By E. Michael Johnson
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Tour Edge’s Hot Launch C522 irons and SuperSpin wedges are designed for players who need some help but enjoy competitive golf in a classic cavity-back design. The new E522 irons and wedges offer max help with an emphasis on getting the ball in the air and fighting the slice.
THE DEEP DIVE: When getting the ball airborne with plenty of distance is your priority, there’s no reason to attempt to disguise it. Tour Edge’s new Hot Launch C522 and E522 irons—the sixth iteration of the Hot Launch series—don’t even try. By using improved construction and multiple materials to achieve distance and height with an acceptable feel, these irons offer players multiple ways to get better.
The 431 stainless-steel C522 cavity-back irons and E522 hollow-body hybrid irons offer help in ways people familiar with Tour Edge’s heritage in irons will recognise. Wide soles lower the center of gravity (CG) for higher launch while off-center-hit forgiveness is achieved through a slightly larger size.
And there’s enough offset to help slicers mitigate those annoying shots that tend to fade—or slice—too much.
The hero of the Hot Launch C522 and E522 irons might not be on the face of the club, but on the bottom of it. Players in the game-improvement category need their worst shots to be playable, and in this case that means designing soles that improve turf interaction and help mitigate the effect of a shot that takes too much grass.
While generally a more traditional cavity-back design, the C522’s wide sole smooths chunkier hits by adding more mass low in the head. In turn, the 360-degree undercut in the cavity works with extra mass in the toe to enhance the moment of inertia (MOI) for better performance on off-center strikes.
New to the C522 is the company’s VIBRCOR, a high-grade thermoplastic urethane placed in the deep undercut pocket designed to enhance perimeter weighting for forgiveness while boosting speed and enhancing feel.
“VIBRCOR is the biggest difference,” said Matt Neeley, Tour Edge’s VP of product development. “The badge sticks up 6 to 7 millimeters off the surface and really helps on sound because it’s so thick and protruding there. It’s the biggest upgrade in the lineup.”
The Hot Launch E522 irons take a more aggressive approach to turf interaction by using the company’s “Houdini sole” found in some of its fairway woods and hybrids to cut through the ground. “We’ve basically added this little tail that really increased the effective sole while helping create cleaner turf interaction,” Neeley said. “We’re pulling a lot of the sole away from that area where the club meets the ground.”
In order to offer more help than the C522, the E522 also uses a shallow face height that encourages higher launch. The hollow-body design furthers that endeavour by placing weight low. Assisting those with a tendency to slice, weight is placed in the heel, and the clubs are slightly offset.
The Hot Launch irons extend to E522 wedges (52, 56, 60 degrees) that can fit easily within the respective sets. Like the irons, they incorporate a wide sole and include the angled rear section to reduce how much of it contacts the turf or sand. A deep undercut in the cavity-back design frees up the extra mass that's put into the turf-sliding sole shape while full-face grooves provide plenty of grab on shots around the green. There’s also a Hot Launch SuperSpin VIBRCOR wedge (50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60 degrees) designed to provide better control around the green. It has a bevelled leading edge and cambered sole that also prevents digging and adds versatility.
The Hot Launch C522 irons are available in lofts ranging from 22 to 59 degrees while the E522 irons range from 20 to 49 degrees. The clubs will be in stores on Oct. 1.