Gear: Callaway Apex, Apex Pro hybrids
Price: $269.99 each with UST Recoil Dart 75 graphite shaft and Golf Pride Z Grip Soft grips (Apex), Mitsubishi MMT graphite shaft (Apex Pro)
Specs: Stainless steel head with cup face, internal stiffening bars and adjustable hosel (Apex). 19-, 21-, 24- and 27-degree versions in Apex; 18-, 20-, 23- and 26-degree versions in Apex Pro
Available: Feb. 11
Whenever Callaway has used Apex’s name on a club, it has been a nod to better players. For example, the new Apex MB irons are muscleback blades designed for elite golfers and tour pros. The new Apex and Apex Pro irons are for mid- and lower-handicap golfers who want more distance but refuse to sacrifice feel.
Callaway’s Apex hybrids traditionally have been compact, iron-style hybrids geared for better players, but with the release of the new Apex and Apex Pro hybrids for 2021, the company is taking a slightly different approach to broaden their appeal.
The new Apex hybrid is larger than previously released models to make it an option for golfers who prefer a fairway wood-style hybrid. It has a cup-face design that helps broaden the sweet spot, and Callaway also has given the Apex hybrids a new technology called Jailbreak A.I. Velocity Blades. They are internal posts that connect the sole and the crown behind the hitting area, and they increase torsional and vertical stiffness, especially low in the face.
Now, instead of losing energy created at impact to the head’s deformation, the face can flex efficiently and return more power into the shot for increased distance and better ball-speed protection on mishits.
To lower the center of gravity and pull it farther back, Callaway added internal tungsten weights in the heel and toe. This should encourage a higher launch and a steep angle of descent, so shots should stop faster on the greens. The tungsten also boosts the moment of inertia and makes the Apex resist twisting on off-center hits.
Finally, the Apex hybrids come standard with an adjustable hosel mechanism that allows players and fitters to increase or decrease the stated loft by as many as 2 degrees. That will help fill distance gaps between clubs more easily.
As the name implies, the Apex Pro hybrids are designed for accomplished golfers who love long irons but want more forgiveness.
Like the standard Apex hybrid, it has Jailbreak A.I. Velocity Blades to help stiffen the chassis for enhanced ball speed. There are no internal tungsten weights or adjustable hosel mechanism.
Why? Pros told Callaway they like the look of a bonded hosel, and better players do not struggle to get hybrids airborne. Adding tungsten could create a launch angle that is too high, and while the hosel is not adjustable, fitters can bend it to help golfers fill distance gaps. Also, by not adding an adjustable hosel, Callaway could keep extra weight out of the heel area, so the Apex Pro has a neutral to fade bias that many accomplished golfers prefer.
The Apex Pro hybrids are significantly smaller than the standard Apex hybrids. They are true iron replacements and produce an iron-like ball flight with less spin than the standard Apex hybrid.