Audacious claims about the design and what benefits you will gain from purchasing the wedge are made in the aggressive advertising campaign and the company’s website.
We take a look ourselves in this Xe1 Wedge Review…
Xe1 Wedge Review
- Extremely high loft angle (59-degree or 65-degree)
- Bounce is suited to the Auto-Glide sole
- Simple to align with the square-to-square design
- Well-spread center of gravity
- Larger sweet spot and more forgiveness
- Easy on the pocket
- Overall performance from tight lies and sand
- Cast iron face lack of feel and response
- Concerns have been raised about its durability
- Only suited to high-handicap golfers
- Lack of workability
The Xe1 Wedge has piqued the interest of many golfers since its introduction during its aggressive infomercial marketing campaign.
Designed for the golfer that is struggling to get out of the bunker first time, struggle from 40 yards and in, tend to get the leading edge of their wedges stuck into the turf, and struggles find more consistency around the green.
It must be stated at the outset that the Xe1 wedges are legal for tournament play therefore you can continue reading.
A combination of 59 degrees and 65-degree lofts and a broad sole helps in creating a high launch angle and eliminates chunks.
Claims made on the company’s website are that “Thanks To Its Unique and Ingenious Sole Design – You Can Easily Escape from Treacherous Bunkers, Nasty Rough, And Even from Tight Lies… It Virtually Eliminates Fat or Thin Pitch and Chip Shots… and Lets You Effortlessly and Consistently Hit Quality Shots from Anywhere Around the Green, Closer to The Hole, Every Single Time… GUARANTEED.”
Furthermore, claims are made in its advertisements that you will be able to “get out of bunkers in one shot, every time”. However audacious you may think it is, there is some truth behind the claim. It is a lot easier to get out of the bunker. The first time every time, I am not so sure that will apply to all golfers.
Xe1’s entire website focus on the claim that NO PRACTICE IS REQUIRED! Again, I am not too convinced that you can have consistent success with a new club without practice and getting used to it.
Let us assess the features that the Xe1 offers and see how it performs against the audacious claims made by the company.
The first difference in design is the immensely high loft angle for a sand wedge. Whereas a standard sand wedge comes in a 55-degree loft, the Xe1 is available in a 59 degree and a 65-degree loft.
With the highest loft even higher than most lob wedges that are available up to 64-degrees. Wedges with a loft angle higher than 64 degrees are generally harder to slip under the ball and tend to dig into the turf.
To overcomes these problems, the design of the Auto-Glide sole offers exceptional bounce.
Since most wedges come standard with relatively thin soles and sharper leading edges they tend to get stuck into the turf. The Auto-Glide sole technology on the Xe1 provides a rounded leading edge limiting the chances of it digging into the turf. This results in a better bunker and pitching shots consistently.
The extra-wide Auto-Glide sole results in a larger clubface and bigger sweet spot for better contact and more forgiveness on mishits.
Available in 65-degree and 59-degree lofts, the Xe1 requires exceptional bounce otherwise it will dig into the turf.
For optimal weight distribution, the heel-to-toe weighting pushes the majority of the club’s weight 2 inches behind the clubface. This keeps the leading edge down to prevent you from hitting it thin especially on tight lies.
Design changes led to a heavier head on the Xe1 making it staggeringly easy for beginners to apply the square-to-square method that was developed by 12-time PGA Tour winner Doug Tewell.
For the best results with the Xe1, it is recommended that you use a limited turn, ¾-length vertical swing gets the club head square at address, and time of contact.
Shafts are only available in steel.
The Xe1 wedge does perform exceptionally well and any golfer that struggles out of the bunker or around the green will benefit from it. Tight lies and fat shots will not be top of your mind when you have the Xe1 in your hand. Instead, you will feel confident that you can produce a shot that will be on the dancing floor and close to the hole.
However, it lacks workability, but that is not what it is designed for.
Made from cast iron, the clubface does provide harsher sound, feel, and feedback than what you will get from a forged wedge. Yet again this is not what it is designed to do. It is very comparable to other cast iron clubs and You can expect high-quality feedback from a high-quality and expensive forged wedge.
On the performance side, you can expect the forgiveness that it is designed for. The sole width, weight distribution, and bounce all add up to perform close to the expectations.
Distance is not the highest on the priority list for wedges, accuracy is more crucial. With the exceptionally high lofts on the Xe1, you can expect the ball to fly much higher than the standard sand wedge.
Some golfers have claimed that they hit the ball as far as what they hit it high.
A high-tech look that is mostly covered with a satin silver finish with hints of reds and blacks on the sole, compares well with most high-end, modern clubs.
The Auto-Glide sole and heel-toe weighting look bulky and solid and the exceptionally high loft angle feature adds to the unique and modern look.
Even though the wedge is exceptional for beginners the significantly larger face, rounded leading edge, cast iron head, and overall looks may not appeal to everyone.
We will look at some wedges that may suit your eye and game better than the Xe1 wedge.
1. Callaway Men’s Mack Daddy 3 Black
The Callaway Men’s Mack Daddy 3 Black offers you adjustable weights for more versatility than you can expect from the Xe1 wedge.
Callaway have various sole grind option of which the S-Grind offers the versatility that makes it extremely playable on nearly all surfaces, shot types, and various swing angles.
A combination of the adjustable weight and the sole grind will enable you to shape your wedge shots to your liking.
You can expect normal loft angles on the Mack Daddy wedges comparatively to the XE1. The balanced profile, a high-toe, a relatively straight leading edge, and progressive grooves are aimed at providing increased spin.
The Callaway Men’s Mack Daddy 3 Black offers more versatility and shot-shaping capability and less forgiveness, but you have to pay the premium for that.
Most beginners will benefit in both playability and the impact on their pocket from selecting the XE1 wedge.
More advanced golfers that require workability and have no budgetary constraints will benefit from the Callaway Mack Daddy.
2. Cleveland Golf 588 RTX 2.0 Wedge
Cleveland is highly regarded for the quality of its wedges and although the 588 RTX (Rotex face) 2.0 is not their flagship product, it is still one of the most popular wedges today and competes in the same market as the Xe1 wedge.
It is available as a blade or as a cavity back with the cavity back competing in forgiveness with the X1 Wedge.
A micro-milling and laser process create additional roughness in between the grooves for more friction, more spin, and excellent shot-shaping ability.
The relatively wide sole and a cavity back wedge provide the forgiveness that most golfers require.
Although it is more expensive than the Xe1, it provides the classic Cleveland feel, sound, and feedback.
Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 is one of the best wedges on the market segment and provides more versatility and shot-shaping playability than the Xe1wedge.
The XE1 Wedge is the more forgiving of the two, lacks the feel, looks, and playability of the Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0.
3. Square Strike wedge
The Square Strike Wedge was one of the most popular wedges of 2017, and similarly to the Xe1, it was an “as seen on T.V.” golf club.
An Anti-Chunk sole was designed to make chipping and pitching easier. The rounded and wider sole of the Square Strike wedge is similar to the Xe1 and limits the ability of the club to dig into the turf.
Consistently better contact greatly reduces the chances of fat chip shots.
The grooves on the sole serve as friction reducers, enabling the club to drift smoothly near the turf.
In contrast to the Xe1 wedge, mid-handicap golfers will find benefit from the Square Strike wedge as well as high handicap golfers.
The Xe1 wedge makes some audacious claims about getting out of sand the first time, every time. It may not be that far off it claims and performs exceptionally well for high handicap golfers.
The bigger face, larger sweet spot, and high lofts make getting out of tight lies in and out of the bunkers much easier than the standard wedge.
It does lack the workability, but the target market will benefit more from getting it onto the green without having to work the ball around.
If you are looking for an economical wedge with excellent forgiveness, you do not have to look much further than the Xe1 wedge.
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Nick Lomas is the founder of GolfSpan, an avid golfer, not quite a pro but has over 15-years of experience playing and coaching golfers from all over the world. His mission is to bring the golfing community a better experience then it comes to choosing the right golf gear, and finding the right set up for your game.