Callaway X Forged CB Irons Review

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The Callaway X Forged CB Irons are beautiful and have stellar, soft feel.  Tungsten weighting makes them surprisingly easy to hit.  Plenty of ball speed.  Strong trajectory.


In a fall that’s absolutely packed with great players irons, the Callaway X Forged CB created plenty of buzz of its own.  This is an iron with a strong pedigree that still has a unique look.  I tested a set to see how its performance stacked up against the best in class.


Like many recent players irons, the Callaway X Forged CB irons aim to blend a traditional shape with something new and eye-catching.  In this case, that something new is the external tungsten weight screwed into the back of the head.  This focal point is balanced with minimal branding, a simple cavity, and a clean, angular shape.

At address, the X Forged CB looks gorgeous.  The face is compact with just a little offset, and the top line is thinner than many of its peers.  For the high end player (or any player with high end taste), this is the kind of club that makes you want to head straight to the range.

Sound & Feel

The body of the X Forged CB irons are, as the name suggests, forged from 1025 mild carbon steel.  However, the iron is actually a mix of materials including metal injection molded (MIM’d) tungsten.  Though this construction is very high tech, the feel at impact is decidedly classic.

With a Tour-quality golf ball, impact is whisper quiet.  This enhances the soft, buttery feel off the center of the face.  What surprised me was the gentle feedback.  With a players iron, I expect a sharper rebuke when I miss the center, but the X Forged CB firmed up only a little.  This was an early hint at the surprising stability and forgiveness.


Thanks to record-setting warmth in Chicago, I was able to spend time with the Callaway X Forged CB irons both indoors and out.  Each setting shined a light on a different part of this set’s strong performance.

On the launch monitor, the thing that stood out was how consistent the numbers were.  That starts with ball speed that doesn’t jump up and down between pure and mishit shots.  This club has plenty of speed on center, and it retains the vast majority of its speed even on fairly bad misses.  The launch and spin numbers are also robust, particularly on thin strikes.

When testing outdoors, I was struck by the strength of the ball flight and the way the Project X IO shafts compliment this set.  Compared to similar irons, the X Forged CB launches the ball on a more boring trajectory.  There’s ample spin to hold a green, but the spin is low enough that shot shapes tend to stay fairly small unless you make a Bubba Watson-style swing.

I started my testing with the short irons and saw the set’s strong ball flight.  This made me wonder how practical the long irons would be for a regular player.  When I got to the 4I, I was pleased to find that the modern-traditional lofts and Project X IO shafts [review HERE] help to elevate the long irons to playable trajectories.  Any player with the ability to game this set should not be scared to at least try the 4I.


The Callaway X Forged CB have carved out their own space in this season of players irons by blending excellent forgiveness with alluring looks.  This set allows skilled players to choose their own trajectory, defaulting to a strong, penetrating ball flight.

Visit Callaway Golf HERE

Callaway X Forged CB Irons Price & Specs

Matt Saternus
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  1. Matt, thanks for the review. Any more insight into IO shaft? And any other models (project x or others) you think are similar?

  2. How do these compare to the ZX7? Is trajectory the biggest difference? Thanks

    • Matt Saternus


      I have a full review of the ZX7 here:
      The X Forged CB has a slightly stronger trajectory, the ZX7 is a little more forgiving.



      • When you say forgiving are you speaking in terms of strictly ball speed off center hits? I don’t need any help with distance I’m more curious which one spins less. I want to shape the ball but I want something slightly less responsive than my current iron mp18 Mmc. I strike the ball well and I know what direction it’s going to move but sometimes it just gets really exaggerated.

        • Matt Saternus


          Ball speed on off center hits is part of it. I also consider what a club does with thin strikes, stability on toe/heel strikes, robustness of launch and spin.
          If you’re looking for something that specific, all I can recommend is getting fit. With a few possible exceptions, most of the irons in this category are going to be so close that it will come down to fit and how the club works with your swing. And shaft fit.



  3. I have a set of older X forged irons and I hit a real high trajectory and my ball rolls maybe 2 feet . Do these new X forged irons flatten out the trajectory at all because I loose too much distance.

    • Matt Saternus


      I have no way of knowing how these will compare to your current irons, but, as I said in the review, these irons tend to be a little lower launching than other current players irons.


  4. Been gaming these for about 3 weeks now. Went with the MMT graphite and could not be happier. Agree on all points regarding feel, looks, forgiveness, workability and distance. I went with 5-PW but am thinking about picking up a gap wedge also but they are backordered for 4 -6 weeks.

  5. I just got fitted for these with modus tour 120 X shafts… I have only hit the 7 iron so far to be fair … and it’s to cold to golf where I live until spring but I did love these. Just as you said the miss hits were very forgiving and distances were consistent … I needed an iron that brought my spin down a bit since on my last set ( 10 years old ) my ball flight tended to balloon a bit. I am a 5 handicap btw

  6. Hello – How would you compare these irons to the Taylormade P7MC and P770?

    Thank you

    • Matt Saternus


      They’re not in the same category as the P770. Compared to the P7MC, they’re quite similar. I prefer the Callaway on looks and feel. There are full reviews of both on the site.


      • Matt,

        Great reviews as always! I am looking at buying these as well and was curious what do you mean when saying they are not in the same category as the P770? Meaning the latter is less blade than the Callaway or the Taylormade’s are way better in your mind? Thanks!

        • Matt Saternus


          The 770 is a hollow body iron which the X Forged is not, so it’s not correct, in my opinion, to compare them apples to apples. I didn’t mean it to say one is better, just that they’re different.


  7. How do these compare to Callaway’s Apex 19?

  8. Sounds like they’re almost the perfect set of irons!

  9. Are these comparable (forgiveness wise ) to something like a 718 ap2

  10. Matt— curious how you would compare these to the ‘18 x forged in terms of shape and feel? I loved the ‘18 model so wondering if these are more similar. When I tested the previous model the sole designed just worked really well for my delivery. One of the better feeling irons in this category. Thanks!

  11. Matt,
    what is the difference in the shafts on a Forged CB Callaway clubs.

  12. George Stevens

    Matt-I am a fairly good ball striker, I currently play Titleist 712 MB’s, my driver swing speed is in the low 120s, Would you suggest the Callaway Apex Pro 21 or the X Forged CB 21?

    • Matt Saternus


      As always, I would recommend getting a fitting. If you’re asking what’s most similar to your current irons, it would be the X Forged CB.


  13. Freddie Douglas Frazier III

    Why are the price per club $40 more than the new Apex MB or Apex Pros? What am I missing that would cause a bum of $40 per club?

  14. Great Review. I’m an 18 handicap. Currently play the Apex Pro (original version that came out in 2014). Curious if someone of my caliber could game these?

    I hit them in a golf shop and loved them, but sometimes i feel like those are juiced to make you purchase.

    • Additionally, are the new Apex Pro ’21 or these x-forged more forgiving?


      • Matt Saternus


        I haven’t hit the Apex Pro yet, but I expect them to be slightly more forgiving than the X Forged CB.


    • Matt Saternus


      I would never tell someone they can’t play an iron because of their handicap. If you hit them and enjoy them, play them.
      With regard to the monitors in the store, take your own irons in and hit them with the demos side by side. That way you can see if the yardages match what you see on the course.



  15. John Henry MacDonald

    Was thinking of doing a combo set with the X forged CB and the APEX MB. What are your thoughts on weakening the X forged by 1 degree to add some spin and close the gaps between the clubs. I am not in need of distance.

  16. Really impressed with these irons. Recently bought a set of 2021 T100-S irons that I was fit for and put the CB X-forged head-to-head with them. Callaways were more forgiving and more consistent in terms of dispersion and distance control, which kind of blew my mind. Feel is fantastic, a little more off-set then I’m used to, but they’re not “game improvement” type offset. Definitely worth trying out, especially with the Project X IO shafts.

  17. Richard Ferguson

    I currently play Mizuno MP-18 MMC. Would these be much harder to hit or pretty much in the same class?

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