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Exotics CB5 Fairway Woods: Editor Review

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Pros: These might be the cleanest, classiest-looking fairway woods on the market. The titanium faces provide plenty of ball speed and forgiveness, and the stock shaft options are solid.

Cons: Four different lofts, but no adjustability. Did we mention that they’re $299?

Bottom Line: The CB5 fairway woods get top marks for ball speed, and they’re as forgiving and good looking as anything else you can buy. But they’re a little spinnier than other top fairway woods in their class. That makes them a good option for players who need more spin, or want more carry or workability than other high-COR fairway woods can provide.

Overview

With its Exotics fairway woods, Tour Edge has developed a reputation for making some of the best performing fairway woods in golf. Just ask Brandt Snedeker, who used a 13-degree version of the company’s CB4 fairway wood to win the PGA Tour’s 2012 FedExCup and earn of payday of more than $10 million.

The company’s new line of CB5 fairway woods are an improvement over the CB4, using a new SP-700 titanium face to give golfers slightly less spin and more ball speed across the face.

“SP-700 is about twice as light as steel,” said David Glod, president and founder of Tour Edge. “That allows us to put the center of gravity where we want.”

All things being equal, a lower center of gravity (CG) creates a higher launch, which is exactly what most players want from their fairway woods.

Tour Edge lowered the CG of the CB5 even more with its combo brazing process, which joins the club’s titanium cup face and heavier steel body without creating any welds. That, combined with its thicker sole plate, gives the CB5 a center of gravity that Glod said is lower than any of its competitors.

[youtube id=”2f4aZ1djpBM” width=”620″ height=”360″]

The Tour Edge Exotics CB5 fairway woods are available in lofts of 13, 15, 16.5 and 18 degrees, and come stock with “real deal” versions of Aldila’s RIP 70 Sigma or Mitsubishi Rayon’s Fubuki Tour shafts for $299.

CB5 Shaft Specs

CB5 Shaft Specs

Performance

The latest trend in fairway wood design is creating clubs with low, forward CG’s that increase ball speed and decrease spin. Those designs, like Callaway X Hot Pro and TaylorMade’s RBZ Stage 2 Tour, are great for golfers with a lot of swing speed who need to decrease spin to keep their shots out of the clouds. They’re also great for players who like to use their 3 wood off the tee as a second driver, because they create driver-like ball speeds from shorter, more lofted clubs.

But those clubs can also be too low spin for some players, which can:

  1. Limit carry distance and workability.
  2. Go too far for high-speed golfers who depend on their fairway woods for control, not distance.

That’s where the CB5 comes in. It’s a playable, workable fairway wood with a low center of gravity and a hot face.

IMG_2716

In our testing, we found the 15-degree CB5 to be almost 1 mph faster off the face than a 15-degree X Hot Pro and 14.5-degree RBZ Stage 2 Tour (adjusted to 15 degrees) with the same shaft, shaft length and swing weight, which we attributed to the titanium face construction. But because of the club’s increased spin, which was as much as 1000 rpms higher on certain swings, the CB5 tended to have a shorter total distance than the other clubs.

The added spin will help golfers hit the ball high and soft enough to hold a green, but it could produce a problem for some players. That’s why it’s a nice feature that 13-degree and 15-degree models of the CB5 are essentially the same club except for their loft. For players who need less spin, the 13-degree model will make more sense.

Looks and Feel

Like the CB4 fairway woods, the CB5’s have a medium face depth that many better players prefer. This gives the club a strong look off the tee, but might intimidate some golfers who use the club from the short grass and light rough. Those players will discover that despite its medium face depth, the CB5 is actually much better than many smaller fairway woods off the ground because of its extremely low center of gravity.

IMG_2730

Left to Right: Callaway’s X Hot Pro, TaylorMade’s RBZ Stage 2 Tour, Exotics CB5 (All 15 degrees).

The SP-700 titanium used to make the CB5’s cup face is a little harder than the CB4’s 15-3-3-3 titanium, which gives the club a stronger, more solid feel than many golfers might expect from a titanium-faced fairway wood. The sound is closer to a muted “ping” than a loud “crack,” and there’s a jumpy feel off the face that lets golfers know that the ball took off with some serious speed.

The CB5 fairway woods are smaller than the company’s more driver-like XCG6 fairway woods (our review of those is coming soon), a size that better players will appreciate. They also have a 1-degree open face angle in the 13- and 15-degree models, which will match the face angle of many better players’ drivers.

The Takeaway

The biggest drawback of the CB5 fairway woods are their $299 price tag, which doesn’t seem so bad when you consider that the clubs come with stock shafts that sell separately for hundreds of dollars. The CB5’s titanium faces and combo-brazed construction are two premium attributes that are uncommon in the industry as well, which also makes the sticker shock more manageable.

IMG_2709

The CB5 fairway woods use a thick, steel sole plate to move the CG even lower.

If you’re a golfer who is looking to hit your fairway woods as far as humanly possible, and will rush to the store in 2014 to buy the new model that promises five more yards, Exotics fairway woods probably aren’t for you. But if you’re looking for a premium-constructed, versatile fairway wood with a traditional look and pleasing sound, the CB5’s should be on your list of clubs to try.

Check the photos in the gallery below, which show more photos of the CB5 as well as comparison photos to the X Hot Pro and RBZ Stage 2.

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. matt

    Dec 27, 2015 at 11:35 pm

    Gee I wonder if the non believers in Exotics ever checked what snedeker used as a fairway wood when he won the fed ex cup … yup it was an Exotics .. and he wasn’t paid to play it …. Exotics is a sleeper brand because they don’t pay people to play their equipment nor spend millions on over hyped marketing adds. Check the golf digest awards you’ll see this name a lot

  2. Pingback: Tour Edge Exotics CG7 Fairway wood line given 5 Star Ranking - "Driver Like Ball Speed" | Hodson Golf

  3. Kenny P

    Oct 26, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    tee makes rubbish…buy an Adams club if you want quality, value and a long time partner in your bag.

  4. spencer096

    May 16, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    sigma’s are real deal?

  5. Chris

    May 10, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    How do they stay in business? Have a bit of a cult following, but generally a big under-performer at big $$$$!

    • Brian

      May 11, 2013 at 2:34 am

      Huh, big under performer??? Have you hit them or seen comparisons? The review states higher speeds then the TM. Expensive, yes. But you get a real shaft like in a TP. Compared to a TP or a custom order they are priced right.

      Just because they do not sponsor tour play, does not mean they cannot perform. Big under perform is a big opinionated viewpoint.

    • Mike

      May 26, 2013 at 12:56 pm

      Wow… that is an unfair statement to make, TEE are the best fairway woods out…end of, have owned and played one for a period of time? (not just demo at the range)great performing clubs, the CB1 & 2 have legendary status amongst elite players and although expensive, you get what you pay for and not “made for” shafts.

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Equipment

Forum Thread of the Day: “What golf-related Father’s Day gift did you get?”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day comes from nuttinbutapeanut, who asked fellow members what golf-related gift they received for Father’s Day. Our members share what they received, as well as gave on Father’s Day.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • OSpreyCI: “PXG 0811x Driver. Thank you fam bam.”
  • Aviador Naval: “Two hours of time with my son hitting balls and practicing short game on a day with beautiful weather. As an empty nester, that is 1000x more valuable than anything material.”
  • Kingcat990: “Took the father in law golfing, and we posted some horrendous scores. Had a great time piling garbage on the scorecard.”
  • Gautama: “New golf shirt and shorts, and got a surprise treat in a tee time for the whole clan on a little executive 9 hole, par 33 course. First time we’ve done it…my wife, my two sons aged 22 and 18, and my two daughters aged 9 and 6. The whole course was crawling with groups like ours… Not the fastest round any of us have ever played, but very fun.”
  • granata10: “New ping hoofer golf bag. It was needed and wanted.”

Entire Thread: “What golf-related Father’s Day gift did you get?”

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Whats in the Bag

Gary Woodland’s winning WITB: 2019 U.S. Open

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Driver: Ping G410 Plus (9 degrees set at 7)
Shaft: Accra RPG 472 M5+ (44.75 inches, tipped 2 inches)

3-wood: Ping G410 LST (14.5 degrees set at 13.6)
Shaft: Accra Tour ZX 4100 M5 (42.5 inches, tipped 2.5 inches)

Irons: Wilson Staff Model Blades (3-PW)
Shafts: KBS Tour C-Taper 130 X shafts

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design SM7 (52-08F, 58-10S), TaylorMade Hi-Toe (64 degrees)
Shafts: KBS Hi-Rev 2.0 125 X

Putter: Scotty Cameron Newport prototype
Grip: SuperStroke Pistol GT 2.0

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Cord Midsize

Ball: Titleist Pro V1

 

 

 

 

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Equipment

Titleist T200, T300 iron seeding begins at Travelers Championship

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The last few weeks for Titleist have been very busy.

First, we had the new TS series of hybrids and aptly named U-Series utilities/long iron replacements, then shortly after the T100s and new 620 MB and CB irons debuted. Now, to potentially round out the iron lineup we are seeing the T200 and T300s.

We can only speculate at the moment, but based on the rebranding across the line up, from the TS Hybrids to returning to using “600” to identify iron models, I feel confident that this “T” series name will be the replacement for the AP line (RIP Titleist AP Series, you had a great run).

This simple name change makes a lot of sense for a number of reasons when you consider how other OEMs generally identify models: in sequence going from the most players club to the most forgiving. The AP had this with the AP1 and AP2, but with the introduction of the AP3, it was from all accounts (what I have heard through friends across retail channels in the industry) a confusing club for consumers to understand where it fits in the lineup, since the AP1 is still the most player friendly. We have to remember that not all golfers are as continuously up to date like the readers here at GolfWRX!

These types of rebranding decisions are never made in haste by OEMs since it can have lasting effects on naming down the line, but with this refresh, I think it will help consumers understand what model is right for them and make it easier for fitters to help explain too.

The above image is a perfect representation that shows a widening sole from the T100 – 300 along with an ever-increasing depth to the cavity.

We don’t have any tech specs for the new models yet but there are a few little nuggets we can speculate on from the provided images

  • Multi-material: This was a staple in the AP line since its introduction and with the ability to increase MOI without physically increasing the size of the club. It would appear the new T series will offer varying versions of this to create the best fit
  • Easy to blend: Similar appearances and close in looks (as a whole), these sets should be prime candidates for building combo sets
  • Cast?: First images of the 620s and T100 all had “Forged” on the hosels, but that is noticeably absent from the hosels of the T200 and T300s. With multi-material construction and different polymers and elastomers, a “great” feeling clubs doesn’t have to be forged (we’ve debunked that myth a LONG time ago). Plus, if face inserts are used to help create higher MOI and ball speed who cares how they do it? I know I don’t!

Heres the big one: Mi-Max Impact technology?!?! Yeah I don’t know what it means either, but considering every tiny detail of every club goes through so many design renderings before seeing the light of day, for Titleist to put this in writing on the back of the T200 (in what looking like the bottom of a bullet) means it’s going to be a big part of the story. We also see this Mi on the back of the T300 too, on what I can only assume is part of the vibration dampening system.

Titleist pushed the envelope, with the CNCPT series, in materials, construction, and cost, and like all things technology, the longer it’s available the less expensive it becomes to mass manufacture. Will part of what makes the series so good be making its way into the new T200 and T300 irons and more readily available? Not sure just yet. But when we do know we will be sure to let you know too.

Titleist T200 7-iron

Titleist T300 7-iron

Check out more in-hand photos below.

 

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