Callaway Apex Utility Wood Review: It will cure your fear of fairway woods

Callaway's second iteration of the Utility Wood is an excellent tool that fits nicely into a rather awkward spot in the golf bag. 

Callaway Apex Utility Wood
Callaway Apex Utility Wood
Improved looks; excellent versatility; feels incredibly powerful at impact, easier to hit than a traditional fairway wood
Hefty price tag

Callaway Apex Utility Wood Key Features

  • Batwing technology: the batwing structure is pushed to the perimeter to stiffen the body
  • A.I designed C300 cup face: a high-strength C300 maraging steel face cup to flex for fast ball speeds
  • Cutwave Pro Sole: a streamlined design, engineered specifically to cut through the turf more efficiently
  • Tour-inspired shape and length

Released in conjunction with Callaway's new line of Apex Pro irons, the Apex Utility Wood, is the brand's second edition of the tour-inspired fairway wood/hybrid, designed to fill a very specific gap at the top end of the bag.

Not quite a fairway wood, but not a traditional hybrid either, the Apex UW was designed specifically with feedback from Tour pros who wanted to fill a gap in their bag between their longest iron and their three-wood. 

The result is what Callaway has named a 'utility wood', and it's an excellent tool that has already proven incredibly popular with pros including Phil Mickelson, Branden Grace and Sam Burns. We were equally as impressed with the UW and have put it straight in our best fairway woods guide. 

The UW is available in three different loft options, including 17, 19 and 21 degrees. We tested out the UW in 17 degrees at both Custom Golf Works in Surrey and out on the course at Foxhills

Let's get into it,

Player level

Probably best suited to lower handicap players, the utility wood could also prove to be a handy tool for golfers of all abilities who are looking for something a little easier to hit than a three-wood. Thanks to the shorter shaft length and appealing look at address, the UW is a handy fairway finder that packs one hell of a punch while offering a touch more forgiveness than your standard three-wood. 

Callaway Apex UW
Callaway Apex UW

Callaway Apex Utility Wood: Looks and Feel

Sat behind the ball, the UW has quite a unique-looking head. Shallower than a fairway wood but deeper than a standard hybrid, it's certainly confidence-inspiring. The head itself is very simple. The gloss black finish doesn't have any alignment aids on it, opting for a completely clean aesthetic.

Turn the club over, and there is a lot more going on. Personally, we think it's a significant upgrade in the looks department from the previous model, with the predominantly silver and black colour scheme complimented by some smaller red detailing. 

The main focus of the sole is a weight that is positioned just behind the face, with a chrome Apex logo set just behind it. 

The new design is modern and dynamic, which will sit beautifully next to a full set of the stunning Callaway Apex Pro irons

In terms of feel, the UW is red hot. Struck from the middle, you really feel like the ball will stay hit, and we will come on to performance later, but that sensation at impact was definitely reflected in the numbers we saw on our launch monitor. 

As we've come to expect from Callaway woods over the years, the sensation you feel at impact is very solid. That same solid feel paired nicely with a very healthy crack sound at impact, that was both satisfying and enjoyable.

Callaway Apex UW
Callaway Apex UW

Callaway Apex UW: Forgiveness and Performance

First things first, in the distance department, this club really excels. We typically hit our three-hybrid roughly 215 through the air, and our three wood about 235, and with the UW, we were able to get the ball to carry 235 comfortably, with total distance topping out around the 260-yard mark. 

We were instantly impressed with these numbers, as we were expecting it to be between the two, but it ended up matching our three-wood with ease, despite having two degrees more loft. 

Despite being aimed at low single-figure handicappers (of which we are not one), the UW was also remarkably easy to launch, and while I wouldn't say the ball flight was exceptionally high, it certainly offered a decent enough descent angle that you could if needed get it to stop on receptive greens if you slightly adjusted your ball position. 

One of the key aims for the designers at Callaway was to neutralise the CG position of this club based on feedback from Tour players, and as someone who hits a draw, I was impressed at how straight the ball flight was. 

Typically, with our hybrid, the ball does like to move quite aggressively from right to left, but we found it a lot easier to temper that movement with this club. 

Callaway Apex UW
Callaway Apex UW

Having tested the UW on the perfect hitting matt at Custom Golf Works, we decided to take it for a spin at Foxhills in Surrey to get a better appreciation of what it's like to hit off turf and tricky lies. 

The new Cutwave sole was designed to improve the turf interaction of the UW, and we're pleased to report that it works very nicely indeed. Off the fairway, the sole kissed the rough beautifully, and even in thicker rough, it was able to cut through the grass with ease. 

In terms of forgiveness, we were pleased with our offline dispersion, and as we're prone to a nasty little rope hook with our longer clubs, we did note that even when they did raise their ugly little heads, the offline dispersion was tighter than other fairway woods we've tested. 

When the inevitable toe and heel strikes did occur, the ball did wander, but as previously mentioned, the club does a fantastic job of keeping the ball straight if you are someone prone to overdrawing it. 

All in all, the UW performed admirably. The distance on offer was a huge plus, but the main highlight was despite being aimed at better golfers, it also offers a good amount of forgiveness and will undoubtedly help players whose bad shot moves right to left in the air. 

Callaway Apex UW
Callaway Apex UW

Should you buy the Callaway Apex Utility Wood?

If you're a golfer who has yet to find a good club to fill the awkward space between your irons and your woods, then the UW could be the ideal fit for you.

Offering excellent distance, generous forgiveness and a sleek profile, the UW certainly ticks a lot of boxes and could very easily become a good friend in your bag, thanks to its versatility. 

An excellent fairway finder off the tee and an ideal weapon to attack long approach shots, the UW is a fantastic addition to Callaway's arsenal, and it could be just what you need to bridge that awkward little gap in your bag.


Sponsored Posts