Tour Edge Exotics CB Pro Sand Wedge
Teacher’s Comments: Versatile and easy to play. A great value.
Tour Edge is a company that should get far more notice from weekend golfers than it does. Since its founding in 1985, Tour Edge has made high-quality, competitively priced, original-design, award-winning clubs. They’re the only OEM to offer both a lifetime guarantee and a 30 day play guarantee.
If you have not heard of Tour Edge, it is probably because the company does not pay Tour Players to use their clubs. Tour Edge clubs are still in professionals’ bags, however. The winner of the Houston Open (name deliberately excised) had a Tour Edge club in his bag, as did Top Ten finishers at the recent Valspar Championship and WGC-Cadillac.
Recently, Tour Edge sent me one of their CB Pro sand wedges for testing. The wedges in the CB Pro line are part of Tour Edge’s highly regarded “Exotics” line of clubs.
I’ve been playing the Tour Edge CB Pro wedge since early this season (which for me begins the day after the last bit of snow is off the greens — but usually is still in the bunkers). I’ve got nothing but good things to say about it.
Tour Edge’s CB Pro wedges are forged from 1025 carbon steel, giving them a sweet, soft touch. In terms of materials, this is an important upgrade from what you’ll find as part of a typical set of cast irons. The short game is very much about feel, and nothing offers as much feel as forged steel.
Forgings are different because the process of beating the metal actually aligns the grains in a consistent direction. It also beats out the micro imperfections and bubbles that can creep into a casting.
With this forged wedge, I absolutely know where and how well the ball is making contact. That kind of feedback offers an opportunity for continuous improvement. My own short game improved quickly and dramatically when I started using forged wedges instead of the standard set clubs.
Tour Edge’s David Glod gave the CB Pro a classic look with rounded edges and a thin top line. The head is smaller than the stock set wedges I own, but should not create any lack of confidence among higher handicappers. In fact, in some situations, the slightly smaller head may inspire even more confidence, since it looks as though it can easily cut through thick grass or the gravel in the bunkers of the munis I play.
It also feels a bit heavier than some other wedges I’ve got stored at GolfBlogger World Headquarters. That also could be a good thing. The heavier feel could very well encourage a player to bottom out the club instead of blading it.
The Tour Edge Exotics’ chrome is pretty, and the engraved logo on the back has made more than one playing companion take notice. The CB Pro wedge’s face has a matte finished mid section that cuts glare from the hitting surface and offers a visual alignment aid.
On the face of the Exotics CB Pro, Tour Edge has cut two sets of grooves. As you can see in the photo above, there are fourteen larger grooves, which Tour Edge calls MONGO grooves, interspersed with micro grooves. These grooves, which Tour Edge says it has pushed to the legal limits, provide quite a bit of spin.
Now that is not to say that I am spinning the ball back to the hole or anything like that. I (and 99% of amateurs) just don’t regularly swing fast enough to pull off that trick. The ball does, however, stop quite quickly for me after hitting the putting surface. Last night’s twilight nine included three “wows” from playing companions as I lobbed the ball out of steep sided bunkers to a soft landing and quick stop on the greens (it was a bad night for me for approach shots from the fairway).
If you are a player who regularly gets out of a bunker with one fell swing, only to watch the ball land and then roll of the backside of the green, this is the club for you. The Tour Edge CB Pro is also a good investment if you’re a player who often doesn’t get out of a bunker because subconscious worries about running through the green cause a hesitant shot. When you know that your ball is likely to stop quickly, you can make that complete, confident swing that gets the ball up and out on the first try.
Away from the sand, I’ve found lots of use for Tour Edge’s CB Pro wedge. For me, it’s a good club for fifty yards in from either fairway or rough (Yes, I know that there are hotshots out there who claim to hit their sand wedges from 120, but that’s not for your average player.) I just choke down on the grip to vary the distance, while still making a full swing (I’ve never been able to figure out the whole Dave Pelz clock swing thing).
Designed to eliminate bounce in the heel and toe, the club lays open well, allowing me to use the Tour Edge Wedge for close shots that require some lift over an intervening obstacle. In particular, I think of the par three 15th on my home course, which has a yawning bunker in front of a shallow, but wide green. Landing in the bunker is not necessarily a bad thing, but coming to rest on the hard ground just in front is a disaster. The Exotics CB Pro turns out to be a good club for sneaking the ball over the bunker without having it run out the other side.
Tour Edge’s CB Pro Wedges perhaps don’t come in as many loft/lie/bounce variations as other brands, but seriously … the average golfer doesn’t really need all that precision. The 18+ handicapper who represents 99% of the golfers on the course will do just fine with the selection Tour Edge offers.
Here’s the bottom line. The Tour Edge Exotics CB Pro S Wedge offers great value and I think would help a regular joe who struggles with sand play. In checking in local pro shops and online, I’ve found you can get the Tour Edge forged wedge for anywhere from thirty to fifty dollars less than an equivalent forged wedge from one of the “big boys.” It is, however, their functional equivalent (or even superior) in materials, manufacture and design. You just don’t get to brag that you play the same club that Tour Player X sports.
If Tour Edge doesn’t want their club back, it’s going to stay in my bag until the grooves wear out.