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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

GolfWRX Classifieds (01/19/21): PXG driver, Toulon Portland, TaylorMade Spider

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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 03trdblack – PXG 0811 XF Gen 2 Head

The MOI is high and the price is low on this 0811 XF driver head. Get it while the getting’s good!

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

Member endy – Toulon Portland

Whether it’s Portland, Maine, Portland, Oregon, or Portland by Toulon—all are great, but only one is a putter.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Toulon Portland 

Member brushie – TaylorMade MySpider

Does winter have you feeling a little blue? Well, cheer up because now you can get a putter that just so happens to match that particular hue.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: TaylorMade Spider

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

You can also follow along on Instagram: GolfWRX Classifieds

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2021 TaylorMade SIM2 Max and SIM2 Max OS irons

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The 2021 SIM2 Max and SIM2 Max OS irons from TaylorMade are about bringing together key technologies from the previous generation and combining it with their all-new Cap Back cavity design to increase distance with more face flex and improve sound by completely changing the cavity design.

What’s new in the SIM2 Max irons

2021 TaylorMade SIM2 Irons

What started out as SpeedBridge, which we should note would make a great title for a Keanu Reeves action thriller/car movie that somehow has its culminating scene take place on a bridge, in the SIM Max and SIM Max OS irons has evolved to something bigger—dare we call it a sequel—with the all-new Cap Back.

What is Cap Back?

SIM2 Max iron Capback

The Cap Back design of the new 2021 SIM2 Max irons replaces the metal speed bridge that ran from the rear of the sole to the top line of the 2020 models. This little strip of metal created tension to help support the topline and allowed engineers to bring more weight from the top of the iron low to lower the center of gravity and increase launch.

2020 SIM2 iron with SpeedBridge

It also allowed the face to flex like a big oversized tennis racket to create more ball speed around a larger area.

The new Cap Back is a full cavity encasing polymer cap that connects and supports the topline without touching the face. It helps produce a higher MOI since the polymer material is seven-times lighter than the steel counterpart per g/cm3 and frees up more mass to be moved low in the head to raise stability—especially for shots missed around the face, which for golfers that fit into this iron category and going to do.

Faster Sim2 Max face

“We set out to take game improvement irons to the next level with SIM2 Max and SIM2 Max OS. To create Cap Back Design, we utilized multi-material advancements learned from our metalwoods to unlock forgiveness and distance with forged iron like feel. We leveraged a completely new construction to achieve the performance that golfers in this category both need and want.”

– Matt Bovee, Product Creation | Irons Category

SIM2 Max and Max OS iron technology

2021 TaylorMade SIM2 Max OS irons cavity

All-new Echo Damping System

Beneath the Cap Back and behind the face on the new SIM2 Max and SIM2 Max OS irons, you will find an improved Echo Damping System which features a more concentrated HYBRAR material. The damping system stretches across the entire face (from heel to toe) using multiple contact points and also utilizes a softer polymer blend to channel away more unwanted vibrations.

SIM2 Max OS vs. SIM2 Max sole profile

This vibration channeling helps contribute to what TaylorMade likes to call a forged-like feel while still promoting maximum face flex.

Progressive Inverted Cone Technology

TaylorMade’s Inverted Cone Technology (ICT) is strategically positioned into each SIM2 Max and SIM2 Max OS iron as a way to help increase the sweet spot and minimize mis-hits.

The reason for this is shots hit on the toe of longer irons generally result in a miss to the right, TaylorMade engineers have positioned the ICT towards the toe in both SIM2 Max and SIMs Max OS irons to counteract this. Through this move, the engineers have created a draw bias in the longer irons to minimize this common miss without resorting to adding additional offset typically found in larger game improvement designs.

Other technology carryovers from the previous generations that can be found in the SIM2 Max irons include the fluted hosel, 360° undercut cavity -now positioned under the polymer cap back, and an ultra-thin face.

What makes the Max OS irons different?

Sim2 Max OS vs Sim2 Max from address

The SIM2 Max OS irons are everything the SIM Max irons are and more, including everything you would expect from a maximum game improvement irons are packed with all the same technology of the SIM2 Max irons but put together in a wider-soled, lower CG, stronger lofted, more draw-biased package to help golfers that are looking for every advantage.

Specs, pricing, and availability

The SIM2 Max and Max OS irons will be available for preorder starting January 19 and will be in retail locations beginning February 10.

Both sets will be priced at $799 steel (KBS Max MT 85 steel ) and $899 graphite (Fujikura’s Ventus Blue graphite, 7S, 6R & 5A) in 7 piece set configurations 4-pitching wedge – which is a departure from the way TaylorMade has assembled stock sets in the past. This allows golfers to choose whether they would prefer to order the matching wedges for the set – which include a gap wedge, sand wedge, and lob wedge, or go with something else to find proper gapping.

The SIM2 Max and SIM2 Max OS irons will also be available for women and come outfitted with the Aldila NV Ladies iron shaft and the Lamkin Ladies Sonar grip.

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2021 TaylorMade SIM2 drivers: Better performance, piece by piece

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TaylorMade is building upon the SIM driver platform with 2021 TaylorMade SIM2, SIM2 Max, and SIM2 D drivers.

With the launch of the SIM driver series in 2020, TaylorMade proved it could build drivers that offered low spin performance in three different configurations to enhance speed and fit golfers better to reduce dispersion. For 2021, engineers are taking the SIM driver platform further with the launch of the SIM2—including the SIM2 Max, and SIM2 Max D (draw)—by refining the package piece by piece to deliver better performance throughout the entire line.

2021 TaylorMade SIM2 drivers

2021 TaylorMade SIM2 drivers

What’s new, and what you need to know

  1. Designers have taken every step to look at different materials and configurations to add forgiveness while maintaining the low spin characteristics of the original 2020 SIM design.
  2. No more sliding weight track. The sliding weight on the standard model has been removed to save mass and increase MOI (a measurement of forgiveness).
  3. Three different models to choose from with greater differentiation to help golfers get dialed in more effectively and find the design that is the best fit.
  4. More precision built into every part of the driver. The only way to make a golf club, especially a driver, better, is to maximize the weight properties and geometry. By painstakingly looking at every single component and manufacturing process, that’s exactly what TaylorMade has done.

The technology inside and out

What’s the same? What has gotten better?

Speed Injected Twist Face of the TaylorMade SIM2

Twist Face technology: Since its introduction in the M4 and M4 drivers, this redesigned bulge and roll profile helps keep shots missed around the face online and closer to the center while also normalizing spin to increase consistency.

2021 Speed Injection port

Speed Injected face: Speed Injection was introduced with the M5 and M6 drivers. It allows TaylorMade to calibrate each clubface right to the legal limit of CT without going over. With the new SIM2 drivers, this manufacturing process and the system used to dial it is have been moved and improved to save weight and further fine-tune face performance.

New heavier Inertia Generator at the rear of the SIM2 head.

Inertia Generator: The extremely low and rear placed mass helps position the CG low and away from the clubface to boost MOI. With the new SIM2 drivers and the weight savings accomplished around the head, this weight is now heavier to increase MOI and drive the center of gravity lower.

Three models: The SIM2 driver family features three distinct models to help golfers find the right performing driver for them.

Improvement piece by piece

As mentioned off the top, the engineers at TaylorMade looked at every part of the driver to improve performance and increase forgiveness, so let’s take a deep dive into each component and put it all together.

CNC Milled ICT (Inverted Cone Technology) and redesigned Speed Injected reservoir

Speed Injected resin reservoir

TaylorMade is taking its face precision to the next level by CNC milling the ICT (TaylorMade’s patented variable thickness face technology) into the back of the face. Other OEMs have started to use milling around the face of the driver in a different variation, but this is a first for TaylorMade and allows engineers to also remove a reservoir from the injection process.

By eliminating one of the front reservoirs and only having one positioned behind the face, engineers have been able to remove the dual injection ports from the face and place a single port on the toe. Less is more when it comes to drivers, and less structure and mass in the front of the driver head frees up precious grams to be redistributed.

Carbon composite crown

Lightweight carbon crown

To say that the carbon crown on the SIM2 is revolutionary would be a stretch, but it is still a key part of what allows the designers to save mass and position it lower in the head and around the perimeter. The carbon crown of the SIM2 is comprised of six layers and comes in at just over 10g grams, meaning it holds less than five percent of the clubhead’s total mass.

Carbon composite sole panel

Carbon soleplate of the SIM2 driver

TaylorMade has used carbon in driver soles before, but it has never used it to make up the entire sole. By eliminating the sliding track, and the reinforcing needed to house the weights, it can utilize carbon from behind the face all the way to the extreme rear of the head where it attaches to the forged titanium back ring. Compared to the crown, the sole is comprised of nine layers of carbon fiber and only weighs 12 grams.

Although not part of the carbon sole panel, the other very noticeable new component is what TaylorMade is calling the “TPS Weight” for swing weight customization. If there is one part of the custom build puzzle TaylorMade has struggled with in the past for consumers it has been the ability to dial in requested swing weights—either because of length or custom shaft and grip combinations. With the SIM2, the folks at TaylorMade are hitting home it’s focused effort to deliver better at every turn, and this small weight results in a big change to their build process.

Forged aluminum back ring chassis

Forged aluminum back ring of the SIM2 driver

This is a whole new territory and a very cool part of the SIM2 driver’s story. Using a forged, CNC milled aluminum ring around the rear of the head saves mass that would have otherwise been taken up by titanium.

Milling on the inside of the SIM2 driver

The aluminum ring weighs almost exactly 20 grams. Titanium, compared to aluminum, is 1.67 times heavier (4.5g/cm3 vs 2.7g/cm3) so the ring saves 13 grams, which would have otherwise placed mass higher in the head. Those 13 grams are reposition in the heavier inertia generator and low in the driver to once again improve forgiveness.

When you put it all together, it is truly better piece by piece.

The 2021 TaylorMade SIM2 driver models

TaylorMade is doing everything it can to eliminate any confusion when it comes to differentiating the SIM2 models, so let’s break down the type of golfer each one is designed for.

2021 TaylorMade SIM2

2021 TaylorMade SIM2 driver

The standard model is the lowest spinning of the three new drivers and has the most forward CG to offer on average 250 rpm less spin than the Max, while still maintaining stability. The stock rear weight is 16 grams and it has a larger face than its predecessor to increase confidence and make the club more forgiving overall.

TaylorMade SIM2 driver from address

  • The SIM2 will be available right and left-handed in 9 and 10.5 degrees with an 8-degree head available in right hand only.
  • The stock shafts are the Mitsubishi Tensei AV Raw Blue 60 and the ProjectX HZRDUS Smoke Black RDX 70.

2021 TaylorMade SIM2 Max driver

2021 TaylorMade SIM2 Max driver

The SIM2 Max features a massive 24 gram back weight to deepen the center of gravity and boost stability even more. When you factor in the average driver head weight is around 203 grams, this back weight makes up almost 12 percent of the total mass, which is what helps create so much stability.

SIM2 Max driver from address

The face has also been made larger in the SIM2 Max compared to the previous model to help inspire confidence while still offering a neutral ball flight and not sacrificing any of the aerodynamic properties.

SIM2 Max driver face

  • The SIM2 Max will be available in right and left-handed in 9 and 10.5 degrees with a 12-degree head available in right hand only.
  • The stock shafts are the Fujikura Ventus Blue 5 and the Mitsubishi Kuro Kage Silver V5 60.

TaylorMade SIM2 Max D

2021 SIM2 MaxD (draw) driver

With the SIM2 Max D, the entire goal is to help reduce a fade, and that is achieved by moving the rear inertia generator weight more towards the heel and also moving the TPS weight to the outer heel area.

Heel bias TPS Weight on SIM2 Max

The Max D has the largest face area of the three models, which also helps those golfers who struggle with constant face contact.

SIM2 Max D driver face

TaylorMade SIM2 Max D driver from address

  • The SIM2 Max D will be available in right and left-handed in 9 and 10.5 degrees with a 12-degree head available in right hand only.
  • The stock shaft for the SIM2 Max D is the Fujikura Air Speeder 45.
  • There is also a women’s stock offering which includes the Aldila NV Ladies 45 shaft and the Lamkin Ladies Sonar grip.

Pricing, and availability

The new SIM2 drivers will all be priced equally across the board at $529.00 and will be available at retail starting February 19.

…infomercial style “but wait, there’s more!”

MySIM2 customization

If there is one thing golfers love even more than new equipment, it’s new customized equipment. TaylorMade’s “My” program has been immensely successful (currently offered with select putter and wedge models). For 2021, TM decided to bring it to the driver space for the SIM2 and SIM2 Max models.

The online platform will allow golfers to fully build a driver to fit their own style preference and make a club that is uniquely their own. The personalization options include:

  • Topline Paint Color: Chalk or matte black.
  • Aluminum Ring Color: Red, Blue, Gold, Orange, Green, Silver, Black, and Light Blue.
  • Crown Decals Color: Red, Blue, Gold, Orange, Green, Silver, Black, and Light Blue.
  • Sole Decal Color: Red, Blue, Gold, Orange, Green, Silver, Black, and Light Blue.
  • Face Pin Color: Red, Blue, Gold, Orange, Green, Silver, Black, and Light Blue.

Specs, pricing, and availability for MySIM2 program

MySIM2 drivers will be available for preorder starting January 19 at TaylorMadeGolf.com and at select retail locations starting February 19. The MyIM2 drivers will start at $629.99 and will be offered in 8, 9, and 10.5-degree lofts with a 12-degree loft option available in the SIM2 Max.

All MySIM2 drivers will have custom shaft and grip options.

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