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The Callaway Apex DCB 21 irons are the largest, most forgiving Apex irons. Very long. Strong lofts can lead to shallow landing angles.
Previous Apex irons had been families of two – standard and Pro. For 2021, Callaway has introduced a third way to reach your peak – Apex DCB 21. DCB stands for “Deep Cavity Back” which means that this is the most forgiving Apex yet. I tested them to find out if this larger iron deserves to carry the vaunted Apex name.
If you guessed that “most forgiving” also means “biggest,” congratulations, you’re correct. The Apex DCB 21 irons are clearly the biggest Apex irons, and the difference is really noticeable when they’re next to each other. The top line is wider than the Apex 21 irons [review HERE], the offset is slightly greater, and the sole is wider. To Callaway’s credit, no part of the club sticks out behind the top line at address.
In the bag, the Apex DCB 21 is very similar in appearance to the Apex 21. Both have clean Callaway branding in the cavity and “Apex” along the sole. A closer look at the Deep Cavity Back model reveals the “DCB” tag below “Apex” and a slightly different shape near the sole. The DCB model has a notch that appears to push more weight to the heel and toe where the Apex 21’s shape is the inverse.
Sound & Feel
Callaway did a remarkable job keeping the feel similar throughout the Apex family. Even though the Apex DCB 21 irons are much larger than the Apex Pro 21 [review HERE], they deliver a similar crisp, snappy sound on center. Also like its smaller brothers, the Apex DCB 21 gets loud and cranky when you miss the center of the face. This clear audio feedback is important to improving your ball striking – you need to know there’s a problem to fix it.
The handy comparison chart on Callaway’s website gives us a good idea of what to expect from the Apex DCB 21 compared to its two smaller brothers. It has the same technology elements in the same clubs as the Apex 21, save the 3I, which doesn’t exist in the DCB model. The Apex DCB 21 also has a larger head, a wider sole, and lofts that are typically 0.5 degrees stronger than the Apex 21.
In terms of performance, the first thing that jumped out about the Apex DCB 21 irons is the ball speed. Callaway’s AI designed Flash Face Cup puts loads of go juice into the ball. Combine that with the strong lofts and you have the recipe for very long iron shots. The DCB is also quite good at preserving ball speed when you miss the center.
As with most strong lofted irons, there can be a concern about holding greens. In my testing, I found the DCB to be at or just below my lower limit for spin and landing angle, but it needs to be noted that I’m a low launching player. Those who hit the ball on average or high trajectories may find these to be ideal. As always, fitting is the key.
Callaway offers the Apex irons in a variety of combo sets, and I’d suggest that golfers take advantage of that. I didn’t find the Apex DCB 21 to be hugely more forgiving than the Apex 21, but for the mid handicap player, the look of the DCB may be more comforting. I could also see taking advantage of the “Triple Play” combo set to get maximum forgiveness in the long irons and Pro precision in the scoring clubs.
Whether you’re a mid-handicap player looking to take advantage of all the available forgiveness or a higher handicap player who wants Apex in the bag, the Callaway Apex DCB 21 irons will fit the bill. These irons are very long and provide plenty of forgiveness for the days your ball striking isn’t up to par.
Visit Callaway Golf HERE
Callaway Apex DCB 21 Irons Price & Specs
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