Exotics aims at broader market with XJ1 driver, fairway woods

Exotics aims at broader market with XJ1 driver, fairway woods

Reid Nelson Equipment Editor
image Photo courtesy of Tour Edge/Exotics Golf
Exotics' new XJ1 driver hits retail golf shops this week. Matching fairway woods to begin shipping to retailers Nov. 15.

Since its inception, Exotics, the high-end, boutique brand from Tour Edge Golf, has had a singular and simple philosophy that can be summed up in just a few words: make the best clubs from the best materials for the best players.

The business model proved successful enough to earn space in the bags of the game’s elite – Tour professionals competing on golf’s biggest stage – despite the fact that Exotics has never paid any player to use its equipment. The pros use Exotics clubs, especially its fairway woods and hybrids, because they work for them.

But until now, that last phrase bore a truth that characterized the entire Exotics line; these were clubs for elite players.

This month that all changes, as Tour Edge Golf introduces its new Exotics XJ1 line of drivers and fairway woods, the first clubs to take advantage of a new “supermetal” that makes these clubs the lightest and, in theory, easiest to swing in their market segments.

According to company founder and president David Glod, the research and development that has gone into the XJ1 drivers and fairway woods make these clubs that will benefit real-world players with real-world swing speeds.

The new supermetal that is the key to both the XJ1 drivers and fairway woods is a 9-1-1 titanium alloy that is 10 percent lighter than 6A4V titanium, yet boasts a strength-to-weight ratio that allows Exotics designers to make clubheads that are even thinner and more responsive than their predecessors, thus making the clubs more reactive at slower swing speeds.

“Most technologies of the past decade have benefitted players with higher swing speeds, eliminating the majority of golfers,” Glod said. “We have been developing the XJ1 driver for (more than) four years, working on each characteristic of the club, moving critical amounts of weight around for the best results, and waiting for the technology to catch up to our goal of bringing this extremely lightweight driver to the market.”

Even with tungsten weights positioned in the heel, toe and rear of the clubhead to add to its stability and optimize its center of gravity,  the XJ1 driver head weighs just 192 grams, thanks to its 9-1-1 supermetal body and its kevlar carbon composite crown. That’s 10 grams, or nearly five percent, lighter than the lightest heads previously on the market.

Paired with a Fujikura Air Speeder shaft – one of golf’s lightest premium shafts at just 45 grams in its softest flex -  the XJ1 driver can weigh as little as 265 grams total weight. With regular or stiff versions of the same shaft, the club still has a dead weight of only 275 and 285 grams, respectively.

Before you go reaching for your smartphone to convert grams to ounces, we can tell you that 265 grams is only 9.348 ounces and 285 grams is barely a fuzz more than 10 ounces.

The XJ1 driver, which features a fixed hosel, is available in 9, 10.5 and 12 degrees of loft, right hand only.

All of this technology, not to mention the ‘exotic’ metals that go into construction, comes at a price. The XJ1 driver, available Nov. 1, has an MSRP of $700, but then true golf devotees have never minded playing for some extra yardage.

On the heels of the XJ1 driver launch, Exotics will introduce matching fairway woods, scheduled to ship to retail shops Nov. 15.

Again, the concept is the same. But this time, Exotics engineers have combined an ultra-lightweight 9-1-1 titanium body and SP700 titanium face with a heavy tungsten sole to create fairway woods that benefit a broad range of players, including those with slower swing speeds.

“The Exotics brand was created to bring the best technology to the market” said Glod, who admitted that, to date, the company has designed and marketed clubs that “benefitted players with faster swing speeds. I am thrilled that the XJ1 fairway woods perform better for all golfers, but especially for low to mid swing speeds.”

The XJ1 fairway wood’s lightweight body allows the majority of the weight in the club to be in the tungsten sole, which, at 124 grams, represents two-thirds of the clubhead’s entire weight. The ratio of sole-to-body weight produces an extremely low center of gravity that generates high launch angles, making the XJ1 fairway woods easy to hit from a variety of lies.

Designed with the real-world golfer in mind, designers of the XJ1 fairway woods also included a 12-gram tungsten screw purposefully positioned in the heel to give the club a draw bias. Additional 10-, 14-, 16-gram weights are available in a kit, that can be purchased separately.

Also like the matching driver, the lightweight Fujikura Air Speeder is the stock shaft offering.  Tour Edge is the first company to put this shaft in production. The XJ1 fairway wood will be available in 3-wood (15 degree), 4-wood (17 degree), 5-wood (18 degree) and 7-wood (21 degree), right hand only, at a suggested retail price of $450.

Like every Tour Edge and Exotics club, the XJ1 family of woods comes with a lifetime warranty and a 30-day play guarantee.

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