If you see a Tour Edge fairway wood in someone’s bag, then they know something you don’t. For the last 11 years, the suburban Chicago equipment company has produced fairway woods that have developed a cult following. The users were the company’s best evangelists.
Tour Edge has invested in the PGA Tour Champions, which has been the company’s professional laboratory, and is spending money on television advertising on Golf Channel. And the investment already starting to pay off. Tom Lehman, who is wearing the Tour Edge logo, won the season-opening Mitsubishi Electric Championship in Hawaii using the company’s newest fairway offering, the CBX 119.
The new iteration is actually a combination effort. The company developed the CBX, which, like previous Tour Edge fairway clubs, has the reputation as the longest 3-wood on the market. After input from Champions Tour players, the company introduced the CBX T3, which has a deeper face and a smaller profile that professionals prefer.
Now, the CBX 119 is the best of both. Tour Edge staffers traveled to all 28 PGA Tour Champions events in 2018. More than 60 Champions Tour players carried the company’s fairway woods and Tour Edge was in the bag of eight Champions Tour winners. The company developed the CBX T3 because the pros wanted to be able to work the ball more.
The CBX 119 is the result of a great deal of notetaking from conversations with players.
Like the original CB-1, the CBX 119 is put together partially by combining a titanium clubface with a steel body. “Our technology started with our beta titanium forged cup face,” said Tour Edge president and chief designer David Glod. “That’s the most expensive, best thing you can put on a fairway wood. We are the only ones doing it in the U.S.”
The CBX 119 combines a titanium clubface with a steel body. [Photo: Tour Edge]
Tour Edge puts the two together with a process called “brazing,” in which silver paste is used to bond the two metals together in an 800-degree kiln. The CBX 119 also has carbon involved in the sole of the body, which saves weight and allows the center of gravity to move toward the face. That reduces spin.
“The beauty in the 119 is that we save about 50 grams of weight from the titanium being lighter than steel and from our carbon sole,” Glod said. “We save 15 more grams with non-changeable hosel and we can put that weight where we want it. Most of that’s in and around the face. The sole plate wide in the back and most of the weight is under that launch pad.”
But it’s the strength of the titanium that makes the ball jump and creates the distance for which Tour Edge is known.
“It’s more like a driver face,” Glod said.
Over the years, Glod says, the designs have become better and more efficient. “Now, with tighter tolerances, we reduce the face progression and we think the face is better to look at,” he said. “It attracts better players. Titanium, steel and carbon combined so we hit these better (center of gravity) points.”
In addition to Lehman, Scott McCarron is wearing the Tour Edge logo, while Duffy Waldorf and Tim Petrovic are wearing a Tour Edge hat and carrying the company’s bag.
For the longest time, Tour Edge was one of golf’s best kept secret, only talked about by those in the know. After Lehman’s victory in Hawaii, the word is now out.
“The proof is in the hit,” Glod says.
Mike Purkey has written about golf for more than 30 years for a number of publications, including Golf Magazine. He lives in Charlotte, N.C.