Expert Review: Callaway X Forged CB

Published on 03/14/2023 · 5 min readThis review is my own honest opinion of the iron, which I bought with my own money in June 2021.
Jason Hester, Golf Expert
By Golf Expert Jason Hester

Photo by Jason Hester

About this review This review is my own honest opinion of the iron, which I bought with my own money in June 2021.

My take

The Callaway 2021 X Forged CB is geared toward the lower handicap golfer who is looking for forged feel and forgiveness in a players iron.

About the club I own

  • Model: 2021 Callaway X Forged CB
  • Loft setting: Standard loft with a two-degree flat lie angle
  • Shaft type: Mitsubishi MMT Tour 105X (Graphite)
  • Shaft flex: Tour X Flex

About me

  • Average score: 76
  • Handicap: 5.9
  • Experience: 26 years
  • Right/Left-handed: Right-handed
  • Typical shot shape: Small fade with irons; Draw with driver.
  • Typical trajectory: Medium
  • Club swing speed: 108 miles per hour with driver

Test conditions

  • When I bought the club: June 2021
  • Days tested: Four days
  • Where I’ve used it: World Woods Golf Course (Rolling Oaks) in Brooksville, Florida, and Orange County National (Panther Lake) in Winter Garden, Florida.
  • Weather and wind conditions: Windy, rainy, sunny, and humid conditions.

How it performs

Feel
5/5
Forgiveness
5/5
Launch
5/5
Workability
5/5
Distance
4/5
Sound
4/5

What I was looking for

I have been a pure forged blade (MB) player for over 20 years, and I always enjoy the look and feel of a traditional forged blade. I wanted to experiment with a cavity-back iron that has a traditional classic look (players shape) and could also provide a forged feel.

Why I chose this club

I have not been able to practice as much as I have in previous years. I wanted more forgiveness without sacrificing the look and amazing feel of a forged club. The X Forged CBs provided everything I was looking for in a players iron. When choosing these clubs, I looked at the full line of 2021 Callaway Iron products, including Apex MB, Apex DCB, and Apex Pro. The X Forged gave me the best combination of forgiveness, distance, precise control, and feel that I need in my irons.

What I love about it

  • Distance: I gained about an average of five yards with each club compared to my previous set—the Mizuno MP20s. This was due to the lighter graphite shaft, faster ball speeds, and slightly larger clubheads.
  • Forgiveness: Coming from a traditional blade, which is typically more compact, with no cavity back, and less forgiving, I was pleased to see that my mishits still flew a respectable distance. This saved me several shots over my four days of testing.
  • Feel: The feel is very similar to a forged blade. Pure strikes felt great out of the fairway and off the tee.
  • Sound: The X Forged CB has a muted sound, which I prefer. It is not very “clicky” and sounded extremely appealing to me.
  • Workability: I have always enjoyed playing a variety of different shots on the course. The ability to hit three-quarter shots with ease has allowed my confidence to grow. The blade length of the iron gives me confidence also.
  • Grip Feel: Golf Pride Align grips are the stock option for this set and they give instant feedback. I have used these in the past and enjoy them. You can really feel the club head with the use of the alignment aid in the grip. They have a soft feel and are very responsive.
  • Launch Angle: I prefer a mid ball flight, which the Callaway X Forged CB irons were able to produce for me. The tungsten weight lowers the CG and provides the ideal ball flight for me, especially in the short irons.

Issues I’ve encountered

  • Shaft Feel: The Mitsubishi MMT (Metal Mesh multi-material construction) Tour 105X graphite shaft felt very smooth, as these are 25 grams less than my previous iron set, which used the KBS $-Taper. However, I did notice a little “whippy” feel when I tried to swing harder from a buried lie in the rough. You can feel the lighter swing weight difference with the MMT which is considered a player's high-performance graphite shaft.
  • Aesthetic Appeal: Since I was coming from a forged blade, the offset was substantially more apparent in these. The increased offset in the irons took some time to get used to. Although I do not like the look of a bulky club head, the iron framed the ball well, and the X Forged CBs have a thinner topline so they were very appealing to me. The cavity back iron model design along with the thinner topline are a great match together.

Best shot with this club

On the eighth hole at World Woods (Rolling Oaks), which is a downhill par 3 that’s surrounded by water, I stuffed it to four feet. I had a great yardage for 6-iron and I stuck the shot pure. That was my first birdie of the round and it definitely boosted my confidence.

Value for the money vs. other options

They are a little on the high side cost-wise when compared to similar sets. Other forged irons have a lower price point, such as the Callaway Apex Pro, Callaway Apex MB, or Callaway Apex TCB. However, I feel they are worth every cent and I’m confident in my purchase.

Final verdict

The Callaway X Forged CBs gave me the added shot-making confidence, consistent spin, precision, and consistency I needed in my game. Now, when I look down at the clubhead (even the long irons), I know the club is going to perform best for me. I am extremely happy with my new iron purchase of the Callaway X Forged CB irons, and I hope to enter a few local tournaments this summer.

Jason Hester, Golf Expert
4.9
Jason Hester
Golf Expert
51 Reviews
617 Customers helped
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