TOUR EDGE EXOTICS EX9 TOUR HYBRID
CATEGORY: Better Player Hybrids
WE TESTED: 16°, 20° with UST Mamiya Recoil 780 ES graphite shaft
KEY TECHNOLOGIES: "Waves" on the sole help the club slide through turf.
PLAYABILITY: Very versatile from the fairway, rough and traps -- these work all over; natural high-fliers, but they'll give you a few trajectory options; a good recovery club that manages heavy lies; sole seems to work equally well whether you're steep or you sweep.
ACCURACY/FORGIVENESS: Makes up for your misses -- as close to point-and-shoot as anything in this category; fires off sweet little draws all day, with less overall sidespin than a lot of other hybrids; easy to aim, easy to fire, and easy to shoot straight -- "low-stress" says it best.
DISTANCE: A touch longer than the irons they'd replace, with better height and help; hallmark consistency -- no nukes, no flukes, just yardages you can plan around; testers say the 16° packs 3-wood distance with 3-iron control -- it's a potential game-changer off the tee.
FEEL: Stable and super-smooth; swings more like an iron than a wood -- the Recoil shaft is a great match, making it perfectly comfortable to take a big cut or throttle back; most guys love the click felt on flush shots.
LOOK: About as traditional at address as a hybrid can be; small enough to dice through rough but big enough to frame the ball on a tee; the distinctive, undulating rails on the sole will catch your eye.
Limited ability to shape shots curbs appeal for old-school shot makers and seriously advanced players; the busy undercarriage picks up dirt, which can be a pain to get out; a few don't see a huge payoff from the wavy sole.
BOTTOM LINE: The EX9 Tour's balanced, all-around skill set slots in nicely between your longest iron and first fairway wood. A true iron replacement that offers both pop and forgiveness at a fair price.