By Mike Johnson
Tour Edge founder and master designer Dave Glod made clear the priority of the company’s new EXS 220 and EXS 220h irons. “Distance, distance, distance,” said Glod when speaking of the design goal. “Yes, there’s a lot more to this club than that, but that was the priority.”
Of course, there’s really no reason to shy away from the obvious. Not when you’re producing a set with seriously strong lofts starting with a 19-degree 4-iron and continuing to a 42-degree pitching wedge on both models. The company’s intent on making clubs that will have you puffing out your chest on certain shots is evident. The game-imrpovement EXS 220 irons incorporate elements of construction and multiple materials to achieve that distance while also producing a more-than-acceptable feel.
First, the head uses a hollow cavity construction in the lower half (4- through 7-iron) combined with a full forged maraging steel cup face with a web-shaped variable thickness design that enhances face flex in every direction from face center. The idea is to not only boost maximum ball speed but limit the falloff as impacts move away from dead center. On top of that, it allows the head to be lighter
In the 4- through 7-irons, the head gets a 19-gram chunk of tungsten wedged into the mid-toe region of the cavity to provide stability, stretching the area of the face that produces the most distance. Also on those irons is a 19-gram piece of tungsten wedged into the mid-toe region of the cavity to offer added stability. The short irons are solid 431 stainless steel construction.
The EXS 220 also borrows the ramped sole design from its EXS predecessor, where a raised middle section accentuates heel and toe relief areas for better movement through the turf. To assist feel, a TPE polymer has been coated with a gel that absorbs shock.
The hollow-body, 17-4 stainless steel 220h irons are, according to Glod, about “taking everything we learned about iron-woods and putting it into this club.” Like the 220 model, it employs a cupface for speed and utilizes the ramp sole, but is built for max forgiveness with a high moment of inertia and low, deep CG thanks to significant perimeter weighting and to a wide sole (26.5 millimeters) that not only lowers the center of gravity location to assist launch, but assists turf interaction as well.
For shafts, Tour Edge has taken the extra step of robot testing shafts to find the optimal shaft for each flex. The company tested an extensive range of shafts to determine the best shafts for different swing speeds and flex.