Stage Two - The Review 7/15/2019
TOUR EDGE EXS DRIVER – Official MGS Forum Review by badams69
This review is entered with mixed emotions for me. I fully intended to film and spend loads of time with this club but that never materialized for a variety of reasons. But I hope something I share helps at least one of you in deciding whether this is a club you should look at or not.
Spoiler alert: …. This is a solid golf club.
It took awhile for me to get going with the EXS mostly due to my error when initial club was delivered. Then - good news for me, bad for my review, I guess. I became a candidate to take over a fairly prominent high school golf program. This kept me away from the golf course until late last week for several process related reasons until becoming the final choice late last week. It has been all golf since.
My initial intro to the to the EXS was horrendous and I almost just sent it back. First three on course tee shots were in a tournament and all resulted in penalty on holes I didn’t know could be penal. So I reconstructed my setup and swing and made adjustments in the settings (tried ‘em all) and the results are as follows:
Looks (9 out of 10 points) Not perfect but CLOSE!
The shape of the driver to my eye is very positive. It is a mix of pear and extended but it did take a bit of getting used to - after which time it is a nice sight.
The graphics of the club are classic mixed with energetic/modern - very good color scheme and placement of graphics in my opinion.
Overall the look of the driver head is very pleasing - I personally do not like the shaft color and that is a large part of the point deduction (I realize it is not the EXS driver - but that is their only stock offering - so it kinda is a part of the equation)
For drivers in this price range it is superior! For drivers at any price point it stands up tall - unless it simply doesn’t suit your eye. Ideally, for my eye, the looks would be slightly more classic but that isn’t the golf world we are in today. Please don't infer that this is an offensive club head, just stating my druthers.
Sound & Feel (9 out of 10 points)
I found the sound of this driver to be at worst unobtrusive and at best quite nice. I prefer a muted thwack sound but also nice to have enough sound to draw attention - when you nail it!!!! The EXS has both !!!!
The best way I can describe it - if some drivers are an old rusty truck door slamming - this is a lexus securely slamming shut. Others may disagree.
As for feel until I finally caught one I wasn’t sure what to think. I could tell I hit it but always wondered “is that it???” .......... THEN F I N A L L Y - BOOM!!!! - it was like a cushioned dynamic shock. Felt splendid and powerful!!!
In my opinion mishits were not as pronounced as an M1 but maybe more noticeable than I expected. It was less consistent across the face than I expected but more consistent than prior PING, CALLAWAY and Taylormade drivers I have used. (prior models)
When I hit a shot 8/10 and up it is a very workable and useful club, on the lesser shots I really felt they were surprisingly weak at impact - I have no proof - but I sense this is the shaft more than the head.
Two of my best drives during brief play. Hit another 323 but shotscope registered it to the M1 (hit them both but M1 went in creek forty yards ahead.
This chart plots just over 30 tee shots -the shortest is 234 and longest with EXS is the just shy of 331 above.
All of my better drives with the EXS were hit after I changed to NEUTRAL (9deg /57.0deg lie angle) setting with 3gram in the heel and 9g in the rear. This takes out a lot of the slice prevention which I do not need.
Basic Characteristics (17 out of 20 points) (one point off for every 10 yds off M1 average - petty I know)
Personally I like the flight of the ball off of this driver more than I do with my M1 it is much flatter but not sinking. I never noticed the ball getting too high with this club no matter the setting I tried.
My pattern is straight(my fade) but mostly right to left, I did not have success hitting a fade with this club but am thinking that will come in time as I have been able to draw it when I want (and hook when I don’t want) more than my current driver which is basically one speed - straight---fall left.
I personally found this driver to be very accurate when struck reasonably well. No worse and likely better than my current club.
The distance with this club is solid. I have some data that shows what I consider to be serviceable distance numbers for an old guy like me. Average distance with this club on shotscope is about 263yds. During those rounds I hit M1 three times --- averaging 297. Once I tagged both on the same hole and same line and M1 was 40yds ahead - mentioned above.
I felt this club is most likely more forgiving than my M1 but cannot state that for certain as I had several mishits that didn’t achieve more than 225 yds which is hard to live with. This I would more attribute to my mixing two swings at once - which we all know doesn't work well.
Regarding adjustability - I finally figured out my ideal setting within the last round and a half I played prior to this writing. I will say that I tried several and can attest that each adjustment did have a significant impact on all facets from timing/release to flight pattern. My regret is that it took me so long to get that aspect dialed it. It was a hook machine in these hands before that.
BE SURE TO MOVE THE WEIGHTS AROUND!!! This had the greatest impact for me.
Would I want this club in my hand under pressure? Today- NO. In three weeks - most definitely! There is nothing about this club that makes me doubt that I can hit the shot I would want with a few more reps. Even though I don't love the shaft.
Would I play it over my current club? …… yes/no is all the same to me as each provides different positives and negatives. I am pleased with this club head in most every way. It is solid and I sense it is more forgiving than my current driver and distance is fine for me. If I were “gaming” this club I feel I can shoot good scores with (not in spite of) this driver.
What I wish were different in this driver: 1. A different shaft choice. The shaft is decent but not optimal for someone who at times wants to get on with it and tends to be a little quick. 2. More distance (which may be a shaft related issue).
NUMBERS??? I went to the PGA Superstore and below are my numbers for those of you that may have similar numbers it may help you. - In fairness this was on a day where my back was stiff and I ultimately had to delete my first 35 shots and chose the only few that I was able to make reasonable contact after getting slightly loose. Three straight days of golf caught up to me.
On-Course Performance (25 out of 30 points)
This is not a club I would, as of today, feel comfortable ‘going after it’ to get more distance. In fairness this may be related to my swing insecurities - but I don’t have those insecurities when holding my current gamer. Using the EXS did not change my strategy or goals on any tee box and I never felt as if my game was suffering for using this club. There are a few times I felt I was benefitting from this club in my hand which asked me to manage my swing a bit more. One of my main goals when it came to this testing was to see if I could hit my version of a “fairway finder” and that came up on the last hole I’ve played with it. I choked down, cut my swing down and although I just knew it was likely doing to be a smothered hook - everything worked out perfect.
Why 5 points off? Well, if you got a new driver wouldn't you want it to add to your game rather than just not disrupt it? I just didn't feel it added anything - but if this changes, I'll update.
Miscellaneous (9 out of 10 points)
I will say thank you to EXS for being so good to me during my mistake - not theirs. The point here is simply because I did not receive a little card that outlined the adjustments (what the settings were). I didn’t understand why in three shipments I didn't get one. Also as pointed out previously - I am not a fan of the shaft and really don’t understand in the golf world we are in today - how you could offer only one shaft at no upgrade charge. This isn’t 1985 or 2005(won't list ALL the years it isn't).
Play it or Trade it? (19 out of 20 points)
I am going to PLAY this club until it tells me where it wants to be (in bag or garage) and although this is STAGE 2, I intend to post how that goes. In reality I have only played three rounds with this club and have an ok average for distance and when put on the monitor my peak performance shows numbers that I feel are solid. When I get an opportunity to do so and wife isn’t looking, I’ll be replacing this shaft. It is not taking place of M1 yet but just may - more to golf than distance (thank goodness or many of us would have to quit).
Image below shows Shotscope average from EXS and M1 - I only hit M1(297) three times though. Same courses. The EXS (263) average is factoring in a lot of mishits. I didn’t mishit the M1 on any of the three.
In conclusion - is this the best driver on the market for me or you?
MAYBE - and certainly worth a shot!
Yes or No would depend solely on what you like and how you feel about the $$ value of a driver. Also whether or not you buy used or new.
If it were me and I were in the market for a new purchase and $300 seems like a lot, then $550 or $650 is really going to hurt and based on my experience isn’t going to change your results much - provided you get the right shaft.
I coach a golf team and if any of our players said they were looking at this club or had purchased this club it would be met with enthusiasm (with the shaft caveat mentioned already).
Final Score: (88 out of 100 points)