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Review: Tour Edge Exotics Xtreme Forged CB Irons

Tour Edge Exotics

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#1 andrevanderpost

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 02:54 PM

Having done a thorough search of the Golfwrx site as well as the greater web, I failed to find any comprehensive reviews on the Tour Edge Exotics Xtreme Forged irons.  Given that I was able to secure a set for a great price, I went ahead and bought them - unseen and untested.

I am really glad I did as they might just be the best kept secret in the market.

Here is a fairly detailed review of the irons:

Set Make up: 3 - PW with Nippon Pro Modus 120 shafts (Stiff), Lamkin Tour Full Cord grips (white)

Photo's are of the 3 iron, 7 iron and PW.

Background

I am a scratch golfer who has always played blades, the most recent set being Scratch SB1s (DD grind).  Whilst I have always flirted with Players CB and even GI irons given that everyone could do with the additional forgiveness you get, I always gravitate back to my blades for the following reasons:
- Offset: I prefer very little, to no, offset and none of the OEM's make a set of CB irons with a lack of offset that suits my eye.
- Blade Length:  I prefer the look and playability of a short compact head
- Feedback:  Almost every CB iron I have played mutes the amount of feedback you get, especially on heel impact.

My SS with a 6 iron is in the 84-86 mph range and I am a worker of the golf ball.  The ability to control trajectory  (both shape and height) is critical to my game from both a scoring and enjoyment perspective.  I also do not spin the ball a huge amount.

I have my own club-building workshop and do all my own customizing (shafts, lofts, lies, etc.)

Initial Impressions

Straight out of the box these strike you as "solid" and "expensive".  I can't find another word to describe my initial reaction as whilst they look great, there is something about the overall head design that makes them look "solid".

The complaints people had about the garish look of the cavity needn't worry.  In hand, the markings are not over the top and absolutely suit the head design.  I added to the look by using black with red ring ferrules to match the cavity markings.

Looks

When looking at pictures of these irons on the web, you get a sense that the blade is quite long.  The good news is that is absolutely not the case.  In fact, the 5 iron CB head is only about 1 mm longer than my Scratch SB1 5 iron.  The top line is also quite thin and the irons have a high squarish toe.  These could be the closest to the "perfect": shape in my eyes as they incorporate all the design cue's that I love in an iron head.

There is virtually no offset and the standard spec as per TEE's webpage of 2.5 mm in the 3 iron down to 1 mm in the PW seem to be accurate.  These heads have the least offset of any CB iron on the market, with perhaps the exception of the KZGs.  The heads are also milled, though the milling marks are unobtrusive.

The sole features a progressive design with the longer irons having narrow, almost blade like soles, with the footprint getting thicker but not longer as you progress through the short irons.  What is intriguing is the beveled sole grind which makes the shorter irons play as if they had narrower soles off tight lies, but allows for a bit more bounce and forgiveness out of the rough (more on this in the playability/performance section).

Feel and Feedback

This is one of the areas that I believe these irons standard out compared to many of the larger, better known, manufacturer's CB irons, int htat hen struck well, they deliver a very pure, soft feel at impact that reminds me somewhat of the Callaway x-prototype irons.  You could describe the feeling as solid and soft, yet responsive (yes there is the term solid again).

However, if mishit (either thin or toe'ish/heel'ish) you get instant and absolute feedback on where you have missed the impact.  That being said you don't get penalized heavily for the mishit (more in the performance section).  To me it is this feedback in a CB iron that sets theses irons apart from the rest.

These feel like a typical top-of-the-range forged iron

Performance

I bought these irons on a whim after seeing that the offset was listed as being really minimal.  I was hoping to find a CB iron that provide the best of both worlds - workability and control with a decent helping of forgiveness.  I have been looking for this for some time but one or the other has always been compromised (either great workability with little forgiveness (e.g. MP59) or greater forgiveness with lack of workability (588 CB)).

I believe that I have now found exactly what I am looking for.  Paired with the Nippon shafts, these irons are very workable and the shot shape/trajectory is easily manipulated in a controllable fashion.  I am able to work the ball both ways, high and low.  I put this down to the lack of offset and compact head shape.

Yet, when I do miss them (my miss is typically heavy or off the toe) I get away with it as they have bags of forgiveness built in.  My guess is that this is achieved through a combination of the progressive sole grind and muscle in the cavity.  You are neither penalized heavily in distance nor shape.  Don't get me wrong, these aren't as forgiving as the Mizuno JPX-825 Pro's for instance but they are certainly more forgiving than the Mizuno MP-59's, Titleist 712 CB's or even the Cleveland 588 CBs.  However they are certainly more workable than any of these irons too.

These irons perform well from tight lights, and been a digger I like the way the slightly thicker sole in the mid/short irons interacts with the turf.  They are also really easily to hit out of a less than great lie in the rough.

The only drawback would be for those players who spin the ball a huge amount already.  The milled heads impart a significant amount of spin on the ball; so much in fact that I found myself stopping dead (or even spinning back a foot or two) mid and long irons.  I don't believe that the shafts play a major role in this.  The good news for me is that I could do with a bit more spin, and these irons now allow me to play with one of the firmer Tour balls (Pro V1x, B330, etc.) which provides be added benefit with the driver.  The combination of a Pro V1x and these irons provides with a great ball-flight and excellent control.

Conclusion

These irons score well in all categories for me.  In particular they look awesome and in respect of my quest to find a good combination of feel, workability and forgiveness, these play better than anything I have used to date.  Will everyone think the same - absolutely not, as the head design will not be everyone's "cup-of-tea".  However, if you, like me, have been searching for that elusive combination of blade like looks and with cavity back forgiveness, you should give these a try.

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#2 Drewrealty

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 01:51 PM

Nice review, picked up a set of these myself, look great and hope the pxi shafts perform well in them!!  Thanks for posting!
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#3 Vintage1976

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Posted 28 December 2012 - 10:52 PM

Nice review and thanks for the pics! I wondered how these look only seeing the OEM info. Looks pretty good to me.
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#4 Duckgolfer

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Posted 27 February 2013 - 02:37 AM

I have the TEE cnc forged irons and too a T these are the same attributes I found to be true as well! Such a great set and I am encouraged that these new ones are of the same quality! Great review!

#5 Basko

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Posted 21 March 2013 - 03:04 AM

Love your review I also found very little information on the Tour Edge Exotic CB Irons (CBs),

Just to give you my background I was playing regularly for about a year and would shoot around the 84-86 mark with a crappy set of Wilson Irons and being tall probably wasn’t well suited to me, fortunately got broken into and they pinch a bunch of stuff so I got to go shopping for a new set.

I went to a local shop Peel Golf Centre (Mandurah, Western Australia) who are really helpful got fitted out and pointed me in the direction by fitting me using the Mizuno Swing DNA. Correy Price shop keeper, a scratch amateur and really helpful guy said the shaft was one of the most important aspects when trying to get to fit me. He then pointed me into the direction of the Mizuno JPX 825 and 825 Pros(825Pros) a good intermediate Iron (for what I found on reviews, descriptions online) and the Tour Edge Exotics CU and CBs which I found very little information on. I was adamant I didn’t like the chucky look of the standard 825s or the CUs so I was going either the 825Pros a trusted brand heaps of information, great reviews, good hype but more expensive or the CB. The information I did find on the CBs was your review and just the fact it was a players iron not really an intermediate iron but loads of information on their drivers and 3 woods. I found the overall look of the CB small in length which is nice and traditional but the thick sole a little off putting but behind the ball you can’t see the sole so it was a really nice looking club at address. The 825Pro was a great looking club which was another reason why I was leaning towards buying it.

So before I nearly purchased the whole set of 825Pros I thought I would test them out, so I was given the opportunity to trial a 6 iron in both. Hit 100 balls and the results stunned me.

Surprisingly after hitting 50 balls each I found I was hitting more consistently with the CB due to I could feel where the club was at each moment of the swing and how it reacted with the turf was great, the only question is it was with the regular shaft not the inch longer one so not sure if that would change the dynamics at all but the club head felt heavier and easier to control. I played it from fluffy lies buried lies and when adjusting my stance to suite it played well it also performed well when I hit off the toe, it didn’t go as far  but still went 150m and straight and my miss hits were minimal.

The 825Pro was really nice but inconsistent which could have just been my swing but I hit some smoking shots with it but found it lighter and harder to control. When I got onto it, it just kept going so for distance it was great but the feedback wasn’t as good as the CBs and not as forgiving. It did have the longer shaft and again unsure how it would go if it was the other way around with the Mizuno with the short shaft and the CB with the longer one but I think after switching between the two after say 10 shots each the CBs performed better every time and I didn’t feel like I had to be mindful to do so much with my swing, hands body position etc. I found the main problem with the Mizuno was I got more of the turf and as you know, it then starts opening the face or changing its angle at contact, the speed in which it hits the ball etc. and then produces an average shot.

So Exotics CBs it is and can’t wait to play with the rest of the set. It’s funny how things work out, I just hope anyone thinking down the path that one club is the be all and end all should consider getting fitted, then testing it against other brands in the same field out at a range to see its ball flight, trajectory  etc and get a real feel for it, not to take numbers from behind a machine into a net as gospel, as you never get the same feel and you can’t test how the club will react with the turf.

Hope this helps others in deciding or in any other way not just to use Tour Edges products but get fitted then try before you buy.


#6 rainkingjr

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 03:53 PM

I picked up a single 6 iron just to try this iron out. I pretty much agree the OP on most counts. I hit the 6 iron side by side with Cleveland 588CB's and Wilson FG62 blade. (All with DG S300's) Of course of the 3 the FG62 was the most workable. Distance was pretty much the same for all three. I do give the Tour Edge an ever so slight edge in forgiveness over the Cleveland. They all feel great. I have to say, for having such a wide sole, and me being more of a picker, I found the turf interaction to be excellent on the Xtreme forged. They do look much better in person. I wasn't bothered at all by the graphic in the cavity. All in all I'd say these irons are big time sleepers that would fit a wide variety of players. Higher cappers that want the forged feel should jump on these. Probably not the best set for true club ho's since the resale value wont be that high. With that being said, if you score a set, I don't now why you would sell them. I really wish these guys would some more love. Their stuff is second to none.

Edited by rainkingjr, 02 September 2013 - 03:56 PM.






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