Callaway Apex 19 Irons Review

50 Words or Less

The Callaway Apex 19 irons manage to improve on the exceptional 2016 Apex.  Looks are excellent, feel has been upgraded, and they’re still long and easy to hit.

Introduction

The 2016 version of the Callaway Apex irons (review HERE) were a sensation.  They were one of the very first irons to fuse players iron looks with game improvement forgiveness and massive distance.  In fact, they were so popular and so good, that Callaway didn’t replace them for three years – an eternity in the world of modern golf equipment.

But, like Father Time, the churn of new gear catches everyone eventually, so we now have the Callaway Apex 19 irons.  Can they live up the standard of their predecessor?  Let’s find out.

Looks

In the 2016 Apex, Callaway designed what might be the best looking game improvement iron ever.  With the Apex 19 irons, the thinking appears to have been, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

The Apex 19 has enough offset to aid performance but not enough to bother the eye.  The top line and sole are slim without being razor thin and intimidating.  And as much as I like the look at address, I like the way these irons look in the bag even more.

In comparing the Apex 19 to the Apex Pro 19, the differences are predictable.  The Apex 19 is thicker in the top line, has a bit more offset, and a slightly thicker sole.  Additionally, the Apex 19 has a brushed chrome finish, the Apex Pro a shiny chrome.  Both irons are also available in a Smoke finish which is extremely slick.

Sound & Feel

With so many irons chasing distance, it seems that the louder, clickier sound and feel has become more common.  The Callaway Apex 19 is a welcome change of pace.

Impact with the Apex 19 feels solid and heavy.  When you strike the ball perfectly, there’s a crispness that goes away on mishits, but the word I keep coming back to is heavy.  Every shot transmits the sense that you’re using a premium, solid, well-made iron.

Callaway attributes the improved feel to urethane microsphere technology, a pocket of microspheres behind the face that absorbs unwanted vibrations.  I will certainly attest to the fact that there are no harsh, jarring feelings, even on the worst mishits.

Performance

The first thing I looked for when testing the Apex 19 irons was distance.  My lasting impression from the 2016 version was how easy it was to hit bombs with the mid and long irons, and that is something Callaway has certainly brought forward to the Apex 19.  These irons are roughly a club longer than my gamers throughout the set.

Next, I was interested to see how much forgiveness Callaway could pack into this sleek iron.  My swing is still heavy with winter rust, so this wasn’t hard to test.  I was impressed to find that it took a substantial mishit to lose 10 yards of carry.  From a players iron, that’s far from the norm.

The Apex 19 offers distance and forgiveness without robbing you of control.  If you want to hit cuts and draws, you can.  Flighting the ball down takes little effort.  These irons really do offer the best aspects of both players and game improvement irons.

Conclusion

Most gear heads enter each year knowing which parts of their bag they want to change.  I was pretty set on changing my driver, but I had no intention of considering new irons in 2019.  The performance of the Callaway Apex 19 has me thinking that I should reconsider.  With great looks and feel plus superior playability, they deliver in every way imaginable.

Callaway Apex 19 Irons Price & Specs

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Matt Saternus

Co-Founder, Editor In Chief at PluggedInGolf.com
Matt is a golf instructor, club fitter, and writer living in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Matt's work has been published in Mulligan Magazine, Chicagoland Golf, South Florida Golf, and other golf media outlets. He's also been a featured speaker in the Online Golf Summit and is a member of Ultimate Golf Advantage's Faculty of Experts.

Latest posts by Matt Saternus (see all)

40 Comments

  1. The loft creep has reached ridiculousness. 43* wedge? Come on that’s a 9 iron. They are fully one club delofted with these. I get that it’s the trend for all manufacturers but the numbers on the bottom of the clubs are pretty meaningless now. They should just put the loft.

  2. Great Review!! Do you make also a review about the Apex Pro`s?

  3. Right up there with the Srixon Z565 in looks. Still consider that to be the best looking game improvement. They are nice tho that’s for sure.

  4. Darren Quelch

    Hi Matt

    I currently have the Apex CF16 Irons With XP105 ST15 shafts which I’ve had for nearly 2 years
    Would a New set of irons help my game ?

    • Matt Saternus

      Darren,

      Unless the new model is a better fit for your swing – or you need to move into a new shaft – I don’t think there will be a big difference in performance between the 16 and 19 versions.

      Best,

      Matt

  5. Dear Matt,

    thanks for a great review! Could you, please, compare them the Rogue Pro irons? I think they are similar, just Apex is forged feel but 30% more expensive. Are there any substantial differences, as I remember you were very positive on Rogue Pro? Lets focus more on performance and especially forgiveness… Is there a clear winner for you for a 10 handicapper with solid iron play? Unfortunately, only limited fitting opportunities in our area…

    • Matt Saternus

      Pete,

      I’d say, without putting them head to head, that the Rogue Pro might be a little more forgiving, the feel of the Apex notably better. I think the fit would dictate more than any objective differences between the two.

      Best,

      Matt

  6. I agree with A.J.’s comments that the lofts are getting crazy. That GW loft used to be my PW loft. More manufacturers should go the way of Hogan Golf and just post the lofts on the club as the stamped iron number means nothing. That won’t happen as they love to brag how far their clubs fly. I did think they were great looking clubs.

  7. Matt,
    is it worth upgrading from the current Apex 16 that I now play?

    • Matt Saternus

      Guy,

      Unless the new model is a better fit for your swing – or you need to move into a new shaft – I don’t think there will be a big difference in performance between the 16 and 19 versions.

      Best,

      Matt

  8. Really looking forward to the 19 Apex Pro review, so tough, never hit that TT E95 you tested in these. That uplofting!!! 43°! AND that 3-iron is crowding the old 1-iron territory, which I carried for years. In fact, the 3-iron Apex Pro ’15 is likely to stay in the bag whatever I do.
    I don’t change irons much. Iron shafts changed so much in the last 5 years, so hard to pull the trigger.
    I still have Apex Pro 15’s in my bag, so – I got a big kick out of Kevin Kisner winning with them last week at Match Play.
    Keep up the great work

  9. Azhar Kirmani

    Keep up the good work .

  10. Cody Ray Scaff

    I am looking to upgrade my steelhead xr. I hit them straight, noticed the offset is much more with the apex 19. Will that cause me to draw the ball?

  11. Pingback: Callaway Apex Pro 19 Irons Review - Plugged In Golf

  12. Scott Richards

    Hi Matt,

    How would compare to the M5 irons? I am a high handicap player but like the looks of a smaller head.

    Thanks,

    Scott

    • Matt Saternus

      Scott,

      I haven’t hit the M5 irons. I assume they are a little more forgiving because I believe they’re noticeably larger, but again, I don’t know that firsthand.

      Best,

      Matt

  13. What does cf stand for?

  14. Is there much technology difference between the Apex CF 16 and and the 19 to warrant the cost difference? I haven’t had new clubs for more than 10 years. I am 69 with a handicap of 18.

    • Matt Saternus

      Allan,

      If you’re buying new clubs, you really need to get a fitting. You can test the 16 against the 19 and see if there’s a difference there worthy of the price gap.

      Best,

      Matt

  15. Thank you for your promp reply. I will get fitted. I know the Apex 19 has some newer technology over the Apex 16, but is it significant enough to justify the expense?

    • Matt Saternus

      Allan,

      Respectfully, that’s not a question I can answer for two reasons:
      1) I don’t know how much the cost difference matters to you. For some people, an extra two yards could be worth $1000. Others wouldn’t pay $100 for 10 yards.
      2) I don’t know how much the technology difference will impact your results. The Apex 19 is not night-and-day better than the 16, but for some players, it will be meaningfully longer and more forgiving because of how it interacts with their swing. Others may see no improvement.

      Best,

      Matt

  16. Warren Keenan

    Hi Matt,
    Excellent review as always. Can I ask how, in your opinion, these Callaway Apex compare to the JPX919 Forged in terms of size, profile and forgiveness ? I appreciate it’s fairly subjective.
    Many thanks

    • Matt Saternus

      Warren,

      They’re similar across the board. I prefer the Apex 19, but they’re both in the same class.

      Best,

      Matt

  17. Robby McCain

    Lofts are crazy. I still play LT2 and I am a 4 handicap. Pitching wedge is 48 degree. Carry is 145 with high ball flight. Wonder what today club would be compatible to them ?

    • Matt Saternus

      Robby,

      If you look at modern blades (Titleist, Mizuno, etc), a 46 degree pitching wedge is about the weakest you’ll find.

      Best,

      Matt

      • Stephen Christie

        Hi Matt
        Loving your reviews,I’m off 10-12 in Scotland for yrs played with ap2 ,2008 project x 5.5 rifle shafts love then,moved to apex cf19 elevate shafts,3months ago and maybe it’s just bias on my old clubs,but I’m not feeling enough of a difference in 12 yr newer technology that I’d hoped for :-( ,,Whats your thoughts pal
        Cheers stevie

  18. CAMPBELL RODDEN

    Hi Matt

    Do you feel the Apex Irons are a better all round performing iron that the Taylormade P790’s and Cobra King Forged Tec Irons ? Thanks

    • Matt Saternus

      Campbell,

      I prefer the Apex to the TaylorMade by a lot. Against the Cobras, they’re very close, I’d probably lean Cobra.

      -Matt

  19. CAMPBELL RODDEN

    Thanks for this Matt.

    I’m tying to decide whether or not to ditch my driver and get a 3 and 5 Woods. I struggle to find fairways with the driver as I come over the top. I have a 5 wood that I play well and hit straight but no 3 wood . In fairness I’d probably hit 3 wood as far as a driver . Do you think that makes sense ? Thanks

    • Matt Saternus

      Campbell,

      I would suggest going to a fitter and getting a driver you can hit straight. Consistently hitting 3W and giving up distance is a surefire recipe for shooting higher scores.

      Matt

  20. Thanks for the review! I read your review of the PXG 0211, how do these compare? Which would you go with?

    • Matt Saternus

      If I were buying new irons, I would test them head to head with a fitter and buy the ones that performed better for me.

      Best,

      Matt

  21. Andy Freeman

    Hi Matt,
    Just received my 5-PW Apex irons. 5-8 have CF 19 marked on them but 9 and PW have ‘19. Is that typical?
    Thanks.

    • Matt Saternus

      Andy,

      That’s interesting. I haven’t heard of that. I might suggest contacting Callaway to get the full story there.

      Best,

      Matt

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