Tour Edge Exotics E721 Review
Tour Edge Exotics E721 Irons
Teacher’s Comments: Consistent distance and dispersion, nice feel
Earlier this fall, Tour Edge sent four of their Exotics E721 irons for testing. I was excited to give them a try, given how much I’ve enjoyed playing the C721 driver Tour Edge sent earlier in the year (read GolfBlogger’s Tour Edge Exotics C721 Driver Review at the link)
I am no less enthusiastic about the E721 irons than I was about the driver. The E721 irons are easy to hit and reliably long. While I haven’t made the same huge gains in distance that I did with the C721 driver, the E721 irons are long enough. They’re also notable for their consistency. I’m not getting plus-or-minus twenty yards from bad swing to good.
Ball flight on the Exotics E721 is high and tight. The par three ninth at my home course — Washtenaw Golf Club — is for me the perfect distance to test a seven iron. It’s a shot from an elevated tee box across a pond to a slightly higher green guarded by bunkers. I spent a good fifteen minutes there one day recently launching shot after shot.
The balls were remarkably concentrated when I arrived at the green.
I’ve also experienced consistent play from a variety of lies. When testing these, I just swapped out my usual gamers for the corresponding Exotics. That means that over the course of a half dozen rounds, I’ve hit them out of hardpan, two inch rough and everything in between. I don’t think they play quite as well out of the rough as my Srixon Z 585s, but that’s a pretty high bar.
Consistency is in my mind the name of the game. It matters not whether you hit a 8- or 7- or 6-iron from 150. What matters is that when you pull a club out of the bag, you can be assured that it will cover the required distance — and not much more. You don’t need one shot falling short and another rolling off the back.
Consistent distance and dispersion, even on (what were very likely many) off center hits: That’s what you might expect from an “extreme game improvement” iron.
Fortunately, the Exotics E721 doesn’t have the Volkswagen-on-a-stick look of many “extreme game improvement” irons. At address (which is really the view that matters), the E721 irons have what I consider a moderate profile.
Golf club marketers usually try to sell clubs with wider toplines as “inspiring confidence.” I have the opposite reaction. A thicker topline gives me the impression that I’m throwing a cudgel to bludgeon the ball with little chance of any sort of precision strike.
Under the hood, the Exotics E721 irons are essentially a hollow body design. As I noted before, it looks a lot sleeker to my eye than many other super game improvement irons, and especially older hollow body irons, which basically looked like slightly more narrow hybrids.
The hollow space in the club is a 360 degree undercut pocket filled with VIBRCOR, a thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). This rubberlike material is designed to aid in the feel, while dampening the sound and shock. Its intent is to give the clubs the “buttery feel” of a forged iron.
I’m deaf, so I can’t speak to the sound, but the feel is quite nice. I don’t think it is as sweet as a well struck forged iron — there’s nothing quite like that feel — but I’ve also not felt the sort of discordant vibrations that often accompany a mishit on a cast, game improvement iron.
I normally play with graphite shafts on my irons to reduce vibrations and shock to my arthritic hands. Even with steel shafts, however, the feel of the VIBRCOR infused heads was comfortable.
At the front of the E721, Tour Edge has incorporated what it calls “Diamond Face” technology. This refers to a pattern of 103 diamond shapes across the face. The pattern, along with three varying thicknesses, reduce overall face thickness by 21%. The effect is to increase the trampoline effect, creating faster ball speeds across the entire face.
Other features a toe-weighted design to elongate the sweet spot and stronger lofts for more distance and lower spin rates.
Club specs for the Tour Edge E 721 are below.
In spite of stronger lofts, balls get plenty of height off the E721 irons. There are obviously a lot of engineering tradeoffs occurring in the design. Lofts are stronger for greater distance and lower spin rates, but the undercut produces higher launch.
As far as I’m concerned, Tour Edge has a winner in their Exotics E721 irons.
As a company, Tour Edge long labored in the shadows, producing value laden clubs, while eschewing the notion of acquiring a stable of Tour pros — or even major advertising campaigns. I first heard of Tour Edge when I saw a custom fitting cart at a local green grass pro shop. I owned one of their early Bazooka drivers and found that it offered great performance at an absurdly low price.
Later, Tour Edge launched their Exotics lineto significant fanfare. Even more notable was that those clubs began showing up — unbidden — in the bags of touring pros, most notably on the PGA TOUR Champions. In recent years, those unpaid adopters signed as Tour Edge pro staff. Bernhard Langer, Scott McCarron, Duffy Waldorf, Tim Petrovic, Tom Lehman and Ken Duke now form the core of that team.
Langer alone is a real coup.
Even so, Tour Edge still flies under the radar. When golfers ask for recommendations in online forums, responses are the usual mix of TaylorMade, Callaway and Ping with a smattering of Titleist. If you’re in the market for a new set of clubs, I think you owe it to yourself to insist that Tour Edge is included in your fitting.