Callaway Apex TCB Irons Review

50 Words or Less

The Callaway Apex TCB irons are, in my opinion, the best of the 2021 Apex irons.  Great looks and feel, surprising amounts of forgiveness, strong distance.

Check out the new Callaway Apex CB irons HERE

Introduction

2021 saw Callaway introduce three new Apex irons: Apex DCB [review HERE], Apex Pro [review HERE], and the standard Apex [review HERE].  While those three irons cover a lot of ground, Callaway’s Tour Staff wanted something different, which led to the creation of Apex TCB (Tour Cavity Back).  After being the object of much fascination and desire in the golf equipment world, the Apex TCB irons are now available to golfers everywhere.

Looks

From the back, the Apex TCB looks like a cross between the X Forged CB [review HERE] and the Apex.  It has the same weight plate near the sole as the X Forged CB, but the cavity has Apex branding and a design similar to the standard Apex iron.  It’s a little busier than the X Forged CB but still a very good looking iron in the bag.

At address, the Apex TCB looks the part of a Tour/players iron.  There’s very little offset (less than the Apex Pro or X Forged CB), a thin top line, and a compact head.  The leading edge is straight, presumably at the request of Callaway’s Tour players.

Sound & Feel

Just as with the looks, the sound and feel of the Apex TCB are a blend of the X Forged CB and Apex.  Thanks to the forged 1025 carbon steel, the Apex TCB delivers the softness that so many players crave.  The Apex heritage lends a bit of crispness, a little snap when struck pure.  It’s a very pleasing combination that makes the Apex TCB the best feeling Apex iron, in my opinion.

Audio feedback is good, but the clearest sense of how well you struck the ball will come through your hands.  Like most players irons, the Apex TCB communicates precisely where the ball met the face.

Performance

Before I started hitting the Callaway Apex TCB, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  On one hand, they are in the Apex line, they have a cavity back, and the X Forged CB that they resemble was surprisingly forgiving – all signs that point toward above average ease of use.  On the other hand, they are quite compact, have very little offset, and have the  most traditional lofts of any Callaway iron – things that point toward a “players only” warning.

What I discovered in my testing was that the Apex TCB irons are much more forgiving than I could have expected.  I wouldn’t recommend them to players much beyond Callaway’s prescribed “low single digit handicaps,” but relative to other irons of this size, they are very consistent.

The Apex heritage comes through in the high ball speeds on pure strikes.  Despite the aforementioned traditional lofts, these irons get the ball moving.  Small misses lose only a marginal amount of speed, but you will lose noticeable distance if you get to the outer edges of the face.

In terms of launch and spin, I found the Apex TCB to be mid/low on both counts.  There’s adequate spin to hold a green or work a shot, but the Apex TCB has a bit more of that modern focus on lower spin and distance.  What stood out to me about both launch and spin is that the numbers remained consistent shot to shot, even on strikes that were a little thin.

Conclusion

The Callaway Apex TCB irons are my favorite version of the 2021 Apex irons for their blend of excellent looks and feel with surprising forgiveness.  If you’re looker for a slightly higher profile endorsement, consider that Jon Rahm used them in his recent US Open win.  Either way, skilled players looking for new irons should definitely put these on their radar.

Visit Callaway HERE

Callaway Apex TCB Irons Price & Specs

Matt Saternus
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19 Comments

  1. Matt, Which to you has a softer feel and more forgiving consistency?The TCB or the Wilson Staff model CB? Love the reviews!

    • Matt Saternus

      Peter,

      Those two are neck and neck. I don’t think there’s a clear winner, it will come down to personal preference.

      Best,

      Matt

  2. Matt, what shaft did you use in your test?

  3. STANLEY TAYLOR

    I have the TCB irons with pured shafts and they are by far the best Irons Callaway has ever made.

  4. Matt-

    Great review. How would you compare these to zx7? Also, where did you find this set got harder to hit? 4, 5, or 6 iron? I love the reviews I’m reading but wondering if there is a good combo option.

    Thanks.

    • Matt Saternus

      Riley,

      These would be at the top of my rankings right alongside the ZX7.
      As to where these got hard to hit, it doesn’t have as much to do with the club for me as the loss of loft. Being a low launching player, any 4I is going to be harder to get good, consistent distance from. A combo set is never a bad idea, I’d just recommend working with a fitter to find the right set make up.

      Best,

      Matt

      • Thanks, Matt. How would compare spin, forgiveness, distance to zx7. I’m guessing tcb flies slightly higher with more spin and srixon is a bit lower spin and more distance. How about forgiveness?

        • Matt Saternus

          Riley,

          I don’t have head to head data to say anything definitely. I’d probably lean very slightly to the ZX7 for forgiveness, but I think the difference would be marginal.

          -Matt

  5. Would you combo these with apex pro to get more forgiving heads in 5-6-7 iron while going 8-p in tcb?

    • Matt Saternus

      Adam,

      You absolutely could, but I prefer everything about the TCB over the Pro, so I’d just play the TCB straight through.

      Best,

      Matt

  6. Would love to see a review on the difference between the X Forged CB and Apex TCB irons! They look VERY similar to me in what they offer and who they’re targeted for.

    • Drew, I’ve gamed both and strongly prefer the TCBs. The X-forged have more offset, a longer blade length and feedback is more muted. The TCB’s are much more workable and have better turf interaction. The X-forged may be slightly more forgiving, but it’s not significant.

  7. Just curious what you would recommend for a 7 handicapper… on paper it seems like apex pro would be a good choice but I’ve heard the TCB’s are actually more forgiving than the pros?

    Thanks

    • Matt Saternus

      John,

      Yes, the TCB is more forgiving than the Pro. I also prefer the feel, so that would be my recommendation in the Callaway family.

      Best,

      Matt

  8. I have Titleist AP2 from 2012. I love them. I have been looking at new irons and was curious what a good comp would be to the irons I have now. I have been looking into Callaway Apex Pros and Titlesit t100’s

    • Matt Saternus

      Matt,

      Both of those are fine irons. Ultimately, my advice is to get a fitting and try a lot of things to see what performs.

      -Matt

  9. Bryant Johnson

    I been hitting the callaway cf16 for 6 years I love them. I want to update my bag with a callaway iron I’m a 7 handicap. TCBs are on my radar, would it be a major transition between the two irons?

    • Matt Saternus

      Bryant,

      I think you’re going to lose a fairly significant amount of forgiveness, but I don’t think they’re anywhere near unplayable for a 7 handicap.

      Best,

      Matt

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