In the history of the game there are certain names that need to be a part of it. Names like Old Tom Morris, Bobby Jones, Sam Snead, Byron Nelson, Arnold Palmer and Ben Hogan. Every one of them no longer amongst us but their names and legacies still live on.
I want to talk about the latter of that legendary list up above. Ben Hogan. We know a lot about him. Of course, his swing is what we recognize mostly and perhaps his driver’s cap. We also know him because he came back after a horrific car crash and would later win the 1950 U.S. Open some 11 months later. However, what we often forget was that he was an entrepreneur and that he wanted to start a golf club equipment company. That very thing would happen after Mr. Hogan would “pen” a letter confirming rumors stating his intentions. That letter seen below was dated October 5th, 1953.
That letter was the beginning of something beautiful. Mr. Hogan would create some of the most iconic irons that we’ve seen to date. Models like the Apex, Apex II, Medallion, Edge, and Radial to name a few. Mr. Hogan would pass away in 1997 and what was once a maker of the finest golf clubs simply strayed away and drifted into the fading sunset. Eventually to all but disappear from the golf industry. The brand saw a carousel of ownership that included Top-Flite and it was in 2003 when Callaway Golf bought the name. In 2012, the name would be sold to Perry Ellis International who produced apparel, accessories and golf balls under the name. The name lived on but the premium golf equipment did not.
Ben Hogan Golf Equipment as we know it in 2019 surfaced when a long-time admirer and fellow Texan Terry Koehler (formerly SCOR Golf) approached the president of Perry Ellis about purchasing the name. Mr. Koehler was intent on starting a line of equipment bearing the name. The transaction took place, the name was resurrected and the company launched in 2014. At the 2015 PGA Merchandise Show it became official. Like a “Phoenix” rising from the ashes Ben Hogan Golf Equipment was back bearing a line of beautiful irons (Ft .Worth 15) and the TK 15 wedges. The following year the company brought along the VKTR hybrid, PTX irons and the Ft. Worth HI irons. I was more than happy to cover all of the above in 2015 and 2016. These irons were gorgeous and performed. Mr. Hogan himself would’ve been delighted that these clubs would bear his name.
This background leads us to what the real point of this article is about. As I’ve elaborated in other articles…golf is at a weird crossroads. Instead of it truly being about the products themselves the equipment has gotten to a point where the retail prices have become somewhat astronomical. It seems that prices are a large part of the golf dialogue. To seal the deal regarding the high prices you have to factor in that your local shop pays a wholesale price per product and they have to see a profit on the goods. It’s business. Depending on where you live and what kind of course it is the mark-ups for profit margin can be anywhere from 15% on some things to as much as 35%. I kid you not because having been management and a Director of Golf Services at a course I’ve budgeted for Pro Shops and seen the wholesale prices. This is where the beauty and genius of Ben Hogan Golf Equipment enters the fray.
If you were to walk into your local golf retailer and wanted to purchase a Vokey SM7 wedge what would that cost you? Maybe $150.00 USD (more in Canada with the exchange). How about a new Mack Daddy wedge from Callaway Golf? Likely about the same and what about a new Cleveland Golf RTX-4 wedge? It’ll be a tad less… say maybe $135 USD. Out of the wedges that I just mentioned how many are forged? Now you have a case like the Ben Hogan TK 15 wedges or the Equalizer wedges. These are forged from 1025 Carbon Steel. Right away you have higher quality materials for manufacturing. They feature high quality steel shafts (KBS) and top of the line Lamkin Grips. One other thing, about the Vokey, Mack Daddy or RTX-4 mentioned above. What if you wanted graphite shafts? There’ll be a slight upcharge. With Ben Hogan there isn’t because steel or graphite will cost only $75 for TK 15 or $100 for the Equalizer. So I challenge you to find wedges of the same quality for that price. But…How do they do it?
***No retail mark-up!!!
Ben Hogan Golf Equipment only sells to consumers. There is NO middleman (hence retailer) and they are only available on-line. Instead of paying for profit margins and excessive marketing campaigns golf consumers get high-quality golf equipment from Ben Hogan at factory direct prices. Ben Hogan Golf Equipment knows all too well that the cost of purchasing equipment has gotten too expensive. Because their costs are less so to are their prices. For example, the VKTR hybrid is $135 USD. A 7-piece set of their Edge irons for graphite or steel is $735. Remember these are forged irons!! The classy and elegant PTX irons are a little bit more at $770. Now compare these to any of the others in the industry and you’re paying several hundred dollars more. Almost to the point where you could buy the set and add in 3 wedges and maybe a hybrid for the same price or less than what you paid for the Mizuno, Bridgestone, Srixon or Cobra irons.
If you’re really concerned about your needs and fitting don’t be. Maybe you already know your specs. So if you need them adjusted 2* flat or a 1/2 inch longer it’s not an issue. With all Ben Hogan Golf clubs length, lie and now loft customizations are available at no charge. Another advantage to Ben Hogan Golf is that their clubs are all handcrafted with no mass production. If you don’t know your specs there are resources on the internet or visit your local fitter. Either way, you can feel safe and secure knowing that one way or another you can be fit into a set of clubs without breaking the bank.
Ben Hogan Golf. I absolutely love the direction that you’ve taken. I also love what you’re doing down in Texas. Your model is a fresh breath of air.
I sincerely hope that more golf consumers look at Ben Hogan Golf. Their equipment is classy and timeless and is at the highest of quality. All of this at the lowest price point in the industry. Stay tuned for more on Ben Hogan Golf as I’m in the process of testing the Equalizer wedges for review. So far I cannot say enough complimentary things about them.
Until The Next Tee!!