Callaway Iron Comparison: Apex Pro vs X Forged


Callaway has expanded its premium iron selection with the Apex Pro and X Forged. These forged irons provide great looks, awesome distance, a superb feel and green-stopping control.  The Callaway Apex Pro is a taller clubhead with a shorter heel-to-toe look. It features a more compact-looking clubhead design with multi-materials and a narrow sole. The Callaway X Forged iron has a slightly longer profile from heel to toe, giving it a low center of gravity (CG) within its cavity-back frame. It also has a rounded toe, wide sole and overall soft contours. Let’s take a deeper look at the two.


The Callaway Apex Pro iron has “technology loaded into a forged iron.” Its premium forged construction allows for the use of 1020 carbon steel (the softest on the market). This steel alloy gives the Apex Pro a soft, responsive feel that the best players desire. Callaway has also embraced a multi-material technology into the design. Part of this multi-material construction is the tungsten inserts that have been included in the 2-5 irons, for a lower CG producing a higher trajectory. In the shorter irons, the CG transitions progressively higher for a flatter trajectory, without sacrificing spin. The grooves on this iron are a little bit different as well. Callaway has instituted a High Performance Wide groove channel that creates consistent spin with pinpoint control from any lie. The wider groove channels allows grass and dirt to move away from the golf ball at impact for better control.

The Apex Pro is available in two shaft options, the KBS Tour V (steel) and the UST Recoil (graphite). The KBS Tour V features a progressive kick point that allows for a higher flight with the long irons and a lower flight with the short irons. This shaft design complements the design features of the iron. Surprisingly, the UST Recoil is a high performance graphite option, that feels incredible and is very consistent.  Lower handicap players will find this shaft very appealing.


Callaway introduced the X Forged iron in 2013, as their players iron. The iron was designed by Roger Cleveland and has a clean “blade” look that offers great work-ability and feel. The X Forged iron incorporates a Triple Net Forging design that allows for more aggressive grooves with extreme precision. This forging process enhances the overall feel and performance of the iron. Speaking of grooves, this iron features a “V” groove design that delivers more control and shot-shaping for pin-point accuracy. The “V” groove is the most precise groove Callaway has ever used in a forged iron. The finish on the X Forged iron is a bright chrome that looks clean and classic for a smooth, appealing look at address. The X Forged is available in with the Project X PXi shaft.

Here are the differences you need to know:

  • The obvious differences here are in the looks. The elongated X Forged looks beefier than the Apex Pro, but looks can be deceiving.
  • The Apex Pro will launch as high, if not higher than the X Forged. Our hands-on testing showed that the Apex Pro also had great stopping power on the greens and a slight yardage gain.
  • One of the biggest differences is in the sole designs.  The X Forged features more bounce for better turf interaction.  If you are a divot-taker, head to the X Forged.
  • Since the X Forged is a one-piece design, it has a better feel as well. The multi-material make-up in the Apex Pro doesn’t have the same feel, but it is close. It’s a toss up, but whenever you substitute tungsten in place of soft, carbon steel, there will be a loss of feel.
  • Bottom line, the Apex Pro is a longer iron with more forgiveness with the look a player’s club. If you’re in the market for a blade looking iron, with great forgiveness and distance, then the Apex Pro is your club.


Check out other Callaway comparison articles: Apex Iron vs. X2 Hot Iron, Big Bertha Driver vs. X2 Hot Driver, XHot Driver vs. X2 Hot Driver.

Alan Unruh

Alan Unruh is a Class “A” member of the PGA of America, and holds PGA Certifications in General Management, Golf Operations and Player Development. With these certifications, he is among the 1% of PGA members that hold multiple PGA Certifications. He has a profound passion for the game of golf along with extensive experience and knowledge regarding planning and strategy for golf operations, rules of golf, tournament operations and golf swing fundamentals. Alan has also played a crucial role helping manage multiple high profile tournaments throughout his career including the USGA Women’s U.S. Open, PGA and LPGA Tour events, and multiple NCAA and AJGA events.