Martin Hopley

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.

Callaway Apex CF 16 Iron

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.

Callaway Apex CF 16 Iron

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.

Callaway Apex CF 16 Iron

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.

Callaway Apex CF 16 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.

Callaway Apex CF 16 Iron

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.

Callaway Apex CF 16 Iron

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.

Callaway Apex CF 16 Iron

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.

Callaway Apex CF 16 Iron

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.

Callaway Apex CF 16 Iron

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.

Callaway Apex CF 16 Iron

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.

True Temper XP95 Shaft

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.

Callaway Apex CF 16 Iron

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.

Golfalot Rating: 5 stars
More from Callaway



Callaway Apex CF 16 Irons - Product Details

UK Launch30 October 2015
UK Launch RRP£849
USA Launch30 October 2015
Handicap Range
Hand AvailabilityLeft, Right
Swing WeightD2
Shaft NameTrue Temper XP 95 (Steel), UST Mamiya Recoil (Graphite)
Shaft TypesSteel, Graphite
Shaft FlexLight, Regular, Stiff
Shaft Weight95g
DesignCavity Back
Set Makeup4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, PW
Additional Clubs3, GW, SW
Manufacturer's WebsiteCallaway Website

User Reviews

January 2017

I'm a 1-2 handicap on average. Played AP2 714 S300 for the last 2 years. I switched for fun and want a little more distance (48 now) lighter shaft, little more offset and forgiveness. These clubs get 5 stars for that and if I was rating 4-7 irons I would give them 5 stars. But like many sets they change the makeup on the so called scoring irons. What I loved about AP2 it was pull the club based on distance. To me there is a gap now between 7&8 and feel & sounds is different. If you are a 6 to 10 handicap you will love the irons but if you spend your round hitting a lot of 8 iron down I would look elsewhere as unfortunately I am now. They are longer than AP2 by a full club on the 4-7 and everything advertised until you get from the 8 on down.

January 2017

Fit recently for the CF16 at Hot Stix (with stiff Nippon Pro Modus 125s) and have absolutely no regrets. Was in a Ping i10 iron for a number of years (which is a great club that was pretty hard to leave) however the flight, dispersion and distance (7 to 10 yards through the bag) achieved with the Apex CF 16 was much too compelling. As a 7 hcap with 30 plus years of active golf behind me I do enjoy the classic look and feel of the Apex CF16 coupled with the stealthy player assist attributes of this club which for me it out performed all of the many competitor's irons I worked with during a 3 hour fitting session. While this club can help improve a slight miss there is still ample ability to work the shot left or right if required. I imagine a low to mid hcap would be very happy with this club while a lower double digit hcap would also feel well served with this choice of iron. A rare feat but one that Callaway seems to have pulled off beautifully.

June 2016

I had my previous irons, the Ping I3+, 14 years. They are still a great iron that got me to as low as 5 handicap. Every so often I would try different clubs at demo days, and just kept proving that nothing was better than my Ping's. Then I had a back injury that limited my play and affected my swing, and handicap. So, figured that when I was physically ok, it'd be a good time to change irons. Tried Ping i of course then Ping G and Callaway XR. Didn't even consider the Apex until I saw them in the store. I liked the look of them, so tried them too. They showed the best results on the swing analyser. I am 59 and had regular shafts in the Pings. The technician recommended KBS stiff, to my surprise. After the first round I wasn't convinced that I had done the right thing, but now, after 8 rounds, the Pings are retired. The Apex is everything that Callaway boasts. Good forgiveness, workable, at least a club longer and pleasing to my eye It is true that they mark up easily as I already have dents in a couple of irons.

May 2016

Recently purchased these clubs and being fitted I was recommended a stiff KBS90 shaft, which felt really light. I play off 11 and was a little worried whether these irons would work for my game and secondly that the heads appear very compact compared against my previous clubs.
These concerns were unfounded, the major difference I have found is more consistency and my bad shots are less bad. Swinging easy they are comparable to my previous SpeedBlades, but I am able to swing much harder when necessary to good effect (7 iron 180 carry). Only moan is that the faces can be easily damaged, my wedge is already showing impact damage, but for the first time I am spinning back wedges into greens.

April 2016

Absolutely top clubs. I am a 32 handicap, and I was a little afraid, that the clubs might not be good for me, as many claim they are not a forgiving clubs. This fear did not materialise. The Apex CF 16's are first of all very easy to hit, and the ball is easy to control, so they deliver good contact 99% of times. Do not need to worry about forgiveness any more. Since they give you great feel at impact, it is easy to improve your strikes. I noticed huge progress within 2 weeks. I recommend doing proper fitting. My first choice was very different from the recommendation I got during fitting. I finally went for regular, steel shaft, XP95, 1/4" longer, bigger grip, and lie angle one up. Shaft is very, very important, so you need to test few, before you decide. Apex's shoot the ball about 10-15 meters longer than my previous X-hots. You will not regret this purchase.

April 2016

Amazing clubs. My old 7 iron was giving me around 160 yards. Callaway CF 16 with graphite shafts around 180 yards.

Write a Review

Facebook Comments