Callaway Apex UW Utility Wood Review

50 Words or Less

The Callaway Apex UW Utility Wood is extremely versatile.  Very consistent ball speed.  Lots of fun to hit.

Introduction

As the lines between categories continues to blur – especially in the long game – OEMs like Callaway are offering golfers more and more ways to find the perfect fit.  Their latest is the Apex UW Utility Wood.  Offered exclusively in higher lofts, this club is built for versatility.

Check out another great long game option, the Callaway Epic Super Hybrid HERE

Looks

The Callaway Apex Utility Wood is either a very compact fairway wood or an overgrown hybrid.  Its shape is asymmetrical but not quite the traditional pear shape either.  The back edge is too square to be deemed a normal FW but too round to be a hybrid.  Its face is quite deep in fairway wood terms but about average for a hybrid.

With all these in between traits, the Apex Utility Wood could have been a visual nightmare, but I absolutely love it.  Something about it sits perfectly to my eye.  It has enough size to be very comforting, but it’s not unwieldy.

Sound & Feel

While the look of the Apex Utililty Wood walks the line between hybrid and fairway wood, the sound does not.  Pure impact produces that classic fairway wood “tink.”  As someone who rarely hears that sound from a traditional fairway wood, I was quite pleased with this noise.

When you wander off to the corners of the face, the Apex Utility Wood will let you know it.  The sound becomes louder and more dissonant.  You’ll also get a clear signal through your hands that your swing missed the mark.

Performance

Before I dive into my experience, let me explain a bit about the Apex UW.  First, it has a compact head that Callaway designed this with feedback from the Tour staff.  They compare it to their Apex Pro hybrid [review HERE] and Epic Speed fairway wood [review HERE], which tells you its aimed at better players.  In addition to having a head size between those two, the shaft length is in the middle as well, making it easier to hit for most players.  While you may think that everything about the Apex UW is a compromise between hybrid and FW, that’s not quite the case.  Per Callaway, the Apex UW launches higher than either of the aforementioned clubs, and it has forward tungsten weighting for a neutral ball flight.

Regular readers know that I get along with fairway woods like oil mixes with water.  That said, I’m endlessly hopeful about finding a perfect fit.  The Callaway Apex UW rewarded my optimism.

When I started hitting the Apex UW, the first thing I noticed was the smash factor1.5.  1.5.  1.5.  I’ve seen 1.5 with a fairway wood before, but consistently?  Almost never.  Even when my swing got sideways, the smash factor stayed in the 1.4s.  This club had my attention.

Then I started looking at the ball flight.  True to Callaway’s claims, that MIM’d tungsten was producing a neutral ball flight with very tight dispersion, another thing I rarely see in the long game. Finally, I turned my attention to the launch and spin.  The Apex UW was routinely launching in the mid-teens with spin around or just under 3,000 RPM (I was testing the 19 degree model).  I literally could not ask for anything more.

With a big smile on my face and a bunch of confidence, I tried to exercise the promised versatility of the Apex UW.  I won’t claim a perfect success rate, but I found the club more than capable of flighting the ball higher or lower as well as shaping shots.  As I wrapped up my testing, I knew that this club would be competing hard for a spot in my 2022 bag.

Conclusion

The reason that Callaway is offering so many options in the long game is that different players will vibe with different clubs.  Personally, I can’t remember having more fun with a long game club than I had with the Callaway Apex UW Utility Wood.  I found it to be versatile, easy to hit, and remarkably consistent.  If you’re struggling to find that perfect option for the top of your bag, give this a serious look.

Visit Callaway HERE

Callaway Apex UW Utility Wood Price & Specs

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Matt Saternus

Founder, Editor In Chief at PluggedInGolf.com
Matt is the Founder and Editor in Chief of Plugged In Golf. He's worked in nearly every job in the golf industry from club fitting to instruction to writing and speaking. Matt lives in the northwest suburbs of Chicago with his wife and two daughters.

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28 Comments

  1. Great review, Matt. I’ve had my eye on this club for a while. As a lefty, I am disappointed they only offer this club in a 19° model with a fixed hosel. I game an 18° driving iron for a second tee club, so do you think a 19° UW would be better for long approaches and shots out of the rough? Would you expect more spin out of it? I am worried it would be a bomber for me. I can just get fitted I suppose :)

    • Matt Saternus

      Jim,

      You nailed it with the fitting comment. Generally, I think the Apex UW will spin more than a driving iron and also be more forgiving.

      -Matt

  2. The Apex UW is my favorite club I’ve hit in a long time. The head shape is just so versatile. I can hit lower, really controllable squeeze fades off the tee on tight holes, and also just hit down on it and blast the ball high out of the rough just like a hybrid. I love it so much I bought two — one with a Ventus Blue 8S (snagged for no upcharge thanks to a temporary glitch on PGA SS’s website) and one with a Ventus Red 8X that I’d pulled from something else. The Red 8X in particular is just a killer combination, and looks pretty cool to me too. I’ve been getting similar numbers to what you’re reporting with my 19* heads — slightly higher spin, in the low-to-mid 3,000s. Only issue I’ve run into is that it goes about as far as my 4W. Not a huge problem, though, because they’re very different ball flights, with the 4W going quite a bit higher. Anybody who’s ever complained about hooking hybrids ought to try this club, in my opinion.

    • I’ve been considering one of these as well instead of a 4W, but mostly for approach shots. How have you liked it so far for this scenario? Also, have been considering the same blue/red shafts, leaning toward red for approach shots. Any recs on this from your experience? Thanks!

  3. is this club for mid to high handicap player?

  4. With like for like lofts in 19 degrees would you find the performance benefits significant over the G425 hybrid?

    • Matt Saternus

      Mike,

      It will vary from player to player. The G425 hybrid is excellent, so it will come down to what the player is looking for and the look/length/lie that they are more comfortable with.

      -Matt

  5. Got any thoughts on how it compares to the Cobra F6 Baffler?

  6. Have you had a chance to hit the new Epic Super Hybrid? I’m curious how the UW compares to that offering.

    • Matt Saternus

      Kevin,

      Yes, I will have a full review of the Super Hybrid out in the next couple weeks.

      -Matt

      • Yes I have a 16 degree super hybrid so interested to see how this stacks up. My super hybrid is great off the tee, but lose a bit from the fairway compared to my pxg hybrid. Much harder to work the ball

  7. Justin Papa

    Hi Matt,
    Got the 21 as a gift for Christmas. My 4i is 22 degrees. I have read that this should go significantly longer than an iron of the same loft. Do you find this to be the case? I’m wondering if I should trade it for the 19 degree.

  8. I went after a hybrid a few weeks back and my fitter pulled this out with a HZRDS RDX Black in it. I get along ok with FW metals, but not so much with hybrids. I hit 3 or 4 shots dead straight, was able to work it some. Went right in the bag in place of my 5w and 2H. Now I have a spot in the bag for something else and I don’t know what to add! It was nice too be able to swing all out and hit it 230, but also choke down and dial back and hit it 200.

  9. If this club makes it into your bag this year, would it replace a fairway wood or hybrid. If yes, which one?

    • Matt Saternus

      Mike,

      I don’t carry a FW. I have open spots in my bag but the UW would likely replace my 18* hybrid.

      -Matt

  10. Hi Matt,
    Just ordered a set of the Epic Super Hybrids (3H, 4H and 5H)! Anxious to see your review to come! Think that, for me as a 20 handicap, the 3H in this series will be my UW!!
    Keep up the good work!

  11. Been gaming my 17* UW for a few rounds now and it’s replaced my SIM Ti 15* 3 wood. While I think the SIM Ti is arguably one of the best fairway woods of all time the UW generates all the performance and sits a bit more neutral, which means I don’t get the surprise hook from the middle of the fairway or off the tee. The flight from the UW is penetrating and the sound/feel on impact is incredible. It’s no surprise this thing is getting as much hype as it has been since launch.

  12. John Rodney

    I thought the old Callaway Heaven Wood was the best club ever for hitting distance shots out of the rough. Did you ever use one of those and how does this new one compare?

  13. Patrick Bulgaro

    Here’s a somewhat related question. question . If you were a mid handicap senior golfer struggling to launch a 3 wood with a decent amount of carry and could choose one club to fulfill that gap in your game that you can longer get done with your old 3 wood what. Club and / or manufacturer would you choose?

  14. Patrick Bulgaro

    As a senior golfer with a handicap in the 20’s I am having trouble launching my 3 wood with the kind of carry I used to. Do you have any suggestions for a club that be easier to launch ?

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