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Ben Hogan releases new VKTR hybrids

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Ben Hogan was known for his deadly accuracy with long irons — surely you’ve seen this photo of his famous 1-iron shot in the 1950 U.S. Open at Merion. Golf has changed since then, however. Instead of long irons, many professional golfers now opt for at least one hybrid to replace a hard-to-hit long iron. As such, the Ben Hogan Golf Company has developed a VKTR hybrid, catering to the needs of the modern golfer.

BenHoganVKTR

According to the company, the VKTR hybrids are for golfers seeking a higher launch than they can get from the company’s long irons, but still want the performance benefits of workability and distance control from various lies. For that reason, the hybrids are designed to create more spin than many hybrid options on the market, which can help golfers more easily hold greens on approach shots.

VKTR_VSOLE_Frame

The VKTR hybrids use the same 360-degree, V-Sole design as the company’s irons and wedges.

“The VKTR design … creates the proper launch angle and spin rates needed to generate the ideal ball flight to hold greens from long range,” said Terry Koehler, President and CEO of Ben Hogan Golf. “Our independent robot testing shows that the VKTR hybrid results in an increase in spin rates and angle of descents with consistent distance control.”

HoganVKTRHybrid

The design of the hybrids include interchangeable weights on the bottom of the sole and along its perimeter, which allow golfers to adjust draw, fade and neutral biases.

VKTRweights_Frame

Hogan’s VKTR hybrids ($249) will be available in April available in 11 lofts, ranging from 17 to 27 degrees. They use a progressive design; the lower-lofted models have larger heads for a higher launch, while the higher-lofted models have a smaller profile for a more penetrating flight. Through HoganFit online, golfers can properly fill in the yardage gaps in your bag.

VKTRshaping_Frame

Stock Shafts and Grips

StandardHybridGripShafts

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He played on the Hawaii Pacific University Men's Golf team and earned a Masters degree in Communications. He also played college golf at Rutgers University, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Kourtney Knowles

    Jan 25, 2016 at 7:43 pm

    I ordered one of their tk wedges last summer although I had never demoed their clubs. I wanted a project x 6.5 shaft and so they had to order it in. The shaft got back ordered and so they called me two weeks later and I ended up cancelling my order. About a week after than I got a call from one of their customer reps telling me he told the owner about what happened in my particular order and that I had cancelled. The owner told the rep to call me back and offer me any of their clubs at wholesale price. I ended up purchasing an entire set for nearly 40% off with KBS shafts. I figured if i didn’t like them I could always sell them and maybe make a few bucks. I’ve gamed these clubs for 3 months now and absolutely love them. I am a scratch golfer and wouldn’t probably recommend them for those who struggle making solid contact, but the wedges are the best I’ve ever gamed and I would say the other irons are more forgiving than a traditional mb iron.
    The company is by far the best customer experience I have ever experienced and I can’t wait for these new hybrids to come out.

  2. J White

    Jan 25, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    I was at the company last week, they look awesome in person and I’m sorry 10yr old technology in a hybrid means absolutely NOTHING. Their irons feel amazing and many of the companies employees worked for the original Hogan before callaway dismantled them so this “new junk” is very good imo. They also have a cavity back iron as well as a driving iron that also looks great. I’m a huge supporter of these smaller companies like hogan and Adams before taylormade destroyed them. So either try them before bashing and get off your big box brand or don’t say anything.

  3. Don't ask me, I just work here

    Jan 25, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    These look like the old Idea Pro Gold hybrid IMO………

  4. 8thehardway

    Jan 21, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    This company continues to impress me; everything seems so well thought out, nothing rushed to market. If these hybrids give me more spin and a steeper angle of descent, I’m in.

  5. Curt

    Jan 21, 2016 at 3:09 pm

    Lots of negative comments here from people that haven’t even tried the new Hogan clubs. I just had a recent dealing with the company and it was a great one. Good guys that stand behind their product and do right by the customer. I have a couple of new Hogan products that I will be testing and providing review of on GolfWRX. I am excited to test them and provide my unbiased results, opinions, etc here. I am one of those guys that has ZERO brand loyalty! I’m only loyal to the betterment of my game so I use the best of each club (results only) with no regard to the name on the clubs. Stay tuned!!

    • BaBaBoey

      Jan 21, 2016 at 3:28 pm

      I can’t hardly wait. Can you tell me when so I can mark it on my calendar?

      • Fahgdat

        Jan 22, 2016 at 12:26 pm

        I can hardly understand what language you’re speaking and why you would even crack a poor joke about it

    • Matt

      Jan 21, 2016 at 3:49 pm

      Agreed. Have to say, the new irons are great. Great feel and would love to try out the new hybrids…

  6. Fahgdat

    Jan 21, 2016 at 3:07 am

    Nobody wants this new fake Ben Hogan company stuff. Everybody wants the PXG

  7. Teaj

    Jan 20, 2016 at 9:24 pm

    they look sexy though

  8. BaBaBoey

    Jan 20, 2016 at 6:34 pm

    PS Adams called and they want their 10 year old design back.

  9. BaBaBoey

    Jan 20, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    We used to grind ski onto the soles of hybrids and fairway woods for the guys on tour all the time. They looked a lot like what the Hogan sole is going for.

  10. WILSON!!

    Jan 20, 2016 at 6:13 pm

    You said “They use a progressive design; the higher-lofted models have larger heads for a higher launch, while the lower lofts have a smaller profile for a more penetrating flight.” Yet the picture directly below it says the exact opposite. I’m losing my faith in this site more every time I visit.

    • Zak Kozuchowski

      Jan 20, 2016 at 8:21 pm

      Wilson,

      Thank you for pointing that out. We got it wrong, and it has been amended.

  11. Jafar

    Jan 20, 2016 at 2:48 pm

    I like it and have been looking for a hybrid that can offer weighting in the heel for more draw bias.

    The VSole on a hybrid is interesting.

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Equipment

Wunder: I’ve hit THESE new drivers this year…and this is what I think

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During this lockdown, I have done quite a few “Friday Q & A’s” on my IG, and one of the questions I get asked constantly is “have you hit this?” That, and “whaddya think?”

So, in the spirit of organizing my brain, it seemed like the right time to share what new drivers I have actually hit this year…and this is what I think.

Now, it needs to be said that there is a lot of new gear out there, but, to be honest, I’ve only actually hit a select few enough to actually build an opinion. “Enough” in this case is at least 20 balls. Some of these sticks I tested during our pre-launch preview with the OEMs, at the PGA show, a friend has one, or I actually have it in the bag.

Here we go.

TaylorMade SIM

Setup tested: SIM 9 @8.25 w/ Mitsubishi Chemical Kuro Kage XTS 70TX

LOOKS: The best way to describe how SIM looks behind the ball is “comfortable.” TaylorMade has always made drivers that just look correct. The lines are clean, the shape inspires playability, and I dig the paint job. They hit a home run with this one for sure.

FEEL: Best sound out there in my opinion. Heavy, dense, and if you get one dead-nuts center, it lets you know. The feel at contact is just as TaylorMade drivers have always done, center strikes feel like Thor’s hammer and mishits don’t kill your good vibes.

VS THE M5: I get asked this a lot. I loved the M5. Still do. To be honest the two drivers data wise were legit apples to apples. The only difference is my stock shot with M5 was a low spin straight ball and with SIM its a slight draw with a touch more spin and slightly lower launch. I prefer that.

OVERALL: In my opinion, the TaylorMade SIM is the cool kid in high school for 2020. Last year it was F9 followed closely by M5. TM knocked it outta the park on this one.

TaylorMade SIM Max

Setup tested: Sim Max 9 @8.25 w/ Mitsubishi Chemical Kuro Kage XTS 70TX

LOOKS: It has a bit more of a longer face at address, which makes the head appear shallow which inspires a bit more confidence to turn it over. That’s the main thing I noticed with MAX. Other than that its a tried and true TM shape.

FEEL: Like its sibling, it has a nice solid hit audibly at the impact. So, overall its apples to apples with SIM. However, due to the front weight missing on the MAX, the actual strike doesn’t feel AS meaty as SIM. Not a negative necessarily just something I noticed.

VS M6: Both of these sticks I launched a bit too high versus the weighted versions. That’s why they never got any serious consideration to actually put in play.

OVERALL: As a high launch, more forgiving option, it’s an ace.

Callaway Mavrik Sub Zero

Setup tested: Sub Zero 9 w/ Mitsubishi Chemical Tensei Blue AV 65TX

LOOKS: To my eyes, the newer versions of the Callaway drivers have looked a bit more compact than its competition. To me, this always looked “low spin” for whatever reason. The Mavrik has the same shape which is good.

FEEL: They really fixed the sound. The Epic Flash sounded like a pop can to me, and the Mavrik Sub Zero sounds like a sledgehammer. The good thing here is the sound now matches up with what the hit feels like. I think the Mavrik is the best feeling driver Callaway has made since Epic.

VS EPIC FLASH SZ: To me, a complete improvement on all fronts. Sound, feel, and performance for me were all substantially better. Now I must say that the Epic Flash Sub Zero was a great driver, I always got great numbers out of it, but the sound took me out of it. I’m sure there isn’t that much difference audibly between the two, but in this game, even something minor can represent so much. Sound to me is huge.

OVERALL: In all honestly, I haven’t given a Callaway driver a real hard look to actually put in the bag since Epic. The sound got louder wit Rogue and Epic Flash. The Mavrik SZ  however is a fantastic driver and will def get some more testing out of me.

Cobra SpeedZone

Setup tested: Cobra Speed Zone 9 @8.5 w/ Fujikura Ventus Black 7X

LOOKS: The F9 was a winner on all fronts. The only critique I had was optically it looked like the driver was a little too fade biased. The SZ with its milled in top line gives it softer look at address and for me, softer lines mean more workability, just what my eyes tell me.

FEEL: As with F9 and the earlier mentioned SIM, the Speed Zone sounds EXACTLY how a driver should sound. It has a very heavy hit audibly and that’s across the face. I love the sound of this driver.

VS F9: Apples to apples, it’s the same. Beyond the optics, it feels, sounds, and performs like the F9. Not a bad thing though, the F9 was the driver of 2019 in my opinion.

OVERALL: Nothing wrong with repeating an already awesome driver. SpeedZone will stand up to anything out there. If I’m being fair, I think F9 elevated things in 2019, and this year the competition caught up to it. Changes nothing about how good this driver is.

Cobra Speed Zone Xtreme

Setup tested: Cobra Speed Zone Xtreme 9 @8.5 w/ Fujikura Ventus Black 7X

LOOKS: Like the other drivers in this higher MOI category, it looks a little longer heel to toe.

FEEL: No different than the SpeedZone, sounds great, the impact is solid across the face, and even thin shots feel solid.

OVERALL: The Xtreme is the sleeper hit of 2020 and I’ve heard the fitters love this thing. It’s by far the easiest to hit and overall good time of any driver on this list. Is it longer? No. But is it Xtremely (no pun) playable and competitive? Hard yes. It’s a blast.

PXG Proto

Setup tested: PXG Proto 9 w/ Graphite Design Tour AD IZ 6 TX

LOOKS: Slick. Like all PXG gear, the look is there. The matte crown and elegant lines make it very pleasing optically. I also appreciate that although it’s designed to look high tech. The lines inspire playability, and who doesn’t love a driver that looks like a stealth bomber?

FEEL: I only hit about 20 balls with the PXG Proto in the short time I had with it, but, wow, did this thing surprise me. The sound oddly enough is a bit higher-pitched than the others on the list but for whatever reason, it’s not a distraction. It actually adds to the experience of the hit. I typically detest that, but this sound matched up with the solid hit I was getting. I’m not sure if this is the final version since its a limited tour proto but what is happening is definitely interesting.

VS GEN2: It’s just better. Feels better, sounds great, more playable across the face. The Gen2 did one thing better than everyone else, it destroyed spin. The problem I had was control. The PXG Proto is still low spin but with the new 4 weight system (no intel on the tech yet) seems to add quality launch to the low spin profile and puts the player in a situation where very few to any sacrifices are made.

OVERALL: I was a fan of Gen2. No doubt. But it never flat out beat M5, F9, or SIM. The Proto has elevated PXG’s driver game. I don’t think its a matter of whether or not the driver stands up with the irons, I believe PXG is on the right track to having a driver that eliminates any “yeah, but…” to the conversation. That’s a huge leap since Gen1. These guys are trending hard.

I hope this was helpful.

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What GolfWRXers are saying about the final version of Bryson DeChambeau’s LA Golf ‘Texas Rebar’ wedge shafts

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In our forums, our members have been discussing the final version of Bryson DeChambeau’s LA Golf ‘Texas Rebar’ wedge shafts. The look of the ultra-stiff shafts, which originated from Bryson wanting a “graphite shaft that was stiffer than the Dynamic Gold X7″, has impressed our members who have been praising the final version and sharing their thoughts on the concept.

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

  • QuigleyDU: “Awesome.”
  • My2dogs: “Really coming out with some great new stuff.”
  • HateTheHighDraw: “MMT 125TX are absolute fire, but these must be much stiffer.”
  • Robkingasu: “Sweet!”

Entire Thread: “Bryson DeChambeau’s LA Golf ‘Texas Rebar’ wedge shafts”

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Should I move to heavier iron shafts? – GolfWRXers have their say

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In our forums, our members have been discussing the strategy of moving to heavier shafts in irons. WRXer ‘Z1ggy16’ has been making swing changes lately, and the transition has been most challenging for his iron play. ‘Ziggy16’ says:

“Been making some swing changes lately, most notably working to really shallow my club into the downswing. I’m finding that I’m doing this well with my heavy wedge shafts and driver, but I’m struggling a bit in my irons. My strike pattern with my wedges is pretty good, but the irons are a bit all over. Driver is 80g raw, wedges are 132g raw, irons 120g raw. I don’t think I want to go any stiffer, but is there a chance I’ve “outgrown” this weight and need to move to something a bit heavier to help keep these feels going through my set? No idea what swing speed is at this point, but my 7i is normally a smooth/comfortable 175-180 for me.

I really like the feel of my Accra Tour Z Xtreme 475 and my S400’s in the GW-LW. I’m kind of leaning maybe soft stepping modus 120TX or X100’s.. Heck maybe even S200 straight in? Normally I’d just get a fitting, but with Rona still going around, I’m not than keen on it. 2020 is the year of the self fit for me. FWIW, I used modus 120TX 2xSS in my GW & SW last year and that was pretty good feeling. Perhaps a touch too soft… they seemed to really whip/bend hard when hitting from the rough on full swings.”

Our members discuss whether they feel a switch to heavier shafts in the irons will have the desired impact.

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

  • Pepperturbo: “You’re not alone. Regardless of age, some of us swing better with heavier shafts. I went from 70g driver and 85g 3wd graphite shafts to 58g Ventus shaft in driver and 70g Ventus shaft in 4wd. In irons went from 130g X to 120g 6.0 PX steel shafts which lasted about fifteen years. Then last year made another downward weight change to Steelfiber (steel & graphite) 110g Stiff shafts, lightest I have ever played. Keep in mind as you transition, changing shaft weight is not the only answer. Increasing swing weight can make up for shaft weight. Though I really like them in 6-3i, not thrilled in SW-7i, so just ordered heavier Steelfiber i125g shafts for my PW-7i blades.”
  • Jeff58: “As someone who has gone through and continues to work on what sounds like a similar situation, your ideal iron shafts will likely change. Where they change to isn’t possible to predict with any degree of accuracy. Don’t change your current irons without knowing. It’s frustrating, expensive, and you won’t have any clubs while they’re being changed out. Instead, get a single club from dealsandsteals or similar and experiment with that. Also, the only relevant experience is outdoors under your actual turf conditions. Indoor and mat use can be grossly different.”
  • Red4282: “Just depends on your tempo and load and preferences tbh. My numbers are about identical to yours; I play 77g in the driver and 125 in the irons. I don’t think I could go lighter than 125.”
  • gvogel: “I have a set of hickory clubs. Of course, hickory shafts are darn heavy, maybe 150 grams or so. I probably hit straighter shots with the irons, and particularly hit better shots with the niblick (wedge). Driver and fairway woods, not so much. That might be a stupid insertion into an intelligent thread, but heavier goes straighter, lighter goes longer. You can go heavier, and it helps in transition, but don’t go too stiff.”

Entire Thread: “Should I switch to heavier iron shafts?”

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