As you may know by now, I am a bit of a sucker for a hybrid utility iron. I love a built up 2 or 3 iron that gives you the feel and performance of an iron combined with the forgiveness and higher flight of a hybrid. And if it is forged then all the better.
Enter the Callaway Apex UT Utility iron.
The Apex irons have been one of Callaway's most successful, if premium, models of recent times, so creating a more forgiving UT version to replace the long irons is going to be pushing against an open door.
The first of the two key features is the forged Carpenter 455 Steel Face Cup that puts the weld line for the face behind the leading edge of the club. It enables the face to wrap around the front of the club like it does in the Callaway woods and this increases the flex in the face and hence the ball speed.
This combines with the second key feature which is the 6g sole weight that lowers the Centre of Gravity(CG) to increase the spin and makes the club easier to launch.
The wide sole and hollow head also helps in this regard, but the Callaway Apex UT still retains the look and feel of an iron.
This is a better style of head than the previous blade style and more compact Callaway X Utility, even though the principle of the sole weight is similar.
The muscle back design puts the weight behind the centre of the face and this not only looks great, but delivers a solid feel when hit correctly.
At address it sits very well and you get a sense of the extra forgiveness from the rear of the club peaking out. It is quite a rounded look and the trailing edge features a little sole camber to enable it to slip through the turf easily.
The feel from the forged face was very good and the larger head gave a little 'ting' sound at impact if you hit it right. If you are blade fanatic you may find that the overall sound does not give as sharp a level of feedback as you are used to and that is down to the larger, hollow head.
On Trackman I found that compared to other utility irons in the market, the Callaway UT is higher spinning by around 200-400 rpm for me and therefore the ball flies higher. This does make it probably one of the easiest to hit and I could see any single figure golfer using these.
If you are a low single figure player with a high swing speed, then the flight may be a little on the high side for you, so it is really a trade off between flight & feel versus forgiveness, but that is nothing new in irons.
The model I tested came with a 82g UST Recoil 680 F4 graphite shaft that comes in a shiny steel looking finish that always floats my boat. Alternatively you can also get a KBS V-Spec steel shaft which is equally as good.
Overall the Callaway Apex UT is an ideal iron for those who don't want to play long irons. Unlike most of the hybrid driving iron clubs in the market, the forgiveness and higher flight of the Apex UT extends its reach up to the higher single figure handicap level and, let's face it, it's more fun nailing this than a hybrid.