Is it time to drop those long irons?
Callaway APEX : There's advancing the ball, and then there's hitting shots to a target and making them stick. The Apex focuses on the latter, thanks to a slightly higher centre of gravity that helps launch shots with a little more spin and height that land at an angle more receptive to staying on the green. The wraparound cupface provides extra face flex.
The popular XR line of hybrids adds an oversize version for more forgiveness and a higher flight. But the larger face also means a more animated trampoline. Inside the head and towards the front of the sole, a wave-like structure keeps the internal weighting lower yet still allows the face to flex on shots hit below the centre of the face.
Sometimes the best way to make a hybrid face more flexible is to shift your attention elsewhere. Inside, the sole stairsteps down toward the face, thinning out the area closest to the face to provide more give at impact. The rear of the sole supports the way the entire structure flexes. It also adds weight in the back for extra stability on off-centre hits.
The danger with adding adjustability to a hybrid is making it clunky and taking away the versatility you need to play a hybrid. Well, that's not the case here. Most noteworthy are the two movable weights neatly recessed in the rear of the sole. They let better players tweak ball flight away from the natural draw they don't want, but their deep position provides the extra stability that all players need.
The distance technology is substantial (flexing sole channel and a thin, high-strength steel face), but the fitting permutations are even more comprehensive. The nine adjustable heads (18 to 29 degrees) come in two shapes: H1 is larger, more forgiving and higher-launching, and the offset H2 fits those who make more iron-like swings.