Callaway’s Apex UW can solve one vexing issue for golfers | Proving Ground
Welcome to GOLF.com’s ClubTest Proving Ground, where Managing Equipment Editor Jonathan Wall and Senior Equipment Editor Ryan Barath put the latest designs and groundbreaking technology in the equipment space to the test on the range and the course.
The area between the longest iron a golfer carries and their driver or 3-wood is one of the toughest spots in the bag to fill properly and have consistent gapping. For some golfers, this means opting for high-lofted fairway woods; for others, hybrids are the better option because of the control they can offer thanks to a shorter length.
With the goal of understanding how Callaway’s Apex UW fits into this category, we put it to the test to find out exactly how it stacks up.
Callaway Apex Custom Utility Wood
Tools: To best replicate what many golfers experience when testing clubs, I went through this process with an off-the-rack 17-degree UW equipped with Mitsubishi Chemical’s MMT 70g stiff flex shaft. (This shaft is around the exact same weight as my go-to 5-wood shaft so it was the perfect choice for testing since it was going head-to-head against said 5-wood in my golf bag.)
The Test: To find out how the Apex UW works on the course under various conditions with a focus on ball flight control and forgiveness.
Results: The biggest question that comes up around the Apex UW is if it’s really just a small fairway wood or a big hybrid — and to be fair it’s actually the most useful blend of both into one club and why I found it so helpful under almost any scenario I used it in.
As a club with 17 degrees of loft, this Apex UW slots in the position between my 3-wood and my longest iron (4-iron), and in my personal testing is a direct replacement for my traditional 18-degree 5-wood.
Whereas a traditional 18-degree 5-wood comes in at 42.5 inches to 42.75 inches, the comparable (17-degree) Apex UW is only 41.5 inches — and this offers a lot of benefits.
Off the tee, the lower loft helps it fly out of a slightly lower window and the shorter shaft also makes it easier to flight lower when needed. The shorter length makes it advantageous to play closer to the middle of your stance to encourage a more ideal downward strike into the ball rather than forward where the tendency can be to top the ball with longer fairway clubs.
Now, as I said earlier, the UW is the best combination of a hybrid and a fairway wood, and here’s the kicker that I think is the biggest help to most golfers who are going to have this club find a place in their bag.
By having a more rounded face profile, and a shaft that is longer than a hybrid but shorter than a fairway wood, the UW is a club that is extremely easy to hit out of the rough compared to a longer iron or a traditional hybrid.
Yes, a fairway wood has the potential to generate more club head speed but the longer shaft can cause issues for a lot of golfers. The UW solves that by having a little extra length and a heavier shaft to create momentum on those difficult shots.
If you’re a golfer who struggles with longer shots from the rough, looking for more height and distance than a traditional hybrid or need a club that provides the ability to hit more controlled shots off the tee, then the Apex UW could be the perfect fit for your long game gapping.
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