From Golf Magazine ClubTest 2012 (March, 2012)
Category: Game-Improvement Drivers
WE TESTED: 9°, 10.5° with Aldila RIP Sigma 60 graphite shaft; 9°, 10.5° with Graphite Design Tour AD 40 graphite shaft; 9°, 10.5° with Fujikura Blur 55 graphite shaft.
KEY TECHNOLOGIES: A high-tech brazing process melds the titanium face and body to a thin beta titanium crown for enhanced acoustics. The face has multiple thicknesses to boost springlike effect and feel. Extra weight low and deep in the head improves forgiveness.
OUR TESTERS SAY: A handsome, reliable performer that delivers above-average length.
DISTANCE: Respectable output on center or off-center hits; extra roll makes it a match for firm courses.
ACCURACY/FORGIVENESS: Typical mis-hits aren’t severely penalized; useful stick for getting the ball in play.
FEEL: Well-balanced and sturdy despite a light, long shaft (45.75”); the sub-300 gram club delivers crisp impact feel—the ball compresses against the face.
PLAYABILITY: Several testers get a repeatable baby draw ball flight; a few guys can execute a variety of shots with it.
LOOK: Very attractive package; black, red, white combo sets it apart; no distractions; simple alignment “X” on top of the head.
Some testers yearn for the feel and playability of Exotics fairway woods to translate to the driver; a few find it difficult to shape shots and hit fades.
From The Shop Blog (November 21, 2011)
Paint, graphics and clever designs mask the fact that your driver is not made from a single piece of material. The face, the part that actually hits the ball, is welded to the body, and in many cases the crown is yet another separate piece.
According to Dave Glod, founder and owner of Tour Edge Golf, welding is fine but the process adds weight to the club and makes some areas too rigid. So instead of welding the pieces of the new Tour Edge XCG5 driver together, his company is brazing them. The brazing process chemically bonds the titanium crown of the club to the body so no welding is necessary.
In this video, Glod explains the process:
According to Tour Edge, the combination of no welds and the super-light titanium crown allowed designers to create six Weight Pads that concentrate more mass in the bottom and rear sections of the club. This added weight lowers the center of gravity and helps to create a higher ball flight.
Tour Edge also claims that because there are no welds to stiffen the edges of the face, which has been made 12 percent larger than its predecessor, the Exotics XCG4, the XCG5 driver should help golfers maintain ball speed on mis-hits and increase forgiveness.
To help golfers increase swing speed, the top of the XCG5 slopes down from the face to the rear section for improved aerodynamics. But for players who really want to squeeze out every last bit of power, Tour Edge is making a super ultra-light version of the club available that features a 40-gram Graphite Design Tour AD shaft and a lightweight Winn Lite Exotics grip. The whole club weighs in at a scant 271 grams. Slightly heavier stock shafts—including a 50-gram Fujikura Blur and a 60-gram Aldila RIP Sigma—are also available.
Look for the XCG5 in pro shops now for about $329.