WHAT IT DOES: Ever since Callaway re-introduced the Apex irons in 2014, golfers have enjoyed the benefits of extra distance via its cupface technology. Wrapping around part of the sole and topline, the cupface serves as a mini-trampoline. Forgiveness wasn’t forgotten, either. A tungsten core (up to 64 grams in some irons) is enclosed in urethane with “microspheres”—tiny air bubbles encased in glass. The added weight helps not just shots struck on the heel and toe, but those hit low on the face as well. A redesigned sole helps golfers who tend to take too much turf on approach shots—a meaningful improvement over the company’s previous model.
WHY WE LIKE IT: A big part of having a successful club in this category is getting the shaping and feel just right, and the Apex achieves that. The topline offers just enough confidence without being too thick, and the soft 1025 carbon-steel clubhead delivers a pleasing sensation at impact, all while neatly hiding the horsepower that resides inside, including individual face designs (up to the 9-iron) conceived by artificial intelligence that provide the kind of pop that will have you pulling one club less.Read more >>
* Percentage of total score
"It really frames the ball well. And they're substantially softer than the heads in the game-improvement category but without losing any of the jump."
“Easy to hit and extra hot: The ball jumps off the face. I can control shot shape and trajectory. Mis-hits still go straight and don’t lose much distance.”
"You can really feel the ball compress on the face and a touch longer than average. A parabolic, controllable ball flight."
7-iron: 30.5 degrees; PW: 43 degrees
From the Manufacturer
The Apex 21 Irons deliver an extraordinary level of forged performance and craftsmanship that we’ve never seen before. They’re the first forged iron designed with Artificial Intelligence for faster ball speeds and improved spin consistency. Increased forgiveness comes from a massive Tungsten Energy Core, with enhanced shaping for even better turf interaction. In short, these irons deliver superior performance with iconic feel on every swing.
Surviving the Hot List Presented by Rapsodo
For the first time in the 19-year history of the Hot List, we invited a documentary-film crew to the 2022 testing summit to document the process, the people and the drama behind the most coveted assignment in golf.