Lamkin Grips

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Fairway woods are interesting clubs. They’re asked to do a lot of things for a golfer. Whether it be a substitute driver for when yours is not behaving nicely, a club that you can use to go for a par 5 in 2, or one that can help erase the memory of a short tee shot, a fairway wood can be a great asset to a golfer’s bag. The fairway wood is slowly experiencing a renaissance of sorts and finding their way into golf bags once more. When Tour Edge sent over not one but two completely different fairway woods for THP to test, that alone suggested to me that fairway woods may becoming more important and fast. How did these work out for yours truly? Check it out.

From the Company
• Titanium cup face and crown with Beta titanium face insert
• Heavy tungsten sole plate accounts for 68% of head’s total weight and optimizes center of gravity
• Boomerang face technology maximizes spring effect from more contact points for consistently long shots

Look
When I first unboxed the fairway woods the first thing I noticed were the different shafts. One was a black Aldila RIP Sigma 72g and the other was a white Graphite Design Tour AD 40 43g, both in stiff flex. The pairing of these shafts with respective their club heads is great as it is but when I saw that two different lofts (11.5* and 15*) were sent too, well, my mind started to wonder how these unique pairing would work out for me. The 11.5* option was paired with the Aldila shaft while the 15* option was paired with the Graphite Design one. What makes the Graphite Design Tour AD 40 shaft stand out that much more is the stock white Winn Lite grip that brought the hole package together in a clean yet trendy way. The Aldila Rip Sigma shaft came with a black and white Golf Pride New Decade Compound grip which completes its respective look nicely. All of this talk has been primarily about the shafts so far and I haven’t touched on the club heads yet!

The club heads of the Tour Edge Exotics XCG5 fairway woods really appeal to me. They do not have an overly big profile which should mean more versatility for a golfer and in addition to that the profile of the club face is smaller as well. For me personally, I think that’s what makes a fairway wood much easier to hit as well as use. The sole of the club is edgy yet has some classic lines to it. The combination of red, white,black, titanium and tungsten really pulls this package together into a look that is truly unique to any design I’ve seen on a club before let alone a fairway wood. The look actually makes you want to hit these!

Technology
Having never personally hit a Tour Edge club before, I did know that owners of these clubs praise the amount of technology and craftsmanship that goes into each Tour Edge Exotics product. I was anxious to see if this was true and I wasn’t disappointed. Most golfers are familiar with golf companies utilizing titanium in their clubs but Tour Edge takes it a step further and uses tungsten as well. See, it’s not just for wedding bands! As mentioned above, the XCG5 fairway features a titanium cup face and crown, a beta titanium face insert, and a heavy tungsten sole plate that provides 68% of the club head’s total weight. The XCG5 is the only fairway wood on the market to use a titanium cupped face and tungsten sole. Now that’s technology!

What does this mean for you? According to Tour Edge, distance. And lots of it. Unlike other fairway woods, they’ve eliminated welding the club together by brazing the titanium and tungsten parts. Extremely expensive, combo-brazing is utilized when only the highest-quality joint is needed. The parts must be fitted to 1/1000 of an inch and the base metals must be exceptionally clean and free of oxides. The process is expensive because it is performed inside a vacuum chamber over several hours. The end result is exceptional because it greatly reduces residual part stresses by using slow heating and cooling cycles. This,in turn, significantly improves the thermal and mechanical properties of the material for longer better feeling shots.

Finally, let’s touch on the Boomerang face design. This design offers multiple levels of variable face thickness that make the most of the rebound effect from more contact points on the face. The V-shaped boomerangs allow for thinner and thicker areas on the face that produce a hotter launch and better feel even on off center hits. So even my mis-hits will go a long way? Nice.

So all of this sounds cool in theory but how does it all work on the course? Let’s find out.

Testing
When I tested these great fairway woods I made sure to see how they performed off the tee, from the fairway, and out of the rough. There was only one similarity between the two and that was how nice the club head moved through the turf of the fairway and how well it moved through the rough. So both options had good turf interaction with the club head but where did they differ? Here’s a break down of each club.

11.5* FW with Aldila RIP Sigma shaft (s flex)
I’ve never hit a fairway wood with a loft lower than 15* so to say that I was intrigued by this was an understatement. Off the tee this club is long, way long for a fairway wood. Is it a driver replacement? Maybe, maybe not. I did notice some good distances with it as well as a pretty tight dispersion; however, I did notice that all my misses were primarily pushes or blocks to the right (RH golfer). This could be a result of the shaft being a little on the stout side for me. When you catch the ball on the center of the club face the ball screams off the club face in a way that I haven’t experienced before with any club I’ve either used or tested. When it came to misses on the heel or toe I saw only minimal distance loss which was great to see. Shots caught low on the club face still ended up being pretty good, however, misses high on the club face didn’t go nearly as far even with the lower loft.

Hitting this club off the fairway was pretty fun in that shots had a low and penetrating flight which really helped on some of the windier testing days I had with these clubs. That being said it was a little tricky to manage off the deck due to the lower loft combined with the stout shaft. I found the best results for me were to not completely take a ‘sweeping swing’ with it and instead come in slightly steeper. This gave the ball flight a little bit of a higher trajectory and allowed for more of a softer landing as opposed to more run from the shot.

Using this club from the rough was a little more problematic. I already said that that the club head goes through the rough just fine however the lower loft wouldn’t always get the ball up and out of the rough quick enough. In order to make sure this happened I found myself over swinging a bit which caused other issues beyond getting the ball out of the rough.

15* FW with Graphite Design Tour AD 40 shaft (s flex)
While the white shaft is really cool on this club, I was concerned that it would draw my attention away from the ball or crown of the club at address. Stepping up to the ball on the tee box and setting up at address, I quickly became adjusted to the white shaft so there’s no issues with that to start. Using this club off the tee proved to be a great option for me during my testing. It was far more consistent for me than its 11.5* cousin was and was easier to control as well. It had a nice mid-high trajectory to it with the same performance and feel off the face as the 11.5* had. This time though, I could feel the shaft load a little better for me and the dispersion was actually better than expected for a 3w. Pair all of these up with a truly unique ‘crack’ sound off the face and you have the makings of a club that you feel very comfortable hitting.

Fairway? No problem. The loft and shaft worked extremely well in this situation and while I wasn’t reaching par 5’s in 2, I was seeing this club save me from a short tee shot more often than not which is a shot that I need to have in my bag at all times. If I needed to be sure about carrying a hazard or making sure that I reached a certain yardage slightly on the aggressive side, I would pull this club when the lie was just right with good results. I’m not sure if the heavier tungsten sole pad came into play or not but I could feel this club bottoming out of my swing more thereby keeping my head down and through the shot which helped maximize this club’s usefulness.

Hitting shots out of the rough was easier with the 15* for me as well. The loft and shaft once again worked their Tour Edge Exotics magic and managed to get the ball out of the rough more often than not in a manner where I didn’t feel like I was wasting a shot in some way. A shot out of the rough with this one was one that you still could feel good about and not feel as if you had to waste a shot by punching out. I noticed that I did not have to over swing at all in order for this to happen and that’s something that should not be overlooked with this set up.

Overall
For more information on the line of Tour Edge Exotics XCG5 fairway woods, click on over to www.touredge.com Retail price is on the higher side of $299 however all Tour Edge clubs come with a lifetime warranty. Yes, a lifetime warranty. Now that is really standing behind your product isn’t it? Armed with that knowledge, go ahead and check these out at your local golf club, golf store, or check the website for a demo day near you and who knows, maybe you’ll become a believer in the quality and craftsmanship that I discovered is a part of every club Tour Edge makes. You can find these fairway woods at several local and online retailers, such as THP approved Blind9 Golf.

T. Hanks

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  1. Cookie says:

    Nice review Todd! I have heard about and seen these clubs but ad no idea how much tech went into them. I was really curios about that 11.5 off the tee for days when the driver is not working or you jut need better accuracy due to narrow course, etc. Sounds like perhaps a regular flex may have delivered some really good results. The 15* just sounds like an all around great performer. Nice job!

  2. Ryan H. says:

    This one is packed with great info. Nice job, Todd!

  3. royalwulff says:

    Great write up there Todd! Lots of usefulll information abut both clubs.

  4. TripleBogieTim says:

    Nice Review Todd….good job!

  5. Chunkylover says:

    Great review Hanks. That 11.5* makes me think back to my Orlimar Tri-Metal. That thing was a beast!

  6. Paulo says:

    Really enjoyed reading that, great job Todd!

    These may be pricey, but they really do pack the technology in there. 11.5* fairway though? That’s crazy low loft! Might be a good alternative to a driver for some.

    The shaft offerings here seem to be very good too.

  7. Joshzilla says:

    Great review! You really just never hear bad things about the Tour Edge Exotics woods. Wish they had more of a presence in the retail space.

  8. yoccos says:

    Todd fantastic review. 11.5* is something I’ve never seen in a FW. I could see this being a driver replacement on the shorter Par 4’s, especially when the driver isn’t working. Lot’s of information man, and it sounds like they pack a lot of technology, along with that warranty.

  9. War Eagle says:

    Very nice review Todd! The thought of a 11.5* fairway wood really intrigues me, especially hitting it from the fairway (rather than driver off the deck). Got adjusted to it and I think a lot of folks gaming it would be going for more Par 5s in 2.

  10. Puttin4Bird says:

    Great review T! Previously I never would have considered an 11.5* FW but man the more I think about it as a good solid option off the tee on a tight hole I really like it. Both of these have some sweet shafts in them but yeah that price seems a little steep. People definitely should look at them as a serious option for their next FW. Thanks!

  11. DawgDaddy says:

    Very thorough tough review Todd, I play the TEE CB2 15* and love it, I was surprised to read of the 11.5* offering in a FW, that would be for a very small segment of the golfing population I would imagine.

  12. Greg says:

    Sorry, I am a confused. In your “preview” you were testing the 13 degree 3 wood but here you reference the 15 degree many times. If you could please clarify that would be great!
    http://www.thehackersparadise.com/forum/showthread.php?26945-Tour-Edge-Exotics-XCG5-Fairway-Woods-Preview

  13. damaikis says:

    Nice review Todd! I’ve never hit a TEE club, but these sound amazing! Really gret review, thanks for taking the time to do it!

  14. yorkem says:

    Nice review buddy. That 11.5* must be a beast. I would love to try that out.

  15. bahester says:

    Nice review Todd! Very intrigued by the 11.5*.

  16. Wakerider says:

    Great review Todd, I was just pondering these FW’s last night, they just look so good. Thanks for the review.

  17. TC says:

    Solid review Todd! Very nice. I’ve always wanted to try one of these myself.

  18. Smallville says:

    An 11.5* 3 wood? That’s only 1* more than my driver I’m using now! I’m thinking I want to give that a try!

  19. Coolbreeze says:

    Very good review Hanks, I’m not sure about an 11.5 degree 3 wood but I’ve wanted to hit one of these for a while now.

  20. TheDue says:

    Nice job Todd. Very informative, just a solid all around read. Life time warranty, sounds like a well made investment.

  21. ghsace says:

    Nice write up! I have long been intrigued by Tour Edge fairways. These seem to be great clubs in the right hands. Thanks for the information.

  22. Sean says:

    Nice review. I’ve always found these fairways interesting because as far as I know they are the only ones that use titanium…hence the price. The lifetime warranty is nice…but how many of us hold onto a club that long! 🙂

  23. Mark says:

    Todd, Great write up. Live near Tour Edge and still use a CB2 (Won’t give it up). Question for you. Looking to upgrade my 4 wood XCG-3. Go with the XCG5 or RBZ?

  24. Hanks says:

    Mark- I haven’t hit the RBZ yet but the Tour Edge is a really good stick

  25. Erik says:

    I tried and I buyed the XCG5 after trying the RBZ. It’s the very first time that I said WOW and god knows that i tried many clubs…

  26. Caleb says:

    Great review. This will be a driver replacement for me. I have the XGV-v 15 deg, and, it goes 250. 11.5 will be just find either way. The response is great.

  27. Gdiddy says:

    I own the 11.5 and 15 and love them. I was never able to hit driver off the deck and the 11.5 works off the tee and fairway
    . My longest shot with the 11.5 280 yards. Sure to be honest it was DRY and a very slight down hill
    landing area say 2 ft in 100 feet. And I don’t slice these clubs.

  28. Tip O'Neill says:

    I am 68 yrs old and a 13 hdcp and have been losing distance. I went out and bought the 15degree 3 wood in a reg shaft, wow did I pick up some yardage .Well I could not help myself and went for the 5 wood.It is now my go to club out of the ruff . Love them so much I put a 4 hybrid in my bag , I am no salesman but you really got to try these clubs you hear all others say how long they well these are no B.S. clubs .The longest I have ever hit, If I thought I could sneek the driver in my house without losing 43 years of marriage it would be done.

  29. mick brooks says:

    What can I say about TOUR EDGE,having bought a driver and a 3 wood amonth ago,the difference in my golf as been remarkable,at the age of 62 I’m playing the best golf of my life,I’ve always had a decent short game,
    but my driving let me down,well not anymore,gone are the Ping driver and 3 wood,and my long game’s fantastic,a lot of my friends here in the uk had never heard of TOUR EDGE,well,they have now!

    Mick Brooks

  30. jason says:

    Couldnt agree more about the performance of tour edge. Have xcg3 3hybrid and 3 fairway. Xcg4 5 wood and xcg5 5 hybrid. Upgrading the first 2 for the xcg5 3wood and 3 hybrid. Im going to upgrade the shaft on the 3 wood to oban kiyoshi purple. I will never buy another brands hybrid or fairway. Never. Nothing else compares.

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