Years ago, Tour Edge Golf realized there was a big gap in the golf-club market. The gap that needed to be addressed, the company figured, was value-driven golfers who wanted to get the benefits of custom-fit equipment. After all, every golfer can benefit from custom-built clubs, but not every golfer has the budget to go into a premium fitting shop and pay premium prices for that experience.
And that's how Tour Edge found a winner with its Hot Launch line of products. Using a nationwide network of 750 fitters, Tour Edge can turn a consumer fitting into a set of clubs with a 48-hour turnaround. Instead of waiting a week or more for custom-built clubs, consumers can get fit near them, have the specs turned over to Tour Edge's team in Illinois and have clubs in their hands two days later at a reasonable price. What a deal.
Now, the company has upgraded its Hot Launch line with the HL4, a series of drivers, fairway woods, hybrids, iron-replacements and irons that work for the overwhelming majority of golfers. The company has been releasing the details of the series in pieces, but we decided to wait until the whole line was out to give a full overview of what's available.
With the HL4 line, a new driver has been engineered to offer maximum forgiveness with a high moment of inertia found on higher-priced drivers, along with premium technology all in a lower-priced package.
The HL4 driver comes with two heads -- one with minimal offset and one with more offset for players who slice the ball -- featuring a 6-4 Titanium body, a titanium cup face, MOI-enhancing sloped crown and a real sole weight to drive the center of gravity lower and deeper for a higher launch to keep the ball in play. Power Channel technology on the sole allows the club's face to flex more at impact for more ball speed.
The driver is available in 10.5-, 12- and 13.5-degree heads in the offset model, and 9.5-, 10.5- and 12-degree heads in the straight model. A UST Mamiya graphite shaft is stock, available in Ladies through Stiff flex, ranging from 48-60 grams in weight. The driver costs $200.
In the HL4 fairway woods, the company tried to design a steel-head fairway with a forged 17-4 steel crown that's lighter and thinner than the HL3 line. In combination with a sole weight and a shallower face with a deeper head profile, the CG is lower to promote higher launch and more MOI. Akin to the driver, Tour Edge reports a 12 percent increase in MOI.
The steel cup face helps promote more ball speed, with variable face technology offering more consistent ball speeds across the impact zone in conjunction with the Power Channel on the sole.
Like the driver, the fairway woods are available in straight and offset models.
The straight HL4 fairway wood comes in 15-, 17-, 19- and 22-degree lofts, while the HL4 Offset fairway wood will be available in 15.5-, 19.5-, 22.5-, 24.5- and 26.5-degree lofts. Several left-handed models are available. A UST Mamiya graphite shaft is stock, available in Ladies through Stiff flex, ranging from 45-65 grams in weight. The fairway woods are $140 each.
Hybrids and Iron-Woods
Almost every amateur should have a hybrid or a long-iron replacement of some kind -- dubbed an iron-wood by Tour Edge -- in their bag. Long irons are hard to hit for most players.
In the HL4 line, the hybrids have a bigger profile, and they have a lighter, thinner crown of 17-4 stainless steel to drive down CG and increase MOI. (Sense a pattern?) The cup face is designed to give more spring-like effects at impact for more distance. A high-toe face design delivers greater forgiveness across the face. .
The HL4 iron-wood has a thinner forged face as part of an overall redesign that the company says makes the iron-woods a club longer than the prior generation. The hollow-bodied head volume is bigger in each of the iron-woods over the HL3, allowing for more perimeter weighting in combo with driving weight down low for higher launch and better control. The new Rear Inverted Crown technology lowers the CG.
A wider and deeper Power Channel helps the face to flex more on both the hybrids and iron-woods, as well better forgiveness on shots struck low on the face.
The HL4 hybrid comes in 19, 22, 25 and 28 degree lofts for right- and left-handed players for $120 each. A UST Mamiya graphite shaft is stock, available in Ladies through Stiff flex, ranging from 45-65 grams in weight. All lofts will be available in right- and left-handed models.
The HL4 Iron-Wood is available in heads of 18, 20, 23, 26, 29, 32, 36, 40, 44, 49, 54 and 59 degrees, effectively allowing a player to create a hollow-body iron set. All lofts will be available in right and left-handed models. The clubs will cost $80 each with KBS Tour 90 steel shafts and $90 each in UST Mamiya graphite shafts.
The reason Tour Edge wanted to get all of this info out in bits and pieces is because there's a lot going on with the Hot Launch 4 line. But that's the best part about it. You can get a whole bag for a reasonable amount of money!
And, when it comes to the irons, you have three sets to choose from, starting at $420 and going to $600 for a set, depending on your specs and which set you choose. What a freaking bargain.
As mentioned, one of the sets is plucked from the iron-woods. Golfers can buy any seven of the 12 available iron-woods in whatever combination they want.
The regular HL4 irons are made from 431 stainless steel and feature an expanded undercut cavity for maximum forgiveness by moving weight away from the face and topline into the sole to lower CG and increase MOI. The soles are wider and the faces are shallower to help with better contact. The HL4 irons are a seven-piece set with 4-iron through lob wedge, depending on your configuration of choice.
Then there's the HL4 Triple Combo irons, which brings together hybrids, iron-woods and irons into a single set. The HL4 Triple Combo has two HL4 hybrids (22 and 25 degrees), two HL4 Iron-Woods (29 and 32 degrees) and three HL4 Irons (35, 40 and 44 degrees) to create a 4-iron through PW set.
The HL4 iron set will is $420 in steel and $490 in graphite. The HL4 iron-wood set runs $530 in steel and $600 in graphite, while the HL4 Triple Combo set runs $570 in steel and $600 in graphite. All will be available in right- and left-handed sets.