Callaway Apex DCB 21 Vs. Srixon ZX5 Irons Comparison Overview

The Callaway Apex DCB 21 irons and the Srixon ZX5 irons have a lot in common. Both are meant to give the appearance of players irons but are packed with game improvement features. After our testing, we are affirmed that both of these sets are good game improvement sets.

However, we also came across some key performance differences. As you know, it’s not enough to know that a set is a game-improvement set; you have to know the details to get a set that will truly help improve your game. Let’s take a look at those details in the following comparison overview.

Callaway Apex DCB 21 Irons Overview

Callaway-Apex-DCB-Irons

The bodies of the Callaway Apex DCB 21 irons have been forged from 1025 mild carbon steel which gives them a soft feel and increases consistency significantly.

And while the Apex DCB 21 irons have a deep cavity back, everything is kept in check with a relatively short blade length to promote workability. So you get the best of both worlds: help with distance from the cavity back and the workability that you would expect from a player’s iron.

The faces of both the Srixon ZX5 and the DCB 21 irons were designed with the help of AI. In the DCB 21 irons, you get more of an emphasis on spin control and launch. You get a good amount of control and accuracy throughout the entire DCB 21 set.

Srixon ZX5 Irons Overview

The Srixon ZX5’s also feature a forged carbon steel body and an AI-designed face.

The faces of these irons have also been forged of SUP10 steel however. This makes the Srixon ZX5’s incredibly consistent and resilient. And while the AI-designed faces of the DCB 21 irons work to promote spin and launch, the AI-designed faces work to improve forgiveness in the Srixon ZX5 irons.

The faces feature varying thicknesses to help preserve ball speeds where players tend to mis-hit and provide a bit more power behind the sweet spot. The Srixon ZX5’s are no slouches when it comes to spin though.

The progressive groove depth and width help to promote spin around the green while muting it a bit in the long irons.

Both of these iron sets would be great for mid handicappers. However, if you are looking for a bit more forgiveness, we would suggest the Srixon ZX5 irons.

Srixon ZX5 Irons  – First Impressions

The Srixon ZX5 irons are a major improvement over the Srixon Z585 irons which had a cheaper, more game improvement look about them.

The first thing we noticed about these irons is how nice they look. Srixon got rid of the back insert which made the previous Srixon irons look a bit cheap. The Srixon ZX5’s on the other hand have the look of a premium set of forged irons.

They have a sharp, sleek look even as the cavity back pokes out a little more noticeably in the long irons.

Another reason we think the Srixon ZX5 irons would be good for mid handicappers is the amount of offset you see at point of address. The Srixon ZX5’s have a moderate amount of offset that is enough to inspire confidence but not enough to make these look like a pure set of game improvement irons.

Srixon did a good job of making the Srixon ZX5’s occupy the middle ground between player’s performance and game improvement irons. When compared to the ZX7’s you will notice that the top line is a bit thicker.

The Srixon ZX5’s also have longer blades than the ZX7’s. However, this is to be expected. The ZX7’s are definitely more of a pure set of player’s performance irons and emphasize workability over forgiveness. Still, the Srixon ZX5’s aren’t much bigger than the ZX7’s.

Callaway Apex DCB First Impressions

Callaway-Apex-DCB-Irons

We knew that the Callaway Apex DCB irons targeted mid to high handicappers but they don’t feel like it.

Right from the gate, we were blown away with the feel of these irons. The feel of the forged 1025 carbon steel is amazing. It allows for a solid feel at contact with feedback you would expect from tour-grade irons.

Assisting with the soft feel of these irons is the layer of urethane microspheres included in the head. We also liked that the sole had a substantial footprint.

This will play well with high handicappers at it just looks more comforting at point of address.

The Callaway Apex DCB irons are available with graphite UST Mamiya Recoil Dart shafts and steel True Temper Elevate ETS 85 shafts.

The graphite shafts will certainly be more beneficial for high handicap players so those were the ones we tested.

The 4 and 5 irons are what we tested first and we were impressed with the distance and launch. The set starts with a 4 iron at a considerable 20 degrees of loft then jumps up to 23 degrees in the 5 iron.

The Callaway Apex DCB irons certainly impressed with their feel, distance and launch.

Srixon ZX5 Irons Selling Points

  • Multi-material construction
  • Tungsten toe weights in the long irons
  • “V” shaped sole
  • Narrower, deeper face grooves in the scoring irons
  • Milled back side

Callaway Apex DCB Selling Points

  • They feel amazing
  • They have a larger head shape than any other Apex iron
  • Good amount of offset for beginners and mid handicappers
  • Good for both mid and high handicappers
  • 50 grams of internal tungsten weighting in the long irons
  • Forged design

Who Are the Srixon ZX5 Irons for?

Srixon isn’t wrong when they say that the Srixon ZX5’s will have something to offer players of all skill levels. But after testing these irons, it’s clear that the players that stand to gain the most from these irons are mid handicappers.

They offer a moderate degree of workability which will suit the needs of players who are just starting to learn how to work the ball to their advantage on the fairway. Both the long and short irons have enough stopping power for the mid handicapper as well.

While the longer irons sacrifice a bit of spin control in favor of forgiveness and distance, we think most mid handicappers will be able to overlook this minor flaw. And since most mid handicappers will still want a moderate degree of forgiveness, the longer blades and thicker soles of the Srixon ZX5’s will suit them better than the ZX7 irons.

The Srixon ZX Family of Irons

The Srixon like of ZX irons also includes the popular Srixon ZX7 irons. The ZX7 irons have less offset, thinner top lines and thinner soles across the board so at point of address, they may scare some mid and high handicappers away.

However, you do get acute spin control from the scoring irons and excellent workability. Like the Srixon ZX5 irons, the ZX7’s are also fully forged. They also feature tungsten weights in the toes of the longer irons to help keep the blade from turning over.

As you might expect from a set of player’s performance irons, the ZX7’s also have stronger loft characteristics than the ZX5’s. Everything is the same up until the five iron: the Srixon ZX5 5-iron is 24 degrees while the 5-iron of the ZX7 set is 25 degrees.

So you do get slightly higher launch and sharper descent angles from the Srixon ZX7 irons starting with the 5-iron. Again though, this is pretty much to be expected from a set that is geared towards lower handicap players.

Distance: 94/100

Accuracy: 93/100

Forgiveness: 93/100

Feel & Control: 95/100

Overall Score: 93/100

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Who are the Callaway Apex DCB Irons For?

Callaway-Apex-DCB-Irons

The Callaway Apex DCB irons were designed for players with a handicap of 10 and higher.

The Callaway Apex DCB irons clearly have something to offer both mid and high handicap players. However, for high handicap players, the DCB’s will mostly be beneficial for distance, feel and launch. They don’t offer much help with off-center shots.

The Callaway Apex DCB irons could certainly stand to be a little more forgiving but they would still be a solid choice for beginners ready to break through to the mid handicap range.

Distance: 94/100

Accuracy: 95/100

Forgiveness: 92/100

Feel and Control: 93/100

Overall Score: 94/100

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