Callaway Apex DCB

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Editor’s Conclusion
The Callaway Apex iron range is one of the more iconic in golf. Traditionally, Apex irons have been aimed at better players. Still, in the Apex DCB set, Callaway has combined the premium feel and performance of those clubs with the forgiveness of a cavity back.

What they’ve created is a really classy-looking, high-performing game improvement iron set, which hits the ball far and straight while still maintaining some excellent feel - a great option for higher handicappers.

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Features

Right off the bat on Callaway’s website, they’re pushing how new and innovative the Apex DCB irons are. "We’ve never created anything like this," they state, which is an exciting if slightly questionable claim. The reason for this statement is that Apex irons in the past have always been aimed at slightly better players looking for the feel and workability of a quality forged iron.

Indeed, in this 2021 Apex range, the Apex Pro - a really nice-looking muscle back - falls into that category. With the Apex DCBs, Callaway has attempted to find a middle ground between the look, feel, and performance of a forged players club and the forgiveness of game improvement irons.

How have they done this? Well, to get the feel of the classic Apex irons, Callaway has utilized some blast from the past technology - these irons are forged from 1025 mild carbon.

But then we start to get into the more funky stuff. This is a hollow-headed golf club, quite unlike the classic Apex’s of the past. So to try and capture that soft, responsive feel of the blade, Callaway has filled it with their ‘patented urethane microspheres.’

Most manufacturers using hollow-headed construction have some form of this - Taylormade’s ‘speedfoam,’ for instance - and there will likely be lots of spiel about how they make the clubs longer and more forgiving. In truth, what microspheres do is make the club feel and sound nicer, which doesn’t feel as sexy or exciting, but in truth is just as vital to making a great golf club.

For the face of the Apex DCB set, Callaway has once again turned to their resident-friendly supercomputer to create the AI-designed ‘Flash Face Cup’ - the first time they have used this tech in an Apex game improvement iron, apparently. The face is designed with varying thickness across the blade to create more consistent distance and spin rates no matter where you strike it on the club.

This club also features Callaway’s ‘Tungsten Energy Core,’ a super sci-fi name for a set of tungsten weights that differ across the set. The long and mid irons have up to 50g of weights in them, allowing Callaway to fine-tune where the center of gravity is, making even the long irons easier to launch to optimum levels.

This is where the club gets its forgiveness from, alongside the aspect that gives it its name: the deep cavity back, along with quite a thick sole, gives you a bunch of confidence and easy launch out of even tricky lies.

Looks & Feel

These are very much a game improvement club in their look, which is not a bad thing. The Apex DCB has quite a generous offset, which should help inspire confidence in anyone who struggles with a miss to the right. The top line and cavity back are chunky and give you a real feeling of power as the club goes down behind the ball, but not excessively so.

Some game improvement sets look almost like hybrids; they’ve got so much heft to them. The Apex DCB still manages to have that little bit of sleekness, so it still feels like you could hit dialed-in approaches rather than just muscling everything as far as possible.

I wasn’t sure about the cosmetic aspects of the DCBs at first, but the more I stare at them, the more I’m starting to think they’re a really classy-looking set. The black insert on the back was worrying me - though I do have a thing for more simple-looking irons, so that might be personal preference. But Callaway has picked excellent color schemes, with really classy black and grey melding with the brushed silver of the clubface.

In all their marketing, they talk about looking to bring the feel and performance of their better player aimed at Apex’s to a more forgiving club. I think they’ve followed that up with the look - these are a classy, simple but exciting set of game improvement irons, which will make any golfer using them feel like a slightly better player just because of how darn nice they look.

Feel wise. Do these clubs feel like a forged blade? No. Because that would be impossible. They’re much louder than the Apex Pro, with a really satisfying crack when you make good contact. They also feel mighty and fast off the clubface.

That’s great for golfer’s struggling with distance and confidence, as you really do feel like you can effortlessly get the ball up and out there. But for slightly better players, they might want to consider the regular Apex irons, as the trade-off for that power is the occasional shot that flies fifteen yards further than expected.

Overall Performance

In practice, the Apex DCB irons do exactly what they say on the tin, which is an excellent thing. They launch the ball high without the need for a perfect strike or high swing speeds, and they launch it FAR - these clubs really can send it out there.

The spin rates are quite low, making sense because the lofts are low, helping you hit the ball further. And they’re super forgiving - out of any lie, most golfers should feel pretty confident about getting the ball up quickly and a good distance down the hole.

When you combine that with the slightly more premium feel of the Apex range and some lovely design elements, I think these are a fantastic option for higher handicappers or even mid handicappers just looking for a bit more distance and confidence.