124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2


Tour Edge Exotics EXS irons make distance push with hollow design, multiple materials and strong lofts

October 10, 2018

The Tour Edge Exotics EXS irons aren’t shy about how much of a priority distance was in their design intent. You need look no further than the 21.5-degree 5-iron to see that these are clubs with strong lofts and a clear mission to make you rethink how long you could be.

The strong lofted irons theme continues through the entire Exotics EXS set. The loft gaps are smaller in the long irons (2.5 degrees between the 4- and 5-rions, then spacing to three degrees and transitioning to five degrees between short irons for more ideal distance gaps in the short irons). For perspective, among leading manufacturers only Callaway’s top-selling Rogue X irons (21 degrees) and its niche moderate swing speed irons Epic Star (20.5 degrees) have a stronger lofts on its 5-iron, while TaylorMade’s M4 matches also checks in at 21.5 degrees.

The ultra-strong iron lofts started showing up only in the last few years. For example, TaylorMade’s M2 irons featured a 21.5-degree 5-iron back in 2016. But as little as three years ago, the strongest 5-iron lofts were generally at 24 degrees, while most conventional irons tended to have 5-iron lofts at 27 degrees. But Dave Glod, Tour Edge’s founder and master designer, didn’t hesitate, calling the lofts on the Exotics EXS irons “unapologetically strong.”

“This is the hottest iron we’ve made by far,” he said. “But even as thin as the face is, I think the key for us was getting the sound right.”

Like many past products in Tour Edge’s Exotics line’s 12-year run, including the recently released Exotics EXS metalwoods, the Exotics EXS irons incorporate elements of unique construction and multiple materials to get the combination of distance and feel Glod was seeking.

First, the head uses a hollow cavity construction in the lower half combined with a full forged cup face witha web-shaped variable thickness design. The idea is to not only boost maximum ball speed but limit the falloff as impacts move away from dead center. On top of that, it allows the head to be lighter

In the 4- through 7-irons, the head gets a 19-gram chunk of tungsten wedged into the mid-toe region of the cavity to provide stability, stretching the area of the face that produces the most distance.

Finally, to control any unwanted vibration of all these pieces, a thermoplastic elastomer fits into the top half of the back cavity to stabilize it. Glod said that by stabilizing the hollow portion of the cavity with the polymer, it’s able to create more spring in the area of the face where most iron impacts occur. It’s also coated with a gel formulated to further control vibration and enhance feel.

The Exotics EXS irons also feature a distinct ramped sole design, where a raised middle section accentuates heel and toe relief areas for better movement through the turf.

The Exotics EXS irons come standard with either lightweight steel (KBS Max 80) or graphite shafts (Mitsubishi Tensei CK Blue). Available at retail Nov. 1, the seven-piece set will retail for $800 in graphite and $700 in steel, and the irons available run from the 19-degree 4-iron to the 56-degree sand wedge.