TaylorMade P790 irons have dominated in the players distance iron category in recent years, but this year Callaway have introduced the 2024 Apex Pro irons to challenge for that top spot.
Claiming to be the “ultimate players performance iron”, could these clubs be our (or more importantly your) new favourites?
For the first time in an Apex iron, we’re seeing a hollow body construction paired with a forged face for a premium, ultra-soft feel. These irons feature a progressive face design that provides more power in the long irons and precision in the shorter ones.
Another new addition to the Apex Pro irons is a new Dynamic Sole design with a pre-worn leading edge to help get through the turf more efficiently and with a clean exit.
Over the past few years, since the introduction of the Mavrik irons, we’ve seen Callaway using urethane microspheres to dampen sound and improve feel, while still allowing the face to flex for higher ball speeds across the face.
Finally, each iron features the same MIM back weight to allow fitters more control to dial in the swing weight perfectly to a player’s needs.
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Callaway Apex Pro 24 Irons Review
The Apex Pro irons have more of a subtle feel to the overall design than I sometimes see with many Callaway clubs - I think Callaway irons can tend to be a little busy and a little flashy-looking, for example: Paradym, Big Bertha 23, and Rogue ST.
At address the clubs look very sleek with an overall elegance that promotes thoughts of precision. There is still that confidence we’d expect to see with players distance irons, though the clubs having a slightly thicker topline, wider sole and bigger offset then the likes of the P790.
What I did really like about the design of these clubs is that none of its features were too prevalent and overpowering, but were noticeable just enough to give you that reassurance of forgiveness or technology throughout the irons.
Throughout this review we chose to put the Apex Pro irons head-to-head against the current front runners in the players distance category, the P790 irons. The main differences to note in looks here are the darker design features in the Apex Pro – being the logo and MIM back weight – as well as the visuals at address.
Noticeably, the Apex Pro irons were slightly smaller and thinner at address than the P790s, which also saw the grooves going further out across the face with a longer blade length than seen on the Apex Pro irons.
Something I was really impressed with in these irons was the sound. Straight away you could tell these clubs were quieter and more muted than we were seeing with the P790 irons - they felt awesome out of the screws.
In terms of strike, I was getting a lovely, consistent draw with every shot. The feel and sound combined make these clubs very satisfying to hit throughout testing - even being only a few shots in I was loving these irons! In comparison to the P790’s, I felt that the Apex came off slightly softer on the face and with a deeper, more muted sound.
As always when reviewing new clubs, we test them out indoors at HUKD Golf Bury to get some numbers for you guys as well as outdoors to test them in real, on-course situations.
The draw shot came even more evident when we looked at the sidespin across the Apex Pro irons, with every shot showing a right-to-left spin across various clubs in the bag. I loved the consistency and predictability seen here across every iron in the set.
Comparing the Apex Pro irons to the P790’s, I did see a decrease in ball speed with the Apex Pro irons, hitting the 7-iron an average carry distance of 140 yards and 101 mph ball speed. This came in at 8 yards shorter than the P790 irons and 4 mph slower. The P790 irons do have lofts roughly 2 degrees stronger across the set in comparison to the Callaway irons, which will account for some of that difference in distance and speed.
We also saw that the P790’s had the better front to back dispersion of the two, however only very just, who knows what it could of been on another day.
With the consistent shot shape coming from the Apex irons, we saw a better left-to-right dispersion with these irons, making them top in the category of accuracy during the indoor testing.
I was really enjoying using the Apex Pro straight from the initial indoor testing, and this didn’t change taking them out on the course. For me I was really enjoying having the right-to-left ball flight as I found it very repeatable, however I could understand how this could become difficult to control if you’ve not played with a draw before. The irons had a good amount of forgiveness and control on approach to the greens also.
I felt as though the P790s were the trusty club to consistently get you onto the greens, but that the Apex Pro irons allowed me to push for extra accuracy and take on more of the flags out on the course. This meant that I was still leaning towards the Apex irons being the most accurate, with the P790’s having a little more forgiveness.
Callaway Apex Pro 24 Irons Verdict
The P790 irons have always been top runner in the category of players distance irons. The new Callaway Apex Pro irons haven’t fallen short in comparison to these, running just behind on distance due to their weaker lofts but being the front runner in terms of accuracy.
Coming in at an RRP of £1,519 for a 7-iron set, they’re considerably higher than their competitor the P790 irons which come in at a few hundred pounds less.
Overall, if you’re someone who wants to prioritise accuracy, doesn't mind spending an extra bob or two and is looking to play with a draw throughout the bag, Callaway may have just created the perfect irons for you.
Who Are They Aimed At?
Better players who don't mind looking down on a small head and are looking for precision, but may need a little help at the top of the bag.
Would I Use Them?
Yes - these irons performed incredibly well across all categories, only falling slightly behind on distance. They suited me very well with the natural draw shot, and realistically the only off-putting element for me was the price.
Callaway Apex Pro 24 Irons Pros & Cons
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