Inside the imagination of Tour Edge's David Glod
Monday, October 31, 2011
One of golf’s most interesting small companies celebrated its 25th birthday this year. Tour Edge, headquartered in the Chicago suburb of Batavia, Ill., is 25 and going strong.
Exotics is the top-of-the-line family of clubs at Tour Edge. Within the Exotics family, the fairway woods have gained by far the most attention.
Although no touring pros are paid to use Tour Edge products, this hasn’t stopped PGA Tour players such as K.J. Choi, David Duval, Matt Kuchar, Brian Gay, Luke Donald, Ryan Moore and Zach Johnson from using Exotics fairway woods at one time or another.
Tour Edge founder David Glod, a former golf professional, was among the first golf industry executives to publicly state his goal of designing and producing so-called “hot” fairway woods. He succeeded, and the pros responded.
“Fairway woods definitely are not dead,” Glod said. “The trick is to find the right combination of fairway woods and hybrids. Many of the best players in the world are now carrying a 5-wood as well as a 3-wood.”
Starting eight years ago with a titanium cup face design that is still used, Glod has introduced a steady stream of fairway woods under the Exotics name. Now he has two models of $299.99 Exotics fairway woods, the CB4 Tour and the new XCG5, and a startling marketing pitch to go with them.
Here is Glod’s message about his fairway woods: Shots hit offcenter, whether they are struck toward the heel or toe, sometimes go farther than shots hit in the center of the face.
How can this be? Glod says it occurs because of a reduction in spin on offcenter hits and a tendency for the ball “to tumble through the air better.”
Avid golfers know that heel shots tend to spin more, not less. If Glod is correct, he has reversed a long-standing tendency and created fairway woods that will do everything but slay dragons.
The CB4 has a slightly smaller head than the XCG5. That’s because the CB4 has a heavier stainless steel body while the XCG5 has a lighter titanium body.
Regardless, the CB4 Tour features an elongated shape from heel to toe. This, according to Glod, essentially expands the sweet spot. Moreover, internal weighting is positioned to bolster offcenter hits.
The club is available in lofts of 13, 15, 16.5 and 18 degrees. The face of the two 3-woods (13 and 15) is one degree open. The face of the other two fairway woods is square.
The XCG5 offers square faces up and down the line. Lofts are 11.5, 13, 15, 16.5, 18 and 21 degrees.
What? An 11.5-degree fairway wood? The temptation is to say: If you’re man enough, give it a try. However, this club is not for most golfers. It is simply Glod’s attempt to provide a comprehensive line of fairway woods.
The XCG5 fairway woods have a beta titanium cup face and heavy tungsten sole brazed to a titanium body. Brazing, rather than traditional welding, was chosen by Glod to provide a smoother transition between the different materials and to increase the distance achieved by these clubs.
Another point of distinction for the XCG5 is the choice of three stock shafts: Graphite Design Tour AD 40, Fujikura Blue 65 or Aldila RIP 70.
The RIP 70 is the stock shaft for the CB4. “We’ve had very good luck with this shaft,” Glod said. “For our audience, we need something with a stiff tip, and the RIP has done the job. The shaft is black, and so is the clubhead. It has kind of a Darth Vader look to it.”
Does Darth Vader play golf?
Well, no, but founders of these small companies have such vivid imaginations.