Pros: These soft-feeling 1025 forged wedges sell for just $99 each and create a ton of spin around the greens.
Cons: Limited lofts and bounce options available. The stock grinds have high-to-medium bounce angles, which means they’re probably not a fit for lovers of low-bounce wedges.
Bottom Line: Tour Edge Exotics’ first-ever line of forged wedges don’t come in as many different lofts, grinds and finishes as their competitors, but they’re top-notch performers with classic looks and a great feel that will impress even the pickiest golfers.
The CB Tour Pro S are the first forged wedges produced by Tour Edge Exotics, a company that has created a following among serious golfers with the performance of its metal woods, in particular its super hot fairway woods. The wedges are forged from 1025 carbon steel and have what the company calls “Mongo grooves,” which tout maximum USGA legal sharpness and width. Mongo is the code name for the 28 micro grooves (two between each primary groove) that the company says provide ultimate spin control performance.
The impact area of the wedge has a satin finish to reduce glare, while the rest of the head and hosel are polished chrome. Chief Designer David Glod, who is also the president of Tour Edge, calls the sole grind a “Tour Grind.” It has a noticeable amount of heel and toe relief, and the full amount of bounce is in the middle of the sole for maximum versatility in shot-making.
The CB Pro S wedges ($99) are available in right-hand only with five loft/bounce options (50-10, 52-12, 54-14, 56-14, 60-14).
Stock shaft options include True Temper’s Dynamic Gold Wedge shaft (steel) or Fujikura’s Fuel Wedge shaft for an extra $10. Stock shaft length for all five variations is 35.25 inches.
Lofts Tested: 50.10, 54.14 and 60.14
Shafts: True Temper Project X 6.5
The performance review will be split into three categories: full-swing, controlled-swing and greenside shots. For comparison purposes, I tested against my current gamers, which are Cleveland’s CG15’s with Zip grooves in 52.10, 56.14 and 62.08. All three of these wedges are used, but are not overly worn or in substandard condition. The CB Pro S wedges are 2 degrees stronger per wedge and the lob wedge has 6 degrees more bounce than my CG15.
As expected with a 2-degree stronger loft, the CB Pro S’s launched with a more boring trajectory. That resulted in increased distance control.
However, there was an 8-yard loss in distance from the CG15’s to the CB Pro S’s in the GW and about 5 yards apiece on the SW and LW. From my experience, it would seem that this yardage differentiation was due to the amount of spin the CB Pro S’s were putting on the ball, which affected the total distance. Remember, these are brand new grooves, which tend to spin the most when they’re brand new and spin slightly less as time goes on.
That being said, who chooses wedges based on total distance? Shot dispersion is much more important to me than how far I’m hitting each wedge.
All shots were from the middle of the fairway to a relatively flat green using Bridgestone B330 (2014) balls marked to identify what club was used. I took dead aim at the pin for all shots and used a laser rangefinder, measuring tape and notepad to record the statistics. Outliers (chunks, blades, etc.) were discounted and I retook those shots.
As the data shows, while a few yards were sacrificed in total distance, the difference in accuracy on full-swing shots was more than I expected. The CB Pro S 50-degree was on average within 3.2 yards of the pin from left to right and 3.1 yards of the pin from front to back. That brought my average to 14.2 feet from the pin. Comparably, the CG15 GW was on average 7.4 yards from the pin from left to right and 7.8 yards from the pin front to back. That increased my average distance from the pin to 32.25 feet.
After spending time fixing ball-marks and analyzing each ball’s performance once it hit the green, the consistent difference was that the CG15 shots largely hit and stayed very close (within inches) to their ball-mark. CB Pro S shots all seemed to back up several feet from where the ball initially landed.
Off-center hits with the CB Pro S wedges were noticeable in the hands, but results did not suffer. Feedback was impressive, but mishits weren’t detrimental.
Many of the most delicate scoring shots are those between full-swing and greenside shots. Where most amateurs differ from touring professionals is the ability to get up-and-down from 80 yards and in, so feel and consistency are very important from this range.
I focused on the three-quarter swing for this portion. My personal version of the shot utilizes full-swing speed, but I stop the backswing when my left arm reaches a position that’s parallel to ground. Then I take a pretty normal follow through.
Not surprisingly, the CB Pro S outperformed the CG15 wedges from the shorter distance as well. In fact, of the 20 balls hit for the LW test, the closest six balls were all CB Pro S, and 8 of the best 10 closest shots to the pin were from the CB Pro S. For both the GW and SW portions of the controlled-swing, the CB Pro S had 7 of the 10 balls that were closest to the pin.
Greenside Pitches, Chips and Bunker shots
If you’re a new-generation golfer who uses a high-loft, low-bounce wedge to throw flop shots from everywhere including tight lies, you’re probably not going to like the CB Pro S lob wedge. This was the wedges’ only weakness for me.
The last time I played a LW with more than 8-degrees of bounce was in 1997. When I’m short-sided, I almost always play some sort of open-faced flop shot, although I’m more conservative now than I was in my twenties.
The wedge performs fine from the rough, or even a ball-sitting up in the fairway, but I struggled hitting flop shots from tight lies. Unless you’ve got hands like Phil Mickelson, you probably shouldn’t attempt this anyway, but it’s a challenging shot I enjoy trying to hit. The challenge can be even greater with the higher bounce of the CB Pro S for golfers with shallow angles of attack.
The 14-degree bounce has actually proven to be more of a reliable friend than I would like to admit. The important information for us low-bounce diehards is:
Does the dynamic sole grind of the CB Pro S actually work?
The grind allowed me to utilize the full bounce when the clubface was square, but I saw slightly less bounce than traditional wedges when the blade is open. This allowed me to play a wider variety shots than I’m used to.
I found the wedges to carve nicely through thick lies because of their weight (stock swingweight in the LW is D5), but they’re far from swinging a dumbbell. While they’re not the most forgiving wedge I’ve ever hit, I wouldn’t call the CB Pro S wedges unforgiving, either.
Looks and Feel
The CB Pro S wedges offer a classic shape that lacks nothing in the way of eye-catching bag appeal. The polished chrome finish will catch the attention of your playing partners, but unfortunately it will also catch the sun’s attention over that ball. The satin finish on the face does mitigate this issue in most cases, but if the wedge sits at the wrong angle in sunlight, the toe of the clubface will reflect as well as any mirror.
The topline is very clean and traditional for a forged wedge with little offset. The 54- and 60-degree models look similar to other leading wedges on the market at address, but the 50-degree has a slightly more rounded look. Initially, this threw off my eye at address, but I adjusted to it quickly and didn’t mind the way it looked.
To me, Exotics made these wedges just about the perfect size. They’re small enough to carve through the thickest lies, but also large enough to keep my confidence high on touchier shots around the green and full shots from the fairway.
The feel of these is also everything a forged wedge is meant to be. There is a crisp sensation delivered to the fingers when a ball is properly struck, and while the feel deteriorates on mishits it’s not as big of a dropoff as I’ve experienced from other wedges. That speaks to the care in which these wedges were crafted.
I’ve rotated mostly between long-time industry leaders Titleist and Cleveland wedges for the past two decades, so my expectations for a first-run wedge were admittedly low. My grandfather taught me to never buy the first production of anything: they always have bugs and fix them for the second generation. Unfortunately for Gramps, David Glod apparently never got that information.
With the CB Pro S, Exotics looked to offer golfers with a wedge that could compete with the big boys and they did just that. While they don’t offer the vast array of lofts, grinds and finishes of larger wedge companies, those who are a fit for the stock grinds of the CB Pro S will be more than impressed with their performance.