Apex Pro 16 vs JPX 900 Forged: Our Comparison

apex pro 16 vs jpx 900 forged

Low-handicap players tend to look for high-performing forged irons for feel and precision. Their quest usually has them considering the Callaway Apex Pro 16 and Mizuno JPX 900 Forged irons. Both of these irons definitely fit into that category, offering a bit of forgiveness and distance in a compact package. The following is our comparison of Apex Pro 16 vs JPX 900 Forged irons.

Apex Pro 16 vs JPX 900 Forged

How They Look

apex pro 16 face

Apex Pro 16 Face

Both irons feature a classic, compact blade appearance at address with relatively thin top lines. This is great for inspiring confidence in better players for workability and distance control. Both irons also have the minimal offsets and traditional lofts better players typically prefer.

JPX 900 Forged

JPX 900 Forged

The biggest difference in appearance is the finish on each club. The Mizuno JPX 900 Forged irons feature a matte finish that helps to reduce glare. The Callaway Apex Pro 16 irons feature a high-gloss chrome finish that is very traditional. When setting up with the Apex Pro 16s, the area of the face outside the grooves looks almost like a mirror. It reflects the grass and seems to almost disappear. While this can help the player focus on the center of the club, it does make the club look quite a bit smaller.

How They’re Made

apex pro 16 progressive cg

Callaway uses a “Quadruple Net Forging” process to make the Apex Pro 16 irons. The technique involves four processes to refine the club and ensures a greater consistency in the final product. This gives the Apex Pro its forged feel while enhancing forgiveness and performance. Also, behind the “Forged” logo on the back of the irons is a pocket that’s filled with different materials throughout the set. In the 3-5 irons, it’s filled with tungsten to lower the CG, increasing launch and providing some extra forgiveness. The 6-8 irons are filled with steel resulting in a middle CG. The 9 iron and wedges are left empty, similar to the MD3 wedges.


Mizuno’s approach involves their “Grain Flow forging” process for consistency. The engineers use 1025 Boron Steel in the JPX 900 Forged irons, which delivers faster ball speeds. Mizuno also uses variable face thickness to increase forgiveness. A total of 21.5 grams of weight is saved from the face and repositioned to the form Power Frame chassis. The chassis makes the club more resistant to twisting on off center hits, improving forgiveness. Instead of the weighting, like Callaway uses throughout the set, the JPX 900 Forged irons feature a cavity that decreases in size from long irons to short.

Last Thoughts on Apex Pro 16 vs JPX 900 Forged

Side by side, the Callaway Apex Pro 16 is a touch longer than the JPX 900 Forged. The Mizuno JPX 900 Forged has a slightly softer feel. Both clubs are excellent offerings for the better player. In the end, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and that can end up being the difference maker for you.

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Callaway Steelhead XR Fairway Woods: Improving A Classic

Steelhead XR Fairway woods

The original Callaway Steelhead and Steelhead Plus fairway woods were ahead of their time. Their versatility and low, forward center of gravity promoted an easy, low-spinning launch for outstanding distance. So, how does Callaway improve on a classic? The short answer; taking the best of the old and adding modern technology to the new Steelhead XR fairway woods. Let’s explain further.

Steelhead XR Fairway Woods Details

Modernizing a Classic Design

steelhead xr fairway wood sole

The curved camber of the original Hawkeye sole allowed for easy shot making. The Hawkeye design gets a facelift in the Steelhead XR fairway woods. Designers streamlined the sole of the Steelhead XR to cut through the turf and improve the weight placement (i.e. better CG). Shots from the tee, the rough, and even bunkers are easier to hit thanks to this design.

The “Cherry” On Top

steelhead xr fairway wood address

The Steelhead XR fairway woods sport a new, lightweight J-36 Carbon crown. The crown saves 20 grams of weight that designers moved to the outside of the club head. The new weight locations adjust the CG low and forward, for even easier launch and lower spin. Translation? You’ll get more distance and forgiveness. The crown also has the familiar Speed Step technology found on recent woods models from Callaway. The aerodynamic feature reduces drag throughout the swing, helping the club swing faster for more distance.

Speaking of distance, the Steelhead XR fairway woods have Callaway’s latest Hyper Speed Face Cup technology. As a reminder, the design gives you forgiveness by producing consistent ball speeds across a larger portion of the clubface.

It’s Got The Look

steelhead xr fairway wood face

Bright, white lines on the face give the Steelhead XR fairway woods a traditional look that aids alignment. The lines also bring back memories of the original.

The Steelhead XR fairway woods come, conveniently, in a wide range of lofts. Your options start at the 13.5-degree 3+ and go to a 24-degrees 9 wood. In keeping with the nostalgia, Callaway has also brought back the Heavenwood, a 20.5-degree loft head with a 42.75 inch shaft. All of these loft options make filling distance gaps a breeze.

Finally, the Steelhead XR fairway woods come equipped with the mid-launching Mitsubishi Tensei CK Blue shaft. Men can choose from the Blue 55 or Blue 65 shafts. The difference in the 2 shafts is weight and torque. The Blue 65 is the heavier version with less torque than the Blue 55. Lower torque reduces spin and launch angle.

Summary

The Steelhead XR fairway woods give you modern performance in a look that nostalgic purists will love. They are available now and looking for a spot in your bag.

Previous Reviews Of Fairway Woods

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New PING G400 Drivers: Smaller, Faster, Forgiving


After getting a brief glimpse at the PING G400 drivers during the week of the U.S. Open, the latest PING drivers are now in full light. We’ll go over the latest technology features in the PING G400 drivers and explain how it translates to your game. We’ll also cover the models and stock options for the line.

PING G400 Drivers

Notable Tech

Face

PING G400 driver face

PING upgrades the variable-thickness T9s forged face of the G driver for the G400. The T9S+ face is forged and heat-treated for strength. The latest face is also thinner than the previous version, increasing ball speed across the whole face. According to PING, the T9S+ face stretches and flexes 16% more than the G driver, for 1-2+ MPH ball speed. Having a thinner face also allowed engineers to put the CG of the G400 lower and farther back than any previous models. This optimal CG location gives you the best launch conditions and increases forgiveness.

Crown

Ping G400 drivers dragonfly tech

The crown of the G400 as the familiar Turbulators and Dragonfly technology that was in the G driver. If you remember, Turbulators reduce drag during the swing, helping the club swing faster. The new Turbulators reduce more drag right before impact, the fastest part of the swing, which equals distance. At address, you’ll notice the Turbulators are more pronounced too, letting you align the ball easier. Dragonfly technology saves weight, increasing MOI and optimizing CG. On the G400 drivers, the Dragonfly pattern extends all the way to the back of the crown to make it more visually appealing.

Sole

PING G400 driver tungsten weight

On the sole of the G400, you’ll find a tungsten and a high-density back weight. All of the weight-saving features we mentioned all the most weight to go into this area. PING found that the 2 weights optimize CG location. Controlling the swing weight during custom fitting is also easier because of the weights. Club fitters can change the weight to fit a person’s swing without affecting the forgiveness of the driver.

The G400 has also improved audibly. As we’re sure you know, many PING clubs have a distinct, high-pitched “ping” sound (hence the company name). PING engineers created the G400 to have a more appealing “thud” sound at impact. Researchers found this deeper sound to be more appealing to the user.

Now, we’ll take a look at the different models you can find these features in.

Models

PING G400 drivers come in 3 familiar models and a slightly smaller package, 445cc. Despite the smaller head, PING designers were still able to make the G400 drivers the company’s most forgiving club to date. Here are more details on each model:

PING G400 drivers

  • G400 – The standard head shape
    • Comes in 9 and 10.5 degrees

PING G400 drivers LST

  • G400 LST – Low Spin Technology
    • The sole weight is moved forward (closer to the face) on the sole. This weight location reduces spin 300-500 rpm
    • Comes in 8.5 and 10 degrees

PING G400 drivers SFT

  • G400 SFT – Straight Flight Technology
    • Draw-bias weight location (weight closer to the heel)
    • A lighter swing weight helps you get the club head square
    • Comes in 10 and 12 degrees

We should note that the weight of each head varies slightly. The G400 LST is the heaviest, followed by the G400 and then the G400 SFT. This weight variance is another way PING engineers achieved optimal CG and launch conditions.

Shafts

Ping G400 driver stock shaft

The stock shaft in the PING G400 drivers is the Alta CB55, which is counter-balanced and has a mid to high launch. Weights range from 53 grams to 63 grams depending on the flex. A cool thing about these shafts is what PING calls Color-Shift paint technology. From the side, The Alta CB55 shaft has a rich, copper look to it. As you set the club down, the shaft color changes to a sleek black, seamlessly blending into the head. PING did this to take away any distractions that could catch your eye from the shaft. That’s a pretty cool feature if you ask us.

G400 driver tour shafts

For those looking to upgrade the shaft, there are options for a small and a somewhat higher price. For a small upcharge, you can put a PING Tour 65 or Tour 75 shaft in your G400. Each of these shafts has a low-mid launch. The Tour 75 is also heavier than the Tour 65.

G400 after market driver shafts

You may also pay a little more and choose either the Aldila X-Torsion, MRC Kuro Kage Silver Dual-Core TiNi 60, or Project X HZRDOUS Yellow. The shafts launch mid-high, mid, and low, respectively. The Aldila comes in regular and stiff flex. The other 2 shafts add an X-flex as an option.

Final Thoughts on the PING G400 Drivers

With measurable changes, PING is able to deliver noticeable improvements with the G400 drivers. We’re excited for these to become available on July 27th so we can experience them for ourselves! Also, stay tuned for our reviews of the G400 fairway woods, G400 hybrids, and G400 irons.

Get the info on other drivers in these reviews:

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