REVIEW: Tour Edge Exotics EXS Fairway Wood
Tour Edge Exotics EXS Fairway Wood
Pound for Pound, Worth Your Time
The Tour Edge Exotics EXS fairway wood is the higher-spinning, more forgiving cousin to the company’s excellent CBX line. Comprised of high-end materials at a lower price point than its competitors, the EXS makes a strong case to be the surprise offering of 2018.
Officially released in November 2018, the EXS boasts a build featuring materials like carbon fiber and high-density steel that are usually found in the Big Boy OEM products. As such, those clubs are usually priced upwards of $300 for fairway woods due to the higher operating margins the keep the lights on at the larger brands.
Tour Edge decided to flip the script and tighten their margins in an attempt to gain market share in this space. Priced at a more affordable $230, the EXS still features all the bells and whistles you’d expect in a modern high-performing wood.
The loaded-with-technology fairway metals feature a Flight Tuning System (FTS) that includes 11- gram and 3-gram interchangeable weights, Cup Face Technology with Variable Face Thickness (VFT Technology) for an expanded sweet spot, multi-material usage of Carbon Fiber for ideal weight distribution and a new and improved SlipStream™ Sole for faster clubhead speed through the turf.
At the end of the day, however, consumers will flock to trusted names — or those who have the highest marketing budgets. To overcome this competition, Tour Edge needed to hit a home run with their newest line.
Appearance and Feel
The Tour Edge Exotics EXS fairway wood looks clean, professional, and minimalist. The club’s crown features the popular carbon fiber pattern than blends nicely into a deep black finish throughout the clubhead. Dark blue accents surround the club, adding to its overall attractiveness.
The sole of the EXS is a little busy due to the waved ridges in the heart of the club, and the interchangeable weights accentuate this feature due to their placement. These weights — 11 grams in the heel and 3 grams in the back of the club — can be switched to adjust launch and spin conditions. Tour Edge also sells additional weight options to customize the club to your needs.
The clubhead is slightly larger than I would prefer, but the deep face and low profile is fantastic. The club looks like you can hit it from any lie, scooping the ball out of a divot or digging it out of deep rough.
At impact, the EXS feels and sounds crisp and solid. I love a subtle crack instead of a high-pitched “ting”, and the EXS does not disappoint. There is a slight change in sound on miss-hits, which is to be expected but doesn’t become distracting. I need to know when I missed the sweet spot; not everyone else around me.
I was impressed by the performance of the EXS. Using Top Tracer Range technology at Mistwood Golf Dome, the EXS produced an average yardage of 249 yards with ball speeds averaging 140 mph. Launch conditions were also solid, with 13 degrees of launch and a peak height average of 33 yards. These numbers are similar to my current gamer.
Most impressive was the club’s forgiveness. Shots off the heel or toe found their way back to mid-line nicely, resulting in an average of 5 yards off center.
When I initially heard about Tour Edge’s thin margin approach in the design of the EXS, I felt nervous for a local brand that’s been garnering a lot of attention. After trying the club, that feeling changed to cautious excitement.
There’s no doubt the EXS delivers on what it promises. It performs just as well as higher-priced competitors in most metrics, and its lower price point should be screaming at you to purchase one tomorrow. But we all know that consumer (us) can be tricky to figure out.
Brand image is a tough nut to crack, and smaller brands need to do all they can to earn your trust— and dollars. I can’t be any more direct than to say the Tour Edge Exotics EXS fairway wood is absolutely worth your consideration, and if running neck-and-neck to another option, will likely be less harsh on your wallet.