The beauty of golf is that you and I can play the same courses and same equipment as professional golfers, and we can measure our games -- however futile an exercise -- to theirs.
The reality of golf, though, is that you and I do not play the same game as the pros. They're better -- way better.
The pros need different performance characteristics from their equipment, including technological advancements that protect them from a different set of swing flaws and misses. The great news for pros at the highest level is that they can turn to equipment manufacturers who sponsor them, ask for equipment unique to their capabilities and get it pretty quickly. The feedback the pros give often informs the equipment released to you and me.
However, equipment manufacturers also realize some recreational players don't want clubs influenced by tour staffers; they want clubs that are as close as possible to what the pros are playing.
With that in mind, Tour Edge is releasing the Exotics EXS Pro line. The company is billing these limited-edition clubs, designed for the hundreds of pros who use their equipment, as coming straight from the tour van to your bag. The EXS Pro line borrows some technology and design cues from the EXS and EXS 220 lines, but the equipment is geared toward a better player, meaning more compact shapes, more customization and different center of gravity positions.
When they're talking limited run, they mean it. There are only 1,000 pieces of the EXS Pro driver, fairway woods and hybrids being made available to the public, and there will be only 250 sets of the EXS Pro Forged iron and EXS Blade made.
Exotics EXS Pro driver
The EXS Pro driver was designed to be on the complete opposite end of the spectrum from the EXS 220. Where the EXS 220 driver was built to be the company's most forgiving and easiest to launch straight, the EXS Pro driver is built with a more traditional, compact shape (441 cc vs. 460 cc) with the ability to take the left side of the course out of play.
The EXS Pro driver features a deeper (read: taller) face bonded on a smaller pear-shaped body, which has a FlightTrack adjustable weight system along the back edge to give the golfer 6 grams of weight to adjust shot-shape bias. For pros, that means eliminating the hook. The severe slope on the back half of the crown creates a more forward center of gravity, which is designed to kill spin by some 400 rpm compared to the EXS 220 driver.
Carried over from the EXS 220 driver is Diamond Face technology, with a Beta titanium face design featuring 33 different thick and thin diamond shapes to create hot spots across the face for increased ball speeds. Carbon fiber is located in toe and crown, with 8-1-1 titanium used elsewhere in the body -- all to create weight savings to manipulate the center of gravity. The adjustable hosel allows golfers to adjust the loft up or down 2 degrees from the printed loft.
Sound Diffusion bars and acoustic ribbing in the back of the clubhead are designed to deliver great, appealing sound.
The Exotics EXS Pro driver will be available June 1 for $400 in 9.5- and 10.5-degree heads in either the Mitsubishi Tensei CK Orange or Project X HZRDUS Smoke Yellow shaft.
Exotics EXS Pro fairway woods and hybrids
The Exotics EXS Pro fairway woods and hybrids are designed with versatility and workability in mind. Pros can hit these clubs well as it is, so they want smaller shapes that allow them to shape the ball as they'd like in a variety of situations.
The fairway woods in the line are more compact compared to the EXS 220, more akin to the CBX 119s, which have proven popular with pros. A pear-shaped design features a deeper face and smaller overall footprint, coming in at 170 cc. The dramatic sloping on the crown moves the center of gravity forward to help kill spin and a lower ball flight. A Beta titanium cup face is combo-brazed onto a Hyper Steel body for maximum ball speeds.
The Flight Tuning System features two weights (5 grams and 10 grams) to allow golfers to dial in shot-shape bias against the toe-bias in the club's design. A weight kit is available for more extreme adjustments.
The SlipStream sole, which golfers expect from Exotics fairways, helps with turf interaction in any situation.
The hybrids have a more squared-off shape, looking less like a mini fairway wood and more like a bulky iron. These clubs also feature a Beta titanium face to deliver ball speeds similar to the EXS 220 hybrids. The Flight Tuning System has weights in extreme heel (20 grams) and toe (5 grams) to default to a draw bias but can be flipped. Weight kits are available.
Thicker speed channels on the sole are designed for versatile turf interaction.
The Exotics EXS Pro fairway woods will run $300 each in 13.5-, 15-, 16.5- and 18-degree heads with either the Mitsubishi Tensei CK Orange or Project X HZRDUS Smoke Yellow shaft, while the hybrids will be $250 each in 16-, 17-, 18-, 19-, 20- and 22-degree heads with the Mitsubishi Tensei AV Silver hybrid or the Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black shaft.
Exotics EXS Pro and EXS Pro Blade irons
With the two EXS Pro iron lines, Tour Edge wanted to bring together advanced technologies and premium materials, including individually milling each iron to exacting specifications.
The Exotics EXS Pro is a forged cavity-back iron made from chrome-plated Japanese S25C (1025) carbon steel, featuring a face that's CNC milled to deliver a flat shape and sharp square grooves. The triple forging process creates heel and toe weight centers for move forgiveness and higher ball speeds across the face. In the 3-6 irons, a 10-gram tungsten weight is added to the toe region to further improve forgiveness.
The EXS Pro has a shorter blade length, but the iron has a thicker top line compared to the Blade while still fitting a better player's preferred aesthetic. The cavity was made as deep as possible (and tolerable) for a better player's iron to maximize forgiveness. The cavity insert features ABS polymer and a vibration-dampening gel to dial in sound and feel.
The Exotics EXS Pro Blade is a classic muscle-back iron. Typically, that's about where the story ends. However, with these irons, Tour Edge shaped the iron with more weight behind the hitting area and toward the toe for relative forgiveness and versatility.
The Pro Blades are also forged from chrome-plated S25C carbon steel, complete with a narrow sole, a thin topline, a beveled leading edge and square-off toe in a shorter blade length, a cambered top line, and a progression into more compact scoring irons. The design features what the company calls a micro-cavity that's CNC milled for precision. Milling on both sides of the blade dials in consistency from club to club.
The rounded radius on the leading edge reduces drag and improves turf interaction.
The Exotics EXS Pro Forged and EXS Blade are available for $150 per iron ($1,050 for a 7-piece set) in either the True Temper Elevate Tour VSS Pro or the True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 shafts.
Exotics EXS Pro Milled Forged wedges
The Exotics EXS Pro Milled Forged wedges are forged from Japanese S25C (1025) carbon steel, with the face and grooves CNC milled to deliver maximum spin. The lower-lofted wedges have deeper, narrower grooves, while the higher-lofted wedges have wider grooves to deliver proper spin for the situations in which the clubs are most commonly used.
The wedges feature a milled-out center to move the center of gravity up the clubhead by having more weight positioned higher and lower on the club for better distance control. A flared-toe design raises the overall center of gravity in combination with a chamfer added to the trailing topline so there could be more weight higher up without catching the player's eye.
The EXS Pro sole grind reduces bounce from the heel and toe to offer versatility for a variety of situations.
The Exotics EXS Pro Milled Forged wedges are also $150 per club with the True Temper Dynamic Gold 115 wedge-flex shaft. The whole line is available June 1.