Most of today’s golf consumers are a generation removed from days when the Ben Hogan Company was in its heyday as a leader in irons. Callaway Golf Co., however, is trying to bring at least a little of that Hogan magic back with the launch of Apex iron.
Some 20 years ago, the Hogan Apex iron – along with the Hogan Edge – were among the better and more popular irons among consumers and professional players. With its more classic forged blade design, the Hogan Apex, in particular was popular on the PGA Tour and with low-handicap players.
Callaway Golf, which at one time owned the Hogan brand, says its version of the Apex defies the conventional wisdom that you can’t have “extreme, radical performance” in a forged iron. The paradigm, according to Callaway has changed – the Apex iron gives a player distance and performance in a forged iron.
“It’s foremost a technology driven iron, and that comes from its multi-material construction with a thin, 455 Carpenter high strength steel face insert,” said Dr. Alan Hocknell, senior vice president of research and development for Callaway Golf. “So the face material is the Carpenter 455 material we use in our X Hot Fairway woods. That gives the Apex iron the capability to make the ball go very fast.”
The Callaway X Hot fairway woods, for those who haven’t hit them, might be the best – and longest – of the 2013 fairway woods.
The premium forged body, Hocknell said, gives Apex a look and feel that was once reserved for players’ irons.
“What makes Apex a ‘first’ in golf is that it combines forging with all this technology and performance,” Hocknell said. “Normally forged irons are reserved for the best players and don’t have a distance advantage. So the iron construction in Apex totally changes that paradigm. In Apex, you have a forged iron that is also very long. And it also carries through the characteristics of the forged iron – in terms of the soft, responsive feel and the look that you get from a forging.”
The Apex iron, Hocknell said, features a tungsten insert in the sole to lower the center of gravity.
“We can improve launch angles on the low irons in the set (3-5 irons) and add forgiveness,” Hocknell said. “So the combination of a high strength, lightweight face insert and this tungsten sole to lower CG promotes better ball speed performance.”