By Mike Stachura
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Tour Edge’s Exotics C721 family of metalwoods (driver, fairway woods, hybrids) employ more weight-saving carbon composite than any clubs in company history. The saved weight from the lightweight panels that wrap around the crown and skirt of the driver and fairway wood allow weight to be redistributed for extreme forgiveness. A central ridge of metal on both the driver and fairway woods runs from front to back to stiffen the crown to improve the power in a face backed by rows of variably thick diamond shapes for better on- and off-center flexing.
THE DEEP DIVE: Tour Edge’s Exotics line-up long has been about searching for extremes in materials and construction, but its latest C721 woods do something company founder and lead designer David Glod calls “next-level Exotics.”
While that clearly rings more like marketing than engineering, the undeniable observation is that the new Exotics C721 metalwoods push beyond where Tour Edge’s most advanced ideas previously lived, and they do so in the only two technology performance areas that matter in club design: distance and forgiveness.
More specifically, the Exotics C721 driver and fairway wood use more weight-saving carbon composite material than any past models, including using the lightweight panels on the crown for the first time in an Exotics hybrid. At the same time, rows of variably thick diamond shapes on the back of the face more than doubles the complexity of past designs to create more deflection over a larger area while also saving mass.
“With Exotics 721, we have forged a new path to optimal performance, power and feel for the vast majority of golfers,” Glod said.
The large use of carbon composite on the driver and fairway wood isn’t merely in the form of a larger crown. Rather, the lightweight carbon fiber stretches from the crown and wraps into the skirt and sole on the heel and toe sides of the body. A dramatic from the spot crown and toe panels on last year's EXS models, including the EXS Pro, Glod said the C721 uses 19 percent carbon composite than previous models. But while carbon composite saves weight, it’s the central ridge of metal that creates more power in the face by stabilising the body of the driver more efficiently than carbon composite by itself. Glod said the way the ridge stiffens and supports the body increases flexing in the face while also improving feel.
On the C721 driver, the face is beta titanium and the pattern of 43 interconnected diamond shapes of varying thicknesses creates a hitting surface that is 20 percent thinner than past Exotics driver faces. The idea was first introduced in last year’s Exotics EXS drivers, but its second iteration features seven distinct thicknesses compared to only three a year ago.
The combination provides room for a 10-gram weight in the extreme back center to maximize stability on off-center hits.
The same combination works on the C721 fairway woods, where the frame features a central ridge that connects the front and back of the body while carbon composite panels wrap around the crown, skirt and sole—the largest amount of carbon composite used on a Tour Edge fairway wood ever. The cupface again uses a more complex pattern than last year’s model with five different thicknesses across 61 separate diamond shapes, 17 more than on last year’s EXS 220 fairway wood.
While the hybrid employs a standard structure for its carbon composite crown, it becomes the first Exotics hybrid to feature a carbon fiber crown, providing a lower center of gravity and more perimeter weighting and overall stability while maintaining a compact shape. Again, it utilizes a pattern of variably thick diamond shapes on the face to create a 20-percent thinner face at the extremes for more on-center and off-center spring.
The Tour Edge Exotics C721 driver features an adjustable hosel that allows the user to tweak loft by plus/minus two degrees.
The lineup includes three driver lofts (9.5, 10.5, 12 degrees), five fairway wood lofts (13.5, 15, 16.5, 18, 21 degrees) and four hybrid lofts (17, 19, 22, 25 degrees). Driver, fairway wood and hybrid will be available Feb. 15.