The Equipment Insider

Unpacking Callaway's Apex 19 irons

Irons feature a sleek and powerful look

In addition to the Apex 19, Callaway also released an advanced Apex Pro 19 line. In either instance, the company considers the offering to be the "ultimate forged players distance iron."

There’s a lot to unpack and put back together when you’re building an iron that gives higher launch and more distance but with soft feel and good looks. The folks at Callaway believe they have the whole package with the Apex 19 irons.

“We’ve identified a category of players who want to look at a great-looking iron but want extra performance,” says Steven Sourigno, a product manager at Callaway. “Playing a forged cavity back takes a little more skill but because we’re able to incorporate some technology, why not make a player’s iron look really good and provide all the benefits of technology added to the club? It’s the best of both worlds and it’s a no-brainer.”

The Apex 19 starts with a 360 face cup construction forged with 1025 carbon steel. That allows the forged face to flex at impact, which creates more ball speed. Tungsten is placed at strategic points in the head to position the center of gravity [CG] optimally, which makes for higher-flying long irons and more controlled short irons. Callaway’s urethane microspheres create the desired sound and feel.

“What we’re able to do with this new construction, learning from what we had done previously, when we combine the urethane microspheres and the tungsten, we’re able to make an iron that perfectly crafted for optimum ball flight with a players’ preferred shape,” Sourigno said. “The ball speed gains translate into more distance. We’re able to get the technology into such a compact shape.

“Our multi-material construction, we’re able to execute in this way to find tune the CG throughout the set. There’s different tungsten in the longer clubs than in the scoring clubs, where we place the CG in different areas to provide optimum ball flight. You want a short iron to have a certain CG characteristic that will allow for a flighted shot so you can attack the pin. In the long irons, we place that CG lower in the head to give you a higher ball flight and softer landing shots.”

Some of the chatter in the equipment world revolves around how much stronger lofts are being used in irons these days. It hasn’t been that long ago that a pitching wedge was 48 degrees. Now, they can be as strong as 43 degrees. Critics say that the extra distance is merely a function of loft-jacking.

“I will say, it will be one thing if you were to take an iron from a couple of years ago, use the same lofts we’re using now and go out and play them,” Sourigno said. “The ball won’t fly the same, it will be lower and the irons will dig more. There are a lot of things that go into a players’ iron. Loft is not the end-all, be-all. There’s a lot of research and a lot of design that go into the way it works.”

Mike Purkey has written about golf for more than 30 years for a number of publications, including Golf Magazine and Global Golf Post. He lives in Charlotte, N.C.

Twitter: @mikepurkeygolf

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