Expert Review: Callaway APEX MB 21 IronsPublished on 03/14/2023 · 7 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the irons, which I purchased with my own money in October of 2021.
All photos courtesy of Billy Estes
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the irons, which I purchased with my own money in October of 2021.
In my opinion, the Callaway Apex MB 21 irons are the ultimate players’ irons. Used on the PGA and European tours by top players who rely on consistency in spin and launch, these irons are one of the highest quality irons made by Callaway and for the low handicap player to the professional. I really believe putting these in the bag will give someone confidence to take their ball striking to the next level.
About the clubs I own
- Model: 2021 Callaway Apex MB irons
- Loft setting: I play my irons in the standard lofts and 2 degrees flat for the lie angle
- Shaft type: I use the True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 Tour Issue shafts
- Shaft flex: X-Stiff
- Average score: 72.3
- Handicap: +3
- Experience: Over 20 years of playing golf, with six years playing professionally
- Right/Left-Handed: Left-handed
- Typical ball flight: Low-to-mid draw stock shot
- Golf ball used: Titleist Pro V1
- Club swing speed: 118mph (driver)
- When I bought the club: I purchased these in October 2021.
- Days tested: I have played with these irons for over a year.
- Where I’ve used it: I have played in many tournaments with wind, rain, and soft and firm conditions to give these irons the greatest overall testing environments.
How they perform
What I was looking for
When I set out to get some new irons, I had recently played the Titleist MB irons and loved them. However, testing the Callaway Apex MB, I saw some distance gain without compromising launch angles and spin due to the adjustability in CG (center of gravity) weighting on these blade irons and the new 20v grooves by Callaway. I need to be able to work the ball both ways, and controlling trajectory is a premium with any high-level player, and these Apex MB irons achieve that.
Why I chose this club
I considered going back to another set of Titleist MB irons and knew what I was getting in those irons. The Apex MBs have a similar look and feel as the Titleist irons but can hit it about five yards farther with the same launch angles and spin rates, some even spinning more. For elite-level players and me, this is good because that means more control and better flight.
What I love about it
- Distance: I really love the added five yards I gained with these irons versus my previous irons. They have a stronger loft setting, but I like that they don’t launch too low and take away any bounce from the sole. It still goes through the turf very nicely, and I can hit a higher shot if needed, even with the stronger lofts. I recommend checking out the gapping in one’s yardages to ensure they get their personal lofts dialed in with the new distance.
- Feel: I am shocked by the feeling these irons have. My gold standard of the best feeling blades is by Mizuno, but I really think the Apex MB irons feel great and have very similar softness to Mizuno and Titleist.
- Sound: On centered hits, the sound is a very firm, solid sound of a pure strike. In my opinion, I like the sound of a hard hit in a golf shot, and I get that feel and sound from these irons when struck well.
- Workability: In my opinion, this category is where these irons excel! With the 20v groove technology and the compact look, these irons can move the ball in any way I want and, most importantly, control trajectory low to high and then back down to a low stinger if needed.
- Adjustability: As with most irons, these blades aren't adjustable, but they can change weighting in the center for swingweight control without moving the CG around the face. This is pretty cool, considering I've used lead tape to solve that issue but having to be precise with lead tape isn't an easy task. So I give it a plus in adjustability because that is a feature that no other blade style iron can offer.
- Shaft Feel: I have played the Dynamic Gold Tour Issue x100 shafts for years because of the consistency in ball flight and the ability to feel that I can work the ball up and down and not be hindered by the shaft.
- Shaft Performance: Overall, in my opinion, they are the best golf shafts in the game, and it’s been proven on the PGA and DP world tours year after year.
- Aesthetic Appeal: I really like the look of these irons at address. With a thin topline, compact head, and little offset, they give me a ton of confidence at address.
- Grip Feel: I use the Lamkin Crossline full cord grips and have used these grips for over nine years now and love the feel and firmness of these grips. I live and play in Florida full-time. It gets hot, and those full cord grips help reduce sweat and wetness from those afternoon showers.
- Launch Angle: This is another favorite of these irons as I love hitting my scoring irons low and long irons high, and I can do that with no problem with the Apex MB irons. I do love how they come off the club. I don't have any problem with the ball ballooning off the face from too much spin, or if I need the shot to come off lower, I can control that without even having to make substantial changes to my swing.
- Spin: With the 20v groove technology from Callaway, the spin rates on these clubs are great for the high-level player. I can see higher spin rates for more control and have the ability to take off-spin when needed and hit shots that add spin for precise control.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Forgiveness: These irons aren’t the most forgiving for any handicap other than the single digit to a professional player. On off-center hits, they give me feedback of not a solid strike because the feeling may not be as soft in the heel or toe, but a centered strike feels great. I would recommend these irons for players not looking for forgiveness but looking for workability and control.
Best shot with this club
I would say the best shot I have hit with these irons is at a tournament in Florida. The hole was a par 4. I was in the middle of the fairway at 143 yards and hit a pitching wedge that bounced once, spun left a couple of feet, then Boom! In the hole for eagle. Pretty cool hole out.
Value for the money vs. other options
I don't think the Callaway Apex MB irons are significantly lower in price than others, like, for example, the Titleist MB irons. They are comparable to every other high-end blade iron on the market, but for the technology and how many tour players play them, one will know the true value of these irons. Playing professionals are playing for their livelihood, so their equipment has to be top-notch and trusted, and for so many touring pros using the Apex MB irons, it shows their value.
My final verdict of the Callaway Apex MB irons is that they're awesome. A powerful blade iron for the elite golfer that offers the highest quality of control and workability. The Apex MB irons will allow one to get their golf ball to do what they need. Taking your ball striking to the next level can be achieved with the Callaway Apex MB irons.