Callaway Apex 21 Irons Review

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Back in 2014, Callaway brought out their first edition of the hugely popular forged “players” distance irons. These were one of their best-received sets of irons ever and it’s great to see that they’ve released a brand new set of Apex irons for 2021. In this article, I'll be reviewing the Callaway Apex 21 irons to explore just how good they really are.

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Callaway Apex 21 irons overview

2021 sees the release of five different options within the Apex range, with the Apex DCB (deep cavity back) an awesome option for high handicap golfers. As expected you’ve also got the standard Apex 21 model which caters to mid handicapper golfers with forgiveness and feel. If you’re a “better” player, you’ll be pleased to find three options that you could use; the Callaway Apex MB’s, Apex TCB’s (tour cavity back), and the Apex Pro’s which are all brilliant options for low handicap golfers.

Callaway Apex irons background

Ever since they were first released, Callaway Apex irons have been real head-turners. This is due to their forged construction providing a feel that is out of this world. However, players with higher handicaps have had to tread carefully. In the past, they weren’t suited to anyone other than mid to low handicap golfers who can strike the ball consistently.

The 2021 range of Callaway Apex irons has a selection of five, yes five different options that cater to players of all abilities. The great news is that high handicap players who want to game a set of Apex irons are offered an excellent forgiving option in the DCB model.

I love seeing manufacturers making their clubs more inclusive for everyone. This year’s Apex irons offer options to suit anyone; from touring pros to high handicap weekend golfers. Callaway has clearly left no stone unturned in their mission to get as many players into these irons as possible. 

So, exactly how good are the Callaway irons in the Apex 21 range? Let’s find out!

Callaway Apex 21 Review

With Callaway releasing 5 models for the Apex 21 range I had my work cut out! Let’s take a look at the irons that they’ve released as part of this year’s collection.

Callaway Apex MB Irons

If you haven’t already guessed, the MB stands for muscleback, and these are some of the best-looking muscleback irons I’ve ever seen. They have a beautifully traditional head with a thin profile at address that’s great to look down at. If you think the Apex MB irons look good in pictures, just wait until you see them in person.

You’ll notice a round circle right behind the club’s sweet spot, which is a new built-in weight. This weight allows Callaway to tweak swing weights with precision without the need to move the club’s center of gravity.

The club’s high-performance 20V grooves help you achieve maximum control and spin consistency no matter what your playing conditions are. They’re awesome for shots in the rough and help reduce the chances of catching a flier.

These are some of the best-looking irons I’ve seen, not just from Callaway but in my entire life. However, these are designed for players who can seriously strike a golf ball. They’re not for the faint-hearted, especially if you have a tendency for missing your irons’ sweet spot.

Callaway Apex Pro 21 irons

Hollow body irons have been hugely popular in recent years, with clubs such as the TaylorMade P770’s heavily sought after. If you’re a fan of hollow constructed irons you’ll be pleased to know that Callaway chose to go down the hollow-body route with the Apex Pro 21 irons. 

The fact that Callaway opted to create these irons with a hollow body means they’ve added up to 90g of tungsten in the interior. This tungsten is able to help optimize launch characteristics as well as provide players with excellent forgiveness.

They’ve also added urethane microsphere technology which helps reduce the effects of vibration.  The 1025 hollow body construction combined with the urethane microsphere technology helps provide you with a club that feels outstanding and sounds great at impact with the ball. 

If you’ve read my recent review of the Callaway Epic Speed drivers for 2021, you’ll know that Callaway has been using impressive A.I technology in their clubs recently. For the first time ever, they have used A.I to create Flash Face Cup technology in their Apex Pro irons for 2021.  This sounds fancy, but what does it mean for your game? Well, essentially this means that you’ll get better distance and control out of your irons. 

The Flash Face technology means you’ll see improved ball speeds as well as more consistent levels of spin from your irons. On the whole, the Apex Pro 21 irons are a set that offers amazing feel and workability but don’t sacrifice ball speed and forgiveness. In the past, Callaway hasn’t been known for their hollow-body irons but I believe that plenty of golfers are going to love these. They provide the small profile that good golfers want to look down and see while giving you plenty of help with ball speed and forgiveness, a win-win in my opinion.

Callaway Apex 21 irons

The Callaway Apex 21 irons are what I’d probably consider being the “standard” set of irons from the 2021 release. They don’t have a specific label such as “MB” or “Pro” and probably target the widest variety of golfers. With that said they are by no means an average set of irons.

Each of the irons within the set has been designed with a different A.I created pattern which works to help increase ball speed as well as forgiveness.

Similar to the Pro, tungsten has been used in these irons this time with a 64g energy core. Weight is distributed across three main areas to help make each shot flight optimal, with higher ball speeds and increased forgiveness.

For a long time forged irons have been a type of club that most people over a low single figure handicap would steer clear of. However, this is an iron that could well change that attitude. 

Although they’re forged and have a fairly thin topline, the forgiveness and ball speeds on offer make them a viable option for players in the range of a high single-figure handicap. 

The caveat being that these are probably suited to those of you who don’t struggle with ball striking. 

All in all, these are a very solid iron that’s definitely worth trying out if you’re looking for a forgiving forged set of irons.

Callaway Apex DCB irons

As I mentioned earlier, I’m a big fan of golf brands being as inclusive as they can. So when I saw the release of the Apex DCB irons naturally I was super excited. DCB stands for deep cavity back, and if you know your golf irons you’ll know that means one thing; forgiveness. 

The DCB irons have longer clubheads, wider soles and offer a little extra offset. These are all features of irons that are designed for players who don’t strike the ball very consistently.

I hate it when brands bring out a club that’s intended for higher handicap players but the design makes it blatantly obvious. It’s kind of like having to wear a work badge that tells everyone you’re the newbie.  

What I love about the Apex DCB irons is that although these are designed to be used by worse ball-strikers, the design looks very similar to the standard Apex model. This means that if you’re a golfer who’s wanted to get your hands on an Apex style iron for a while but hasn’t been good enough, the wait is over!

You also get all the technology benefits associated with some of the other irons in the range including the AI-designed Flash Face, tungsten core, and urethane microsphere damping. 

In my view, these irons are the most forgiving set of forged irons that Callaway has ever produced. 

They feel every bit as good as the other irons in this range, but offer extra forgiveness and confidence when you’re standing over the ball.

If you’re a player who could benefit from a little extra help in terms of playability, it’s likely you’ll get on very well with this set of irons. For me, these are one of the best sets of irons around because they feel as good as a player’s iron but offer the forgiveness of a game improvement iron, which is an ideal combination.

Callaway Apex TCB irons

As we saw Callaway offering some extra help to high handicap players, the TCB irons offer a little help when it comes to playability for better players. TCB stands for tour cavity back and this slots in between the MB irons and the Pro models. 

This is a club that has been designed specifically for tour standard players, with the understanding that not all tour players want to play muscle back clubs. Many players even at the highest standard of golf can benefit from a little extra forgiveness, and that’s exactly what the TCB irons are designed to provide.

A famous example of a tour player who utilizes forged cavity backs is John Rahm, and at the time of writing, he’s gaming a set of these irons. For the mere mortals like myself, we don’t play on the tour. Even so, a good low handicap golfer would definitely appreciate these irons.

The TCB irons are well suited to players who would like to use an MB standard iron but also appreciate a little extra forgiveness. It’s great to see that Callaway is offering a set of irons that fit a segment of golfers that might not always have their needs met.

These are an awesome set of irons for anyone that’s considered a pure ball striker. If you want more forgiveness than the MB irons can offer but more workability than the Pro Apex version, I highly recommend trying these out for size!

Who should use each type of Apex 21 irons?

When a series of clubs get released within a range, there’s often confusion about which clubs would be best suited to an individual’s game. With more and more people buying clubs online rather than getting fit for them, it’s vital you understand which models are best suited to you. In this section I’ll be breaking down the irons I’ve reviewed above by player ability.

⛳️ - Best Callaway Apex irons for high handicap golfers

As a high handicap golfer, chances are you don’t strike the ball as consistently as you’d like to. In the past, this would have left you stumped without an Apex iron that suits your ability. However, with the release of the Apex DCB irons, high handicap golfers now have an option that’s very well suited to their game. 

These are a very forgiving set of forged irons that in my opinion, feel just as good as any of the other irons in the range. 

These are highly recommended for mid-high handicap golfers and the good news is they look just as great as the standard version of the Apex irons.

⛳️ - Best Callaway Apex irons for mid-handicap golfers

For mid-handicap golfers, choosing the profile of iron for your game can be a difficult decision. If you’re looking to invest in a set of irons that you can grow into, you might want to consider exploring the Callaway Apex 21 irons. This is the set I would consider the “standard” option. 

This is because they’re an excellent set of irons that offer workability and a fantastic feel that you won’t grow out of. 

On the other hand, if you’re a mid-handicap golfer who has no plans of getting to single figures or lower, you might find that the DCB irons are the perfect choice for you. Even though I recommended these for high handicap golfers, they’re a great choice for mid-handicap golfers too. This is down to the help they offer in terms of forgiveness as well as the incredible feel from the forged face.

⛳️ - Best Callaway Apex irons for low handicap golfers

This is a playing point that leaves you spoilt for choice when it comes to the Apex irons series. If you’re a plus handicap golfer who needs no help in the ball striking department, the MB option would offer you optimum workability and a great feel. 

Alternatively, if you’re a low handicapper who could benefit from just a little bit of help forgiveness wise then I’d recommend the TCB irons as you’d definitely reap the benefits of a forged cavity back iron. The Apex Pro is also an excellent option if you want some added forgiveness compared to the MB but don’t like the idea of using a forged cavity back iron.

⛳️ Frequently Asked Questions ️

In the past, Callaway Apex irons haven’t been known for their forgiveness. After all, the Apex irons are forged irons which tend to be targeted to stronger players who don’t need as much forgiveness. 


However, with the release of the Apex 2021 irons, they have added cavity back options to the range in the DCB and TCB options which make the Callaway Apex irons forgiving as well as an outstanding feeling set of irons.

The Callaway Apex irons are great for beginners thanks to their release of the DCB (deep cavity back) Apex iron set. These are a forged set of irons with a cavity back which means they have an excellent feel but are also super forgiving. The DCB irons are a brilliant option for any beginner golfer who wants to be fit into a forged iron right off the bat.


So, it’s time to wrap up my review of the Callaway Apex 21 irons. They are what I believe to be one of Callaway’s best iron releases to date. I’ve never known a set of irons to offer so much feel and forgiveness. With a whopping five options to choose from, they truly reach every level of golfer and I was particularly pleased to see them include an iron that can work for high handicap golfers.

I hope my review of the Callaway Apex series will help you find a set that works for your game. If you’re a player who loves the feel of a forged face, I know you’re going to fall in love with some of the best feeling clubs Callaway has released to date.

Your Guru Author


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