By Jeffrey A. Rendall, Images courtesy of Exotics/Tour Edge
BATAVIA, IL -- Have you ever glanced at a golf hybrid and thought it looks just like a mini-fairway wood?
If you have, you’re not alone. And in the case of the Exotics E8 hybrid, it’s actually designed to have fairway wood-like qualities, such as higher ball speed – but placed in the smaller, more compact body of a hybrid.
(Note: Exotics’ parent company is Tour Edge, which manufactures and sells clubs under both the Tour Edge and Exotics brands. Exotics are for those who “demand the finest performing golf clubs in the world,” and is generally known as the premium brand).
Since the two types of clubs appear so similar, we asked David Glod, President and Founder of Tour Edge Golf and Exotics, to explain the difference. “Our hybrids have iron-style shorter shafts in them while our fairways have thinner tipped wood style shafts,” Glod said.
Hybrids also have higher lofts, which makes them more akin to long-irons in that respect – only easier to hit for most players. “There are several reasons why hybrids are superior to long irons,” Glod explained. “They’re easier to hit. Hybrids have a higher flight pattern. They’re easier from the rough and all-around more forgiving.”
“Unless a player really likes his long irons, it's always more advantageous to play hybrids.”
Glod also said hybrids are a little longer and produce a much higher ball flight than long irons. Despite this, a lot of traditionalists still cling to their long irons.
Having grown up playing a traditional eight-iron set, I myself have had a hard time accepting that it might be time for a change. But there’s little doubting, after playing the E8 three-hybrid, that hybrids are easier to strike well on a regular basis.
According to the company, “the E8 hybrid features a premium maraging steel cup face which engineers made thinner to establish even faster ball speeds off the face. The face technology also includes variable face thickness to increase the spring-like effect across more areas of the face, producing Exotics legendary power.”
Focusing on a faster ball speed and less spin, Exotics engineers positioned E8’s center of gravity slightly lower and closer to the face. They then revised the Power Grid design making it smaller to obtain maximum flexing at impact, increased spring-effect, and more distance.
In addition, deep cut away steps positioned back in the heel and toe of the sole make shaping shots off the tee and the turf easier than ever for players of all abilities. The steps increase MOI and maximize stability on off-center contact while minimizing turf drag. The result is more control and power at impact.
Clearly there are incremental improvements in the E8 that increase its performance over previous Exotics hybrids. Again, Glod expounds on the differences between them: “The E8 is slightly smaller and has less face progression than in past models preferred by our staff players and tour players. Also, the center of gravity is closer to the face for faster ball speed and easier workability.”
“Additionally, an interchangeable weight allows you to adjust swing weight.”
We did not adjust the swing weight for our trial of the E8, figuring a professional club-fitter would need to make those kinds of adjustments.
We’ve found in the past that hybrids tend to be a little longer than corresponding numbered long irons, but the biggest difference lies in the higher ball flight and improved ability to stop the ball on greens. That’s certainly the case for the Exotics E8.
The difference from previous hybrids we’ve tried is better feel. An iron is an iron, after all, and one of the reasons you may choose your own particular set is because of the way it feels – and the feedback it provides.
Feedback is lacking in some hybrids, but not in the E8. It gives hybrid-like performance with more of an iron-like feel. It won’t match the silky smooth feel of a forged iron, but the E8 is still smooth. There also is no obnoxious ‘clank’ upon striking the ball that you get with some hybrids.
We can only recommend you try the Exotics E8 if you’re looking to replace the long-irons in your bag. Try them along with the products of other major brands – it’s the only way you’ll be able to tell which you prefer.
Glod says Exotics hybrids are better than the competition because of looks, feel and faster ball speed. Try them for yourself to see if he’s right.
Tour Edge Golf Mfg., Inc.
1301 Pierson Drive
Batavia, IL 60510
Phone & Fax Numbers
Toll Free: 800.515.3343
The E8 hybrid comes standard with the popular UST Mamiya Recoil shaft and is available in a 2 hybrid (17 degree), 3 hybrid (19 degree), 4 hybrid (22 degree), 5 hybrid (25 degree), 6 hybrid (28 degree). (3 and 4 hybrids are available in left hand.)
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