Tour Edge Hot Launch 523 Irons and Wedges

Key Takeaways

  • Across-the-board updates for value-priced Hot Launch irons and wedges
  • E523: Classic Tour Edge iron-wood design super game-improvement irons
  • C523: Game-improvement with “Power Spec” lofts
  • Available Nov. 1

The new Hot Launch 523 irons and wedges from Tour Edge are a cold slap upside the head for anyone who loves to complain about the high price of golf equipment.

That means if you’ve ever shouted, uttered or even mumbled something akin to “the prices these OEMs are charging will drive the average golfer out of the game,” Tour Edge advises you to duck.

Tour Edge owner David Glod is on to something with the Hot Launch line. It’s designed for the budget-minded game-improvement golfer who doesn’t want to be treated like a second-class citizen. There’s plenty of trickle-down technology from the Exotics line with plenty of custom-fitting opportunities.

And true to the company’s credo, the price can make even the most cynical golf gear wonk downright giddy.

Tour Edge Hot Launch 523

Tour Edge Hot Launch 523 Irons and Wedges

The new Tour Edge Hot Launch 523 irons and wedges follow the same format as their immediate predecessors. The E523 irons are a hybrid-like iron-wood firmly planted in the super game-improvement category. It’s the type of iron you’d most likely associate with the Hot Launch brand. According to Tour Edge, the “E” stands for Extreme, as in Extreme forgiveness and an Extreme-ly low CG.

They’re designed for the low-swing speed golfer whose No. 1 goal is to simply get the damned ball up in the air.

The C523 irons are your more traditional-looking game-improvement iron. The “C” stands for Competition. It has plenty of forgiveness and a low-enough CG for golfers who don’t need quite as much help getting the damned ball up in the air. But the Tour Edge Competition Spec (i.e., stronger lofts) provides plenty of giddy-up.

Tour Edge Hot Launch 523

“523 is a running upgrade over the 522 series,” says Glod. “Our goal is to bring as many performance benefits as we can to the budget-minded golfer.”

Just so you don’t have to wait until the end, the C523 irons will sell for $79.99 per club. The E523 irons will retail for $99.99 each.

Like I said, duck!

Hot Launch E523 Irons

The biggest difference between the new E523 irons and the previous models is in looks. The E522 was more of a hybrid trying to pass as an iron. The E523 is more of a hollow-body iron with traces of hybrid DNA. If such a thing is possible, one might say the E523 is actually, uhh, sexy.

OK, maybe that’s a stretch but Hot Launch E523 irons do appear sleeker and more streamlined than previous models. The patented Houdini Sole—a raised mass area at the rear of the sole—also appears slimmer.

Tour Edge Hot Launch 523

Like its cousins from Cleveland, Wilson and COBRA, the E523 irons are designed to reduce turf drag (Tour Edge says by 35 percent). But one problem with your typical hybrid-style iron is they tend to have, shall we say, a good bit of junk in the trunk. Looking down at address, they have thick toplines and there’s no way of hiding the bulbous backside. Tour Edge has incorporated a concave body design to the E523 which slims the topline a touch and makes the backside less visible.

Unfortunately, Tour Edge did not provide us with a view at address but, from what we can see, the E523 does have a more compact look. That’s not to say it actually is compact.

Everything, friends, is relative.

Hollow-Bodied Slice Fighter

As mentioned, the E523 is for the golfer who simply wants to get the damned ball up in the air. The hollow-body construction allows for extreme perimeter weighting and that extremely low CG we referenced earlier. The E523 also features a very shallow face and a substantial offset, as it’s six, two and even the golfer likely to game them also fights a slice.

As is the case with super game-improvement irons, the Hot Launch E523 loft structure is actually weaker than that of a standard game-improvement iron. The set works around a 32-degree 7-iron whereas its C523 counterpart clocks in at 29 degrees. That’s typical of SGI irons, particularly hollow-bodied hybrid types. The distance story is more metalwood-based than iron face flex-based and the additional loft helps slower swing speed players achieve the thing they want most.

And that’s to get the damned ball up in the air.

Tour Edge is offering ultra-light shaft options. The UST Mamiya HL-SST is the stock men’s and women’s graphite shaft. It ranges in weight from the 49-gram ladies’ flex to the 65-gram stiff and XS flexes. The True Temper XP-85 is the stock steel offering and is available in R and S flexes.

The Lamkin Z5 is the stock grip in standard, mid and ladies’ sizes.

Tour Edge is offering the Hot Launch E523 in a stock combo set. The standard set features a 4- and 5-hybrid along with 6-PW irons for both women and men.

For fitting purposes, Tour Edge offers the E523 in a 3-iron through gap wedge. The entire E523 iron lineup is available for both lefties and righties.

Hot Launch C523 Irons

If you don’t have as much trouble getting the ball up in the air, Tour Edge has you covered with the C523. It’s your basic cavity-back, perimeter-weighted, power-lofted setup you’ve come to know and love in the game-improvement category.

The C523 also features VIBRCOR, an Exotics technology that’s wiggled its way into the Hot Launch line. VIBRCOR is a high-grade TPU insert that’s deep in the undercut pocket in the C523 cavity. Its purpose is to dampen sound and shock, both of which can be kind of harsh in a game-improvement iron.

Tour Edge says the C523 irons feature a more compact design with a thinner topline. But, again, don’t take that to mean the C523 is a compact iron with a thin topline. More and thinner are relative. But that does allow Tour Edge to lower the CG to near-subterranean levels.

And while the C523 does not feature the Houdini Sole, it does feature a slightly wider sole than its predecessors. That’s to help with turf interaction.

And as we’ve come to expect with GI irons, the lofts are strong, although not as strong as much of the industry. The 29-degree 7-iron actually puts the C523 in the average-to-weak end of the jacked-loft swimming pool.

The standard graphite and steel shaft options, as well as the grip options, are the same as with the E523. The men’s stock combo set is the same but the women’s combo set includes a 5- and 6-hybrid with a  7-iron through sand wedge.

For fitting purposes, Tour Edge offers the C523 in a 4-iron through lob wedge. The entire line comes in both left- and right-handed models.

Tour Edge Hot Launch 523

Hot Launch 523 Wedges

Tour Edge claims the new E523 wedges are the easiest you’ll ever hit. They feature everything you’d expect to see in a super game-improvement wedge. You get a super-wide Houdini Sole, some extra sole camber to avoid the chili-dips and chunks and an extra larger face for the less precise ball striker.

And they feature full-face grooves which is not something you’d expect to see in a super game-improvement wedge.  They’ll be available in 52-, 56- and 60-degree models for both lefties and righties. They share the same stock shafts and grips as the irons.

Tour Edge Hot Launch 523

The Super-Spin VIBRCOR wedge isn’t technically tied to the C523 irons but it’s close enough. Like the C523s, it includes the VIRBRCOR TPU insert in the cavity to improve sound and feel. It also features extra weight in the center of the face, towards the top. That helps expand the sweet spot higher on the face, where the target golfer tends to miss.

As with other GI wedges, such as the Cleveland CBX ZipCore, you’ll see a beveled leading edge with a more rounded sole. Similar to the Houdini Sole in the E523, the idea is to help the wedge slide through the turf without digging in. It’s not the most versatile sole in the world but the target golfer probably isn’t channeling his inner Phil.

The Super Spin features CNC-milled grooves but no full-face options. They’ll be available in two-degree loft increments from 50 to 60 degrees for right-handers. In this case, lefties are limited to the 52-, 56- and 60-degree models.

Tour Edge Hot Launch 523

Both wedge sets feature the same stock shafts and grips as the irons. They’ll retail for $89.99 each.

Hot Launch Final Thoughts

As we’ve said many times on these pages, the existence of premium-priced golf equipment does not mean value-priced options are being taken away from you. Tour Edge has staked its reputation on giving you gear that performs well at a nice price. If yards-per-dollar is how you keep score, both Exotics and Hot Launch are hard to beat.

Tour Edge is also committed to custom-fitting, which is not something you generally see in this price range. There are more than 1,000 Tour Edge-authorized fitting locations in the U.S.

“Hot Launch custom fitting has increased 700 percent over the years,” says Glod. “I feel we’ve created a space that did not exist before for the budget-minded golfer to consider the custom fit process.”

And despite a worldwide supply chain mess, Tour Edge is still offering its 48-hour shipping program. Any order from an authorized Tour Edge fitter goes into the company’s 48-hour delivery protocol. If Tour Edge receives the order by 1;30 p.m. Central Time on a weekday, Tour Edge will get the custom build to your door in the continental U.S. in 48 hours.

The Tour Edge Hot Launch 523 irons and wedges will hit retail on Nov. 1. For more information, visit the Tour Edge website.

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