First Look: Callaway Apex 21 Irons

Callaway legitimately revolutionized irons when they first introduced the APEX lineup way back in 2014, the blending of forgiveness and all-out performance had never been done like that before. Not only that, but with each subsequent release the accolades have grown as has the amount of tech the company continues to pour into them.

What that has led to is an incredible amount of anticipation each time we edge closer to the unveil of the next iteration. Well, the Callaway Apex 21 lineup is coming, and it’s bringing a new friend with it. 

Three different Callaway Apex 21 irons

The New Apex Family

Callaway has taken full advantage of the two-year lifecycle of the Apex lineup to not just bring forth two irons worthy of the family name, but they have brought a third to the party as well. Yes, a third. 

This go-round the Apex and Apex Pro will be joined by their little-big brother, the DCB (deep cavity blade) which they believe makes their lineup reach more players than any other generation before it. But more on that very soon. 

The Apex irons continue to be the crème de la crème of the Callaway iron umbrella, and with that it is no surprise that they continue to feature the best of all their iron technology developed over the years and rolled into each new version. This is after all the iron series that defined forged irons meeting true forgiveness and playability, literally blurring the lines of classification like never before. 

This year the goal was to stretch the tech even more to hit an even broader player profile, while also in their minds not just retaining but increasing their hold as the “#1 Irons in Golf”. Performance and consistency of performance is the goal, and by implementing things like Flash Face Cup, Tungsten Energy Core, and Urethane Microspheres in all three irons, they definitely look poised to accomplish that. 

Callaway Apex 21 Irons

It’s only right to start with the flagship iron, right? The Apex 21 is being hailed as a “21st Century Forging” by Callaway, and continues to be a shape and size that will fit the eye of a broad range of golfers. The shaping continues to let them put forgiveness into the iron, but without getting too big nor losing the shot-making potential that has endeared the line to so many over each release. 

Callaway Apex 21 irons

The goal was to further entrench the Apex as offering leading distance, launch, speed, feel, and most importantly consistency in all of those aspects. To do that they have implemented a “Big Three” of tech, if you will. 

First, A.I. Flash Face Cup is here, and it is the first time that Callaway has implemented AI into a forged iron. It was a natural progression given the success A.I. has allowed them in the past couple of years, but it took a lot to implement it into these three sets of irons. This means more distance, but also with more forgiveness all while maintaining spin numbers better than previous iterations. It is also worth noting once again, each iron has a unique face design, both loft for loft as well as compared to the other two Apex sets.

Apex 21 face

Added to that is a “Massive” tungsten core with a unique split application system low in the iron with heel, toe, and center sections. The unique split placement allows for the increased MOI blended with a lower CG. In all, there is 5-times the Tungsten compared to the Apex 19 irons, ranging from 34g to 64g in the 3-9 while only 14 in the PW and AW to tune in the desired flight through the set. Rounding it out, the 1025 Carbon Steel with Urethane Microsphere technology that continues to be revolutionary compared to anything else on the market for performance and feel. 

Apex 21 top line

Callaway is claiming higher peak ball speed compared to the Apex 19, but more importantly the “sweet spot” is much larger and more centered as well as lower than previously which matches where most golfers tend to miss much better. The set will play off a 30.5° 7-iron and 43° PW, but Callaway notes that the A.I. design is allowing them to generate and retain more spin loft for loft than previously possible. 

The Apex 21 will be available in 3-AW and paired with all new premium shafts in True Temper Elevate ETS 95’s (R, S) for steel and UST Mamiya Recoil Dart 75’s (L, R, S) for graphite. They are rounded out with Golf Pride Z-Grip Soft for the stock grip options.

Callaway Apex Pro 21 Irons

The Apex Pro irons have long thrived on being a unicorn of sorts, making a more players style iron impressively more playable for a wider range of golfers. Since they have been infinitely successful, Callaway did the only natural thing, they totally and completely redesigned them from the ground up. These are not like any Apex Pro before. Truly. 

Welcome the Apex lineup to the age of the hollow body design. 

Callaway Apex 21 pro irons

The Pro’s are now a forged hollow body design that Callaway calls a player’s performance iron. For golfers from scratch to single digits who want performance mixed with forgiveness, this may be the ticket, fitting between the Apex 21 and the X-Forged CB. 

Apex 21 Pro face

Hollow is popular right now, but Callaway believes they have done it differently. They liked the hollow body design because it affords more stiffness in the rear of the club but allows a lot to be done internally with the application of the aforementioned A.I. Flash Face Cup, 1025 Carbon Steel with Urethane Microspheres, as well as a massiveamount of Tungsten. 

The Flash Face cup is unique to this specific set as well as club for club within the set. When blended with the “Tungsten Energy Core” which has placed 53g to 90g in the 3-7 of the set you have an iron design primed for more speed, more forgiveness, and more spin consistency. Callaway also believes that thanks to the huge amount of Urethane Microspheres both low and higher in the club, and their ability to collapse and rebound without sacrificing energy transfer, they have produced a hollow body with feel like a one-piece forging. Now that is something that will perk up some ears. 

Apex Pro 21 iron top line

The Apex Pro 21 will be available in 3-AW and the set plays off of a 33° 7-iron and 45° PW. Additionally, the premium stock shaft offerings are the all-new True Temper Elevate ETS 115 (R, S, X) in steel as well as the Mitsubishi MMT (R – 85, S – 95, TX – 105) in graphite and paired with the Golf Pride Z-Grip. 

Callaway Apex DCB Irons

Rounding out the Callaway Apex 21 irons lineup, the new kid on the block, the Apex DCB. 

Callaway Apex 21 DCB

DCB stands for “Deep Cavity Blade” and the name says it all, this is an even more forgiving forged iron that Callaway wanted to create in order to allow golfers who need a wider sole, longer blade length, and a bit more offset a way to still be part of the Apex family. 

All of the above traits meet up with the A.I. Flash Face Cup, 1025 Carbon Steel with Urethane Microspheres, and Tungsten Energy Core just like the other two irons in the lineup, simply in a more forgiving and easier launching package. Though they feature a progressively large sole than the rest of the Apex offerings, they look a lot like the Apex 21’s and visually blend well enough to make a golfer happy when looking down at the clubs. 

Callaway Apex DCB irons

The Apex DCB will be available in 4-AW and playing off of a 30° 7-Iron and a 43° PW with the set being practically the same as the Apex 21 other than the long irons. Premium shaft offerings for the DCB are True Temper Elevate ETS 85 (R, S) as well as UST Mamiya Recoil Dart 65 (L, R, S) and finished with the Golf Pride Z-Grip Soft. 

Combo Time!

Some of you were reading along and wondering, so this is for you…

YES, Callaway will be offering a combo sets for the Apex 21 lineup. 

The main option will be the same we saw last time around blending the Apex 21 3-7 with Apex Pro 21 8-AW through the use of unique tooling in the Pro’s to make the set flow as seamlessly as possible. However, they are fully anticipating the possibility of other combo’s created by the consumer or during fittings with the “Apex Sweet Spot” having DCB 4-5 and Apex 21 6-AW, the “Apex Triple Play” with DCB 4-5, Apex 21 6-9, and Apex Pro 21 9-AW, as well as the “Apex Player” featuring Apex Pro 21 3-7 and Callaway Apex MB 8-AW. 

The Details

The Callaway Apex 21 irons lineup will begin fitting on 1/28/21 and have a retail date of 2/11/21. Pricing will be $185 per club for steel and $200 per club in graphite. 

Be sure to keep an eye on THP for a lot more to come on the entire Apex 21 lineup.

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James Miles
James is a staff writer for The Hackers Paradise along with being a professional educator. With his background in education James seeks to broaden his own knowledge while also sharing it with all those who share his passion for the game.
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