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

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I'm equally happy with my new Hogans, but mine are a bit different so I'll go over them.

 

First of all, they're brand new. That alone is worth mentioning because my metals are over twenty years old (at least the club heads are), and more than that, they're a set of four (13, 17, 20, 23º) just as if this were 1965. They're also irreplaceable.

 

My putter, I'll also mention, is a hickory shafted replica of a World War One era Spalding model.

 

It's precisely because I don't do new very well that I was attracted to these brand new Hogans.  The closest thing to them in shape is the Golden Ram Tour Grind from the prime days of Tom Watson and Nancy Lopez--that is to say that they're classic forged blades with just a hint of a cavity. The soles most remind me of Reid Lockhart irons and Score wedges, stuff one almost needs to be a gearhead to know about but nevertheless classic and not orthopedic looking.. 

 

Being nearly 69, I got my FW15 / TK15s with senior flex UST Mamiya Recoil 660s.  Aldila's NV Pro 105 is a great shaft, but I'm just too old for it now. I got them with Tour Wrap 2Gs because not liking to use a glove, I need a wrap type grip, not something more abrasive. 

 

And finally, the interesting part, I got them gapped in five degree increments, from a long 23º club that I use as a tight hole driving iron to a 63º club that I use for little lobs as a short-side miss wedge. That comes to nine clubs total, and nine plus four metals equals 13, just as it did in the matched set era. Room for a putter, and let's play. 

 

I love the fact that actual lofts instead of club numbers are stamped on the sole.  The H&B PowerBilt Citations which were my first new set of irons had a 48º nine-iron. I've seen modern sets with a 43º pitching wedge!  To seniors like myself, the modern club numbers are meaningless so I'd rather have the actual lofts.

 

Above all, however, the blades play very much like players' cavity backs as one might get from Titleist or Mizuno.  No bow will shoot better than the archer can, so I won't make extravagant claims about the playability of these instruments.  They will always hit the ball at least as well as the player can, so any miscues can be addressed immediately as a swing problem, not an equipment problem.  I couldn't say this about all Hogan irons of the past, especially the Apex PC from the 80s.  Those had a sweet spot the size of a flea's junk. The FW15s are not miracle workers but they're not totally unforgiving either. The typical recreational player can learn to hit them and trust them. What more can be asked of a golf club?

 

Beyond functionality, the clubs are the Charlize Theron of irons. They are simply gorgeous to behold with none of the wild textures, graphics, and colors found on most modern golf clubs.

 

In short, I like my new irons a lot.  If you have the opportunity to demo them, you might want to do it.

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Nice write up. Mine are back on Long Island tomorrow and will be back in the back for a Sunday/Monday two day event.

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I watched one of sncgolf03's videos.  Very nicely done.  I wish there had been a bit more info regarding the distances as it was hard to see.  I could see the initial ball flights so theat was good.  I liked the comparisons so you knew what clubs were being matched.  On another note, what type of camera was doing the video, iphone, android or go pro?

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My putter, I'll also mention, is a hickory shafted replica of a World War One era Spalding model.

 

Being nearly 69, I got my FW15 / TK15s with senior flex UST Mamiya Recoil 660s.  Aldila's NV Pro 105 is a great shaft, but I'm just too old for it now. I got them with Tour Wrap 2Gs because not liking to use a glove, I need a wrap type grip, not something more abrasive. 

 

 

Well Nifty, I think I have finally found someone on this forum that is as old as I am!  I thought I was the oldest.  But you have been playing a lot longer than I have.  I started in 1991.  I have been playing the SCOR 42, 46, 50, 54, and 58 for a couple of years now and love them.  After reading all of these great reviews and knowing what great clubs Terry Koehler makes, I am about ready to select my options.  I think I want a slightly heavier shaft than the Recoil 660, so when I go to Vegas in 3 weeks I am going to visit their new fitter there and make a selection, after giving them a try.

 

About your putter...  My wife has been playing golf for 52 years and she has her Grandfather's putter; a hickory shafted Otey Crisman 10H.  She loves that putter, but it now sitting in her office because the shaft has a crack in it.  It's old, just like us!

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I remember when it wasn't the least bit unusual to see Oteys out on the course.  Bullseyes, Wilson 8802s, Spalding Cash Ins, MacGregor Ironmasters, and Oteys--those were the usual putters.  Anything else was noteworthy.

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I watched one of sncgolf03's videos.  Very nicely done.  I wish there had been a bit more info regarding the distances as it was hard to see.  I could see the initial ball flights so theat was good.  I liked the comparisons so you knew what clubs were being matched.  On another note, what type of camera was doing the video, iphone, android or go pro?

Glad you found it helpful somewhat. I just used my Samsung Galaxy S5 Phone for the video, unfortunately don't have another video camera at the moment. Yeach I was hoping you could see ball flight a little better too, probably didn't help that it was a little overcast that day. As far as the yardage go...the only flag that was lined up with the camera was 150 so the 9 irons were flying to that green. On course distances were pretty similar comparing the CMBs and Hogans, maybe a touch longer on the CMBs when lofts were equal. But my typical full shot yardages go somewhat like this on a calm day:

 

4 iron 210-215

5 iron 200ish

6 iron 190

7 iron 175-180

8 iron 165

9 iron 150

PW 140

GW 130

Sw 110-115

Lob 90-95

 

It would've been nice if I had a flightscope/trackman or something!

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Nice post.  I remember both sets below.  The Ram's were pretty popular for a couple years and a light model was pretty popular for a while.  In fact, I googled them to see a picture when I first saw the Hogans - they reminded me of them that much.

 

Ahh...  PC's,  I think the sweet spot is even smaller than what you describe.  I had a set for a while.  Hit the sweet spot and it was a feeling of pure bliss.  I think I hit one low and off the toe on a 55 degree day in 1985and my hands are still vibrating. 

 


The closest thing to them in shape is the Golden Ram Tour Grind from the prime days of Tom Watson and Nancy Lopez-....

 

 

... I couldn't say this about all Hogan irons of the past, especially the Apex PC from the 80s.  Those had a sweet spot the size of a flea's junk.
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Received my "new" hogan set from SNCGolf03 last week. Was able to sneak out once to play. Wish I had time to hit balls before I went out to play. These irons are about 1/4" longer, a degree weaker, also three degrees more upright, and three SW points lighter than my current set with different shafts that are lighter and with a different bend profile. Can you say bad fit? Haha

I will eventually do a formal review, but I'll provide a little info now. Methinks the v sole and I are going to have a battle.. I can't remember ever missing so many greens inside of 150 yards in my life. Took divots yet resulted in bladed shots right over the flag from 100-120. I was faced with one bunker shot and bladed the bastard over the green and into a pond. All in all- the irons are very forgiving. Being that this set was a bad fit for me, I rarely touched the sweet spot so was able to test the forgiveness. The older gentlemen I was paired with got a good laugh out of my battle with the v sole! I actually took a sharpie and drew numbers on the back of the irons because the loft stamps are stupid.

*** Highlight of the round- 23* from 223 yards landed ten yards short of pin and hit the stick for a nice little tap in eagle. Next hole I was 130 out and bladed a soft 47* over the green hahaha. When I get back from Italy in two weeks I'll bend these bad boys to my specs and give them a fair shake.

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It's amazing how people can react differently to things, even among us daigs.  Our man ap thinks the loft stampings are stupid and wrote club numbers on the clubs with a sharpie.  I've been calling for this change for years because the club number / loft correlations are so different from when the numbering protocol began. I LOVE the loft stampings and have not purchased metalwoods in the past if they had club numbers and not just the loft because I disagreed with the numbers; now I have that option with irons as well.  But ap has plenty of company because I've gotten comments from playing partners who also think, as does ap, that the loft stampings are stupid.

 

And ap, how did you end up with such poor fit when all you had to do was give them your specs?  Did you use their automated fitting questionnaire instead of over-riding it?  Those things are in my view a bad idea.  Once you've been fitted live and in person somewhere, you've got the correct specs for any clubs that you buy from anyone.  No need to be measured by somebody sitting at a PC or Mac in Texas!

 

Anyway, if the final review is negative, that's gonna happen. People don't all like the same things, and while I love my new Hogans, I've certainly experienced buyer's remorse with other purchases.

 

Have fun back on the "boot," ap.

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ap has plenty of company because I've gotten comments from playing partners who also think, as does ap, that the loft stampings are stupid.

 

how did you end up with such poor fit when all you had to do was give them your specs? Did you use their automated fitting questionnaire instead of over-riding it? Those things are in my view a bad idea.

I didn't get these from Hogan. I traded $1500 worth of stuff to SNCgolf for this set. They are his specs, not mine.

 

Well, I guess stupid is the wrong word to describe the lofts vs numbers statement... How about... Confusing? Different? Unnecessary? How about unnecessarily confusing? Yea I'll go with that. If I keep these ill have Club Champion stamp the number on there. Why? Because when somebody asks what iron I hit there I'm not going to say "it was a three finger 43*." They're going to look at me with an unnecessarily confusing look.

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It's kinda funny going now that I've tested the Hogan's and my regular clubs and now am going to play with the Srixon Z 545s 5 his morning, I feel like I'm going to miss the loft stampings! Looking at the spec sheet for the Z 545s, the lofts a quite a bit stronger throughout the set and if I had the loft stampings, I feel as though I'd be much better off as it would give me a better general idea of what yardage I would expect to hit them right off the bat.

 

AP, I think you come to realize after a round or 2, the loft stamping becomes second nature and a non-issue. I feel like you may even grow to like it! Change is hard sometimes!

 

I'll try and put a little write up somewhere in the future on the Srixons if I have time. Have a good Labor day everyone!

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When somebody asks me what I just hit, I just say, "mashie-niblick."  Then they just stay quiet rather than admit that they don't know what I'm talking about!

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AP - you get used to the V soles really fast. The bunker issue, well that takes time. I still struggle with them in sand and I am considering just throwing my Cally 62* Tour Grind in for bunker play and some flop shots around the green. I made a bogey today because I hit a sh!tty bunker shot then hit the same club from 103 yards to six inches for a kick in bird. The only thing that I can't do with the Hogan wedges is hit consistent bunker shots.

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AP - you get used to the V soles really fast. The bunker issue, well that takes time. I still struggle with them in sand and I am considering just throwing my Cally 62* Tour Grind in for bunker play and some flop shots around the green. I made a bogey today because I hit a sh!tty bunker shot then hit the same club from 103 yards to six inches for a kick in bird. The only thing that I can't do with the Hogan wedges is hit consistent bunker shots.

 

 

That's really odd, because I was a shitty bunker player (never any practice) until I got the SCORs with the v-sole.  Now I have no trouble getting out of bunkers.  I may not get as close as you pros, but if I can get out and have a reasonable putt, I'm happy.  I will never go back to my vokeys or Ping wedges.  

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Played with the Titleist SM5 60* K grind for the first time yesterday and it was SO much easier for me out of the bunkers vs my Cobra Trusty Rusty and the Hogan TK. I was 2 for 2 for bunker saves.

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That's really odd, because I was a shitty bunker player (never any practice) until I got the SCORs with the v-sole.  Now I have no trouble getting out of bunkers.  I may not get as close as you pros, but if I can get out and have a reasonable putt, I'm happy.  I will never go back to my vokeys or Ping wedges.  

I too, had trouble in bunkers with my SCORs.  I loved them, with full and partial swings.  I tried mixing in a Nike Toe-Sweep with my SCORs, as a "real" sand wedge, but that just felt awkward, to me.

 

Most of the courses I played, prior to retirement, didn't have many bunkers, so I didn't realize how much of an issue that would be for me until last year.

 

I'm happy now with my Ping Glides, as they just seem to fit my game better overall.

 

I do think the V-sole is a great grind for irons, though!

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On the loft markings:  I am a creature of habit and it took me some time to get used to something different.  i have only recently "converted". I carry a chart in my bag for what the yardages are.  The last three rounds I have not used the chart at all.  It can take someone time.  But at the end of the day its more about knowing what the club is going to do than it is about what it says on the bottom of the club.

 

On sand play, I took a step back with the TK wedges over traditional wedges.  I started to try to make my swing more shallow and that has really helped. 

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