50 Words or Less
The Callaway X Forged UT Utility Iron is a great long iron replacement for the better player. Looks great.
Utility irons were originally a way for strong players to incorporate game improvement-style irons into their set and avoid hybrids. As they’ve increased in popularity, we’ve seen utility irons become bigger, faster, and more forgiving. For the player that wants a “traditional” option, Callaway offers the X Forged UT utility iron.
The 2020 Callaway X Forged UT has a look that will blend in well with most players irons. Its top line is similar in width to a GI iron – not huge but not thin. There’s very little offset, but there is a little sole visible behind the topline at address. One thing I like about the X Forged UT is that the face isn’t super shallow. Some utility irons opt for that “long and low” face profile which clearly serves a function but is not my preference visually.
In the bag, the X Forged UT is a near clone of the 2020 X Forged CB irons [review HERE]. There are no colored paint fills, just a simple cavity with a couple shades of silver. The screwed-in plate near the sole is the visual centerpiece, highlighting Callaway’s use of Metal Injection Molded tungsten.
Sound & Feel
One of the things that Callaway touts about the X Forged UT is the “extremely soft feel.” On center, that’s absolutely true. This is a very solid and satisfying club to strike well. However, when you move away from the center of the face, the impact feel gets quite firm. For the target audience – better players – this level of feedback should be welcome.
The sound of impact varies just like the feel. When you hit a good shot, it’s just below average in volume with a “thud”-type sound. Moving toward the heel or toe transforms the sound to a “clack” that’s a bit louder than average.
As you can see above, the biggest difference between the X Forged CB irons and the X Forged UT utility iron is the sole. The UT has a fairly wide sole which makes it higher launching and more forgiving of thin shots than a standard iron. If you like your players irons but need more elevation to maximize your long irons, the X Forged UT is a very fine option.
With that said, the X Forged UT is clearly a utility iron for the better player. Despite the wider sole, this club is still fairly low launching and spinning, so you’ll need some speed to get maximum distance out of it.
Additionally, the X Forged UT is far from the most forgiving utility iron available. Pure strikes get plenty of juice, but it doesn’t take a huge mishit to lose 10 MPH of ball speed. For the player that’s confidently playing blades or traditional cavity backs, this is a great choice. If you need more forgiveness, consider one of the larger utility irons or a hollow body utility.
If shot control and appearance are high priorities in your utility iron search, the Callaway X Forged UT should be high on your list. Higher handicap players will do well to find a more forgiving option, but stronger golfers will appreciate the traditional looks and added elevation that this club provides.
Callaway X Forged Utility Iron Price & Specs
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Great review, Matt. I can also attest that this club is HOT. I currently game an 18-degree Srixon Z U85 and got fitted for a replacement. I wasn’t able to hit the new ZX Utility (not in stock), but tried a 21-degree X Forged UT and it was carrying just as far as my gamer on trackman (245-250 yards). Could have been some aftermarket shafts we tried (G.O.S.T. is awesome and Ventus HB as well) but getting the same ball speed with 3 fewer degrees of loft was impressive.
Matt, is sim udi more forgiving? Which would you prefer to play with?
Yes, I think the SIM UDI is more forgiving. I can’t say that I have a strong preference between the two.
Matt – sorry to dig this review up from the past. Outside of the obvious of getting fitted – What do you think about matching the shaft of this to existing iron set (Apex ‘19s with TT elevate tour shafts) vs playing a graphite shaft. Both options available as custom fits from Callaway I see.
I prefer having a utility iron shaft that matches my iron set. The benefit of graphite, in most cases, is going to be more distance and potentially higher launch.
I just bought a Wilson Staff Model Driving Iron with a recoil stiff shaft and i love the feel of hitting it. But my Pro thinks that the lie is not upright enough, which is why I push it to the right often. However, since it’s not a forged one he recommended to get a Callaway X forged and bend it 2-3 degrees upright (the Wilson might snap when bending it). Do you think that’s the right approach or is the Callaway X forged much harder to strike well? I’m 29, athletic, with 100 mph club head speed with a driver, but sometimes problem with perfect impact. Thanks so much!
My recollection is that the X Forged is not as easy to hit as the Staff Model. I would find a good club builder who can get your Staff Model closer to the right spec.