By E. Michael Johnson
What you need to know: A hybrid that combines the best technologies of hybrids and fairway woods. The compact head shape and neutral center of gravity location appeals to better players while the distance boost reaped from the maraging steel cupface designed through artificial intelligence appeals to golfers of all skill levels.
Specs: The Apex UW is available in lofts of 17, 19 and 21 degrees (non-adjustable) with the stock Project X HZRDUS Black 70 shaft and a Lamkin UTX grip. The clubs will be in stores on October 14.
The Deep Dive: Callaway has a history of producing hybrids that trend more toward a hybrid/fairway wood combination such as its Super Hybrid or Epic Super Hybrid. That legacy continues with the introduction of its new Apex UW (utility wood) that loads a lot of tech into a relatively compact package.
Using direct feedback from players such as Phil Mickelson (who has had one of the clubs in his bag since June), the Apex UW boasts many of the technologies one would find in most Callaway metalwoods. Chief among these is continuing down the path of using artificial intelligence to help drive the face design.
The Apex UW gets its ball speed from a “flash face”—a forged maraging steel face cup that uses A.I. so that each loft has its own unique face design to create spin and consistency across a larger portion of that face. Additional velocity is garnered from Jailbreak A.I. “velocity blades” that increase vertical stiffness near the sole of the club, creating more speed low on the face where players often mishit their hybrids.
The blades allow the face cup to flex on the crown for better spin rate consistency, and the bars are spread to enhance torsional stiffness, leading to more forgiveness across the face.
Metal injection molding (MIM) tungsten weighting—an average of 18 grams per club—is used to properly position the center of gravity in a neutral position to promote the desired launch and spin, while reducing the draw bias that shies many better players away from hybrids.
According to Callaway, this results in a 17 percent tighter dispersion downrange, an important consideration for a club designed to be hit into greens.
The compact shape was inspired by in-depth feedback from the company’s tour pros and allows better players to shape their shots. Along with Mickelson, Adam Hadwin and Marcus Armitage have put the Apex UW in play, as well as a number of LPGA Tour pros.
The Apex UW is available in lofts of 17, 19 and 21 degrees (non-adjustable) with the stock Project X HZRDUS Black 70 shaft and a Lamkin UTX grip. The clubs will be in stores on October 14.