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Callaway Apex CF16 Irons Review

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Callaway Apex CF16 Irons Review

If you are looking for an all-round set of irons which is not only long but with unrivaled playability and forgiveness, you might want to take a look at the Callaway Apex CF16. These are high-end high-tech irons, much like most if not all of Callaway irons and with the Apex name being relaunched under the Callaway banner, we all had a clue of what to expect and Callaway did not disappoint. Follow us in this Callaway Apex CF16 irons review as we take a detailed look at what exactly make these irons so great.

To see our ultimate buying guide to irons, click here.

Our Rating:

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Irons Suited for Almost Everyone

The apex CF16 replaced the 2013 apex forged irons which were known for their precision and workability, but were only for the better players. However, the Apex CF16 will appeal to a wider range of players as they blend characteristics of both forged irons and game improvers achieving a great compromise of forgiveness and workability.

A point of interest with the CF16s is the cup face technology they feature which is common on Callaway woods. This cup face technology increases face flex and ball speeds (more on this later). It is also where the CF is derived from.

The Apex CF16 are premium and gorgeous irons meant for the single figure to lower double-digit players seeking a bit of forgiveness. They will also appeal to players who are looking for extra distance since they have pushed the boundaries of speed and distance while maintaining the same high level of accuracy that Apex is known for. Aesthetically, they have a sublime look that better players will recognize and appreciate but will not intimidate the mid-handicapper.

So, the question begs, do the Apex irons live up to the hype?


Much like all Callaway irons, the CF16s are quite hi-tech. They feature a multi-material construction with 6 individual pieces that consist primarily of a 1025 E forged carbon steel body. The face is a 17-4 stainless face cup that is fused onto the body through welding.

Other than the multi-piece construction, these irons also have the cup technology found on Callaway woods and was first used on the Big Bertha and XR irons. With the face cup technology, the face wraps around the top and bottom of the head which in turn moves the weld line behind the face. These irons also feature a thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) and a thermoplastic urethane (TPU) medallion that improves the looks, sound, and feel of the clubs.

The Apex CF16 irons were built with distance, forgiveness, and workability in mind. As such they are progressively designed with the heads getting smaller as you move from the long irons to the approach wedge. The 3-7 irons are meant for distance and forgiveness and thus have more offset and wider soles which have a rounded rear edge that draws the Center of Gravity (CG) back. The short irons feature a more compact head so as to improve feel and offer more control.

It is also important to note that the 360 cup technology is only found on the 3 to 7 irons with the short irons using a different faceplate to improve distance control.

Bottom Line

These irons pack a punch tech-wise. The remarkable distance, accuracy, and feel can all be attributed to the technology in these irons.

Build and Looks

Callaway Apex CF16 Irons Review

Aesthetically, these irons are just stunning and other players will be all gooey for them. They have this sublime better player look while still instilling confidence in the mid handicappers.

The Apex CF16s blur the line between better player irons and game improvers. They feature a compact head but the straight leading edge will make them appear longer. However, despite being compact, you will not confuse them for blade irons. If you take a closer look, you will notice that they have a bit of offset and despite the top lines and soles being thin, they are not razor thin like in blades.

As for the finish, these irons feature a chrome finish which (in my opinion) is much better than the shiny, mirrored finish on the Pro irons.

Bottom Line

These irons are just stunning and a delight to play. They sit pretty behind the ball and will appeal to all 15 to scratch handicap players.

Sound and Feel

If we were playing a word association game, then the only word to describe the acoustics of the CF16 is incredible. The R&D team at Callaway did a commendable job on the acoustics of the Apex irons by achieving a consistent sound throughout the set despite the long and short irons being different. A proper “thumbs up” to the Callaway engineers for this.

Overall, the sound is quiet, crisp, and hot. Quite pleasant actually. As for the feel, these irons are a chart topper and arguably the best Callaway irons in the feel department. They are soft, energetic, and informative on mishits without stinging your hands.

Bottom Line

The sound and feel are just fantastic. The ability to keep them consistent through the set speaks tons about the dedication of Callaway to ensure you have the best experience.


The Apex irons are just remarkable and definitely live up to the expectations. They are longer than most better-player game improvers, accurate and quite playable. They strike this perfect balance between control and forgiveness that has been elusive in most irons.


Over the years, distance has become a cliché that’s used on most irons to make a sale. However, the Apex CF16 are actually longer; half a club to be specific. This is all thanks to the technology on these irons.

With the 360 cup face technology, the face can flex more since more of the face is unsupported and this extra flex results in greater ball speeds which result in more distance. They are also quite consistent for such a hot club with little distance lost on mishits. The Apex CF16 irons also use extra light shafts which result in faster swing speeds.


When the Apex CF16s were being designed, accuracy was one of the parameters the engineers had in mind and boy did they deliver. Despite looking fierce, they act gentle and are accurate i.e. forgiving with all shots on the face - center strikes, or mishits.


Best in their class with unrivaled control. With the Apex CF16, you can make any shot you dream up. They offer a great level of playability that a mid-high flight can be turned into a cut or draw at your own convenience.

Bottom Line

These irons were designed to just be perfect but they are actually more than that. They are flawless. With this set, your shorts will be longer, consistent, and will always fly down the intended path. You will barely notice the mishits since the distance lost is insignificant.


  • ​Amazing sound and feel – For an iron that features two types of construction through the set, the consistency in acoustics is remarkable. The feedback is also to be revered
  • Control – You can manage any shot you dream up with these irons
  • Looks – A game improver with a better player look. Only the ‘I only play blades’ snobs will not find these irons appealing
  • Forgiveness – Just lovely. Shots all over the face will fly down the intended flight path with minimal distance loss


  • Not as forgiving as the Big Berthas and thus are still for the better players. However, elites might require a bit more control.
  • These irons are a bit pricey

Our Rating:

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The Final Verdict

The Callaway Apex CF16 irons are (for lack of a better word) ‘fantabulous’ irons. They are the real deal as they deliver on all they promise. Be it distance, accuracy, or playability, these irons have got it all. The long irons will get you on the green every other time while the short irons will get you out of tight lies. They will inform you on misses but will not punish you for your mistakes. All in all, they are great irons and we recommend that you try them for yourself!

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Ryan S

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