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FORUM MEMBER REVIEWS! Ben Hogan Ft. Worth 15 Irons/TK15 Wedges

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Stu,

 

Fantastic way to put that. Your input nailed it. Thank you for that.

 

And brodeur nice couple of follow up questions. I sincerely wish I had somewhere to take these irons today to have them checked! It would be so interesting. Haha.

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I've owned my own bending machine for a long time now and I can second all of RB's comments. Being off one degree is really nothing because there are so many variables associated with using a bending machine. However, when you are 2+ degrees then there is an issue.

 

Every year for over 10 years I got a new custom set of clubs from xyz manufacturer TaylorMade, Titleist, Callaway, etc. and it was a rare occasion for them to be spot on. I can remember one year my Callaway set was supposed to be 1* flat and all clubs were good, but the 7 iron was 3* up. I spotted that one out of the box! I can also remember a set one of my assts received where the 5, 6, and 7 iron all had the exact same loft! Sooo funny. He played em for about a month until he finally came to me and asked why he hits his 7 iron the same distance as his 6 and his 5 iron only about 5 yards further. Hilarious.

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So in your opinion do you feel the Hogans were acceptable since we are talking 1 degree compared to what, in your experiences, would seem like standard to be off a couple of degrees?

I said they were acceptable to me. Some people would really have some trouble with it though because lots of shops won't bend clubs more than 2 degrees. See how many I had they wouldn't touch? They wouldn't have bent the lies for me either because several had to be bent more than 2 degrees (remember I said they were all between 61 and 63 degrees lie angle. I am capable of and did bend mine myself. So it's acceptable. More favorable, especially with a company marketing precision and having every individual loft from 20-63 degrees would've been no more than 1 degree off. That's what sticks out to me, they have every loft from 20-63, that's 43 clubs they stock. And I had multiple more than a degree off in loft?

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@Rookie and others that get their woods digitally lofted, are you orders them like that and putting them in play? Or are you getting them, hitting them on a Trackman or flightscope, getting your numbers than adjusting them accordingly?

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@Rookie and others that get their woods digitally lofted, are you orders them like that and putting them in play? Or are you getting them, hitting them on a Trackman or flightscope, getting your numbers than adjusting them accordingly?

I don't put anything directly into play. Most of my drivers, fairway and hybrid heads are tour issued items that come to me. They come with a spec sticker and I know what my preferences are as far as loft, lie and face angle (face angle is big for me, I don't like square clubs nor closed fairways or drivers, they have to sit a little open (2-3 degrees)or I'll hook them off the planet. Hybrids need to be around a degree open up to 2 open. I do deloft them at times to hit low runners off the tee and one that's square or closed becomes a hook machine). But after I build them, I still don't put them into play until I hit them individually then hit them side by side with my gamers. Of the drivers I've bought to try and replace my current one, there have been 45. Of those 45, about 10 ever made it to the course after hitting them side by side and individually. I don't put something in play for myself I don't have confidence in and some measurable results with.

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Rookie you and I are alike in that we have been around clubs long enough to know what our specs are and what we need for us. If we have to we can make the adjustments. What I was referring to was the average guy that does not know or has any idea.

That is a good idea you have in checking out the PGA store in your area and seeing how they present it. Your store may be better than mine. My store in Myrtle Beach has failed to impress me in the past part of it is this area we have constant turnover in employees in the golf and other industries.

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I hate to get totally off the beaten path here but you I know plenty of guys who are very good golfers who buy their clubs off the rack, never think twice about it and go out and shoot even. I know one guy like that who struggles to remember which hits the ball farther his G, W, L or S wedge. :)

 

Sometimes I'd like to wrap one of his totally misfit clubs around his head!

 

Oh and the worst part of it is that everything in his bag is at least five years old.

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Don't those people just blow your mind? Seriously. In the town that I live in I could probably count on one hand the number of people who know half of the stuff about golf clubs that we are talking about on here.

 

It's just so interesting how important something can seem to people, yet how unimportant that same variable can be to so many others! When I talk about clubs the way I do people think I'm full blown crazy. Because it's just so over their head.

 

Sometimes it's frustrating. But that's where the board comes in! Haha. 😊

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Don't those people just blow your mind? Seriously. In the town that I live in I could probably count on one hand the number of people who know half of the stuff about golf clubs that we are talking about on here.

It's just so interesting how important something can seem to people, yet how unimportant that same variable can be to so many others! When I talk about clubs the way I do people think I'm full blown crazy. Because it's just so over their head.

Sometimes it's frustrating. But that's where the board comes in! Haha.

Crazy to me. I feel like I would have much better success getting an adjustable driver and tweaking that vs. ordering a tour issue 9.7* glued in head. Even if you know your preferred loft, unless you're getting the same head again and again, with all the different CGs in heads ordering a glued head it must be hard to get the correct fit.

 

@Rookie do you think you'd have better than a 10/45 chance if you went with an adjustable head of beating out your current gamer. Or is it just the thrill of trying something new or Tour Issue that you love?

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That's a good point SNC. CG location would obviously dictate a different optimal loft for the club. Take for example the whole sldr thing. DJ added some loft going to that driver. So I'd imagine your average bear would have to do the same!

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Correct me if in wrong but isn't there a difference in weight distribution between fixed and adjustable heads? I've known Rokkie to game adjustables before BTW.

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Crazy to me. I feel like I would have much better success getting an adjustable driver and tweaking that vs. ordering a tour issue 9.7* glued in head. Even if you know your preferred loft, unless you're getting the same head again and again, with all the different CGs in heads ordering a glued head it must be hard to get the correct fit.

 

@Rookie do you think you'd have better than a 10/45 chance if you went with an adjustable head of beating out your current gamer. Or is it just the thrill of trying something new or Tour Issue that you love?

I've tried adjustable and non-adjusting we'll all the same. The SLDR made it the longest of anything and it was a full month and a half of on and off again. I even had it in Tampa when I played with Rev, Foz, and Jax. That round is why I switched back. Yeah I hit 1 good ball in that round with it but the rest sucked compared to what I'm used to.

 

My gamer is marked 8.5 degrees and is 9.3 degrees actual and 2.1 degrees open. I had a SLDR 12 degree set as open as it went (I tried 9, 10 and 12 degree in the 430 and 460).

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Shawn I will throw something else in the mix on "adjustable CG" Cobra has done it now with the adjustable weights in the sole of their new drivers. Something us old timers used to do with persimmon in a similar fashion with either taking a sole plate off and drilling a hole and pouring lead in a different spot or simply putting lead tape on the sole plate in the desired spot. Also Callaway's "gravity core" it is no new innovation, go find a vintage 40 year old Toney Penna driver or FW wood and you will see what I am talking about. H&B put the majority of their weight in the rear of their persimmon drivers with a bolt on factory weight. Actually back in the day depending on the insert and lofts being the same the old Power Bilt drivers launched higher than any stock production driver at the time. Yes there are different ways to achieve a higher launch or lower one for that matter. It is all in experimentation

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Shawn I will throw something else in the mix on "adjustable CG" Cobra has done it now with the adjustable weights in the sole of their new drivers. Something us old timers used to do with persimmon in a similar fashion with either taking a sole plate off and drilling a hole and pouring lead in a different spot or simply putting lead tape on the sole plate in the desired spot. Also Callaway's "gravity core" it is no new innovation, go find a vintage 40 year old Toney Penna driver or FW wood and you will see what I am talking about. H&B put the majority of their weight in the rear of their persimmon drivers with a bolt on factory weight. Actually back in the day depending on the insert and lofts being the same the old Power Bilt drivers launched higher than any stock production driver at the time. Yes there are different ways to achieve a higher launch or lower one for that matter. It is all in experimentation

That's all seriously amazing. It's so cool to see old technology disguised in new clubs!

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Shawn I will throw something else in the mix on "adjustable CG" Cobra has done it now with the adjustable weights in the sole of their new drivers. Something us old timers used to do with persimmon in a similar fashion with either taking a sole plate off and drilling a hole and pouring lead in a different spot or simply putting lead tape on the sole plate in the desired spot. Also Callaway's "gravity core" it is no new innovation, go find a vintage 40 year old Toney Penna driver or FW wood and you will see what I am talking about. H&B put the majority of their weight in the rear of their persimmon drivers with a bolt on factory weight. Actually back in the day depending on the insert and lofts being the same the old Power Bilt drivers launched higher than any stock production driver at the time. Yes there are different ways to achieve a higher launch or lower one for that matter. It is all in experimentation

 

 

Now your cooking with gas Stu.  I remeber my Grandfather wouyd take an old driver (hickory shafted BTW) and drill the head to add weight to it.  He would then use it to warm up before his round.  This was way before the little donuts that we use today.  And you are correct, the PowerBilt drivers seemed to get a higher launch back then.

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@ Mizzelover - I would hope that you would have discovered something funky at that 28 before the aforementioned scenario.  What this is telling me is that it pays to have your specs checked out of the box.  My current irons are the only one's I've done that with and they were pretty good, a degree here or there and all lies within 1/2 a degree as ordered.

 

Still 3 degrees is a bit unsettling, I'm afraid that it happens a lot more than we realize, remember that 5 iron you couldn't seem to hit or the wedge or the what ever it was that didn't perform like the demo model?  It's not always you. :)

 

 

I guess I am going to have to get my lofts checked.  It could explain some of the distance gaps I noticed in my review.  I have never had lofts checked before.

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Mike,

 

That actually is hugely relevant now that you mention it. When you talked about a distance gap the first thing I came to was your swing and the way you deloft the club, but that was because I assumed that your specs were correct.

 

It will be very interesting to see where the lofts check out on your irons. If I'm a betting man, I'd guess that the lower lofted club between the gap is a little stronger than advertised.

 

It would be very interesting if we could somehow have all 6 of the testers check the loft/lie on their irons and have everyone report back here to get a consensus on how their sets shipped. I mentioned Hogan on a tweet saying they should join the conversation, hoping they'd come in and give some feedback on these kinds of things.

 

Maybe Barbajo and Bones want to take this in a different direction or have us run with it? It seems like it's part of the review process that maybe we all need to cover. And I'd like to hear what people say. 

 

Maybe if our sets are off of spec by a decent amount it will inspire a new assembly process at Hogan or a change in their tolerances.

 

Thoughts and feedback from the testers and Bones/Barbajo? (everyone else is obviously welcome to comment as well) Rookie you obviously would be excluded, but it would be interesting to have you publish the actual loft differences that you found, if you have them recorded.

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Personally, I think a spec-check is legitimate.  I think all the testers agree that the clubs perform and seem to be perform very well for you- that's the most important thing.  Putting HoganFit in the proper perspective is another - it's an online fitting aid that places a certain amount of responsibility on the common sense of the user. 

 

Specs are important as well - it's part of the overall picture, but only a part.  I went through a club-fitting a few years ago and the fitter told me when he orders clubs from a manufacturer he always orders them with the grips uniinstalled.  He told me 9 times out of 10 the specs are anywhere from a little off to a lot off, so he makes sure the swingweight, loft and lie are what they should be. He told me that the worst offender, by far, was Ping.  That surprised me.

 

And a buddy recently bought a set of clubs from a high-end manufacturer - he found he was hitting his 7 iron longer than his 6 iron. A spec-check found the loft on the 6 was actually HIGHER than the loft of the 7! Go figure...

 

It's also important to note - and I'm not making excuses for anyone, just stating some facts - that when your irons were made, Hogan's production process wasn't in place yet.  They were still finishing up their offices - and didn't actually start building clubs for sale until mid-April.  They did rush this order to the front of the line so that you guys would have your clubs to review quickly, so a little perspective is needed. 

 

Their production manager worked for the old Hogan company for many years, and designed a unique "conveyer belt" production system - and he's re-creating it for the new Hogan company.  Clubs will be made by the set - meaning your entire set will be built at one time, rather than someone building a ton of 6 irons (or 29 irons) at a time and then the set being put together from already built pieces, and each set will be inspected and reinspected before leaving the building.  I'm anxious to get back down to Ft. Worth and see it in action.

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For perspective, and since I was asked to, I will provide the lofts as they were when I got them, as I did, in fact, record them.

21 marked 19 actual
25 marked 22.5 actual
29 marked 27 actual
33 marked 30 actual (the 3 degree difference)
37 marked 34.5 actual
41 marked 39 actual
45 marked 47 actual (HUGE GAP THERE)
49 marked 47 actual 
53 marked 51 actual
58 marked 55.5 actual
63 marked 62.5 actual (the one I would classify as on loft).

I adjusted every one of them to their marked lofts.  Didn't necessarily have to adjust the 63, but I did anyway, just so the entire set was on spec.

Like I said, it wasn't a big deal to me.  I wasn't concerned with it at all because I do have a loft lie machine and the adjustment was simple enough for me.  That's why I didn't mention it or discuss it at all until Barbajo mentioned it.  I also didn't mention it because of what Barbajo stated, they were new at the time and also at the time we were building Texas was practically underwater.  I had chalked it up to them trying to get these in our hands quickly and Hogan beingn in the heart of the flooding area and I'm sure they had a good bit on their plate with that as well.  I mentioned that in my unboxing, the weather they were experiencing at the time they were building.  Another reason I didn't feel compelled to mention it other than telling Barbajo in mine and his PM conversation after my review was posted initially.  That's why I said I had no ill will toward Hogan as well.  They were relatively new in the business, company wise, and they were getting things kicked up.

And that's where I am going to bow out of the loft discussion as well.  Why? Because to me, it was insignificant.  I may have gotten a little passionate after the relevation came out(if that damages the Hogan name for some, please, don't let it), but I do not want to detract from the review any more with that discussion. Why?  Because the clubs now fit and I am now playing them and I do now like them.  I'd rather focus, at this point, on the clubs and their performance, because they are performing well for me. So let's shift the focus to where it should be.  The new player in the market.  These ARE fantastic clubs after all is said and done.  And they're in more and more places, likely expanding more as I type this.  My advice for those that are considering it and this may have created some skepticism?  Don't let it scare you off of these clubs.  Their processes are improving daily, which Barbajo also pointed out. They are available in more locations to hit prior to purchase.  The big thing, though, is that the power is in the player's hands as well.  These are being sold direct to public.  So with that known, if you've never been fitted, at the least take your current clubs and have them spec checked and fitted.  If you've already done that, find your spec sheet.  Then, you're an informed consumer when you go to place your order.  You know what length and lie you need (I did know that, and Barbajo and I had a misunderstanding when we were discussing the HoganFit questions I had.  I didn't alter the length prior to telling them to send the HoganFit prescription.  I thought that's what was inferred when we had that discussion, go with the HoganFit.  He meant loft/lie was what they wanted us to stick to.  Misunderstanding is all it was).  If you've got a place that carries Hogan product in your area and you're seriously considering this brand, go hit them and get a spec check on the Hogans themselves.  Order a set or order 1 club.  However you want to try them out, I encourage you to do so if these clubs are ones you are considering.  They do perform very well.  If you're a guy that's always played blades and loved the look of blades but your game is declining a little or you can't dedicate as much time as you used to, these may be the blades for you.  They do have more forgiveness than any blade I've ever played.  And they're not as penal as their on the market counterparts on mishits.  Let's move past the discussion of the build issue that ended up not being an issue for me after all was said and done, though, and let's discuss the product.  Hogan does have a winner on their hands with it.

As a foot note, I wrote every word of the above at my own volition.  I woke up this morning (off work today for a day and have some yard work to do) and I thought, you know, maybe I steered that discussion a little bit off course of what's important.  That's why I just wrote this.  Thanks for reading. 

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