Because the idea of “game improvement” covers a broad range from “help me get better” to “help me not suck,” the two-track approach to game improvement in Tour Edge’s new Hot Launch 521 series continues in its fairway wood and hybrid offerings. Following the lead of its E521 and C521 drivers, the former will concentrate on slice-fighting and the latter on forgiveness and better ball speed. Equally forgiving will be the prices at $150 or less each.
“The key features that you saw in the drivers all do trickle down to the rest of the family,” said Matt Neeley, Tour Edge’s vice president of product development.
There are two notable features in the C521 and E521 fairway woods and hybrids, one that’s not seen and the other that is dramatically obvious. Unseen is the variable thickness pattern behind the face on both the C521 and E521 metalwoods. The array of 29 interwoven thick and thin diamond shapes are designed to create more flexing across the face.
The more noticeable feature is the E521’s angled shape to the bottom of the club, what the company calls its “Houdini sole.” The keel-like shape reduces surface area for smoother turf interaction, while pulling mass low for higher launch. Offset, a closed face angle and extra weighting in the heel fight the chronic slice.
“This is the very definition of Tour Edge’s commitment to extreme game improvement,” said David Glod, company founder, CEO and chief designer. “It almost will make you laugh at how much these will go up and to the left.”
The C521 fairway woods and hybrids take on traditional shapes, sizes and lofts (175 cubic centimeter, 15-degree 3-wood, for example). A rear sole weight helps lower and deepen the center of gravity (6 percent deeper and 9 percent lower, compared to its predecessor, the HL4, according to Neely). The 17-4 cast steel head utilizes a wraparound cupface enhanced by a 25 percent deeper channel in the sole (compared to HL4) to improve rebound for more distance.
The E521 metalwoods also emphasize higher launch. Not only is there a shallower face (8 percent shorter sole to crown compared to the HL4) but shorter shafts than standard also inspire confidence in players hoping to get their fairway woods and hybrids under the ball. Neely said the center of gravity on the fairway woods is 23 percent lower than the HL4, while the CG on the oversize hybrids is 30 percent farther back compared to HL4.
Furthermore, lofts on the E521 fairway woods are one-degree weaker, and the lofts extend to both 9- and 11-woods (25 and 27 degrees, respectively), while the hybrid loft range reaches out to a 28-degree 6-hybrid.
Neely said the super game improvement aspect of the E521 metalwoods was apparent in one key statistic from player testing and it had nothing to do with launch angle, distance or even dispersion. “Normally to get 10 good hits on a fairway wood with this type of player, it might require 17 or more swings,” he said. “With this club it was closer to 12.”
The C521 metalwoods comprise eight loft options (15, 17, 19 and 22 degrees on the fairways, $150; 19, 22, 25 and 28 on the hybrids, $130). The E521 metalwoods are offered in nine lofts (16, 20, 23, 25 and 27 degrees in the fairway woods, $150; 19, 22, 25 and 28 degrees in the hybrids, $130). The Hot Launch 521 clubs will be in stores Nov. 1.