- Tour Edge has released two new Hot Launch 521 Series Drivers.
- The Hot Launch E521 is designed for slice correction.
- The Hot Launch C521 is designed for maximum performance.
- Retail price for both drivers is only $229.
With the release of Hot Launch 521 (E521 and C521) drivers, Tour Edge is once again giving us pause to consider how much a new driver should really cost.
As $500 became the norm, Tour Edge struck gold as a value brand with a reputation – and a good one at that. Once among the most expensive on the market, as the leading manufacturers cut lower-priced options out of their lineups, Tour Edge saw an opportunity to reposition its Exotics franchise as a high-tech brand for ballers on a budget.
In today’s market, $349 for a new model adjustable driver is a hell of a deal. Fifty bucks more gets you adjustable track weighting.
Hot Launch 521 Drivers – No-Frills Value
For golfers willing to forgo cutting-edge tech or what I guess we can call ballers with no budget, Tour Edge’s Hot Launch line provides an even more affordable no-frills option.
The new Hot Launch 521 Series drivers are priced at just $229 each. For some real-world context, you could buy two and still have $100 more in your pocket than you would if you bought a TaylorMade SIM. Point being, the savings aren’t small.
That’s not to say the Tour Hot Launch 521 isn’t without compromise. The metalwoods are inarguably light on tech, there’s no adjustability and the stock shafts … Well, I suppose they’re what you should reasonably expect for the price.
With the C521, there is a bit of trickle-down tech from the Exotics line but a good bit of the rest of the 521 Driver story falls somewhere between boilerplate and forced. The cosmetics are less refined, too. Forgive me for the soft sell but all of the above is what’s required to hit a price point that’s $100 less than anything else you’re likely to find on retail shelves.
Now that you know what to expect, let’s take a closer look at the two models.
Hot Launch 521 Extreme Spec Driver
In this case, Extreme refers to extreme game improvement. Tour Edge E521 offers a blend of easy launch, playability and forgiveness to the game-improvement golfer.
Even if it’s familiar, what’s not to like there?
Given that the “C” in C521 is for competition spec, it’s a reasonable inference that Tour Edge designed the E521 with the recreational crowd in mind. It features a shallow face, a good amount of offset and a footprint that pushes up against the USGA’s dimensional limits.
I’ve discussed this before but this is another case of the right product at (nearly) the right time. With an influx of new and lapsed golfers taking to the course, the market for simple and effective tech – like offset drivers, for example – has likely never been bigger.
Made entirely of 6-4 titanium, there’s nothing particularly Exotic in the design (see what I did there?). Tour Edge says the E521’s unusual shape is driven by its new Houdini Sole technology.
The slightly unconventionally shaped sole helps push CG low and back, though the side profile suggests that if pushing CG as low as possible was an objective, the shape could be a liability.
According to Tour Edge, the shape allows for greater heel bias (more draw), which works in conjunction with the offset to provide slice correction.
Tour Edge bills the E521 as offering extremely high moment of inertia. As usual, the validity of that statement depends on your point of comparison. The MOI of the new driver is a bit above 5000 (that gels with our projections based on percentage increase over HL4). The gains should put the E521 in Titleist TS2 territory. That’s reasonably forgiving but still lags significantly behind anything in the PING lineup as well as PXG’s 0811XF.
Bottom line: by the MOI number, “extremely forgiving” is a stretch. That’s not a knock, just a fact, as draw bias invariably requires an MOI penalty.
Finer points aside, Tour Edge says the E521 is the highest launching driver it has ever created. Pair that with the anti-slice design elements and you have exactly what the target golfer is likely looking for.
The Tour Edge E521 driver is available in 10.5, 12 and 15 degrees. That last one is about seven degrees too much loft for me but, again, it’s a solid option for golfers looking for help getting the ball in the air.
Control Length Shaft Technology
The stock shaft is a variant of the Mitsubishi Fubuki in 45 or 55 grams, depending on flex. With the E521 driver, Tour Edge is touting what it calls Control Length Shaft Technology. It sounds fancy but it’s little more than a mouthful of unnecessary industry speak used to convey the fact that the shaft is only 44.5 inches.
The ultimate goal of CLST is to promote more consistent contact. That’s solid logic but if you have access to a saw or a cutting wheel, you already have the technology.
The stock grip is the Lamkin Z5 Rubber available in Undersize, Standard and Midsized.
Hot Launch 521 Competition Spec Driver
Tour Edge bills the C-Series (C521 Driver) as a state-of-the-art competition-spec driver. In a conventional driver lineup, you could think of it as the pro answer to the E521.
That’s not to say the C521 is designed to be a spin killer. It’s taller and more compact while the E521 is shallower and a bit more squat.
Designed for medium swing speeds, the C521 offers minimal offset. Like the E521, it’s a bit more forgiving than the HL4 (TS2 is still a reasonable comparison). Tour Edge also notes improved acoustics, which couldn’t hurt.
The company says, “the Hot Launch C Series is for the player seeking optimal launch and spin rates while still enjoying the benefits of extreme ease of use, forgiveness and accuracy.”
That’s a pretty broad specification that would seem to suggest the C521 driver is pretty much right for everybody. Narrowing just a bit, we can safely describe the C521 as a reasonably forgiving driver with a shape that should appeal to competitive players.
Diamond Face Cup
The C521 tech story begins with Tour Edge’s Diamond Face technology. Trickling down from the Exotics line, it featured 39 diamond-shaped thick and thin areas that Tour Edge describes as mini-trampolines. The USGA typically frowns on those type of associations, but the larger point is the Tour Edge has bundled in some tech to help maintain speed across the face.
The C521 sole features what Tour Edge calls a Power Channel. It’s the company’s take on slot technology. It helps the face to flex, delivering more speed and more consistent spin on low face impact.
The stock shaft for the Tour Edge Hot Launch C521 is the Aldila Rogue. Note that no color specification is provided. That suggests this particular Rogue isn’t silver or black or even white. It’s not anything Aldila sells to dealers. As usual, I’ll lament the use of a made for shafts but the driver is $229 and your expectations should be set accordingly.
If the Hot Launch 521 driver series is still too rich for your blood, the Tour Edge HL3 driver is on closeout for an insanely low $129.99.
The new Tour Edge Hot Launch 521 E and C Series drivers are available beginning Nov. 1. As usual, Tour Edge guarantees delivery of custom orders within 48 hours.
For more information, visit TourEdge.com.