Hot Launch C522/E522
WHAT IT DOES: The checklist of materials and “technologies” here won’t have you scrambling for your Neil deGrasse Tyson decoder ring, but these fairway woods feature a clear division of labor: One aims to make the most of our best, and the other manages our worst. The C522 is built for stability with a deep, centered sole weight, and the E522 addresses our shortcomings like fat shots and thin misses with its keel-shaped sole that puts weight low to improve launch. It also helps the weak fade with its gentle offset and closed face angle. Both versions get extra velocity from a cupface that wraps around the crown and sole and has a variable-thickness pattern of 42 interwoven diamond shapes designed to function like mini-trampolines.
WHY WE LIKE IT: The conventionally shaped C522 benefits from a sole channel that adds speed, reduces spin and forgives those low-face impacts. The E522 uses slightly shorter shafts and higher lofts (up to 27 degrees) to make solid contact all the more likely and productive. Tour Edge accomplishes all of these things at a price ($160) that is not only the lowest in this category but even half as much as some of the more high-profile brands.
WHICH ONE'S FOR ME?
C522: This head is built for stability with a deep, centered sole weight. Its more traditional shaping, head sizes and lofts, including a 22-degree 7-wood, accompany a neutral ball flight with a square face angle.
E522: This game-improvement design addresses our shortcomings like fat shots and thin misses with its keel-shaped sole that puts weight low to improve launch. It also helps the weak fade with its gentle offset and closed face angle. The head sizes are somewhat smaller in volume, but the very shallow face design provides more ease-of-use for players who struggle with fairway woods. The lofts extend to a 27-degree 11-wood. Read more >>
* Percentage of total score
"Launch is a good name—it went straight up in the air. This would provide you great flexibility in use because it can actually be used from rough."
"The Saturday confessional of fairway woods, in a good way. Maximum forgiveness. Even with a 3-wood off the turf, the sole really helps the ball go up in the air."
"Shallower face, like swinging a butter knife. I like the simple crown and the embellishment. Simple, classy. Beautiful sound at impact, loud and soft enough. Just perfect."
15, 17, 19, 22 (C522); 16, 20, 23, 25, 27 (E522)
From the Manufacturer
Surviving the Hot List Presented by Rapsodo
For the first time in the 19-year history of the Hot List, we invited a documentary-film crew to the 2022 testing summit to document the process, the people and the drama behind the most coveted assignment in golf.