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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

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  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.

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  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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Forum Thread of the Day: “Scotty Cameron Albertsons Boise Open putter covers”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day showcases Scotty Cameron’s Albertsons Boise Open putter covers. The vibrant french fries themed covers have been receiving plenty of love from our members in our forums, with one WRXer calling the new additions their “favorite headcover in a long time.”

Here are a few posts from the thread but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say on the covers at the link below.

  • jschwarb: “Gave up french fries many months ago … this cover makes me happy and sad. I’ll probably grab one for my T22 Fastback.”
  • manVSgolf: “This is my favorite headcover in a long time. Can’t wait to receive mine. Orders are still available for Club Cameron members.”
  • chrisokeefe12: “Those are so sick would love to get my hands on one of those.”

Entire Thread: “Scotty Cameron Albertsons Boise Open putter covers”

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Top 10 most iconic driver and fairway wood shafts of all time

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fujikura golf shaft

If there is one thing we love as golf gear junkies, it’s driver (and fairway wood) shafts!

From the early years to today’s modern designs, materials, and profiles, there are some shafts that have maintained steady popularity—like a Ping Eye 2 lob wedge. There are a lot of graphite shafts that have stood the test of time, and they bring back memories of great driver combos gone by.

This is my top 10 list (in no particular order) of the most iconic driver shafts of all time.

Fujikura 757 Speeder

Fujikura golf shaft

Launched more than two decades ago, you could arguably say it’s the shaft that started the shaft craze. Built from advanced materials in a profile that was designed to work for stabilizing larger driver heads of the time—you know when 300cc was HUGE. The Speeder 757 was an instant hit among PGA Tour players, most notably Fred Couples, who used the shaft for over a decade and was said to have at one point remove all the remaining stock from one of the equipment vans for his personal use.

Aldila NV

Aldila NV Green golf shaft

One of the very first “low-spin monsters,” the Aldila NV took the PGA Tour and retail by storm when it was introduced. The unique green paint made it easily recognizable, and thanks to the many weights it was offered in, it was just as popular in fairway woods as it was in drivers. Honorable mention goes to its cousin the NVS (orange version) that was softer in profile and easier to launch. At a time when most off the rack drivers had three shaft options (low, medium, and high flight-promoting shafts), the NV was the staple as the low-launch option in many OEM offerings.

Mitsubishi Diamana Blue Board

Diamana Blue Board - Tiger shaft

Originally very hard to find, the Diamana Blue Board was a shaft that fit a large variety of golfers. Its name was derived from the blue oval that surrounded the “Diamana” on the all silver/ion painted shaft. Just like others on the list, the Blue Board came in a variety of weight options and was made particularly popular by Tiger Woods. Best known by most shaft junkies as being extremely smooth, it is one of the first sought after shafts in the aftermarket.

True Temper EI-70

True temper graphite EI70

It’s hard to picture a classic 900 series Titleist Driver without an EI-70 shaft in it. The EI-70 was lower torque—when that was a big talking point in shaft design—and it had a fairly stout profile, which in turn made it very stable. Unlike others on the list, it was much more subdued as far as its paint and graphics, but the green shaft was a mainstay for many years on tour and in the bags or recreational golfers.

Graphite Design Tour AD DI-6/7

Tour AD Di7 Tiger orange shaft

It’s hard to figure out if it was the design and performance of the shaft or the performance of a certain golfer (a certain Mr. Woods) that to this day makes the Tour AD DI-7 so popular. Painted BRIGHT orange with a bend profile that offered a lot of stability and playability for a variety of player types, it can still be spotted on tour every week. You could call the DI-7 the grandchild of the YS6/7, which should also get an honorable mention for its well documented smooth feel.

UST ProForce

UST golf shaft gold graphite

The aptly nicknamed “Lakers Shaft” because of its original gold and purple paint job, this was another shaft that was just as popular at the retail level as it was on the PGA Tour. As driver head sizes were going up (400cc ), players were looking for stability and this offered it. The most notable player to use it was Jim Furyk, who won the 2003 U.S. Open with one in the bag.

Grafalloy Blue

Blue graphite shaft stenson

Henrik Stenson and the Grafalloy Blue in his 3-wood. Name a more iconic duo…(I’ll wait). An updated and stiffer version of the Prolite, the Blue stood out for a couple reasons—its color, and its extremely low torque. Most golfers wouldn’t consider the Blue a very smooth feeling shaft, because it took a lot of speed and a quick tempo to maximize its performance, but it did birth another shaft for average player: the Prolaunch Blue, which is still available to this day.

Matrix Ozik TP7HD

1000 golf shaft Matrix

$1,100 bucks! That was the original asking price for the Martix Ozik TP7HD. Matrix thought of this design as a concept car of shafts and threw everything they had at it including exotic materials like Zylon, and the fact that it was wrapped on a 16-sided hexadecagon mandrel. Some golfers said it had a fluid-like feel (we golfers can sure be weirdly descriptive) but it still had a LOT of stability thanks to the materials. Although never as popular as many on the list, if you did spot one of these in the wild you knew its owner was VERY serious about golf gear.

True Temper Bi-Matrix

bimatrix Bubba golf shaft

Bi (two) matrix (a surrounding medium or structure). The first and only truly notable shaft to be made from putting two very different and distinct pieces together. The bottom portion of the shaft utilizes a steel tip section that serves to add stability and additional weight. This shaft is quirky, which is something that could also be said about Bubba Watson, who has used this shaft for over a decade now in MANY different Ping drivers (although Tiger did give it a go for a short period).

Accra SE-80

ryan palmer accra 5 wood shaft

This shaft might seem like the underdog of the bunch, but if you talk to any longtime club builder and get into “vintage” aftermarket shafts, undoubtedly the Accra SE-80 is going to come up at some point. Originally launched in 2006, the SE-80 combined a very low torque rating with an active tip section to help increase launch—yet feel extremely stable. Even though this shaft design is officially a teenager now, you can still find it in the bag of PGA Tour winner Ryan Palmer, who uses it in a TaylorMade R15 5-wood.

 

Editor’s Note: Let us know any shafts you think should be included in the comment section, WRXers!

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Forum Thread of the Day: “TaylorMade Albertsons Boise Open putter covers”

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Today’s Forum Thread of the Day showcases TaylorMade’s Albertsons Boise Open putter covers. The covers have impressed our members, who are hoping that the new additions will now come to retail.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire thread and have your say on the covers at the link below.

  • Green In Reg: “Name your price TM!”
  • chrisokeefe12: “Those are super cool. Would be sweet if they did one for every major college.”
  • Titletown: “Those are great.”

Entire Thread: “TaylorMade Albertsons Boise Open putter covers”

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