The Ben Hogan Golf Equipment Company

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!!

#FightAndGrind #SeeUOnTheNextTee

 

Review – Ben Hogan Golf VKTR

Three years ago marked the return of a beloved name to the game of golf and in particular golf equipment. Ben Hogan Golf Equipment Company launched their initial products at the 2015 PGA Merchandise Show – Demo Day under the watchful eye of then CEO Terry Koehler. The launch of the Ft. Worth irons and TK 15 wedges were met by attendees with enthusiasm. For a good reason too… the products were beautiful. I wondered how Ben Hogan would step it up the following year building on the success of their initial entries and golfers in 2016 were met by the classy and lavish PTx irons. I wrote a review at alexandertothgolf.com earlier this year. The irons were stunning only bested by their performance. At the same time, Ben Hogan also released their Ft. Worth hi irons as a more forgiving option to the original lower lofted Ft. Worth irons. The hollow forged design yielded great feel and a pleasantly aggressive ball flight. There was one more void that needed to be filled and that was a club for golfers who thought of long irons as “taboo”. The VKTR Hybrid would be the answer.

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The VKTR Hybrid is designed with aesthetics and performance clearly at the forefront. Mr. Hogan was an innovator and had designs for a “hybrid” (as we now know it) dating back to the 1960’s. Clearly ahead of his time. When the “new” Ben Hogan Golf Equipment Company designed their first hybrid they wanted to present golfers a piece of art that would inspire confidence. Part of my problem in the past with hybrids was how they presented a large footprint at address. For this reason I was a long iron guy. The VKTR Hybrids come in five separate profiles and lofts start at 17* and progressing to 27*. Sticking with the theme of footprint size it’s important to note at this time that as the loft increases the volume (club head size) decreases (110 cc to 96 cc). The reason is twofold as the hybrids in the higher lofts are more pleasant to look at and it allowed the engineers at Hogan to move weight forward.

Engineers at Hogan also added a degree of adjustability to the VKTR Hybrids. Although there is no hosel adjustments Hogan through their Perimeter Shot Shape Technology (PSST) allows for 24 grams of movable weights around the perimeter of the head. The head is designed with a neutral bias but you can move the weights around to suit your needs. This means that you can adjust for left to right and high or low trajectories. Through research, Hogan (and other brands) found that most misses with hybrids occur low on the face. Personally speaking, my misses with hybrids are thin and left and Hogan addressed the “thins” by creating a “larger more effective impact zone along the bottom”. Also adding to the forgiveness is their V-SOLE technology found in their irons which improves turf interaction.

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At Demo Day, I immediately went for one of their 18* models. This particular club was shafted with a UST Mamiya ReCoil 660 shaft. This shaft was a regular flex and as expected from a shaft like this the result was a smooth-swinging piece of equipment. As much as I loved the clean, classic look at address it was the feel that won me over. The acoustics were crisp and the resulting strikes emitted a sharp sound. A feeling that gave me the impression that the face was very responsive… which it was. I never did adjust the weights but the resulting flights were of a consistent and penetrating trajectory. I think predictable would be a suitable adjective. My focus shifted towards the 23* and it’s hard not to talk about how precise the “gapping” in your set can be with Hogan. The VKTR Hybrids seemingly meld into the iron offerings which creates a “flow” to your set. Designers made the VKTR Hybrids to have a steeper landing angle and when compared to other hybrids I would say that engineers succeeded. However, it would be more telling to see these in action on the course. Going back to the aesthetics the VKTR is a handsome club and I love the red paintfill and ferrules with the red stripes. Also, designers of the VKTR were a little cheeky. If you look closely at the adjustable weight screws you will notice that there is a resemblance to the old Hogan “medallion”. All of it is a retro throwback to yesteryear.

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As the calendar turns to 2017 it’s fun to think about what Ben Hogan will come out with next. One would be led to believe that it would be fairway metals or maybe even a driver. Or will Ben Hogan stick with their bread and butter and stay out of that game? In the interim they have the VKTR Hybrids to compliment the beautiful irons in their stable. Folks… Mr. Hogan would be proud. Check them out at benhogangolf.com

Ben Hogan Golf Equipment Company Introduces New 2018 Line of Soft Goods and Accessories

The Ben Hogan Golf Equipment Company is one golf equipment company that has confused me in a way. They had an exciting “re-launch” of the brand a few PGA Merchandise Show’s ago. They came out with some gorgeous irons (Ft. Worth and PTX ) and the equally appealing TK wedges. Meanwhile, the VKTR hybrid were no slouch either.

For some reason or another I thought that the brand was fledgling and was going to fall by the wayside. Then they introduced their new business model. That model involves factory-direct pricing which led to huge price drops on their products. Then earlier this year the company signed PGA Tour veteran J.J. Henry which made me feel like I had made a mistake with my insinuation.

Recently, I received a press release from Tracy Nackel from Read The Greens Golf Media that the aforementioned Ben Hogan Golf Equipment company was releasing a new line of soft goods. The products range from headwear to duffel bags further signalling that they are alive and well. Please see the press release below.

Fort Worth, Texas – March 12, 2018 – Ben Hogan Golf Equipment Company, LLC, manufacturer of premium golf clubs and golf bags, announced today that the company will expand its brand and product offerings in 2018 with a new line of soft goods and accessories which include caps, visors, umbrellas, towels and travel gear.

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“The introduction of soft goods and accessories to our product offerings is a direct result of repeated requests from loyal customers. Ben Hogan Golf Equipment Company has a strong and loyal fanbase. These products were developed for those people who are proud and passionate about the brand and want to be known for playing Ben Hogan products,” commented Scott White, President and CEO of Ben Hogan Golf Equipment.

 

“These soft goods and accessories are developed with the same high standards, quality and craftsmanship found in the Ben Hogan Golf Equipment hard goods,” added White.

 

The new Ben Hogan Golf Equipment headwear line features five (5) different styles in classical colors that are all feature the timeless Ben Hogan signature logo. The headwear selection includes: a performance based, stretch poly, fitted cap in black; a contemporary two-tone mesh back fitted cap in navy and white; two classic fit cotton twill caps with adjustable cloth and metal garb in white and graphite; a mid-fit twill cap in both white and navy: and two lightweight cotton twill visors with a low-rise fit in black and white. ‘Direct Factory’ pricing for all for all caps is $18.00 and $15.00 for the visors.

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A Tour inspired 62” Ben Hogan Golf Equipment umbrella with venting will keep golfers dry on the golf course. It is designed in a classic red, white and blue color combination which is complemented with the Ben Hogan logo. It is made with a waterproof blended nylon that is durable and sturdy. This functional but stylish umbrella will be available with ‘Factory Direct’ pricing for $30.00.

 

Two Ben Hogan Golf Equipment towels are included in the new accessory line. One is a large 42”x22,” super-absorbent, aqua-lock caddie towel embroidered with the iconic Ben Hogan logo in white. This is available directly to the consumer for $18.00. The other is a cross, tri-fold, soft towel with a hook and tri-fold grommet for attaching to a golf or duffel bag. The Ben Hogan logo is prominently screen printed and sells for $15.00.

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Travel gear rounds out the new 2018 soft goods and accessories offering. There are three pieces in the line: a duffle bag, backpack, and shoe bag. Each features a rich grey and black color way. Sturdy, high-quality hardware, combined with premium fabrics and a customized Ben Hogan Golf Equipment logo patch, make these pieces highly sought after. The travel gear will ship in late spring with “Factory Direct” pricing at $45.00 for the duffel bag, $60.00 for the backpack and $15.00 for the shoe bag.

 

All Ben Hogan Golf Equipment including the new 2018 line of soft goods and accessories is available for purchase at www.BenHoganGolf.com exclusively.

 

All Ben Hogan soft goods and accessories will be shipped domestically at a flat rate of $10.00 per item. Free shipping is offered for all orders of $150.00 or more. All new soft goods and accessories are available immediately with the exception of the travel gear which will be available in April.

 

About Ben Hogan Golf Equipment Company:

 

Ben Hogan Golf Equipment Company manufactures premium golf clubs and golf bags, and is committed to continue Ben Hogan’s reputation of innovation, performance and classical designs. The company is based in Fort Worth, Texas, Ben Hogan’s longtime home and the site of the original Company which opened in 1953. The Company offers their premium products online at http://www.benhogangolf.com exclusively. By eliminating the retail “middleman”, the Company’s cost structure is minimized and consumers are able to purchase high-quality golf equipment at factory-direct prices. For more information on the new “Factory Direct” pricing structure, please review the Company’s video:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2vZJWbFib0

 

To learn more about Ben Hogan Golf, please visit www.benhogangolf.com.

 

Keep up-to-date with all of the latest Ben Hogan Golf news on social media:

 

Twitter @BHGolfEquipment

Facebook @BenHoganGolfEquipmentCompany

Instagram @BenHoganGolf

 

Until The Next Tee!!