Tour Edge doesn't get the credit it deserves for its R&D efforts and the highly functional, highly affordable C522 driver is another great product from the underappreciated company. From a performance standpoint, the C522 is long, forgiving, and consistent, and it's one of the best values in golf in any category at its price point.
Impressive forgiveness on off-center strikes
Extremely consistent in terms of flight and distance
Classic shaping, premium look
Incredible value at its price
Limited shaft options to choose from
Golf tips and expert instruction, golf club reviews and the latest golf equipment.
Thank you for signing up to Golf Monthly. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.
Tour Edge C522 Driver Review
So I’ll just come right out and say it. I like Tour Edge. I like the company’s equipment from a technology and performance standpoint, and I appreciate their consistent, unwavering approach to carving out a spot in the marketplace. There have been times, however, where keeping up with all of the various products that the company offered was a difficult task, and navigating their website in years past posed challenges.
But Tour Edge has rectified that issue as well by simplifying their product offerings into two categories, the Exotics category, which are their premium products, and the Hot Launch category, which are their more entry level, budget-friendly offerings. For 2022, Exotics products have been labeled as the 722 series and Hot Launch products as the 522 series. It’s a better system and one that I’m sure has been effective with Tour Edge's growing consumer base.
I recently had the chance to test the C522 driver from Tour Edge (opens in new tab), which checks in at a retail price of just $249, which is about as low as you’re going to see for a new driver from an established golf manufacturer. And to be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect. After all, with other top drivers checking in at prices ranging from roughly $450 to $600, including the Tour Edge C722 (opens in new tab) and E722 (opens in new tab), could the C522 driver really be competitive from a performance standpoint? That answer is a resounding yes.
I did all of my testing of the C522 driver at Atlanta National Golf Club. I spent one day hitting only drivers on the course with the C522, a 2017 Callaway Epic Sub Zero, which is my current gamer, and the Mizuno ST-Z 220 (opens in new tab), which I have been experimenting with in recent weeks, to see how they compared in terms of sound, feel, distance, and forgiveness. All three drivers were tested at 10.5 degrees of loft and at a length of 45 inches. I then played two full rounds with the 522 to see how it would fare in scoring situations. The result of those sessions was an incredible showing from the C522, as it earned just the third 5-star rating that I’ve handed out since joining Golf Monthly.
I’ll start with the look of the C522. The overall profile is on the larger side, inspiring confidence at address, but the shaping is more traditional, best described as a rounded, pear shape, which appealed to my eye. The most distinguishing feature was probably the topline of the driver, which was very straight. As a comparison, the closest I can come up with from recent years would be the Titleist TS2 in that regard. The C522 also doesn’t look like a budget driver. From an aesthetics standpoint, it has a simple yet premium appearance.
From a sound and feel standpoint, the C522 is quite a bit louder than the two drivers I tested it against, which wasn’t a surprise. The Epic and the ST-Z 220 both have carbon crowns and deliver a more muted impact sound, which is what I prefer. The C522, on the other hand, is all titanium. And while it was louder, it wasn’t Nike Sasquatch loud, rather more in line with what you might expect from many Ping drivers.
In terms of performance, I fully expected the C522 to provide a high level of forgiveness. Tour Edge went to great lengths to position weight low and deep in the clubhead to increase MOI, including a fixed weight at the rear of the sole. That technology delivered, as the C522 was extremely playable on mis-hits, ranking easily as one of the most forgiving drivers I’ve tested in 2022. It also performed especially well in terms of distance and direction on shots that were hit low on the face, which is my most common miss.
Where the C522 exceeded all expectations was in terms of distance. I expected a high, spinny ball flight that would find fairways but not measure up in terms of yardage. It didn’t take long, however, to find out that such an assessment would be off base. When I was comparing drivers on the course, I started on No. 5 at my club. Using Titleist Pro V1x golf balls (opens in new tab), I hit three shots with each driver, and the C522 produced the longest shot of the nine I hit off that tee. As the day progressed and I continued that pattern, the C522 wasn’t always the longest, but it was at times and it was always competitive.
The C522 impressed as well from a distance standpoint during the rounds I played, as I typically found myself in spots on the course where I most usually end up off the tee. I also found that the ball flight the C522 produced was very consistent, on the higher side with just a slight draw. That said, I was able to flight the ball down if I wanted to and work it the other direction if needed. And as mentioned earlier, finding fairways was never a concern.
While it scored high marks for me, there are a few things that should be noted about the C522 driver. It does not have an adjustable hosel and the lone stock shaft offering is the lightweight Mitsubishi Fubuki HL, which ranges in weight from 45 to 55 grams degrees depending on flex. I swing the driver at about 100 mph and don’t put a lot of stress on the shaft so I can play a lighter shaft without many issues, but for high-speed players the Fubuki HL shaft probably won't be a great fit. I do believe, however, that this driver will fit the vast majority of golfers just fine.
In summary, I couldn’t have been more impressed with the C522 driver. That Tour Edge can deliver this kind of performance at $249 is a testament to the company, and this is a great option for players who might be new to the game or experienced golfers who are looking for exceptional performance in what is essentially a budget driver (opens in new tab). I’m certainly not saying that the C522 is the best driver on the market right now, but at its price point if there’s anything even close I’d have to see it to believe it.
Chris joined Golf Monthly in February of 2022, becoming the organization’s first full-time staff writer in the United States. In his role at Golf Monthly, Chris reviews a broad spectrum of golf equipment, ranging from the latest in golf clubs to what’s new in the world of golf technology. His vast experience in the game allows him to look beyond the marketing hype to judge the merits of the latest equipment for golfers of all ability levels. As for the trend in golf equipment that Chris has been most impressed with in recent years, the Players Distance Iron category would earn that distinction, as golfers now have far better options for irons that provide the assistance that so many need in terms of distance and forgiveness without forcing them to sacrifice look and feel.
On a personal level, Chris played college golf and was a three-year letterwinner and two-year captain at Lynchburg College in Virginia and later spent two years as the assistant golf coach at the University of Virginia. The vast majority of his professional career, however, has been spent as a sports writer and editor. In the early phases of his career, he covered college football, college basketball, and golf for different newspapers and websites before turning his attention solely to golf in 2011. Over the course of the past decade, Chris managed the Instruction Blog for GolfChannel.com and more recently created equipment-related content for TGW.com and 2ndSwing.com.
An avid player, Chris currently maintains a handicap index of 2.4 and has a career-low round of 66, which he has shot on three occasions. He lives about 20 miles north of Atlanta in Roswell, Georgia, with his wife, Stacey, and is a member at Atlanta National Golf Club.
Chris is currently playing:
Driver: Callaway Epic Sub Zero, 10.5*
Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3, 17*
Hybrid: Callaway Apex UW, 19*
Irons: Mizuno JPX 921 Forged, 4-PW
Gap wedge: Cleveland RTX 4, 50*
Sand wedge: Titleist Vokey SM6, 56M
Lob wedge: Titleist Vokey SM8, 60L
Putter: SeeMore Nashville Z3C
Ball: TaylorMade TP5x
'You Make Your Bed And You Sleep In It' Harrington Reacts To LIV Golf
Speaking at the Irish Open, the three-time Major winner also stated: 'I actually don't have any problem with the guys who have gone to LIV Golf'
By Matt Cradock • Published
DP World Tour 'In Contact With Patrick Reed' Over Scottish Open
The American is an Honorary Member of the DP World Tour but faces the prospect of sanctions for his involvement in the LIV Golf Series
By Andrew Wright • Published
If DP World Tour Players Were That Smart 'They'd See What's Coming' - Lee Westwood
The Englishman posted a cryptic tweet after hearing that the LIV Rebels were being referred to as 'The Sour Sixteen'
By Elliott Heath • Published