The Testing Opportunity - Part One: Unveiling Caley Golf's 01X Utility Iron
Caley Golf, a rising star in the Direct-To-Consumer (DTC) market, has swiftly carved its niche as a brand to watch. In a saturated golf market, breaking through can be challenging, making our opportunity to organize a MyGolfSpy Forum Member Review of the Caley 01X Utility Iron all the more exciting. After a commendable top three finish in Most Wanted Testing with their driving iron, the forum community's anticipation was high, and what better way to see how the product really performs than by placing the product in the hands of our forum testers.
About Caley Golf
Founded in 2019 by Ryan Atha, Caley Golf initially offered budget-friendly box sets. Wanting to take the next step forward, the brand elevated its game by introducing premium-level clubs like the 01, 01T, and 01CB iron sets—a notable leap forward featuring a hollow body player distance iron and a fully forged cavity back.
These innovations mark a stride toward Caley Golf's overarching mission—to enhance golf accessibility by providing premium-quality clubs at affordable prices.
What Underwent Testing?
In a departure from conventional single-product focus, the Caley forum opportunity encompassed a set from each of their three offerings and two of their MyGolfSpy Most Wanted 3rd place Caley 01X Utility irons.
This article, part one of our coverage, delves into the Caley 01X Utility Iron's performance, scrutinizing how it fared in the hands of our testers.
Caley 01X Utility: Initial Impressions
While the utility arrived in less-than-ideal box conditions, the testers noted that improved packaging would be beneficial. Despite this, the clubs emerged unscathed and in pristine condition.
Our tester, AndySP, shared mixed sentiments about a few details. The overall look and aesthetics of the club were graded well and impressed, but he found the shaft's upward logo-facing installation somewhat perplexing. Another tester, Vegan, initially had concerns due to the box's condition but was pleasantly surprised by the club's immaculate appearance upon unwrapping. Raving about the look and clean lines he couldn’t wait to get the utility to the range and golf course.
Tester Feedback on Performance
Both testers commended the club's aesthetics, but how did it perform?
One minor critique centered on the shaft—although of good quality, the 65-gram stiff shaft felt slightly light, particularly for Vegan, causing timing issues and an extended break-in period. This was not so much an issue with the shaft which is provided, but more the lack of options available to those who may require a heavier or stiffer shaft for their swing.
Despite this, both testers achieved favorable results with the Utility. In terms of forgiveness, AndySP acknowledged its limitations as a large 2 iron but highlighted its superior performance compared to his other irons, especially with low and toe strikes.
He also added that there was one particular shot he wished to be able to play with this club, which was the stinger. Here is what he said.
“To hit mean low rockets to impress my instagram friends…I mean to stay under the wind. Perhaps surprisingly… I had no problem putting this a little back in the stance and keeping it low on the range. Addicting, but still a little scary on the course for me.”
On distance, he remarked, "It's a bomber that creeps up on the distance I get out of my 4 wood." Vegan, while experiencing ups and downs on the course, praised the Caley 01X for its versatility in various situations, with the only drawback being its challenge in the rough.
The Final Verdict
Although both testers encountered a learning curve with the Caley 01X Utility, they eventually gave it scores of 72 and 78 out of 100. While not the highest in our member tests, both plan to deploy the club situationally. Reshafting is on the horizon for both testers to optimize the club's fit to their swings.
Navigating the nuances of driving irons or utility irons is inherently tricky, and the Caley 01X Utility received praise for its aesthetics, sound, feel, and height of ball flight, coupled with solid distance. However, points were deducted for weighting, limited shaft options, forgiveness traits, and an unusual situation where excess metal emerged from the grooves during cleaning, as noted by AndySP.
It was a challenging test at times for the testers as this was not an easy plug and play club. There were several great shots recorded and highlighted during testing, however there were also struggles which were well documented. With the stock components testers had to adapt their swings and timing to get the most out of the club.
While they both recommended the golf club for various reasons, they did specify it should be for those fit better into the stock specifications and shaft options.
Despite these considerations, both testers lauded its reasonable pricing, affirming that the Caley 01X Utility delivers commendable performance for its cost.
The testers final reviews and data they collected can be found in the following link: Forum Member Review: Caley 01X Utility