By now, some are getting tired of hearing the line about the direction Tour Edge has taken their Exotics offerings with the EXS and EXS 220 releases in terms of sheer bang for the buck performance. Well, I won’t go there on this one. If you don’t know that part of the story, then you just haven’t been paying attention.
The EXS Pro lineup of clubs is, in my humble opinion, Tour Edge thumbing their noses at the people who continue to laud their recent releases but at the same time nit-pick them about their lack of presence when it comes to the low spin monsters which so many think they need. You know what? I think it’s pretty awesome to see them come out swinging like this.
You want Tour player driven designs focused on low spin and shot-making demands? Careful what you wish for. The EXS Pro driver is unlike anything we have seen from Tour Edge when it comes to the big stick, so let’s dive in.
Low spin. High speed. The EXS Pro is 440cc’s of mean. A driver that checks the boxes of tradition and tech for the players who can maximize such a low and forward CG design. This one is the real deal, power, speed, sound, feel, and massive distance potential.
“Straight from the Tour Van”
That is the moniker with which Tour Edge has tagged these new EXS Pro offerings. Where many companies throw “Pro” out there freely, in this case, Tour Edge means it. The entire EXS Pro lineup was created in cooperation with their PGA Tour Champions staffers in order to really understand their wants and needs when it comes to getting clubs into their bags. What happened was David Glod and company felt they did something special, well, some things special is more like it.
The issue then becomes how to get them to the people, or even if they should get them out there. After all, we are talking designs that, unlike the much praised EXS 220 lineup (check out THP reviews on the driver and fairway), are not necessarily created with the largest segment of the golfing skill bell curve in mind. What to do? How about releasing 1,000 pieces each of the Pro driver, fairways, hybrids, irons, and wedges. Tour Edge with some inventory management savvy, kept products available, while also keeping themselves under control.
Tour Edge EXS Pro Driver
After reviewing the EXS 220 for THP and coming away impressed with the design, when I heard Tour Edge was releasing a lower spinning and smaller 440cc design, I’ll admit my ears perked up. On a personal level, the 220 produced speed on par with anything I’ve hit this season, but from a personal fit, the spin was a little higher than I wanted to see. So, the potential here was just too much to resist.
The EXS Pro driver is such a throwback in todays market. I already mentioned the smaller size, but that came through the feedback of their Tour staff specifically giving them a comfortable and workable look. This one is definitely deeper faced than the 220 is, which also paves the way for a shorter front to back and heel to toe profile at address. This is one of the most balanced looking drivers out there, and with the carbon fiber showing through, it’s just a killer look.
I worked with the 9.5° for this review and it’s worth mentioning that there are two stock shaft offerings for the Pro in a Mitsubishi Tensei CK Orange and ProjectX HZRDUS Smoke Yellow, both of which are counterbalanced designs for those unaware. This is all part of the heavy emphasis on shaft optimization that Tour Edge has shifted to in 2020, and it’s no surprise that with the EXS Pro, the two shaft offerings both appeal to stronger swingers who are most likely to consider it.
On the course, there is a lot of power behind the EXS Pro driver, a whole lot. One of the things I was most curious to see in comparison to the EXS 220 was the general ball speed as well as retention across the face. The Diamond Face design was incredibly effective in the 220 as the variable face thickness optimized via “impact simulation software” contributed nicely to that high MOI design. Where that had 42 diamonds behind the face, the EXS Pro has 33. As you might have guessed, the Pro isn’t as forgiving as the 220, and strikes to the extremes of the face did see the suspected gear effect misses. However, most of those seeking out this club aren’t likely to be living out on the edge like that.
As you will see from the data recorded on the Foresight GC2 which will follow, the spin was low with this one, but without sacrificing launch and at the same time putting up some of the highest ball speeds I have hit this year. The big key to this is that low and forward CG which is possible by the Dual Carbon design. With the fully carbon fiber crown and a substantial toe section on the sole, Tour Edge was able to shift things where the Tour Staff wanted it. As you can see, if you have the swing speed, this type of design flat out produces.
However, there is a reason we aren’t seeing every driver out there going low and forward, it’s just not nearly playable enough for the masses, but my goodness it does mean some copious ball speed potential. It is also worth mentioning that Tour Edge states the Pro will spin on average 400 RPM lower than the 220, personally I saw 498 RPM on average. Additionally, the launch here is understandably lower than the 220 produces, a prime performance difference between low and forward versus low and back.
By now some of you are wondering, but how is the flight bias? Well, for me the EXS Pro sat surprisingly neutral. No, I’m not just saying that, like many of you, I was anticipating an open clubface and super fade biased flight, in fact it was my only fear entering this one. Instead, it is one of the most neutral “better player” drivers I have hit. However, as you have seen from the pictures, there is adjustability here to shift that should the user want. Using their Flight Track as well as the Adjustable Hosel you have a lot of fine-tuning options as well as +/- 2° of loft to play with. Does it look like the weight system in some other drivers in the recent past? Sure, but I ask you this, where else are you going to place the moveable weight to make it the most effective? The answer is there is nowhere else, at least not in my experience and opinion.
Worth noting, when you adjust the sliding weight, it does change the sound. More to the fade or draw perimeter amped up the decibels a bit, but nothing outlandish, the issue was simply that it sounds so good in the central portion of the track that it’s more noticeable. With that, the Sound Diffusion Bar that Tour Edge created for the EXS 220 designs is here in the Pro as well, and it works. The placement of the bars internally to impact the sound has created a sound/feel here that I believe practically everyone will enjoy. It’s not composite, it’s not metallic, it is right in the sweet spot.
Where Does it Fit?
The big question many will have is where does the EXS Pro fit. My answer? Exactly where Tour Edge has placed it, in a limited release that is not in any way confused as being a replacement for the EXS 220. This is a unique design where Tour Edge is getting to flex their muscles to the masses and take to task some of the clichéd things that are said about their EXS club designs. This one is mean, it’s sleek, and it is one of the lowest spinning driver heads that I have hit in some time.
If you get the chance to give the EXS Pro a go, or simply have thoughts on it, be sure to jump into the conversation below as well on the THP Forums and let us hear it! You can learn more about this driver and other Tour Edge products on their website www.touredge.com.
Lofts: 9.5° and 10.5°
Shafts: Mitsubishi Tensei CK Orange (R, S, X) and ProjectX HZRDUS Smoke Yellow (R, S, X)