Lamkin Grips

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Exotics by Tour Edge has long been a brand that many overlook for whatever reason, but has gained a remarkable cult like following both in tour presence and THP readers for their remarkable quality and technology in their clubs. This year the company has launched its newest driver called the XCG-4 and THP was really looking forward to getting their hands on the latest driver and putting it through some testing to see how it fared.

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Technology
From the company
Designed to fulfill the expectations and ambitions of the most passionate golfers, the new XCG-4 series offers legendary performance.  Available in a 276 gram super-ultra-light and 310 gram ultra-light editions, these turbocharged drivers are guaranteed to thrill and inspire like no other club has before. Everything about the XCG-4 is designed to increase clubhead speed whether it’s the aero dynamic shape that minimizes drag, the sole design that smooths the airflow, the ultra-light weight, or the longer and lighter shaft, it all adds up to more distance.
 
The heart of the XCG-4 is an advanced head design that features a titanium face and sole, an amorphous carbon crown, two amorphous carbon sole inserts, and two tungsten sole weights.  The ultra-light weight carbon frees up 27 grams of weight that is strategically positioned in the lower rear of the clubhead to improve MOI by more than 15% over previous versions.  The result is longer shots that hold the target line even on off-center hits. 


 
With Exotics, Tour Edge spares no expense in building a better golf club.  That’s why the tungsten and titanium parts are assembled using our unique vacuum brazing technology.  In Brazing, the metal parts are joined using a silver filler material that is melted and distributed between the close-fitting parts by capillary action.  Extremely expensive and employed extensively in aerospace applications, this technique is utilized when only the highest-quality joints are needed.
 
To maximize spring like effect, Tour Edge engineers created the Boomerang face.  This supercharged design offers multiple levels of variable face thickness that maximize the rebound effect from more points on the face.  By thinning and thickening the face, the v-shaped boomerangs allow for the maximum elongation of the titanium for enhanced feel and hotter rebound.  The new design increases the XCG-4’s rebound to 243ct from 232ct in the XCG-3.  With just one swing you’ll feel the difference and never go back.
 
The turbocharged super-ultra-light is the lightest driver on the market with a total club weight of only 276 grams.  It features a 45-gram ultra-light Graphite Design Tour Ad 46” shaft and a 26 gram Winn Lite grip.  The ultra-light version weights only 310 grams and comes standard with a Fujikura Motore 55-gram, 45.5” long shaft and New Decade grip.  Give them a try and experience for yourself, the heart and sole of an Exotic.

Looks
The first thing you notice about the XCG-4 is the striking and bold color choices they made for this driver. The headcover continues the trend of previous models with their “classic” black, red, and silver color palette, but once you pop the cover off, this driver is a looker. It came standard with a Winn Lite series white grip that bares both the Exotics name and logo in red. A nice contrast is shown here as you move down to the shaft and see the deep orange colored Graphite Design Tour AD. When you get to the club head, you realize Exotics stayed with a rather traditional shaped driver and it sets up wonderfully to the eye. The all black crown of the driver is a nice touch, however it does not feature an alignment aid for those that are partial to having one. When you turn the club over to look at the sole, you immediately get that wonderful chrome bottom and see a whole bunch of technology packed into the XCG-4. The driver has a great look overall and was just begging for us to get out to testing.

Testing
Out on the range, the Exotics XCG-4 was a favorite among our testers. When asked why, it was simple, the driver is incredibly long off the tee and has a nice sound at impact to go along with the distance. Putting it on the launch monitor showed a couple of things that are noteworthy. First off that this driver is extremely light weight and it might take you a few swings to get used to it. It is available in two weights for those looking for something a little heavier however. The one THP is testing is the Super Ultra-Lite Edition and it weighs in at 276 grams, and the other model is the Ultra-Lite Edition and it weighs in at 310 grams. By having both options, we believe the club will be a little more versatile to a larger number of golfers. The second thing that we found extremely intriguing and noteworthy is the shaft length. The XCG-4 comes in at 46 inches (for the one we tested) and 45.5 inches and that is longer than many people have been used to (however not the longest out there by far). Having the extra length to coincide with the lighter shaft will in theory give golfers more distance.

So the big question is did our testers see more distance? The answer is yes and no. THP had 9 golfers try out the XCG-4 on the launch monitor at our local range and 6 of the 9 saw distance increases with the largest being 16.3 yards gained. The average distance gained for all 9 golfers was around 4.7 yards which despite sounding like a small number is still a pretty substantial gain. Keep in mind that this was based on their current driver of choice and no two golfers going in used the same driver. However me personally, I did not see a distance gain, but I did not see a distance loss either. I was thrilled with the distance I was getting especially considering the shaft was not longer than my current driver. The distance that the Tour Edge XCG-4 is extremely impressive and something that any golfer should look into testing if they are working to increase their driving distance.

Exotics seems to be onto something with their XCG driver line. THP’s only knock on the previous version was that slightly higher up on the club face, we found the club to lack a little forgiveness. Not to say the ball flew off target, but that it suffered a decent distance loss when caught slightly high. Well, the folks behind the scenes went to work and what we found is that higher up on the club face is no problem at all anymore and it really shined through overall in the forgiveness category. Slight misses here and there on the tee shot showed a straight ball flight still as well as solid distance. Something that anybody searching for a driver should be looking for.

The shaft is a Graphite Design Tour AD shaft that is made for Exotics for this club head. Before some discount it as a “made for” shaft, THP found that it performed rather well with the club head and held up well to vigorous testing. It offered a mid-high ball flight and I would say bordering on high ball flight. The carry distance was exceptional with the ball flight and even better for the slower swing speed players. Those hovering right around 95-98 mph were seeing the best distance gains.

Overall
Exotics by Tour Edge has come out with a worthy adversary in the driver market. A driver that performs at all levels, gives exceptional distance, and offers good sound and feel should not be overlooked. Coming in with a price point of $329 it will not be the cheapest option out there, but certainly not the most expensive and definitely worthy of a demo. For more information on this or any other Exotics products, check out their website at www.exoticsgolf.com.

You can check these out or order online directly at our THP Partner Blind9Golf here.

Till Next Time

Josh B.

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Category: Drivers, Equipment, Headlines & News

About the Author ()

Josh is the Publisher of The Hackers Paradise and co-founder of THP Media with his wife Morgan Babbitt. Together they share a passion for golf, and they travel the country along with their two dogs in the THP Tour Van bringing their love and knowledge of the game to golfers everywhere.

Comments (16)

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  1. TC says:

    solid review JB! TEE is one of those companies that for some reason or another, rarely gets any of my attention. this review makes me think that should change. i love the classic look of the driver head, but i love how they slap a white grip on it, it really looks great. is the headcover magnetic/pull over/zipper?

  2. Ryan H. says:

    Very nice looking driver and it appears to be a solid performer as well. I’m really looking forward to spending time trying out the TEE offerings at the 2011 THP Outing.

  3. clam fist says:

    Good review on a club I had overlooked, but must try it now.

  4. 9-Iron Man says:

    Great review JB. TEE is a company that I too don’t really pay much attention too, but this driver seems like one I’ll have to try out at the Outing in May.

  5. Ed Marinelli says:

    Have demoed and purchased the XCG-4 driver and it is heads and shoulders above all previous models.
    I get 5-10 yards additional and love the traditional head. At the rate this Company is going, they’ll finally get the recognition they deserve.
    TourEd

  6. Several of the club fitting/sales staff here in The Villages, FL are using the 276 gram driver and they all say it is the longest driver they have ever hit – period.

  7. BoomBoom says:

    Did anyone hit it straighter?

  8. Damo says:

    Thanks JB for the great review. I have the 310 gram ultra lite version. I am seeing some distance gains in carry but the biggest difference for me is I am getting a substantial run out once the ball lands compared to my previous driver.

    And I agree with your comments on forgiveness, I find it very forgiving compared to my previous driver. For me the forgiveness is the biggest plus.

  9. Puttin4Bird says:

    I enjoyed the review, it really sounds like Tour Edge has a driver that will stack up to the competition this year but sadly many will not try it out because it’s not a TaylorMade, Callaway, Titleist, and so on. I wonder if Tour Edge has considered lowering their prices to get more looks from consumers? Either way, thanks for the review!

  10. IrvingEinstein says:

    BoomBoom … in answer to your question, I found it very straight. I’ve just got the mid weight stiff 10.5 job and it gives lots of confidence to go after it. (I’m a 100mph swing speed). Played the xcg-4 for 1st time on weekend and had a number of 250-260+metres drives (I’m in Oz … so that’s about 275-285yards) … Was carrying 240metres. Only missed fairway on absolute crap swings.

    See http://www.golf.com/golf/equipment/article/0,28136,2030069,00.html

  11. sickasadog says:

    great review. when you say that those with 95-98 mph swing speeds were seeing the most gains, did they use a stiff or reg. flex shaft?

  12. Sickasadog has a good question. Stiff or reg flex for the 95 swing speed?

  13. Administrator says:

    There are far more things that go into choosing a shaft than SS. We recommend a shaft fitting before any driver purchase. Finding the right one can be more helpful and crucial than the club head.

  14. CJ says:

    Hey, I have a swing speed of 117 and love the tour exotics but it seems like this club would be too light and too much torque for me, correct?

  15. Administrator says:

    Swing speed is not weight relevant really. Its about fitting and finding the proper launch conditions.

  16. Karl says:

    So is it me, or is it the club? This weekend, for the 2nd time in under 4 months, I cracked the face of my XCG4 driver. This makes the 3rd “defective” head in 2 years. My 1st one developed a rattle after just one game. The 2nd one cracked and caved in ater about 16 months. And now, 4 months later, #3 has cracked at the same place: along the top groove line. My swing is 95 MPH, so there’s no excuse for not being able to hold up to my impact.

    Like most, I initially loved this club. I pit it against a Ping Anser and a Taylormade R11 and consistently hit the ball 15-20 yard farther with the XCG4. But, I’ve had it with my game being ruined by a cracked head.

    Callaway Razr Fit just won my business.

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