First look: Apex irons, Ping G irons, Crossover

Minneapolis isn’t always the greatest place to be a golfer. Sure, the summers are great, but the winter? Looooong. 

So I have to find ways to entertain myself. That means an occasional range session. And it means lots of times looking at (and sometimes hitting) new clubs on the shelves of golf stores.

On Saturday, I did a bit of both. 

After a range session at the Golf Zone with the tortured Cleveland sports fan, I stopped by 2nd Swing and spent a little time hitting balls on the launch monitor.

Somewhat limited on time, my focus was on three new offerings: Callaway’s Apex CF16 irons, Ping’s G irons and the Ping Crossover hybrid/driving iron thing. 

My quick thoughts:

Ping Crossover: This thing pretty much made my head explode. I started out hitting the 21-degree 4 Crossover. I was intrigued when the Crossover was announced and thought it might be a 4-iron replacement.

This thing just goes. And goes. And goes. 

I hit 10-15 balls on the launch monitor and sometimes all I could do was laugh. The 4 Crossover was registering distances certainly beyond what I hit my 17 degree hybrid and approaching what I hit my 15-degree 3-wood. 

While I want to hit it outdoors to see ball flight and see what it does in the wind, but this is very intriguing. One thing to consider, however, is that I might actually want the 24-degree 5 Crossover as a 4-iron replacement from a gapping standpoint. That would leave me going driver, 3-wood, hybrid, 5 Crossover, 5 iron. It might look weird, but I think it might help avoid some big gaps.

Ping G iron: I have previously discussed how I am a fan of Ping irons. I wasn’t disappointed with what I saw on Saturday. They are certainly easy to hit and they definitely go further than my G30 irons. I tried a few shafts and was pretty consistently hitting the G 7-iron at least 10 yards further than I hit my G30s. 

I was pleased with how they look as well. Looks aren’t everything for me when it comes to irons, but the top line looks a little thinner and the overall footprint of the club looks slightly smaller than the G30. Throw in the forgiveness of Ping irons and it seems as if this is going to be a big winner.

Callaway Apex CF16: As impressed as I was with both of the new Ping offerings that I hit on Saturday, I was honestly most impressed with the new Apex. 

My guy Scott at 2nd Swing has tried at times over the year to get me into a set of irons that were a little less game imrovement. I tend to err toward forgiveness and distance over feel and control. That said, I did have a set of forged Mizuno MX-300 irons that I probably should have never gotten rid of. 

While I have looked at many forged irons over the past few years, I never really pulled the trigger. I never really loved any of more recent Mizuno offerings, I have never loved the Titleist AP2s like others have and that’s about it.

The Apex CF16 might change things for me. Why? The initial test of these irons checked all of the boxes: Looks, feel and distance. 

I have never seen the kind of numbers from a forged iron that I saw from the Apex. For me, they actually flew further than the G irons – something I didn’t think would or could be possible. Well-struck shots felt great. And they look fantastic – they certainly aren’t shovels. 

I definitely want to hit these some more, but my initial reaction was more than positive.

Summary: I hit three great clubs on Saturday and I think all will be winners. The G irons might have the most commercial success. I think there will be players who are put off by the looks of the Crossover, but the results are much prettier than the looks.We’ll see if the Apex end up in my bag, but they are the current leading concender.

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