while still maintaining high levels of control and workability, Callaway has incorporated progressive CG throughout the set (higher CG in the shorter irons progressing lower into the longer irons) to promote more optimal launch conditions across the bag. Callaway has also utilized its MIM weights in the toe of the club. This innovative technology strategically positions tungsten weights within the clubhead to precisely control the center of gravity. The result is a higher MOI and improved forgiveness on mishits, allowing you to maintain consistent distance even when you don't strike the sweet spot. Whatever, they have done from a technology standpoint, it certainly works, these sit amongst some of the best Callaway irons I have ever tested. I found a reassuringly limited drop-off in distance on my mishits and was pleasantly surprised by the minimal curvature when I missed the center.
Forgiveness is not the only strength of the Apex CB iron. Callaway has also paid close attention to the feel and playability of these clubs. The forged 1025 mild carbon steel construction delivers an incredibly soft and responsive feel at impact. I tested the full new Apex ‘24 range alongside the CBs and I have to say, for me, these were the standout performer in terms of feel. I felt that they maintained the integrity and detailed feedback of strike you would associate with the best irons for lower handicap players, but also there was a liveliness to the strike that was joyful! This is not to be confused with a “hot” or “jumpy” sensation, more just a perfect concoction of all my favorite feelings at impact. They were a real pleasure to test. While you'll be able to distinguish the purity of your shots, as the iron provides outstanding feedback, the mishits still provide enough to help you make adjustments and improve your swing.
The Apex CB iron also excels in terms of distance and ball flight. The new model provides very consistent distance and high launch angles, which I believe could open the door for players with moderate swing speeds to consider these a genuine option - although the smaller profile may deter some. Callaway has done a great job of ensuring cohesion throughout the entire Apex range, which lends itself to the possibility of incorporating two or more different models into a combo set without having to adjust your brain for too much of a visual difference from one model to another.
One point to note may be the slightly more limited workability compared to Apex MB 2024 iron I tested. While these irons still allow you to manipulate the ball flight to some extent, they felt more adept at providing stability and forgiveness than for really manipulating trajectory. If you are seeking maximum shot-shaping capabilities, you may want to consider taking a deeper look at the MB in the range.
In conclusion, the Callaway Apex CB iron will be an exceptional addition to many golfer's bags. With their stunning aesthetic, impressive forgiveness, exceptional feel, and consistent distance, these clubs will suit mid to low-handicap players who value accuracy and control without sacrificing forgiveness. The Callaway Apex CB is certainly among the best golf irons I have ever tested. I am certainly looking forward to getting out a few more times with Apex CB, and who knows, there may be a spot opening in my own bag shortly… watch this space!
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Joe has worked in the golf industry for over 12 years in a variety of roles. After a successful amateur career being involved in England squads at every age group, Joe completed his PGA degree qualification in 2014 as one of the top ten graduates in his training year and subsequently went on to become Head PGA Professional at Ryder Cup venue The Celtic Manor Resort. Equipment has always been a huge passion of Joe’s, and during his time at Celtic Manor, he headed up the National Fitting Centres for both Titleist and Taylormade. He’s excited to bring his knowledge of hardware to Golf Monthly in the form of equipment reviews and buying advice.
Joe lives in North Devon and still plays sporadically on the PGA West region circuit. His best round in recent years came earlier in 2023 where he managed a 9 under par 63 at Trevose GC in a Devon & Cornwall PGA Tournament.
Joe's current What's In The Bag?
Driver: Taylormade M2 2017, 8.5°
Fairway wood: Taylormade M2 Tour 2017, 13.5°
Irons: Srixon ZX7 3-PW
Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM9 Raw, 50F, 54M and 60T
Putter: Odyssey Toe Up #9
Ball: 2023 Titleist Pro V1x
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