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2018 Official Forum Member Review - Ben Hogan Ft. Worth Black Irons

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The reason for the low score was they just didn’t perform well for me. Especially compared against the claims made in regards to their performance in the manufactures marketing.
 
2 things in regards to “just showing up in a box would earn at least a C+“. 1) Performace is king. While looks and feel are included in the review, ultimately the review is about how they perform. Not if they looked good when I opened up the box or sitting in the bag. The fact that the clubs showed up in a box isn’t going to help me or anyone else shoot better scores.  2) Why should and above average score like that (76-79) be given to a club that has what I would consider to be pretty sizable performance flaws? Especially when the only option to rectifying those flaws is to spend even more money to replace nearly half the set? 
 
Finally about my Cobras. While I do really enjoy my Cobras and they have performed well for me, they are by no means untouchable and I have zero loyalty to them. At the end of the day I want the best possible performing clubs for me that I can afford. So even if they look a little funny or come from a brand that isn’t popular, if it performs, its going in the bag. The Ft. Worth Blacks had every single chance to do that and just weren’t able to deliver. 

And that’s all that is asked for here: honesty. Testing clubs shouldn’t guarantee a “positive” review, JUST because you’ve been given a free set. Ultimately, whom does it benefit to write a glowing review if the clubs don’t perform? No one, except the OEM.
Based on your review, it looks like you and I had very similar results, and reviews. Pretty strong to keep them in your bag for Club Championship. Wow.


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18 hours ago, chemclub said:

Pretty damning when a + handicap says they aren't forgiving enough. Guess iron tech is worth something after all, even if it is just the simple perimeter weighting.

Its not so much that they aren't forgiving enough for me (But I will never complain about having a little more of it) but more about the claims made by  Ben Hogan Golf and some of the golfers who play their clubs. 

"We actually try to avoid the use of the oft-repeated terms “blade” and “game improvement” to define irons. And the Ft Worth irons blur that line anyway. We have applied an entirely new approach to iron weighting to deliver the precision, feel and ball control normally reserved for “blades”, with a measure of forgiveness that compares to any “game improvement” design." -BenHoganGolf.com

This is just an outright lie. 

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15 hours ago, jlukes said:

Good stuff dpatt. I continue to be confused by the sole width progression in these irons. It really makes no sense

Yea its very strange and I'm still not entirely convinced that it wasn't a mistake that someone let slipped through into production. While I don't often believe marketing claims about performance, marketing usually just over blows performance. This is completely opposite of the performance and I can't imagine anyone knowingly choosing to take that risk.

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8 hours ago, DPattGolf said:

Its not so much that they aren't forgiving enough for me (But I will never complain about having a little more of it) but more about the claims made by  Ben Hogan Golf and some of the golfers who play their clubs. 

"We actually try to avoid the use of the oft-repeated terms “blade” and “game improvement” to define irons. And the Ft Worth irons blur that line anyway. We have applied an entirely new approach to iron weighting to deliver the precision, feel and ball control normally reserved for “blades”, with a measure of forgiveness that compares to any “game improvement” design." -BenHoganGolf.com

This is just an outright lie. 

I tried these albeit briefly, and I agree, there is no more forgiveness than any other blade on the market. Are they pretty? Yes. But do they perform well?  For me, it was a resounding NO! 

Edited by GB13
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10 hours ago, GB13 said:

I tried these albeit briefly, and I agree, there is no more forgiveness than any other blade on the market. Are they pretty? Yes. But do they perform well?  For me, it was a resounding NO! 

 

12 hours ago, DPattGolf said:

Its not so much that they aren't forgiving enough for me (But I will never complain about having a little more of it) but more about the claims made by  Ben Hogan Golf and some of the golfers who play their clubs. 

"We actually try to avoid the use of the oft-repeated terms “blade” and “game improvement” to define irons. And the Ft Worth irons blur that line anyway. We have applied an entirely new approach to iron weighting to deliver the precision, feel and ball control normally reserved for “blades”, with a measure of forgiveness that compares to any “game improvement” design." -BenHoganGolf.com

This is just an outright lie. 

As much as I don't want to believe this, the Maltby Playability Factor (MPF) for these is among the lowest of all irons they have ranked.  As in 15th worst of 887.  Only four clubs tested worse in the last 24 years.  The other "worst 15" clubs average 63 years old!  @BIG STU might have 15 vintage sets more playable than these.

Now, if someone would find some 2005 Hogan Apex's, we would be talking!  Hogan has six Apex's ranked more playable than any Callaway "Apex".  Sorry, that was off topic, but seeing Apex on a Callaway makes me want to throw up a little in my mouth.

Back on topic: If you took five golfers and gave them five clubs with a decent spread in MPF, do you think they would be able to rank them correctly with a handful of shots in a launch monitor?  Do those numbers really translate to real life?  Apparently @DPattGolf and @GB13 felt that a rating of 90 is pretty reasonable for these irons.

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8 hours ago, romeopapazulu said:

Back on topic: If you took five golfers and gave them five clubs with a decent spread in MPF, do you think they would be able to rank them correctly with a handful of shots in a launch monitor?  Do those numbers really translate to real life?  Apparently @DPattGolf and @GB13 felt that a rating of 90 is pretty reasonable for these irons.

In my opinion, no and while I understand the concept of MPF, I really think this is one of those areas of allowing numbers to replace reality. For example, this assumes that all players will contact the ball with the same lofting/de-lofting of the face, that they will strike the ball in exactly the same region of the face and that material or construction of the face also plays no part. It also completely ignores the sole construction of the club and how that plays a factor through strike.

MPF is a guideline, a starting point for a thought process, not a "conclusion".

I own lots of sets of clubs that are on their list and, for me, the actual experience in hitting them is all over the place relative to their listing.

Let's take a sample set based on clubs I have:

Wilson Deep Red II - MPF 942
Titleist  690CB - MPF 431
Mizuno MP-5 - MPF 359
Titleist ZB - MPF 495
Mizuno MP-15 - MPF 374
Mizuno MP-25 - MPF  290
Srixon Z765 - MPF 473
Ping G15 - MPF 844
Ft Worth - MPF 90

For me, I can say without a shadow of a doubt, I least like hitting (and get the worst results) with the Ping and Wilson sets, I just can't consistently hit the shots I want, yet according to MPF they should be far and away the easiest clubs I have to hit.
My favourites fall between the Ft Worth and Srixon sets and I really find very little difference in terms of hitting each of them at all, yet one is on the high end of a players club and the other is supposedly among the hardest to hit clubs of recent history. Put both in my hand on course and I wouldn't be able to tell you either way.
I find the MP-5s the easiest to hit of the Mizunos, despite falling in the middle of the group.

It's really a guideline to the head's potential forgiveness under a very specific set of circumstances that doesn't tally with my, personal, experience at all.

If you told me I had to play a match that mattered tomorrow and threw me the option of the Wilsons, one of the "best" clubs on the MPF scale or the Ft Worth, one of the "worst", there is only one club I would even contemplate and it's not the Wilsons.

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On 12/18/2018 at 12:26 AM, jlukes said:

Good stuff dpatt. I continue to be confused by the sole width progression in these irons. It really makes no sense

 

22 hours ago, DPattGolf said:

Yea its very strange and I'm still not entirely convinced that it wasn't a mistake that someone let slipped through into production. While I don't often believe marketing claims about performance, marketing usually just over blows performance. This is completely opposite of the performance and I can't imagine anyone knowingly choosing to take that risk.

I have to say, that this is a topic in this thread has me a little confused.

A lot of players clubs have thinner soles in the long irons and it's a very intentional design factor.
Thicker soles allow you to move more weight low to provide higher launch and more forgiveness, but the assumption in players irons is that you don't need this so much.
At the same time, thinner soles provide more workability, both in terms of flighting shots up and down and also in looking to add lateral spin. Typically, players are more likely to want to shape shots in longer irons rather than shorter irons where the backspin overwhelms the effect of side-spin anyway, so the longer irons have thinner soles both by virtue of their natural shape, the lower requirement for forgiveness in the target market and to facilitate better shot-shaping.

Most of my sets of traditional clubs have thinner long irons than short.

As I've stated in my review, I think these are very much a "target market" club and, as the Tour itself proves, even the best of players in the World have to pick what suits them best and even in that tiny, tiny demographic you get people ranging between very traditional style blades through to AP2s and similar.

 

I will say that, for almost every player, if you want to play tournaments and aren't living every second of your life with your irons wrapped into your hands then there are probably other irons that will facilitate better scoring, but I don't see anything wrong in these for what they are intended to be.

Edited by Jon Brittan
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Don’t ignore the adoration factor.

 

I’ve played four sets of irons that I’ve been fitted for over the past 19 years.

 

Titleist 962b

Titleist 670

PING i5

Hogan Ft. Worth’s.

 

One of these is an outwardly “easy” club to hit. The others were easy for me to hit because I TRUSTED them in my hands.

 

Let’s not ignore the psychological affect.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

 

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1 hour ago, Jon Brittan said:

 

I have to say, this is one topic that has me a little confused in this thread. A lot of players clubs have thinner soles in the long irons and it's a very intentional design factor.
Thicker soles allow you to move more weight low to provide higher launch and more forgiveness, but the assumption in players irons is that you don't need this so much.
At the same time, thinner soles provide more workability, both in terms of flighting shots up and down and also in looking to add lateral spin. Typically, players are more likely to want to shape shots in longer irons rather than shorter irons where the backspin overwhelms the effect of side-spin anyway, so the longer irons have thinner soles both by virtue of their natural shape, the lower requirement for forgiveness in the target market and to facilitate better shot-shaping.

Most of my sets of traditional clubs have thinner long irons than short.

As I've stated in my review, I think these are very much a "target market" club and, as the Tour itself proves, even the best of players in the World have to pick what suits them best and even in that tiny, tiny demographic you get people ranging between very traditional style blades through to AP2s and similar.

 

I will say that, for almost every player, if you want to play tournaments and aren't living every second of your life with your irons wrapped into your hands then there are probably other irons that will facilitate better scoring.

Since I was the one who originally brought it up let me clarify this a bit.

 

Do some modern players irons have a shrinking sole progression like these? Yes but when that is the case the severity of the progress is not to this drastic. This is very much a older style blade than what you would often find now on the market for new clubs in the Players category. What I would say is more common now is to have sole widths relatively the same across the entire set (say 7 iron width in the Ft Worth Blacks). This trend is evident in both my Titleist 712 MB/CB and 714 AP2 sets as well as my Cobra MB/CB combos. Having sole widths like this in a set creates long irons that produce a little higher trajectory with a little more mass lower and short irons that penetrate a little more thanks to mass being raised. 2 things that most players these are aimed at want. This happens to be exactly what BenHoganGolf claimed that they have done with this design. But it just doesn't do. If your doubting the desire for penetrating short irons think to how often you have been hearing major companies talking about wedges creating a more penetrating ball flight in the last 5 years. Also a larger sole provides more so ground impact forgiveness "Chunk Protection" than what most would consider traditional forgiveness. It also will have little to no impact on lateral spin. Loss of that and gained tradition forgiveness tend to go hand in hand but also require this head to be designed in a way that most would mistake it for a Players iron anymore. 

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17 minutes ago, DPattGolf said:

Since I was the one who originally brought it up let me clarify this a bit.

[Snip]

Then I think we're really in the same place, other than what we feel Hogan are aiming for here.
It seems, to me, that the PTx probably resembles what you've (accurately) described as a modern players iron.
To me, the Ft Worth is a shot at a very traditional blade and nothing more than that.
I don't see the Ft. Worth being the club that many people put in their bags with a view to winning their county/regional championships, but at the same time, I can honestly say that, for me, I didn't find them particularly harsh compared to pretty much anything else I play and again, for me, they suit what I currently want out of golf.

I think, in the same way that modern power irons don't suit some players (with a 7 iron stronger lofted than your usual 5 iron), the current Ben Hogan philosophy probably has it's niche.
Again, with reference to your comments on wedge flights, I understand the common desire, but look at their blurb on their aims with the Equalizer wedges which is nearly the complete opposite.

Edited by Jon Brittan
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21 minutes ago, bens197 said:

Don’t ignore the adoration factor.

 

I’ve played four sets of irons that I’ve been fitted for over the past 19 years.

 

Titleist 962b

Titleist 670

PING i5

Hogan Ft. Worth’s.

 

One of these is an outwardly “easy” club to hit. The others were easy for me to hit because I TRUSTED them in my hands.

 

Let’s not ignore the psychological affect.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

 

I loved the look of the Hogan Ft Worth's and TRUSTED them just like any other club I have ever owned. (I tend to trust my swing more than anything else) I did the same thing when I reviewed the Snell MTB Black. 

However, my scoring average rising 3+ shots and not ever being all that close to defending my Club Championship (Winner was very beatable and did not run away and hide by any means) while using the Ft. Worth's would argue against the impact you are suggesting. 

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6 minutes ago, Jon Brittan said:

Then I think we're really in the same place, other than what we feel Hogan are aiming for here.
It seems, to me, that the PTx probably resembles what you've (accurately) described as a modern players iron.
To be, the Ft Worth is a shot at a very traditional blade and nothing more than that.
I don't see the Ft. Worth being the club that many people put in their bags with a view to winning their county/regional championships, but at the same time, I can honestly say that, for me, I didn't find them particularly harsh compared to pretty much anything else I play and again, for me, they suit what I currently want out of golf.

I think, in the same way that modern power irons don't suit some players (with a 7 iron stronger lofted than your usual 5 iron), the current Ben Hogan philosophy probably has it's niche.
Again, with reference to your comments on wedge flights, I understand the common desire, but look at their blurb on their aims with the Equalizer wedges which is nearly the complete opposite.

I agree that it is a traditional blade, but the marketing claims from BHG state something completely different. BHG are the ones saying that the Ft. Worth has "with a measure of forgiveness that compares to any “game improvement” design".

That forgiveness comparable to GI clubs is just simply not true.

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20 minutes ago, Jon Brittan said:

Then I think we're really in the same place, other than what we feel Hogan are aiming for here.
It seems, to me, that the PTx probably resembles what you've (accurately) described as a modern players iron.
To be, the Ft Worth is a shot at a very traditional blade and nothing more than that.
I don't see the Ft. Worth being the club that many people put in their bags with a view to winning their county/regional championships, but at the same time, I can honestly say that, for me, I didn't find them particularly harsh compared to pretty much anything else I play and again, for me, they suit what I currently want out of golf.

I think, in the same way that modern power irons don't suit some players (with a 7 iron stronger lofted than your usual 5 iron), the current Ben Hogan philosophy probably has it's niche.
Again, with reference to your comments on wedge flights, I understand the common desire, but look at their blurb on their aims with the Equalizer wedges which is nearly the complete opposite.

I would not consider the PTx a Players iron. 

 

Also Ben Hogan literally Markets the Equalizer wedges the exactly like I said other brands are marketing wedges now.

"No more ballooning wedge shots." - BenHoganGolf.com

 

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1 minute ago, DPattGolf said:

 

I would not consider the PTx a Players iron.

Also Ben Hogan literally Markets the Equalizer wedges the exactly like I said.

 

"No more ballooning wedge shots." - BenHoganGolf.com

 

I think what we can take from this is that someone from Hogan's marketing team probably needs to get a bit better at giving a clear message.
What I was referring to was in their further write-up of the Equalizers:

 

"In effect, the lower lofted wedges have a higher Center of Mass that generates flatter, penetrating shot trajectories that skip on the green, and stop quickly. The higher lofted wedges have been designed with a lower Center of Mass to deliver shots that fly higher, land softly on the green and stop. The result is that each Equalizer wedges perform exactly for its intended purposes."

So, basically only the stronger lofted wedges are designed to be "penetrating" and the shorter wedges are designed, intentionally, to give a higher ball flight relative to their loft. Basically, in the shortest of their wedges, the opposite of the bit you have quoted from them...

 

Basically, they need to be a bit more clear as to what they are saying and trying to achieve, as I agree with the point about their suggestion that the Ft Worth's are, essentially, like playing a Game Improvement iron too. Take that statement out and it's all a lot more palatable.

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I think what we can take from this is that someone from Hogan's marketing team probably needs to get a bit better at giving a clear message.

What I was referring to was in their further write-up of the Equalizers:

 

"In effect, the lower lofted wedges have a higher Center of Mass that generates flatter, penetrating shot trajectories that skip on the green, and stop quickly. The higher lofted wedges have been designed with a lower Center of Mass to deliver shots that fly higher, land softly on the green and stop. The result is that each Equalizer wedges perform exactly for its intended purposes."

So, basically only the stronger lofted wedges are designed to be "penetrating" and the shorter wedges are designed, intentionally, to give a higher ball flight relative to their loft. Basically, in the shortest of their wedges, the opposite of the bit you have quoted from them...

 

Basically, they need to be a bit more clear as to what they are saying and trying to achieve, as I agree with the point about their suggestion that the Ft Worth's are, essentially, like playing a Game Improvement iron too. Take that statement out and it's all a lot more palatable.

And the equalizer wedges are designed opposite from just about every other wedge company out there as well. Everyone else has a progressive center of gravity that gets higher as the lofts increase.

 

I just don't understand what BHG is doing.

 

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2 minutes ago, Jon Brittan said:

I think what we can take from this is that someone from Hogan's marketing team probably needs to get a bit better at giving a clear message.
What I was referring to was in their further write-up of the Equalizers:

 

"In effect, the lower lofted wedges have a higher Center of Mass that generates flatter, penetrating shot trajectories that skip on the green, and stop quickly. The higher lofted wedges have been designed with a lower Center of Mass to deliver shots that fly higher, land softly on the green and stop. The result is that each Equalizer wedges perform exactly for its intended purposes."

So, basically only the stronger lofted wedges are designed to be "penetrating" and the shorter wedges are designed, intentionally, to give a higher ball flight relative to their loft. Basically, in the shortest of their wedges, the opposite of the bit you have quoted from them...

 

Basically, they need to be a bit more clear as to what they are saying and trying to achieve, as I agree with the point about their suggestion that the Ft Worth's are, essentially, like playing a Game Improvement iron too. Take that statement out and it's all a lot more palatable.

I would agree that their marketing needs to be improved.

 

But there is also a reason that what I quoted is the headline. Its because that is where the biggest design change happened. The high lofted wedges are relatively unchanged so they are just telling us what we already know by saying those go high. 

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I loved the look of the Hogan Ft Worth's and TRUSTED them just like any other club I have ever owned. (I tend to trust my swing more than anything else) I did the same thing when I reviewed the Snell MTB Black. 

However, my scoring average rising 3+ shots and not ever being all that close to defending my Club Championship (Winner was very beatable and did not run away and hide by any means) while using the Ft. Worth's would argue against the impact you are suggesting. 

 

 

I think it’s fair to say you proved your point well beyond what any reasonable person should expect. I don’t believe you have to defend yourself. You were honest and supported it with plenty of examples.

 

I would disagree with the trust though. I don’t know how you could trust these when they failed you.

 

You did trust your swing.

 

 

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Very interesting.  Just goes to show you everyone is different.  Myself I found the dispersion to be pretty good even compared to my Callaways and had no loss of distance.  As a plus I didn't get those random shots that flew an extra 10 yards.  

Great reviews guys!!

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I demoed all 3 Ben Hogan iron models. I went with the Ft. Worth 15s because of 1-feel, 2-I got them at a insane price for new clubs, 3-performance, 4-looks. The PTX is a great iron too, but I didn't find them that much more forgiving. In the 4-6 irons, they were easier to launch. Didn't have to swing as fast. I have pictures and caliper measurements of these irons on THP.com. Ben Hogan has made 3 progressive irons that measurement wise, separates them into different categories, but that separation is slim. For the price, even from Ben Hogan Golf,  I don't think you can find a better value for the product anywhere else right now! Maybe the TEE EXS driver?!

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On 12/19/2018 at 7:07 AM, jlukes said:

I agree that it is a traditional blade, but the marketing claims from BHG state something completely different. BHG are the ones saying that the Ft. Worth has "with a measure of forgiveness that compares to any “game improvement” design".

That forgiveness comparable to GI clubs is just simply not true.

I think this is the key. If they weren't marketing it like it was a forgiving club it would be less of an issue. I only used the 5 and 8 iron demo for two weeks, and I think my 7 handicap would be the type of golfer they are trying to expand their demographic to based on the marketing. I had a positive experience, really loved the looks and feel, and performance, at least in limited practice, wasn't as drastic of a drop off as what Dpatt has outlined, but the long irons especially are not aligned with their marketing of offering any sort of game improvement IMO.

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