If we were playing a word association game then the first two words that usually come to mind when you think of the Callaway Apex iron are premium and gorgeous.
Since the Apex name was relaunched under the Callaway banner, they have become high end, hi-tech forged irons that combine performance with good looks.
The first generation was a great success and now the 2016 offspring are here in the form of the Apex CF16.
Like before, the Apex CF16 features a multi-material head made up of six individual pieces based around a 1025E Forged Carbon Steel body and a 17-4 Stainless steel face that is supported by various TPU, TPE and aluminium parts to improve the sound and feel.
What is new is that instead of being a flat piece welded onto the front of the chassis, the face now uses the Cup Face design from Callaway's metal woods in the 3 to 7 irons, hence the CF in the name. This moves the weld line behind the front of the club to enable the face to flex more.
In turn this should increase ball speeds and make it more forgiving and is tried and trusted stuff from other Callaway products, but this is the first time it has appeared in a compact forged iron.
The matte satin chrome finish is retained and I think it looks really classy and when you put the Apex CF 16 down at address it has a look all better players will recognise and appreciate.
The sole has a rounded rear edge to it that draws the CG back a touch and you don't really notice it until you get up to the 4-iron where it starts to be visible at address.
However, if this is an issue then the excellent Apex Hybrid can be substituted in to give similar performance with the added benefit of a little more forgiveness.
This is similar to the Callaway Apex UT hybrid iron in style and even though I was a little surprised to see this in this type of iron, it will be up to you whether this is an issue.
The head size is progressive so it gets smaller as you go down through the set and overall you would have to say that the Apex CF 16 is a compact set of irons for low single figure players. There is also an Apex Pro 16 model and I half expected those to be the compact model and the CF 16 to have more mid-sized heads.
The shorter irons do look small and the lack of the Face Cup in the 8 to Wedge is made up for by the way Callaway has engineered the face plate and I am happy to report that the feel is just as good throughout the set.
Feel and sound are what the Apex models are all about and certainly the CF 16 is top drawer for this style or iron, although maybe not quite as sharp as the Pro 16.
The CF 16 is more forgiving than an out and out blade, but more in the pack compared to other mid-sized blade forged hybrids. If you are a regular centre striker then you will appreciate the care and technology that has gone into these irons.
They come with a True Temper XP95 steel shaft as standard, which is much lighter than a Dynamic Gold and I think suits the club well, although other steel and graphite options are available too.
Overall my two words for the Callaway Apex still hold true for the CF 16 as these are a high quality set of irons that deliver very good performance and feel.
For the money they could be a little more forgiving and the competition is stiff in the multi-material, forged, better player iron market, but if you are a Callaway loyalist or just appreciate a good looking iron then the Apex CF 16 is a worthy challenger.