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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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Whats in the Bag

Joaquin Niemann WITB 2020

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Joaquin Niemann - WITB January 2020

Driver: Ping G410 LST (10 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI 7 X (45.25″, tipped 1″)

joaquin-niemann-witb-2020

3-wood: Ping G410 (14.5 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI 8 X (tipped 1″, 43″)

Hybrid: Ping G400 (19 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI Hybrid 95 X (40.25″, D2)

Irons: Ping iBlade (4-9)
Shafts: Project X Rifle 6.0 (-1/4″, D1)

Wedges: Ping Glide 3.0 (46-12 degrees), Ping Glide Forged (52, 56, 60 degrees)
Shafts: Project X Rifle 6.5

Putter: Ping Prototype PLD Anser (Black finish)
Grip: Ping PP58 Midsize Full Cord

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet

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Shaft fitting: Is it worth it? – GolfWRXers have their say

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In our forums, our members have been discussing shaft fitting and whether it makes a substantial difference or not. WRXer ‘2ndCut16’ recently snagged a set of heavily discounted T100 irons on eBay and asks members:

“My question is, is it worth going to get a shaft fitting? They currently have DG S300, which was what was in my 714AP2 ( I was not fit for these either), but I’m curious how much the shaft may make a difference? I’m sorry if this has been covered before, I’m just recently was bit by the equipment bug and am trying to learn all that I can.

Given that I saved a good junk of the cost of the clubs, I’d be willing to spend a little to get the right shaft, if it is actually going to make a difference, I just wanted to check here before I spent the $100 for the shaft fitting.”

And our members have been having their say in our forums.

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.

  • nhaun2: “I definitely think it’s worth it with the way the technology has progressed the last 5-10 years. $100 seems kinda steep, but I feel like most places will credit that back or at least a portion of it if you make a purchase through them.”
  • Ri_Redneck: “Never worry about paying for something that is worth the price to YOU! If your goal is to be the best golfer you can be, then your priorities are far different from the average weekend golfer. Fitting is typically expensive, but the information you get can be well worth the cost. As ChipNRun mentioned. Most of us have a swing that probably won’t change much over the next few years. Knowing what shaft characteristics fit you allows you to oftentimes choose a set of ideal clubs right off the rack! Knowledge of your equipment will help you make the most of your equipment buying dollars and avoid falling prey to the marketing that is so prevalent today.”
  • thesamewise: “1 million percent worth it. The right shaft will complement your game and can accentuate your strengths and mask some of your flaws a little. I got the right shafts in my irons, and I just can’t believe how much they help.”
  • Ruleschamp: “Not gonna make that much of a material difference in terms of performance but if you want them to feel the way you like the club to feel then go for the fitting and just enjoy the fun.”
  • GLF4EVR: “Piece of mind may be worth it just so you do not have that little thought in the back of your mind about it. I have done my own tinkering for many years now. I have never had any lessons, and all the club building I have done was thru this site. Had the chance to see a professional fitter last year. Spent over 2 hours going over every club in the bag & was charged only $65. Only recommendations were what kind of graphite shafts to put in my irons if I want to switch & to play with the bounce on my 58 wedge. To me, that was the most worthwhile $65 I have spent on golf in a long time. To find out I was correct in all my work & the way I had gone about; it was just about priceless for me. It is kind of strange to not have that little voice in the back of my head anymore with any questions about my equipment & the fine-tuning I have done. My only thing I would say is to make sure the fitter knows what they are doing.”

Entire Thread: “Shaft fitting: Is it worth it?”

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Chicago Cubs player Ian Happ auctioning off his 1/1 Bettinardi putter with proceeds going to Covid-19 relief

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Chicago Cubs Centerfielder Ian Happ is auctioning off his PROTO IH8 Bettinardi with all proceeds from the sale going to Covid-19 relief efforts for Cradles to Crayons.

The putter, which is open for bids until June 8, is a custom Bettinardi Queen B 8 Slant Neck milled to 365 grams from Double Aged Stainless Steel.

 

A 1/1 used by Happ on the course, the flat-stick features the MLB star’s chosen logos, including the Bettinardi ‘Hive’ logo in the pocket, IH8 Proto on the sole, and also his father’s initials KH. 

 

The putter comes with a unique team-only issued 2016 World Series Cubs Championship headcover, signed by Ian Happ on the W side and a Lamkin Deep Etched Grip.

 

Specs: 

  • Model: Bettinardi Queen B 8 Slant Neck
  • Dexterity: Right-Handed
  • Weight: 365g
  • Length: 35 inches
  • Face Milling: F.I.T. Face (Feel Impact Technology)
  • Finish: Black Chrome

You can bid on the putter here, with the current leading bid as of June 3 currently at $450.

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