CATEGORY: Max Game Improvement Irons
PRICE: $600, steel; $800, graphite
WE TESTED: 4-AW with KBS Tour 90 steel shafts and 4-AW with UST Mamiya Recoil 460 graphite shafts
KEY TECHNOLOGIES: A new thermoplastic elastomer cavity insert softens feel at impact.
PLAYABILITY: Easy to hit straight and high; good performers on recovery shots from the rough; wedges work better around the greens than expected.
ACCURACY/FORGIVENESS: Minimal sidespin -- directional misses aren't so severe; no huge loss of distance on shots struck away from the sweet spot.
DISTANCE CONTROL: A little extra zip compared with some others; predictable performance on scoring shots, which allows you to access flags; fairly consistent on solid hits and decent off the toe.
FEEL: Substantial head weight puts a good thump on the ball; pleasant, powerful sensation on center strikes with longer clubs; crisp contact and enough feedback to judge distance with short irons and wedges.
LOOK: Silver and black color scheme looks good; offset is less noticeable than in some other models; fairly long blade length provides confidence over the ball.
Not quite as easy to hit solidly as other models; mis-hits can feel harsh; one or two guys find that shorter shots can balloon on them.
BOTTOM LINE: The Exotics EXd offers dependable distance, while the beefy head cuts through tough lies with ease. A nice option for higher-handicappers.