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Tour Edge Hot Launch 521 fairway woods

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If there is one segment of the club market that put Tour Edge on the map, it’s fairway woods—or more specifically the company’s premium Exotics line, which pushes the boundaries of technology and club construction.

Tour Edge and its lead designer David Glod are utilizing their experience designing cutting-edge fairway woods to bring a new level of game improvement value to golfers with the introduction of the Hot Launch 521 Series—which includes the E521 and C521 fairway woods—designed to deliver game improvement performance off the tee and from virtually any lie.

“We have invested heavily in R&D over the last few years. We now have the best swing robot, best CAD systems, and new engineers with a ton of experience on the design team. We put all of these resources into studying the Game Improvement sector and how we can raise the bar while targeting specific player needs and preferences.” -David Glod, Tour Edge founder, and lead designer

To quickly help you understand which line of fairway woods are the better choice for your game, let’s break it down like this: The Hot Launch E521 fairways are designed for “Extreme Game Improvement,” while the Hot Launch C521 fairways are built to what Tour Edge calls “Competition Spec” for golfers wanting game improvement performance in a more traditional-looking package.

These spec variations can be found through the entire Hot Launch 521 Series in both the E521 and C521 products.

Tour Edge C521 fairway woods

Just like the rest of the Tour Edge C521 Series, the “C” stands for competition spec, and Tour Edge offers that by reshaping the fairway wood heads and placing more mass low and farther away from the face to achieve an extremely high MOI.

According to Tour Edge, the rear sole weighting and deep CG of the C521 increases the total MOI by six percent and lowers the CG by nine percent compared to the previous HL4. That results in higher launch angles, and more carry—two of the biggest issues golfers struggle with when using fairway woods. The other key design element is how shallow the head is overall since, as already mentioned, the biggest struggle for most golfers in the ability to elevate to ball from the fairway and for golfers at the medium-to-lower end of the speed spectrum, fairway woods get used a lot to approach greens.

Tour Edge E521 fairway woods

The E521 fairway metals build off the forgiveness model of the driver by pushing weight as low and as far back as possible in a shallow clubhead. According to Tour Edge, the E521 has a CG that is 23-percent lower and six-percent farther back than the previous HL4.

Part of what allows designers to get such high MOI out of an all-steel head is the Houdini Sole, which pushes mass farther back without increasing friction on the sole. The overall reshaping reduces ground interaction by 35 percent, and when you consider how important sole contact is for medium-to-slower players off the fairway, this combined with the shallow head and offset, makes for one easy-to-hit club.

So, about that offset. It’s not something you find in many fairway woods anymore (although you could say it’s making a comeback), but offering offset fairway metals gives Tour Edge an advantage to help golfers that struggle with the dreaded slice.

Since the target golfer for the E521 fairway metals is a golfer that will use these a lot to approach greens, having as much control and consistency is vital in scoring. So with that in mind, just like the E521 driver, the fairways come stock with Control Length Shaft Technology – a different way of saying the stock lengths are shorter to help improve contact. The 3 wood starts 42.5″ and the 5 wood is 41.5″ making then around an inch shorter than most manufacturers stock lengths. This reduction in length improves the efficiency of contact and makes then easier to control leading to tighter dispersion. Tighter dispersion leads to more greens hit, more greens hit leads to fewer putts, and few putts mean lower scores.

Hot Launch 521 Series fairway wood technology

As much as both the C512 and E521 fairway woods are targetted towards different golfers they do share technologies to offer more consistent ball speeds and increase forgiveness.

Diamond & 17-4 Steel Cup Face – The diamond face was designed with the help of finite element analysis to simulate energy transfer and helps the fairway woods produce faster and more consistent ball speeds on off-center hits by placing mass where it’s needed. It features 29 ( compared to the drivers 39) varying thick and thin diamond “mini-trampolines” on the back of the 17-4 steel face cup face to increase performance.

This technology was previously only available in Tour Edges premium Exotics line, but by bringing it to the Hot Launch series they can offer greater performance at a better value.

“To be able to take an amazing innovation like Diamond Face that changed the level of what we produced with Exotics EXS and to be able to bring it over to Hot Launch is a huge deal for the performance characteristics of these clubs. This is going to help a lot of golfers gain speed and power.”

Power Channel – The Power Channel sits on the sole of the club behind the clubface to increase face flex and help boost ball speeds on shots hit lower on the face – which is one of the most common misses with fairway woods. On the C521 fairway, this channel is 25% deeper than the previous HL4 to improve performance and increase distance.

Thin body construction – The 521 Hot Launch fairway metals are constructed of 17-4 stainless steel and utilize a thinner and lighter forged steel crown to save weight and lower CoG for added forgiveness.

Acoustic Engineering – The 521 series fairways use the same sound diffusion bars like the  521 series drivers to improve impact sound, and offer better feedback on shots. The soundbars in the Tour Edge 521 fairways produce an impact sound that is both hot off the face but also solid.

Price, specs, and availability

Both the C521 and E521 fairway woods will retail for $149.99.

All Tour Edge Hot Launch clubs including the fairway wood are hand-built in the United States and are part of Tour Edge’s 48-hour custom fitting delivery and lifetime warranty programs.

C521 Fairway Specs

Stock Shaft: Aldila Rogue 50-gram L-Flex, 50-gram A-Flex, 60-gram Regular-Flex, 60- gram Stiff Flex, and 60-gram X-Flex
Stock Grip: Lamkin Z5, available in undersize, standard, and Midsize.

E521 (Offset) Fairway Specs

Stock Shaft: Mitsubishi Fubuki HD: 45-gram L-Flex, 50-gram A-Flex, 50-gram Regular Flex, and 55-gram Stiff Flex
Stock Grip: Lamkin Z5, available in undersize, standard, and Midsize.

Both of the new Hot Launch 521 fairway woods will be available on November 1, 2020.

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Ryan Barath is part of the Digital Content Creation Team for GolfWRX. He hosts the "On Spec" Podcast on the GolfWRX Radio Network which focuses on discussing everything golf, including gear, technology, fitting, and course architecture. He is a club-fitter & master club builder with more than 17 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. He is the former Build Shop Manager & Social Media Coordinator for Modern Golf. He now works independently from his home shop and is a member of advisory panels to a select number of golf equipment manufacturers. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, and share his passion for club building, course architecture and wedge grinding.

3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Dave Bryce

    Oct 9, 2020 at 11:04 am

    No pictures at address and need more grip options!

  2. Rob

    Oct 8, 2020 at 11:49 am

    Not a single picture of the clubs at address…

    • Stanley

      Oct 9, 2020 at 10:26 am

      I agree with your sentiment. It looks like from other pictures that there is significant offset. Who knows….

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Equipment

Ben Hogan adds GS53 MAX driver to lineup

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Ben Hogan golf is throwing its Hogan flat cap into the ring and entering the MAX driver-category with the introduction of the all-new 460cc GS53 MAX driver.

The GS53 MAX creates extra forgiveness, thanks in part to its multi-material construction and a 22-percent larger and 11-percent taller face than the current GS53. For those that love the original GS53, don’t worry it will continue to remain in the line, with the new MAX being a line extension for those looking to get extra help on shots missed around the face.

The driver is constructed from 4 distinct pieces

  • Carbon composite crown to reduce mass around the top of the driver’s head and to push more mass low to increase MOI.
  • Forged face for precision, and ball speed
  • Titanium soleplate with perimeter mass
  • Tungsten weight at the rear of the sole to further increase MOI and help increase launch while reducing spin.

Thanks in part to the weight savings from the crown, the titanium soleplate has more mass positioned away from the face and around the edges to increase the stability of the head, and to acoustically tune the driver for a solid sound at impact.

“The combination of the lightweight composite crown and tungsten sole weight allows us to position the Center of Mass so that we maximize launch while decreasing the amount of ball spin. This provides a higher ball flight, especially for players who don’t have Tour-caliber clubhead speeds for increased carry and roll out. “
– Scott White, CEO, Ben Hogan Golf Company.

The GS53 MAX driver will initially be available right-handed and come in lofts of 9° and 10.5°. It will be adjustable using their proprietary hosel adjustment system known as “flight control”, which offers the ability to add or decrease loft by 1° and lie angle all while never having to worry about realigning the shaft/grip.

The last part of the driver puzzle is the shafts options and to increase the value to consumers the GS53 MAX comes with the choice of three premium aftermarket shafts including:

  • Project X HZRDUS Smoke Black for golfers seeking a lower trajectory
  • Mitsubishi Chemical Tensei CK Blue for golfers seeking a mid trajectory
  • UST Mamiya Helium for those seeking a higher trajectory

Price, specs, and availability 

Thanks to Ben Hogan Golf’s direct-to-consumer model, the new 460cc GS53 MAX, is available starting today fior $355.00 with the choice of the 3 premium shaft options.

For more information on other Ben Hogan clubs including fairway woods, hybrids, irons, wedges, and putters or to purchase the GS53 MAX Driver visit www.benhogangolf.com.

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U.S. retail golf equipment sales exceed record $1 billion mark

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This summer, golf saw a surge in business as states emerged from COVID lockdown and equipment sales is one of the areas that has been booming.

On Wednesday, Golf Datatech, an industry research firm, announced that U.S. retail golf equipment sales surpassed the $1 billion mark for the third quarter – which is the first time sales have reached $1 billion for July, August and September.

That figure also represents the second-highest quarter ($1.013 billion in Q2, 2008) of all-time, and per Golf Datatech, golf equipment sales for 2020 are up a whopping 42% over the same period in 2019.

Speaking on the incredible surge in equipment sales, John Krzynowek, Partner, Golf Datatech, LLC, said

“The story keeps getting better as golf continues to surge coming out of the shutdown, and Q3 equipment sales suggests that 2020 will likely end up positive for the entire year. Year-to-date sales for total equipment are now up 0.2% compared to 2019, and considering the size of the hole created by the shutdown in April and May this recovery has been nothing short of remarkable. While the US economy will not enjoy a ‘V Shaped Recovery’ in 2020, if golf continues on this trajectory we will be there soon.”

Per the company, the best selling items for September were golf bags at +19% and wedges at +18%, while golf shoes were +2%.

Overall, the golf club category was +0.9% for the month, with balls and gloves trending slightly lower at -2.7%. Krzynowek also revealed that rounds played was another area with surging numbers:

“These month-over-month sales records are unlike anything we’ve ever seen since Golf Datatech started tracking performance data in 1997. Our Rounds Played data also shows similar record-breaking growth over the past several months, which is a strong indication that avid golfers and newcomers alike are driving the sport to new levels right now.”

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Equipment

‘Play a big driver. Why not big irons?’ – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our members have been discussing the case for big irons. WRXer ‘2Down’ plays a Ping G410+ driver and has recently put Ping’s G710 irons in the bag, saying:

“Wondered how many play a large headed driver and play a draw or fade off the tee but when they pull an iron it’s some blade size thing so they can “work” the ball.

Recently I put G710 in the bag and answered my question for myself. They feel different for sure, but I am quickly adapting to only bringing the putter with me to the green.”

Our members have been discussing the combination in our forums.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • Itsjustagame: “Personal preference but big irons tend to have more bounce, more offset and wider soles some or all of which may not suit a particular player.”
  • Fairway14: “Driver is played from a lie with the ball sitting on a tee, irons are played from a variety of lie types.”
  • J13: “They don’t really make “big” irons for players. Most have offset low CG for high launch, and super strong lofts.”
  • LeoLeo99: “I love my big irons. G400. Best I’ve ever used.”

Entire Thread: “Play a big driver. Why not big irons?”

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