Golf Balls


Tour Edge XCG7 Beta Fairway Metal Review

Written by: Tony Korologos | Thursday, June 5th, 2014
Categories: Golf BallsGolf EquipmentGolf GearReviews
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Tour Edge XCG7 Beta Fairway - click for more

Tour Edge Exotics XCG7 Beta Fairway – click for more

It has been a month since I broke the seal on the Tour Edge Exotics XCG7 Beta Fairway Metal-wood and hit it for the first time.   I could have written this review sooner, but I feel an obligation to my readers and my conscience to post reviews of gear I’ve actually played on a golf course, and not just hit on the range for 10 minutes.  One month’s worth of rounds for May/June comes out to about 20 rounds plus many range sessions.  Included in those 20 rounds is my best finish (2nd place) in my city amateur, a satisfying accomplishment.  The XCG7 was a solid part of that success, and of my enjoyment of the past month’s rounds.  Let’s take a look.

XCG7 Beta Fairway Overview

The $299 XCG7 Beta fairway metal-wood features a slightly smaller head than the massive ones we have seen over the last few years, at 185cc’s for the 3-metal.  Full specs are listed below.  Along with the smaller cc’s, the club features a deeper face.

Speaking of the face, this club has a beta titanium “cup face” design.  The face is shaped like a bowl or cup, the bottom of the cup being the area which impacts the ball.  The sides of the cup wrap around and attach to the body of the head.  This design produces a high launch speed and low, penetrating ball flight.

Weighting in the head is via “hexahedron” sole weighting.  The weight is distributed in “pads” (yes, what marketing company makes this stuff up?) positioned back and in the perimeter to increase moment of inertia (MOI) and keep the club stable on off-center shots.

Looks

The crown (top) of the club is finished in a semi-porous flat black color.  No goofy white paint or other colors.  The look from the top is all class, with a bit of a rock & roll attitude.  No funky lines, markings, patterns, or tetris-looking graphic designs on the top of the club either.  The club simply says, “swing away.”

Classy and clean topline - Tour Edge Exotics XCG7 Beta Fairway Wood - click for more

Classy and clean topline – Tour Edge Exotics XCG7 Beta Fairway Wood – click for more

Feedback

Feedback is important from a club.  Feedback comes from the club to the player in the form of sound and feel.  The feel of this fairway is more sweet than your high school prom date and sounds better than a Les Paul guitar through a Marshall stack.

Humor aside, the club tells the player exactly where the contact on the clubface is, allowing the player to accurately adjust and hit even better shots.  When a shot hits the sweet spot, the player can enjoy the perfect sound and feel of a “golf shot.”

On The Course

What matters most is what a club does for the player when it counts, on the course and under pressure.  3-fairways for me can be a very personal club and one I depend on in a few critical situations.  I need a fairway metal which I can count on when I choose not to hit driver off the tee and distance control with high accuracy are important.  I need a fairway metal I can confidently hit off the ground.   Most of the time if I’m hitting it off the ground, I’m going for a long par-5 in two shots.

I still remember the first few shots I hit with the XCG7 Beta, on the range at Sand Hollow Resort.  My dad was hitting balls next to me and thought I was hitting drivers.  He was quite impressed that I was hitting a 3-metal that far.  The first shots I hit it in actual play were just as sweet, long and controlled.

I’ve enjoyed the XCG7 immensely since putting it in the gamer bag.  It has become a go-to club which I can count on.  On the courses I typically play I don’t hit 3-metal too often, one to three times per round.  But those are critical shots on those holes, and the 3-metal is the only club which can do the job in those situations.

A funny thing happened last week.  I hit a bad shot with the XCG7.  That’s going to happen, even with the best clubs and the best players (especially those not-so-great players like myself).  My long time golf buddy saw the bad shot and asked, “was that your 3-wood?  That’s the first time I’ve seen you miss it.”  My playing partner is actually surprised if I don’t hit a good shot with the XCG7.  Enough said.

Specs and Shafts (courtesy of Tour Edge)

EXOTICS XCG7 BETA FAIRWAY WOOD SPECIFICATIONS
MODEL
HEAD VOLUME
LOFT
LIE
FACE ANGLE
MATRIX EXOTICS
GRAPHITE LENGTH
FLEX
3 WOOD
185cc
11.5°
57°
SQUARE
43″
L,A,R,S,X
3 WOOD
185cc
13°
57°
SQUARE
43″
L,A,R,S,X
3 WOOD
185cc
15°
57°
SQUARE
43″
L,A,R,S,X
4 WOOD
175cc
16.5°
58°
SQUARE
42.5″
L,A,R,S,X
5 WOOD
175cc
18°
58°
SQUARE
42″
L,A,R,S,X
Available in men’s and women’s right hand. Lengths listed are men’s standard. Ladies standard lengths are -1″ from men’s standard. Standard grip is Lamkin Exotics R.E.L. grip.
EXOTICS XCG7 BETA FAIRWAY STOCK SHAFT SPECIFICATIONS
MODEL
FLEX
WEIGHT
LAUNCH
TORQUE
TIP DIAM.
MATRIX EXOTICS WHITE TIE 5X3.1
L
42g
HIGH
5.5
.335
MATRIX EXOTICS WHITE TIE 5X3.1
A
48g
HIGH
5.0
.335
MATRIX EXOTICS WHITE TIE 5X3.1
R
53g
MID/HIGH
4.5
.335
MATRIX EXOTICS WHITE TIE 5X3.1
S
55g
MID/HIGH
4.0
.335
MATRIX EXOTICS RED TIE 6Q3.1
R
60g
MID/HIGH
4.5
.335
MATRIX EXOTICS RED TIE 6Q3.1
S
63g
MID/HIGH
4.0
.335
MATRIX EXOTICS RED TIE 6Q3.1
X
66g
MID/HIGH
3.5
.335
MATRIX EXOTICS BLACK TIE 7M3.1
S
72g
MID/HIGH
3.5
.335
MATRIX EXOTICS BLACK TIE 7M3.1
X
75g
MID/HIGH
3.0
.335

Caution

This may not be the perfect club for all golfers.  The launch angle and ball flight is a little lower on this club than a more standard 3-metal.  The club may be a little better suited for lower handicap players.  If getting the ball airborne is a concern and you often don’t hit high shots, perhaps the Tour Edge XCG7 (non beta) is a better solution.

Tour Edge Exotics SCG7 Beta Fairway

Tour Edge Exotics SCG7 Beta Fairway

Cover

Most golf club reviewers neglect coverage on a very important part of the hybrid/fairway/driver/putter “package.”   Most reviewers forget about the head cover which is a big omission since the player interacts with it so often.  I am critical of head covers, because golf companies seem to spend more time trying to make them look cool than designing a cover which protects the club and is convenient to put on and take off.

fairway head cover

Exotics fairway head cover – click to zoom

The XCG7 Beta head cover is a breeze to take off, with a perfect loop to grab at the right place.  It is easy to put on as well.  The cover is attractive and yes, most importantly does a great job protecting this beautiful piece of art in a golf club.

Conclusion

It takes quite a club to earn a place in my starting lineup.  Some clubs in my bag have been there since the early 2000’s!  The XCG7 has earned a spot, replacing a 3-metal which was in the bag since 2012.

The Tour Edge Exotics XCG7 Beta Fairway performs as great as it looks.  The ball comes off the face hot and straight.  The feel and looks are superb.  Best of all, it is a club I can depend on in crucial situations.

Related Links

More Tour Edge Exotics XCG7 photos.

Tour Edge website.


Move Quickly – Link to Free Golf Club From TaylorMade

Written by: Tony Korologos | Friday, January 31st, 2014
Categories: Contests/GiveawaysGolf BallsGolf EquipmentGolf Gear
Tags:

Don’t ever say I don’t take care of the HOG patrons!  (Just like the Masters, readers here are “patrons,” not readers).  Here’s a chance to get your hands on a free golf club from TaylorMade.  As part of their launch of the “SpeedBlade” line, they’re giving out, a.k.a. seeding 20,000 6-irons for people to try out.  Obviously they are expecting the golfers who use those 6-irons to be blown away by the club and buy a whole set, and will post about their great experience on their social networks.

Free TaylorMade golf club

Soon I’ll be doing a SpeedBlade fitting myself, getting tested in a TaylorMade Performance Lab and fitted for an optimal set of SpeedBlades.  Then I’ll be posting a SpeedBlade review after that.  Stay tuned and have fun with your new 6-iron.

“Enough content already, gimme the link!”

Here’s the link: TOO LATE!


Coolest Box of Bridgestone Golf Balls…EVER

Written by: Tony Korologos | Thursday, January 30th, 2014
Categories: Golf BallsGolf Gear

BridgestoneRDProtos_HOG

This has to be the first time I value the box more than I value the golf balls inside the box!  How cool is this?

Inside are four individual sleeves of R&D Prototype B330 model Bridgestone Golf balls: B330, B330-S, B330-RX, B330-RXS.  That’s awesome.

One problem though is that Bridgestone must not know my home course.  There are so many hazards I could lose a sleeve on the first hole or two.

Need more…  🙂

 


2013 Year in Review – Part Uno

2013 was quite a year for Hooked On Golf Blog and me, Tony Korologos. This article is part one of two (part two tomorrow), looking back at 2013 from at HOG viewpoint.

Rory McIlroy NikeJanuary

Ah the beginning of a new year and the hopes that my short game would improve. There’s always 2014…

Rory McIlory switched to Nike Golf. Personal issues, business issues, and perhaps the equipment switch would contribute to a less-than-satisfying year on the course for Rory.

Attended the PGA Show for the billionth time. Orlando hates me and my body. Had a great time seeing the new gear, meeting old golf friends and battling in the Battle of the Golf Blogs.

Mike and Kevin Foley & MeFebruary

February I posted a bunch of golf videos from the PGA Merchandise Show.

Asher Golf’s James Roundy, a local friend, passed. Sad.

The Hooked On Golf Blog World Tour traveled to Bogota, Colombia. What a fantastic trip! I got to play golf with Web.com Tour star Kevin Foley in the Web.com Tour Colombia Championship Pro-Am. Kevin would later gain his PGA Tour card for 2014! He must have learned from my dual chicken wing granny over the top swing.

La Cima Club de Golf - Click to enlarge

March

While in Colombia I played golf at La Cima Golf Course, 10,000 feet above sea level in the Andes Mountains. Wow. Ball go far.

Met Web.com Tour player Dusty Fielding. Nice kid.

A fun blog post was “Filtering Out the Noise: Golf Social Networking’s Top 10 Overused Status Updates.

I reviewed the Cobra Amp Cell driver.

Cobra Amp Cell Irons - click for more

April

Bubba’s Hover was the video rage. Bubba Watson released a golf cart hovercraft!

Of course, April is Masters month. Not a month is busier for me or HOG. Lots of Masters related articles. Adam Scott won the Masters in dramatic fashion. Angel Cabrera hit what I consider the shot of the year with his approach on the final hole to about two feet. That shot resulted in a birdie to tie Adam Scott and force a playoff.

I reviewed the Cobra Amp Cell irons.

Ecco Tour Hybrid Wingtip Golf Shoes - click to see more

May

Ecco Golf came out with hybrid wingtip shoes. Some of the coolest crossover shoes ever.

Tiger Woods won THE PLAYERS (always write “The Players” in ALL CAPS, it is what they do). Sergio Garcia and Tiger Woods had a little tiff which the media went into a feeding frenzy over. Sergio eventually apologized for some not-so-nice comments.

HOG poll results told us that Delta Airlines is the worst airline for golf travel.

Good thing Adam Scott won the Masters when he did. The USGA and R&A announced the ban on anchored golf clubs, beginning January 1st, 2016. Bye bye belly.

Eric/Tom sent in some great fan mail, calling me an “asshole who sucks at golf and couldn’t break 100” all because of a golf bag I reviewed. Thanks Eric/Tom!

I fell down a volcano and suffered volcanic road rash. Thankfully my Nikon survived.

Sand BagJune

I played in the Salt Lake Amateur golf tournament. I was right in the mix through 27 holes until my back went out on the 10th tee.  I finished, but the last nine was not pretty. Bugger. Kill me.

HOG readers voted Southwest Airlines as the best airline for golf travel by a landslide.

I reviewed a very cool book: An American Caddie in St. Andrews: Growing Up, Girls, and Looping on the Old Course.

Posted an article on golf CHEATERS. That’s what sandbaggers are.

Justin Rose won the U.S. Open in amazing fashion. That was one of the best ball striking displays I’ve ever seen.

On June 30, I boarded an airplane bound for St. Andrews, Scotland.


Golf Equipment Review: THE BALL

Written by: Tony Korologos | Tuesday, December 10th, 2013
Categories: Golf BallsGolf EquipmentGolf GearReviews
Tags:

THE BALL

Lately there are small golf ball companies popping up which compete directly with the big boys. One great example is THE BALL.

THE BALL is a new golf ball which can be found at www.ineedtheball.com. This golf ball stands toe-to-toe with any premium golf ball on the market with regards to distance and short game control.

Technology

THE BALL is a three piece (three layer) golf ball. Each layer features materials and properties which contribute to the ball’s performance.

The core is the first layer. The core is the largest layer, in the center of the ball. This layer contains Tungsten, chemical element 74, a hard steel-gray metal. The core is primarily responsible for the distance and compression of the ball.

Layer two is the mantle layer. The mantle layer construction promotes high initial velocity (ball speed) and a low launch angle with lower spin. The low launch angle and lower spin promote longer distance off the driver.

The outer layer is known as the cover. The cover of THE BALL is made from cast urethane, the same material found on the cover of 90% of the premium golf balls on the market. The cover is responsible for the spin of the ball and the control it has in the short game.

THE BALL

THE BALL – Layers

There are 318 dimples on the cover of the ball. The dimples promote lift and help the ball carry farther and straighter.

Specs

Driver spin is 2745 revolutions per minute (RPM), lower than the leading brand (they say “leading brand.” I’d guess they mean the Titleist ProV1), which his 3022.  Lower driver spin is good.

Carry for THE BALL is 266 yards compared to 263.

Carry + Rollout for THE BALL is 277 compared to 272 for the leading brand.

Short game spin with the ball is 7410 RPM’s compared to 7500.

On The Course

Specs and techie stuff aside, how is this ball on the course, where performance really counts? I’ve played every premium ball known to man and this ball has no weaknesses compared to any of them. In fact, it outshines many premium brands for my game in the distance department.

Two weeks ago (before it snowed) I played a couple of rounds in some very cold and wet conditions. We’re talking low 40’s and even upper 30’s toward the end of the round. In these cold conditions golf balls go much shorter as the ball does not compress easily. That was not the case for me and THE BALL. In fact, I was pleasantly amazed that I was out-driving my regular distances by 20 to even 40 yards!

Case in point was the 468 yard 2nd hole at my home course, the toughest hole on the course. Normally my drives end up around the 200 yard marker, give or take 10 yards. My yearly average approach is about 275. With a nice solid drive I found THE BALL way up the fairway at the 160 mark. Ding ding ding! Winner. Much more fun to hit 8-iron into a green than a 4-iron.

The Ball

The Ball – click to zoom

300+ yard drive in the cold? I couldn’t believe it. But by the time the round was done, I believed it. Same case on the 15th hole, the hardest hole on the back. Normally once again I’m looking at a 5-6 iron approach on this tough hole. Instead, I was at the 150 marker debating a 9 or 8-iron.

Distance isn’t the only strong point of THE BALL. I found the feel to be fantastic around the greens, even for my very mediocre short game. I had nice control on short shots inside 100 yards and especially chipping and pitching. THE BALL feels great off the putter too, easy to control distance.

Conclusion

At a retail price of $34.99, THE BALL clocks in at $10-20 less than premium brand name golf balls.

THE BALL is golf’s equivalent to a car that costs as much as a Honda, but outperforms a Porsche.


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