Tour Edge Hot Launch 521 E and C Fairways and Hybrids – Key Takeaways
- New Hot Launch companion fairway metals and hybrids for the new E and C series.
- E521 fairways and hybrids feature Houdini Sole for turf interaction plus a center of gravity that’s lower and farther back
- C521 options use Tour Edge Diamond Face tech for more ball speed.
- You’ll appreciate the pricing.
You know what it’s like when all that Amazon stuff you drunk-purchased one Saturday night shows up at the same time? Yeah, that’s what this week is like with Tour Edge. You’ve no doubt already read about the new Hot Launch 521 series drivers and irons. In this piece, we’re taking a deep dive into the Hot Launch 521 fairway woods and hybrids.
Tour Edge is carving out its own nice little sweet spot in the price-value matrix. The EXS Pro and EXS 220 lines give better players options outside of the Big Five. But if you’re a super game improvement golfer with a keen eye on your yards-per-dollar ratio, the Hot Launch line is an attention-getter. And today’s Hot Launch mega-launch is Tour Edge’s way of grabbing you by the shirt and saying look at me.
There’s an awful lot to sift through here, so you may want to grab another cup of coffee before jumping in.
Hot Launch 521 – Extreme Competition
Tour Edge is breaking up its value-priced super game improvement line into two distinct offerings. The Hot Launch E521 is Extreme Game Improvement while the Hot Launch C521 is Competition Spec Game Improvement. Think Super-Duper Game Improvement and regular old Super Game Improvement.
If you’ve been a Bazooka/Hot Launch HL player in the past, the E-series clubs are the logical next generation. The entire lineup screams easy. Tour Edge says the E series features super-low CGs, super-shallow faces, offset designs and lightweight shafts.
Tour Edge says the C in C521 stands for Competition Spec Game Improvement. We’ll be looking at the hybrids and fairways in this piece and the C521s are noticeably different from their E521 counterparts. The C series is more classically shaped and styled and is intended to bridge the gap between the Super-Duper Game Improvement C series and the Tour Edge Game Exotics EXS 220 offerings.
And again, if yards-per-dollar is your tune, the Hot Launch 521 series will make you want to do the Southside Shuffle all night long.
Hot Launch E521 Fairway Metals
Even better players can have a love/hate thing with their fairway metals. But as handicaps go up and swing speeds go down, players often dread the idea of hitting a fairway metal off the deck. Oh, they’ll try it, but a top, drop-kick or duff is inevitable.
As with the lineup’s driver, the story of the Hot Launch E521 Fairway Metals is the Houdini Sole, the one Tour Edge President David Glod says can make the “duffs” disappear.
How, you may ask? Fair question.
According to Tour Edge, the Houdini Sole makes some mass in the middle portion of the sole disappear and makes it reappear in the extreme trailing edge. Tour Edge says the Houdini Sole, combined with a more curved leading edge, is supposed to reduce turf interaction by 35 percent. Think Cobra’s T-Rail, a different route to a similar destination.
The Houdini Sole also does a little abracadabra with the E521 center of gravity. Compared to the Tour Edge HL4 fairways, the E521 CG is six percent farther back and 23 percent lower. That, along with a three-percent higher moment of inertia, should make an already easy to launch fairway metal even easier.
Everything about the E521 is aimed at helping slower swing speed players get the ball up in the air. The shallow Cup Face design is eight-percent shallower than the Hot Launch HL4 design. What’s more, the lofts are higher than standard: the 3-wood is 16 degrees, the 5-wood is 20 degrees and so on through to the 27-degree 11-wood.
The E521 fairways are also brazenly left-biased. There’s plenty of offset to go with a right-fighting heel sole weight to help the target golfer fight his next worst fairway metal fear: the towering slice.
And, as with the E521 driver, Tour Edge is touting Control Length Shaft Technology. That, friends, is marketing-speak for shorter shafts. The 3-wood shaft is 42.5 inches – up to a full inch shorter than the industry standard. Hey, anything to help the target golfer hit it square, right?
The lightweight (45 to 5 grams, depending on flex), high-launching Mitsubishi Fubuki shaft is stock, as is the Lamkin Z5 grip.
The Hot Launch E521 fairways metals will retail for $149.99.
Hot Launch E521 Hybrids
The E521 hybrids also feature the signature Houdini Sole. How much it actually helps hybrid-turf interaction might be an open question. The Houdini Sole also does its magic on the center of gravity, moving the CG seven percent lower and 30 percent farther back than the previous HL4 models.
In the wrong hands, game improvement hybrids are often hook machines. The E521 is no different. Like its fairway brother, it’s brazenly left-biased with plenty of offset and a Cup Face that’s five-percent shallower than that of HL4.
Also, like the fairways, the E521 hybrids come stock with the high-launching, lightweight (50 to 60 grams) Mitsubishi Fubuki shaft and the Lamkin Z5 grip. The full offering is available for both lefties and righties.
Retail is $129.99.
Hot Launch C521 Fairway Metals
Things get a little more interesting with the C521 (C for “Competition Spec”) fairway metals. There are a few similarities and a boatload of differences between the C521 and the E521. The most visible difference is with the junk in the trunk. Tour Edge has made the Houdini Sole disappear. Instead, there’s a more traditional-looking sole with an added weight that moves the CG nine percent lower and six percent farther back than the HL4, with a six-percent increase in MOI.
A less visible but perhaps even more impactful difference is the Cup Face. Taking a cue from the Tour Edge Exotics EXS 220 fairway, the C521 uses Diamond Face technology, Tour Edge’s take on variable face thickness. Diamond Face features 29 different thick and thin diamond shapes behind the face to create what Tour Edge calls “mini-trampolines” to help boost ball speed and keep spin under control.
Another piece of Exotics trickle-down technology is Acoustic Ribbing channels inside the head for better sound and feel. There’s also a Power Channel in the sole just behind the face which does what Power Channels have been doing for nearly a decade now: help the face flex more to maximize ball speed, cut spin and add forgiveness to low-face strikes.
Compared to the E521 fairways, the C521’s feature more traditional lofts (the category dictates there’s no strong 3-wood offering) and considerably less offset. The shaft lengths are also in line with industry norms.
And, speaking of shafts, the slightly heavier (50 to 60 grams) and undoubtedly made-for Aldila Rogue (mid-spin/mid-launch) is stock, as is the Lamkin Z5 grip.
The C521 fairways are available for righties only and will retail at $149.99.
Hot Launch C521 Hybrids
It’s the same melody with slightly different lyrics for the C521 hybrid. As with the C521 fairway, the hybrid features a Cup Face with Diamond Face technology. And, as with the fairway, there’s no Houdini Sole, just a rear sole weight to bring the CG back and boost MOI. Compared to HL4, the C521 hybrid features a four-percent increase in MOI with the CG 10 percent lower and 15 percent farther back.
The Hot Launch C521 hybrid also features Acoustic Ribbing channels for sound and feel and a 25-percent deeper (compared to HL4) Power Channel in the sole to do all those Power-Channel-in-the-sole things.
As with the fairways, the Aldila Rogue (55 to 65 grams) comes stock with the C521 hybrids, as does the Lamkin Z5 grip.
The C521 hybrids are righties only and will retail for $149.99.
Custom Fitting and Final Thoughts
There are several value propositions to Hot Launch. Perhaps the most underrated is the ability to get custom fitted into a $230 driver, a $150 fairway wood, a $130 hybrid and some $90 irons. According to a phalanx of press releases announcing the Hot Launch 521 lineup, Tour Edge plans to have more than 850 custom fitting centers nationwide, each with Hot Launch custom fitting bags.
At those prices, fitting is generally limited to loft, lie and flex but that’s more fitting than most weekend warriors experience. And for those in dire need of instant gratification, Tour Edge features 48-hour delivery on all custom orders.
The key value proposition, however, is the fact that Tour Edge can offer – profitably – technology that matters at the lower-priced end of the market. You won’t see sliding weights, titanium faces or composite crowns. And you won’t see optional shaft upgrades, either. But it’s a fair bet the target golfer doesn’t need – or want – any of those.
What you will see is 17-4 stainless steel, a basic PVD finish and design ideas that deliver what high handicappers want most: help in getting the ball in the air and in the right general direction.
The Tour Edge Hot Launch E521 and C521 hybrids and fairway metals will be available to consumers Nov. 1.