The Tour Edge Exotics XCG-4 driver is being marketed as "one of the lightest drivers ever created." It's also said to be capable of producing "some of the longest drives you'll ever hit." Well, claims that bold practically dared me to review the club. I had to wait for a demo day to come around, but I was finally able to grab one and test it on the range.
So, does the Tour Edge Exotics XCG-4 driver live up the company's claims? Or is it just another one of those drivers that the manufacturer says is better than all the others ... but really isn't?
Here's what I found out about this club.
First, the "demo dude" told me there are actually two versions of the Tour Edge Exotics XCG-4 driver: a 310-gram ultra-light version and a 276-gram "ultra-ultra-light" edition. The "heavier," 310-gram version (which is still lighter than the average driver) comes standard with a 55-gram, 45.5-inch Fujikura Motore graphite shaft (available in extra-stiff, stiff, regular, senior or ladies flex) and a Golf Pride New Decade grip. Its lighter sibling, the 276-gram version, comes standard with an ultralight, 45-gram, 46-inch Graphite Design Tour AD shaft (available in stiff, regular, senior or ladies flex) and a 26-gram Winn Lite grip. Tour Edge claims this latter version is the lightest driver available on the market. It may also be one of the more aerodynamic drivers you can buy.
Both versions of the Tour Edge Exotics XCG-4 driver are available in 9-, 10.5- and 12-degree lofts. I tried the 10.5 because that's the loft I normally play.
The light weight and streamlined design of this driver reduce drag and allow the head to slice through the air faster, and faster club head speeds normally translate into more distance. The sole and face are both titanium, but the crown is made of lighter amorphous carbon. To lower the club's center of gravity and increase its Moment of Inertia (resistance to twisting), weight is positioned low and back in the head with two tungsten sole weights and two amorphous carbon sole weights. A variable-thickness "Boomerang" face increases the club's Coefficient of Restitution ("spring-like effect") and enlarges the sweet spot. When you pair the Tour Edge Exotics XCG-4 driver head with the standard Fujikura Motore or Graphite Design Tour AD shaft, this club becomes a serious weapon off the tee.
I tested the 276-gram version of the Tour Edge Exotics XCG-4 driver, and I'm here to tell you this is one hot club. Its streamlined design, reduced overall weight, and large sweet spot are all intended to increase club head speed and promote longer drives. What golfer doesn't want more distance off the tee, especially when their drives usually hold the target line?
It's also a real looker. I love drivers with conventionally-shaped heads and this one fit my eye perfectly. The crown is an understated solid black (there's no alignment aid) and the head sets up behind the ball wonderfully well. Despite the simplicity of the crown design, if you flip the head over you'll see all the technology that's been built into the driver. The sound and feel on crisply struck hits had the type of authority that let me know I hit the ball well.
I needed quite a few hits to get used to the Tour Edge Exotics XCG-4 driver, probably because of its extremely light weight and slightly longer shaft. It felt so light while I was swinging that I often wondered where the head was in my backswing, but when I connected, the ball really flew. On crisp shots, the trajectory was medium-high to high. The club is also pretty forgiving: minor mishits resulted in a slight loss of distance but nothing outrageous, and the ball still flew fairly straight.
The Bottom Line: I've never understood why so many golfers overlook Tour Edge clubs. The company uses advanced designs and materials, and most of its clubs are offered at very reasonable prices. A Tour Edge Exotics XCG-4 driver is top-of-the-line and it won't come as cheap as some other drivers, but if you're passionate about the game you owe it to yourself to take a look. It's longer than most clubs and it's deadly accurate - for me, anyway.