Will the Real Tour Edge Please Stand Up?

The E8 Tour Fairway Wood turns the brand’s “affordable quality” into “premium-priced superiority.”

Tour Edge golf equipment has been around for 30 years, but ask a handful of people in the clubhouse bar what they know of the Illinois-based company and you’ll hear a lot of ums and ahhs.

One guy might tell you he heard that Brandt Snedeker, though officially affiliated with Bridgestone, chooses to play a Tour Edge Exotics 13-degree 3-wood. Someone else might tell you they think Tom Watson, Nick Faldo, Matt Kuchar, and Ryan Moore had a Tour Edge club in their bag at some point. “And didn’t Luke Donald used to have a Tour Edge 3-wood too?” someone else might pipe up.

You probably don’t know a lot about Tour Edge because company founder and CEO David Glod, a former college golfer and teaching pro, doesn’t pay for Tour player endorsements.

Glod says he formed Tour Edge to produce Tour-quality clubs at affordable prices. It was a noble quest, and the company has largely remained true to its roots.

Search touredge.com and you’ll find plenty of affordable, top-quality clubs. Its top-of-the-range iron, for example—the Exotics CB Forged— retails for $200-$300 less than other manufacturers’ lead models.

But the company clearly isn’t afraid to introduce a premium-priced club it believes is superior to the competition. Last August, it launched the $400 E8 Beta adjustable driver, and in a few weeks’ time the Exotics E8 Tour fairway wood, which will start life at $350-$400, will join it.

“With Exotics clubs we are continuously taking the best and most advanced technology, often from other industries,” says Glod. “We apply it to our golf clubs to make them the best on the market. This costs a lot of money.”

A robotic, laser beam-bonding process, unused before in the clubmaking industry, fuses the E8 Tour’s 450 hyper steel head to the 475 Carpenter steel face, and the compact 150cc clubhead creates a Center of Gravity that is higher and further forward than in game-improvement fairway woods, promoting the lower, more penetrating trajectory better players prefer.

Like the E8 driver, the E8 Tour fairway wood is adjustable, giving the player loft-setting options from 12 to 15.5 degrees, and 13/14/15 degrees after increasing (more upright) the lie angle. The club comes standard with a nine-gram sole weight, but can be changed with the purchase of an optional weight kit. The three-piece weight kit ($49.99) includes 6-gram, 11-gram, and 14-gram weights. You can purchase the weights individually for $19.99. The stock shafts are the popular Diamana M+ and S+, developed by Mitsubishi Rayon. The slightly stiffer-tip D+ is available as a custom option.

Glod, not surprisingly has big hopes for the E8 Tour. “I really see the E8 Tour fairway wood and entire E8 product line continuing to raise Exotics’ reputation and Tour Edge market share by combining superior technology and shaft groupings.”

Tour Edge clubs regularly appear on “Hot Lists” with virtually no marketing behind them. It may or may not sneak into a tour player’s bag on occasion, but it’s worth considering it as a permanent addition to your set.

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