Callaway Apex DCB 21 Irons Review: Features, Pros, & Cons

Callaway is renowned for pushing the boundaries of golf club manufacturing. Their quest to improve the game for professionals and club golfers alike began with the Big Bertha, which revolutionized driving. It then progressed to true innovation in iron design and manufacture.

With the release of their Apex irons in 2014, Callaway managed to achieve a forged feel with exceptional distance and playability. This tradition has continued with each successive Apex model culminating with the Apex DCB 21 model for mid-to-high handicappers. 

Who doesn’t love it when a slightly miss-hit shot still flies far enough to land pin high? What about the look of astonishment on a playing partner’s face when they ask what club you hit from 150 yards, and you answer, “nine iron.”

Apex irons are acclaimed for precision engineering with a beautiful soft forged feel. Callaway wanted to keep this proud tradition for the mid-to-high handicapper, and at the same time, offer them an iron that was easy to hit. The company found a solution by integrating a deep cavity back to the clubhead. 

Callaway calls these clubs “game improving irons” Let’s find out if they are just that.

Callaway Apex DCB 21 Irons Overview

The Apex DCB 21 is the first time Callaway has combined forged construction, a deep cavity back, and an extra-large head. Add wide soles and strong lofts, and you get a set of irons which impart exceptional feel, control, forgiveness, and distance.

The irons are a perfect synthesis between forged (which gives you the ability to work the ball) and cavity backed (which allows you to get the ball in the air more easily).

Callaway DCB 21 Irons Features

Callaway has upped the technological ante for this version of Apex irons. Groundbreaking engineering techniques and high tech materials come together to give these clubs unique features.

Feature 1 – Forged Feel and Forgiveness

The Callaway Apex DCB 21 irons combine the best of both worlds seamlessly. The deep cavity back and augmented sole width help get the ball up quickly, no matter the lie. The sole cuts through the rough impressively, giving the club golfer the ability to take on shots they would otherwise avoid.

Cast iron clubs would normally be the high handicapper’s recommended choice. Now, they have a great option to play forged irons with cavity back forgiveness.

Feature 2 – Flash Face Technology

For the first time, Callaway has put their AI-designed Flash Face Cup into forged irons. The clubface composition imparts a high launch angle with high ball speeds, creating more distance.The length is so impressive that you will feel like you belong in the long hitter category. 

Feature 3 – Tungsten Energy Core

The engine room of the Apex DCB1 irons is the Tungsten Energy Core. The precision placing and weighting of the tungsten throughout the set—the long and mid irons contain almost 50 grams—imparts unprecedented forgiveness to the long and mid irons, and control and accuracy to short irons and wedges. 

The Tungsten Energy Core gives all the clubs a consistent high launch angle and more forgiveness on miss-hits. Callaway offers you a choice of weighting combinations so you can tailor your set to your swing.

Feature 4 – Forged Carbon Steel

The Apex DCB 1 irons have the same renowned feel of the iconic Apex lineage. Forged with 1025 carbon steel and Callaway’s patented urethane microspheres the clubs deliver the “flushed” sound and feel at impact. 

Coupled with aerodynamic shaping and a stronger offset, these irons glide through the turf imparting a draw spin which gives the ball a longer, piercing flight.

How Do the Callaway Apex DCB 21 Irons Perform?

Overall, the performance of the Apex DCB 21’s is outstanding. They excel in every performance category, from launch angle to ball speed. They’re fit for purpose exceeding all expectations of a “game improving” iron.

Distance and Control

Callaway has found the right formula for long iron shots with their Apex DCB 21 irons. All the design and engineering elements work together, adding up to a club that delivers exceptional length. 

Distance starts with Callaway’s Flash Face technology that powers the ball off the clubface, delivering high ball speeds. When you couple that with strong lofts, you get impressive distance throughout the set. 

The next part of the equation is the slightly shut clubhead angle, giving a draw bias.The draw ball spin bores through the air creating even more distance.

Hitting it far is one thing; hitting it straight and long is another thing altogether. Control is where the Apex iron-forged pedigree makes its mark. The combination of forged feel and tungsten weighting for balance allows the Callaway Apex DCB 21’s to deliver precision strikes and control. Forged irons will enable you to manoeuvre the ball, increasing control and, therefore, straightness.


Callaway says the Apex DCB 21 is the most forgiving club they have ever made. We agree with them. The deep cavity back and amplified sole width make for effortless launch and solid strikes, with the soft, beautiful forged feel.

Then, enhancing the weighting in the mid and long irons produces precision center of gravity, boosting the launch and creating more forgiveness on miss-hits. Callaway offers personalized weighting options like the “Triple Play” set-up, which gives optimum forgiveness in the long irons and pure precision in the short irons and wedges.

Trajectory & Playability

These irons give the mid-to-high handicapper more distance, more clean strikes with its high MOI, and more manoeuvrability with their forged feel. Together with the larger head and aerodynamic shaping which glides through turf, you have a golf club that offers superb playability. The wide sole cuts through the turf like a knife through butter, further enhancing playability.

The Apex DCB 21 irons have a deeper center of gravity, promoting a steep launch angle.

Combine this with strong lofts and offset heads promoting a draw and you get a trajectory that’s piercing and keeps the ball in the air longer.

Callaway set out to offer the high handicapper more than just forgiveness. The Apex DCB 21 offers more shot-making options, causing the game to be more enjoyable.

What About the Look, Sound, & Feel?

The Look 

The Callaway Apex DCB 21’s have the classic Apex-forged look with clean lines and a beautiful head shape. These clubs are larger than the standard Apex irons—the head is offset, with a wider sole and thicker line on the top. The irons inspire confidence when addressing the ball, and you feel like you can get the ball in the air easily.

Sound & Feel

Hitting in the sweet spot produces a solid crisp thump, the sound of a flushed golf ball.  Off-center strikes have a louder, more metallic sound, giving you excellent feedback about where your face is making contact.The incredible forgiveness of the Apex DCB’s means your less perfect swings will still hit the ball a long way.

Pros of the Callaway Apex DCB 21 Irons

  • Great ball speed and high launch angle create huge distances, making these irons the longest in the game.
  • Excellent feel and forgiveness. Combining a forged head with the deep cavity back is a winner. These irons are exceptionally forgiving without compromising on the feel and control.
  • A slight shut face angle promotes a draw giving the mid-to-high handicapper a stronger ball flight.
  • Huge sweet spot. The advanced tungsten weighting promotes a huge center of gravity, giving you a higher percentage of solid strikes.
  • The club makes a beautiful, solid forged sound on impact and a head design that swipes effortlessly through the turf and in the rough.

Cons of the Callaway DCB 21 Irons

  • A slightly lower ball spin can mean it’s more difficult to stop the ball on the green for low ball hitters.
  • The clubs are pricey.

Where Can You Buy These Irons?

You can buy the Callaway Apex DCB 21 irons at most good golf retailers or online platforms.

You can also get them directly from Callaway, with many custom fitting options.

The clubs are also available on Amazon, where you will find a few configuration options.


Are the Callaway Apex 21 Irons for the High Handicapper?

Yes, they are. Callaway wanted to bring a forged feel with the forgiveness of a cavity back club to the high handicapper for the first time. They have nailed it with the DCB 21 model.

What Does ‘DCB’ Mean on Callaway Irons?

DCB means deep cavity back. A deep cavity back helps get the ball in the air quickly and aids forgiveness.

Overall Verdict

The Callaway Apex DCB 21 Irons are a great choice for the mid-to-high handicapper who wants to get the sleek look and feel of a forged design with the forgiveness of a cavity back club.

Callaway has upped the game with cutting-edge engineering and materials techniques to produce an iron that hits the ball very long.

You will impress your friends with the Apex’s beautiful design and even more with your newfound length.

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