The chasm between elite professional golfers and everyday amateurs appears to be widening by the year.
Tiger tees continue to be stretched out back, and yet the pros keep finding ways to bang it farther down the fairway than before.
The disparity goes well beyond the golf course. Touring pros have small armies of staff fine-tuning their fitness regimens, diets and golf clubs. Launch monitors chart every strike. Equipment technicians stand by on the range to change out shafts and heads while the swing coaches nod their head.
Could any of these niceties possibly be applicable to the regular golfer who has limited income they need to divvy up wisely between family needs and their personal leisure toys?
Point being, a $500+ driver is a tough ask for the vast majority of the 24 million golfers in the U.S. But FOMO is a powerful thing; if someone in your regular foursome starts is banging it past you with a flashy new driver, the one in your hand suddenly feels like a wet noodle.
Just understand you don't necessarily have to spend big to get the latest tech and keep up with the young bucks in your foursome, and you don't have to play the same brands the top golfers on tour promote. I'm guessing your swing isn't much like theirs anyway.
Tour Edge has held the budget-conscious, amateur golfer top-of-mind since their founding in 1989. The newest addition to their Hot Launch line, HL4, released this month exclusively on Revolution Golf, aspires to be a more affordable yet effective way to upgrade your tee ball.
A robust economy has in part drawn many of the biggest equipment manufacturers to focus on the avid and lower-handicap amateurs - those willing to spend a lot more, more often, on the latest product cycle. Tour Edge's Hot Launch line is geared towards the recreational mid-to-high handicapper who can't realistically upgrade their equipment regularly. But when they do decide it's time for an upgrade, perhaps right before a charity outing coming in hot on their summer calendar, they want a driver or fairway metal that isn't used or out of date. Better yet, they want it geared toward them and not the World No. 1.
Tour Edge can point to some pro tour successes over the years thanks to their Exotics line designed for lower handicaps. They have featured in the bags of various tour wins and Top-10 finishes for players they both sponsor and do not. As an am, it is good to know that the tech in the driver designed for you comes from a longstanding company that has been in business over 30 years and has been trusted by golfers who make a living swinging them. But by not cutting big checks to sponsor the top PGA Tour players in the world, Tour Edge doesn't need to pass as much of their marketing expenses down to the consumer. But it also in a way demonstrates exactly where their focus as a company lies.
The Tour Edge HL4 driver is intended for golfers with 80-105mph swing speeds and the new clubhead design boasts a higher MOI (moment of inertia) that is more resistant to twisting and makes the club more forgiving. They moved weight toward the back of the clubhead to aid getting the ball airborne. Slicers can opt for an offset model. Slower swings can select a loft up to 12 or 13.5 degrees. There are no adjustable weights to think about.
An entry-level, economical clubfitting process
There has been an ongoing trend in the golf equipment space towards extremely thorough clubfitting - almost a kind of fit camp. Golfers can spend upwards of an entire day or even weekend getting one-on-one, professional supervision with all sorts of motion sensors and launch monitor data through the bag and be fit into the latest-and-greatest clubs on the market. It can include instruction and an update of all 14 clubs.
This process is highly specialized and certainly illuminating but seldom affordable. Tour Edge believes the recreational golfer who might be intimidated by the cost or time of these fittings stands to benefit even more from a more elemental fitting than a low-handicapper could from an elaborate one. Golfers can be fit for one of their drivers in about 20 minutes at their local retail providers by focusing on four variables: grip size, loft, shaft flex and length. They have teamed up with brick-and-mortar outfits nationwide like PGA Tour Superstore to provide these free driver fittings (search locations here). If your determined specs aren't in stock, Tour Edge guarantees shipment within 48 hours.
Already have your specs? You can currently order the HL4 driver starting at $199, or upgrade to a Mitsubishi Tensei CK Blue Shaft shaft for $249, exclusively on RevolutionGolf.com.