Well, the time has come. It’s now officially #testingszn here at Until The Next Tee. Very recently, I’ve received a new product to review. Many thanks go out to Jon Claffey the Vice President of Marketing for Tour Edge Golf for giving me the opportunity to have a first-hand look at the new Exotics C721 driver.
For those not in the know, Tour Edge Golf has been on quite a roll over the last several years. The Batavia, Illinois based golf equipment manufacturer has seen record sales and continued growth. Earlier this year, Tour Edge received a huge boost when the legendary Bernhard Langer signed a contract with them to play their equipment. Quietly, Langer had the EXS Pro Hybrid in his bag during The 2020 Master’s Tournament.
When I think of Tour Edge Golf, I really think of them as one of the biggest “movers and shakers” in the golf industry. While they’ve been around for much longer than 2019, I have long felt that, that was the year that they really stood out. With that year’s release, the Exotics EXS, they proved that you can produce a premium product with all of the best technology without the massive price tag attached to it. The Exotics EXS 220 and EXS Pro range gave them even more momentum which brings us to the Exotics C721.
In the video below, I unbox the Exotics C721 and let me tell you, as you can see from the pictures above. This driver just from an aesthetics standpoint alone is different.
With the unboxing out of the way, the testing process has begun for this stick. Only time will tell whether this driver is an upgrade over the previous two generations. Stay tuned right here for more content on the testing process of the Exotics C721 driver.
HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. — March 26, 2021 — SRIXON®, a global leader in golf ball technology and innovation, announces the all-new Q-STAR TOUR DIVIDE. This exciting new golf ball offering from Srixon officially launches in North America on April 15, 2021.
“The new Q-STAR TOUR DIVIDE looks great, but it’s so much more than that,” said Brian Schielke, General Manager at Srixon. “Easier putting alignment and increased visual feedback on your chip and pitch shots really adds to the greenside performance. It’s a ball every golfer must try.”
The Q-STAR TOUR DIVIDE is different, featuring a new thermoplastic urethane cover that has been infused with bright pigments rather than being painted on. The 50/50 Matte Urethane Cover delivers a high contrast, matte cover that provides the same tour-level spin and stopping power you’ve come to expect from the original Q-STAR TOUR.
With DIVIDE’s unique two-tone cover construction, putting alignment comes easy with a 360° line, while every shot will produce a strobe effect to help show off the speed and direction of spin.
DIVIDE might not look like a classic golf ball, but it still delivers true tour performance. Featuring the same FastLayer Core and 338 Speed Dimple Pattern found on the classic Q-STAR TOUR, DIVIDE provides the distance and control expected from a tour-caliber golf ball.
Key Technologies Inside Q-STAR TOUR DIVIDE:
New FastLayer Core: The new FastLayer Core offers distance and soft feel without compromise due to a gradual transition from soft inner core to firm outer edge.
50/50 Matte Urethane Cover: The high contrast, matte cover makes spin visible and putting alignment easy.It’s cast from soft urethane for tour-level spin and stopping power.
338 Speed Dimple Pattern: Providing a penetrating ball flight in any conditions, the 338 Speed Dimple Pattern increases lift and reduces drag to maximize distance.
I know that there are plenty of golf consumers out there that get a little antsy whenever a golf manufacturer releases a new product. Products often come with the trappings of being their “longest, most-forgiving, ever”. Admittedly, we see this all too-often on television spots or the PGA Show floor, when we’re in attendance. C’mon ’22, don’t let me down.
But what about when you have a company, like Tour Edge Golf, and in particular their Exotics range? A brand of equipment where we have seen a true evolution over the last three years. Change that is more than simply “paint and wallpaper” but actual physical difference?
When it comes to Original Equipment Manufacturers (or OEM’s) Tour Edge Golf may not be at the forefront of golfers’ collective minds. But, if there’s one equipment brand that has done a lot of moving and shaking over the last three years, it’s Tour Edge Golf.
Tour Edge Golf has been around a long time. I remember when I first started to notice golf equipment and attend golf & travel shows. Their CB metalwood from around 2007 (but I can’t seem to get 2004 out of my head) had a cult following. Or, what seemed to have been at least a rabid following. I remember swinging it back then and even though I truly had no clue what to look for, it felt hot.
While David Glod’s company has been forging along quietly, to me, it was a big year in them for 2019. They released the Exotics EXS range of products. A range of products that proved that you could have the best in technology, R&D, and components but without the premium price tag (the driver was $299.99 USD). They followed that up with the EXS 220 range in 2020 and that was another range that did the same and simply produced (driver was $349.99 USD). The additional $50 over 2019 was worth it. Improved acoustics, feel, forgiveness, and material. That range fared very well in my Teezy Awards winning multiple awards including several gold medals. But what about 2021?
This year, Exotics has introduced us to a family of products called the Exotics C721. This family of golf clubs looks to be a serious player in the golf industry for 2021. Yes, there is a ton of exposure of the brand on PGA TOUR Champions with golfers like Tom Lehman, Scott McCarron, Duffy Waldorf, and Tim Petrovic already inked. But then, earlier this year they announced that the legendary Bernhard Langer had signed an equipment deal. So, for Langer to go into Tour Edge Exotics you know something was brewing and that it was going to be good. Really good! Langer had quietly been playing the EXS Pro hybrid and had it in play at the 2020 Master’s Tournament.
When looking at the metalwoods (driver, fairway metals, hybrids) I would suggest that from aesthetics alone, this family of golf clubs has more “rack appeal” than its predecessors. The graphics on the bottom end are clean and no longer evident is one of their technologies from the past several years. “SlipStream Sole Technology” clearing the way for a cleaner sole. They’re clean and don’t appear gaudy.
Forgiveness is a key to this range. In saying that, look at the weight at the trailing edge of the head, an updated “Diamond Face” called “Diamond Face 2.0” that offers more speed and forgiveness through design, and a huge difference is their “Ridgeback Technology”. The latter being a “titanium spine running from the center of the face through the crown and wrapping around the head to connect with the titanium sole plate”. In layperson terms, this technology is designed with producing more power on strikes off of the sweet spot or off-centre strikes for that matter. But it also aids in the feel of this driver, which I might add I just received for testing and review, so stay tuned.
We do see some returning technology as well like their “Sound Diffusion Bar(s)” to aid in acoustics, “SpeedTested Shafts” which are shafts that have been extensively robot tested to fit the best baseline shaft/head combination based on swing speeds. Although the options are different from last year. Also featured is an adjustable hosel that allows the 10.5* model to go down to 8.5* or up to 12.5*. Not including upright settings, there are a multitude of combinations to optimize your launch conditions and performance.
The smaller siblings (fairway metals and hybrids) offer much of the same technologies as the driver. With one exception. There is no hosel adjustment. What you buy is what you get, so tinkerers be aware. Should the driver and metalwoods perform better than last year, then… “Gadzooks!” Because last year was impressive.
Switching over to the irons, we have two models of Exotics 721 irons to look at. First there are the Exotics C721 and secondly, the Exotics E721. Both irons do feature hollow-body designs.
In looking at the technology first, Tour Edge has introduced “Dual Vibrcor Technology”. By placing two pieces of TPU the feel offered at impact is enhanced. In saying that, the sound is muted (the prior generations sounded mean and hot impact) while also reducing vibration. Have you ever struck a shot in the cold that wasn’t optimal. The “bees” in your hands and “vibrations” can rattle your teeth. It gets into your head.
Diamond Face 2.0 is comprised of 92 diamond shapes which reduces the face thickness. A thinner face translates to more trampoline effect and potential distance gains. Not to mention an expanded sweet spot. So, a poorly struck shot may not be as severely penalized. If you’re going to miss, miss straight. This is the first time that Diamond Face has been introduced into one of their iron sets. Also, a “Maraging Steel L-Cup” face has been employed in the manufacturing of the Exotics 721 irons. Typically, we’ve seen maraging steel used in metalwoods, by using this material they can engineer the clubface to be thinner. This produces more accuracy and helps in the case of off-centre strikes.
SpeedTested shafts much like the metalwoods makes a return in 2021 as well.
Aesthetically speaking, again Tour Edge has improved the aesthetics of these irons. I often likened the cavity in their recent irons like the EXd, EXi, EXS, and EXS 220 to a ’57 Chevy Belair. It looked cool, it was like a grill on one of those amazing pieces of art. The look stood out, it was different. However, the Exotics 721 irons have been cleaned up. Maybe with feedback from TOUR players and influencers alike, the look wasn’t well-received so they changed it. Or maybe it was just time for a change. The cavities are clean. Golfers will look at these in-store for a different reason. Instead of idle curiosity, their curiosity will nag at them wondering what this nice-looking iron set is. They will then pick them up and take a longer look.
While I’m talking about the looks, the Exotics C721 irons do feature a more compact profile and a thinner topline compared to its thicker toplined, longer profile counterpart. The Exotics E721 is all about forgiveness and this club will offer that in spades in part thanks to extreme toe-weighting and offset (Exotics E721 is pictured above on the right).
My final take on these irons is short and sweet. I anticipate Tour Edge Golf having a terrific 2021. This Exotics 721 family of products looks serious. Aesthetics alone, these sticks look like their all business with still, an attractive price point. Don’t be surprised if these products end up filling spots in bags on all of the tours. It’s just that you may not know who it is.
Welcome back to TeeBox Chatter everyone! Thank you for taking the time out of your hectic lives to have a listen. I appreciate more than you think.
Joining me this his week, my guest is an all-around nice guy and the CEO of SUB 70 Golf Jason Hiland. Join us on the tee box of the first hole as we “chatter it up”. This week the WGC Dell Technologies is being played. So, we talk about Match Play and another format that we see once a year. Stableford Scoring. Different is good.
Also we talk about all things SUB 70 Golf. A brand different from the rest. From Jason’s beginnings in the golf industry to hand-written notes, and products new to the stable in 2021. It’s a fun chat. Be sure not to miss it.
With any luck, the title of this article will not act in any way that would resemble a jinx. Dare I say it, with the immediate 7-day forecast, spring has sprung. The obligatory last blast of winter weather at the end of March and early April freezing rain storms notwithstanding. They’re quite customary here in The Great Lakes.
Today, the sun was shining, the birds were chirping, and as it turns out a local driving range and their batting cage facilities opened up for the 2021 season. I live in a weird place. If you were to draw a triangle you would see that I live in between three different driving ranges. A luxury in a way.
In a way it’s both a blessing and a curse I suppose, because, half of the battle is deciding where to go. But I digress. It doesn’t make a difference to me where I end up whether it’s Brock Golf Course (open today), Westport Driving Range (year-round), or Niagara Golf and Batting Cages. The latter being where I ended up yesterday.
For the last two weeks, I’ve been “jonesing” real badly to get to a driving range and make some swings. Our lockdown ended a couple of weeks ago (honestly, I’ve lost track) and as I’ve healed from recent vascular surgery, my hunger to play golf has spiralled out of control.
Sure, I took it upon myself to take my pup out for walks over to the nearby “city run” golf course. It gives him a chance to run and me, well, a chance to strike a few balls. Pitches and chips from the rough. The only strike that sucks in my opinion, is the one that you haven’t made. I know, you’re thinking to yourself what if you shank, top, thin, or fat a shot? For those wondering, my opinion is, it’s better to have made a swing than never to have made a swing at all. One way or another, we need to find ways to get reps in especially when practice facilities are closed or the snow covers the ground. Basically, if you want something bad enough, there’s always a solution. My wife got me a small pop-up chipping net and mat and that really helped me to get through the last two or three weeks.
So, after many failed attempts getting to a driving range (to be honest it was more post-op apprehension than anything else) I made it out there. My 2021 golf season has begun. At this point in time, I don’t feel like swinging the driver, metalwoods, or long irons is wise. Come next week ,barring any setbacks, I’ll be swinging them. So, today was about three clubs and a training tool.
Testing for the Edison Forged Wedges came to a grinding halt. They arrived just before Christmas (I think) and all I was able to do was hit little chips and pitches with the 57*. It wasn’t until today that the 49* and 53* respectively, met a golf ball. The plan was to only hit maybe a 3/4 wedge at the most but, feeling confident and not feeling any worse for wear, I lengthened out my swing. It felt good, really good. Not just because I was making swings, but, I was doing so with no pain. And! I was striking the ball really well. A great sign. Crisp strikes, majestic apexes, tiny draws, and consistency. My groupings to targets were very much eye-opening.
At the 75-yard sign I landed 5 straight shots either on top of or within a foot of each other. The ball just sort of jumps off of the face. These Terry Koehler-designed Edison Forged Wedges are the real deal. But, I’m going to reserve further judgement until I’ve had them in play.
The training tool that I warmed up with was the Rypstick from RYP Golf. While I’m waiting for medical clearance to resume strenuous exercise, I can’t get into the protocols designed for its use. This tool is designed with overspeed/overload training in mind for the development of clubhead speed gains. But, it’s much more than that. It’s great for stretching and even better for establishing your tempo. There’s an audible whistle that emits from ports on the bottom of the “head”. There’s also a counterbalance in the end of the grip. Prior to my session, I warmed up with it a little bit and my tempo came easy and I feel that it played a part in my successful first session.
Man, it feels great to be out there again. I can’t wait for the next time. Maybe today!!