WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Tour Edge’s Hot Launch 522 lineup of metalwoods again branches into two levels of game-improvement. That includes more conventional shapes and neutral ball flights in the C522 driver, fairway wood and hybrid, while the E522 lineup is more oriented toward super game-improvement with built in draw-bias, offset hosels and shallow faces for easier launch. Both the C522 and E522 lines are designed with affordability in mind, as well. Prices across the board are about half of some premium models.
PRICE: $250 for the C522 and E522 drivers. $160 for the C522 and E522 fairway woods. $140 for the C522 and E522 hybrids. They are expected to be at retail Oct. 1.
THE DEEP DIVE: Tour Edge’s Hot Launch 521 lineup drew notice a year ago for its comprehensive commitment to providing practical, technologically distinctive, and affordable game-improvement metalwoods with two versions, the standard “C” and the super-game-improvement “E.” It continues that two-pronged approach this year with the C522 and E522 metalwood lines that together offer 23 lofts across drivers, fairway woods, and hybrids.
“A lot of the work on this was under the hood,” said Matt Neeley, Tour Edge’s vice president of product development. “I think the head shapes for the most part were left kind of the same. We did a lot more to bring the internals a lot closer to what we’re doing with Exotics.”
Notable among those updates is the variable thickness face pattern of dozens of interconnected diamond shapes that increase the size of the most flexible section of the face. Called Diamond Face 2.0, it originally appeared on the Exotics 721 line, introduced earlier this year. Variations of that face pattern are on all the C522 and E522 metalwoods—drivers, fairway woods and hybrids.
Both the C522 and E522 drivers start with a heavy emphasis on forgiveness with very stable (high moment of inertia) head designs. According to Neeley, the two heads feature MOI measurements over 5,000 grams-centimeters squared. While the C522 pushes its saved mass to a centralized rear sole weight, the E522 positions its mass toward the heel. That combines with an offset hosel position to attack a slice and encourage even higher launch.
Both drivers also feature a lower spin profile than their predecessors, Neeley said. “We don’t tout that you’re going to take the E product on a launch monitor and hit it farther than anything else, that’s not the point of the E product, but we don’t want to be sacrificing distance,” he said. “The C has been a little lower spinning all along, even though it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles. As far as CG and performance goes, it’s close in line with our Exotics product, which is cool to be able to get without having carbon fiber, dual weights, adjustability, all that stuff. Not having the adjustability almost opens up a few more options for us, saving that 6-7 grams in the hosel that we can get that CG right where we really want it.”
The E522 driver, again like the E521, will have a shorter shaft (44.5 inches) to improve consistency, as well. “We see some small penalty on swing speed, but we’re seeing similar ball speed and the ball just falling a little bit closer to the center,” Neeley said. “We’re seeing maybe 10-15 percent tighter impact, and any penalty in swing speed, we’re seeing your actual total driving is going to end up better.”
Like the driver, the C522 fairway wood features a centered back weight in the sole for improved stability on off-center hits. Meanwhile, the bottom of the club is also again the story for the E522 fairway woods. Last year’s turf-riding, keel-shaped “Houdini sole” has been updated with less severe camber but the same distinctive angled wedge in the trailing edge of the sole to provide more relief going through the turf. The offset and shallow face are designed to more easily launch shots higher.
Like the C522 driver and fairway woods, the C522 hybrid features a cup face that wraps around the entire club from crown to skirt to sole. Meanwhile the E522 hybrid, like the fairway wood, features heel-weighting to encourage a draw and offset to help weaker players better square the face and launch the ball higher.
The Hot Launch C522 driver ($250) is available in three lofts (9.5, 10.5 and 12 degrees); the C522 fairway wood ($160) comes in four lofts (15, 17, 18 and 22 degrees); and the C522 hybrid ($140) is offered in four lofts (19, 22, 25 and 28 degrees). The more super game-improvement E522 driver ($250) is available in three lofts (10.5, 12.5 and 15 degrees); the E522 fairway wood comes in five lofts (16, 20, 23, 25 and 27 degrees); and the E522 hybrid ($140) comes in four lofts (19, 22, 25 and 28 degrees). The Hot Launch C522 and E522 metalwoods are expected to be at retail in October.