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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

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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Whats in the Bag

Lauren Coughlin WITB 2023 (November)

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  • Lauren Coughlin what’s in the bag accurate as of the Walmart NW Arkansas Championship. 

Driver: Ping G430 LST (9 degrees)
Shaft: KBS TD 50 Category 3

3-wood: Ping G430 Max (15 degrees @14)
Shaft: KBS TD 60 Category 3

Hybrid: Ping G430 (19 degrees)
Shaft: Graphite Design Tour AD DI 85 S

Hybrid: Ping G425 (22 degrees)

Hybrid: Ping G425 (26 degrees)

Irons: Ping i230 (6-UW)
Shafts: KBS C-Taper Lite 105 R

Wedges: Ping Glide 4.0 (54-12S, 58-6T)
Shafts: KBS C-Taper Lite 105 R

Putter: Ping PLD Kushin 4 prototype

Grips: Golf Pride MCC

More photos of Lauren Coughlin’s WITB in the forums.

 

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Nikon Coolshot Pro II Stabilized laser rangefinder review – Club Junkie Reviews

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The laser rangefinder market is stocked full of models ranging from basic units to full-of-features, high-end yardage finders. With all these options, golfers also have a wide range of prices from under $100 to over $500. While the Nikon Coolshot Pro II Stabilized is far from the cheapest, it does offer a lot of options that the cheaper models don’t.

When you get the Nikon Coolshot Pro II Stabilized out of the box, you are greeted by a black carrying case that is made from woven black nylon. The case itself is pretty basic with less padding than you might expect at this price point. The latch looks like a standard plastic clip but is actually a magnet for quick opening and closing. I will be honest, it would be nice to get a heavier-duty, more molded case for this $400 laser rangefinder, but it works and clips onto your bag with ease.

The Nikon Coolshot Pro II itself is a smaller profile that fits in your hands comfortably and with a good grip. The rubberized touch points make it easy to hold even with hot, sweaty hands, or in the cold when your hands might be a little numb. While the buttons don’t stand out aggressively, they are easy to find without looking, and once you use the unit for a little bit, they become second nature to press.

Out on the course, the Coolshot is lightweight, and you don’t notice it hanging from your bag even when walking. The 6X magnification is clear and seems to have a slight tint to it that works well on sunny days. The view is still clear and pins are easy to see in overcast conditions. The eyepiece rotates to focus the lens, but once I dialed it in I didn’t feel like I had to do any further adjustment on the course. I could easily see 200-yard shots as easily as 50-yarders. The accuracy is very good, and if you shoot the flag multiple times, you get the same distance every time. Using the Coolshot Pro II to measure the distance to trees, bunkers, or even grass hills was easy and again accurate. I have yet to shoot a target that gave me a reading that looked off or incorrect.

Now the one thing missing from the Coolshot Pro II is a magnetic side to attach to the cart. This isn’t very pleasant, but I spoke with Nikon about it and any magnet on the side of the range finder would interfere with the gyroscope that stabilizes the view. The slope measurements can be turned off and on and are indicated by a small light near the front lenses of the unit. I found the slope to also be pretty accurate, and only found some issues with extreme downhill greens — but a lot of that could be put on the golfer as well!

Nikon’s image stabilization is really what makes this unit stand above a lot of other laser range finders. Originally I thought it was great for those targets over 200 yards, but the more I use it even the shorter distance targets are easier to shoot. 120-150 yard targets can easily, and quickly, be targeted with one hand. No longer do I have to support my right hand with my left to reduce the shake in my arms. Longer par 5s take me half the time compared to other rangefinders as the stable crosshairs slowly move onto the flag. Once you shoot the flag, you get the vibration indicating the laser found the flag. I have also become a big fan of the bright red LCD markings in the scope as they are easier to use in darker conditions or when the background of the green is very wooded.

Overall, I am very impressed with the Nikon Coolshot Pro II Stabilized, and it has become the rangefinder I use in my bag. The stabilization just makes it easy to use from any yardage and the clear optics help aim at any target. This may not be the cheapest rangefinder out there, but it is one of the best I have used.

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The hottest golf gifts this holiday season

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Each year, as the leaves change and the air turns cold, GolfWRX staff gathers in front of a crackling fireplace, preferred beverages in hand, to deliberate as to what the year’s holiday gift guide will look like.

This year, after much discussion — and perhaps not surprisingly — we’ve decided to do something completely different than in the past. In previous guides, while we toyed with structures and the number of guides, we always attempted to bring you our suggestions for what you might want to buy for the golfers on your list. That is, what we thought they could want.

But what if we could tell you what the golfers on your list actually want? Which is to say, the products they are actually purchasing right now. Wouldn’t that make for a more joyful wrapping paper-tearing experience?

Enter our friends at 2nd Swing. We tasked the leaders in new and pre-owned equipment and gear retail with running the numbers to see what is flying off the shelves.

So, without further ado, here are the hottest golf gifts right now — with a focus on equipment, naturally.

The hottest golf gifts this holiday season

Ping G430 Max Driver

One of the top performers in Best Driver 2023 and Members Choice, it’s no surprise to see the Ping G430 Max is a big seller at 2nd Swing right now. 

Price: $547

Buy here.

Callaway Paradym Driver

Recommended by our panel of fitters as a top choice for players with a swing speed between 95 and 105 mph, the Callaway Paradym is a popular pick. 

Price: $499.99 (was $599.99)

Buy here.

Ping G425 Iron Set (6 Clubs, Steel)

A banner performer in last year’s Best Irons and Members Choice, Ping G425 irons remain an excellent choice — and are available at a big discount from original retail price. 

Price: $684 (was $857)

Buy here.

Titleist T150 Iron Set (7 Clubs, Steel)

An intriguing addition to the T-Series irons lineup in the space between the T100 and T200, we’re not surprised to see Titleist T150 irons have been selling well. 

Price: $1,400

Buy here.

Titleist SM9 Tour Chrome Wedges

A price reduction only makes the runaway winner of 2023 Members Choice: Wedges even more attractive. 

Price: $149.99 (was $179.99)

Buy here.

Ping Glide 4.0 Wedges

Among the top 5 in our Members Choice for wedges this year, Ping Glide 4.0 wedges offer tech and forgiveness while continuing to present grind options.  

Price: $127.00 (was $177)

Buy here.

Titleist Scotty Cameron Phantom X Putters (certified pre-owned)

No surprise that Scottys are hot, and 2nd Swing has a ton in stock that won’t break the bank. 

Price: Starting at $169.99 ($429.99 new)

Buy here.

Cobra Fly XL Complete Men’s, Women’s & Senior Sets

If you’re looking for a full-set option that’s levels up from what you can find at the big box store, this is the play. 

Price: $749.99 (was $899.99)

Buy here.

Men’s & Women’s Name Brand Golf Apparel from Top Courses

Interesting inclusion here: Plenty of apparel from top clubs available at a deep discount. 

Price: Starting at $29.99

Buy here.

SkyTrak Personal Launch Monitor

Given the price point and the capabilities, it’s no shock to see SkyTrak launch monitor selling well. 

Price: $1,195 (was $1,695)

Buy here.

Rapsodo Mobile Launch Monitor

As Club Junkie said in his review “the MLM is great for tracking your bag, distances, dispersion, and ball speed. Use it indoors into a net or on the range; the MLM has so many features.” 

Price: $179.99 (was $299.99)

Buy here.

Datrek Lite Rider Pro Cart Golf Bag

A great option if there’s a cart bag on the list of anyone you’re buying for. 

Price: $119.99 ($219.99)

Buy here.

Ping Prior Gen Hoofer & Craz-E Lite Stand Bags

A fantastic iteration of one of the most popular stand bag lines in golf history. 

Price: Varies (big discount!)

Buy here.

Titleist ProV1 Special Number Golf Balls

If you’re buying Pro V’s for someone on your list, add an extra test and deviate from traditional numbering. They’ll appreciate it. 

Price: $54.99

Buy here.

Superspeed Golf Swing Training Speed System

Give the gift of a proven path to more swing speed — and thus more distance!

Price: $79.99 (was $199.99)

Buy here.

 

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