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OFFICIAL FORUM MEMBER REVIEW - BEN HOGAN GOLF VKTR HYBRID

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OFFICIAL BEN HOGAN GOLF VKTR HYBRID REVIEW

 

Another new product to the Ben Hogan Golf brand, the VKTR hybrids offer an adjustable weight system to fine tune your ball flight.  Follow along with our member reviews to get the low down on these fine looking hybrids.

 

 

Without further ado, here are the testers.

 

 

Kenny B             Stage One          Stage Two          Stage Three

 

Sproutland         Stage One          Stage Two          Stage Three

 

KCLeo12            Stage One          Stage Two          Stage Three

 

Thatginger96     Stage One          Stage Two          Stage Three

 

cksurfdude         Stage One          Stage Two          Stage Three

 

paulmdepoy       Stage One          Stage Two          Stage Three

 

Let us know what you think!

 

Visit Ben Hogan Golfs website HERE

Like Ben Hogan Golf on Facebook HERE

Follow Ben Hogan Golf on Twitter HERE

Follow Ben Hogan Golf on Instagram HERE



 

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MGS Forum Member Review –

Hogan VKTR Hybrids

 

BH_shirt.jpg

Do I have to wear this shirt when I test their clubs?(Got this off the clearance rack at a Golf Galaxy a few years ago.)

 

BH_VKTR_sole.jpg

^ Nice detail on the weight screw - notice how they designed in part of their logo (also appears on the shirt placket above top button). And liking the red, white and blue theme!

 

Stage One - Introduction & Interview Thread with Q&A Section.

 

Hey all --

Pretty excited to be one of the “chosen people” ;-) and really hope to impart some useful info somewhere along the way. I'll be monitoring this thread for Q's and comments from other members so if something pops into your head .. let ‘er rip!

 

(Note: I tend to get a bit chatty/over-explanatory when I write so I am not at all offended if you skip through or barely scan or just plain ignore some sections!)

 

* So a bit about me:

I started playing seven years ago - at 53(!) - but unfortunately lost big parts of several of those seasons to work/life issues… But this season .. look out! .. was on a roll .. but then... lost a lot of time again to.. (1) left hip issue (worn out, literally, along with a torn labrum and needs replacement but delaying ‘til Fall); (2) right hip issue (tore a few major muscles and strained a few major ligament/tendon groups); and (3) ridiculous bout of tendonitis in the right elbow.

 

Got PRP (platelet rich plasma) therapy in the left hip joint back in January, did PT for several months for each hip, got a Theraband roller for the elbow (another find in an MGS topic), exercise and stretch daily, make protein and fruit smoothies most mornings, see a chiropractor and acupuncturist (almost) weekly, and been practicing Tai Chi (which is great for conditioning the legs and hips, and for balance / proprioception).

 

May sound weird to you but in the aggregate it's been a great help for me! Which is all to say I'm fighting it and am otherwise in great shape for a 60 y.o. guy … and can still put some “hit” on the ball!

 

* A bit about my game:

Making nice progress with my game overall, am always looking to improve and evolve my game, and feel like each time I get out I play much steadier from tee to green; am swinging more freely and making better and more consistent contact from different lies.

 

For instance got out yesterday with my wife and made a (very, dammit) rare birdie on a long (>500 yds) Par 5; actually came really close to making eagle but the approach rolled just a few inches wide (but left me with a fairly easy birdie putt). Had made an “easy” par on the prior hole after an exceptionally good tee shot followed up by a good enough approach shot (landed wide of the flag but on the green). The next hole after that Par 5 is about a 145 yd Par 3, all uphill, guesstimate 30 - 40+ feet vertical so took out the trusty Ping Crossover and landed one on the green. Left of the flag, again, but rolled the first long putt close enough that I could sink the second - yea!

 

My fav part of the game is the short game / approach shots - I'm not big (about 5' 7”, 157 lbs) and not a big hitter (“average” distances from what I can ascertain from other discussions; eg. my 7i is my 150-155 club), so I knew implicitly starting out that I'd need to practice my technique and to sharpen the scoring part of the game.

 

During that same round yesterday, almost chipped in on two other holes from just off the green both times (so almost saved par on the first one after a weak bunker shot, a par 4 dogleg left; and almost made par on the other one, the finishing par 5).

 

There are a few ranges not too far from me that have some targets at different distances, so I like to alternate play time with “target practice” time.

 

* Sidebar about member reviews (and a little bit more about me):

Just my opinion, don't want to annoy anyone here and just sayin', but it seems there may be a few people out there (maybe not here, maybe on other forums [‘fora'?]) who may be a bit, ummm .. dismissive?, of your opinion if you're not a scratch player.

 

I mention to this to offer a bit more background about me… I didn't grow up playing golf, nor really any other ball or team sport, but did competitive small boat “one design” racing as a kid every Summer and skied every Winter. I won some junior sailing regattas and was a very expert skier (black diamond, chutes and off-trail). I gave up skiing years ago and don't race one design anymore; replaced sailing with windsurfing, plus I (wave) surf occasionally and enjoy stand-up paddle surf (hence the “surf” moniker .. tho my wife says I should change it to “golf” since I spend more time with this now...!).

 

But all this is applicable to this discussion as each of these sports is very, very equipment-dependent (eg. with sailboat racing and windsurfing you're dealing with both wind interaction on the sail plus water interaction on the hull or board), so I think over a lotta years I've developed a pretty good “feel” for gear and what works/doesn't for me.

 

So - for me this member review aspect of MGS is a great feature and one of the highlights that drew me into this site. It has helped me evaluate equipment that may - and in cases, may not - be appropriate for *my* game.

 

 

Club ‘ho bag shoot 1:

In the pic below on the left - various training clubs (I have a mat and net set up in the garage); on the right - too many half-used wedges, a bunch of “tester” and now-replaced clubs plus a few old woods collected from in-laws. Yes - that's a brass knob putter and old brass chipper on the right side. And, yeah, there's a bunch of other clubs not in the pic that have since been given away or donated or traded-in.

ClubHo1.jpg

In front of left bag - old Hogan “Edge” perimeter-weighted wedge.

(Should probably get the face ‘freshened' and put it into play!)

 

 

Club ‘ho bag shoot 2:

On the left - previous gamer set with TM R9 irons and Cobra Baffler hybrids. The TM AeroBurner Mini-Driver (14*) and Callaway Big Bertha driver are currently ‘on the bench'. On the right - current gamer set including Cobra F6 6i-GW, Ping G Crossover 5 (24*) and Cobra F6 hybrids (16* and 20.5*).

ClubHo2.jpg

Parrothead was a gift from a friend (any other Jimmy Buffett fans out there?)

 

 

Club ‘ho bag shoot 3:

Heck, even my wife has an old set (on the left) and a new set (mostly Adams) I got for her! Her driver is a pink (of course) Lady Cobra Amp Cell that she's very happy with.

ClubHo3.jpg

She used to have a Golden Retriever, and the Unicorn .. I learned all about in this MGS thread… http://forum.mygolfspy.com/topic/15828-looper-thought-11/?p=203587

 

 

And… on top of all that stuff...

My wife and I have two ball retrievers… :-) ...

Ball_Retrievers.jpg

Scout (Black Lab on left) and Jax (Flat-Coated Retriever).

 

 

* A bit about what's in my bag, and why I'm looking forward to testing the VKTRs:

I don't carry a driver right now. Nor a 3-Wood. Have “benched” them .. temporarily .. until I further refine my swing and stop myself from over-swinging the woods (and tensing up on the tee) and slicing, or occasionally hooking, the ball way offline. So - I depend on my hybrids to get off the tee on most holes or on longer holes to get further up the fairway.

 

As mentioned, I didn't grow up golfing but now kinda wish I had ‘cause I like hitting the irons and wedges the most - so I guess I somewhat regret not being able to hit longer irons like a 4 or a maybe even a 3. My longest iron now is a 6, and my 5 is a Ping G Crossover (separate thread but really liking this club). Eventually the 5 may (or .. may not…) go back to an iron, and the 4 may go to the next Crossover. Up through last year I'd been struggling with the 5i (now I'm OK with it) but when I saw the Crossover come out, I had to try it. 

 

After that it's on to the hybrids - currently playing Cobra F6 adjustable 2/3 and 3/4 which are set to 16 and 20.5, respectively, so I'm playing a 2H and the other about halfway b/w a 3H - 4H (3H typically 19* and 4H typically 22*).

 

I got the F6s since.. (1) I got a set of F6 irons earlier this year (love ‘em love ‘em love ‘em!), and (2) prior hybrids were Cobra Bafflers so why not “upgrade”?, and (3) the price was right if purchased at the same time as the iron set (plus it all came with a free stand bag!), and (4) I'd demo'ed some other models in the stores but no particular other one really jumped out at me.

 

Maybe the XR hybrids (“regular” XR, not the “OS”) as these seemed to have a nice ‘pop' off the face, but .. I got a bit lazy and just went with the “set” when ordering the F6 irons.

 

I'm liking the F6 hybrids, but .. not totally loving them…

 

Recently I tested the Hogan TK15 wedges (fyi, you can order a three week trial of a two wedge set for $19.95, includes a return shipping label), and while on their site I saw the VKTR hybrids … and just from the pictures and description I was thinking I might like them (fingers crossed!) … so what a great, fantastic, timely and deeply appreciated opportunity I've been handed here!!!!!

 

  • And so ... On to the Q&A!

 

* Handicap/average score?

Don't have an official handicap; I don't belong to a club and I don't mark a scorecard every round (and yeah some rounds are solo so if you happen to, or are able to, play solo why shouldn't that count - after all, if you cheat … you're only cheating yourself… And isn't this game supposed to be about ).

 

I know there are apps like The Grint, but at this point I'm competitive with myself … and the course...

 

I'm getting closer to playing bogey golf more regularly, ie. a lot of my holes are +1 over with an occasional par (or a very rare birdie), a few doubles (can be from a wayward or topped tee shot, or sometimes a fluffed chip to the green or a lazy three-putt) or the occasional triple.

 

So my gross score - counting *everything* - is generally mid-/upper-90s. But coming down, bit-by-bit. For pseudo-handicap purposes: I play on different public courses with ratings from 68 to 72 and slope numbers from 114 to 125; so with scores in the 90s I guesstimate that puts me currently at about an 18-ish maybe 20..???

 

There's also this graphic that appeared in an MGS blog post:ScoresByHandicapBracket.GIF

 

 

* Strengths of your game?

Irons - 6 and down; iron play getting more and more solid every time I go out. Then comes chipping/pitching and lag putting. Always working on trying to stick it closer!

 

Also usually pretty good at escaping trouble and getting back into play.

 

Getting better with the hybrids, too; ie. more often hitting them reasonably close to where I was looking.

 

Also learning to think my way around the course, and try to execute the higher percentage shot (with only the occasional blast-away go-for-it).

 

 

* Weakness of your game?

Bunkers…. Sand bunkers. I'm one of those am's who has not .. yet? (ha!) .. developed the pro “oh it's sooo easy just toss the sand onto the green” stroke. Working on it, tho.

 

Just picked up (on sale - kills my wife every time I say that!) a Tour Edge “1 Out” sand wedge, which appears to be a knock-off of the Cleveland “S”. Initial results are encouraging.

 

After that the next biggest problem is still choking on the tee (tensing up and trying too hard and hitting a *HIGH* slice or a pull hook).

 

Oh and the ball-below-the-feet lies. Still working on “allowing / adjusting” and getting a clean strike.

 

 

* Typical ball flight?

Straight or slight fade (not necessarily on command, but working on it).

 

Hybrids, of course, have a flatter flight and irons/wedges a higher flight.

 

 

* Typical miss?

"Typical"???? Ha!!!!

 

Most common miss is right, weak off the toe / open face.

 

Sometimes hook the hybrids. Sometimes pull an iron or wedge - working on aim & alignment (and grip and path and posture and release and…...…).

 

 

* Current comparable equipment?

Cobra F6 hybrids (current year), adjustable and currently set at 16 and 20.5 degrees. These replaced Cobra Bafflers (with the Rail sole), about 5 (6?) years old (non-adjustable); had a 3H = 19*, 4H = 22* and 5H = 25* (5H replaced by a Ping Crossover).

 

A few differences:

Sole - the Bafflers have that (famous? infamous?) dual-slight-vee Rail sole; the F6s have a “Smartpad” smooth two-tiered raised strip towards the leading edge...

BafflerVsF6_Sole.jpg

Baffler on top (chrome); F6 on bottom (black).

 

The overall profile of the F6 is slightly longer (front to back) and shallower (crown to sole); ie. the F6 is somewhat more "wood-like" looking. Think the volumes are close, but not sure.

 

Weight - the F6 has a lot of its “discretionary” weight concentrated in the single, fixed weight plate set all the way towards the rear; the Baffler (no external weights) feels like its weight is more evenly distributed across the whole sole (and those thick rails).

 

Face - the F6s have a shallower (shorter) face than the Bafflers, and a bit more oblong shape with a bit less bulge and roll across the face. From what I can tell from the pics on the Hogan website they also may be a bit shallower than the VKTRs (will update that in Stage 2)...

BafflerVsF6_Face.jpg

Baffler on top (chrome); F6 on bottom (black).

 

Playing-wise - definitely getting more distance out of the new F6s (but then a big part of that is an improving swing), but initially had trouble adapting to the shallower (shorter) face off the tee - although, in theory, that works better off the fairway. They seem pretty versatile and feel comfortable using them on different parts of the course. 

 

Worked on tee height and ball position on the tee and (generally) catching it better now. Also hitting the F6 20.5 better out of the rough than I was with the Baffler 4H/22* (probably also in large part to improving technique).

 

The Bafflers, though, are possibly still one of the more forgiving hybrids out there and I still see them a lot in weekenders' bags.

 

 

* Swing tempo?

Working on slowing it down and making it smoother and more, well, rhythmic. Had picked up the Tour Tempo books and swing trainer over the Winter (another “Thanks!, MGS reviewers!”) and got a lot out of that, even starting with simply getting an understanding of what tempo is.

 

I think I'm right about the 1.0 - 1.1 mark, but like I said working on making that consistent and steady back and through with every swing, every club. Heck I'll even count off in my head “one…...… two..!”

 

So I guess I'd say “moderate”.

 

 

* Driver swing speed?

Not sure; can hit it 240-245+ with roll-out but that's maybe 1 out of 10 so as mentioned earlier don't currently even carry it on the course.

 

Which, of course, puts some pressure on my game as my tee shot with a hybrid needs to be pretty good to get it out there into play… Shorter holes or ones with a sharp dogleg are good for me - especially if the other guys are trying to cut the corner with their driver! 

 

Guesstimate upper 90s / about 95 - 97 (extrapolated from a distance table found online). Feel like it's starting to pick up a bit as my swing improves; the “snapdown” release at the bottom is getting better.

 

 

*Video of swing?

(Gonna try to provide some footage in Stage 2)

(-- maybe something like the VKTR hitting balls past the F6 like Jason Day hitting it past Carl Spackler)

 

 

* What makes you love the game?

Primarily the challenge of it - I love the challenge of just playing the game itself and getting around the course, and also the challenge of constantly working to improve. (I like, well: “need”, to be good at whatever I do.) And I'm kinda analytical so I also like all the technical aspects involved.

 

I enjoy outdoor activities, and I like walking the course and getting outside and enjoying the scenery and (egad!) getting some exercise along the way.

 

It's also something that my wife and I can do together, and she's started to ‘get into it' and wants to work on and improve her game, too … so we have fun out there and encourage each other and then console ;-) each other at The 19th Hole!!

 

We take occasional golf trips, making it a destination vacation to check out a new course in a new area. We've also attended two Leadbetter schools in the past; one at Stratton, VT and one in Naples, FL.

 

Plus - when the conditions are not right for windsurfing or surfing (which is all too often) - you can always just drive to a golf course, or a range, and go hit some balls!

 

And then, of course, there's the social aspect of getting to meet people and spend a few stressful … OOOPS!! No, I meant: “fun and relaxing and enjoyable” ... hours with them!

 

 

* How long have you been golfing?

Parts of 7 seasons (explained at top started at 53 ½ but lost time each season to work/life issues; and this season to failing hip issues - and it's the left hip and I'm a right-handed golfer…)

 

Try to play or practice 2 - 3 times per week, and always working on playing better!

 

 

* What kind of golfer are you?

I'd say pretty average all-around .. currently .. and am an “aspiring player” always working to get closer to “play-ah” ;-) status.

 

I hit some good shots, some adequate ones, a few really good ones and a few kinda awful ones (i.e. what I guess is a not atypical round for many amateur golfers). The really good shots are starting to come a bit more regularly and the awful ones are starting to get a bit more infrequent.

 

Try to play “smart golf” on the course; ie. hit the higher percentage shots, lay up when I have to, take an extra club on approaches, etc.

 

But am always working on my swing and all the fundamentals that underlie it. So trying to evolve into a better-than-average golfer, and would like to develop a ‘play-ah' level short game (except for those darned bunkers!).

 

Not sure how one would distinguish a “feel” golfer from a more technical one - but through practice and time on the course am trying to develop my feel from 150 and in (eg. what club to use with what kind of swing at whatever in-between distance). But still not sure how you can have “feel” without having some practical level of technique and fundamentals underlying that? Also not sure how you can have a complete game without having both feel and technical aspects.

 

Have a mat and net set up in the garage, and a putting mat too, and will go out there (more often over the Winter) and practice chipping, pitching and putting. Have a few training clubs that I've collected over the years, including a DST wedge acquired earlier this Summer that gets the most use now.

 

Like to mix in practice time with play time, and volunteer at the golf course at a nearby VA hospital so I'm able to get on the course there and practice - each week I'll try to work on one or more of: tee shots, fairway shots, shots from the rough, approach shots, chips/pitches onto the green from the fairway and from the rough, and putting - predominantly lag putting / distance control.

(Oh and bunkers. Those darned bunkers. But ya gotta do it every now and then.)

 

 

* What's your story?

Started golfing after my Mom passed away.  She was always trying to talk me into trying it, but I thought golf was boring and dumb. She'd started playing after she got remarried later in life; her second husband was a “golf nut” and they lived in a senior community (in CA) built around a golf course. So when I went to clean out her place there was a *ton* of golf gear in the garage - lady's gear, her husband had passed away several years earlier and his kids had cleaned out his stuff - but I figured “what da heck, maybe I'll try it someday ‘for her' .. I have all this stuff now”, so I packed it all up and shipped it all home.

 

Later that year I happened to be hanging out with a windsurf buddy and somehow a mention of the golf gear came up … he jumped up and sprang into action and within a few minutes had me hitting foam practice balls in the backyard! I hadn't even known he was into golf, and the very next day we meet at the practice range and .. yep .. I'm very quickly hooked!

 

Work-wise: Retired after almost 30 years in the investment industry; last position was investment advisor and portfolio manager (and also managed in-house IT) at a private firm on Long Island.

 

Like to stay active and fit.

 

 

* What is in your bag?

Current Roster:

Cobra F6 2/3H (set at 16) and F6 3/4H (set at 20.5)

(- F6 hybrids replaced TM AeroBurner hybrids which had replaced Cobra Baffler hybrids)

Ping G Crossover 5 (24*)

(- replaced Cobra Baffler 5H)

Cobra F6 6i - GW

(- replaced TM R9s)

Callaway Forged 54* (older model not the PM-MD)

(- replaced worn-out X-Jaws 54*)

Tour Edge 1-Out 58* "S" wedge(- replaced X-Jaws 58*)

Odyssey Versa 1W putter(- 33”, 3* loft, +3* upright w/SuperStroke Slim 3.0 grip not counter-balanced)

 

On The Bench:

Callaway Big Bertha driver (the one with the sliding rear weight)

TM AeroBurner Mini Driver 14*

Three different 3-Woods (Adams Super S, Adams Tight Lies, Cobra Baffler Rail-F)

 

The driver will play again - sometime - but may end up being replaced, possibly by the Mizuno JPX-EZ (again: Thanks!, MGS testers) , but for this may go through an official fitting. The AeroBurner and the 3-Woods may get retired / donated along with other old clubs in the garage (eg. to Bunkers For Baghdad or other similar charity for vets).

 

 

* How did you choose them?

The Callaway driver I'd read was supposed to be very high MOI, very forgiving and it's very adjustable (two cogs on the hosel plus a sliding weight). Plus it's blue (great criterion, huh?) and last Winter I saw a good deal on it on Callaway Pre-Owned.

 

The AeroBurner Mini-Driver was a bit of an experiment, acquired on a Black Friday almost liquidation sale along with two AeroBurner hybrids (short-lived, though, replaced by the F6 hybrids).

 

There have been a few 3-Woods but so far my swing or rhythm or whatever does not seem to be able to effectively hit this club - yet, I hope.

 

The Cobra F6 hybrids, as mentioned earlier, kinda came along as a package deal with the irons .. along with a free Cobra branded stand bag thrown in. I was going to continue using the Bafflers and had tested a few other brands (also on my own, in-stores), but none really stood out to me. So figured I'd try the “upgrade”.

 

The F6 irons came after a *LOT* of in-store testing (on my own, not with a fitter) and online research, and several favorable reviews - including on MGS. Went to two different stores at least three times each and tried out more than a dozen different irons. (Yeah yeah I know kinda nuts.) Was almost gonna go with the Wilson C200s - in part resulting from favorable MGS reviews and also purchased a three-club trial from them - but when I went back to “re-test / confirm” the store rep handed me an F6 to try … and I instantly said to myself, “OK this is the one!!!”

 

The purchase of the irons did come with a (basic) in-store fitting and I ended up -½” short and -2* flat. (These same specs were confirmed by a demo at a different store.) I went with steel shafts, as these felt more solid and responsive to me vs. the stock graphite … despite the fact that I'd only used graphite with all my previous irons (R9s about 5 seasons; and a Top Flite "starter" set for 1 season before that).

 

The Cally wedges (1) looked pretty “cool” to me, and (2) an instructor I was going to at the time - for short game clinics - had Cally wedges. (Yeah, I know, very rigorous selection process.)

 

The “1 Out” wedge has a super-wide flange and a lot of bounce, radius and camber and I admit I need all the help I can get in the bunker!!!!!! (and it was on sale cheap)

 

The putter had been changed out a few times prior to this one. The stores I looked in did not have the model I ended up with, but I tried comparable models (again, just me and not via a fitter) alongside others and it came down to basic look & feel. And balance, I guess, I'm a slight arc putter and this one seemed to swing freely enough for me. I ordered the one I wanted online and had it shortened and bent upright - I like to stand close to / look over the ball and the line.

 

 

* What region do you play out of?

I live on Long Island, NY and mostly play nearby muni's and sometimes a daily fee course. These courses are generally rated 68 - 72 with slopes from 114 - 125; length usually ranges from just under 6k to about 6500.

 

Occasionally my wife and I will take a golf vacation trip; this past Winter we went to Aruba which was having about double the usual very windy conditions! And that course was enough of a challenge to begin with.

 

Last Summer we spent a few days at Shawnee, PA - it has three 9-hole tracks and once hosted the PGA Championship (also a nice brewpub there with some excellent craft brews!).

 

 

* Are you a tinkerer or a set and forget it type?

I'm becoming more and more of a tinkerer, especially as I learn more and more about golf gear. I'll work with different settings on the adjustable clubs until I like the feel and flight (range tested, course approved) and may come back to re-adjust / re-test them later if I think I can get a little more out of the club (eg. the 2H was at 16.5D, or Draw, and I've just changed that to 16.0 Neutral).

 

The VKTRs have four moveable weights, so that's gonna be fun!

VKTR_weights.jpg

(image from the BenHoganGolf.com website)

 

I'll also trial adding small pieces of lead tape to different places on some clubs - for example, on the putter I've added one SW worth split into two pieces onto the outer flanges (trying to slow down my putter swing), and may add another.

 

On the 5 Crossover I've added about one SW to the middle of the back (centered across but also vertically with respect to the face) not just to add weight but also to moderate the flight down a bit - I'd originally gotten the Alta 70 shaft and the ball was going waaaay too high so I'd exchanged for the steel AWT 2.0 shaft.

 

The 6i currently has about 1/2 SW added to the back but a bit lower than vertical center to give it a bit more oomph/flight. This may be coming off, though (to be range-tested).

 

I had spent (or, wasted) time (and $) swapping out different hybrids and 3-woods that I'd bought on sale to test out; now I'm trying to settle on _a_ set of clubs that works for my game.

 

I'd also experimented with grip sizes - not liking “standard” at all, and especially with a tinge of arthritis creeping into the old fingers :( and had tried mid-size grips and also +4 wraps under a standard grip, but have now settled on +2 wraps (under standard) as feeling pretty good. My grips are Golf Pride New Decade multi-compound and I may try out their MCC+4 (extra diameter under the lower hand).

 

* Bottom line -

I just like ‘futzing' with gear to see if I can make it work better for me!

BH_VKTR_sole.jpg

ClubHo1.jpg

ClubHo2.jpg

ClubHo3.jpg

Ball_Retrievers.jpg

F6_hybrids.jpg

ScoresByHandicapBracket.GIF

BafflerVsF6_Sole.jpg

BafflerVsF6_Face.jpg

BH_shirt.jpg

VKTR_weights.jpg

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MGS Forum Member Review –

Hogan VKTR Hybrids

 

Stage Two - The Review.

 

Here's the brief ‘executive summary'…

  • The VKTR is a better-player's club.

    • Better players who strike the ball cleanly and consistently, and who may not use a hybrid now and/or who eschew busy graphics and gee-whiz tech, should give this a try.
    • Mid-handicappers could try the higher lofts, eg. maybe 20, 21 and up.
      • I'm in this group - I struggled a bit with the 17-degree VKTR vs. my Cobra King F6 2/3 Hybrid set at 16 degrees, but I did enjoy the 20-degree!
    • Higher-handicappers may be more comfortable with a more forgiving, game-improvement style club.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

They're here!

 

Clubs arrive “discreetly packaged in a plain brown wrapper” (lol) ...

plain brown box.jpg

 

 

But then you open the box...

inside the box.jpg

 

..and see printed inside:

“A well hit golf shot is a feeling that goes up the shaft, right into your hands, and into your heart.”
-Ben Hogan

 

The red-white-blue color scheme is on the headcovers...

headcovers.jpg

 

..and on the sole of the club...

VKTR_sole.jpg

 

Nice!

 

 

 

QA problems.

 

OK, so we've received these shiny new toys inside this patriotic-themed box, and naturally we grab one, rip the head cover off, jump onto the lawn and start swinging away.

 

But wait ... there's an unusual whistling noise … ??!!???!!!

 

You'll hear the other reviewers mention this noise, too.

 

  • QA (Quality Assurance) Problem 1:

What I discovered was that all of the weight screws were loose!

 

Not clear if Hogan Golf intends for you to move the weights around prior to playing the clubs, but there's no mention of this in the manual nor is there any included warning sheet advising you to tighten the screws prior to use…. (most people would probably check them, anyway).

 

So I grab the wrench, tighten them all up to one click! and start to swing away again. The noise is diminished yet still present. Hmmm. Idea! Put a small piece of plastic tape over the opening of the toe weight port:

QA Problem - tape.jpg

 

For this experiment I just used clear packing tape; has since been replaced with heavier, clear waterproof tape (from the makers of Gorilla Glue).

 

Yes - it's ugly (and the Boeing aerospace engineers may say it's disrupting the airflow...) but, yes - it seems to work!

 

Possible fix:

Perhaps Hogan could fit some sort of rubber cap over the three perimeter screw heads, or at least the toe one - as this one seems to be the culprit, to sit flush with the clubhead outer surface?

 

 

  • QA Problem 2:

Removing a weight screw reveals it has a small rubber O-ring washer on it, presumably to act as a gasket to prevent water penetration inside the clubhead when the screw is tightened and its inner flange is seated against the outer-facing surface of the open port.

 

However, removing all the weight screws reveals that this rubber washer is not always positioned ‘inside' the flange but is sometimes “floating” between the head of the screw and its inner flange. Hmmmm (again).

QA Problem - weight screws.jpg

 

On both clubs two of three 2-gram screws were like this - like the one in the foreground (ie. the other screw closer to the club appears “right” to me).

 

The 18-gram screw does not have the same narrowing gap between the screw head and the inner flange, so it's not an issue on that one.

 

Possible fix:

Perhaps Hogan could bond gasket material to the inside surface of the inner flange, and maybe also add a bit around the outer-facing surface of the screw port opening (so rubber seats against rubber)?

 

 

 

OK, moving on...

Player Background.

 

Had blabbed on a lot in my Stage 1 post http://forum.mygolfspy.com/topic/16995-official-forum-membe-review-ben-hogan-golf-vktr-hybrid/?p=221667 about myself and my game, but briefly I'll describe myself as an “aspiring” player - ie. currently pretty average but always working on improving, and on getting to a better-than-average short game.

 

Iron play is strong (6i and down), and I like hitting hybrids (vs. fairway woods) but as the clubs get to the top end of the bag I still struggle a bit with making consistent, clean contact. Getting closer and closer over time, though!

 

Favorite part of the game is the short game - approach shots and trying for that up-and-down when that ‘approach' thing doesn't work out “..as the player intended”... (quote from take your pick of any Golf Channel commentator/analyst describing a pro's slightly less than perfect shot). This and constantly improving putting are where I make up for those “unintended” ;-) tee shots.

 

No official handicap but scores generally in the 90s - a few pars, a very occasional birdie, mostly bogeys and a double here and there .. and dammitall that awful 7 or once in a while .. which can be from some combo of a wayward tee shot (most common miss so I'm sort of giving myself a penalty right off the bat), a fluffed approach shot landing in a bunker (ugh!) followed by a fluffed bunker shot (ugh!) or a weak chip/pitch missing the green (though these are usually solid and getting more consistent) or a bad first (lag) putt followed up by a failed second putt… (I know you all get the picture!)

 

People say I have a nice swing, and I do feel as if it's continually improving each time I get out to play or get to the range, and I do feel as if I have developed enough technique at this point to get around the course well … so I guess it's all in my head ... which, of course, it is! … as I'll sometimes stand over the ball and lose confidence and tense up nervously just enough to the shot.

 

But on the positive side that becomes new information that gets stored into the data bank on what not to do from that sort of lie, and/or with whatever club that I'd just used, and if there's no group behind pressing us I'll drop a second ball on the same spot and practice another shot (but still play my proper ball for the hole).

 

 

 

What Hybrids are currently in the bag.

Currently playing a pair of Cobra King F6 adjustable hybrids (current year model). One is a 2/3-H, with loft settings going from 16 to 19 degrees and currently set at 16*, and is the longest / lowest-lofted club in my bag these days -- having had too many differences of opinion with my driver over which way the ball should go and where it should land, and so that club is ‘on the bench' for now. (It does get to visit the practice range once in a while.)

 

The 3-Wood is sitting in the garage, mostly because I'm hitting the 2-Hybrid better, ie. better control and dispersion. Probably about the same distance, too. Going to get it re-gripped and will take it for a spin at the range soon, though.

 

So I depend on the hybrid to get me off the tee on many holes (except on shorter, non-Par 3 holes, where I may use the Ping 5-Crossover or 6i depending).

 

The other hybrid is a 3/4-H adjustable from 19 to 22 degrees and set at 20.5 (there's no 20-even option), as this is about half-way between the 2H/16* and my next club down which is the Ping G Crossover 5 at 24 degrees. So it's about a “3-and-½”-Hybrid, I guess :)

 

 

Prior to the F6s...

I played Cobra Bafflers - a 3H/19*, a 4H/22* and a 5H/25* I picked up later as I had trouble hitting the 5i well - for the parts of the past 5 seasons that I was able to play.

 

Before that was my first season and I actually started playing with a set of women's gear that I'd inherited from my late Mom, and .. when I quickly decided I was hooked and needed my own “starter” set ... replaced with a super-cheap (including bag) Top Flite complete set (just to make sure I really was hooked, you know - limit the damage, hedge your bets). The irons that replaced the Top Flite set were TM R9s, with graphite shafts, that I really liked and thought I would keep using for a very long time until I found the new F6 irons.

 

The F6 hybrids came as sort of a package deal (which included a free stand bag) with the F6 irons that I decided on after demo'ing and testing a bunch of different brands and models (fyi: almost went for the Wilson C200s but to me the F6s had a little better feel to them).

 

The Bafflers were nice - very forgiving, very easy to hit - but I thought I was ready for an “upgrade” with respect to both clubhead and shaft technology, and maybe also distance (yeah yeah I look at the magazine ads).

 

The F6s are giving me more distance, yet still have plenty of forgiveness plus more feel (of the ball on the face) and a little more ‘zip' off of the face, too - it has a shallow speed channel surrounding the face. As my swing improves my accuracy / dispersion has improved, too.

BafflerVsF6_Face.jpg

 

I also thought the loft adjustability feature would be a ‘nice to have'; eg. you can go from a 2H to a 3H in one club, so if your bag changes you can adjust this club for the desired gap. There are also “Draw” setting options, but I'm avoiding these now as I end up hooking the ball more often.

 

 

 

Enter the Hogan VKTR Hybrids.

I was really thrilled to be selected for this review, and was really looking forward to hitting these clubs; hoping for additional distance gains over the F6s but with no loss in accuracy (ha ha ha ha ha ha ha). But also, I really like learning about golf equipment, and trying to figure out what might work better for me and help my game (other than a better, more consistent swing…).

 

The VKTR has a taller and (interestingly) slightly wider face vs. the F6 so I thought this might be helpful to me off the tee.

VKTR vs F6 - face on overandunder.jpg

 

For this test / review we were able to select two clubs of two different lofts (fixed lofts, these are not loft-adjustable clubs), but only with a standard shaft. Customizations available included length, lie as either standard or +/-1 degree, or a different grip.

 

Lofts I selected were 17* (their lowest loft in this club) and 20* to closely match what I currently play. Shaft length(1) and lie were left at standard as these seemed to fit in nicely enough with the rest of my set(2).

  1. VKTR shafts are -1.00” inch and -1.25" shorter than the F6 standard 2/3H, 3/4H respectively. My F6 shafts were shortened -½” so the VKTRs are a bit shorter still.
  2. If you like numbers and spreadsheets here's a link to a copy of my ever-evolving “club specs”... https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1MY3GbKCP07txVEXWNREXnpXgiRNDthESNVgx8mhjcQ0/edit?usp=sharing

 

The stock graphite shaft is a UST Mamiya model called the “iRod”, the 75g version, which according to their website is “designed specifically for hybrids”. Hogan offers a Recoil 660 as an upgrade option, but this was not available to MGS for this review (that's the Cobra F6 shaft above the iRod).

VKTR vs F6 - shafts.jpg

 

The stock grip is a Ben Hogan-branded version of a Tour Velvet-like grip. On the grip size I like to have +2 wraps underneath (a standard diameter), and I decided to try out the Golf Pride Tour Wrap (I normally use New Decade Multi-Compound), and Hogan Golf accommodated this request.

VKTR vs F6 - grips.jpg

 

 

Update: I still prefer the Multi-Compound.

 

 

 

Moveable weights.

The VKTRs are “flight-adjustable” via four moveable weight screws in the head; three are 2-gram and one is 18-gram.

 

[Corrected] Note that 1 Swing Weight in the clubhead is 2 grams, so moving the heavier screw is NINE SWs! and clearly can affect your ball flight. The total swing weight of the club, with stock shaft, is (stated at) D2.

 

One screw is set into the center of the sole, with the factory default setup to place the 18g weight here; the other three are arranged around the perimeter - toe, center-back and heel.

 

Here's the page from the “Instruction Manual”...

VKTR Instruction Manual.jpg

 

The weights are moved using the same type of hand-held torque wrench you use on adjustable loft hosels.

 

 

 

OK... so let's move on to the…

Performance Q&A!

 

Note: I've posted two Performance sections, the first for the 17-degree and the second for the 20-degree.

 

* The results below, for both clubs and for both at the range and on the course, are subjective and visual; ie. no launch monitor.

 

Stupidly on my part, though, is that I do have a golf sim program (P3 Pro) but the laptop it was on died and still needs to be replaced (was planning on doing that before Winter so I can start looking at my own swing analyses, in addition to indoor practice and play).

____________________________________________________

 

 

 

1. Testing the VKTR 17.

 

This section is just about the VKTR 17-degree; my impressions about it on its own and about it compared to my F6-16*. Later, I'll repeat the Performance Q&A for the 20-degree.

 

First, I changed my F6-2H from 16 to 16.5 (no 17-even setting available) to more closely match the VKTR. I started with the VKTR weights in the factory default setup, which has the 18-gram weight in the sole (after checking they were all fully secured).

 

Basic methodology was to hit a few with my F6, then several with the VKTR, then jot a few notes on what just happened, then test the heavy weight in a different setup and repeat.

 

 

 

At the Range:

  • Accuracy –
  • Are you able to consistently hit your target?
    • ​No… I generally line up and aim straight in-line with my target, as most of my shots are either pretty straight or slight fade (or an occasional hook or draw). With the VKTR all my shots were moving right - not a slice, per se, but more of a steady turn through the ball flight. Cannot closely estimate the yards offline but looked like 20 or more on an approx 200-yard shot.
    • Moved the heavy weight to the rear, the more forgiving position, but still more of a right turn than I like. A bit closer to the target, though.
    • Moved the heavy weight to the heel/draw position and started getting better, and more consistent, results. I also adjusted my F6 from 16.5 to 16.5/Draw to match.
    • Bottom line: each time I adjusted the VKTR I hit a series of balls with it, and then with the F6, and then the VKTR again and then a few more with the F6, but - still found it easier to launch and to put the ball near my target with the F6 (ie. it's clearly a much more forgiving club).

 

  • Distance –
  • How does the club compare to other products strictly from a distance perspective?
    • ​Better! No question that a solid strike with the VKTR will make the ball FLYYYYY!

 

  • Trajectory Characteristics –
  • Does the ball launch high or low, or somewhere in-between?
    • ​Lower than I'd like. Possibly the shaft … possibly a Recoil may work better for me?

 

  • Do you find it more or less difficult to get the ball in the air?
    • ​More difficult, vs. the Cobra F6 which is clearly more “GI” than the VKTR.

 

  • Forgiveness –
  • What happens when you mis-hit the ball?
    • ​High slice. Very high. Ugly.

 

  • How much distance is lost?
    • ​15% or more; eg. say 30 yards (or more) on an intended 200-yard shot.

 

  • Does the ball still remain between the trees nets (at the range)?
    • ​I'll just say, “No”, since the offline loss looked like more than half the width of most of the fairways where I usually play.

 

  • Control –
  • Are you able to make the ball do what you want it to (within the limitations of your own abilities)?
    • ​No .. felt like I had to work a bit harder to keep it somewhat in front of me.

 

  • Can you launch high or low when you need to?
    • ​Somewhat; but not as readily .. for me .. as with the F6.

 

  • Are you able to move the ball right to left or left to right?
    • ​No - this is currently outside “the limitations of [my] own abilities”... :(

 

Range Score: 5 (Out of 10 points)

 

Kind of a 50-50 proposition .. for me .. with the VKTR 17*. It's obviously an excellent club, but at this time I am still more comfortable with the F6 16* (probably in essence due to its forgiveness/GI factor).

 

 

 

On the Course:

 

Note: I've only used the VKTR 17 off the tee so far; by Stage 3 review time I hope to have used it a bit more off of fairways and from light rough.

 

  • Accuracy –
  • How well did you hit the fairways?
    • ​50-50 but not in intended position.
    • The good ones were very good, distance-wise, but still more right than intended; did not try to aim left to compensate. I'm probably about 7 maybe 8 out of 10 with the F6 off the tee.

 

  • Were you often right/left/short/long?
    • ​Usually right and long. Two of my common misses are either short-right or long-left, so this was a new one!
    • Did not try to aim left to compensate (I believe I should fix my swing, not make artificial compensations.)

 

  • Distance –
  • How does the product compare to other products strictly from a distance perspective?
    • ​Definitely a bit further, most of it from the lower flight plus more roll-out.
    • Did not test on a monitor so cannot tell you if I was hitting this with less, or more, spin vs. the F6.

 

  • Consistency –
  • If you were going for a 250 yard drive, did you get a 250 yard shot or did it vary by +/- 30 yards?
    • ​Yes, when I hit it well it flew a very consistent pattern and distance.

 

  • Shot Shaping –
  • If the course you play requires a certain type of ball flight for certain holes, were you able to hit this shot within reason for your skill level?
    • ​For me, No, as again shot shaping is still currently outside “the limitations of [my] own abilities”.
    • Can occasionally pull off an intended fade, like into a green, or a draw like into a dogleg left (I'm right-handed) but not on command frequently enough (am working on it, though!).

 

  • Carry vs Roll –
  • Does the ball stay in the air forever and stop or do you hit low fliers that roll forever.
    • ​For me the ball flew a bit lower and rolled out further, vs. the F6.

 

  • Which is better for your course?
    • ​Generally, fly-and-stop to get into position is better, as I generally play on shorter / tighter courses (and some have a lot of slope).


 

Course Score: 33.5 (Out of 50 points)

 

Course experience was, say, 2 out of 3 for me; again, this is an excellent club but currently I still do better with the more forgiving F6.

 

 

 

Performance Notes (17-degree):

 

(Barbajo: you've got me thinking of Sally here, but pre-4i-epiphany….…..)

  • How did it perform?
    • ​The club has a lot of potential, as does the player/reviewer :) ... but he needs to realize more of that potential to get more out of the club…
    •  just was not hitting it as solidly and as consistently as it needs to be, so right now I'm still getting more out my F6.

 

  • Were you pleased with how the club performed?
    • ​If you get a solid strike with this, then heck yeah .. but [sadly] I'm not [yet] consistent enough.

 

  • Please compare and contrast it to what you are currently playing?
    • ​Not as easy to launch high and straight.

 

  • What factors were you pleased with?
    • ​Looks. Club looks great!
    • Performance is nice if you can put a good, center face strike on it.
    • Feel is very solid and the club provides a lot of feedback.

 

  • How did it compare to your current gamer(s)?
    • ​Harder to play. For me and for right now, the Cobra F6 with its forgiveness and GI qualities is a better fit.

 

  • Did you notice better production on the range or on the course more?
    • ​I think I did better on the course, off the tee, though it was a somewhat limited test.

 

  • Could you use it in both settings?
    • ​No, I actually did slightly better out on the course, BUT only off the tee. The range was only off the mat - I plan to return and bring my practice mat with a short tee in it.

 

  • What factors did you find lacking?
    • ​For me, for right now, I need more forgiveness on mis-hits and an easier launch.
    • May be helped by a different shaft? -- am considering getting a Recoil and having it re-shafted.

 

  • What improvements would you like to see?
    • ​As mentioned in the “QA Problems” earlier, some sort of cap over the toe's weight screw to sit flush with the clubhead surface and eliminate the whistling noise, and a better way to watertight seal the screw.

 

  • What would you do away with?
    • ​Other than the whistling? … Hmmm , not sure.

 

For me - and for where I'm at right now with my swing and my game - the Cobra F6 2/3H is a better fit than the VKTR 17 (though I hope to continue to improve and ‘grow into' it!).

 

The VKTR 20, however… :-)

 

_____________________________________________________

 

 

 

Performance Q&A - Part 2.

 

 

2. Testing the VKTR 20.

 

This section is just about the VKTR 20-degree. I split the two club reviews into separate sections as I had pretty different experiences with each.

 

I started with the moveable weights in the factory default setup - with the 18-gram in the sole.

 

My F6-3/4H is set at 20.5 (no 20-even setting available). I use this club most often as my ‘rescue'-type club; for example if (oops: I meant “when”.. ha...) a tee shot goes into the rough and I still have more than a 5- or 6-iron distance to the green.

 

The range results below are subjective and visual; ie. no launch monitor.

 

So that just said… thinking about one of the questions back in Stage 1, I guess I'm more of a feel-type golfer in so far as I don't rely on LM readouts but prefer to real-world-test a club to experience it directly and observe the ball flight (I think a lot of you others are like this - why else do we keep buying clubs to .. ummm .. “try out”..??).

 

 

 

At the Range:

  • Accuracy –
  • Are you able to consistently hit your target?
    • ​At first, No, then I moved the heavy weight to the rear, more forgiving position and started hitting a bit better.
    • Another round of tests switching between the VKTR and my F6 and then changed the heavy weight again, this time into the heel to create a draw bias and bang! … Shots started flying higher and on target!

 

  • Distance –
  • How does the club compare to other products strictly from a distance perspective?
    • ​Cannot say I've yet gotten everything out of this club, and the shots I hit seemed to be comparable to my F6 (20.5*).

​

  • Trajectory Characteristics –
  • Does the ball launch high or low, or somewhere in-between?
    • ​Medium-high, comparable to what I get with the F6.

 

  • Do you find it more or less difficult to get the ball in the air?
    • ​Slightly more difficult; this club is a bit more, umm, demanding?, of your strike on the ball. Which is good in that it forced me to focus better on a clean contact.

 

  • Forgiveness –
  • What happens when you mis-hit the ball?
    • ​Not as much offline as my bad shots with the 17-degree; could still track it and imagine it would be findable / playable if on the course.
    • Feedback from the clubhead let you know pretty quickly it's not gonna fly true.

 

  • How much distance is lost?
    • ​Not as much as my bad shots with the 17-degree; appeared to be almost as far downrange just offline (mostly to the right).

 

  • Does the ball still remain between the trees nets (at the range)?
    • ​Yes, the offline appeared as if it could still be playable.

 

  • Control –
  • Are you able to make the ball do what you want it to (within the limitations of your own abilities)?
    • ​Reasonably so, yes (within the limitations of [my] own abilities).

 

  • Can you launch high or low when you need to?
    • ​Reasonably so, yes (within the limitations of [my] own abilities).

 

  • Are you able to move the ball right to left or left to right?
    • ​A little bit, yes (within the limitations of [my] own abilities).

 

Range Score:  6.7 (Out of 10 points)

 

Enjoyed this club overall, even though the F6 is still easier for me to hit. Going to keep working with it, though, as it's helping me focus on a good, clean contact.

 

 

 

On the Course:

 

OK - you're all gonna shout out “BS!” but .. when I'm feelin' good, when I'm comfortable with my grip and feel like I'm swinging in sync .. I can hit better out on the course… Dunno, just feel less restricted or (whoknowswhat???).

 

Possibly ‘cause I'll take a bit more time with each game shot; I know you should but I do not go through the pre-shot routine with every ball at the range (hit hit hit bang bang bang, switch clubs, hit hit hit bang bang bang, repeat…). Also possibly ‘cause I swing more in control and less ‘go for it' (no consequences at the range).

 

  • Accuracy –
  • How well did you hit the fairways?
    • ​Limited trial here, did get 3 out of 3 but am NOT extrapolating this to mean I could _always_ hit the fairway with this club.

 

  • Were you often right/left/short/long?
    • ​Two of the three were pretty spot-on, so pretty happy with that, and one was short-right but still very playable.

 

  • Distance –
  • How does the product compare to other products strictly from a distance perspective?
    • ​This was not necessarily any longer than what I'm getting now out of the F6, but I will attribute a large part of that to me being a bit more ‘careful' hitting the VKTR on the course, vs. the F6 which I swing a bit more freely (being more used to it).

 

  • Consistency –
  • If you were going for a 250 yard drive, did you get a 250 yard shot or did it vary by +/- 30 yards?
    • ​Felt like the shots I produced were _very_ consistent, in flight and in distance.

 

  • Shot Shaping –
  • If the course you play requires a certain type of ball flight for certain holes, were you able to hit this shot within reason for your skill level?
    • Sort of, but really just worked on straight and solid shots; shot-shaping (on demand) currently not "within the limitations of [my] own abilities".

 

  • Carry vs Roll –
  • Does the ball stay in the air forever and stop or do you hit low fliers that roll forever.
    • ​A good strike seems to deliver both flight and some more rollout vs. the F6. Flight for me was medium-high, which is about the same as I usually get with the F6.

 

  • Which is better for your course?
    • ​Generally, fly-and-stop to get into position is better, as I generally play on shorter / tighter courses (and some have a lot of slope).


 

Course Score: 37.5 (Out of 50 points)

 

 

 

Performance Notes (20-degree):

 

(Barbajo: I finally had a small bit of a Sally-type epiphany with this club… yea!)

 

  • How did it perform?
    • ​Very nicely! Funny how just 3 degrees of separation (from the 17-degree) can make that much difference; but as mentioned am working on strengthening the long side of my game.

 

  • Were you pleased with how the club(s) performed?
    • ​After my sub-optimal experience with the 17-degree, I was very pleasantly surprised with this club.

 

  • Please compare and contrast it to what you are currently playing?
    • ​Seems to require a bit more ooomph to get the ball high and flying, vs. the F6. Good hits, though, will carry well and give some rollout, too.
    • The F6 has a “Speed Channel” surrounding the face so this seems to help the ball “pop” a bit off the face, vs. the VKTR.

 

  • What factors were you pleased with?
    • ​Solid strikes have a solid feel, and provide good feedback (sound and feel). The V-Sole really does seem to help on the fairway, to keep the leading edge from digging in.

 

  • How did it compare to your current gamer(s)?
    • ​Solid strikes fly at least as well as my Cobra F6, but … for me, for right now, I am still getting more consistent results with the F6, which is easier to launch and more forgiving.

 

  • Did you notice better production on the range or on the course more?
    • ​Similar; one was not particularly better than the other.

 

  • Could you use it in both settings?
    • ​Yes; one was not particularly better than the other.

 

  • What factors did you find lacking?
    • ​For me, for right now, I still need a bit more forgiveness for mis-hits and easier launch to be able to confidently utilize this club from all lies.

 

  • What improvements would you like to see?
    • ​As mentioned in the “QA Problems” earlier, some sort of cap over the toe's weight screw to sit flush with the clubhead surface and eliminate the whistling noise, and a better way to watertight seal the screw.

 

  • What would you do away with?
    • ​Other than the whistling?... Hmmm , not sure.

 

This club has the potential to replace the F6-20*; the main factor holding me back is that I still prefer the forgiveness and ‘familiarity' of the F6 to help with the confidence a bit when in a tough lie on the course (eg. heavier rough or ball-below-the-feet).

 

______________________________________________________

 

 

 

Subjective

 

The next sections - Looks, Sound & Feel and Likelihood of Purchase - apply to both clubs.

 

 

Looks, Sound & Feel:

 

Describe the following:

  • General shape.
    • ​Love it. Looks like a hybrid should: business-like. More compact shape than others in the GI category but not as small as the ‘pro' style hybrids. The 17* volume is about 110cc, the 20* a little less but not specified on the Hogan site (somewhere between 110 and 96cc for their 27*).

 

VKTR vs F6 - at address.jpg

 

 

Has a slightly taller face than most other hybrids I've seen. Interestingly, the heel-to-toe width, across the face, is actually a bit wider vs. the Cobra F6.

 

VKTR vs F6 - face on sidebyside.jpg

 

  • Offset.
    • ​Minimal. Love it.

 

  • Graphics.
    • ​Clean, uncluttered. Polished midnight blue crown with no markings, no logo, no alignment aid. Classic-/old-fashioned-looking “Ben Hogan” name on the sole.
    • The ferrule atop the hosel has two red stripes around it - another classic-/old-fashioned-looking touch that I think looks good.
    • Red and white accent stripes on the sole go with the blue. Very nice.

 

  • Other unique details.
    • ​Flat face with almost no bulge.
    • Weight screw heads have the star pattern from the their logo .. nice touch.
    • The V-Sole, with the Vee towards the front edge, really does seem to help the clubhead slide across the ground, and help prevent the leading edge from digging.

 

VKTR va F6 - sole view across.jpg

 

-- Not the best pics to highlight the V-Sole but you can kinda see a slight ridgeline about 1/4" back from the leading edge.

 

VKTR vs F6 - sole view straight on.jpg

 

 

  • Also: the absence of “tech”, with only the slightest hint of a speed channel at the top where the face where meets the crown, otherwise no sliding weights, etc., no frills.

 

  • How does it come together visually?
    • ​Nice. Very nice. Very strong “eye appeal”.

 

  • How does it compare to other products in its category?
    • ​These are definitely less forgiving than than my (GI) Cobra F6s. I have not played any other ‘better player' style hybrids so cannot make a direct comparison.

 

  • Is it soft, crisp, dull, clunky (feel free to use your own imaginative phrases)?
    • ​Solid is the word I'll use. A good hit on the ball with this club returns a very solid feel; possibly a consequence of the lower volume profile (and/or their face technology?), eg. maybe something analogous to the difference between a blade iron and a cavity back?

 

  • Does it feel consistent across the face, or are mis-hits noticeably pronounced?
    • ​Mis-hits are not forgiven. Good strikes are rewarded with very good consistency (flight, dispersion and distance).

 

  • Compare to your best/worst feel and sound experiences?
    • ​Well.. sound-wise at first that whistling was annoying but once I figured out a work-around I could hear the contact … which, as mentioned, is very solid - not dull, muted but not a light ‘ting' nor a loud crack, either.
    • I cannot say I have a best/worst sound experience but instead - once I've gotten used to how a club works - try to use the sound of a strike as part of the feedback on how well or poorly I've hit it.

 

Looks, Sound and Feel Score: 17.5 (Out of 20 points)

 

 

 

Likelihood of Purchase:

  • How likely would you be to purchase this product?
    • ​If I had only walked into a store and tried to hit a few balls indoors on a monitor I would probably put Zero.
    • But based on being able to spend time at the range and out on the course with the club I would ‘maybe' for the 17* and ‘somewhat likely' for the 20* make a purchase but not ‘almost definitely'.
  • Why or why not?
    • ​At this point in my equipment search I have been more oriented towards more forgiving GI-style clubs; ie. ones that .. for me, for right now .. feel easier to launch and easier to hit straight every time.

 

LOP Score: 10 (Out of 20 points)

 

 

Totally separately, fyi: also going to test a Ping G Crossover 3 (18*, acquired very slightly used and very cheap on eBay; have been happy with the 5-Crossover) to see if that might be any better for me than the F6 2/3-H.

 

_________________________________________________________

 

 

 

Conclusion.

 

As mentioned in my “Preliminary” post at top, my initial reaction to the VKTR 17-degree is that it is just a bit too much for me at this current stage in my swing / game… Just out of reach by the smallest margin...

 

Kinda like a little kid, on his tippy-toes and straining his fingers to reach out just a teeeensy bit more to get that cookie sitting on the countertop, and thinking … I only need a few more months to grow one more inch and then it's mine! All mine…!!!  

 

On the positive side, working with this club has renewed my interest in strengthening my long game and taking more practice time specific to the long clubs in the bag; working on getting more consistent ball flight and better target dispersion.

 

With the VKTR 20, although I had much better success with it both at the range and on the course, at this time I'm still more “used to” and a bit more comfortable with my F6 3/4H set at 20.5 degrees … which I use most often as my “rescue” type club, so it's generally from lies where I really don't want to be second-guessing myself.

 

In brief:

I guess I'm still very much a game-improvement type of equipment recreational player.

 

(but hoping to work my way into ‘play-ah' status in the near future!)

 

But in both cases, I hope that with some more time I will start to hit each of these clubs better and more consistently.

 

But then … I guess that's one thing the next installment Stage 3 review is for!

 

 

 

Addendum:

 

Upgrading the shafts.

 

I ended up ordering two new Recoil shafts online with the intent to go into a shop and have them replace the stock iRods; the hoped-for goal being - for me - an easier, slightly higher launch. Current thinking is to use a 660 in the 17* and a slightly heavier 670 in the 20*.

 

Since Hogan offers the Recoil as an upgrade, re-fitting with this shaft would replicate what someone could order from them.

 

I'm thinking it's going to be a bit easier-launching for me compared to the iRod; “anecdotal evidence” is that the Recoil 660 comes in A and R flexes only .. no S nor X .. vs. the iRod which does offer S and X.

 

[i had a neat data table inserted here with specs of the iRod vs Recoils, but it .. literally! .. got lost in translation...]

 

(Yes - I know I could use a fitter to work all this out for me, but I enjoy experimenting and learning by doing for myself; and along the way, I feel like I am also learning the types of questions that I should be asking of a fitter, so if and when I do see one I hope to have a better and more complete experience.)

 

(And, yes - it costs $$$ but golfing has become a pretty important recreational pursuit for me, plus … one club is a lot cheaper than one piece of windsurfing equipment or a high-end surfboard!)

 

 

*** If and when I change to the Recoils I'll try to append an update. ***

 

______________________________________________________

 

 

SCORES

 

 

Score / VKTR 17:

  • Range Score: 5 (Out of 10 points)
    • 50-50 for me when I tested.
  • ​Course Score: 30 (Out of 50 points)
    • Somewhat better than 50-50 for me when I played.
  • Sound and Feel Score: 15 (Out of 20 points)
    • A solid strike with this club is a beautiful thing (and I seem to have found a workaround for the whistling noise).
  • LOP Score: 5 (Out of 20 points)
    • If I had only walked into a store and tried to hit a few balls indoors on a monitor I would most likely put Zero.
    • ​But based on being able to spend time at the range and on the course with the club -- THANK YOU BEN HOGAN GOLF! AND THANK YOU MGS! -- I would ‘maybe' make a purchase but not ‘almost definitely'.

Total Score / VKTR 17 = 55

 

 

_____________________________________________________

 

 

Score / VKTR 20:

  • Range Score: 6.7 (Out of 10 points)
    • About 2 good out of 3 for me when I tested.
  • Course Score: 37.5 (Out of 50 points)
    • About 3 out 4 good or acceptable for me when I played.
  • Sound and Feel Score: 17.5 (Out of 20 points)
    • A solid strike with this club is a beautiful thing (and I seem to have found a workaround for the whistling noise).
  • LOP Score: 15 (Out of 20 points)
    • If I had only walked into a store and tried to hit a few balls indoors on a monitor I would possibly put Zero.
    • But based on being able to spend time at the range and out on the course with the club -- THANK YOU BEN HOGAN GOLF! AND THANK YOU MGS! -- I would ‘somewhat likely' make a purchase but not ‘almost definitely'.

 

Total Score / VKTR 20 = 76.7

 

====================================

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Stage One - Introduction & Interview Thread with Q&A Section.

 

First of all, I would like to thank Ben Hogan Golf Company for providing two (2) VKTR hybrids for evaluation to each of six (6) MyGolfSpy forum members.  The members of our golfing community appreciate manufacturers who are wiling to allow critical review of their products.  I also thank the MyGolfSpy forum moderators for having the confidence that I can provide an analysis of the VKTR hybrids that will be valuable to forum readers considering a purchase.

 

Are you looking for a review of the VKTR hybrid by a 20 or 30 something, 6'2” 180 pounds with a clubhead speed over 110 mph?  Well this isn't it.  Maybe you are looking for a review by a middle-aged, slightly overweight guy with a 100 mph clubhead speed that kicks ass, and routinely contends in club championships every year?  You know that guy.  Nope that's not me either.  I am the overweight SENIOR golfer with a less than 90 mph clubhead speed, flogging away most days because I retired last year.  I love golf, and I want to play as much as I can because I may not be able to play much longer.  However, I want to play the best I can and will do whatever I can to improve.

 

So, a little more about me. I picked up golf late in life after the aches and pains of competitive fast pitch softball and volleyball did not all go away before the next game the following week.  I needed a new sport at age 45.  I was never a great athlete; played decent at most sports while growing up.  I thought I could learn golf on my own, but I was wrong!  It took years to unlearn all my swing flaws.  Words for those just starting out in this silly game… take lessons early!  It took me 10 years to get from a 25 ‘cap to 14, and another 10 years to get from 14 to my current 9 index.  I firmly believe that if I had started with lessons at the beginning, I could have been lower than 9 in my first 10 years.

 

Now that I have wasted my “youthful” golf years, I have to play a different game.  I rely heavily on my driver, 7-wood and two (2) hybrids to get me into scoring position.  So when the opportunity to test the Ben Hogan VKTR hybrids came up, I had to put my name in.  I typically shoot in the low 80's, but if my long game is working I can go mid-70's.  My strengths are accurate driving and decent putting.  My short game is better this year since I joined my new club because the practice facilities are much better.  My weakness is length; I need more, but at 69 years old, I have a feeling that I am going to get less from now on.  

 

You should know that I do not have a swing typical of most golfers.  In my younger days I hit the ball pretty far (at least that is how I remember it… lol), but I had a wicked slice.  I almost gave up the game, but then I took lessons, and I found the Single Plane Swing of Moe Norman taught by the Graves Golf Academy.  This video of my swing was taken the day after I pulled the fat, I mean the one muscle I apparently have, on my left side of my stomach, and it is very sore.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9nE_q79vNE

 

Now I play a straight ball mostly, but I can work the ball left or right (slightly), but being right-handed, working to the right is a lot easier since that was my natural shot shape anyway.  

 

At times I do have a tendency to screw up my swing tempo, and I would say that as my tempo goes, so does my score.  I can play a solid round where I have a few birdies and shoot in the 70's.  When I shoot in the 70's, I feel like I have found something and I can shoot in the 70's every day, but the next day or maybe next week I wonder why I am even playing this game; I can shoot in the high 80's.  It's that reason that I lack confidence to play in big events.  So, most of my play is at my club with my wife who is a 17 ‘cap.  She has been playing since 1963.  We love to travel to play golf, and we usually play in the Pacific Northwest, but we will travel to warm places in the winter just to get away for a couple of weeks.  We usually go to Arizona, Palm Springs, or Hawaii, but last February we went to cold, rainy, windy Florida. 

 

I am a tinkerer.  When I first started playing golf in the 1990's, I bought components from Golfworks just to learn about clubs.  After I gained experience building clubs, I bought a used set of Ping Eye 2 irons that I used for about 10 years, and I just had to buy the Callaway Big Bertha driver when it came out.  I retired the Pings around 2004 when I decided that I had to have a set of MacGregor blades.  When my swing speed started to decline, the S300 shafts were too much so I put them in the garage and was fitted for Ping i20 irons.  I like them a lot, but when I heard about the SCOR wedges here on the forum and tried them, they replaced my 9i, PW, AW, and my Ping Eye 2 SW and LW.  The problem was that the SCOR 42* was nearly as long as my i20 8i and I had a gapping problem.  So, I tried a little experiment; retrieved the MacGregors, pulled the shafts on the 5i-8i and put in the UST Mamiya ProForce, which is close to the same as in my SCOR wedges.  I strengthened the lofts to get the gapping right, and they are awesome.

 

IMG_4467.jpg

IMG_4464.jpg

 

My driver?  Bridgestone JGR 12*  -  best driver I have ever had!  It replaced the SLDR.  Many thanks to MmmmmBuddy at Fiddler's Green in Eugene, Oregon for helping me pick it out.

 

FW and Hybrids?  I tossed out my 4 wood this year because I didn't hit it well enough 80% of the time.  My longest club off the fairway is my TaylorMade RBZ 3H, then my Sonartec 23* 7-wood, followed by my TaylorMade RBZ 5H.  Odd? Yes, but the Sonartec is NOT leaving the bag.  I picked the Ben Hogan VKTR 18* and 26* hybrids as possible replacements for the RBZs.  

 

IMG_4463.jpg

 

Putter?  I am not one to collect putters.  I only ever used four (4) putters, and one of those was the Nike Converge that I tested for the forum last year.  

http://forum.mygolfspy.com/topic/14560-member-testing-nike-converge-putters/

 

My gamer is a Boccieri Heavy Putter at 32” that I bought used at a Golfsmith store.  It's not sexy, but nothing else comes close to replacing it anytime soon, but keep looking.

 

Of course…  My Tour Ball is Snell.  When it gets colder, I switch to the Snell Get Sum in Optic Yellow.

 

If you read this far, then you must have a game similar to mine.  Maybe I should say I'm sorry, but I can get around the course OK most days and still enjoy it, so it's not all bad.  If you have any questions, please post them and I will be happy to answer whatever I can.  

 

I will say that the Ben Hogan VKTR hybrids look sweet, and I will be posting photos and my review in the following stages of the review process.

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Ben Hogan VKTR Hybrids -  Official MGS Review by Kenny B
 
Stage Two
As described in the Stage One - Introduction, I am not the longest of hitters.  My driver has always been fairly reliable, but I am always looking for more distance.  Isn't everyone?  My problem is that since I don't drive the ball a long way, I have to use long clubs for a lot of approach shots.  I am constantly searching for better fairway woods and hybrids.  I hit my current TaylorMade RBZ hybrids pretty well, usually straight but not as high as I'd like.  So I keep looking.  
 
When Ben Hogan Golf (BHG) came out with the VKTR hybrids, I was very excited to try them out.  I had visions that my swing would look like this:
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FUIzt3bG1Zk 
 
 
Well, I can dream, can't I?  
 
I love my SCOR wedges that Terry Koehler produced, and when he took over the reins of BHG, I loved the look of the irons they produced.  The VKTR have to be a great addition to the top end of my bag, right?  They look great! 
 
When the VKTR hybrids arrived, I immediately went to the course.  It was early afternoon, and very few people were there.  A league started at 4pm, so I had a couple of hours.  I hopped in a cart and drove out to hole #5, a 600 yard par 5, which is the first opportunity on my course where I typically hit a hybrid.  I opened two sleeves of Snell My Tour Ball and proceeded to hit shots with both the VKTR 18 and 26.  I started with the VKTR 18.  WTF?  Better go get those six balls and try it again… if I can find them!  The #5 fairway is pretty wide, and If I ever miss it, the ball is either in the first cut or rough or not far from it.  I had two balls in the fairway; the others were way left or way right.  One was so far right that it was over a mound and into a bunker on hole #6.  
 
The club felt very light to me.  You know how a club feels when you turn it around and swing holding on to the shaft at the head end of the club?  I felt like I had little control of the club head.  When I try out a new club at our local golf store, I usually can tell if a club will work for me or not after just a few swings.  That's the way I felt about the VKTRs.  I decided to change around the location of the heavy 18-gram weight; moving it from the sole of the club (stock configuration) to center-back and then to the heel of the club without any improvement.  I spent the rest of the afternoon hitting balls on that fairway, thinking that all I needed to do was spend a little more time to get the feel of them.  No good.  I went back to my RBZs and struggled with them too.  In fact I struggled with all my clubs for several days.  My swing tempo was way off.  I was beginning to feel like:  

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zd4FlLe_dU
 
So, I called BHG on Friday morning, August 12 to inquire about the VKTR shaft.  I was transferred to someone (forget the name) but the call went to voicemail.  I waited for a call until Monday afternoon, August 15 when I sent a note to BHG via their Contact Us messaging system.  I received an immediate automated reply that said my request was received and was being reviewed by their support staff.  In my message I stated that I was reviewing these VKTR hybrids for MyGolfSpy and after playing them, I felt they were too light; I had no feeling for the club head and shots were difficult to control.  I inquired if there was a heavier shaft available in regular flex and if another heavy weight could be added in one of the weight ports.
 
I finally received a phone call on Monday, August 29; two weeks later.  Clearly, BHG was concerned about my review and were willing to provide custom shafts, but I informed them that this test was for the hybrids with the standard available shafts.  I asked if they could send me two 18-gram weights to replace one of the 2-gram weights in each of the clubs.  They said they would, and I received them a week later on September 7.  The problem was they sent two 9-gram weights.  I called when I opened the package and I was informed that they did not have any of the 18-gram weights available.  The 9-gram weight looks identical to the 2-gram weight, but clearly feels heavier.  I weighed them and they were indeed 9 grams.  In the photo the weights from left to right are 18-gram, 2-gram, and 9-gram.

 

BenHogan_4288.jpg
 
I decided to pull the 18-gram weight out of the port on the VKTR 26 and use it in place of one of the 2-gram weights in the VKTR 18.  FYI, be careful when pulling the weights.  The O-ring can stay in the club or will fall out.  I also observed that the Instruction Manual that came with the clubs said to rotate the Ben Hogan wrench clockwise until you feel the wrench tighten and click.  There was no click... on any screw that I tightened.  

 

The extra 18-gram weight made the club too heavy, so I replaced it with a 9-gram weight; first in the sole of the club, then in the heel.  The results were better, but the club still didn't feel right.
 
Performance at the Range
 
The purpose of this part of the review is to evaluate accuracy, distance, trajectory, forgiveness, and control.  I have to explain that I am not a range rat.  I really hate hitting balls on the range.  There are two reasons for that:

 

  1. Range mats or the grass on my driving range do not provide a hitting surface that in any way approximates the fairway grass on my course.  
  2. Hitting balls is boring to me, and I only do it if I have a swing issue to work out.

Range balls are a mix of brands, newness, and sometimes do not fly like a normal ball would.  I also find it difficult to judge the distance, not only because of the balls but also because the landing area is uneven and not always visible.  I can get a relative distance, but it's mostly just that my driver flies further than my hybrid.  I really couldn't tell you how much further.  I do not find that an evaluation on a range is very informative.  Therefore, I have focused my review on performance on the course.
 
Range Score:  N/A, the points for this section are added to the Course Score.
 
 
Performance on the Course
 
When I want to test out clubs or balls, I go to the course.  I will pick a day and time when I know the course will be relatively empty, and then I will head out to a hole like I described earlier when I went out to #5, a 600-yard par 5.  I will hit tee shots, then second shots, and depending on what I am testing, I will hit 3rd shots.  I will conduct tests like this on multiple days just to ensure that I get a representation using my golfing abilities spread out over different weather and course conditions.  I will usually not spend more than an hour at a time conducting tests.  For the same reason that I don't like ranges, I get bored easily as well as exhausted.  Damn old age!!
 
On my course I do not normally hit hybrids off the tee unless I have a strong headwind or tailwind, and then only on two holes would a hybrid come into play.  My hybrid play on the course consists of moving the ball down a fairway on par 5's or trying to get close to a green on a couple of par 4's.  There are no hazards in play so a high ball flight is not as important to me as the amount of roll.  My typical ball flight is low with my 3H and medium with my 5H.  To test the VKTR hybrids I hit balls off my #8 tee, a 200-yard par 3, and off the fairway on the par 5 #5, par 4 #7, and the par 5 #9.  
 
For these tests I first determined what weight port configuration worked best for my swing.  For me both clubs worked best when the 18-gram weight was in the center-back position and a 9-gram weight that BHG sent to me in the mail was positioned in the heel.  The sole and toe of the clubs had the stock 2-gram weight. 
 
Comparing the RBZ 3H at 19*to the VKTR 18*, I observed that the VKTR flew a little lower and rolled out to about the same distance, maybe a little more.  The VKTR 26* had similar ball flight as my RBZ 5H at 25* and was typically a few yards longer as well.  So, similar distances with a shorter club.  That is the good news.
 
The bad news is that with both VKTR clubs accuracy was not only worse than the RBZ, but it was unacceptable for my game.  The VKTR 26 is playable for me; the VKTR 18 is not.  I simply cannot control the shot with the VKTR 18.  About 60% of the time the ball is going right and about 20% of the time the ball is going low-left.  Since I am distance challenged, I cannot afford to hit errant shots off the fairway.  Those shots off the fairway also suffered distance loss from those that stayed in the fairway, but some of that could be due to the mounds and the rough.  The VKTR 26 was more accurate than the VKTR 18 with about 70% in the fairway.  However, when I hit my RBZ 3H, I expect the ball to be in the fairway over 90% of the time.  
 
Accuracy of the VKTR hybrids improved off the tee.  It seems that when I get the ball slightly off the ground, I hit better shots.  The RBZ hybrids are still better but the difference is closer.  However, most of the time when I use the RBZ 5H, I am hitting approach shots to a green.  Even though the VKTR 26 was considerably more accurate than the VKTR 18, as I would expect with higher loft, many shots still missed the green.  
 
I am not one to shape shots right or left; I like straight.  However, I can hit draws and fades with my irons and to some extent with my RBZs, fades being easier.  With the VKTR hybrids fades were easy because this was the shot shape that the club wanted to give me anyway.  There were no draws, only snap hooks!  
 
To be fair I have to comment that the turf at my course is very firm and somewhat wiry.  A divot can be taken, but I rarely do.  However, any shot that is just a little bit fat will turn an iron shot to the left.  It is certainly possible that some of those hooks and slices were the result of a poor ball strike.  
 
Since I did not rate the performance of these clubs on a range, I added the 10 points from that section to this Course rating section.
 
Course Score: (35 out of 60 points)
 
Looks, Sound & Feel 
 
The Ben Hogan VKTR Hybrid is a beautiful club that sets up very nicely to the ball and is reminiscent of clubs from over 100 years ago.  It does not have the shape of many of today's hybrids, i.e., like a mini fairway wood.  The face of the club is higher at the toe end than the heel which gives the appearance of the club being toe-heavy.  

 

In this photo you can see the difference between the RBZ and the VKTR.  Clearly, the VKTR will have more interaction with the ground than the RBZ. 

 

DSC_4279e.jpg

 

The club looks nice at address; no glaring graphics, with only minimal name recognition on the sole of the club.  The use of the navy blue color is a nice touch; not overdone.
 
DSC_4286e.jpg

 

DSC_4287e.jpg
 
This hybrid has a lot of adjustability built into the club.  With four weight ports the playing characteristics can be altered to fit  just about any player.  I guess I am not just any player.  I wish it fit me.  The club feels very light to me, and it is an inch shorter than my comparable RBZ hybrids.  It  has a muted sound when striking the ball and to me, it seems like the ball doesn't leap off the face, but that's not what I observed at all.  The ball goes further than you think when you hit it, albeit not in the direction I would expect.  
 
Other reviewers have noticed a whistle during the swing that apparently comes from the toe weight port.  It was not evident to me, but then I might not have the swing speed to make it occur.  :(
 
Based on looks alone, I would seriously want to play this club.  
 
I have describe the VKTR hybrids as feeling light to me.  Adding the extra weight to the club using a 9-gram weight instead of a 2-gram weight helped, but to me, the problem seemed to be the shaft.  This forum test is limited to clubs that are off the rack, standard fit options.  The only shaft available to me in a regular flex is the UST Mamiya iROD shaft.  This picture shows the only shaft available for this review in Regular Flex.

 

DSC_4282e.jpg

 

My RBZ has the stock TaylorMade RBZ shaft in Regular Flex.  This club has a much better weight balance for me.

 

DSC_4284e.jpg

 

I like UST shafts; I am playing UST ProForce graphite shafts in my MacGregor irons and the SCOR wedges have a 95-gram graphite shaft made by UST.  However, the iROD shaft does not feel to me like it fits this club, but that might just be me.  
 
Looks, Sound & Feel Score: (15 out of 20 points)
 
 
Likelihood of Purchase
 
How likely am I to purchase the Ben Hogan VKTR hybrid?  At this point, not likely.  There is no Ben Hogan fitter near my location, and clearly this stock club doesn't fit me.  I would not be willing to try clubs by mail until I found the right fit because clearly anything I would need to try would be a custom order.  Maybe I would have had better luck with this club if I had been able to see a fitter before testing.  IDK.
 
LOP Score: (5 out of 20 points)

Summary and Conclusion
 
If you like the looks of these hybrids and are a good striker of the ball with speed, then the VKTR hybrid might be a good choice. I had some thoughts about the VKTR hybrids when I was testing them.  My impression is that they are really for a better player; probably better than I am.  Maybe I could find a head/shaft combo that would work, maybe not.  However, I firmly believe that if you have a slower swing speed, or your tendency is to slice the ball, then these hybrids may not be for you.  I hit the ball pretty straight, but my tendency is a fade that is left over from my slicing days.  If you currently hook hybrids, then this club may be your answer.  There is enough adjustability with the weights to change ball flight, but with the square face and heavier toe, it is not going to help slicers.  Maybe a slight fade can be corrected with the weights but it didn't work for me.  It is entirely possible that a different shaft may make a huge difference.  I wish I had the opportunity to go through a fitting.
 
Some days my swing is solid; some days… “My swing feels like an unfolding lawn chair.” 

 

Whenever I took the VKTR hybrids to the course, I seemed to lose my swing.  Not just with the VKTRs, but with all my clubs, even my driver which is usually pretty steady!  I would be playing a scrambling round, trying to recover from errant shots.  I would only play with the VKTRs if I had several days to work out the kinks before a round that counted.  It was amazing how much a club that doesn't fit my swing impacts my swing with every other club.  
 
After comparing these hybrids to my TaylorMade RBZ hybrids, I believe that I need hybrids that are more like fairway woods; that is, with a bulge and roll face and less turf interaction than an iron.  In addition to the lightness of the shaft, the VKTR hybrids also play like a long iron.  I have difficulty hitting long irons; that's why I went to hybrids.  I think if you hit long irons OK, then you will like these hybrids.
 
Total Score: (55 out of 100)
 
I hope this review is useful to any readers.  If you have any comments or questions, I would be happy to answer questions or explain further.

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Before I get into the questions, I once again want to thank MyGolfSpy for giving me this opportunity. 

I would also like to apolgize in advance for the bad pictures and any issues that may come with them. My normal camera is broken at the moment so I had to use my phone's subpar camera.

 

The Questions

 

Handicap/average score?

My current handicap right now hovers around a 16, but I can feel like a 40 handicap somedays.

 

Strengths of your game?

 My biggest strength is literally that, my strength. I can, if I choose to do so, my driver 300+ and hit 200 yard 6 irons, but I have decided to give up on distance and go for control. I still keep this area of my game in my back pocket just in case the situation calls for it.

 

Weakness of your game?

Oh where do I start on this, if I had to pick just one I would say my mental game. A few bad swings and a bad chip can really mess with me and it takes a good deal of motivational talking from myself to get back into it.

 

Typical ball flight?

A boring mid-level flight with a draw with my irons, but I hit it sky high with my wedges. A bit too high if you ask my playing mates.

 

Typical miss?

A rightward push if anything, but it's never too far right.

 

Current comparable equipment?

Right now I am playing the 4 iron in my Taylormade Tour Preferred MC 2014 and loving it. As for 3 hybrid I play a Nike Covert 2.0 Tour set at 20 degrees. 

 

Swing tempo?

I would say I have a faster swing tempo and while it is fast it is still rather smooth.

 

Driver swing speed?

I can go from about 107-120 depending on the hole and the situation.

 

Video of swing?

Some camera issues, should have a video for part 2.

 

What makes you love the game?

I am very competitive in everything that I do so I love to get out there and challenge myself to better my score. I also love to get out there with the guys from my work and just goof off and have a good time.

 

How long have you been golfing?

I played when I was younger for about two years and stopped and I started playing again 3 years ago when the opportunity presented itself.

 

What's your story?

I started playing back when I was around 7 if I recall correctly. I was in a First Tee program back in Ohio and I was playing as a lefty back then. I had a natural swing back then due to being tall. This made up for a lack of talent and it also helped me win my age division's tournament at Cook's Creek. I took a break after two years of golfing to focus on my basketball skills and my soccer abilities. I picked the game back up after I started working at a golf course 3 years ago and I have been playing since then.  I happen to live in the neighborhood where the course is at which I work so that worked out well. I am working on my third year of college at Florida Gulf Coast University nearing my bachelors in Computer Information Systems. I try and fit golf around school and work. It happens to work out well that my work and golf go together. 

 

What kind of golfer are you?

 I'll be brutally honest about myself, I am a show off golfer. I care for style out on the course and sometimes that gets me into trouble. I would get my name stamped onto my clubs if I wasn't so darn cheap. I try and play golf recreationally, but I am also pretty into playing seriously when the situation calls for it.

 

What is in your bag?

 

Oh boy this is gonna be a long one

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Driver. Callaway X2 Hot Pro 8.5 set to 7.5 with and Adila Rouge Silver RIP I/O x Stiff 60 gram shaft. I bomb this sucker like it's my job. My playing partners hate me for it.

 

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3 wood: Callaway X2 Hot 15 degrees stiff flex Adila blue shaft. A bit big for my liking so I only really play this off the tee when needed.
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Hybrid: Nike Covert 2.0 Tour 3 hybrid set at 20 degrees stiff flex. Love the color, shape and feel that this offers. Maybe the VKTR will kick this one out ;)
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Irons: TaylorMade Tour Preferred MC 4-PW stiff C-taper 120 grams. Picked these because I loved the workability and the size. Feel isn't quite what I would like, but it isn't terrible. I would also like to see some more forgiveness out of these, but hey they are near blades.
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Wedges: all are Titleist Vokey SM5s, 50:12 F grind, 54:10 M grind, 58:8 M grind. I love the feel, look, and spin that these offer. Full-3/4 swing with these I can put them within 8 feet every time. Struggle with short game chips though, but getting better
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Putter: This is really subject to change. Right now I have a Taylormade Ghost Tour Black Indy 34', but I do sometimes play my Scotty Cameron GoLo 5 2015 34”. I may head back to Scotty if I have another bad putting day. Update: I did go back to my Scotty
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Ball: Titlest Pro V1 soft feel and great control around the Greens.

 

How did you choose them?

 I am a numbers guy so I hit them all hundreds of times to get the data I needed on them and compared the performance versus the cost of them. I used to use a bit of a formula in picking gear. It was something like (performance+feel+look)/cost this would help me decide on the cost of likability. So in the case of my driver for example (98+82+76)/$40=a number, I would then compare this versus my other driver or other ones I'm looking at. It's not perfect but it helps some.

 

What region do you play out of?

Southwestern Florida

 

Are you a tinkerer or a set and forget it type?

 I am definitely a tinkerer no doubt. I like messing with stuff way too much to just leave it be. I try and get stuff that is nonadjustable to avoid me messing with it too much. 

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Ben Hogan VKTR Hybrid – Official MGS Forum Review by ThatGinger96

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Player Biography

There is a story behind the Nike Covert 2.0 tour that I have in my bag. I had previously used an Adams Super LS as my hybrid and was loving it. It was super long when I stepped on it a bit, but that was all going to change. One of my coworkers at the course where I work had accidently broken his old Callaway diablo hybrid that he used and he was playing in the Club championship that weekend. He asked if he could borrow mine to play in the event. Being as nice as I was I told him sure. He went out and took second place with his team in championship. What he failed to tell me is that he was leaving the day after the championship to go back up north for the summer. He failed to return my hybrid before he left so I was hybridless for a while. I was shopping for new shirts at my local Marshalls and say a red glimmer out of the corner of my eye. I thought surely this couldn't be a golf club here, sure enough it was! I looked through the pile of drivers, fairways, and hybrids for whatever was in my flex. I only found one stiff right handed club in that pile and it just so happened to be a hybrid. So I look at the price tag and it reads 10 bucks! I had to do a double take to make sure is read it right the first time. Sure enough I had not misread it, so I finished my shopping and bought the club. As for its performance I was happy with its feel and looks, but what surprised me was its ability to go a country mile on demand. Normally I hit my hybrid right around 210 and with this club in my bag I found that if needed be, I can hit it up to 250 with not too much effort. Accuracy is pretty solid for me, the adjustable neck with adjustable open or closeness of the face helps with that. Overall I am pretty happy with this club As for my 4 iron, I use the 4 iron from my Taylormade Tour Preferred MC 2014. I have the KBS C-taper stiff flex in my irons and it works well for these irons. I have to say that my 4 iron is one of my favorite clubs in my bag. I have little issue getting this up in the air and it just flies for me.

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Performance

Performance at the Range

I am going to combine both the 20 degree and the 23 degree into one catagory as they do not vary much in either performance or sound and feel. I'll admit at first I had no control over this things direction. It went left and right sometimes at the same time it felt. I quickly made some swing changes to get this going towards my target. After the swing changes I made this thing was rather accurate. I'm not saying I'm going on tour with this thing, but it was quite good. Similar to the accuracy, it was a bit tricky with the distance at first. It appeared that both the 23 degree and 20 degree were going the same distance. This problem appears to have gone away when I went to the range the following day so it must just have been me that was causing this oddity. It certainly does go the distance that I expect it to go. I have no encountered any issues with the distance following the first day. The ball flight for this hybrid I would say is mid-level as far as ball flights go. Some shots I found were rather tricky to get air born and that is saying something because I never struggle to get my shots too high, heck most of my shots are flying too high. This actually put me off some from the hybrid. Which leads me into the forgiveness of the club. This is by no stretch of the word a game improvement hybrid. It certainly does punish you on your mishits and if hit wrong the ball can just drop out of the air with no spin. This club is not for the mass market who wants max forgiveness. I will say that for a better players club that this has average levels of forgiveness, but it's certainly not the most forgiving club even in this category. Control is certainly an interesting category for this club. I can move the ball left to right with some level of ease, but I have almost no control over the level of ball flight. I had moderate success getting this club to launch higher, but a tee was required for this to happen. I would say that this certainly puts me off some from other clubs I have tried. 

 

Range Score: (Out of 10 points)

This leads me to a final score of to the final score for this section of 6 out of 10. I took two points off forgiveness, one point for ball flight, and one point for control.

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Performance on the Course

Accuracy on the course was above average I would say. I found all the fairways when I hit it off the tee. I struggled a bit with my leftward miss that I tend to have with hybrids, but that's on me not the club. I do want to bring up one hole in particular though that this club blew me away on. It was at Mediterra in Naples, Fl. I was playing very well on this day, but this shot still blew me away. I wish I could have taken a picture of this, but I forgot my phone at home. It has the 18th hole and the thunderstorms were right on top of us. I hit my tee shot about 280, but I was under a tree and had about 220 to the flag. I had to keep my shot low or I would knick a branch. I was rushing the shot due to the weather, so I just went up and hit the ball with little thought. I absolutely ripped it. It ended up landing about 2 feet from the cup and I had a tap in eagle to cap off an amazing round. This left a serious impression in my mind. Distances were very consistent for me out on the course. I was never surprised by having one go long or fall short. Now if I had mishit it then that was a different problem. It was constantly going 210-220 for me so I was pleased with that consistency. I will say that I miss having the sneaky long ball that I could hit off the tee with my old hybrid, but I quickly got over it. I did not have to do much in the way of shot shaping with these clubs because I was pretty much always in the fairway(cocky yeah, I know). I consistently hit my usual draw and hit the occasion fade due to a bad swing, but I felt that if I needed to I could shape the ball to an extent, but I am by no means a master of shot shaping.

I would say that out on the course that when I hit the green the ball had enough spin on it to hold the green and stay near its landing zone. On tee shots I have found that it doesn't have much run out and that it would usually only roll 5-8 yards from its landing zone. This was a bit of an issue for me at time as I am used to having more run out on my clubs. This left me taking an extra club on several holes.
 

Course Score: (Out of 50 points)

I would say that the course performance helps to make up for it poorer range performance. I would give this a 44 out of 50 as I am deducting points only for its lack of roll distance of tee shots. This got me in trouble several times and I felt that points had to be deducted for this.

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Performance Notes

            I would that I am overall happy with the performance from this club out on the course. Since I had first started writing this I have had another amazing shot from this club. Number 9 at Imperial which this hole was selected for one of the top holes in Naples last year. I had 200 in to the flag and thought “This is almost picture worthy for the review” I snapped some pictures of the area and then hit the ball with my 23 degree hybrid. As if I was testing my own golfing ability It went mere feet from the cup.

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I am fulling filling to admit that I am far more likely to bag the 20 over the 23 simply due to me liking how my 4 iron flies. If I am playing less then I will likely use the 23 degree to help myself out. I found myself sticking with the default weight settings which is weird for me seeing as I am a tinkerer. I would definitely add in some face angle adjustment in addition to what is already there in the weights. Sticking with the theme of improvements, I would love to see this get an improved feel on mishits. I can't really describe how a mishit felt other than spongy which is a weird way to describe a feel, but that the only word that comes to mind. As a final improvement I would love to see, they need to find some fix for this damn toe weight port to keep it from always whistling while I swing, it's very annoying.  I can't really think of any things I would take away from the club, but there are things that need to be added to it for future versions of it. This club is certainly not for anyone with a handicap higher than 18, too unforgiving for anyone with a higher handicap than that.

 

Subjective

Looks, Sound & Feel

Visually, this club is stunning. That's the only word I can think of to describe it. It is the second best looking hybrid I have ever seen (Titleist 915 H is my number one). The feel on well struck hits was crisp and very rewarding. The sound was a bit dull, but it still sounded very good. A classic sound that is found among better player hybrids. The grayish-bronze meets nicely with the black crown to give a simply beautiful look. The blue, red, and black all go well together. I am a fan of the smaller head shape, but not everyone will like it. Not much offset to talk about, just a clean players look to it.

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Sound and Feel Score: (Out of 20 points)

20 out of 20 here, simply amazing look to it. Pure class.

Likelihood of Purchase

Now comes time for the big reveal, will it get a glowing recommendation from me or will I leave it to die? Well this gets a soft Likelihood of purchase from me. I like the look, shape, and feel of this club, but it has forgiveness issues that I don't particularly like and the small learning curve to hitting it has put me off some. I would certainly look at this club in the case of me buying a hybrid, but I also think that the lack of publicity surrounding Ben Hogan hurts them.

LOP Score: (Out of 20 points)

16 out of 20 for LOP, Overall this goes into my bag, but I can see some rounds where I don't get along with this at all and trying to use it with my often subpar swing can really get me into trouble. Its beautiful look and solid feel really push it over the edge for me and get me to put it into the bag.

Subjective Notes

            Overall this has been an amazing experience for me to write a review on this club. I felt like I was much more aware about how it performed than I am against other clubs. I would suggest that others try out clubs like they are going to write a review based on their experiences. Back to the club, a true players look, good feel, and solid performance make for one of the most solid all around hybrids that I have hit. I do want to mention again that this is not a club for the mass market, but one for the better player and good ball strikers. If you want max forgiveness you should look elsewhere, but if you want easily the best looking hybrid on the market then look no further than the Ben Hogan VKTR!

Questions & Answers.

I do want to bring up the issue of the whistling of the club in the swing. This really put me off at first, I know some other testers hated it. How do you feel about a club making a certain noise during your swing?

Also some quality control to bring up. My 20 degree was shipped to me with a chip in the crown where the face meets the black crown. I was able to fix it up with some paint and glaze, but this issue is worth pointing out. I was disappointed to see this kind of thing slip past a company like Ben Hogan

Conclusion

I had 3 other people hit these besides myself: a PGA pro, a 4 handicap player, and a 14 handicap player. All three of them has never heard of the Ben Hogan company before and one even asked where he could get one he loved it some much. I feel like this shows a summary of this club in a nutshell. It comes from a lesser known company and it wows any better player who hits them. I had to pry it away from all these players they liked it so much. They said it had the look and feel that they wanted to see in a hybrid. I also found the look and feel what I wanted out of a better player hybrid. I think the real challenge now for Hogan is since they have an amazing product the need to get it into the hands of their targeted audience and let them see how great of a club this really is. Top class club from a top class company is the simplest way I can put it. This is a must try for any single to mid handicap players who are wanting an hybrid that has an classy look to it and the performance to match.

Total Score: (Add up all 4 categories and present a total score)

Range score: 6

Course Score: 44

Sound and Feel: 20

LOP Score: 16

Total: 86

A top performing club that deserves a look from anyone in its market.

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Round 1: FIGHT!!!

 

Thank you, MyGolfSpy for the opportunity to review these clubs. I'm very excited to give my thoughts on them as hybrids have always been a bit dodgy for me. 
 
I started golfing when I was 3 years old with a sawed off Acushnet brassie putter and have been addicted ever since. I got my first set of "grown-up" clubs in high school: Ben Hogan Apex Plus irons 2-PW. Even though mishits would make your teeth chatter, I loved those clubs. They were stolen my second sophomore year of college leading to my decade long search for 2-3-4 iron replacements.
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Unlike some of the guys around here I don't replace clubs every year or even every few years. I like having adjustable clubs in case my swing changes but I mostly just set the club how I like it and leave it that way.
 
I'm a 10-12 handicap I usually play alone, fast, and sober. My swing is smooth when good and fast when bad with my typical miss being a pull hook or weak fade. Lack of distance and misclubbing on approach shots are my biggest weaknesses as I top out at 220 carry distance with my driver. The last time I was on a launch monitor I was swinging between 89 and 94 mph and I hit the ball pretty high.
 
Early last year I went on a quest to upgrade my entire set. I used the "Most Wanted" list on MyGolfSpy and reviews from other sites to narrow down what I wanted to test for woods and hybrids, but had my heart set on the Ben Hogans for irons and wedges for sentimental and practical reasons. I wanted to have consistent lofts throughout my set and the v-sole helped with chunky pitches and chips.
 
2014 Set
Cleveland Launcher 460 9.5* with Miyazaki C. Kua Regular shaft
Cleveland Mashie 3 Wood with Miyazaki C. Kua Regular shaft
Cleveland Mashie 3 and 4 Hybrid with Miyazaki C. Kua Regular shafts
Bridgestone J33 Combo 5-PW Irons with Dynamic Gold R300 shafts
Titleist Vokey 52*, 56*, 60* wedges
Scotty Cameron Pro Platinum Del Mar 3.5 with WinnPro x1.32 grip
 
Current Set
Callaway Big Bertha Alpha 10.5* with NVentix Nunchuk 42.5 inch shaft (220 yard carry)
Callaway Big Bertha 15* fairway with stock Fubuki 42 inch stiff shaft (205 yard carry)
Cobra BioCell 3-4 19* and 4-5 22* hybrid with stock stiff shafts (190 yard, 180 yard carry)
Ben Hogan Ft Worth 15 22*-46* irons at 4* increments with stiff shafts (108-168 yard carry with 12 yard increments)
Ben Hogan TK 50*, 54*, 58* wedges (72-96 yard carry with 12 yard increments)
Ping Cadence Ketsch with Salty mid-size grip (max distance unknown)
 
I gained distance with the new driver and 3-wood but was spraying the ball all over the place, so I shortened them to 42.5 and 42 inches, respectively. My accuracy has increased considerably and now the clubs that I like the least are my hybrids. The one reason I don't like the BioCells is they balloon like crazy. You basically have two options with them: high and higher.
 
Unboxing and initial impressions
 
The box from the outside looks like any other box, but inside has the Ben Hogan logo and color scheme which looks really cool. I asked for the 18 and 22 degree to match the 4 degree gapping in the rest of my set.
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The headcovers are stitched leather in red white and blue with a little dangly bit that has the loft stamped on it.
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Looks:
The clubs are beautiful. They have a dark blue, almost black finish that is really sharp looking. 
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They are smaller than the BioCells and if a person is used to game improvement clubs, they may be intimidating. 
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The wrench tool is heavy duty and has the customary "B" logo stamped on it. Instructions for changing the weights are straightforward and well laid out. 
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The weights were set how I wanted them with the 18 gram weight in the center forward position for lower straighter ball flight, but I took a couple out just to see how easy it was to move them around. There is a rubber gasket where the weight screws in that was off-center on two of the weights when I took them off. They ended up coming off when I screwed the weights back in so I just rolled them up the weight screw and called it a day. I think it is a design flaw that should be worked out on future iterations and we'll see if it effects how the club plays.
 
Sound and Feel:
 
When I took them out of the box I couldn't help but make a couple of swings to see how they felt. The weight was perfect and they felt natural. Not too heavy and not too light. They are slightly longer than the BioCells, which I'm not a huge fan of, but we'll see how they play. There is a whistle noise when swinging, as well, that is a little weird like when you have the window cracked in your car on the highway. Again, I don't know how it will affect how the club plays, but I'll revisit it in Stage 2.
 
I'm pumped to take them out and really see how they play.
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Hey MGS I am honored to be selected to test these Ben Hogan VKTR Hybrids. I have been in and off an on relationship with hybrids. I have never had one that has stayed in my bag for very long.

 

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Now for a little bit about me. I have a 0.8 handicap right now. I played 1 year of college golf before attempting the Mini Tour seen. I did well before  back injury derailed my dreams of getting to the PGA.

 

The strengths of my game are distance off the tee and my putting. I usually drive the  ball 290+ depending on the amount of roll I get. I also feel like I am a pretty good putter especially under pressure.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xc8nJ19XRk0

 

My weakness by far is my shots around the green inside 50 yards. If I miss a green it usually leads to a bogey or worse. Until recently I only got up and down about 30% of the time. The last few months I have been playing a lot of tournaments and really concentrating on my short game. I have brought my average up to 63% over the last 7 rounds.

 

My go to shot is a fade. I typically it a high cut with every club. I fear the left miss and I have worked hard to eliminate the left side of the course. I usually aim down the left hand rough line and let it fly.

 

I have a relatively quick tempo but not what I would consider fast or out of control. With the driver my swing speed is between 116-122. I normal drive for me is about 118mph.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RuEbXZ2sxk

 

The game of golf has always been something I have enjoyed but it wasnt until high school when I thought about the number of Baseball players vs the number of Golfers that I decided to pursue golf because the likelihood of getting a scholarship was much higher. After that I fell in love with the game. Always wanting to beat my uncle who played for Oregon State and was always looked at of one of the best players in our town. By the time I started getting to the point I could possibly beat him he started to dodge me to hold onto the family crown haha. Now I look forward to going out of the course with my two boys once they are old enough. I have been playing golf since I was in diapers and I started my oldest son the same way.

 

Currently in my bag is a set that I have felt really consistent with and had some really good rounds. I have my set dialed in and it performs as good as anything I have ever hit.

 

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Cobra F6+ Pro Set to 8.5F weight forward Accra FX370 M5 at 44.5"

Tour Issue Cobra Bio Cell+ 13.5* Accra FX 370 M5 or Tour Blue 85TX

Adams Idea Super Pro Proto 18* with Diamana D+ 102X

Cobra Fly Z+ 3 iron Project X 7.0

Cobra King Pro Proto MB 4-9 Project X 7.0

Cobra Tour Trusty 47* Project X 7.0

Vokey SM5 54 F 60K DGTI X100 and S400

Cameron Buttonback Newport2 custom deep milled.

 

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I chose these because They fit my eye and perform better then anything I have hit. I was fitted for every club in my bag including a wedge fitting by Bob Vokey himself.

 

I play in San Diego area where the weather is always great but I do tinker quite a bit depending on the course I am playing. I am not nearly as bad as I used to be.

 

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Ben Hogan VKTR Hybrid – Official MGS Forum Review by KCLeo12

 

Player Biography

I currently play an Adams Super Pro 18 hybrid with a Diamana 102X shaft. I have struggled with hybrids since they became popular. I always seemed to hit them to high with to much spin and they became frustrating. I tried the driving iron style clubs and they produced a better flight but not the forgiveness. I am a 0.3 handicap so I am a pretty good ball striker and I play a fade which also made hybrids frustrating because most have a strong draw bias. The appeal of the VKTR was the ability to move the weighting around as necessary.

 

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Performance at the Range

So this is where the first time I hit the clubs the first time and was so impressed. Although the next day went I went to play I was in for a big suprise as I spent the entire range session hitting balls with my earbuds in. As others have mentioned there is a really odd whistle coming from the weights. I contacted Hogan for some possible things that may have caused it. They said they never noticed it in testing and they were going to look into it. I used some tape as other did to fix the problem.

  • Accuracy – this club us as accurate as any other on the market. On the range i consistently hit my target when I made a good swing. The range I practice at has a metal plate that extends 8ft around the flag so you can hear when you hit a great shot. After getting a feel for the clubs I hit 10 balls each at the distance targets I had chosen. With the 21* I hot 5 fades(my typical shot shape) 3 draws and 2 straight shots. hen repeated the same thing with the 18*. I was very impressed with the flight and consistency off the club. 

  • Distance – Hogan made it clear that they didn't make this hybrid to be a rocket off the face they are an iron or distance replacement. For this part of the test I used a Trackman to get a accurate distance reading. The 18* is not as long as the Adams but it goes the exact distance I want it to go. I want my 18* hybrid to go 235-240 and the VKTR does exactly that. I hit 20 balls with it and average 239.1 yards on well struck shots. Slight miss hits I only lost 3-4 yards. The 21* I compared to my Cobra Fly Z+ Forged 3 iron that is also 21*. It was about 6 yards longer but I think that was mostly do to the extra club head speed produced from the lighter shaft. I averaged 218.2 yards with the VKTR which is the distance I want with that club. Overall the distance is perfect for me they go the distance I am looking for and still offer some forgiveness.

  • Trajectory Characteristics –Again for this I pulled the info from the 20 balls test on average height for each club. The 18* VKTR lauched flatter then the Adams which I really liked. I use the 18* more off the tee on short holes then into greens on par 5's. There was a 4'3" difference in peak height that reduced the landing angle by 2*. The 21* is the club I was most interested in seeing the results. I hit the ball high and never have a problem elevating my long irons which is likely the reason I keep taking hybrids out of my bag. The difference in peak height was only 6" and the landing angle was the near identical. I was very happy about this part of the test. I have never even thought to have a 21* hybrid because most on the market balloon in the air for me. 

  • Forgiveness – These to me are geared towards to lower handicaps and better ball strikers. These are pretty forgiving but not as forgiving as most hybrids on the market. While conducting the testing I lost 3-4 yards on slight mishits and or poorly struck shots I lost 12-15 yards. The ball wasn't usually offline very much and stayed online but fell out of the air much quicker had I lost several mph ball speed. Again when looking at these they don't scream forgiveness. They don't get far offline when miss hit the biggest loss was distance. But for me being a better ball striker I didn't find them difficult to hit at all.

  • Control –These VKTR are very workable compared to most hybrids made today. I sent a lot of time hitting them different trajectories and shot shapes. I was able to produce the desired ball flight on command nearly every time. I was able to hit low stingers with the 18* and then the next shot hit a high soft cut  then the next shot was a mid trajectory draw. They were very impressive and reacted more like a long iron and less like a hybrid.


Range Score: 9 of 10 points

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Performance on the Course

After getting the whistle issue sorted out after the first round and the big surprise and near shank when I hit it at the course for the first time these performed well.

  • Accuracy – Off the tee the 18* VKTR was great I can only remember missing the fairway 1 time at that shot I misjudged the carry of a bunker on the corner of the dogleg and I caught the bunker. Into the greens they were both extremely accurate. I was able to hit the green more often when hitting shots side by side the the clubs I was comparing them against. Accuracy is definitely not an issue with these clubs.

  • Distance – As far as performance on the course the distance is exactly what I was looking for. I have no issues with them going to distance I expected. These again are not the longest hybrids out and they aren't designed to be either. If your looking for a hybrid that goes long and high then you might not want these. But if you want a club to go a specific distance then these are the clubs you need.

  • Consistency – The Hogan VKTR hybrids are very consistent you don't get that odd jumper that I have experienced with other hybrids. I have used a hybrid that normally goes 240 yards then all of the sudden I catch one that hit the Nitrous button coming off the face and goes 265 yards over the green and OB.

  • Shot Shaping – When a specific shot was required off the tee or into the green I was able to hit that shot exactly as I saw in my mind time after time. Hitting a draw with a hybrid and not having to worry about it drawing to much and ending up 30 yards left of the target was a huge sigh of relief.

  • Carry vs Roll – With a hybrid I think its important to be able to control the flight and have them stop quickly on the greens. The most release on the green I got with the 18* VKTR was about 7ft and only about 3ft with the 21* VKTR Hybrid. When hitting the 18* off the tee I was able to vary the flight and get more roll when I felt it was neccessary.
     

Course Score: 47of 50 points

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Performance Notes

After several rounds and a few practice sessions I have to say I am very pleased with the Ben Hogan VKTR Hybrids. I was intrigued by these from the beginning by the design of being made to fit a distance gap in your bag and not just go as far as possible like most hybrids. I have been able to hit every shot I needed or even tried to hit just to see if I could pull it off. I messed around with the weight adjustments a few times just to see if they actually make a difference. There is a noticeable difference seen in the ball flight and performance as I moved them around. I wouldn't change anything on these hybrids except find out a way to eliminate the whistle sound coming from the toe weight port.

 

 

Subjective

Looks, Sound & Feel

These clubs look and sound great. The shape is one I have always liked and felt confident when looking down at. The color on the head in very nice and helps to reduce the look of the size. The sound is my favorite part of the club, the sound is a muted click similar that of an iron only slightly louder. There is no loud or tiny sound at all. The feel is where I feel it was not great, it is bad either though. I hard a hard time at first telling if I miss hit the shot at all. I had to use spray on the face to see if I was hitting it in the middle or not. If the shot was struck far from the center you could tell but not on slight miss hit.

Sound and Feel Score: 17 Out of 20 points

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Likelihood of Purchase

Prior to this test I may not have purchased these because of my love hate relationship with hybrids. After being lucky enough to test these I would absolutely buy the Hogan VKTR Hybrids. They perform great and allow me to hit the penetrating shots I look for without worrying about ballooning into the air.

 

LOP Score: 19 Out of 20 points

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Conclusion

The Ben Hogan VKTR hybrids do the Companies name sake very well. These are beautiful clubs and when I first saw them I was so impressed with the clean lines and fine details. I have always been a fan of the Hogan Company and since the release of the new lines of clubs I have been itching to try them but they are priced out of what I am willing to spend on an experiment. When I heard I was going to test the VKTR I was very happy. They don't lack at all in the performance that is for sure. There are a few desing flaws that can be fixed such as the whistle and the feel on mishits.

Total Score: 92 Out of 100

thumbnail_image13.jpg

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First I would like to thank both MyGolfSpy and the Ben Hogan Golf Equipment Company for this amazing chance to test and review the new VKTR Hybrids. These babies are sweet looking! I was calling my roommate everyday asking him if my clubs had came in yet. It felt like an eternity, even though it was less than 2 weeks, but they finally arrived!

 

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The quality of these clubs is amazing. I'm not saying my RBZ hybrid is not high quality, but these VKTR's are just on another level. They are sleek and look like a club a gentleman would play, not a beer drinking man like me. Since I have only had an RBZ hybrid, that is what I thought a hybrid was supposed to look like. So when these came in, they looked a little weird. They are much slimmer looking down at them, more like an iron and less like a fairway wood. The headcovers are very well constructed and look really sharp also. It doesn't really seem like they fit over the club head though. Maybe will just take a bit of getting used to. The adjustable weights might take a little getting used to since I have never had a club that you could adjust. I don't think I will ever change the weights because my swing varies enough, that I don't want a fade or draw bias because I feel it will only make the mishits worse.

 

Farther Away Difference.JPG

Close Up Difference.jpg

 

I usually shoot in the low to mid 80's for 18 holes, and I have been improving every year for the past few. One of the strong points of my game is distance and the ability to play from the trees! Which brings me to my first weakness: Consistency. I hit a draw one hole and the next I hit a fade. I top a shot and follow it up with a wedge that has backspin and stops 2 feet from the hole. I drain every putt you could imagine, and then 4-putt. You read that right. I actually had a 4 putt today, so obviously you can see that putting is also a weakness of my game.

 

When I am playing a little consistent, I normally play a small draw, but the fade comes out more often than I'd like. My most typical miss would have to be the push with a bit of fade to it. My swing tempo is normally a little quick, but it's something I have been trying to work on. I don't take that big of a swing, don't really know why. Maybe I'm not flexible enough, not sure. Videoing my swing has made me realize I have work to do and could use a lesson or two! I would say my driver swing speed is anywhere from 95-100 mph. I swing considerably harder with my driver than I do with other clubs. Maybe that's why I'm not consistent of the tee!

 

NewSwing.mov

 

I am a golfer that doesn't get mad when I'm not playing well. It happens, that's why I'm not a professional. Just like I don't brag nonstop when I play well, I don't pout when I play bad or hit a bad shot. One thing I can't stand is when someone throws a club, ball or anything else because of a user error. I love golf because it is a hobby that I will never conquer. I will always be able to improve some aspect of my game, and that makes me want to keep going out and playing.

 

When I was younger I played every sport you can think of to stay active. Parents and grandparents play golf regularly and my oldest brother is close to a scratch golfer. I played golf a few times a month until I graduated from DePauw University in 2011. My 2nd semester senior year I took a golf class that was taught by our golf coach. Learned some pointers that I had never really thought about, and then joined the Elks golf league in my hometown after graduation. Even with the class, I was no good. I would shoot in the high 50's on 9. I had a terrible slice and every other problem you could think of. I was also about 340 lbs, since I played football in college. That winter I decided enough and got serious about losing weight. I ran on the treadmill 6 days a week, and always made sure to get on the treadmill that was in front of the TV that has The Golf Channel on. On The Golf Fix one day, they had a little trick to rid you of your slice. All you do is cross your left wrist over your right wrist and make a swinging motion. That supposedly helps you swing inside to out, and wouldn't you know the next time I went out golfing my slice was considerably less. I have continued that little trick every once in awhile when the power fade starts to show it's face and now normally play a small draw. Over the past 5 summers I have golfed more and more every year and just continue to improve. Until last summer I had never shot in the 30's and this year I have shot even par and in the 70's.

 

You can look in my signature to see what's in my bag. I became a TaylorMade fan because I bought the RBZ driver after college because it looked cool and was cheap. I have loved that driver since, so I have added the SLDR 3 wood and the RBZ hybrid. I got the irons from my brother for $100 last year because he went back to his Titleist blades. They are fitted to him and I would like to have them fitted to me someday, but they are much better than the 15 year old set of Lynx Black Cats I was playing. My brother plays Cleveland wedges so when it was time to buy wedges, naturally I went that route. My Ben Hogan by Bettinardi putter was an Ebay purchase last summer right after I regripped my white hot #9 with a SuperStroke, smart thinking. I love it though, and it has improved my putting from terrible to bad.

 

I normally play golf in SW Michigan where I live and that goes along with Northern Indiana. I go on a golf trip with my friends every year during spring break and we have gone to Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky the past three years. We play 36 holes a day for 3 straight days. It's a blast and it's nice to play courses that you don't play every week. Can't wait to get out and try these bad boys out!

 

 

I'm assuming my pics are too big. Don't know how to make them smaller.

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Ben Hogan VKTR Hybrid – Official MGS Forum Review by Paul DePoy

Player Biography

Before this awesome opportunity, the only hybrid I had in my bag was a Taylormade RBZ Stage 1 - 5 Hybrid. I bought that hybrid about 4 years ago and absolutely love it. I originally bought the 3 hybrid, but after going over a green on a slightly downhill 270 yd par 4, I knew that was a little much. I returned it for the 5 hybrid and the rest is history.

 

I was absolutely thrilled when I learned about the opportunity to review a product, and something from the Ben Hogan Golf Company made it even more special. I play Ben Hogan Apex Plus irons. They are my first ‘real' set of irons. My oldest brother sold them to me for $100 a few years ago. My oldest brother is a tremendous golfer and narrowly missed qualifying for the Western Am, because he was never the best putter! He has always been my golfing inspiration, so him allowing me to play the irons he played at one point was awesome. Now I am nowhere near the golfer he is. He golfed in school and worked at many golf courses. All of his clubs are fitted to him, and he can hit whatever shot whenever he wants. I like to play a draw, but the fade comes out.

 

My clubs are stock, except for the irons that are fitted to him but I am much bigger than he is. I have never worked at a golf course and no very few uncommon golf rules. Even though we are completely different golfers, the ability to play nice golf clubs allows me to think I am better than I am!

Hybrid and Iron.JPG

Performance at the Range

I spend a good amount of time at the range, so much that I should be a better golfer! When I got these hybrids in, I was at the range about 5 out of 6 days. I was trying to get a feel for them and to hit as many balls as possible for this review.

  • Accuracy – Are you able to consistently hit your target?

    • All depends on what you consider consistent. For my abilities, yes, I hit these consistently where I'm aiming...if my swing is where it needs to be. Too often I line up just right of my target but am too quick with my lower body and just leave the ball out to the right. Then I try and overcorrect and end up too quick with my hands and pull the ball. But those days when I am swinging well, then these are locked on.  

  • Distance – How does the club compare to other products strictly from a distance perspective?

    • From what I am used to, these are nowhere near as long. My TaylorMade RBZ 5 hybrid is 25* and I hit that baby about 215-220 with a good strike. The VKTR are more like irons though. I hit the 24* around 200yds and the 20* around 210*. I guess TaylorMade was right when they claimed the RocketBallz were 17yds longer. But Hogan's Preciseloft System allows these hybrids to replace my 4 and 5 irons. I wasn't able to do that with the RBZ because I hit it so far.

  • Trajectory Characteristics – Does the ball launch high or low, or somewhere in-between? Do you find it more or less difficult to get the ball in the air?

    • I have a natural high ball flight and these are pretty standard for me. Even with my driver, I don't get much roll.

  • Forgiveness – What happens when you mis-hit the ball? How much distance is lost?

    • My only mishits with these VKTR hybrids have been right. I am not a very statistical golfer. I know about how far I hit each club and that's about it. I don't really understand misses except a slice or draw. I'm assuming my miss has been off the toe with an open club face and that's why it is going right. Distance is lost, probably 15%. So with the 24*, my mishit would only go around 170yds.

  • Control – Are you able to make the ball do what you want it to (within the limitations of your own abilities). Can you launch high or low when you need to? Are you able to move the ball right to left or left to right?

    • I find the control to be pretty good. I am able to lower the ball flight a little bit when wanted. I can play a slight fade with it, although it sometimes turns into a power fade, but that is user error! For some reason with this club, I am not able to consistently hit a draw. I even have the 18g weight in the heel to allow the face to close quicker, but the draw is a rarity for me with these.

Range Score: 7.5 out of 10.

This range score is after a lot of time with these clubs. The first few times I was at the range, I did not like these clubs at all. They are so different than the RBZ at first. They feel a little heavier and have a much smaller head than the RBZ. But with time, I have learned to love these and have taken the RBZ out for good.

Swing1.PNG

Performance on the Course

  • Accuracy – How well did you hit the fairways? Were you often right/left/short/long?

    • I have not used these much off the tee, except 1 hole where I always hit hybrid. The 20* has been dynamite for me on that hole. I am able to stripe it down the middle with a slight fade just to the dogleg. That usually leaves me with a pitching wedge or 9iron to the green, depending on where I started the shot and how much fade I was able to get.

    • From the fairway (Or more like rough for me), these are pretty accurate. I tend to hit more accurate shots on tight holes, just because I have to be more precise with my aiming. These have been everything I could have hoped for with on-course accuracy.

  • Distance – How does the product compare to other products strictly from a distance perspective?

    • Again, these are solid distance wise, but the only other hybrid I have played is considerably longer. I would rather have a club that is shorter but more accurate anyway.

  • Consistency – If you were going for a 250 yard drive, did you get a 250 yard shot or did it vary by +/- 30 yards?

    • Most of the time, the distance was pretty consistent, but every once in awhile I would absolutely crush a ball and it would be 20 yards farther than I planned. Again, my swing isn't the most consistent, so it was more than likely me swinging too hard, or having an absolutely perfect swing and connection.

  • Shot Shaping – If the course you play requires a certain type of ball flight for certain holes, were you able to hit this shot within reason for your skill level?

    • On the course I play the most, there isn't a single hole where I need to hit a draw on a long 2nd shot, which is good because I still can't get a consistent draw. There are 4 holes where I either lay-up off the tee with a fade or hit a fade with my 2nd shot, and that has been a decent go for me with these clubs.

  • Carry vs Roll – Does the ball stay in the air forever and stop or do you hit low fliers that roll forever. Which is better for your course?

    • For me, the ball is in the air for a long time, then comes down and stops. That is how I want my shots to be. I am trying to fly a ball to the green and get it to stop. Most of the time I don't want to take the chance of coming up short. Most of the courses I play have soft enough greens where I can stop it. They also don't have the greatest approach areas, so I try to stay away from those.

       

Course Score: 43 out of 50

Distance and consistent distance were about middle of the pack, scoring wise, while accuracy, shot shaping and carry were pretty solid for me.

Swing2.PNG

 

Performance Notes

  • These hybrids performed very well in my opinion. Like I mentioned earlier, it took me awhile to get used to swinging these clubs. This could be due to a whole slew of factors, but I am assuming the shafts on the VKTR are different weight/tip flex(?) than the shaft on my RBZ. Again, I am not a huge technical golfer so I don't understand all the nuances of shafts and fitting. I would like to learn though…

With my TaylorMade RBZ hybrid, I absolutely crush the ball. It is like it is literally rocketing off of the club face. The only problem with my RBZ is that I tend to overcook it and hit a hook/really big draw when I am not trying for it. With the VKTR by Ben Hogan, I am not able to hit the ball as far, but I am able to have more consistent contact and accuracy. I think this could be due to the V-Sole and the wider, higher face.

According Golfwrx's press release from 2014 when Ben Hogan got back into the equipment business, “Koehler's commitment is to developing clubs that place a premium on feel and performance for players looking to create golf shots, not merely maximize distance.” I think they definitely achieved this plan. I really like the flat bottom of the face, I feel like it gives me a better chance of hitting it pure.

 

 

Faces.JPG

 

I am sold on the V-Sole Technology. With my inconsistent swing, I am prone to topping and or chunking the ball a few times every round. I cannot hit these bad unless I pull my head. I have not once hit too deep and went under the ball. Again, bounce isn't very familiar to me but the high forward bounce and low trailing bounce has worked wonders for me with these two clubs.

 

 

Here is a pic from the Ben Hogan website because I couldn't get a good enough picture to truly show the V-Sole.

 

 

VKTR_VSOLE_Frame.jpg

               

I am not the biggest fan of the movable. While very easy to move and know when they are locked in (They click when locked), I think it is more of a hassle to have to think about how you want the weights. I have set them with the 18g weight in the heel and I plan on never touching them again. These are the first clubs I have had that are adjustable and adjustability will not affect future club purchases for me.

 

 

While I hit balls on the range a lot, I would much rather go out and play (Obviously). On the range, I am prone to spraying balls and not really taking my time. When I get on the course I am much more deliberate and accurate.

 

If Ben Hogan were to make another model of hybrid, I personally would like to see the movable weights done away with. I am probably the only person in the world that wants that, so I'm going to have to deal with them :) .

 

Now to the whistling. If you have read some reviews before mine, you know what I am talking about. When you swing these clubs, there is a whistle on the downswing. I didn't really notice it until some of the other members mentioned it. Once they did, it was in my head and I couldn't get over it. Once I added a small piece of tape of the toe weight port, it went away. Thanks to cksurfdude for that tip! I also only noticed the whistle on my 20* and not the 24*, not sure what that could be from. I have checked all of the weights and they are secure.

 

 

Subjective

Looks, Sound & Feel

These clubs are absolutely beautiful, I would expect nothing less out of clubs from Ben Hogan. The red, white and blue color scheme just jacks me up. The design on the clubs is very simple, yet very elegant. They don't need to go the crazy graphic route that TaylorMade does. Standing over the ball, you feel as if you are going to hit a good shot just because the club looks and feels so nice. The smooth black with no mark on top is very simple so you are only thinking about connecting on your swing.

I love how Ben Hogan keeps the star logo and uses it everywhere on the club and weight tool. Even the top of the weight has the same logo. Really helps to build the brand because when I think of Ben Hogan golf equipment, that's what I think of.

 

Tool.JPG

 

Bottom.JPG

 

I also love the sound when you connect. Unlike my RBZ hybrid and metalwoods that have a high pitched ‘ting' when you hit the ball, these have a very pure ‘schmack' sound. It is like you are pinching an iron off the turf and nothing feels better. I do notice when you hit it off the toe a little that it isn't as pure feeling or sounding. I like this though because it allows me to know when I am not hitting a great shot. Instant feedback.

 

Sound and Feel Score: 19.5 out of 20

These are the nicest looking and feeling clubs I have owned or hit. Dinged a half point because of the whistle. Nothing's perfect!

 

The headcovers are even built with great quality and craftsmanship. Nice leather and very sophisticated. 

 

Headcovers.JPG

 

Likelihood of Purchase

If money wasn't an issue I'm pretty sure I would buy these clubs. I love to show them off when I am out golfing and I think I told anyone who would listen about them when I found out I got the chance to review these. But I don't have the money to spend on a club that I will only be using a couple of times per round. At $250 a club, they are way out of my price range. The most expensive club I have bought is my $200 RBZ Driver and I use it all the time. I just couldn't justify spending as much as my entire set of clubs has cost for 2 clubs. I would obviously like to thank MGS and Hogan for allowing me to not have to make the decision!

Again, I do not think they are overpriced because the quality and playability of these clubs is amazing, but they are just out of my price range.

LOP Score: 10 out of 20

Conclusion

I absolutely love these clubs, I can't say it enough. I never thought I would want to golf more than I did before these clubs. Boy was I wrong. If I have an extra hour on the weekend, I go to the range and hit a bucket. If it's still light out when I'm done playing 18, I go to the range. The feel is so pure with these clubs that they make me feel like a better golfer than I really am, and I'm fine with that! The VKTR oozes quality and style, and I love having them in my bag. Plus they look so nice in the bag!

 

Clubs.JPG

 

Bag.JPG

 

 

Total Score: 80/100

I feel like this score is somewhat misleading. I was expecting it to score higher. If the cost of this club were $150 instead of $250, then this score would easily be 5 points higher.

Range Score: 7.5

Course Performance: 43

Sound and Feel: 19.5

Likelihood of Purchase: 10

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Stage Three - The Follow Up & Value Question.

 

  1. Will this product go in your bag? Why or why not?

    1. Absolutely! Last fall I was more than likely just going to keep one of them in my bag, but I have fallen in love with these clubs. The more I play with them, the more I like them. Such a pure, crisp feel and sound on contact and the accuracy is amazing. I actually hit the ball where I plan now.

 

  1. To whom, if anyone, would you recommend this product? Why?

    1. I don't normally play with guys that are spending $250 for a club that may not come out of the bag very often, but I rave about these when I'm playing anyway.

 

  1. How, if at all, did this product change your overall impression of Ben Hogan Golf?

    1. These VKTR Hybrids have just reinforced my impression of the brand. I have always known and will continue to know that Ben Hogan Golf makes beautiful clubs that are high-performing.

 

  1. What feature would you change or eliminate from the next generation of this model?

    1. Two things on this topic. First, I would like to see Ben Hogan Golf offer better stock grip options. Obviously it's not the biggest deal, but after about 3 rounds I had to re-grip because the grip was slick and hard to hold. I also would like to see them fix the whistling that happens during the swing. It's simple to fix yourself (tape over the weight port on the toe), but would be nice if they took care of that.

 

  1. What feature do you really like, and would most like to see continued or evolved in future models?

    1. My favorite feature on these VKTR Hybrids is the V-Sole design. I am able to stripe balls constantly and very, very rarely hit a bad shot. I would like to see them, and other companies, continue this feature and even improve it.

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OK, cksurfdude Stage 1 RE-posted!

And ... learned way more than I ever wanted to know about inserting "web-ready" pics into a forum post here....

I work on a PC, so here's a quick list of steps I used:

* BEFORE trying to post your written piece...
1. Save all the pics you're going to use into one folder.

2. Using Microsoft Picture Editor, or similar, open the first pic and...
(a) Crop - edges, top and bottom areas not needed
(b.) Resize - down to something less than 600-800 wide (or tall)
(c.) Compress - most pics can be less than 100k and still be clear enough
(d) Rename each pic to something meaningful
(e) SAVE
3. Repeat 2(a) - 2(e) for each pic

 

It took me a few tries to learn some of the quirks of the forum editor, so as far as the written piece - initially I'd composed the whole thing in Google Docs, eg. start save a draft, come back later and continue on it some more, and at first I'd tried simply copying & pasting into the forum editor.

 

No go.

 

(There is an option in the forum editor to strip formatting on paste but that did not seem to work completely for me.)

 

Here's what I ended up doing:

1. copied all the text from my Google Docs draft into "Notepad" (a plain text editor; no formatting, no HTML) on my PC

 

Now in the forum Editor...
2. scroll down and click "Use Full Editor"
3. scroll down and look for "Attach Files" and then the "Choose Files.." button
4. click the button, look for your image and upload it, one by one until you have all of them 

--

5. from Notepad copy the text from the top until just before your first picture, then copy into the forum editor
6. place the cursor where you want the first pic to appear

7. at the top of the editor look for "My Media" and click it

8. in the pop-up window click "Attachments" link on the left 

9. look for your first pic, click on it and then click "Finished" (lower-right)

10. go back to Notepad and select the section of text from just after your first picture until just before your next picture

--

11. Repeat Steps 5 - 10 for each pic in your post.
--

12. click "preview Post" and see if it all looks OK.

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