New Callaway Apex hybrids don't come around very often, with the last one arriving 4 years ago.
Longer life cycles can happen with better player clubs as the demand is less and elite players like what they know. However the time is right for Callaway to introduce some of their proven wood technologies into the smallest of heads with the Apex 19.
The main one is the Jailbreak bars, which in case you have been in jail for the last 3 years, are Callaway's answer to increasing ball speed.
These stiffen the structure by connecting the sole to the crown of the club, so the thinner Carpenter 455 steel cup face can flex a little more to increase the ball speed.
Whether this makes a massive difference in a head of this size is a moot point, particularly as compact hybrids like this are not really about distance. However it's not going to hurt and any gain is welcome.
These hybrids are more about playability and the aim is to create an iron like trajectory that won't go left. This is achieved by using the now standard square shaped face with the high toe to get the head weight more neutral.
The compact nature of the head is sleek and a little deeper than the previous Callaway Apex 2015 hybrid.
It may look a little toe heavy at address and the face opens up towards the top of the toe to make it look a touch open even if it isn't.
I prefer the sleeker black PVD finish over the previous silver colour too, as it looks a little more menacing.
The shaft gets a special mention as it is a True Temper Catalyst that is firm, very stable and comes in a silver finish to look like steel, which always ticks a box with me.
The feel from the head at impact was excellent with much more feedback than a traditional hybrid.
It is equally at home from the tee as from the fairway and light semi-rough. The flight was mid to high and you could shape it very easily or flight it up and down, so this is the player's hybrid that Callaway say it is.
Callaway's other current hybrid option is the Big Bertha Hybrid, which is more of a wood style club that aims to get the ball launching easier with more forgiveness.
You can see that from the stats on GC2 that the distance was about the same, but the deeper Big Bertha head created more spin to help get the ball airborne more easily.
It all really depends on how good a ball striker you are and if you can hit the centre of the Apex face consistently enough.
Callaway Apex 19 Hybrid Verdict
They're aren't many hybrids out there that are iron replacements for better players, but the Callaway Apex 19 is one of them.
With its fixed hosel it is nice to see a no-nonsense, classic looking hybrid able to deliver a neutral ball flight. Better players hate it when hybrids go left when you tee them up and the Apex 19 is as straight as you like.
I love the look and feel of the shaft too as it gives you a feeling of stability through the swing that you need to trust the club in pressure situations.
The larger profile of the head is welcome as the previous model was maybe a little too compact. With the Apex 19, the head is the size of a decent iron and most single figure players should find it to their visual taste. Having the Jailbreak tech in there is an added bonus and a good technical achievement in a head of this size.
It is quite a premium hybrid, but I think you do get your value for money from the Apex 19, as it is the type of club that if you love it, then it will never come out of your bag. With the long life cycles that the Apex hybrids seem to have, then the Apex 19 will also stand the test of time too.