Tour Edge is not afraid to be different, and the creation of the EXS lineup in 2019 showed that in full force. The decision to provide all the tech of other clubs, but at a lower price was a bold one…and it worked. So, what do you do for a follow up? Well, most companies would ride the wave and make a tweak here or there, but that isn’t Tour Edge. Instead, the EXS 220 lineup offers more tech, some significant design changes, and are perhaps the best-looking golf clubs they have ever produced.
Not a rehash of the highly successful EXS, the EXS 220 is its own entity in many ways. Larger profile that screams forgiveness, with the staggering MOI that Tour Edge has achieved, and backed that up in testing. More than that, it wants to put the ball in play, not the lowest spinner out there, but it packs a surprising punch. Probably the most complete driver Tour Edge has ever released.
Technology Tells a Story
Who doesn’t love a good story in golf equipment? Well, Tour Edge is writing one as well as anyone in golf. I’m talking beyond the better-than-almost-everyone pricing as well as the “48-Hour Custom Fit” delivery. While the price of the EXS 220 does come in at $349.99, $50.00 higher than the EXS, when you realize what is going on under the hood, it makes sense.
First and foremost, the shape has changed, a lot. The 220 features a shallower face and much more elongated overall body than its predecessor. Those changes in particular were part of the goal David Glod and company had of increasing the MOI to produce one of the most forgiving drivers out there. By altering the shape, moving 9g of weight low and back, utilizing double the carbon fiber on the sole, and applying “Triple Carbon” which is lighter than that used on the EXS crown (this year it has a thicker appearing weave), they increased the MOI by 20%. What does that mean in layman’s terms? At a heel-toe MOI rating of 5,440 (max allowable is 5,900) you have a driver that is in a stratosphere with some very elite company.
Believe it or not, the bigger story is in the metal. Tour Edge utilized “impact simulation software” to create what they believe is a better face, and better sound. Using this software, a face made up of 42 different diamond zones of variable thickness out of 8-1-1 Titanium as well as placing an internal “sound diffusion bar” that mimics concert hall acoustics, the idea was to take the established MOI and kick it up a notch with face driven speed and additional forgiveness wrapped in a more pleasant sound/feel than the EXS.
Was all of this actually verified in terms of performance? Read on to find out!
Tour Edge EXS 220 Driver
I received the EXS 220 driver in the 9.5° head paired with the PX HZRDUS Smoke Yellow shaft in 6.0. For the gear heads at home, the head weighed out at 193g without the adapter, this includes the 9g weight in the back (Tour Edge is going to offer other weights), fully assembled the club swing weighted out dead on D3.
Before we get to the ins and outs of what I saw in terms of the typical performance parameters, I do want to talk about the sound/feel since it was something specifically addressed in R&D this time around according to Tour Edge. To be blunt, the EXS 220 it isn’t a quiet driver. Initially, I was taken aback by the sound because it is more hollow and somewhat sharp than one might expect given the amount of carbon fiber in the head. That said, before sitting down to write this I hit the EXS for the first time in a long while and quickly realized the sound/feel here has improved drastically. It isn’t going to be a feedback that everyone loves, but I do think it will please far more than it bothers, plus, there is a sensation of power behind it all that makes it more enjoyable.
While forgiveness is the big story from Tour Edge, and we will touch on that here in a moment, I think the biggest performance story here is the launch. In the two sessions worth of data recorded on the Foresight GC2 that are displayed throughout the article you will see 12.2° and 11.5° with both also hitting average peaks over 100 feet. That might not seem a big deal to some of you high ball hitters out there, but for me, in a 9.5° head those numbers are a very big deal. If I can elevate a driver like this, then it’s got some launch to it, and I nevereven had to adjust the adapter.
Time for what everyone is waiting for – forgiveness talk. To be real, with the 220 it is…well…real. I don’t like to draw comparisons with other clubs into my reviews, that isn’t how I roll, but that said this one offered some Max forgiveness. The diamond face combined with the elongated clubhead and high MOI rating makes for a combination that wants to do everything it can to keep the ball in play. Heel-side, toe-side, high, low, in all situations the gear effect of the head seemed pretty mitigated overall. The big thing here is me coming off of an injury let me really see just how forgiving this one could be. Honestly, I couldn’t think of a better setup to work with coming out of that situation.
The rest of the picture sits with the spin numbers, and when you consider the changes in head style/shape from the EXS, it’s not much of a surprise that I did see a little more spin (2,907 and 2,765 RPM averages in the sessions here) given the weight placement in the head. Beyond that though, I have to say there was the rust factor as well as the Smoke Yellow 6.0 not being the best fit for me could have played a role there. Given the spin averages, the total distances given the ball speeds I was seeing were about what I expected. I do think there is some intrigue as to what the EXS 220 can do when fit to the user, and I definitely don’t want the data to automatically lead people to just fall on the belief that it’s a mid-spin head.
Last year was a huge year for Tour Edge, the EXS lineup and in particular the driver put them right back into the thick of people’s minds. With their 48-Hour turnaround program for fitting now extending into the EXS 220 clubs and based on the extreme playability here, 2020 could be even bigger. The key as always is going to be getting them into people’s hands, but with fitting carts expanding throughout the country they are on the right path.
Have you hit the EXS 220 driver? Have some thoughts? Be sure to jump in and comment to let the THP community know what you think!
Loft Options: 9.5°, 10.5°, 12.0° (+/- 2° with adapter)
Shafts: PX HZRDUS Smoke Yellow (6.0, 6.5), Fujikura Ventus 4t Core (R, S), Fujikura Air Speeder 40A (R3, R2, R)