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PlaidJacket

Will The EXS Beat the SLDR?

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... 2019 is such a great year to experiment with drivers. So many good ones out there right now. The irony of your posts is the SLDR is one of the most inaccurate drivers ever produced. I play with mid to high index players all the time that hit their SLDR great one swing and off the golf course the next. I had similar results although nowhere near as extreme. Some days I was just killing it, longer and as straight as any driver I have played. The next round I could not find a fairway and I could tell I was missing the center a little but not by much. 

... Of course none of that means anything to you if you are more accurate with the SLDR than other drivers. Maybe mental, maybe just fits you perfectly or maybe you just have confidence in it. Looking forward to hearing how the TE works out for you, but in the end if the SLDR ends up working better that will be interesting too. Golf is a strange game filled with opposites like hit down to make the ball go up and aim left to hit it right so being more accurate with the least accurate driver I have ever hit is not surprising at all. Good luck!

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20 hours ago, chisag said:

... Of course none of that means anything to you if you are more accurate with the SLDR than other drivers. Maybe mental, maybe just fits you perfectly or maybe you just have confidence in it. 

First test completed with the EXS today and I'm not sold. Yet. It's always interesting to me how different a driver can be indoors on a LM as opposed to outdoors. Today I warmed up a bit with a PW then transitioned to a 7i and finally my SLDR. The balls at the club were all Titleist Tour Soft. Course conditions were ideal. I was striking the ball well I thought; especially coming off a mild fractured finger. I haven't practiced or played in about 4-5 weeks. The SLDR was as good today as any I've experienced through the past few years.

I didn't change any settings/weighting with the EXS. I played it in the ++ loft setting (12*) and left the weights as positioned from the factory - 9g in the heel and 3g in the rear. Most of my shots were a mid-launch to low-launch fade to almost what I'd call a slice. When I did produce a decent shot distance was a least equal to the SLDR. I didn't like the sound of the club either. Kind of like a muted tin-can I suppose. Didn't sound like that indoor at the golf shop. Sounded good in fact. After hitting a number of shots with the EXS I went back to the SLDR and as expected... hit good shots. Meaning, shot shape, height, and distance. All my shots with the EXS were struck nicely on the center of the face. If anything just a tad low perhaps?

I know we all preach fitting, fitting ,fitting. It's important no doubt. Every club in my bag is custom fit. Except Driver. So Plaid... why didn't you get a fitting for your EXS? I guess because I made a non-planned spur of the moment purchase with the EXS and there are no fitting options at the shop for Tour Edge. (no fitting cart) It's strickly an OTR club. At least at the golf shop I frequent. I now own the shaft it came with as I shortened it by an 3/4". No biggie. I think I'll tinker with it some more and perhaps try another shaft or two. If I find a different shaft and or shaft and weighting combination that works I'll keep it. If not.... keep a lookout in the classified section for a good deal on a very good looking driver.

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Well written Plaid. I guess the SLDR is just the club you can groove, and no matter what the OEM’s say there is no way their technological advanced design can beat any club that you have complete confidence in.

I am rooting for Tour Edge though. I liked reading Barbajo’s post on his visit there and love seeing the little guy make it.


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6 hours ago, deejaid said:

Well written Plaid. I guess the SLDR is just the club you can groove, and no matter what the OEM’s say there is no way their technological advanced design can beat any club that you have complete confidence in.

I am rooting for Tour Edge though. I liked reading Barbajo’s post on his visit there and love seeing the little guy make it.


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I'm glad that you've enjoyed using your SLDR for as long as you have Plaid. If you do pick the Exotics driver, hopefully it'll last just as long in your bag. I've hit the EXS driver a few times at a golf store nearby but they don't tend to have many in stock and they are the only place in Australia that actively has them which is a great shame.  

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I went back by the golf shop earlier to see about trying a different shaft in the EXS. All they had are the same one I currently tried/tested that came with the driver and a Ladies Flex. After a short discussion I decided that later today I'll take an extra shaft I have just like (supposedly) the one I play in the SLDR and have them swap the adapter. If weather permits tomorrow I'll take it out to see how it works out.

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Yesterday I put the EXS in the bag and played 18. For better or for worse. I was actually encouraged. On Saturday I'd replaced (after putting the Tour Edge adapter on the Speeder shaft) the stock Tensei Blue CK 60-S with a TaylorMade branded Fujikura Speeder 57-S. That's the same shaft I've successfully played for 5 years in my SLDR. I also moved the 9g weight to the rear and the 3g to the toe and re-adjusted the loft to the N+ setting from ++. According to Tour Edge the N+ sets the loft at 11.5* and the lie at 58.5*. The ++ setting is 12* loft and 59.5* lie angle. 

I hit the EXS reasonably well yesterday but I'm not settled on the ball flight just yet. Mostly it's too low. I'd describe it as mid-low. However, this driver seems to be producing a straighter shot and even a bit longer than the SLDR. There were several times yesterday where my shot was perhaps 10-15 yards longer than where a similar good shot with the SLDR plays from. Looking at the club face all of my shots were nicely centered. There were a few times where I thought the driver felt hollow. Probably on a shot slightly less than center of club-face and perhaps just a touch low. 

Over all after yesterday I'm currently rating the EXS with a B- mostly due to my ball flight being too low and me not being able consistently replicate my characteristic shot shape which is a mid-high draw. The EXS at the moment, and considering how I have it setup; has a tendency to be straighter than the SLDR. You might say.... "who can argue with straight?" Well for the time being that would be me. I'm hoping to somehow get the EXS setup to closely replicate the shot shape I'm used to. Although the shaft change made a noticeable difference I'm probably going to consider visiting a fitter in the Ft. Worth area soon where I can demo many shaft options and perform this outdoors. In the meantime I'm also going to add a slight bit of weight to the rear of the head and see what that does. I'll try adding some lead tape and or purchase the weight set from Tour Edge. I'll also replace the Tour Velvet grip with my normal Golf Pride CP2 Wrap grip. The CP2 is slightly larger in the lower hand and that may also make a slight difference in turning the ball over. I've also got to get my ball flight a little higher still and I want my reliable draw back. That's where I'm most comfortable. And... I like comfort. The EXS is a very good looking driver with all the latest technology and I'm willing to give it every chance to make the bag. For $299.99 I think this driver has potential to make a lot of people very happy. Especially with most new drivers now retailing for $500+.  Finally, should I be able to eventually get the EXS setup properly I'll install a Shotmaker. IMO the Shotmaker is a relatively undiscovered device by most players and key to a more consistent and tighter driver shot pattern. 

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Good luck - I'm following this one closely.

 

Wouldn't medium low be good in Texas?  I know that my eye prefers medium high to high because that's what I see when I go to a tour event but it seems like my longer drives come on the lower ones anymore even in the moister Florida conditions - I know when I lived in Indiana I could get my ugly little sling draw to roll and roll out where the big boys were.  The issue may be what your eye wants rather than your ball flight. 🙂

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I know I've told this story a million times but in 2017 I wanted a new driver so I took my sldr to pgass and said sell me a driver. To make a long story short they said we'd love to sell you a new driver (I wanted the M2) but after an hour in the LM we can't beat the sldr. I spent easily an hour hitting every driver they had but the sldr continued to come out on top. I currently am enjoying a G400 lst because I'm a club junkie but I'll never sell the sldr. Weather permitting I may take the sldr out with the Ping just to do a comparison. I will be honest, the Ping is very forgiving but the sldr is always on stand by.

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43 minutes ago, PlaidJacket said:

I'm also going to add a slight bit of weight to the rear of the head and see what that does. I'll try adding some lead tape and or purchase the weight set from Tour Edge.

Plaid - thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience .. I'm interested in this driver (but no did not apply to be a tester) and so am following along.

Was going to suggest the lead tape idea - shortening the shaft decreases the swing weight - and may have had an effect on your initial test..?

Curious to hear what happens!

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14 minutes ago, revkev said:

Wouldn't medium low be good in Texas?

Rev I think I know where you're coming from. Texas wind? Yes, wind can be a factor many days here. Most days on average it's seems we play in a 10-15 mph "breeze" around these parts of W. Texas. That's normal. Better days are 5-10 mph like yesterday. Our course conditions around the region generally play hard and fast... meaning good roll. And you're correct.... I prefer to "see" my ball flight a little higher. I call it mid-high. Certainly not Tour height as I've seen plenty of tour players in person hit what I'd call towering tee shots. Always amazing to me. I'd really like to play the EXS for the next few years. It's a very nice golf club and I think most anyone would agree to that. We shall see.

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Loving your story and progress with the EXS. Seeing how you are trying a shaft you have had a long time of success with and noticing it still wasn't ideal in that head. This only shows how important it is to mesh the driver head with shaft to create the right mix for your own swing. 

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... As the saying goes, golf is 80% mental. The other 20% is mental. If you have a preferred trajectory off the tee and it has been repeatable and reliable, a different trajectory can be very disconcerting. Hopefully you either get used to the new trajectory or you begin producing your old reliable trajectory. Of course you can always go back to your SLDR. I have said many times it produced the most dispersion of any driver I have ever played. Mishits just seemed to go more off line than any other driver I have played. I stuck with it for a long time because the high loft/launch combined with low spin gave me longer drives than other drivers at that time and I found it a real game changer. But other OEM's caught up with the technology producing low spin with more forgiveness and I was able to move on. But dam the SLDR looks good at address, sounds/feels good and center contact still produces crazy long drives. Good luck in your "contest" and may the best driver win. 

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3 hours ago, chisag said:

... As the saying goes, golf is 80% mental. The other 20% is mental.

Ain't that the truth. I liked your contest reference. That's what it is I suppose. For now anyway. I've had a 5 week layoff (fractured finger) and last weekend was my first round since that fateful day. Non-competitive. Next weekend and most every one thereafter I'll play the Saturday game where messing around trying to make a new driver work can be costly. LOL 

I'm actually planning to make a trip over to Ft. Worth before long so if I'm still feeling like the EXS has potential I'll go see what a fitter there can do for me. And who knows.... I might even find something new.  Or not. 

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When I got fitted a few weeks ago I wanted to try the EXS but they had none in stock. I used to play the XCG7 Beta and have always had a soft spot for Tour Edge. One thing I'm disappointed in is that we don't see any of their other sticks get reviews. We see the drivers,we know that the fairway woods and hybrids are great but what about their irons and wedges? You love some YouTube videos

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Later today I'll play in a competitive group/match (12-16 players) and the EXS will be in the bag again. I'm going to loft back up to the ++ setting 12*  from the N+ setting and see how it works. Last weekend I played the driver with the old Speeder 57-S shaft as opposed to the stock Tensei Blue 60-S and it seemed promising. I believe in the ++ setting the lie changes to 59.5. I also re-gripped the EXS last night with my regular Golf Pride CP2 Wrap. I much prefer the feel of these grips as they have a slightly reduced taper in the lower hand. Forecast calls for a beautiful day here. Sunny 77* with 0-5 mph.  We shall see. 🏌️‍♂️

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Wanted to let you know I have enjoyed reading your journey to evaluate the new driver. For me reading and learning about other people approaches and their successes and failures make us more informed and teaches us how we can do our own evaluation to validate the things we are told.

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I think I've reached a verdict for the EXS. IT'S A WINNER!!!

The test & trial for me boiled down to three things. Accuracy - Distance - Ball flight. 

Accuracy: The EXS is accurate and repeatable. Meaning, like my SLDR; I played from the fairway all day today only missing 4 fairways out of 12 where I played the EXS. My misses were not wild at all... just off the cut by perhaps 20-30 feet but very playable. The other holes were par-3 or a short or tight driving hole where I opted to pull my 4w. Today as I mentioned in a prior post; I repositioned the head into the ++ position.12.5*

Distance: The EXS is longer than the SLDR. Without any electronic data measurements of any kind and using only my estimates and course knowledge from where I normally find my good drives I'd say I've picked up 10-15 yards easily. This is huge for me as I'm 64 and over the past few years I've noticed my distances waining a bit. So how far were some of my better longer drives with the EXS? Well, I didn't measure but I did play one club shorter on a number of holes several times today. Again, this is a big deal for me. I'm impressed with the distance gains to say the least. It's was very noticeable to me and my playing partners. They commented.

Ball-Flight: My ball flight is almost where I've hoped I could see from of this driver. It's close. Maybe close enough? I've always considered my driver height to be mid-high or just slightly under that. But today I was happy with what I was seeing. The biggest change to bring all this about was me ditching the stock Tensei CK Blue 60-S shaft for the Fujikura Speeder 57-S. This shaft seems to pair well with the EXS just like it did in my SLDR. Maybe I'm getting lucky again. It just works for my swing I suppose.

Conclusion: It's exciting to have a new driver in my bag (with gains) which certainly seems to be performing in all categories important to me and my game. I can't tell any of you what the "data" says or reports regarding the EXS. All I know is what I see and feel. And so far it's all good. I've never been one to think a launch monitor is the holy grail or final arbitrator of my clubs. I used one initially the day I bought this driver only to get a basis to either go forward or get rid of the club. Everything else I have to see and work out on the course. Could I refine this driver even more and perhaps gain one more yard with detailed LM analysis? Who knows and at this point it's not important to me. Now, I will admit. I'm going to try a little extra weight in the rear of the driver either by adding a few grams of lead tape or using the EXS weight accessory kit. We'll see. Over the next few weeks and if the EXS  truly earns a permanent slot in the bag I'll install a Shotmaker as icing on the cake. Time will tell if the EXS can live in my bag for the next few years or so. My old 2014 SLDR did and it's legend. 

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I've now played three rounds with the new EXS. Today wasn't a particularly good driving day as yesterday but that's no fault of the club. If you know what I mean. I did fall into a better rhythm overall on the backside and the EXS was accurate and long. I ended up salvaging my round shooting one over on the back after making the turn at +4. (par 70) Whew! I wanted to post a photo of the face of the EXS to show my strike pattern but it just isn't noticeable in a photo. But, for whatever reason I've been making improved - more consistent centered strikes. Some perhaps a little lower or higher than others but certainly centered nicely overall. This strike pattern is an improvement over my SLDR which I thought was pretty good. I'm impressed. The driver face shows no sign of any wear at all. This even includes hitting some hard yellow Srixon range balls. Tomorrow a have a competitive match setup with 3 good players so I'm expecting a good showing from the EXS. I'll need it. 🏌️‍♂️

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I hit this driver the other day and was very impressed. I see that you can order as a womens which is an inch shorter. Does anyone know if the swing weight and head weight are adjusted accordingly? I was fit to the Tour Edge stock shaft recently so it might be a smooth transition if I can order the women’s version. Don’t judge me!


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