50 Words or Less
The Bridgestone Tour B XW-1 wedge is a high performance wedge for the better player.
Bridgestone has become one of the mainstays in the golf ball market over the last few years. On the club side, however, they are less well known. The new Tour B XW-1 wedge seeks to make an impression in the players market with premium looks, feel, and performance.
What first struck me about the Bridgestone Tour B wedge is how compact it is. Players who game smaller irons and put a premium on looks will appreciate the dimensions.
In terms of shaping, the Tour B wedge has a leading edge that is soft but not overly rounded and a toe shaped to match. As you can see in the pictures, Bridgestone is making these wedges available in a satin chrome finish and a black oxide.
Finally, the in the bag looks of the Tour B wedge are worth mentioning. Without garish colors or “look at me” branding, these wedges still pop. I particularly like the “Forged Mass” in the center of the club.
Sound & Feel
If the look didn’t tell you that the Bridgestone Tour B wedge is for better players, the feel will. The “Forged Mass” behind the sweet spot makes pure strikes feel sensational, bordering on addictive. When you miss the center, however, the feel is firm-bordering-on-hard, and it sounds clicky, in a bad way.
I started my testing of the Tour B XW-1 wedge hitting it into a net with a launch monitor. Based on what my hands were telling me, I was sure that the results from mishits were going to be wretched. When I went to crunch the numbers, I was very pleasantly surprised to see that I was wrong. Mishits feel bad, but the results are very acceptable in terms of distance, spin, and direction.
One of the numbers that jumped out during my launch monitor testing was the spin. The Tour B XW-1 comes with the DG Spinner shaft, and it makes a difference. The shaft combined with Bridgestone’s “Parallel Milling Pattern” produced spin numbers that were several hundred RPMs higher than other wedges I tested again and very consistent. Is 300 RPM the difference between a shot running out and spinning back? No. But if you want to see your shots stop sooner or spin back back, these wedges merit a serious look.
Out on the course, the Bridgestone Tour B XW-1 showed me the same things I’d seen on the monitor: high, consistent spin and superb performance on pure strikes. I also got to appreciate the Tour Grind Sole. This is essentially a “C Grind” with relief on the toe, heel, and trailing edge to make the wedge easier to open up. As a player who hits everything low, I put this to frequent use and found it very effective.
For the better player, the Bridgestone Tour B XW-1 wedges are very fine short game tools. The sole grind promotes versatility and shot making, and the DG Spinner shaft gives you a little extra zip around the greens.