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Exotics E8 driver by Tour Edge Golf: Piercing power

Kiel ChristiansonBy Kiel Christianson,
Senior Writer
Tour Edge Exotics E8 driver
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The Exotics E8 driver by Tour Edge delivers a piercing, powerful ball-flight. (Courtesy of Tour Edge)

Tour Edge is a Batavia, Illinois company that has been manufacturing golf clubs for a long time. About six years ago, the company introduced the Exotics line of woods, and ever since, they have been challenging the more widely recognized equipment companies. Exotics woods (and now hybrids and irons) offer high quality and top-flight performance that are generally below competitors' price points.

The latest additions to Tour Edge's Exotics line are the 460cc E8 driver ($300) and the 440cc E8 Beta ($400).

Both drivers feature a Power Grid filling a gap between the face and the body of the driver, adjustable lofts from 8.5-12 degrees and a 7-gram sole weight that can be interchanged with heavier weights, which can be purchased separately.

The E8 Beta has a deeper face and, due mostly to its size, is easier to work.

The E8 has a lower profile and encourages a straight ball flight (or draw-biased ball flight, if set to the loft U-settings on the adjustable hosel).

Playing the Exotics E8 driver

An unseasonably warm Midwestern December day allowed me to take the Exotics E8 out to my home course for a rigorous test. The matte-black finish and the stock Fujikua-Pro 62-gram shaft imbue the E8 with a fast and powerful look and feel. Despite muscles stiff with early off-season torpor and cold, the E8 blasted my ball from the tee of the 408-yard first hole dead straight down the middle to about 120 yards from the green. I was not expecting one of my best opening drives all year to occur in early December.

Throughout the rest of the round, the power of the E8 was never in question: this is a beast. Set at 9.5 degrees of loft, the E8's ball-flight was mid-height and piercing, cutting through the brisk wind with ease. I was not terribly successful at purposely fading or drawing the ball, but I blame my already rusty swing for that.

The 18th tee witnessed another testament to the E8's power. A fairway bunker lies about 250 yards off the white tees, in the crook of the elbow of the left-to-right dogleg. Some 17 or so feet above the far end of that bunker stretches a large sycamore limb, probably eight inches in diameter where it reaches the mid-point of the bunker. I clocked my drive toward the bunker and knew immediately it would clear with no problem. Then, just as the ball faded out of sight in the waning winter light, I heard a "Thwack!" like a gunshot. And my eyes focused on that limb, and from 250 yards away, I could see it bouncing up and down from the force of the golf ball striking it. There was some serious mustard on that ball (which ended up down in the bunker) -- it would have been close to the 100-yard marker if it had missed that branch.

Exotics E8 driver by Tour Edge: The verdict

The Exotics E8 has good looks and great power. Dave Huber, the PGA Professional at Lake of the Woods G.C., my home course, is quick to tell anyone who mentions Tour Edge that it makes as good a product as anyone in golf, especially drivers. Another excellent aspect of Tour Edge clubs is that they all come with a lifetime warranty. If for any reason your E8 breaks (including your own stupidity), just send it back, and they'll send you a new one.

The only major detraction from the E8's performance was the sound it makes at contact, which is nearly as piercing as the ball-flight. It brought to mind the song "I've Been Working on the Railroad," as I pictured myself driving spikes into railroad trestles. As far as I could discern, this sound didn't change much when I made contact on the sweet spot compared to on the toe or heel.

Nevertheless, if you're willing to overlook the noise, the Exotics E8 delivers plenty of power.

For more information, visit www.touredge.com.

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Tour Edge Golf - Exotics E8 driver
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Kiel Christianson has lived, worked, traveled and golfed extensively on three continents. As senior writer and equipment editor for WorldGolf.com, he has reviewed courses, resorts, and golf academies from California to Ireland, including his home course, Lake of the Woods G.C. in Mahomet, Ill. Read his golf blog here and follow him on Twitter @GolfWriterKiel.

 
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