Callaway Apex UW 2024 Utility Wood Review

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The Callaway Apex UW 2024 is a blend of hybrid and fairway wood.  Fantastic ball speed.  Tremendously versatile in terms of shot shape and trajectory.  A do-it-all long game club.

Introduction

The original Callaway Apex Utility Wood made a splash with better players for its combination of versatility, length, and high launch without the draw bias that often comes from hybrids or high-lofted fairway woods.  And in golf, every successful club gets a sequel, so this fall has seen the release of the Callaway Apex Utility Wood 2024.  I tested it against the original to see how it’s changed.

Looks

The Callaway Apex UW 2024 looks very similar to the original at address.  It has a size and shape that is somewhere between a compact fairway wood and a large hybrid, making it visually accessible to almost any type of player.  It remains slightly asymmetrical but not overly pear-shaped.  The face height  is fairly average for a hybrid but would be on the tall side for a fairway wood.

Comparing the Callaway Apex UW 2024 (left) to the original Apex UW [review HERE], you can see they’re very similar.  The most noticeable difference is that the Apex UW 2024 sits square where the original Apex UW sits noticeably open.  Additionally – and this is really nitpicking – the Apex UW 2024 is a little slimmer in the heel, making the original look more “full” or “boxy” by comparison.

In the bag, the Apex Utility Wood leans more toward a hybrid look, to my eye.  The branding has been pivoted to run from the trailing edge to leading edge.  Two things that have carried forward are the red/black/grey color scheme and the removable weight near the leading edge.

Sound & Feel

On center, the Callaway Apex UW 2024 has the sound of a traditional fairway wood.  There’s a light, metallic “tink” as the ball flies away.  This new version is a hair quieter than the original, but the differences are minute (hopefully you’re sensing a theme).

Off center, the Apex UW is quieter and lower pitched.  The “tink” isn’t as bright, but the sound is far from ugly.  You’ll know you missed the center, but your playing partners probably won’t.

The feel of impact complements the sound well.  The ball feels very light off the face.  Just as with the sound, you get the message that the ball is going for a ride, but it’s conveyed with subtlety.

Performance

Like the original, the Callaway Apex UW 2024 is designed to give players the best of high lofted fairway woods and hybrids.  From the former: more distance and higher launch.  From the latter: increased versatility and a neutral ball flight.  This combination makes it a popular choice among Callaway’s Tour players.

In my early testing, the similarities between the UW 2024 and the original stood out more than the differences.  The top end ball speed remains elite.  On center, the smash factor was regularly between 1.48 and 1.5, essentially perfect.  If anything, Callaway’s Batwing Technology has improved off-center ball speed slightly.  Getting the smash factor below 1.4 required a substantial mishit.

Additionally, the Apex UW 2024 has the same higher launch and mid spin of the original.  For a low launcher like myself, this helps to optimize carry distance.  For all types of players, it makes this a club that you can hit into a green with precision.  Just as with ball speed, I noticed a small uptick in the consistency of the spin in the new model.

Rounding out the similarities is the versatility of the Callaway Apex UW 2024.  This is a club that you can hit off the tee, off the turf, or out of the rough.  You can flight it higher or lower.  And, directionally, it will go wherever you want it to.

That leads me to one of the two notable differences between the original Apex Utility Wood and the UW 2024.  With the original – a club I’ve had in or near my bag for almost two years [WITB HERE] – there was a fade bias.  This was in part because the club sits more open.  The new model sits square and has no directional bias.  If you found the original too right-leaning, give the new version a try.

Finally, the Callaway Apex UW 2024 features the CutWave Pro Sole.  Per Callaway, it is “a streamlined design, engineered specifically to cut through the turf more efficiently.”  I’ve typically been agnostic about sole designs like this because I’m worried about the placebo effect – i.e. noticing the quality of the turf interaction more because I’ve been told it’s better.   With that caveat, I did feel like the UW 2024 moved through the turf a bit more easily on my best swings.  This is something the skilled FW players will want to feel for themselves.

Conclusion

The Callaway Apex UW 2024 maintains the elite ball speed and versatility of the original while making improvements to the forgiveness.  For the better player in search of a long game club to handle a wide array of situations, this should be on the short list.

Visit Callaway Golf HERE

Callaway Apex UW 2024 Price & Specs

Matt Saternus
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13 Comments

  1. I was amazed with the ’24 19* and the MMT 70 R. I played with my friends last weekend. My bag is based on S400/X100/Stiff shafts for hybrid/woods. I decided to play it primarily from the black tee in the back nine. Shot one over with a regular shaft! It refused to fade, which impressed me to go for 17* and the 70 R, replacing the Ping G430 LST 3W. I was able to hit 240+ for the 19*/70 R shaft.

  2. Hi Matt – do you think the 17* is viable as a 4/5 wood replacement to be the only fairway wood in a bag? Would there be much difference in distance between it and a similarly lofted fairway? Guessing the shorter shaft costs some distance…

    • Matt Saternus

      Phil,

      Yes, this is a great option.
      Regarding shaft length, the answer is no, the shaft length is not going to make a meaningful difference, but you can do the experiment yourself: hit some shots with your FW, than grip down 1/2”-1” and hit some more. Unless you’re Hebron Stenson, your natural distance deviation from shot to shot is way bigger than what that inch is worth.

      Best,

      Matt

    • Will Callaway ever make these in a 24 degree and 27 degree options?

  3. I really wish Callaway would include these to have the Optifit 3 adjustable hosels. It makes fine tuning these clubs so much easier. I would think these are considered “players” clubs, we like to tweek, fine tune, etc, for proper fit. My $.02

  4. I bought the 17’ and 19’ after your review and could not be happier. I thought I’d need a stiffer shaft but the heaviest version of the stock is pretty darn good. Thanks for the advice Matt. I take my 15’ 3w out occasionally and replace with the 17’ because it’s easier off the deck.

  5. Matt
    If you could only own one (UW) version, which would it be? New or Old? I’m going to own these soon. Been playing apex 2019 version since they came out. Thx

    • Matt Saternus

      Ben,

      For my tendencies, the older model works better. I have almost no thought of it going left, which helps to free up my swing.

      Best,

      Matt

  6. Would you think this is a good option for a 15 handicap?

    • Matt Saternus

      Russ,

      It depends on the specific player. There are more forgiving options, but I can imagine that there are 15 handicaps that this will work well for.

      -Matt

  7. Great review. While it wasn’t a fitting, I did swing the 21 degree at a local store and liked how it felt and the numbers it showed. When Callaway markets it for the better player, is that mainly due to lack of forgiveness? Or the heavier shaft? It seems with the decent size head and shorter shaft it would be easier to hit than some game-improvement woods out there.

    • Matt Saternus

      Steve,

      You’re hitting on an important point. The “better players vs. high handicaps” binary is oversimplified. Yes, we can look at the size and forgiveness of a club and make a general statement about who it might be for, but there will *always* be exceptions. I’m a “better player” but I’m low spin, so a lot of “better player” clubs don’t work as well for me. You could easily find someone who’s the opposite. Ultimately, the solution is good club fitting so you can get what works for you specifically.

      Best,

      Matt

  8. I got the 19* with an 80S MMT shaft. Felt the 70S had a bit too much deflection.

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