TOUR EDGE EXOTICS EX9 FAIRWAY WOOD
CATEGORY: Game Improvement Fairway Woods
WE TESTED: 3 (15°), 4 (16.5°) with Matrix Exotics White Tie 55X4 and Matrix Exotics Red Tie 65Q4 graphite shafts
KEY TECHNOLOGIES: A 9-gram sole weight near the heel can be replaced by a 6-, 11-, or 14-gram weight to fine-tune launch.
PLAYABILITY: The EX9 favors straight shots and draws, though some testers can manage fades; strong mid to high flight with good combo of carry and roll; easier to hit off the ground than previous Exotics woods.
ACCURACY/FORGIVENESS: Well-hit shots are like guided missiles; good swings produce quite similar results; slight misses off the toe and heel get more of a pardon than they did with earlier models.
DISTANCE: Longer than average, with a handful of guys putting up numbers close to their drivers; mis-hits still fly down the fairway with the best of them; some testers believe the rails preserve clubhead speed -- and distance -- on heavy contact.
FEEL: The top-rated wood in its class -- the powerful head pummels the ball with an energetic crack; the shaft and head match nicely to give a sense of controlled lag; well-hit shots have a sweetness that leaves players wanting more.
LOOK: Traditional shape with a mediumdepth clubface; the Exotics EX9 sets up competently on the tee and turf; sleek, highly polished crown looks like a Formula 1 race car at a starting line.
Not as much forgiveness as some testers are looking for; requires a strong swing to wake it up; one or two guys find it more difficult to sweep off the fairway and get the ball airborne than other models.
BOTTOM LINE: The Exotics EX9 has great feel and performs quite handsomely in most situations. It should appeal to stronger swingers who are making the move toward better-player woods but still need a bit of a draw-bias.