When news started to pour out from Batavia, Illinois based golf equipment manufacturer Tour Edge about their new Exotics EXS range of products I was very excited. Premium products built from premium material. The range includes everything from their driver (which scored very well for a Top Driver Teezy Award) to a set of irons. Between the technology that’s packed into the Exotics EXS line and the attractive price point that accompany them there is much to be excited about when looking at the EXS range of products.
One of the manufacturers that I was really excited to swing at the 2019 PGA Show Merchandise Demo Day was in fact Tour Edge. Already having had the opportunity to test and review the Tour Edge Exotics EXS 4 hybrid late in 2018 (EXS 4 Hybrid Review here) my appetite was whet in anticipation at the prospect of what the rest of the range was like. Especially, the Exotics EXS irons. The tagline that Tour Edge is using for this range (“Pound for Pound… Nothing Comes Close”) surely resonated with me. Here’s why.
The Pre-Shot Routine
The Exotics EXS irons by Tour Edge are packed with a ton of technology. One of the trends that we’re seeing in the golf industry is that of iron sets consisting of hollow-body construction. The EXS irons are no exception.
Exotics EXS irons feature a forged Cup Face with what Tour Edge refers to as “SpiderWeb VFT Technology”. The result? An expanded sweet spot that allows for more forgiveness which in turn enhances the golfer experience. Especially on strikes that are not… “Optimum”. Also noteworthy is the fact that the face construction is the thinnest that Tour Edge has ever used. The long irons 4-7 are the irons that feature the hollow body construction whilst the short irons 8-PW feature an undercut cavity design. A key point in the short irons is what Tour Edge calls “LaunchPad Technology”. The LaunchPad Technology is a polymer that Tour Edge used to absorb vibration, enhance the feel and create more “trampoline effect”. This effect aids in providing a higher ball exit velocity which theoretically equates to more distance.
What good is a game-improvement iron if it doesn’t feature perimeter weighting? Perimeter weighting has become an integral part of the golf manufacturing industry when it comes to the design of irons. Once thought to be used predominantly in game-improvement irons we’ve seen the use of Tungsten perimeter weighting in what many would now describe as player’s irons. The EXS irons are no exception as Tour Edge R&D placed a 19-gram toe weight to further address forgiveness and playability. Higher M.O.I means more resistance to twisting and “elongates the sweet spot”.
Technology points don’t simply “end” in the design of the head. Stock shafts offered in both graphite and steel. The options are none other than the Tensei CK Blue 2G Series by Mitsubishi Chemical (MCA). This shaft (also featured in the EXS Hybrid) combines the best of Kevlar, Carbon Fiber and other lightweight materials. Shaft weights vary depending on the flex of the shaft (60-80 grams). Or in the case of the steel option the KBS Max 80 is available in either a Regular or Stiff flex and Tour Edge opted to choose the venerable Lamkin Grips UTx grip.
(Demo Day Conditions – Sunny, Windy (left to right) and Warm. Tested with the MCA Tensei CK Blue 2G Series in Stiff flex)
Aesthetics – First things first. I just wanted to point out that in way these irons reminded me a little bit of their EXi irons introduced a couple of product cycles ago.
That said, these irons look mean and remind me of a “Muscle Car” from the 50’s – 60’s. Maybe like a 1957 Chevrolet Belair? When looking at them from the perspective of the golf bag view (cavity view) they look fast and they look powerful. Raw horsepower! I love the colorway of these irons with the silver and black badge on the back but the “pop” of blue just further adds to the aesthetic value of these irons (see picture below).
The looks are very attractive in the address position. The blade length is neither too long nor is it too short. At the risk of sounding like “Golfilocks” the blade length was just right. The blade length inspires confidence at address and the ball sets up great behind the head. What I really like from the address position is the top line. It is quite thin for game-improvement irons and I found the EXS irons to be very attractive overall. Personally speaking, I feel that the EXS irons may very well be the best-looking iron set in its category.
Performance– Make no bones about it. The EXS irons are premier performers. Quite honestly, it all boils down to the initial thoughts I had regarding their looks (in the address position). Looking down at them, I felt so confident that I was going to see good results that the confidence went straight to my hands and arms. Quite honestly, at that point I hadn’t really made a ton of swings with any clubs. I was still finding my way (and my swing) post-Stroke and I really had no clue what swing was going to show up at Demo Day. My first swing resulted in a well-struck 8-iron that seemed to penetrate the left to right wind. The feel on that first strike was so crisp and more importantly the ball flight didn’t “balloon”. The wind did not affect the ball flight. It just held up and on its intended line.
Divots were crisp and that could be contributed to the design of the sole which is called a “Ramped Sole”. The sole is designed to provide better turf interaction and heel relief. More relief means less likelihood of the club getting entangled with the turf.
Distance. Without having any sort of launch monitor data I cannot give specific numbers. That’s why I tout being the “Home of Organic Golf Reviews”. Using my senses (sight, sound, touch) has allowed me to differentiate differences from club to club. These irons are “hot” and “long”. The thin cup face sounds “mean” and you know that you’ve struck the golf ball based on the crisp “thwack” at impact. The sound and feel is very “solid” and its very noticeable in the hollow-bodied longer irons. The Tungsten weighting in the toe as far as I’m concerned served its purpose very well and not only did it help to prevent twisting but it seemed like squaring the face was achieved very easily. These irons are long… I need to point out that I turned myself around to hit into the wind as best as I could. I need to point out one important fact about the EXS irons.
*** The iron lofts are strong!! For comparison sake the PW is an astounding 42*. If you trap the ball as you should you’ll de-loft the club more.
While I will not go as far as suggesting that the EXS irons have a blade-like profile I will say that the minimal offset and thinner top-line nearly suggests that it is. The result is a golf club that you can control and shot-shape with ease. Cut, draw, high, and low all shots are easily achieved. Flighting the ball is a “breeze”. My typical shot shape is straight to a baby draw and it was no exception with the EXS irons. The MCA Tensei CK Blue 2G shafts were smooth and quite honestly as expected based on my previous experience using this shaft. it is Tour-proven.
What a fantastic set of irons!
There are iron sets that have given me a great first impression. The Exotics EXS irons were consummate. A total blend of looks, power, feel, and performance. This is an iron set that will benefit golfers of all skill levels. I’m talking Scratch all the way to a 25-handicap. The Exotics EXS irons scored and impressive. Iron sets start from $499.99 USD and come in a variety of set compositions 5-PW to 7-PW/AW/GW/SW.
Tour Edge has packed a ton of technology into these irons and I have no doubt in my mind that they might be the irons that are in fact “Pound for Pound” the best. There’s a reason why these irons won their category for the Teezy Awards. The Exotics EXS irons scored 38.5 out of 40 points. I really think that these irons would warrant further testing on-course! Range time is one thing… On-course is another. If you’re in the market for new irons in 2019 these would be worth a look. For more information on these Exotics EXS irons please visit Tour Edge.
Until The Next Tee!!