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Ben’s back: The Hogan Company is returning to golf equipment

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After a seven-year absence, the Ben Hogan brand announced today that it’s returning to the golf equipment business.

Perry Ellis International, owner of the Hogan brand since 2012, will partner with Eidolon Brands, LLC to produce the first irons bearing the Hawk’s iconic signature in nearly 10 years. The company expects to bring a product to market some time in 2015.

According to Ellis’ president Oscar Feldenkreis, the company has been considering options to return to the equipment marketplace, having already reasserted itself in the apparel and accessories sphere over the past two years.

After a process of deliberation, Perry Ellis International has chosen Terry Koehler’s Eidolon Brands to produce irons that would have made Mr. Hogan proud. Mr. Koehler, of course, is the man behind the SCOR4161 series of scoring clubs, which have risen in prominence since their introduction in 2011.

Koehler, a lifelong Hogan devotee and former Ben Hogan Company employee, along with his team, have begun the effort to create new Hogan clubs in earnest, all with the appropriate reverence for the man, his company, and his legacy.

“We are studying all the things Mr. Hogan believed about golf clubs, and dissecting early Ben Hogan designs to understand his performance principles and knowledge of what a golf club should do,” Koehler said. “There was a wealth of genius in those early clubs. Our commitment to the Ben Hogan legacy is to ensure that every product delivers unmatched precision and dedication to the art of shotmaking, providing equipment that allows golfers of all abilities the opportunity to optimize their skills.”

Koehler’s commitment is to developing clubs that place a premium on feel and performance for players looking to create golf shots, not merely maximize distance. He is also committed to return the Ben Hogan brand to Fort Worth, Texas, where it was headquartered from inception through the early 90s. He has already relocated Eidolon’s headquarters to the areas. As Koehler said, “Ben Hogan and his golf company were, and always should be, Fort Worth treasures.”

Another note: It appears that Callaway is still in possession of majority rights to the Hogan brand’s trademark (such as the iconic “Apex”). Therefore, the new irons will bear new names.

As Hogan enthusiasts are likely aware, the reintroduction coincides with the 60th anniversary of the first Ben Hogan irons, which were released in the fall of 1954. Students of the Wee Ice Mon know, too, that the golfer returned to Fort Worth following his historic 1953 season determined to make irons that lived up to his eternally high standards.

Some 60 years later, Terry Koehler, a first-rate R&D team, and a roster of former Ben Hogan Company staffers are in Fort Worth trying to do the same thing.

For equipment nuts in general, and Hogan loyalists in particular, the 2015 introduction of fruits of their labor — the company’s first set of irons in seven years — can’t come soon enough.

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41 Comments

  1. Don M. Wilkerson

    Nov 10, 2014 at 6:53 am

    The Visual Swing Aid For Golfers. Would help the new Hogan clubs. Great way to advertise GREAT TO HAVE THEM BACK. Would love to see and try a set. Was raised in Ft Worth. Inventor

  2. cullen davis

    Jul 19, 2014 at 11:40 am

    All I can say is good luck selling Hogan irons. I own a golf shop in Arlington, Texas Texas and asked all my customers would they buy the new Hogan irons, They laughed and no

  3. Pingback: Thoughts On Programs Of Golfing | Stacey's Blog

  4. tlmck

    May 10, 2014 at 4:34 am

    Make me a set of forged Radials with the #3 shaft and I am there. Extremely forgiving and soft as butter. My Rocketbladez Tour are also forgiving and high launch, but just don’t have the feel.

  5. Dom Esposito

    May 9, 2014 at 1:12 am

    As Mr. Hogan would say: “Get it Right” … (and they will come)

    “All The Best”

  6. Merde

    May 8, 2014 at 5:26 pm

    It’s like FORGAN – it ain’t the same company, no matter what you say or how they resurrect it

  7. MHendon

    May 8, 2014 at 10:46 am

    My first set of irons ever where some old Hogan Apex blades. Brutally small sweet spot so you where forced to swing under control to make solid contact. Honestly probably not the best option for the average weekend golfer. However I agree with what another commenter said, focus on the purist who wants very high quality and tight tolerances and doesn’t mind paying a premium for it.

  8. Fred

    May 8, 2014 at 10:22 am

    Back in my day, we played with butter knives that stung our hands so bad our un-born grandchildren felt it, and that’s the way we liked it. Kids these days with their sweet spots and perimeter weighting and mass production. Hogan needs to come out with a set that is nothing but 1-irons, just to prove a point. Harrumph.

  9. Brandon

    May 7, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    For those that think Koehler is not the right choice to head this project, then I suggest you have a look at Terry’s blog http://www.oobgolf.com/content/the+wedge+guy . That man talks about how Hogan’s vision of equipment. He not only understands Hogan’s feelings and vision but he has also seen how some technology advances, in his opinion, have gone too far and are actually hurting players scores. My favorite is the cavity back versus blades debate http://www.oobgolf.com/search.php?q=blades+vs+cavity+backs&t=0&x=0&y=0&n=&k=&x=1&cx=014344308485032154820%3A3twflabsrtu&cof=FORID%3A9 .

    The things that I hope they do is bring back a traditional high muscle baby blade(at least in the short irons) and bring the traditional lofts back(20* 2 iron….49-50* EQUALIZER wedge). I know Terry will definitely team up with either KBS(most likely choice since he has before) or True Temper to create a new “APEX” steel and graphite shaft line for the masses while offering all the custom options that are available today.

    So much for me getting a set of Taylormade Tour Preferred CB, MC, MB irons until I hit these. I am more than looking forward to this release.

    • Praxisdude

      Oct 22, 2014 at 12:40 am

      Can’t wait to see what is produced. If anyone can put out a Hogan product, it’s Koehler. I was ready to put my money down on either the Nike 2.0 covert forged or Srixon Z745 irons until I read Hogan’s coming back. I’m waiting and saving up. I currently flip back and forth between my Apex Plus and Radials. I have a set of FTX’s. Apex blades, Channel-backs, Apex plus, and Radials. I love forged Hogan clubs. I hate Callaway for their reckless buy out of the Hogan Apex name. The company is the closest thing to a cannibal. First they ate Spalding, than Topflight, than Hogan who’s next.

  10. Rick Altham

    May 7, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    I hope they are true forged blades, not some cavity back no feel iron. I also hope they make a nice persimmon wood.

  11. Golfraven

    May 7, 2014 at 6:38 pm

    played the Apex irons for years and those were great. they need to come up with something exciting to compete against Titleist, Callaway, TM and Mizuno

  12. 1badbadger

    May 7, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    Moving the company back to Ft. Worth is a big deal. This tells me the history and legacy of the brand is being respected. When others have mentioned that they hope they “do it right”, this is part of that. I don’t think they need to try to compete with the big companies like Taylor or Callaway…it’s not realistic. They can carve out their niche as more of a boutique company that produces high quality, traditional forgings and wedges. It might be necessary to offer a driver and hybrids to complete the line, but they will always be known for their irons. Technology-wise, there isn’t much you can do with a blade, so do you think there are enough of us who will buy a set for sentimental reasons, or will they have enough juice to pull players away from the brand they have been playing that offer a similar model? I wish them much success!

  13. Brando

    May 7, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    I agree with snowman. They should stick to producing high quality with tight tolerances forged iron that’s what they were know for. I don’t really think they should make Drivers and Woods but specialize in Irons and Wedges. Just stick to a simple nice looking forged iron with no frills or new technology gimmicks. They could forged them in Ft Worth Texas again the good old USA and sell quality at a premium price like what Mirua in Japan is doing. People will buy them if people truly put a passion into making them and not just a another gimmick golf company. I take a 2 iron as well.

  14. snowman

    May 7, 2014 at 11:48 am

    Scor 4161 was good a concept IMO, but personally I found the dual bounce to be ‘low bounce’; maybe just my swing/AOA. Re: reintroducing Hogan brand, I think it is great, but as others have said: if they blow it, then it will be disastrous for them. I suggest they make a premium True forged Blade and a Forged Cavity Back, (Not “form forged”(cast) as was the 4161) with multiple shaft/grip/length/lie/paint fill options at no/little up charge. Keep the design simple and classic and focus on high quality manufacturing process/tight quality control. If they do it Right, they can charge a premium price… A quality Hogan branded product will sell for more than the average set. I wish them well, I will be watching.

  15. Erich

    May 7, 2014 at 11:27 am

    I Know An Old Hogan Rep. At A New Product Meeting Mr. Hogan Was Given A New Cavity Back Iron. He Tossed It Over His Shoulder AnD Said He Had Nothing To Say About It. HE Apparently HateD Cavity Back Clubs.

  16. Rob

    May 6, 2014 at 11:38 pm

    Hope they come in lefty.

  17. HennyBogan007

    May 6, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    Dear Mr. Koehler, PLEASE produce an iron that Mr. Hogan would be happy with. Regardless of what they create, I’ll still be the first in line to sign a equipment contract with Hogan.

  18. John

    May 6, 2014 at 9:01 pm

    Apex Plus irons still were my all-time favorites. Hopefully we will see some great designs. Will be watching.

  19. DB

    May 6, 2014 at 6:35 pm

    I’m guessing this means the effective end of SCOR4161. And that’s fine. They were really nice wedges, even if they did need a touch more bounce. I’m sure the new Hogan wedges will be even better.

    This is a huge opportunity and promotion for Koehler, who seems the obvious choice to reprise the Hogan brand. Really curious to see what him and his team come up with.

  20. PD

    May 6, 2014 at 6:11 pm

    So sad. They’re just usurping the man’s name. Disgusting.

    • DE

      May 6, 2014 at 9:40 pm

      How so? Actually, it seems pretty clear to me that they are very sensitive to Mr. Hogan’s legacy. They are committed “to the Ben Hogan legacy is to ensure that every product delivers unmatched precision and dedication to the art of shotmaking, providing equipment that allows golfers of all abilities the opportunity to optimize their skills.”

      That sounds like they are going to honor him and his ideals.

    • Doug Hansen, PGA

      May 7, 2014 at 7:19 am

      Actually, PD, the gentlemen behind the re-introduction of Hogan were with Mr. Hogan and his company for quite a while. They are “Hogan men”.
      What was “disgusting” was what Callaway did with Hogan: Essentially letting it go to pasture because the reason they (Callaway)owned Hogan was because it came along with all of the goodies from the purchase of Top-Flite (purchased only for the ball patents).
      What Mr. Koehler will be doing is the exact opposite of what your statement reads: They will bring back the passion and the quality of what the Ben Hogan brand once stood for, adding reverence, once again, for the name and for Mr. Hogan himself.

      • Ric

        May 7, 2014 at 4:34 pm

        Doug, I couldn’t have said it better myself.

  21. cody

    May 6, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    I think this is awesome news. But could go terribly wrong if the clubs are not top notch. Anyone remember Mac going to to golf smith?

  22. Ian

    May 6, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    I was thinking of buying new irons later this year. I will now wait and demo the new Hogans. I have been a long time lover of Hogan irons. I have played Directors, producers, Apex, Apex II, and 3 sets of FTX. Can’t wait to see what the guys do. I have long admired the Score wedge system and think these guys are on the same wave length has the Hogan ethos.

  23. Eric

    May 6, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    It would be great to see Producer and Director irons again.

  24. Curtis

    May 6, 2014 at 10:45 am

    Pretty exciting news! Just felt like the Hogan name has been missing for way to long. Seems like they have everything in place and the right mindset to get this company to succeed again. And screw Callaway for taking the Apex name…joke.

  25. Pingback: Golf Style » Blog Archive » Ben A Long Time: The Return Of The Hogan Brand

  26. Tom McCarthy

    May 6, 2014 at 10:19 am

    Truly exciting news from Perry Ellis and the Ben Hogan group there. Mr. Koehler has taken on a great responsibility and I trust he will produce an outstanding Hogan iron.

  27. Dave

    May 6, 2014 at 10:17 am

    This is good news. Sounds like Koehler “gets it” regarding the beauty and functionality of the clubs that Ben had in mind.

    • Nunya

      May 6, 2014 at 12:35 pm

      (with) all with the appropriate reverence for the man, his company, and his legacy.
      God, I hope so. Might have to look at scor wedges…

  28. blink3665

    May 6, 2014 at 10:06 am

    This is outstanding news! A piece of history is being restored in the game of golf. I hope that they come out with something that is traditional looking with a touch of technology. There are enough irons out there that look like Decepticons and Terminators. I’m curious about what they will do with their lofts. Will they increase the lofts like everyone else, or have something more traditional? Also, how does the SCOR brand fit into this? The SCOR fitting online normally recomends replacing your scoring clubs with SCOR clubs. Will they make the same recommendation with Hogan irons?

    • 29er Dave

      May 7, 2014 at 8:50 pm

      Decepticons and terminators. Well played! Hope they can be the Muira of America. Any sort of manufacturing here is a good thing. And that’s from a guy that loves his Mizunos. Definitely has my interest…

  29. froneputt

    May 6, 2014 at 9:51 am

    Some say Callaway missed the boat here … but remember, the BRAND is CALLAWAY, not Hogan.

    Wish them luck. Happy they are returning to Ft Worth. I did not get along with Hogan Irons of the 90’s … always thought the shaft was the problem. As to Koehler, I played his original Eidolons and they were fine wedges. The SCOR, I think, may need more effective bounce. But good luck to them.

  30. Jeff

    May 6, 2014 at 8:51 am

    They make a nice forged iron. Welcome back.

    • ABgolfer2

      May 8, 2014 at 4:46 pm

      Bingo. My 1984 Apex PCs had a gazillion miles on them before I bought them in ’94. I put on a ton more. No issues. My 1994 Apex channelbacks feel off somehow. Two iron shaft snapped off at the hosel while hitting a ball off a tee. Only long iron or any club actually to ever see that.

  31. Carlos Danger

    May 6, 2014 at 8:35 am

    Awesome! I long wondered why someone (Callaway) wasnt producing some club in the Hogan name. I really thought a line of high quality wedges would have sold well.

    Even the last line of woods that came out in the early/mid 2000’s were really good. Hopefully they come out with some very traditional looking equipment that has some of the technology available today. I think there is a hunger in the marketplace for something like that.

    • Stephen L. Clopton

      Oct 18, 2014 at 4:36 pm

      Glad to hear they are bringing back the Hogan irons. I hope it will be a forged blade traditional looking with feel and 100% made in the USA.
      The 70s & 80s had a great feel when hit in the sweet spot, great irons.

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Equipment

Wunder: Titleist TSi driver first impressions

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Three things I want to address before I kick this off.

  1. “Better, best” will not be addressed. It’s never about that these days only what works for me or you.
  2. I’m not adding TrackMan data to this for one simple reason: It doesn’t matter to me for a first impression. I can get lost in the data and ultimately it confuses my ability to just enjoy the sound feel and look of the driver. Obviously, the fitting was on TrackMan, but in the past, successful drivers for me started with the emotional part. Simply, do I like the thing? Can I look at it? Can I trust it? Can I hit shots with it? That’s it.
  3. When I say “spin this” and “spin that,” it’s always addressing a positive aspect.

On Tuesday of this week, I had the good fortune of visiting the Titleist Performance Institute (TPI in Oceanside, California) to do my TSi metal woods fitting. Won’t get too far into that, but essentially it’s golf heaven in every sense of the word. Like TaylorMade’s Kingdom or Callaway’s ECPC, TPI it’s a gearhead paradise.

Titleist Master Fitter Joey Saewitz (@thejoeysaewitz on IG) was my fitter and after hitting a few balls to warm up, we dug into my gamer driver that I adore.

Current Gamer Spec

TaylorMade SIM (9 degrees @ 8.5). Fujikura Ventus Black 6X (no tipping) 45 inches, D4, GolfPride BCT 58R

I have been constantly messing with my driver between new shafts, lofts, lie, etc. Since I’ve been playing a bit more this month, I’ve had the chance to work on my swing and the driver has been the last thing to come around. I’m working on decreasing dynamic loft through the bag and have not adjusted my driver to match. The point is, I’m hitting the driver solid but have lost a ton of height and spin to keep it in the air.

I’m saying this now because for key metrics I was at a deficiency because of the craftsman not his tools. The SIM I was fit into was/is excellent. So, as you read on, keep in mind that I knew that numbers-wise apples to apples my setup was vulnerable to getting beat out due to my tinkering.

Thoughts

My average numbers these days are are 105-108 mph swing speed, 155-160 mph ball speed, 14-degree launch, and 1,800-2,000 spin. At 43-years-old, when I’m hitting it solid I get a lot out of my driver. IF I’m swinging well, at my low spin, off days can be nauseating with the driver.

LOOKS

TSi3: If two of my favorite drivers 975D and R7 Superquad TP had a baby, the TSi3 would be it. Its flawless appearance-wise. The heel section gives it an onset look that the faders will love and the top line toe section is a bit rounded off to give it an open look without having to crank it open. Not the first time we have heard that but nonetheless, Titleist nailed it.

The face has a cool matte finish that I can’t get into yet, but it frames a white ball excellently.

TSi2: Like the TS2, it has that high-MOI shape, although I will say the top line and transitions are a bit softer on the eye. It’s a driver that looks like it just wants to go high and far. If I wanted to hit something as hard as I could that’s the shape I would look for.

Side note—the black shafts in the TSi3 are almost too cool to even look at—the closest thing to a Darth Vader golf club I have ever seen.

FEEL/SOUND

This is where they really figured it out. Titleist drivers in the past to my ear sounded good but not great. There was always an essence of ting that I couldn’t fall in love with. The TSi series fixed that in totality, like all the great drivers on the market in 2020 it has that hammerhead thud that I adore. When you crunch it, you literally hear crunch. At impact, however, it has a more compressiony (is that a word?) feel than its competitors. The comparison would be a one-piece forged feel vs a hollow body players iron. Both feel excellent but there is a difference. You can feel the ball squeeze into the face which I think most will notice and respond well to.

PERFORMANCE—Not going to compare it to my gamer as it’s not fair, I gear headed my gamer to the point of lunacy. I will only comment on what the TSi series did while testing.

TSi3: The biggest standout here was usable spin. I am not a high-spin player by any stretch, so if I can find a driver that gets me 2,100-2,200 consistently when I flush it, it’s a contender. For a player at my speed to sneak it out there with the big hitters, I have to launch it at 14 at 1,700 spin, and hope I’m aimed correctly. What I found with the TSi was I was getting that performance at 2,100-2,200, and if anything only giving up 2-3 yards all while doing it 5/10 times as opposed to 2/10.

What does all that jibberish add up to? Consistency and something I can play with. Is it longer than my gamer? I have no idea, but we will find out. What I know is I hit a bunch of really good shots with TSi3, and after I got going with it, it was point and shoot. Stable? Yes. Long? Yes. Forgiving? Yes. Playable? Yes.

TSi2: To be honest I only hit a few with the Tsi2 as its not my genre of music. What I can say is it feels apples to apples with the Tsi3, launches higher with a bit more spin, and goes really straight. No shocker there. The high MOI category has a bunch of contenders, and in my opinion, it’s a head weight game. Heavy is always better for stability.

The setup I landed on

I was fit into the (D4 SureFit setting 9 degrees @ 9.75, flat) however after testing a bit at home on course and range, I landed on the D1 setting, which I like. For whatever reason, I can play Tsi3 at 8.25 and still maintain height spin and it flew about five yards further.

Final setup

Driver: Titleist TSi3 (9 degrees @8.25, D1 SureFit, 44.5 inches, D4 swing weight)

Shaft: Fujikura Ventus Black 6 X (tipped 1)

Overall, the TSi Series drivers will be VERY popular but not for the reasons you would think. It’s playable, you can hit shots with it, that’s the mark of a GREAT golf club. It’s not all ball speeds and carry anymore in my opinion. This is a driver I can go out and play well with, that’s huge for a hack like me. In my experience, I can’t say that about a lot of drivers I’ve tried to make work in the last four to five years. That’s just me. Lots of great drivers every year but I’m a hard case and finding one that’s just right is a challenge.

Ultimately, for me, the best driver on the market is SIM hands down because it performs in the hitting bay and even better on the course—my hunch is Titleist has something that will do the same.

It’s a beautiful driver that I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know.

 

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GolfWRX Classifieds (9/25/20): Titleist U510, XXIO Red, Tour issue M5 head

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At GolfWRX, we love golf equipment plain and simple.

We are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment for the game in many ways. It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball, it even allows us to share another thing – the equipment itself.

One of the best ways to enjoy equipment is to experiment and whether you are looking to buy-sell-or trade (as the name suggests) you can find almost anything in the GolfWRX BST Forum. From one-off custom Scotty Cameron Circle T putters, to iron sets, wedges, and barely hit drivers, you can find it all in our constantly updated marketplace.

These are some of the latest cool finds from the GolfWRX BST, and if you are curious about the rules to participate in the BST Forum you can check them out here: GolfWRX BST Rules

Member Yenmaster – TaylorMade M5 driver head

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it 100 times—if you already have a shaft that you love, buying a driver head is the best way to upgrade and save a few bucks along the way. Is it time for you to trade up?

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: M5 Driver head

Member dansrixon – XXIO X Red Driver

This listing is littered with really cool and rare drivers and fairway woods from Cleveland, Srixon, and XXIO, including the XXIO Red driver looking for a new home.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: XXIO Driver

Member kkennedy – Titleist U510 1-iron

The new U500 series utilities are the fastest and most forgiving Titleist have ever made, so if you are looking for a club to keep the ball out of the wind—here you go!

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Titleist 1 Iron

Remember that you can always browse the GolfWRX Classifieds any time here in our forums: GolfWRX Classifieds

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Whats in the Bag

WITB GolfWRX Members Edition: Rkelso1984

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Recently we put out the call for our members to submit their WITBs in our forum to be featured on the GolfWRX front page. Since then, our members have been responding in numbers!

Now it’s time to take a look at the bag of Rkelso1984.

*Full details on the submission process can be found here, and you can submit your WITB in this forum thread.*

Member: Rkelso1984

Rkelso1984WITB

Driver: Callaway Mavrik Max (10.5 degrees, set to 9.25 degrees)
Shaft: Oban Devotion-6 04 Flex 65g

3-wood: Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero (15 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Rouge 130MSI 70s

5-wood: Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero (18 degrees)
Shaft: Aldila Rouge 130MSI 70s

Hybrid: Titleist TS2 (19 degrees, set to 20.5 degrees)
Shaft: Project X Evenflow 6.0S 90g HY

Irons: Mizuno JPX 919 HMP (5-PW)
Shafts: KBS C-Taper lite 110s

Wedges:  Mizuno JPX 919 (50 degrees), Callaway Jaws (54, 58 degrees)
Shafts: KBS C-Taper lite 110s, KBS Hi-Rev 125s

Putter: Ping Heppler Ketsch (34″)

Putter Grip: Golf Pride Tour SNSR Contour Pro 140cc

Golf Ball: Taylormade TP5x PIX

Grips: SuperStroke TX1 Mid + 1 Wrap

Get submitting your WITB in our forum as we’ll be publishing more and more of them on our front page over the coming days and weeks.

Feel free to make it your own too by including some thoughts on your setup, your age, handicap, etc. Anything you feel is relevant!

Share your WITBs here.

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