Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by TravisClarke

  1. My 2nd review is up if any one is interested in reading. Let me know if any comments or questions. Travis Clarke
  2. So on my first round with the new Ft Worth irons in play I I had my best chipping day of the year. Which included a 20 yd hole out! Travis Clarke
  3. Stage Two – Dec 2018 Ft Worth Black Iron Review – Official MGS Forum Review by Travis Clarke Hello fellow MGS members! I cannot express how thankful I am to the fine people at MGS and the Ben Hogan Equipment Company for letting me take part in this review and I apologies for my delay in my 2nd stage. My testing including range time at my local course, 8 games of golf which included a fantastic trip to Cabot Links, and 6 hours on a golf simulator once the snow flew. I was able to really put these clubs through the ringer and this helped me gather some great information and form a strong opinion on these clubs. So without further delay below is review! Looks (9 out of 10 points) My first impressions of the new Fort Worth black Iron's by the Hogan golf company was very good. The black finish is very attractive on the heads and the graphite shafts with the gray/blue grips complimented the overall look very well. I felt the clubs have a very stylish and aggressive appearance. At first I felt they looked a lot smaller then my current set of irons which are the 714 AP2 model by Titleist. They looked more like a players club and something that was not going to be very forgiving. But after a closer side by side comparison I realized that is not the fact. Both clubs are very similar in face area. The main difference that I noticed is the top line slope from the toe to heal is steeper on the Hogan irons. This isn’t really noticeable at address and is more noticeable in a direct side by side comparison as show below. Hogan has done a very nice job with the graphics on the club. They are a simple, and effective graphics that don’t dominate or take away from the overall look of the clubs. The graphics do their job to advertise for Hogan as well announce they are a players (forged) club. The finish on the irons is something that really intrigued me. Out of the box the irons look great with the black finish but I have to admit I was curious if the finish was going to hold up after repeated use. I can easily admit that I’m very impressed with the finish and how it is holding up. I would never hesitate to buy these clubs because of concerns with the finish holding up. Overall the appearance comes together very nicely and the irons really stand out compared to my more traditional Titleist setup. I feel the clubs do stand out from the rest of the pack but I wouldn’t go as far to say they are flashy which I really like. Sound & Feel (9 out of 10 points) These are definitely forged clubs and if you have played forged irons before you know what I’m talking about. When you hit a pure shot there is nothing that feels or sounds better in the game of golf. On the other hand, if you hit a bad shot you know nothing feels worse in the game of golf. This is especially case when the temperature drops. I would describe the sound as very crisp on good shots. The quality of the click usually relates to the shot result. I found the higher the pitch the worse the shot was. The quality shots had a nice deep pitch that feels buttery smooth. Range Performance (14 out of 20 points) I really enjoyed my time testing these clubs on both the range and on a simulator. I felt it gave me a great understanding of how these clubs fit with my game. The last few years I have been more focused on specific drills on the range as well as some range games for gauging my progress. For the club trial I wasn’t as focused on trying to implement swing changes or improvements rather I focused on using these clubs based on the current state of my swing. The first game I worked on was what I call “targets”. Our range has 5 small greens and I progress thru all 5 targets from shortest to longest keeping track of shots to hit each target and total shots to hit all 5 targets. My results are below. From my results you can see I preformed better with my original set of irons. Part of the advantage I believe my old clubs had was on the 5th target. This target was at 214 yds and this was a nice distance for a full 4 iron with my old clubs. The Hogan irons I found definitely go further with the lower irons which I relate to the consistent 4-degree loft decrease per iron compared to other manufacturers. The problem on the 5th target was I had to take a bit off my full swing to hit the 214 yd target. I struggled finding the right distance, I was either to long, to short and the odd shot off-line . Eliminating that target brings the results much closer together. I really enjoyed this game as it quickly made me realize the Hogan set got me more distant out of the low irons. I also found the ball seemed to have a lower more penetrating flight with the Hogan irons. For my next test I used the trees on the range as my guide and I hit several shots trying to get the peak ball flight below the tree height. My results for that was that I was able to keep 80% (8 out of 10 shots) of the shots below the tree tops with the Hogan irons compared to 60% (6 out of 10 shots) with my AP2 irons. Unfortunately for us this year the cold came earlier then normal and this meant I had to take my testing inside to the simulator. The positive of this was I was able to get some really nice data and side by side comparison of the Ft Worth irons vs my current set. For this test on my simulator I hit 5 shots with the Ft Worth irons and then 5 shots with my current set and put the numbers side by side. I was able to compare the shot dispersion as well as the performance statistics. I did this with 3 different irons (PW, 7-iron and 4-iron) and the results are below. PW – Stats Comparison: PW – Hogan Dispersion: PW – Titleist Dispersion: 7-Iron – Stats Comparison: 7-Iron – Hogan Dispersion: 7-Iron – Titleist Dispersion: 4-Iron – Stats Comparison: 4-Iron – Hogan Dispersion: 4-Iron – Titleist Dispersion: The results from the simulator were interesting as they confirmed some of my initial thoughts on the clubs but they also made me realize I was wrong on one of my initial assumptions. Distance: With Hogan using the consistent 4-degree loft change between irons resulted in me hitting my low irons further then I traditionally do. The Hogan 4 iron at 22 degree’s was averaging just over 225 yds per shot. Compared to my Titleist 4 iron at 24 degree’s averaging just under 218 yds per shot. Remarkably the distance with the high irons was pretty much identical which is probably related to the lofts being the same as well. I never realized this till now but I much prefer the consistent gapping used by Hogan. Ball Trajectory: This is where the simulator surprised me a bit. Coming off the range I felt the Hogan irons had more penetrating (lower) ball flight vs my Titleist irons. When you compare the launch angles on the clubs it tells you a different story. Comparing both PW’s, you will see they have the same loft but you will also see the launch angle with the Hogan was actually higher compared to the Titleist. This got me thinking and made me realize the Hogan clubs let me work the ball up and down better then my current set. This probably explained my better results with my trajectory game on the range. This definitely is a bonus or advantage to the Hogan irons. Shot Dispersion: This is where I struggled with the Hogan irons. I typically struggle with my misses and I found that my misses were much greater with the Hogan irons compared to my Titleist irons. Comparing the 7 and 4 irons you will see I was consistently centre or left of centre with my Titleist irons where I was playing army golf with the Hogan irons. (Left, right, left, right). This really effected my mental game on the course which I touch on later in the review. On-Course Performance (28 out of 40 points) My on-course performance was both rewarding and also very challenging. I was able to get the new irons out to my home course for few rounds before I jumped right in to a golf trip to Cabot Links. A quick plug for Cabot Links. This facility is truly world class and a must play for golfers with a bucket list. The conditions are incredible and it is a great test for your game. I would highly recommend playing Cabot if you get the chance. Below is a video that shows how fierce the wind blew for 1 of our rounds. This wind was a great test for the Hogan irons. Cabot.mp4 What I found on the course: Accuracy – I really struggled with controlling the Hogan irons. Accuracy is a weakness of my game but I found it got worse with the Hogan irons. I found my offline shots would go further offline compared to normal and this caused the problems to snowball on me. I would try to correct my last miss and end up going the other way which was frustrating and ultimately lead to me having less confidence over the golf ball which is never good. Trajectory – I loved how the Hogan irons performed. I was able to hit knock down shots with ease and this was a big advantage on the wind sweep links golf course’s at Cabot. I was also able to launch the ball to good heights when the conditions allowed which was also a big bonus. Forgiveness – The Hogan irons are a forged iron and as most know a forged iron is typically not the most forgiving iron. Hogan has done a nice job of providing a nice level of forgiveness with these irons without taking away from there playability. As expected, your misses won’t travel as far but I found the penalty wasn’t as dramatic as I expected. I found that on the course a miss would cost you about 1 club which I think is more than acceptable. Workability – This is where these irons shine. I loved how I could work the irons up or down and left and right. On well played draws I had no problem working the ball 10 to 15 yds. Compared to my other irons which I really had to try to move that ball that far. Confidence – Standing over the ball looking down at the irons I really like what I saw. From an aesthetics point of view the clubs are beautiful which I think is an important part of feeling good and confident about your next shot. This only lasts so long till my misses started weighing on me. I struggled controlling the ball on bad shots and this got in my head and didn’t help my confidence over the ball. I don’t blame the clubs for this as much as I do my ability but overall my confidence sagged as I played more and more with these irons which was frustrating. Perfect example was me missing the green on 3 consecutive swings on the signature par 3 - 16th at Cabot. The hole isn’t long but accuracy is demanding and missing the green leads to a re-load. Play it or Trade it? (15 out of 20 points) This type of club is made for a really good player and all really good players should consider them. My game isn’t consistent enough for these clubs and the benefits didn’t outweigh the draw backs ☹. I believe if work on my game and reducing my misses I can get it to a point where these clubs will be more beneficial then not and will let me play with confidence. At this point if I was going into a big game, I would have to put these clubs back on the shelf. The clubs are great to have but they don’t help me play my best golf at this point. Conclusion Overall the clubs are a great players club and unfortunately, I’m not a top-notch player yet. The clubs looked, felt and preformed very, very well. I loved the look of my clubs and they brought a lot of excitement to the game out of the gate. I loved how they felt on good shots and was pleasantly surprised with how they felt on not so good shots. The clubs had fantastic workability which let me believe I could hit most shots. I just struggled with my misses which lead to me lacking in confidence. This ultimately led to me not scoring as well as I typically do on the course. My average score was 2 to 3 strokes higher when playing the Hogan irons compared to my old set. This review really did open my eyes to the Hogan brand. In the past I would not have put the Hogan brand in the same league as other high-performance clubs on the market. That was a big miscalculation by me. The Hogan brand is a top performing brand and if I was in the market for this type of club, I would definitely give them a proper shot. Specifically, for my review of the Ft Worth Black Irons: Pro’s: · Looks - these are beautiful clubs. · Feel – when hit well they give you a real buttery feel. · Workability – I loved how I could move the ball up and down and left and right with ease · Loft gapping – The consistent 4-degree loft change staggered my irons distances very well and provided consistent gaps between all irons Con’s: · Misses – I struggled with my control. I found with these irons my misses went further left or further right then typical which snowballed on me and my confidence over the ball. In closing my game currently isn’t consistent enough for these irons. I found the penalty for my misses was too drastic and ultimately caused my scoring to increase. If I was a more consistent player, I believe these clubs would only improve my game and the pros would out weight the 1 major con. If you are in the market for high performance clubs make sure to give these irons their fair shake as you will be pleasantly surprised! Final Score: 75
  4. Hello fellow MGS members! I cannot express how thankful I am to the fine people at MGS and the Ben Hogan Equipment Company for letting me take part in this review. This is a very exciting opportunity for me and I cannot wait to share it with everyone! I really hope my reviews will be informative, helpful and thorough for all members. Saying that, I really want to encourage all members to ask questions, and raise their hands with concerns or suggestions for tests. Your engagement will put this review over the top, so without further ado let me get started. My name is Travis Clarke and I am an avid golfer located near the geographical centre of North America and yes, that is how you spell centre when you are from Winnipeg, MB Canada. I am a proud husband and father to three beautiful children who are 6, 4 and 1 years old. I started playing golf around 9 years old in the front yard of the house on the farm my grandparents operated in Dauphin, MB. I would grab whatever clubs and balls I could find and try to hit them about 75 yds. over the gravel road. I have fond memories of my grandfather taking me out on the Gilbert Plains golf course to learn the game. I remember the first time it felt right hitting the ball. We were teeing off on the 5th hole on the original 9 at Gilbert and I launched my tee shot and out drove my hero/grandpa for the first time, at that point I was hooked. From there my parents arranged for a few close friends of mine and I to join the Breezy Bend golf course and that is where my game took off. We learned the game on the course and rarely spent time on the range. We would play up to 54 holes a day with the help of the long summer nights and enjoyed playing both recreational and competitive golf. We played in several Manitoba Jr Championships, as well in the Manitoba High School golf league were we represented Winnipeg in the provincial championships. During my school days, I starting working at the Clear Lake Golf Course in Clear Lake, MB. I continued working there through my university years and ended up with 9 years of service at the course. Clear Lake is a resort course and, in my opinion, is Manitoba's hidden gem. It is also where I met my wife! www.ClearLakeGolfCourse.com After school and settling into a career, I started playing more at Breezy Bend again before making the move over to the St Charles Country Club. St Charles is one of Winnipeg's premier golf facilities with 27 holes of which 9 holes are designed by Donald Ross and another 9 by Alister MacKenzie. St Charles also has top-notch practice facilities and coaches which has really helped me improve, keep sharp and ratchet up my love for the game. www.StCharlesCountryClub.ca I typically get out to the St Charles Country Club once per week for a game and sprinkle in 1 or 2 range sessions. My golf game, like many, has a lot of highs and lows. The highs tend to fall in the 80's and low's in the 70's. My current handicap index is 6.2 and climbing (Ugh). Strengths of my game include: Putting Ability to scramble Above average, length and ball height. Weakness of my game: Ball striking consistency – to many thin and thick shots Over swinging which leads to poor ball striking Tee shots - I struggle getting off the tee and finding the fairway consistently. From 150 yds. I hit a 9 Iron and I would say I have an aggressive swing speed. My performance can really vary as I believe I have too much hand rotation in my swing. I can hit some nice shots if my hands are squaring up nicely; otherwise, I tend to play army golf (left, right, left). The last few years I have focused more on practicing and have even engaged a local golf pro to help me with a few lessons. In the past (before kids), I just played a lot of golf and skipped the practice part. So what is in my bag you ask? Bag: Callaway Hyper-Lite 4.5 Carry bag with stand. Ball: Taylor Made TP5X. I recently tried a Snell for the first time and enjoyed the ball. I am looking forward to giving Snell and further test. Driver: Titleist 913 D2 1 Wood With Mitsubishi Diamana +Plus Blue 62 shaft. Fairway Wood: Titleist 913 F - 3 Wood - With Mitsubishi Diamana +Plus Blue 62 shaft. Hybrid: Titleist 913 H 19 Degree Hybrid - With Mitsubishi Diamana +Plus Blue 62 shaft. Irons: Titleist 714 AP2 Forged 3 iron Gap Wedge With True Temper Stiff Dynamic Gold shafts. Wedges: 56-degree Titleist Vokey SM7 14 F high bounce sand wedge. I own but do not carry a 60-degree Cleveland CG15 mid Bounce lob wedge. Putter: Scotty Cameron California Fast Back with Super Stroke Mid-Slim 2.0 Grip. I putt cross-handed. Grips: Winn dri-tac standard (red/black) on my irons, and Golf Pride New Decade Multi-Compound Cord standard (red/black) on my woods. Why so much Titleist? I wanted to get into a forged iron and wanted a club that was also going to offer a decent level of forgiveness. I demoed the AP2 irons at our local shop, then played a round on rentals during a winter golf game, and really enjoyed playing them. Lucky for me the old course I worked at had Titleist clubs in their rental bags. I was able to buy the gently used set for less than the cost of just the irons from a local shop. The set came with my driver through gap wedge and included one Vokey wedge as well a staff bag. It was a deal I couldn't turn down! What did I order from Hogan? Hogan Ft. Worth Black Irons, 4 - PW Shafts: UST Recoil 780-F4/Stiff graphite Grips: Standard sized grips Ben Hogan personalized rubber grips by Lamkin I have always been interested in graphite shafts but have never been able to make the leap of faith (my AP2s have DG stiff steel shafts). I thought this was the perfect avenue to make the leap to graphite and to share my experience. I'm really looking forward to putting these clubs to the test and seeing if the Hogan and UST Mamiya claims are accurate. Sept 15th 2018 - First Impression My new clubs have arrived and I am so excited to try them. Below are my first pictures of the clubs and I love the look with the black metal finish on the irons, the matte black UST recoil graphite shafts and how the grips tie it all together. These clubs definitely pass the eye test for me. Hogan Claims: Patented Diamond Black Metal Finish: I'm a big believer in the aesthetics of a golf club and I really hope that the clubs will maintain this factory finish. My initial impression is very good but I really wonder if they will hold up to my abuse? Modified V-Sole Design: I've been really working on my ball striking this last year and I'm seeing improvements. I tend to hit a few heavy (fat) shots per round and am very intrigued to see how the V-Sole design and the high bounce leading edge will react. The Hogan Ft Worth have a lot more bounce than I'm used to. Simplified Preciseloft System: This is very intriguing to me and something I never really paid a lot of attention to in the past. My current AP2 specs show that my high irons (3 thru 5) only have 3* gaps where the other irons have 4*. With Hogan we have an equal 4* separation on all the irons. It really has me thinking. Will my 4 iron fly further? Will I loose trajectory? AP2 Specs: Hogan Specs: UST Mamiya Claims: Recoil Technology: Is designed for optimal spring effect in the walls of the shaft to increase velocity and distance. It will be interesting to compare distance to my current AP2 irons with the steel shafts. ES = Enhanced Stability: To improve my shot dispersion or make my misses not as bad. If this works I will be over the moon! SMACWRAP: Don't ask what this stands for but my hands may love this. This feature is designed to help eliminate vibration and optimize noise. When the weather gets cool in Canada we have all experienced the vibration of hitting it thin. I can't wait to see if this helps with the stingers that run through my fingers after those thin shots. The arrival of the new clubs is very exciting for me. My first plan and test is to get them onto the range at my local course for some initial work and review. From there I'm jumping right into a golf trip with family out to Nova Scotia, Canada where we will play Cabot Links, Cabot Cliffs, and the Highlands. That will be a demanding test for my game and these clubs; I can't wait! I also plan to use these irons on the simulator at my local course. They offer club gapping where we hit each iron and record the statistics. I have already done this with my AP2 irons and plan on doing the same with the Ft Worth Black irons. I'm really looking forward to seeing how the results compare. To all the readers out there please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or tests you would like to see from me. I encourage and look forward to the feedback. Regards Travis Clarke Winnipeg, MB, Canada
  5. Just played my first Snell today. Was very impressed compared to my typical TP5 or Pro v1. I'm looking forward to playing them again soon and I will probably grab a box to give them a better shot. Travis Clarke
  6. I started with the interlock the moved to an overlap grip. I like having all 4 fingers from my left hand on the grip with the overlap. I feel like I can generate more power this way. I'm not sure if this is actually the fact or just a mental thing but that how I roll! Travis Clarke
  7. Welcome aboard from an fellow Canadian.
  8. I actually went for a fitting and played with a SM7 last night. I liked the feel, performance and look of the club. I also hit the glide and mack daddy and liked them as well. I was able to generate more spin with the SM7 based on the launch monitor and i like the look of the SM7 better as well compared to the others. I think that the new technology is worth the investment and i will be making a purchase, thanks for the feed back.
  9. I currently have 2 Cleveland CG15 wedges in my bag (56 and 60). My 56 is well worn out (at least 125 rds). I bought the CG15 wedges as that was the last year that Cleveland used square grooves. My concern is if i go to a new wedge i will loose bite compared to what i have. I have heard that most wedges last only around 30 rds till your grooves start deteriorating. Are new wedges with current technology and restrictions going to perform better then my dated square grooved wedges with regards to amt of spin? Should this be a concern at all? I'm thinking of going to the Vokey SM7. Thanks in advance!
  10. Wanted to introduce myself to the group. Travis Clarke Playing out of St Charles Country Club in Winnipeg, MB - Canada Index - 5.7 Righty Titleist 913D2 - Driver, 3 wood, and Hybrid - Golf Pride MCC grips (Red/Black) Titleist 714 AP2 - 4 - Gap - Winn Dri-Tac Std (Red/Black) Cleveland CG15 SW and Lob - Winn Dri-Tac Std (Red/Black) Scotty Cameron California Fastback with Superstroke 2.0 - Left hand low Fav Players - Rory Mcilroy (1st son named Rory), and Tiger Woods I really enjoy this site and all the great content.
  11. Travis Clarke - Winnipeg, MB, Canada 40 - 5.7 index Titleist AP2 714 - 3 iron to Gap Wedge - True Temper Dynamic Gold Shafts Cleveland CG15 - SW and Lob - True Temper Dynamic Gold Shafts Thanks for the great opportunity.
  • Create New...