Callaway Apex 21 Irons Review: Forgiveness for Mid-Handicappers

It may seem like golf equipment companies like Callaway are constantly releasing new products to make money rather than help us golfers. But that’s not the case with the new Callaway Apex irons 2021. We’ve been waiting two years for them to get this right.

Are the Callaway Apex 21 irons worth the wait? And can they help your game?

Read on to learn the pros and cons, and the detailed specs to see if these irons are right for you.

Callaway Apex 21 Irons Verdict

Callaway is known for spending millions on research and development. They are willing to push the envelope and can help more golfers than many other companies.

Due to that research, they have released their latest version of the line of Callaway Apex forged irons, which are much different than the previous models. The forgiveness and feel have been optimized without increasing the size of the club head. You still get incredible feel for manipulating shots and know exactly where you made contact.

Who are the Callaway Apex 21 irons best for? Mid-low handicappers will benefit most from these and will see improvement in their iron play. Let’s continue the Callaway Apex 21 review

Callaway Apex Irons 2021 Performance Summary

Distance 95
Forgiveness 95
Feel 97
Workability 96
Aesthetics 92
Price 84


  • Flash Face technology improves forgiveness
  • Tungsten energy core optimizes launch angle
  • Low profile design is pleasing to the eye
  • A.I. technology used to customize each iron based on most common mishits
  • Perfect for players who love the look of blades but need more forgiveness


  • A bit pricey
  • Not meant for high-handicappers

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

Callaway Apex Irons Review – Features

Buying a set of irons is a big deal. Not only are they expensive, but you will have them for many years. Making the right choice now could be the difference between taking your game to the next level — or plateauing for years.

Let’s dive into each of the Callaway Apex 21 irons features.


Many golfers think that the first thing to note about clubs should be technical jargon, but if your clubs don’t look good to you, then no amount of technology will help. You want your irons to fill you with confidence during each and every swing.

These irons have a minimal look and mimic blade irons. Players who want something slender will love these. The topline is thin, not the thinnest, but thin enough to slice through thick rough with little drag.

They are muted chrome, so they look incredible but won’t reflect the sun. A lot of people overlook color, thinking it doesn’t matter, but since golf is mostly played in the sun, many companies are doing away with shiny chrome.

Read more: The Best Looking Golf Clubs


The next most important thing when buying irons is the feel. Once you’ve decided that these irons look great, you want them to feel great as well. Since these are blade-inspired, you’d expect them to be a bit firm with a small sweet spot. But that’s not the case.

Due to the tungsten power core, these irons have a huge sweet spot compared to other irons of the same size and shape. A.I. technology has helped Callaway to optimize the center of gravity, so as long as you make contact close to the sweet spot, you won’t notice much of a difference between your bad swings and your good ones.

Are there more forgiving clubs out there?

Of course, but these are an excellent balance of responsiveness and forgiveness. These irons promote improvement because you can better understand your shots based on the feel without losing as many shots as you would with traditional blade irons.


The difference between feel and performance is big — one is subjective, and the other is objective. Unlike feel, performance can be tested at the factory. These clubs’ performance is incredible as they passed all the tests Callaway has set for them.

This is in large part due to the newly designed face. These irons are the first to contain Flash Face technology, just like Callaway’s drivers and wood.

Each face is designed differently from iron to iron, based on thousands of hours of testing. The faces are different thicknesses throughout depending on where most golfers miss with each club.

This technology is only used by Callaway and is a huge reason why their drivers have gained so much popularity in the past few years. To have this on your irons is a huge advantage and is an impressive performance feature.

Callaway Apex 21 Iron Set Specs

Check out all the technical details, including the Callaway Apex 21 lofts, lengths, lies, and more.


Club Loft Length Lie Offset Swing Weight
3 19° 39” 60° 5.08 D2
4 21° 38.5” 60.5° 4.57 D2
5 23.5° 38” 61° 4.06 D2
6 26.5° 37.5” 61.5° 3.56 D2
7 30.5° 37” 62° 3.05 D2
8 34.5° 36.5” 62.5° 2.79 D2
9 38.5° 36” 63° 2.67 D2
PW 43° 35.75” 63.5° 2.54 D2
AW 48° 35.5” 63.5° 2.41 D2


Club Loft Length Lie Offset Swing Weight
5 23.5° 37.5 61° 4.06 D0
6 26.5° 37 61.5° 3.56 D0
7 30.5° 36.5 62° 3.05 D0
8 34.5° 36 62.5° 2.80 D0
9 38.5° 35.5 63° 2.67 D0
PW 43° 35.25 63.5° 2.54 D0
AW 48° 35 63.5° 2.41 D0


There aren’t many irons out there that are similar to the new Callaway Apex 21 irons 2021, but these two are close. Callaway has successfully filled the void between forgiving irons and game-improvement irons, so the following options will require some sacrifice.

TaylorMade Stealth Irons

If the Callaway Apex 21 irons are not quite forgiving enough for you, but you don’t want to go for a set with the word ‘max’ in the title, then have a look at these. The multi-material setup allows for a bit more forgiveness and will help to add distance as well.

These are great for players who are getting a bit older or don’t play as often as they would like. You will really notice a difference at address. These irons have a thicker topline than the Apex 21s.

With these, getting a higher launch is also made easy because the designers lowered the center of gravity. Using lighter material to support the toe end, they transferred that weight into the sole. This helps you get the leading edge under the ball more and launch the ball higher.

You’ll also experience fewer thin shots because of this. The weight helps control your swing better so you can bottom out at the same place each swing.

Cobra Radspeed Iron Set

A forged Powershell face is what makes these irons so special. Similar to Callaway’s Flash Face, but not as pronounced. Cobra really focuses on forgiveness, so you will have to sacrifice some feel if you decide on these instead of the Callaway Apex 21.

Radial weighting technology is transferred from their drivers and woods to these irons, so they have one of the largest sweet spots you can get. This is great for players who don’t play often or have a mid-to-high handicap.

The topline could take some getting used to when looking at it, but it’s there for a reason. We all have to play out of rough sometimes, but with these irons, it’ll be much easier. The thin stainless steel insert actually adds some bulk to the top, so some players may not like the look.

Added tungsten weight in the toe is obvious and a big contributor to straightening your shots when you mis-hit on the toe. This is the most common mistake that mid-high handicappers make, so having this alone could lower your scores a lot quicker than you think.


What Handicap Is Apex 21 Irons Best For?

The Apex 21 irons are best for mid-to-low handicappers. They offer players a decent amount of forgiveness while still providing excellent feel and feedback on all shots. Skilled players want to know where their ball made contact to improve upon that. If an iron provides too much forgiveness, you’ll lose the feel and ability to identify your shots.

When Did Apex 21 Irons Come Out?

The Apex 21 irons came out in early 2021. They are the replacement for the Apex 19, which hit the market two years ago. Callaway releases new equipment each year, but their line of Apex irons seems to follow the same schedule as the Presidents Cup.

Are Callaway Apex 21 Blades?

No, Callaway Apex 21 irons are not blades. They are very close, but with the tungsten weighting and thicker topline, anyone looking for blades should look elsewhere. They have many of the same blade qualities, like excellent feel and compact heads, but the feel just isn’t there to call them traditional blade irons.

Are Callaway Apex 21 Irons Good For Beginners?

No, Callaway Apex 21 irons are not good for beginners. They offer forgiveness, but the size and feel are meant for experienced players who will appreciate the feedback these irons provide. Beginners should seek out some of the best players distance irons, which provide maximum distance and forgiveness. Those are present in Apex 21 irons, but not the primary goal.

Are Apex 21 Better Than Apex 19?

Yes, Apex 21 irons are better than Callaway Apex 19 irons because of the additional tungsten energy core. In the battle of Apex 19 vs. Apex 21, the Apex 21 provides massive help to improve your launch angle and get more from shots that you miss low on the face.


The Callaway Apex 21 irons are a great option for players who want to improve and increase their golf knowledge. These are great for providing feedback on every shot without sacrificing forgiveness.

We recommend these to mid-handicappers who want to become low-handicappers or low-handicappers who might want a touch more forgiveness than their current blades offer.

The Callaway Apex 21 irons have cutting-edge technology, and by buying these today, you won’t have to worry about a new set for many years.

Clint is PGA-certified and was a Head Teaching Professional at one of Toronto's busiest golf academies. He was also featured on Canada's National Golf TV program, "Score Golf Canada," twice. He graduated with a degree in Golf Management from the College of the Desert in California and studied under Callaway's co-founder, Tony Manzoni. He has a handicap index of 6.2 and spends the winters near Oaxaca, Mexico, where he plays twice a month at the Club de Golf Vista Hermosa. He's written over 100 articles at GolfSpan since 2021. You can connect with Clint at LinkedIn, FB, his website, or

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