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What a disgrace to a Gofing Legend


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If Callaway wanted to restore Hogan, all they would need to do is get a couple Callaway staff players to play new Hogan irons. They made great irons, very underrated.

How could they truly do this though. All the designers are Callaway designers. Why would the irons be different with just different branding? What would drive a consumer there vs. somewhere else? It may be that Callaway decided to drop the line because they want to be seen as on the cutting edge of club design. You really can't claim this if you put out irons based upon old designs, even if the designs are good.

People love the PIng Eye 2 irons and yet for the anniversary last year they made the commemorative set out of G10's.

 

To many, the Hogan name speaks of golf at it's finest. However, it is also a historical name. The golf industry right now seems all about new metals, new interchangeable shafts and weights, supercomputer designed heads and so on. Maybe the brand was just seen as not timely enough. Not all of the money that is spent on clubs comes from people who know the history of golf and revel in that history. Many people who buy stuff just want the new boomstick that makes the ball go farther.

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How could they truly do this though. All the designers are Callaway designers. Why would the irons be different with just different branding? What would drive a consumer there vs. somewhere else? It may be that Callaway decided to drop the line because they want to be seen as on the cutting edge of club design. You really can't claim this if you put out irons based upon old designs, even if the designs are good.

People love the PIng Eye 2 irons and yet for the anniversary last year they made the commemorative set out of G10's.

 

To many, the Hogan name speaks of golf at it's finest. However, it is also a historical name. The golf industry right now seems all about new metals, new interchangeable shafts and weights, supercomputer designed heads and so on. Maybe the brand was just seen as not timely enough. Not all of the money that is spent on clubs comes from people who know the history of golf and revel in that history. Many people who buy stuff just want the new boomstick that makes the ball go farther.

 

I see what you mean. I think originally, they would need to be rebranded Callaways, but as they made money (hypothetically) they could actually look into some of the old designs and how they could pack them with today's technology. I think people would start to buy them if they had modern technology with a classic look. Mizuno does it.

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I see what you mean. I think originally, they would need to be rebranded Callaways, but as they made money (hypothetically) they could actually look into some of the old designs and how they could pack them with today's technology. I think people would start to buy them if they had modern technology with a classic look. Mizuno does it.

Good idea, but how many casual golfers seek out Mizuno? Would the players who like that aspect of Mizuno drop their clubs for the Hogans? It may just be math. More money in R&D and re-advertising the brand than they could make in sales. Callaway also has the huge benefit of already having a brand with strong name recognition, Callaway. More casual golfers are familiar with Big Bertha than Ben Hogan.

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I see what you mean. I think originally, they would need to be rebranded Callaways, but as they made money (hypothetically) they could actually look into some of the old designs and how they could pack them with today's technology. I think people would start to buy them if they had modern technology with a classic look. Mizuno does it.

 

Exactly - with some investment, I think Callaway (with the Hogan line) could have given Mizuno a run in the player category.

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Good idea, but how many casual golfers seek out Mizuno? Would the players who like that aspect of Mizuno drop their clubs for the Hogans? It may just be math. More money in R&D and re-advertising the brand than they could make in sales. Callaway also has the huge benefit of already having a brand with strong name recognition, Callaway. More casual golfers are familiar with Big Bertha than Ben Hogan.

 

Mizuno mainly caters to the better golfer, but even then they are incredibly popular. I don't think that it would be out of the question to make a GI Hogan, it would just have to be forged and be clean looking. I think a lot of people would like it just for the looks if they could do it right. And yeah Callaway has the advantage that they already have a brand and money and and R&D team. Also they could have tour players test them. Imagine the brand recognition if Phil Mickelson played a Hogan.

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Mizuno mainly caters to the better golfer, but even then they are incredibly popular. I don't think that it would be out of the question to make a GI Hogan, it would just have to be forged and be clean looking. I think a lot of people would like it just for the looks if they could do it right. And yeah Callaway has the advantage that they already have a brand and money and and R&D team. Also they could have tour players test them. Imagine the brand recognition if Phil Mickelson played a Hogan.

True about Phil, but what would be the advantage to Callaway? It would still all fall under the same bottom line at the end of the day. When Hogan was independent it was competition. Now it is just one potential tentacle of the Callaway octopus. It would not be the same impact to the name as if Phil started gaming TM stuff.

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The Hogan legend was made by Hogan's demand for the tighter tolerances and respect for his market. That was a time of loose tolerances and Hogan was the difference. These days manufacturing standards are much easier to meet and the machines available are much better at producing the tight standards that Hogan enforced.

 

Celebrate Hogan for making a difference as you can also celebrate Karsten Solheim for introducing the new engineering to Golf club manufacturing. Their contributions have been made todays standard and their passing has not ended their ontributions. They are still with us in the multitudes of brands regardless that they are not mentioned often.

 

 

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The Hogan legend was made by Hogan's demand for the tighter tolerances and respect for his market. That was a time of loose tolerances and Hogan was the difference. These days manufacturing standards are much easier to meet and the machines available are much better at producing the tight standards that Hogan enforced.

 

Celebrate Hogan for making a difference as you can also celebrate Karsten Solheim for introducing the new engineering to Golf club manufacturing. Their contributions have been made todays standard and their passing has not ended their ontributions. They are still with us in the multitudes of brands regardless that they are not mentioned often.

 

 

Shambles

This is a great thought. The Hogan name may not be there, but the quality he demanded is now living in the brands of today. Well said Shambles!

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True about Phil, but what would be the advantage to Callaway? It would still all fall under the same bottom line at the end of the day. When Hogan was independent it was competition. Now it is just one potential tentacle of the Callaway octopus. It would not be the same impact to the name as if Phil started gaming TM stuff.

 

I think selling Hogan clubs would increase Callaway's bottom line. Callaway is mostly known for their GI clubs, not so much for their forged ones. Hogan could fill a niche for Callaway that they previously had filled only with the X-forged.

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I think selling Hogan clubs would increase Callaway's bottom line. Callaway is mostly known for their GI clubs, not so much for their forged ones. Hogan could fill a niche for Callaway that they previously had filled only with the X-forged.

The Hogan brand would not be needed for this though. A new hot set that multiple players are using would met the same need even with callaway branding. A Hogan name on a callaway club is still callaway. It would be interesting too to see the % of money they make on the GI and SGI irons vs. their player offerings. Say player clubs represent 10 million dollars and the others 200 million industry wide. Why try and fight for the smaller pie?

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The Hogan brand would not be needed for this though. A new hot set that multiple players are using would met the same need even with callaway branding. A Hogan name on a callaway club is still callaway. It would be interesting too to see the % of money they make on the GI and SGI irons vs. their player offerings. Say player clubs represent 10 million dollars and the others 200 million industry wide. Why try and fight for the smaller pie?

 

I think players clubs are a heftier portion of the market than your given. A lot of newbies want such sets to sort of advertise skills they don't necessarily have. However that problem is diluted because players clubs today are much easier to use than the miniscule clubs of long ago. I still remember how the ball seemed larger than my 3 Iron of long ago, and I was using the smaller English ball. B)

 

I suppose that Callaway wanted some Hogan owned patents, facilities/valuable employees and hope to access the built in market that the name brings. There are a lot of parts to any company.

 

 

Shambles

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I think players clubs are a heftier portion of the market than your given. A lot of newbies want such sets to sort of advertise skills they don't necessarily have. However that problem is diluted because players clubs today are much easier to use than the miniscule clubs of long ago. I still remember how the ball seemed larger than my 3 Iron of long ago, and I was using the smaller English ball. B)

 

I suppose that Callaway wanted some Hogan owned patents, facilities/valuable employees and hope to access the built in market that the name brings. There are a lot of parts to any company.

 

 

Shambles

You may be right on the numbers, they were pulled out of the air. :)

I wonder where one could actually find numbers like that. IT would make an interesting read.

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As a sort of amateur photography enthusiast, I enjoy reading a photography weblog called, the Online Photographer, which is hosted by Mike Johnston. I came across an article on the ownership of a 'struggling' camera manufacturer that has always been a real icon - Leica. While I know that supporters of the Hogan line of clubs are probably not as fanatical - present participants of this thread aside - as many 'Leicaphiles', this article nevertheless presents an interesting view and may give us thought as to whether relative behemoths like Callaway or TM could have ever been expected to save the enthusiast brands Hogan and Maxfli, respectively.

 

If you're interested in the website, you can read it here. For those who would rather just read the article, it follows:

 

The Future of Leica

 

Some while back, Michael Reichmann of The Luminous Landscape posted "An Open Letter to Leica" subtitled "A Modest Proposal for Reinventing the M Series." Not long after, Michael published a response by Thom Hogan of ByThom.com under the title, "Thom Hogan Considers—What's Next for Leica." Both Michael and Thom speculated about what sort of products they think Leica needs to offer in the future—to quote Michael's article, he's answering the question, "what should the next M series Leica be like?" A perfectly sensible question.

 

Far be it from me to argue with either Thom or Michael. (And I'm not; their opinions stand for themselves.) But as Michael said, "the ideas that I'm putting forward are worth a public debate."

 

So here's my modest little contribution to the debate. I think the future of Leica is now.

 

As the great Inigo Montoya would say, 'let me 'splain'

I'm neither a Leica insider nor a Leica user (well, I've been using an M7 right lately, but it's not mine, it's a loaner from a friend). And I'm only basing the following on logic, which can easily lead us astray. But here's where logic takes me:

 

1. Old, traditional camera company falls on hard times, is sold by its founding owners (the Leitz family) who don't want to preside over its demise, changes hands several times, flirts dangerously with bankruptcy.

 

2. Passionate and independently wealthy enthusiast buys company.

 

3. New owner sinks big money into said company. I mean big—according to rumors, on the order of a hundred million euros or more. Again, I'm not an insider, so I don't know this for a fact, but that's the story.

 

4. After some rough water and a few mistakes along the way, the new owner's team comes up with an outstanding and highly sensible 3-tiered range of products. There is:

 

a. The Leica M9, a "full-frame" digital replica of the historical company's best-known and best-loved (and, yes, iconic) product. Also, it's exactly what most enthusiasts wanted. Also, it's the second iteration of the concept, fixing the flaws and addressing the drawbacks of the first generation.

 

b. Below that, the Leica X1, a premium semi-compact with a large APS-C-sized sensor and a beautiful fixed lens. Astutely judged as, if you'll forgive the phrase, a casual camera for the serious user. Or as a smart (in both senses) fashion accessory for the casual user. Just as astutely, positioned so as to complement but not compete with the main product. Affordably* priced at ~$2k.

 

c. Above the M9, the all-new Leica S2, a clean-sheet camera system conceived from first principles. Well positioned to appeal to not one but two markets: the type of pros who need to be concerned about their image, particularly fashion shooters of various descriptions, and very-well-heeled amateur enthusiasts who want the latest and the best and the most prestigious. (An S2 on your shoulder is the only thing guaranteed to make an M9 owner envious!)

 

'Psst, buddy, wanna buy a loss leader?'

It makes utterly no sense to me when I encounter various hosers on sundry forums opining that "Canon should buy Leica" or "Panasonic should buy Leica" or somesuch similar nonsense. What, do they mean with its angel? Leica lost four-point-something million euros last year. Should Canon say, "sure, we'll buy Leica, just as long as Herr Kaufmann is included in the deal, and he promises to continue sinking tens of millions of euros from his family's personal fortune into what will no longer be his company"? How does that make any sense at all, to anyone? The answer to "X should buy Leica" is not only "No—no, it shouldn't," and it's not even "Shut up," although both those responses are perfectly reasonable ones. It's that the perfect guy already bought Leica. Leica's owner is a seriously rich guy who loves the marque and is a passionate photography enthusiast and is willing and able to lose huge boatloads of money lovingly nurturing the company and grooming its product line. Nobody could fantasize a better owner for Leica than Leica already has.

 

And that's where I come down on this "future of Leica" thing. You're holding out for the future? The current cameras just aren't good enough? So, what, you're going to hold off and wait until the next time somebody sinks €100 million into a money-losing company and comes up with an ideal product lineup?!?

 

Really?

 

My opinion: the future is now. Right now. 2010 is 26 years past 1984 and nine years past 2001. For anybody who ever wanted a digital Leica, 2010 is the top of the bell curve; the best time for the company since 1958 (i.e., the year before Nikon introduced the F); the perfect time to jump on board.

 

The company has already given us more than anybody ever had a right to expect—more than reasonable people were even hoping for ten and twenty years ago. Leica can't make enough M9's and X1's to even keep up with demand. B&H won't even let you pre-order an X1 (I think that means their current pre-orders exceed the number of units they're expecting in their next shipment—I'll try to check on that).

 

Finally, before anyone brings up the obvious: yeah, time will go on. History didn't end in 1992. Newer products will continue to replace older ones. Even Studebaker, once the largest maker of wheeled vehicles in the world, couldn't sell horse-drawn buggies past 1919. The years do keep coming. With luck, the current ownership of Leica will prosper, and its team will come up with products in the future that will be appropriate to future conditions. But...this is the golden hour. Where Leica is concerned, for all practical purposes, the future's here.

 

Mike

 

 

(BTW, I have a newbie posting question -- how do I get notified (by email preferably) if someone replies to my post? Or do I just need to subscribe to that particular thread? Thanks in advance.)

______

Dave

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(BTW, I have a newbie posting question -- how do I get notified (by email preferably) if someone replies to my post? Or do I just need to subscribe to that particular thread? Thanks in advance.)

 

 

A quick search and I think I'm able to answer my own question -- 'configure post options'

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Dave

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Very cool read Dave, thanks.

I think that the Hogan thing is a little different too because Callaway already owns the name, but is choosing not to make any product.

To have the rich Hogan fanatic buy the name and start making old school Hogan type clubs like with the cameras above, would be fantastic!

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Hogan is just too difficult for me to figure out. He's an enigma wrapped up in a mystery. You hear so many good and bad things about him....it would have been interesting to really know who he was.

 

I wish I had taken the job I was offered at Shady Oaks back in '96 or '97.

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It's all about marketing. A LARGE number of people who took up the game in the past twenty years or so have no idea who BH is and even more so for the younger bunch coming up today, and a good many of those very young players are out of touch even now with Tiger as he has been around now on the big stage for close to fifteen years.

The new/young players of today are buying what is cool or in style and they are looking at Rory Mac....Ricky.....etc and buying what they play.

The Hogan brand was dead before Callaway bought it, they just closed the lid.

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