Every few years or so, Callaway Golf comes to market with new irons for better players, and it’s right about that time for the Callaway player’s irons to get an update. There are two — really, three — new offerings in this category, with the X Forged CB (and X Forged UT utility) irons and the Apex MB blades.
X Forged CB
The X Forged CB irons are no doubt a player’s iron, but Callaway has paid some special attention to these, bringing in technology that you might see on game-improvement irons to make a multi-material iron that offers the limited help better golfers often crave but aren’t willing to sacrifice that certain look to get.
The idea was to build an iron that was consistent, while balancing some forgiveness with workability. It looks like a player’s iron, so the blade length is shorter, and the topline is thinner, and the sole isn’t thick. The body is made from 1025 carbon steel, which most players understand to be part of the deal in a player’s iron, even if the face insert isn’t and other materials are used.
The help comes in the form of Metal Injection Molded tungsten pieces that are found on the inside, ranging from 9 to 14 grams, and the back badging of the iron, averaging 17 grams. They help dial in some forgiveness and the center of gravity location in each iron to be right in the hitting zone, all while maintaining an ideal swingweight. The weight in the back of the iron can be swapped out with other options to custom fit each golfer. It’s a nice touch in a category that often doesn’t offer that.
The 17-4 stainless steel face insert, dubbed the Tour Tuned face plate, is designed to increase ball speeds across the face and through the set while still delivering a consistent dispersion pattern. There’s nothing worse for a better golfer than nuking their iron 20 yards over the target because their face was just too hot on that one particular shot. This face plate is designed to offer some help on off-center hits, particularly from the perspective of spin.
The urethane microspheres that have become part of Callaway’s iron-design philosophy are here, too. They help dial in feel and sound, dampening vibration.
Fundamentally, these are hollow-body irons. But, like we see from others in the space, that doesn’t mean they can’t be consistent, feel great, fly farther than a single-piece iron and still make a better player happy.
The Project X IO is the stock steel shaft, while the Mitsubishi MMT is a player’s graphite shaft with metal mesh in the tip for stability.
The Callaway Golf X Forged CB irons are available Oct. 29 for $200 per iron, putting them at $1,400 for a seven-piece set.
X Forged UT
As the name might imply, the X Forged UT are utility irons designed to work in tandem with the X Forged CB set (or Apex MBs, I suppose). The design traits are very similar to the X Forged CB, though the body is bigger, the topline is thicker and the sole is bit wider. The center of gravity is lower to help get the ball higher at launch and to come down softer on those longer shots.
The tungsten weight in the back is designed to drive down that center of gravity, while ball speeds should hike with the Flash Face Cup.
The UTs are a half-inch longer than their cousins, which can also help increase speed, too.
The Callaway Golf X Forged UT irons are available in 18-, 21- and 24-degree heads on Oct. 29 for $250 each. The stock steel shaft is the Project X U, marking the launch of these shafts designed for utility irons, while the stock graphite shaft is the Project X Smoke Blacky HY.
As I always say with blade irons: You probably should not be reading this. These, most likely, are not for you. They’re not for me (anymore). But, wow, they’re pretty.
These irons are made for ballstrikers who flush the ball a lot. It’s a classic blade with a thin topline, a refined sole, a compact shape and a chrome finish.
The grooves are perhaps the tech story here, with the 20V grooves that are designed to deliver consistent spin and better control out of pretty much any lie. The goal here is to reduce the chance of fliers out of the rough, which can kill a round.
The center of gravity is dialed in with a new weight in the center of the clubhead, which helps CG position and maintain the proper swingweight without having to tinker with either.
The Apex CBs are $185 per iron in steel and $200 per iron in graphite.