Bridgestone Tour B XW-1 Forged Wedges PDF Print E-mail

 

By Jason Bruno

In the world of golf equipment - specifically wedges, a few major OEMs

have ruled the market in recent years - Titleist (Vokey), Cleveland and

Callaway immediately come to mind. In 2019, a handful of other brands

have gotten serious about your shortgame, and among those Bridgestone

has become a top shelf contender for your business.

 

In 2017, Bridgestone Golf introduced the original Tour B XW-1 forged

wedge, it gained some attention based on its forged 1025 bloodlines. At

this year's PGA Show in late January, Bridgestone was exuberant in their

return to the big stage (after a 3 year hiatus), they not only launched their

new e12 golf ball, but also introduced a new line of premium forged wedges

- the updated version of the Tour B XW-1 Forged wedge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Technology - Biting Rail Milled Grooves

Doesn't get much better than this compact clean look, but in today's

marketplace aesthetics and marketing only go so far. Modern day irons

and wedges have groove restrictions, and technology advancements

must be innovative in other ways.

 

 

 

 

Micro-milling allows OEMs to get creative in-between the actual grooves

themselves. This new version of the Tour B XW-1 wedge features "Biting

Rail Milled" grooves" designed with protruding teeth (see above) that grip

the dimples of a golf ball at impact - producing increased spin. According

to Bridgestone, the new grooves add nearly 300 additional RPM in greenside

spin when compared to the previous 2017 Tour B forged wedge.

 

 

 

 

 

The "Forged" hosel stamping, classic lines and satin/chrome finish is

just what you'd expect in such a finely crafted set of scoring sticks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Models/Lofts/Grinds

Available in 50-60 in two degree increments. We tested the set in my

typical configuration - 50/54/58. The Tour B XW-1 grinds are uniquely

assigned based on corresponding lofts. The "M" sole grind stands for

multi-purpose and the demand for greenside versatility - notice the heel

and toe relief (shown middle and far left). The "M" is widely the most

preferred grind you'll see in tour players bags and comes standard on

52/54/58 and 60 degree models. "F" sole = Flat, and is generally best

for stability on full shots from the shortgrass (standard on 50 degree).

The "A" sole (not shown) is a heavier sole grind for sand shots but with

far less heel/toe relief (56 degree). All Tour B XW-1 wedges come in

either 8 or 10 degrees of bounce. Available in Right hand only (sorry

southpaws).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Testing/Summary

An up close view of the heel grind, perfect for those open face finesse shots.

 

 

The Tour B XW-1 line is stunning, but do they play as fine as they look?

By the numbers, things all seem to measure up. Yardages on full shots

were spot on 50 degree -120 yds, 54-106 yds, 58-92 yds. Backspin #'s

were up nearly 400 rpm from my regular gamers (more stopping power

is a good thing). On partial swings, pitches, chips, lobs and sand shots

all shots behaved ideally.

 

If I have one thing to nitpick about the set, it would simply be with the stock

Nippon Modus 3 Tour 105. It's a great shaft, in fact it might be my choice in

a full 4-PW set, but with wedges being the shortest clubs in the bag, better

players prefer a slightly heavier feel to aid in tempo and keeping ball flight

down on short approach shots - especially in windy conditions. Modus 3 Tour

120, KBS Tour or TT Dynamic Gold would be preferred (Bridgestone does

provide several shaft and grip options on their website - Golf Pride's MCC

grip comes standard).

 

Summary: A+

A massive thumbs up for Bridgestone's Tour B XW-1 wedges. Aesthetics,

performance and feel easily exceeded our expectations. At $139 MSRP, they

fit right in the middle of the price point scale. So, are these worthy of being

in the bag? Not only are they worthy, they are officially the new gamers.

How's that for an endorsment! It really wasn't much of a decision, these are

the sweetest feeling wedges we've tested to date. MSRP $139

 

For more on Bridgestone Golf: https://www.bridgestonegolf.com/en-us/index