OK, this isn't funny any more. I think Callaway is stalking my golfing life.
They are recreating happy memories from my golf bag, improving them yet keeping them subtly familiar and I am starting to lose track of time.
I felt warm and fuzzy at the Steelhead X-14s returning as the Steelhead XR irons. Then the rebirth of the Steelhead Plus as the Steelhead XR fairway brought back memories of that classic blue head.
And now this. The Callaway X-Forged 2018 irons.
I mean, they have even stayed true to the name started by the X-Forged 2009 irons I dated for a while. Yes I know they also did a 2013 X-Forged, which looks very similar to the 2018 version, but the 2009 version was the first for me.
The rear of the sole features the now familiar curved edge that we first saw on the Apex Pro 16 irons and size wise, the X-Forged 2018 is very similar to this, just with a smaller muscle back in the centre of the cavity.
Recently I had been worried that this style of simple, forged cavity back iron had gone to the great golf course in the sky, but thankfully Callaway, and others, have resurrected it and the X-Forged cavity is clean with the required amount of peripheral weighting to make it a little more forgiving than the Apex MB blade.
What always attracted me to the original X-Forged was how it went through the turf and the 2018 version continues this fine trend and is excellent off even the firmest lies.
The design of the head and the use of Callaway's 20V grooves on the face aims to maximise control and reduce the likelihood of fliers from the rough.
The lofts through the bag are fairly normal for irons these days so they aren't too strong because the X-Forged is about control more than distance.
The lofts are a fraction stronger these days then the X-Forged 2013, so it was no surprise to see the 1° stronger 7-iron go slightly further than the Apex MB iron from the same 86 mph swing speed.
For those who need a bit more forgiveness in a compact blade head, then the Apex Pro 16 irons offer that from the deeper cavity and give a deeper feel as a result. As you can see, this also results in a higher level of spin and peak height which in turn affects the distance, so that is your trade off depending on swing speed.
The deeper CG of the cavity back added spin to give a slightly higher flight, but the extra ball speed from the straighter face gave the X-Forged the edge. However the difference was small enough to make blending the two sets a possibility.
The feel is very good and relatively light at impact if you are used to irons with a larger cavity back. There doesn't seem to be as much oomph behind the ball at impact, but that is not what the X-Forged 2018 are designed for.
Control is what they are made for and this is very good and the slightly larger head and more forgivness gives you a possible option to blend the 4 and 5 iron with the Apex MB set as they are the same loft.
Now I may be looking through rose tinted glasses here, but the 2018 X-Forged has all the DNA of the original in a slightly smaller package and is one of the best forged blade hybrids out there. The feel and particularly the turf interaction are stand out features and if you are single figure golfer who likes their blades then the X-Forged are well worth checking out.
But just one last thing to my friends at Callaway. Please stop this. No more going back in time.
Unless you can take my handicap back in time too...