Rounding out the EXS collection is a set of irons which club architect David Glod declares are “designed to be the longest distance iron in the game.” If early sales figures and internal testing results are any sort of harbinger, his bravado seems to be based more substance than hope.
Compared to standard iron sets with relatively traditional lofts, Tour Edge says golfers can expect to gain “8-10 yards on the long irons and 5-8 yards on short irons.” For golfers in the target demographic (20 HC and under), distance is still king, though a comparatively friendlier price point ($100 per club in steel) is likely as much of a magnet as Tour Edge tries to obtain valuable market share from industry stalwarts like Callaway and TaylorMade.
The EXS iron set features a hollow-body design in the 4-8 irons and an under-cut cavity chassis from 9-iron through sand wedge. Like other OEMs playing in the new Forged Distance category, Tour Edge engineers leverage open space in the club head to increase and improve specific measurables, such as MOI (forgiveness), ball speed, and the launch/spin relationship.
Each technological element of the EXS irons aids in an effort to give players more distance. The Forged Cup face is the thinnest ever used by Tour Edge and its spider-web-like VFT (variable face thickness) pattern works to expand the sweet spot in all directions from the geometric center of the clubface. Simply, a thinner face has more flex– making it hotter. VFT technology increases ball speed on off-center strikes with the spider-web pattern working to extend the sweet spot further toward the perimeter of the club.
Tour Edge is far from the only OEM with a hollow-bodied forged distance iron. What’s slightly different is how Tour Edge fills (or in this case doesn’t fill) the void. Some OEMs with similar offerings pump fancy plastics or materials into the cavity to both support a thin, responsive face. Tour Edge utilizes LaunchPad technology – a TPE polymer coated with a performance gel, which absorbs shock and increases face flex. While this technology doesn’t fill the entire cavity, it does use the cavity badging as a point of adhesion, which if nothing else is a point of distinction when comparing like technologies within the forged distance category.
Additionally, Tour Edge shifted 19 grams of tungsten to the toe of the club to better align the geometric and physical centers of gravity. It also increases perimeter weighting, thereby expanding the sweet area toward the toe.
Are the lofts jacked? With a pitching-wedge at 42°, you bet the EXS are strong-lofted, and unapologetically so. Static loft, however, is only part of the conversation. The more holistic approach is to understand how less loft can create more distance without sacrificing the ability to hold greens (decent angle).
As a line, Tour Edge EXS targets the discerning golfer on a budget. The likely consumer is one who demands maximum value but also cares about aesthetics and playing equipment with all the modern technology. It’s a bit like getting brand new technology at prices closer to close-out models from the previous year.
The EXS stock 4-PW configuration is available in both graphite ($799.99) and steel ($699.99). The stock graphite offering is the mid-launch, mid-spin Mitsubishi Tensei which is available in 60g in ladies and a-flex, 70g in regular and 80g in stiff and x-stiff. For players preferring steel, the KBS Max 80 is available in both regular and stiff flex.
Retail availability begins 11/1/2018