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Callaway Irons Buyer’s Guide: Which Are Best For Your Game?

Looking for a new set of Callaway irons, but not sure which are right for you?

In this guide we take a detailed look at Callaway’s 2020/2021 range of irons to give you all the information you need to make your decision.

Read on to find out which Callaway irons are best for your game.

Callaway’s 2020/2021 iron line up: an overview

Before we get to the detail, let’s start with a quick overview of Callaway’s current range. And to make things easy, we’ll break down the golf clubs by category.

Super game improvement (beginners, high handicappers)

callaway big bertha b21 irons

Callaway’s most forgiving irons are the new Big Bertha B21. With maximum offset, a super wide sole, oversized head, and very high launch, they’re perfect irons for both beginner golfers and high handicappers.

Also in this category, we’ve got Mavrik Max. Forgiveness is still super high here (perfect for high handicappers), but for beginners we’d be erring towards the Big Bertha.

Game improvement (mid handicappers)

callaway mavrik irons

In the middle, we’ve got Callaway’s standard Mavrik irons. These are Callaway’s flagship irons for 2020, and are most suited for mid handicappers (8-20).

They’re still very forgiving irons, but will tend to produce higher ball speeds (and more distance) than the Mavrik Max.

Player’s irons/blades (low handicappers, scratch golfers)

callaway x forged CB irons

For most lower handicappers and scratch golfers Mavrik Pro will be the best fit. Mavrik Pro is a compact, players iron, with focus on controlled distance (hitting exact yardages), and workability.

Mavrik Pro irons aren’t going to be as easy to hit as standard Mavrik. But for players who trust their ball striking, the reliability will be a big plus.

And finally, we’ve got two forged irons. The X Forged CB is a player’s distance iron with a small cavity back, while the Apex MB has a classic blade shape, which while a beautiful looking club, we would only recommend to truly proficient ball strikers.

Callaway Irons: Reviews

Now let’s look at each of the irons from Callaway’s lineup in more detail.

  1. Callaway Big Bertha B21
  2. Callaway Mavrik (max, standard, pro)
  3. Callaway X Forged CB
  4. Callaway Apex MB

Callaway Big Bertha B21 Review

callaway big bertha b21 irons

Big Bertha was the range that solidified Callaway as one of golf’s leading brands for the high handicap sector. Most of us have had Big Bertha in our bag at some point (I personally gamed a Big Bertha driver for years).

And the 2020 Big Bertha B21 iron is Callaway’s most forgiving iron to date.

It’s not a pretty iron. But if you can overlook the shovel-like appearance, then you’ll benefit from an iron that’s 100% designed to improve your golf game.

It ticks all the boxes:

  • Oversized head
  • Exceptional forgiveness on off-center hits
  • High launch
  • Solid distance

And the wide sole will also help to reduce (or at least improve) fat shots. You’ll get less digging.

The Big Bertha B21 is long, but not quite in the same ballpark as Mavrik. As you’d expect, lofts are reasonably strong, with the 7 iron set at 29 degrees, which sits somewhere between Ping G410 (30 degrees) and TaylorMade Sim (27 degrees).

You won’t get huge spin with the B21s, but the high launch should help to keep your ball on the green.

To sum up, if you need maximum forgiveness, Callaway’s Big Bertha B21 are the irons for you.

Callaway Big Bertha B21 Iron Set

With maximum offset, a super wide sole, oversized head, and very high launch, they’re perfect irons for both beginner golfers and high handicappers.

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Callaway Mavrik Irons Review

Callaway’s Mavrik range of irons is available in three “flavors”, with an option for all skill levels.

callaway mavrik irons

Beginners and high handicappers will enjoy the excellent forgiveness and oversized heads of the Mavrik Max. Mid cappers will appreciate the distance of the standard Mavrik. And lower handicappers will love the workability and controlled distance of the Mavrik Pro.

Callaway’s First “A.I. Designed” Irons

The main talking point of the Callaway Mavrik is the A.I. designed “Flash Face Cup”. You may have heard of this tech before, as it’s previously been a feature on Callaway’s drivers and fairway woods. But this is the first time it has been used in their irons.

It might sound gimmicky. But Callaway Mavrik genuinely were designed by an A.I., with Callaway’s engineers handing control over to the “machine”, which used machine learning (fundamentally trial and error) to test various permutations and maximize ball speed.

While this all seems a little futuristic, the bottom line for us humans is that when you buy a Mavrik iron, you’re buying an iron that’s going to impress you with both its distance and ball flight.

Carefully placed Tungsten weighting on each iron also helps to optimize trajectory and spin.

And what’s particularly impressive is that the face on each iron is slightly different. The A.I. has optimized the face and Tungsten weighting for every individual club across the 3 ranges. So a 7 iron is going to have a face that’s slightly different than an 8 iron etc.

Variation In Lofts

Lofts vary between the 3 options.

Surprisingly the strongest loft is in the standard Mavrik range, with a 7 iron there set at 27 degrees (matching TaylorMade’s Sim).

Mavrik Max is somewhat weaker, with the 7 iron coming in at 30 degrees (matching Ping’s G410). We assume Callaway decided a high handicapper or beginner would trade a few yards for a club that was easier to hit.

And the Pro range has the weakest lofts, with the 7 iron set at 30.5 degrees. In this case, probably because a low capper has plenty of distance in the bank, and has a preference for accuracy.

So the standard Mavrik is the longest of the 3 irons. But whichever Mavrik you opt for you’ll get plenty of distance, and you’re going to benefit from all of the tech above.

In a nutshell: Callaway Mavrik are great irons with an option for all skill levels.

Best for beginners
Callaway Mavrik Max Iron Set

With excellent forgiveness on off center hits, and easy launch, Callaway Mavrik Max are our top pick for beginners in 2021.

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Callaway Mavrik Iron Set

Callaway's standard Mavrik irons are best suited for mid handicappers.

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Callaway Mavrik Pro Iron Set

A compact, players iron, with focus on controlled distance (hitting exact yardages), and workability.

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Callaway X Forged CB Irons Review

callaway x forged cb irons

Close to blade like in appearance, but with a small cavity back, Callaway’s X Forged CB Irons are very much designed for better players.

There’s still a touch of offset, but the compact clubhead and narrow sole will be pleasing to the skilled golfers eye at address.

What’s perhaps surprising though is that Callaway X Forged aren’t actually one piece irons. They’re hollow, and Callaway has included internal Tungsten weighting to position the club’s center of gravity right bang in the middle of the face. Even the best golfers can benefit from tech right?

The body is made from soft 1025 mild-carbon steel, which makes for a soft feeling, pleasant impact.

And while lofts are weaker than Mavrik Pro (7 iron is set at 33 degrees) the Callaway X Forged will tend to be lower launching, but also more workable. So for players who like to shape their shots, they might be a better choice.

A strong competitor to Mavrik Pro for players who know their game and are confident in their ball striking, but still want a touch of offset and tech in their irons.

Callaway X Forged CB Iron Set

Player’s distance iron with a small cavity back.

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Callaway Apex MB Irons Review

callaway apex mb irons

Finally, in Callaway’s 2020 lineup, we’ve got the Apex MB.

With a thin topline and compact clubhead, these are classic blades designed for the best ball strikers who need control and precision in their irons.

And as these are the cream of the crop, tour level irons, you won’t be able to buy them off the shelf. Buy a set of Callaway Apex MB and you’ll get a shaft and swing weight custom fitted for you.

Simply stunning. But probably not for 99% of golfers. X Forged CB are gameable, but you’ll have to be an elite level ball striker to have fun on the course with these.

In other words, you’ll be the envy of your golf buddies. Until you hit a shot…

Callaway Apex MB Iron Set

Classic blade shape, recommend for truly proficient ball strikers.

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Summary: Which Callaway Irons Are Right For You?

Most golfers are going to pick from the Mavrik line-up. High handicappers will love the forgiveness of Mavrik Max, mid cappers will enjoy the distance of standard Mavrik, and low handicappers will appreciate the precision of Mavrik Pro.

But for beginners, the ridiculously forgiving Big Bertha B21 might be the best fit.

And if you’re a low handicapper who is a confident ball striker and looking for maximum workability, you might want to go for the X Forged CB.

Check out Callaway’s full 2021 iron line-up here.

David McSweeney
About David McSweeney

David is one of the founders of Golfer Logic, and on a mission to improve his swing, while sharing advice, tips and "eureka!" moments with the GL community.

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