For value-seeking golfers, Tour Edge Hot Launch Series drivers—the Hot Launch E523 and the Hot Launch C523—will likely be in the consideration set.

They arrive with a retail price of just $269.99 and, while Tour Edge describes that as “mid-tier” pricing (with allowances for PXG’s occasional deep discount), by modern standards it’s on the low end of the price range—likely less than clearance-priced drivers from the industry leaders (and everyone else, for that matter).

I’d wager Tour Edge E-series will be the cheapest drivers you’ll find on big box retail shelves this season.

While price alone may be the deciding factor for many, Tour Edge is seeking to position itself as “the leader in performance-value custom fitting.” That’s an odd combination of words but the point is that, with fitting bags available at more than 1,000 locations, nobody else comes close to offering fitting options at this price point.

Granted, nobody else utilizing traditional retail distribution channels is selling drivers for $270. It’s easy to win when nobody else is competing but I suppose that’s the entire reason why Tour Edge’s 523 series exists at the price it does.

As it did last time around, the Tour Edge Hot Launch lineup will feature two product lines.

Tour Edge Hot Launch E523 Driver

A sole view of the Tour Edge Hot Launch 523 driver

The “E” in in E523 stands for Extreme and while nothing here is extreme enough to scream about, “extreme” is effectively used as a synonym for a feature set that mimics a good bit of what the industry has folded under the “MAX” banner.

According to Tour Edge, the E523 offers low (and presumably deep) center of gravity, a shallow face and a little bit of offset.

I suppose that last bit could qualify as extreme by today’s standard. We know that offset drivers can help golfers. We also know that pride prevents a healthy percentage of golfers who would benefit from them from buying them. That likely explains why very few companies offer them.

Despite the low price, Tour Edge has bundled a good amount of its technology in the E523 including:

Houdini Sole – Tour Edge-speak for a concentrated chunk of mass on the trailing edge. Its purpose is to shift the center of gravity “ultra” low and deep where it works to increase both launch and forgiveness.

Ridgeback Tech – A rail that provides additional structural support for the crown. By helping to stiffen things a bit, Ridgeback reduces crown deformation at impact which allows more energy to be transferred to the ball.

According to Tour Edge, the Ridgeback design also serves as alignment aid, though it’s fair to say your mileage may vary on that one.

An address view of the Tour Edge Hot Launch 523 driver

Diamond Face VFT – Tour Edge’s take on a variable-thickness face design. Tour Edge says the diamond shapes work as mini-trampolines. The idea is to provide more speed across the face with an emphasis on off-center performance.

Heel Weighting and Offset – As it always does, the addition of heel-weighting provides some draw bias while the offset design makes it easier to square up the driver.

New Power Channel – Tour Edge’s take on a sole/speed slot, the Power Channel promotes more speed and lower spin, particularly on low face contact.

Hot Launch E523: Who It’s For

The Tour Edge Hot Launch E523 is best suited for low to moderate swing speed players. That’s evidenced by the lightweight UST Mamiya HL-SST stock shafts. The shafts range in weight from 45  to 60 grams and feature a soft tip section to further promote high launch. (I’m really sensing a theme here).

A spec chart for the Tour Edge Hot Launch E523 driver

Other notables in the specs include a 15-degree HL option and a sensible stock length of 44.5 inches. That’s an inch to an inch and a quarter shorter than average which makes a ton of sense for the target audience.

Tour Edge Hot Launch C523 Driver

A sole view of the Tour Edge Hot Launch C523 driver

The “C” in C523 is for Competition. That could suggest a driver aimed at better players but Tour Edge bills the Hot Launch C523 as a “premium competition spec game-improvement design.”

Again, the arrangement of words is a bit odd but the positioning is that of a game-improvement design that retains a conventional appearance at address.

The target audience for the Hot Launch C523 is medium to fast swing golfers, though the stock shaft (also the UST Mamiya HL-SST) suggests it’s cheating heavily towards the mid swing speed side of the equation.

That’s what custom fitting is for.

A address view of the Tour Edge Hot Launch C523 driver

As with the Hot Launch E523, there’s a good bit of tech bundled with the C523. Here’s what you get.

Sole Rail – Tour Edge’s take a dropdown sole design. Like COBRA (SpeedBack), TaylorMade SIM and a growing number of others, Tour Edge’s sole rail serves to push the center of gravity down while creating opportunities for increased forgiveness

Tour Edge achieves higher forgiveness by anchoring a big chunk of mass to the rear of the sole rail.

360 Face Cup – The wrap-around face piece works with the VFT diamonds to provide consistent (or at least more consistent) speed on off-center hits.

Larger Power Channel – Tour Edge has increased the size of the power channel by 85 percent relative to the previous model. The updated design allows for even greater face flexing (more speed) with reduced spin, particularly on low face impacts.

Both the Hot Launch E523 and C523 are part of Tour Edge’s 48-hour shipping arrival program. Any custom order placed before 1:30 p.m. Central time on a weekday will arrive within 48 hours.

A spec chart for the Tour Edge Hot Launch C523 driver

Retail availability for the Tour Edge Hot Launch 523 series begins Nov. 1.

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