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2020 Official Member Review: Ben Hogan Golf ComPany-VKTR+, UiHi and GS53 FW


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When you're got that long shot into a par 5 and need the club to get you there, or maybe you're on the tee of a tight par 4 and hitting the fairway is paramount, Ben Hogan Golf has you covered, with choices ranging from utility iron, hybrid or fairway wood.   And so do 18 of our members who are putting all of these models to the test, you'll read about players from regular to X-Stiff flex, so at least a couple of them should have feedback on your particular desired option.

Read the ongoing comments from them as they put these into play, and then comeback for their final review to see how the clubs performed over the long haul for them.

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Testing the VKTR+ Hybrid:

@Nolan220

@Siamese Moose

@ChitownM2

@TCUFrog

@Shank Aaron

 @oaks

Testing the UiHi Utility Iron:

@twyatt700

@kardboard.kid

@scooterhd2

@gbtrsc

@jb0330

@longdrivenate

 

Testing the GS53 3 wood:

@golfish!

@AGutierrez7

@J.B. TexasEx

@josmi15

@goaliewales14

@Crowev01

 

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:titelist-small: TSi2 Kuro Kage 50g R Flex

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:ping-small: G410 Hybrid 26 degree Alta CB R Flex

:titelist-small: T100S/T200 Combo 5-7 T100S 8-P T200 TT Black Oynx R Flex

:titelist-small: SM7 54.08 F 58.12 K 

:ping-small: Heppler Tomcast 

:titelist-small: ProV1X Play number 12

 

 

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Greeting MGS family, and Thank You Ben Hogan Golf.  I’m somewhat know around this forum, but for those who may be new, I’m Tim (Kardboard.kid).  The name is a play on my profession.  I’m a Corrugated

Hey everyone! I’m a relative newbie around here as I just joined the forum back in March and I do have to say this is an absolutely fantastic online community with a great mix of knowledge and fun. I’

This is kind of a long game club.  Just showed up today, so hope you don’t mind it bumping in for a photo op 😎  

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Alright Alright Alright ....Let's get it started !

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Just a little about me I been playing golf off and on about 10 years but the last 2-3 years I have been playing all year around and currently have a 18 handicap. I have a smooth tempo swing I try to stay in control and give up distances for control with my driver swing speed at 95. I am from Philadelphia but now reside in New Jersey with my family. I have a natural slice that could clear the other side of the next hole. I worked hard and set up a fade or a draw now. My strengths on the course is my putting and short game but lately I been really good off the tee. My weakness is the natural slice tends to creep back into my swing off the tee and the midrange game a tend to chunk. My current gamer is the 2009 Taylormade Rescue 3 hybrid at 19 degree loft, I put this demo in 2010 at the old Golfsmith ( pour one out for the homies).My gamer I use for any shot tee fairway, rough, and I used it out of the sand couple of times, this is my go to club and I have said before it has more miracles then Jesus. With that being said I usually don't take aggressive lines anymore due to the risk didn't outweigh the reward. On par 5 I can sometimes get on in two depending on the drive but usually I am a short chip into the green on the third shot. For Par 4s depending on the hole lay out I could lay up with the 3 hybrid on short Par 4s and on long par 4s I could go driver then hybrid or 4 driving iron. 

First Impressions

First impressions the club looks really clean with the black top and chrome bottom. I really like the red white and blue leather head cover it really classy looking. The whole club screams with old school class with a newer hybrid head. At first it felt too heavy but I think that it must just be balanced different then my gamer because I weigh them both and they are both at the same weight. I also didn't like the grips just seems on the cheap side and too firm for me. Swinging the club was nice had a nice sound and got used to it after a while. I plan on testing this club compare to my current gamer which I did but I also decide to take the whole gamer out and just go balls to the wall sink or swim style with it on the course. To me this club has to be able to be workable and something I rely on no matter what the situation was which is what I use the hybrid for during my round.

589568663_Coverinbox.jpg.34c59cd7f498c37c35644ac597900aba.jpg912285514_Clubinbox.jpg.8502a3ef3dfceed6b3c2c803dd08e6b1.jpg1750521514_clublookingdown2.jpg.d94ce8b950d28b57d25d9673fcf3f24e.jpg2055632622_clublookingdown.jpg.3c7d473ad2e05a817ff8d977499f87eb.jpg229501745_Clubheadbottomupclose.jpg.e1828896dcb500ee343a620ca2a5ff55.jpg1575965987_Headcoverback.jpg.23ffe6cce3f3ae83451b52a284a89f7e.jpg1279723156_headcoverBHupclose.jpg.29ea8dcdf3b10d578d6861cb8475832b.jpg1958398991_Headcoverfront.jpg.7441382581afe5cc8107586434d55359.jpg

 

Looks (8 out of 10 points)

I really like the look of this club the head cover is great so clean looking and the club it self is old school Ben Hogan with new age head. I love the Recoil steal looking shaft that makes it like I am using an old premission wood driver ( prob the same size). I think the shape and non flashy graphics fits in well for the Ben Hogan brand and really stands out on its own. I only thing I didn't like was the grip I think if they did an old school wrap like a black golf pride W2 wrap would fit better. 

Sound & Feel (out of 10 points)

 The sound was good I like the sound it made on contacted it was like a ping sound, like banging a pots and pans on NYE midnight baby. The feel of the club took me a bit to get used to but I think I started to get used to it a bit. If I would of pick this up in the store and hit a couple of shots with it I most likely wouldn't of bought it. I think the purpose of this test is straight off the rack no really fitting to compare to and for me I didnt really like it at first and took a bit to start to feel comfortable. I think if you go to a store to buy off the rack you need to love the feel of the club to make your mind of to purchase it. That is why I had to give it a 6, I did get used to it but at a store you dont really have couple of days/weeks to get comfortable. Below is the video from the range has a good sound. I will also save the other video for the on course part that had a great ping sound to it.

 

 

 

Basic Characteristics (15 out of 20 points)

The trajectory of the of the club was a mid to high flight this what my more trajectory looks like on my current gamer (see video above). I had trouble with accuracy I kept pushing the ball to the right it seemed like the club face was open when I compare to my gamer maybe it was me but I majority of the shots were to the right and I would have to aim to the left to play a big fade. This also goes with the workability I really couldn't play a draw with the this club. I would hit a draw at the range with my gamer but once I tried with the BH just couldn't get a good one. The distance was around the same as my game below is from the shot scope app, I am not sure how consisted the numbers are from the app as i didn't compare them to a trackman or anything like that but on course and range the distances were comparable, below is the shot chart. I thought the club was forgiving I hit a couple of bad hits and it was off line that bad so I feel the was some good forgiveness for this club. The one thing I thought it was lacking was the adjustability I have a cobra f9 fairway wood that is adjustable which I like. I really like the ping sound to it. As of right now I wouldn't pull this out for a difficult shot I just feel like I don't have the workability that my gamer has. 

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On-Course / LM Performance (20 out of 30 points)

Off the tee I really liked this club I had some really good shots once I figured out that I kept hitting a fade. Off the tee I hit more fairways then I missed I counted on the one round that I used the off the tee I hit 3 out of 4 fairways the video below is the one miss but I don't blame the club for that one. I think once I got used to it I felt on the course that it was easy to hit the ball and get a solid hit with the enlarged face my gamer has a slimmer face ( see picture below). I think after really getting into this club I tried to really try some shots that I usually don't take I felt like I got more comfortable with really changed my mindset on the club where as I said before I took the gamer out of the bag and just played with the BH. I think I would change the stock grip I know this is priced at a lower price point but I can't see upgrading a grip would change the price point by much, also per the BH website and as you see in the pic it has a high toe " The higher toe helps punctuate a more iron-like and less wood-like appearance, encouraging you to swing down on the ball and not sweep it like a wood." I actually don't like to swing down I like to swing throw it. I like the not high toe look. This club didn't changed my score for the better if anything it would be really hard to improve my score because my gamer is really my favorite most used club. 

1046737228_sidebysidedowncloseup.jpeg.7cd6bf8fa1be9deb381c6a3e51ff7a15.jpeg750901031_Sidebysideface.jpeg.51df8468856adca71d8edbf2ccb6d948.jpeg

 

Miscellaneous (7 out of 10 points)
I showed my dad this club and he really liked it, it was little too heavy for him and stiff but he really like the classic look and the head cover. 

Play it or Trade it? (14 out of 20 points)

This one is one is tough because I feel like I need to give it a chance and play it for a bit but if we go back to what I said earlier I didn't get the good feel right away and if I was in a store to buy this club I most likely would of put it back. I think with some changes I could play it to replace my gamer but for right now I think I might have to work with the club a bit more to actually keep it in the bag. I think this club however could benefit a lot of golfers that like a classic looking club for a great price point. 

Conclusion

To sum this review up I think the club has some good features and a really classic look but for me I didn't like the grip or feel for the club to start off and really didn't get comfortable with the club for awhile. I think the price point will work well with a lot of golfers budget. 

Final Score: (70 out of 100 points)

 

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club head.jpg

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:cobra-small: F9 SpeedBack Black Grey Fairway 5 Wood   :Fuji: ATMOS Tour Spec Blue 7 shaft

:taylormade-small: 3 Rescue Hybrid

:mizuno-small: JPX 900 Hot Metal 5 - GW OBAN CT-100 Hard Step S Shafts  

:ping-small:   Glide 2.0 SS Wedges 54 & 58 

:taylormade-small: TP Red White Ardmore Putter

:918457628_PrecisionPro:Precision Pro NX7 range finder 

:cobra-small: Ultralight Cart Bag 

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Final Update: 12/9/2020

Club: Ben Hogan VKTR+ hybrid, H3 (18°), with a Recoil ES 75 shaft in regular flex (F3)

I'll be coming back to update this, but seeing as the weather forecast means it's unlikely I'll get to the course anytime in the next ten days, I wanted to get up my early impressions.

First thoughts: If you're a better player looking for a low launch hybrid that can be worked without a left side bias, this might be your club.

Who I am: I am 61, 5'7", 138', and one year off shoulder surgery that chipped into my swing speed. I am still fairly athletic, and am competitive to guys 20 years younger in bike racing. I was recently fitted for a driver, and found my current swingspeed is 94 with a quick tempo. I am currently taking lessons to build a swing that eases up on that shoulder, as well as a damaged lower back. I started those lessons as a a 13, and ten weeks in am down to 5.8. Across the board with all clubs I am low launch and low spin.

What I'm looking for: I am primarily a fairway woods guy. My best club (outside my putter) is probably my 7 wood (Cobra F9), which is the club I compared this hybrid to. I would like to replace my 5 iron with a hybrid, but have not found one better than hitting the iron so far. I asked in on this test in the hope of finding that 5i replacement. I would have preferred getting the 5H (26°) to test, but the 3H was what was offered. Still, I hope the 3 helps me decide on the 5.

Looks: 7/10

This is very much an old school, traditionally shaped hybrid. Compared to most of the latest offerings from other makers, which seem to be moving to a "mini-wood" design, this is much blockier. 

308726812_HybridComparison.jpg.6c34e2249c3ab4e0cac3bbd22fed6819.jpg(Thanks go out to Eric Hensler of Miles of Golf Cincinnati for lending me the other clubs for this comparison picture.) The overall finish is gorgeous, and I especially like the way the soleplate looks. At address the club looks like it's sitting slightly closed, but when I checked it with both a triangle and club gauge it's dead square. I understand this is common with many woods and hybrids, and some designers round off the toe to change the look so players aren't freaked out about going left. There's no effort to do that here. Loft and lie are dead on spec, at 18° and 57° (lie spec is 57.5°, but I can't measure better than whole figures). Length is 40.5" with my gauge, spec is 40.25". Swingweight spec is D2, but I measured D5. That's the only spec that I would consider off, though that's a change that fits my personal preferences. Per the sticker on the plastic wrap, the headweight is 239.0g, total club weight is 362g. The included headcover looks awesome.

222543706_HoganVKTRhybridnew.jpg.f1cc2230cfe0a2fec4d230231c968e20.jpg

Sound and Feel: 9/10

I am not particularly sensitive to feel, so my impression is mostly sound, which is a nice solid "thwack". (It's got a nice echo in a driving range stall.) The shaft has a nice neutral feel, not too whippy or boardy. Felt slightly stiff for an R flex, and not as tip soft as I expected for a mid-high launch spec.

Playing Characteristics: 8/20

So far my time with the club is limited to range work, and only on mats (the grass tees were sodden). These numbers are from a chilly day (45° to 50°) and into a breeze of about one club. This range has a Toptracer system, which is where I got the numbers. I wish I had taken pictures of the Toptracer screen at the range. I thought the tracer pictures and dispersion ovals were available on the app for me to look at at home, but the app only gives me the numbers. This chart is compared to my 7 wood (I edited out mishits):

866756356_HoganStats.jpg.b81035ebc67dffc1e5daa45918de55e2.jpg

For my swing, this club launches crazy low. I'm actually surprised that the height was 18 yards, as I didn't think it looked that high. My mishits were worm burners, with the occasional high flare. I really wish I had the dispersion numbers, because that was quite good. I was consistently straight, mostly with a baby draw (which is my stock iron shape). I can fade a wood, but I have great trouble fading irons, and I could get a little fade out of the hybrid. Not even once did I get the surprise hook that I've had with other traditional hybrids. In the end, I don't see how I could use this club for approach shots. The launch and landing angles are way too low, but as I said above, my swing is low launch and low spin for everything. I'd love to see how this club worked for a high launch player.

On Course Performance: 15/30

I don't have a lot of on course shots with this, but I'm going to finish this up anyway. (My doctor has asked me to stop playing for 6 weeks after shooting up my right thumb and starting some PT. I went out and played anyway today so I could finish this review.) I was a lot better with this on the course than the range. FWIW, I always play better than I practice. "Target" rather than "process" mindset, I assume. Just like on the range, I was very straight with this club. Trajectory off the turf was better (higher) than off the mats, but still lower than I'd like. I could not hold a green with this trajectory. Off of a tee the trajectory was still higher, probably close to optimum, but I found that teed up I did have a tendency to pull it. I also had a tendency to dig the toe in. If I were to keep this club I would have it bent up about 2°. On my best shots I hit a couple of rockets with this, 220-ish, which is normally 3 wood territory for me. However, a typical shot was more like 180-190. The better shots were later in my round, and I assume I was altering my swing to fit the club. That also meant a couple of late fairway wood shots, normally my strength, went awry, because I was swinging differently.

Miscellaneous: 6/10

I really liked the feel of the shaft. It seems a little firm for an R flex, but certainly not up to a stiff. Hogan lists it as mid-high launch and mid-spin. I'd hate to see my results if this had a low launch shaft in it. At my height, if I put it in the bag I would probably shorten it 1/2", but at the current length the lie angle was perfect. The grip was a Lamkin Z5, which is a model I don't see on Lamkin's site. I normally use a Lamkin grip (Crossline), but this one feels rather rubbery and cheap. It's nominally standard size, but I measured it at +1/32". 

Play It Or Trade It: 4/20

For my low launch swing, this club is kryptonite. In retrospect, I'm the wrong guy to review a hybrid, and you absolutely need to remember that when you look at my ratings. To be fair to the club, I would like to get it into the hands of someone better suited to this design. I don't foresee playing it again, what with the winter weather and my medical hiatus. I'm going to see if the staff had a second choice for a reviewer on this club, and ship it to him. If not, it's available to anyone who thinks it sounds like a fit for their game.

Overall (pending update): 49/100

Edited by Siamese Moose
On course update
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Moose, my cat, is Siamese

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Ben Hogan VKTR+ 3 hybrid – Official MGS Forum Review by Ryan Friis - 1/3/2021

Intro

Since I’m new on the forum, I’ll start off this review with a little background about myself. I’m 40 years old and a 20 handicap golfer. I’ve been golfing since my early teens but I never really took it seriously (or was good at it). My struggles have always been inconsistent ball striking and making a repeatable swing. These last two sentences really go hand in hand. Up until this year, I think it is fair to say that I’ve never really put in the work to get my golf game to where I’d like it to be, but that is something I’ve committed to changing. 

Getting into specifics, I have a pretty aggressive tempo and a driver swing speed in the 100-105mph range. My usual misses are either a push or a push fade/slice. As I alluded to earlier, 2020 was my year to get back into golf so my current bag reflects the long hiatus I had from the game. The 18° hybrid I’m reviewing is taking the place of a very old Callaway Steelhead III fairway 7 wood. The change from FW to hybrid was one I was looking to make in my bag as I find hybrids to be more versatile for my game since I don’t have the confidence to hit the FW out of the rough where I am more than I’d like to be.

 

First Impressions

I was literally like a kid waiting for Santa once I got the notification that my club had shipped. Once the FedEx man left my “present” on the doorstep, I was not disappointed. I was very impressed with the looks of this club when I took it out of the box. It looks much better in person than on the Hogan website. 

 bhdMdpQRNBad9Hu3-jgFDrFNBa9YqLfYx7jxEPYuu98_96s95vf0Yrz1AXarihepYz8iYI2SSyFyumCrjsSjkKm4tGkwuAKzyFOoWIIBVokneBL-3gmPWti86V4zp7XzfRDhFFhL 

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 Due to the unique circumstances of these Hogan tests, we were not able to customize the clubs and thus they came with the stock Lamkin Z5 grip. I typically prefer a corded grip with a few extra wraps, but since this is a 0.580 grip on a 0.600 shaft, the size was OK for me.  Whether or not I will miss the cord remains to be seen as all of my testing was done during cold weather instead of the hot humid summer of the typical season. 

 Ja44MRQgSSadhx1DraRjlccljdW01QBvytvQWE70zLFjCZmJBpVHdPF7KRFE_m7AFOZMFtRTJH4qzBffmLv9GdR9k0dikOKvhwzEVMzfPrS1yO9zNgWUh57Nb89rDjFeI3c0NA5x

 The finish quality is very high with a strong attention to detail, certainly as good or better than some of the much more expensive clubs from the Big 5.  The paint fill and all of the polished portions look perfect, which is something that I’ve noticed some of the big names occasionally have an issue with. I also thought it was a nice touch to leave the head weight sticker on the club.

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 It makes sense that Hogan delivers a club that looks pristine as a good portion of the sales pitch on their website centers around the aesthetics and visual appeal of the hybrid so they had to get it right. There isn’t much of a tech story with this club and the manufacturer’s claims are scant, stating only that it is easier to hit and more accurate than other hybrids. The construction of this club is pretty standard fair, 455 maraging steel face with a stainless steel body so no standout there either.

 I will say that going into this review I had always thought of Hogan as a “players” brand so I was definitely skeptical that this club would be a good fit for me being a high handicapper who struggles with consistent ball striking. In ordrer to figure this out and determine if this club will earn a spot in my bag, I wanted to get a good mix of range time and trial by fire on the course. Unfortunately, due to the timing of the test with the weather here in Chicago and a surge in COVID cases prompting more restrictions I was limited to two simulator sessions (my range closed down) and two rounds in cold windy conditions. 

 

Grading

 Looks (7 out of 10 points) 

Overall, I like the looks of this club, but I wouldn’t say it is memorable. Classic and understated are probably the mantra for Ben Hogan Golf so in that regards I’d say it fits in with what they are trying to do. Personally though, I would definitely prefer an alignment aid on the top of the head and I do like a bit of visible tech in my clubs both of which are missing here, hence the deducted points. One item I do like is the squared off toe shape. This is probably the one claim by Hogan that I can say worked for me, the square toe does give the club a more iron-like appearance opposed to looking like a smaller fairway wood and mentally helped me to swing it like an iron. 

 drNpWyPu9q3YYUMa6wTCvfqtpK5RaCqhRAksqyFB-u5q1x1hVSkxSmTrbITIvSO-ZLPAX8NzV35OG__kxavpizfC-VoxauugFKqp0ZX5BfA9aPGLcmYEIL6WDIju_1IJkmKoaV9k

 Sound & Feel (8 out of 10 points)

 The sound from this club is exactly what I expected from all steel construction.  Well struck shots have that distinctive metal ting to it.  It’s not too loud but provides just enough to let you know you hit it well. Likewise, mis-hits are far more muted and noticeably felt. 

 

 Basic Characteristics (14 out of 20 points)

 Since this is where we start talking about performance, I need to disclose that there was a hiccup somewhere along the way and I received a club with a regular flex shaft instead of the stiff I was assigned to review. How much of a difference this made, I can’t know for sure.

  • Trajectory – This thing launched the ball with a high trajectory for me, with the occasional shot that was way too high
  • Workability – Working the ball isn’t a strong point of my game, but this club did seem to want to go straight
  • Accuracy – Strongest selling point of the club for me. This thing went where I aimed it.
  • Distance – Distance was a little disappointing as I only averaged 8 or 9 yards more carry than my 5 iron. This may have something to do with the shaft launching the ball high
  • Forgiveness – Average at best.  Center of face shots carried 190+ for me which is exactly what I was expecting, but I saw a distance loss of ~25 yards on other shots out towards the toe
  • Adjustability – The club is not adjustable
  • Pressure – If it’s a matter of just putting one out there I feel confident with the hybrid, but if there is any type of forced carry then I’ll need to go with something else due to the potential for a mis-hit and coming up short

 These are the performance numbers I was able to gather using my Mevo which were pretty consistent with the foresight #s on the launch monitor, but I wasn’t able to save those.

 iS4ZcE91OBBHMKd049omoR5FCle_7R3lk8ErE4orGt34x1JkPX39iFZVc06cKjTvC8HyqGhi-n0TfIaf61p30UAdH-l5n_nKXdGp7GtfhV-4RTkJZq2S84bMv3xUqIGYwoBkJPmQ

 One thing I need to mention is that this club feels heavy. The specs on Hogan’s site list it as a D2 swingweight, but mine measures a D5 on my scale and another tester said theirs came in heavy too. While I wouldn’t say this was a problem for me, it does seem to be pretty far out of spec/tolerance considering this is the standard shaft and L/L/L configuration so I docked a few points for this.

 

 On-Course Performance (22 out of 30 points)

 Both of the rounds I was able to get in with the club were on cold and very windy days and the data I gathered reflects that with a lot of shots into the wind coming up short but I also had a few go very long when it was behind me. 

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Overall, I was pleased with the accuracy of the club and the distance on well struck balls,but I do think some work needs to be done to add some forgiveness on off center shots. The ball does get up in the air quite easily which is what a hybrid is supposed to do and I imagine that if I had reached more greens, it would have held them due to the high ball flight. The club also performs equally well from all lies and off the tee which provides the versatility I was looking for in replacing my 7 wood.  

 

Miscellaneous (9 out of 10 points)

 One item worth noting is the headcover that comes with the club.  I really like the color scheme and the quality of the materials along with solid construction really do stand out. I’m pretty sure that it isn’t made of real leather, but it’s close enough that someone wouldn’t be able to tell without an in-hand inspection. It definitely adds a little class to my bag.

Lya2TjlA6Ma9jC78d1scaOu2VC-n_NiDNPHblz7mhGIaySKPfDIDOgx7IxKnenlaOjJq66hhU5KAd1YUzEspwq1R4TYSD8skVjm2TarpyAqXyrw89lZUSSnUtxPhexwz9CEl-58D

 

Play it or Trade it? (15 out of 20 points)

 For now this club will be staying in my bag, primarily due to the versatility it adds versus what it replaced but I can’t say that it is safe. I’ll be doing a full bag fitting in the spring and will definitely be putting this club up against the latest offerings looking for something that is a bit more forgiving.  The performance “as received” seems average and inline with the asking price which is very reasonable compared to what the major OEMs are charging, but if I can find something with more consistency across the face then I’ll probably pony up the extra money. It’s possible this club would perform better for someone who hits the center of the face with more regularity than myself. 

 

Conclusion

I like the head shape of this club compared to the more fairway wood looking hybrids but I don’t think I consistently find the center of the face often enough to extract the most from it. It provides good feel and is easy to get the ball up in the air but mis-hits seem to be penalized more than my game can handle.  

 

Final Score: (75 out of 100 points)

 

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:taylormade-small: M6, Rocket 13.0, Atmos Red 60, Stiff

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:mizuno-small: JPX 900 Tour, 4-PW, True Temper Dynamic gold S300

:callaway-small: Mack Daddy 4, 52.0, 56.0, 60.0 - S grind

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Shanks 2021 WITB

O.B. Finder- Cally Epic Speed LS 🔹🔹🔹 Tour AD-HD 6S

3W- Sim2 Max Tensei Blue 7S

5W- Epic Max MMT 7S -OR- 2H- Ping G425 Max Nemesys 8S

4H- Apex 21 MMT 8S

5-AW- Miura CB-301 $-Taper 120S Blackout -OR- 5-AW- Apex 21 $-Taper 120S Blackout

SW/LW- Ping Glide Forged 54/58

Flat One- Scotty Phantom X6 Tour Stability Shaft

Pro V1X

Vessel Players III 

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:taylormade-small:  M3 460 9.5* - ACCRA TZ6 M5

:callaway-small:  X2 Hot Pro - 15* Aldila Tour Green X

TaylorMade Jetspeed 19* w Matrix HM9

Mizuno MP-63 4-P Project X 6.0

Cleveland RTX4 - 50, 54, 60

  :odyssey-small:  Toulon Portland w P2 React Grip

:titelist-small: 2019 Players 4 -  :titelist-small: Pro V1

 

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Ben Hogan UiHi – Official MGS Forum Review by Taylor E. Wyatt

Intro

Hi all! Second time tester here.  Really glad to have the opportunity to be a part of this test.  I am a newer golfer who has drastically improved in the last two years.  I’m playing at 9 HCP currently, but with a recent trip to Bandon, I’m feeling more like a 15 lol.  I hit the ball very high due to a steeper than I’d like to swing.  I’m starting to get a better club path but it is definitely inconsistent. I have a slow tempo with a too aggressive transition.  My Driver swing speed is around 103-107, depending on how the body feels.  On the course I take a little off at times to make sure my fundamentals are sound.  I’m working on trusting my swing and swing fast on course, but again I’m only 4 years into playing the game.

 

My typical flight is a cut and miss is the big ballooning fade.  The slice is no longer a factor but I’m still working on getting a lower ball flight.  My strength of my game is my putting a short game and recently off the tee.  I feel like the last several rounds I have been able to rely on a solid straight drive.  I’m working on gaining some distance with the drive, but I’m carrying around 240-250 currently.  My weakness is my approach shots from 150+ out.  If I’m going to get better at this game, I am going to need to get more accurate and consistent with that part of the golf game. I play the Sub 70 699 Pro 4-P and a Titleist 818 H1 hybrid.  I was not fit, but needed something in between the 4i and hybrid.  I was hoping the UiHi would fit that gap and give me a good option for off the tee and even long fairway shots. I love my hybrid and the 699’s are new.  I have played the ping G crossover before, but ended up selling them for something else. (we all have regrets).  I love to play aggressive, but I’m learning to play smart.  I can reach the short par 5’s in two, but would rather hit something I can confidently know where the ball is going.  3 woods aren’t always the best play!  On par 4’s I’m usually at most a 5 iron or less out, it just depends on the hole and what tees I’m playing that day. 

 

First Impressions

 

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*this is next to my 4i which is plus 1/2" from standard length*

So once the utility iron arrived I was so excited!  It was Thanksgiving break and I had the in-laws with us (non-golfers) so needless to say there would not be an immediate range session coming my way. Also no video reaction for me as that would just be awkward lol. But my first impression was mixed.  The visuals on the club are outstanding… but that feeling is lost once you get your hands on it. The head felt very light and the grip cheap.  The custom Ben Hogan grip looks great, but a more premium offering would go a long way.  It felt thin and like cheap rubber.  The head was also much smaller than expected.  I like the compact head more than the oversized, but for a utility iron I would expect more girth and a slightly wider sole.

To give a quick description, this is what Ben Hogan Golf says about this club:

UiHi utility irons were designed to be easy to hit. Most traditional long irons are terrifying to look down at because their low lofts require you to generate excessive clubhead speed to create the spin necessary to keep shots airborne. Our engineers designed the UiHi utility irons so you can take an easier, more controlled swing … like the one you use with shorter irons that you are more comfortable hitting.

The key to hitting quality shots from longer distances is confidence. The UiHi utility irons were created to provide just that. Head dimensions have been increased proportionally so when you look down at address, you won’t be intimidated. The blade length and height, sole width, cavity depth, topline and offset have all been created to work together and to make the UiHi utility irons appear to be a much more highly lofted club. The result? You’ll swing as confidently as if you’re hitting your #7-iron instead of trying to muscle a #3-iron.”

I would say based on this I was expecting a little bigger profile.  But if it works, great! The problem is the description is very misleading.

When I think utility iron, my mind goes to, at its biggest the Ping Crossover, but more traditionally the Titleist or Callaway models.  The Ben Hogan comes in a bit small/blade like when comparing to all of those brands.

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For this test it's going to be based purely on whether I can hit this on the range and do I then trust it off the tee.  My game is not to the point where I feel confident using this type of club from the rough, but I may pull this out on a good lie in the fairway.  I don’t have easy access to a launch monitor and the timing of the test was rough given the weather in the PNW.  I do have a covered driving range I frequent on my lunch break, but with the holiday’s I would be able to make it to a place with launch monitors.

For me to be able to game a new club I want to feel confident in my ability to shot the shot I envision in my mind.  Basically if I can hit the club 5-8 times in a warm up and most of those are hit well I have no reservations to use that in a round.  All the clubs in my bag fit with this model, it’s not scientific but it works… kinda ;).  Going into this testing I really wanted to be able to hit this club well.  It’s beautiful and very classic looking but that classic look doesn’t inspire too much confidence. 

Grading

Looks (9 out of 10 points) 

IMG_3598.jpeg.df9e02cf0b37626c2a3f9d83ef61a75c.jpegIMG_3606.jpeg.b75b6f1cb58151b74f14b3e195e321f1.jpeg

I think I’ve already gone into a lot of detail on the looks.  It’s beautiful and very clean.  One thing is for sure, this test has revealed that Ben Hogan makes a beautiful club.  My one-point reduction comes from the head being thinner than I feel was advertised.  But purely based on looks this is a winner.

Sound & Feel (7 out of 10 points)

Enough with the beauty pageant.  Time to get into the meat and potatoes of this test.

Sound and feel.  Since I won’t be able to provide objective ball speed and spin data this is what we’re going to rely on. Also I’m not comparing this to another utility iron so this is more of a test of do I think I can use this or not.

The sound is great, sounds solid, just a nice click.  Honestly there was nothing outstanding about the sound.  I’d describe it as a solid “SMACK”.  Better yet here’s a video with sound.  Hear for yourself. 

 

The first swing was flushed! The second was on the heel.  Can you tell the difference?

On the feel side it feels great when you hit the sweet spot.  Catch in thin or a little in the heel or toe different story.  But out of the center of the face, it’s about as good as you can get.  It’s soft and crisp, it feels like nothing really… but when not hit pure… it's hard and stingy.  It reminds me of a wood bat. Nothing feels better when you get it well and nothing feels worse when you don’t.  Essentially this is a wood bot club.  You need to catch it pure to get the feel and performance you want. 

This led to a decision on my marathon trip to Bandon to not game it.  My swing was not in a place where I felt I could hit this consistently.  This club would not qualify for game improvement in my mind and playing in a Ryder cup style golf trip, I didn’t fully trust myself to lace it off the tee on a short par 4 or a second shot on a par 5. 

 

Basic Characteristics (10 out of 20 points)

Before hitting the course, get some range time in so you’ve got a feel for what’s to come.  This section should be used to identify the basic characteristics that most players will notice.   If you are able to get time on a launch monitor, this would be the section to include numbers from it.

IMG_3573.jpeg.7318f50b109ea4712dc1316fffd73cc5.jpeg

Bandon 🤤
 

This may be more indicative of my swing… but still I think the club also can contribute to some of the issues I had.  One thing I talked about in the chat is my issue with the shaft.  I had a shoulder injury this fall that I’ve managed but re-aggravated on my Bandon trip.  To which I am now in PT with a TPI guy in my area (shout out to Jason James at Boones Landing) if you’re in the Portland area check him out!

I chose the regular shaft for the test as my swing speed had dropped and I thought given they were putting us in a steel shaft the regular would allow me to swing smoother than the stiff flex would allow. 

The shaft is decent, but for a long 3/2 iron I don’t know if the KBS tour 90 is the best fit for the type of club they are going for.  The trajectory was too high for an 18 degree.  There were some shot that I would hot out of the center that would fly the same distance and trajectory as my five iron.   The head felt too light overall.  With a graphite option the head weight might feel a bit better.  I liked the workability, I hit a fade typically, but could draw it on the range fairly easily. This is where the compact head really works for it.  Along with the workability it was accurate. But I just wasn’t getting the distance I was wanting from a driving/utility iron.  When playing this type of club, I was hoping for a little boost in distance, but it was really not much longer than my Sub 70 699 pro 4 iron on average. My club head speed with this was around 90-92 mph and I was hitting it on the range in the 185 range. With a ballooning trajectory.  This is probably due to a combo of my swing/shoulder and the shaft.   Going back to the wood back comparison, forget about any forgiveness with this club.  This is a pure players iron for me.  If you need forgiveness… keep on walking.  Overall I really like the look of the club and the feel on well stuck shots. But I did end up ordering a driving iron shaft and I added some lead tape to get some more weight in the head and heel. 

With the tape added and did feel like I got a little more forgiveness and distance out of it, but had to stop with the testing due to the shoulder strain.

 

On-Course / LM Performance (0 out of 30 points)

As mentioned before.  I did not use this cub on any shots that mattered.  I hit it a few times on second shots of some holes but never felt confident in myself and the club to know I could step up and rip a low stinger that would roll for days.  I am determined to improve my game and make some changes to the club (lead tape and shaft change) to make this club work for me.  If I can’t I’ll pass it along.

 

Miscellaneous (10 out of 10 points)

Ship speed was delayed, but apparently they had a lot of orders right before this test was announced.  It is a free club so I’m not disappointed, but it did limit time for more testing, considering I got the club the day before thanksgiving and had to fit the testing/practice in during the busiest holiday time.  I just felt like with a DTC the little things matter.  The fact that the only grip offers are the branded low end Lamkin grips and limited shaft offering that just doesn’t work for me.  Especially considering the was Sub 70 is doing things, there’s no excuse to not still have all the premium shaft and grip upgrade offering to help enhance your products.

 

Play it or Trade it? (10 out of 20 points) 

I’m going to try to play it.  I’ve made lead tape modifications and have ordered a different shaft to see if I can make it work a little better for me.  That plus the body and swing work I’m putting in, I’m hoping to be able to game this club next season.  I will do my best to update everyone on the progress, especially given the changes I expect to make in the next few weeks.

 

But without the changes I would be passing the club along for sure!

Conclusion

The club is beautiful.  But the description is misleading.  This is a wood bat. When you get it good… it’s good.  If not hold on!  This club is more of an iron that a driving iron/utility iron.  To make it work, you might need to make some of your own upgrades given some of the limited offerings from Ben Hogan.

Final Score: (46 out of 100 points)

 

 

 

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:cobra-small:  Speedzone White 10.5*

:callaway-small:Mavrik 4W - 16.5*

:titelist-small: 818 H1 19* Hybrid 😍

:Sub70: 939X 22* Hybrid

:Sub70: 699 Pro Black 5-AW

:cleveland-small: RTX Zipcore 54* and 58*

:taylormade-small: Spider Tour Black on Black on Black

Ball: Whatever I find in the woods 😉

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:cobra-small:             F7+ w/Fujikura Pro XLR8 Graphite Shaft

MALTBY.png.a2a7b0f0659df827f6200a68ab77f34c.png            STi   Irons 5-SW   KURO KAGE  70IR Flex-R  Lamkin Grips

 :cobra-small:             King F6 Hybrid Matrix Red Tie HQ4 Graphite Shaft

MALTBY.png.a2a7b0f0659df827f6200a68ab77f34c.png           Forged FGT  60* wedge KURO KAGE 70R SS cross Comfort grip

:odyssey-small:           O-Putter 1W

                        

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Hogan UiHi – Official MGS Forum Review by scooterhd2

Intro

After moving to Arizona 18 months ago, I set out on a mission to become a decent golfer. I’ve gone from a more than 18 handicap to a 5 at the moment. I’ve been steadily dropping and my last handful of rounds are all under 80. I’ve mostly done that with a developing short game that is brilliant at times. And with really solid iron play most days. Once I get to having a 6 iron or less in my hands I feel like I am in complete control.

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I feel a little more awkward with longer clubs. Despite being 6’1, I’ve cut my hybrid down 1 inch. I’ve dropped the 3 wood in favor of a 17* hybrid, mostly because of the shaft length. And right now, driver is probably my biggest weakness. It’s the one club that I just don’t feel connected with. CHS is typically 103-105. I’m prone to missing low and left, and occasionally high and right which I don’t mind as much as I used to. Really working on my setup and tempo with these longer clubs right now.

In general, I am trying to play golf less and less aggressively. Seems like the better you get the more aggressive you can be, but I am almost finding the opposite to be true. Or at least I am playing much smarter. Aiming for the center of the greens, and trying to play clubs off the tee that can find the widest part of the fairway and hopefully get me inside 155 yards, where I have an 8 iron. Get me to a 130 pitching wedge and I feel like a birdie chance is bound to happen. In leading to those shots, is where I feel like I can improve my game. I wouldn’t need to hit my sporadic driver on sub 400 yard par 4s, if I could hit something around 225 with markedly improved accuracy. And that’s what got me excited about the Hogan UiHi testing. Let’s get into it.


 

First Impressions

Hogan. Irons. When I think of the first word I think of the second, and when I think of the second, I think of the first. I’ve never owned a Hogan club, but I’ve been drawn to their site many times and read many a review because their entire iron lineups just looks so good. And I love their commitment to the player. Proper loft gaps, easy blending of products. They are there to serve you. That classic beauty and reputation is what got me so excited to get a chance to game one for myself. 

And it didn’t disappoint. The UiHi looks fantastic. 

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Hogan is somewhat quiet on the tech in the club. 1020 steel frame, hollow body, MS300 steel is about all you can takeaway from their webpage. There’s some references to lowering the COG and adding weight to the toe. But no mention of tungsten or how many grams. The actual cavity of the UiHi is quite a bit different than most of the driving irons out there, having visually a little more mass in the center and relatively high up on the clubface. Even the perimeter weight notches are somewhat high up on the face. Alot of the competitors seem to have a little bit more uniform mass placement on the cavity, and as low as possible, often with some visual indicators of tungsten in the toe. Hogan isn’t alone in the design. In terms of the cavity, It’s not that dissimilar to the Srixon U85 which was extremely well received, but even Srixon has gone for a different look in the new ZX line. 

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First impressions passed, but for me, ultimately a club has to perform in order to earn a spot in the bag. Let’s check the grades.

 

Grading

Looks (10 out of 10 points) 

To me this is such an interesting category of club, where you are often looking for as much help as possible, but the means to get more forgiveness and a lower, deeper COG alter the looks and can often be a visual deterrent. I don’t need to mention GAPR-LO. Even the new Sim DHY is not the prettiest club on the shelf. Even companies that make really classic, beautiful irons have some really boxy looking driving irons, like the U85 and U510 from Srixon and Titleist respectively. But the UiHi is not trying to reinvent the wheel, or blend hybrid and iron. The Hogan UiHi  is undoubtedly an iron. The topline is hidden wonderfully. There is no bulge sticking out the back of the club. The heel to toe length is noticeably longer than a standard iron, but invokes more confidence than anything. And of course the colorways and branding are classic. Timeless satin finish, black, red, simple logos right where you would expect them to be. If you are a cavity back iron player, this is likely to blend right into your current set without issue. It’s truly a utility that looks like it could be your set 3 iron. I also love that Hogan puts the loft on the UiHi. I might prefer this in all of my clubs, but in a driving iron it especially makes sense since you are trying to gap this with hybrids and long irons that often do not have lofts on them. Just seems particularly useful in a one off club like a driving iron. 

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Sound & Feel (6 out of 10 points)

Sound and feel are highly subjective, and I can admit my mid tier rating is as much due to my swing as anything. It probably doesn’t help that I play Z785 irons, which are Endo forged and are just smooth as can be. I’m sure my ball striking is less consistent, but the UiHi feels less consistent across the face. Mishits have a pronounced feel, that almost makes you surprised to see the ball is even launching past the first tee box, let alone flying down the fairway. When hit in the sweet spot, the feel is just very solid and a bit firm. The sound is more of a plush thud. I’ve hit some other driving irons that have more of a trampoline feel or launching feel.This feels more like a players iron, which can be good or bad. I prefer that feel in my 7 iron, but for whatever reason like to feel less of it in a long iron and would rather have a little more pop. At the end of the day, it’s not a club I would want to spend an entire range session hitting.   

 

Basic Characteristics (12 out of 20 points)

The UiHi effectively served as a good training tool for me. Initially the ball flight was low, low, low. Too low. And I could not hit it high to save my life. Throughout the testing I really made some improvements in my full swing in general, but specifically with some of the longer clubs in my bag. And I was able to get the flight up some, but still quite a bit lower than I would like to see. 

My stock shot with the UiHi was a repetitive little draw. Accuracy in terms of left and right dispersion was really no problem for me, as I found a ton of fairways and never ended up worse off the tee than in some mild rough. Staying out of the desert in Arizona is a win! I did however struggle with distance dispersion and would regularly hit one shot 200 yards and the next 150. So for me, I wouldn’t consider the UiHi to be terribly forgiving. My biggest misses, thin strikes, and toe strikes, are severely punished distance wise. 

 

On-Course / LM Performance (20 out of 30 points)

This category comes with some mixed judgments for me. In all honesty, the launch monitor performance is not very good. If I were just testing the UiHi on a monitor in the store I probably wouldn’t give it more than 10 swings. The carry and distance numbers are just not what I am needing in this loft range, even though I was able to make some drastic improvement throughout the course of testing.  The saving grace on the monitor is probably the smash factor and ball speed, which shows that the club is doing its job in terms of input->output. It’s just my swing does not bring about ideal launch conditions and the club isn’t doing much to help me. 

 

The chart below is an average of 5 hits that I determined to be quality strikes. I’d wager I hit half as many balls with the Srixon 4 iron to get the results, and I don’t bag the 4 iron because it’s not very consistent and isn’t much longer than my 5 iron. 

 

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On the flip side, the UiHi is incredibly predictable out on the course. I hit just about every shot low with a baby draw. As disappointed as I am in the distance, every tee shot on the golf course with the UiHi is in play. And on holes where I have used the UiHi, I have scored below my handicap. How much of this is course management where I would normally pull driver and get into trouble? How much of this is because I am pulling it on generally easier short par 4s, and on par 5s that I can reach in 2? Could I create the same success using my 5 iron off the tee? These are unknown and I have my thoughts, but the fact still remains that the UiHi seemed to help me on the course, especially off the tee. 

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Off the deck, I don’t have a alot of confidence in the UiHi. A water carry of 150 is no sweat with a hybrid. I’m concerned with the UiHi in my hands. Holding greens from 200 out, again, do it routinely with a hybrid. Spin on the 5 iron is not an issue for me either. But the UiHi runs out. Better for trying to run one up onto the green. The saving grace is once again that the flight is incredibly predictable. Good swing and bad swings have some varying distances, but the flight is routinely a low draw. And I have been known to double cross all day, so there is something reassuring in that.

 

Miscellaneous (7 out of 10 points)

The only real knock here is lack of custom options. Everything else about the club and brand seems to be top notch. Once shipped, the clubs came in a timely manner. The packaging was above average and there was little doubt that everything was safe. I definitely would have been swooned by a head cover on the UiHi. The Srixon cover is so nice. And the other Hogan headcovers looked fantastic. Definitely jealous of some of the other testers, but I know that is not industry norm on a utility.. 

The price of the UiHi is borderline fantastic, so I would be curious to run through some pricing on aftermarket shafts. What would the cost be with a steelfiber i95 or recoil 95? Or AD DI 85s? I believe I could have fitted myself better than the stock options and probably produced some more favorable test results and ultimately enjoyed the club more. 

 

Play it or Trade it? (10 out of 20 points)

I’ve debated this one a bit. Probably because I really like the looks of the UiHi and am really looking for a dependable club to use off the tee on tight fairways and short par 4s. Ultimately, I have played some incredible golf with the UiHi in my bag and have scored really well on holes that I have used it. So there is some serious merit here. But ultimately, the UiHi just does not fit my game. My launch is too low to make use of my ball speed and to maximize distance. I find the UiHi to be incredibly accurate and easy to keep in play, but the distance is a real killer. Besides a lower flight and more run out, the carry numbers match my 4 iron so I do not see a reason to bag the UiHi as is. The interesting thing is that the ball speed and smash factor are there, so the club is doing it’s job, I’m just not giving it what it wants.

In an ideal world, I would be fitted for this iron. I imagine that we would come away with a higher loft. The 4 UiHi at 22 degrees could be a better fit, along with a 3 hybrid rather than vice versa. With my current 3 UiHi, I’ve thought about changing shafts to something lighter, with a more flexible tip. This would give me a little more speed, a little more launch, and probably help improve the ‘feel’ score as well. I’ve thought about bending the loft a degree or two weaker as well. There is definitely some reasonable tinkering that could be done to adjust this club to my game, but ultimately, I think it is better to pass it on.

As is, the 3 UiHi is going to be a much better match for someone who launches long irons high, or maybe hits hybrids too high, and has above average speed. If you are that person and want to cover the shipping, message me and I will pass this on.

 

Conclusion

Ultimately, the UiHi looks great in the bag. It looks great at address. The ball flight looks great, but the flight just needs to last a second or two longer! Low launch, low spin is to be expected in a 18* driving iron, but I was hoping for a little bit more help. Delivering the same club head speed to a similarly lofted hybrid is producing the same ball speed, but 20 more yards because the launch and spin are increased. So it’s clear that is what I need to stick with. Worth a shot if you are looking to do the opposite and lower your ball flight.

Final Score: (65 out of 100 points)

 

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2020 TESTER Ben Hogan UiHi 18* Utility Iron

  • Driver: :ping-small: G410 Plus 9*, Oban Gold
  • Hybrids::adams-small:  Super XTD 17* Hybrid Fubuki AX:callaway-small:,  Apex 20* AD-DI 85S, Apex 23* Oban Purple
  • Irons: :srixon-small: Z585 5-6, Z785 7-PW, Modus 120s
  • Wedges: :cleveland-small: RTX4 50, Modus 120x:taylormade-small:, Hi Toe 56 & 60, Modus 120x
  • Putter: :EVNROLL:  ER3 @ 33"
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Driver:   :srixon-small: z785 10.5 - Miyazaki Kaula Mizo 5 R-flex

Fairway:srixon-small: f65 15* and 19* - Miyazaki Kaula Mizo 5 R-flex

Irons:Hogan: PTxPro 4-PW - UST Mamiya Recoil 780 F4

Wedges: :taylormade-small: HiToe 50*-54*-60* stock steel shafts

Putter:  :taylormade-small: Spider Tour Red Sightline - double-bend black steel 34"

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Ben Hogan UiHi 18* Utility Iron- Official MGS Forum Review by Jeremy Barr

 

So a little about me, I am an average golfer with glimmers of being better than average. Unfortunately I took 2019 off from Golf because the wife said I wasn’t allowed to play softball and golf. I was only playing softball one day a week and golf one day a week, nothing crazy LOL. To be fair it isn’t easy switching back and forth between the two swings for me, so she was doing me a favor. In 2018 I had got my handicap down to a 12 and was flirting with it dropping some more. I am now back up to around an 16ish with flairs under and way over. I do play 9 mostly because it is easy to squeeze in after work and not mess with the family’s plans. So I get out anyway I can. My average round is 46 on 9 but like I said, I could walk out tomorrow and shoot a 40 and would really notice until after the round and I pulled the score up. As you will see in some of the videos I have a pretty quick tempo from the top of my swing, but I at the same time I am not trying to hit the ball hard. I think this comes over from baseball, I am pretty good with drawing power from my hips. My typical ball flight is high very high, I know the cause I am very steep in the down swing and until I can get some lessons or a magically tool to help me sweep a little bit more it isn’t going to change much. Some shafts have helped a little bit and a switch in my irons helped a little bit but it is still really high. I typically miss to the right, I know I have an up tic in my down swing that I haven’t been able to fix. So if everything lines up I hit a nice fade, if it doesn’t I have a big fade some would call it a slice but I don’t hit those anymore, LOL. Typically my strength would be off the tee, I am slightly longer than most amateurs and for the most part I know where the ball is going to go. My weakness is where you win and lose in golf, PUTTING. My current Gamers are a hodgepodge and the only one that is fit for me is my driver. I did have irons that were fit for me but it was a horrible fitting and I felt like it was a sale looking back now. Like I said before I hit the ball high, and he fit me for Nike Machspeeds which were game improvement to help get the ball in the air back then I was just getting back into golf and didn’t know any better. I typically use my FW/LI/Hybrids are for tee shots on shot par 4s and if I need to try and push it on a par 5. I have moved away from trying to drive greens and bumped it down to give me a full shot into the green. I don’t have any trouble hitting my FW off the deck, just wish I could control the flight for all of them a little more. If I have played to course and know the shortcuts and I am ok with the risk, I will play the aggressive line all day.

 

First Impressions:   

I feel like you are going to get more of an honest First impression by me linking what I actually wrote the first time seeing and hitting them. First Impression-- Second First Impression-- First hitting Impression

To sum it all up though, these are sexy irons. I love the way they look!! I wasn’t hitting these well and they let me know when it was really bad, but this is more of a case of the kicker not the football. I can honestly say every time I stepped up to hit a shot, I expected them to go and penetrate through the air like a rocket. The frustrating part is that this time of year the ball just doesn’t fly as far so it was hard for me to judge if I was hitting them close to my 20* Hybrid, if it was the cold air, or just that I really need to work on my ball striking. Was joking around with my buddy that know that on mishits it felt like hitting the handle in baseball, stung like crazy. 

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As you can see this is all my fault, not the club but as bad of a toe topper that was I still got 114 yds out of it and didn’t lose the ball. I take the small victories when I can get them! Lol

 

Looks (10 out of 10)

This are just classic good looking irons in my opinion! Love the color scheme and simple approach they took with them. Top line to me looked like a normal iron, nothing game improvement or like I had a rock at the end of a stick. They are slightly offset but for me it wasn’t so far that it bothered me from a looking down stand point. I have hit some iron that when I looked down it just felt awkward because of how offset they were. 

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I mean look at that and tell me you don’t get a little excited!!!

 

Sound and Feel (7.9 out of 10)

All and all these felt amazing when I hit the center, like a marshmallow soft and didn’t feel like I hit anything. Just all-around crisp noise off the club face! Even though it isn’t the clubs fault that it hurts when I suck I have to deduct a little bit for that just to point it out. Since there maybe a few other hackers like me on here LOL. The sound was “normal” nothing clanky or weird about it. I would have to say the sound for me always plays a factor in how much confidence I have with a club. When its loud or weird I am just a little uncomfortable over the ball. I would have to say though that they do clunky on toe hits so I got a hand and ear reminder. Hey you up there you hit me wrong clown. 

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836562593_Hole2UiHi300.png.fba4b4a9f57b1fe5c960284cc234ebe9.png    976993526_Hole2Hybird300.png.b28b4d11f69d928abcb2664e20f48a9b.png

Basic Characteristics (14 out of 20)

This one was kind of hard for me!! I am trying to be fair to Ben Hogan but also be real to my fellow Spy’s. I am going to break this one down probably more than any of the other sections.

·         Trajectory is what I have been searching for!! It is low for me I will put it that way lol. I hit the ball higher than just about 98% of people I play with and this club was very much the most penetrating ball flight I have seen from anything I have hit. Now all be it I don’t have a lot of clubs to compare it to, I just know for me this is the trajectory I have been looking for, I would even be happier with a little bit lower with a 3 iron. I would rate this as a low/mid trajectory.

·         Is this club workably…short answer is yes, but that will depend on who is using it. The first few times I used it everything was straight or left and left is not my nature shot shape, nethier is straight for that mater LOL. I tend to hit a fade, power fade, or slice but the slices don’t show up as much as they used to. The last two times I took it out on the course I was hitting it straight or a fade nothing to the left. I know that is a me thing. With that said I could see someone with a higher skill set being able to work the ball both ways with this.

·         Now lets get in to Accuracy, Distance, and Forgiveness!! Again I will fall back on me for all of these, if I am not hitting the middle or close to the middle of the club face it isn’t going to go as far. I will say that I never doubted my aim when I addressed the ball. My 20* Hybrid goes further as of right now, it may not be that way come April ,1930037875_rubshands.gif.f2c2b015fdf4f1e558d5c88c45a54182.gif

if I mishit my Hybrid its bad and have to go looking for the ball. This last year is the first year in maybe 4 or 5 years that I went to my Hybrid because of how bad I hit it in the past. I never felt like the ball was going to slice or hook. Now to be fair as I mentioned up in the feel section a bad hit doesn’t go as far but that was a really bad hit LOL. Based off my time with this club so far I would say that for slightly off-center hits you are going to lose the expected 5-10 yards with this type of club.

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1185882326_Hole4UiHi300.png.de8c68a35545338ffa59bb743f87cd4f.png     1613728777_Hole4Hybird300.png.9b7a0443f12b37db814df3fb4bf30a1e.png

On-Course/LM Performance (20 out of 30)

 

I have posted a few pictures from shotscope on my most recent round out and I honestly feel like it doesn’t do the club justice!! If MGS told me that if I wanted to keep the club I had to buy it at full price or discounted price I would pull the trigger. I think this is what my game needs right now. As I keep working on my game, I can see this a the type of club that is an all around shot making club. If I can hit a low punch fade with a Hyrid I know I can with this, I was able to hit a few at the driving range and even got it to draw a few times which I cannot do with Hybrid. The only thing I would want more from this club is a little more forgiveness on off-center hits.

 

Miscellaneous (10 out of 10)

 

I have no complaints for this overall process from MGS to Ben Hogan. Yes it did take a little bit for us all to get the clubs but there are 13 of us and you know the whole Rona thing. LOL With that being said I feel like the timing of me getting the club was great and we were kept up to date by the MGS staff!!

 

Play it or Trade it 20 out of 20

 

For me this is a no brainer Play all DAY

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Conclusion:

This has been a great journey to get to this point. My last few thoughts on the Ben Hogan UiHi are pretty much the same as when I open the box. Boy oh boy what a good looking iron! This is a ball strikers iron that will hurt you physically and in yards if you don't hit it well. The standard length for me is too long, but going down about an inch helped me be able to find the club face better. For me this is an in the bag club because I need something that I can trust to not go long and wrong. I would prefer to lose yards and still be able to play the same ball on the next shot. For high ball flight players like myself this did lower my flight a lot from my 20* Hybrid and is a lot more penetrating in the air. For the price of this vs the other big names in golf I think it is worth a try.  

Final Score: (81.9 out of 100 points)

Edited by jb0330
forgot the final score
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2020 TESTER Ben Hogan UiHi 18* Utility Iron

Driver:     - Anser - 8.5* - Fujikara Red Blur 005 XStiff - Standard L/L

3W:     - SQ Sumo - Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana Stiff - Standard L/L

Hybrid 3:     - Machspeed - UST Mamiya AXIVCore XStiff -Standard L/L

Irons:      - Idea Black CB3  4-GW - KBS Tour Stiff+ - Standard L/L

Wedges:    - Vokey 52*, 54*, 60* - True Temper Wedge - Standard L/L

Putter:     - Versa Blade - 35in

Ball:      NXT Tour

Bag:  - Ultra Light Cart Bag  

Loc: USA/MD

Handicap: 13

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Ben Hogan UiHi 18* Utility Iron - Official MGS Forum Review by Longdrivenate - 1/3/21

Intro

Thank you Ben Hogan and MyGolfSpy for the opportunity to test this club. For some background, I’m 32 and live in San Francisco. I’m a 7.3 handicap and my greatest strength and weakness on the golf course is my length off the tee. I regularly drive the ball over 300 yards and while that can be a great advantage, it also results in some big misses that can ruin rounds.

With that in mind, I was hoping this club might be something I can hit off the tee to reliably put the ball in the fairway when I can’t afford a big miss. In addition, I have a gap in my bag between my 3w (250 yard carry) and my 3i (205 yard carry), so I was hoping this club would be something I can carry around 230 yards, thereby filling that gap. 

First Impressions

When I unboxed the club, I was fired up! It arrived in a long, slender cardboard box and was packed securely with some cushioning and vacuum sealed in plastic around the club’s head. It looked great and I couldn’t wait to take it to the course!

Grading

Looks: 8 out of 10 points

This is a great looking club. To me it looks more like a long iron than a “utility” club. The cavity is hidden well and you can hardly see it at address. I love the narrow top line and it has a “butter knife” look to it. I also really like the red and black ferrules and the Ben Hogan script (I think it looks simple and classy). I don’t love the UiHi branding on it and I don’t like the multicolored Ben Hogan grip. Overall though, I think it’s a very nice looking club, and better looking than most other utility irons on the market. 

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Sound & Feel: 7 out of 10 points

The sound and feel are Jekyll and Hyde depending on the quality of strike. When you flush one, it sounds and feels great! The sound is crisp and you barely feel the ball as your hands glide through it. But on a mishit, it stings like hell and sounds clunky. That said, compared to other utility irons such as the Taylormade P790 UDI and the Cobra King Utility Iron, the mishits were not any worse in terms of sound or feel.

To hear what a well struck ball sounds like with it, here’s a video of me hitting a good one with pretty clear audio. 

 

Basic Characteristics: 8 out of 20 points

  • Trajectory: Low. Low. Low. When hitting off a tee, I could get it to fly with a mid trajectory if I teed it up a bit higher than usual and tried to sweep the ball with an upward angle of attack, but otherwise, it just hits stingers. After some trial and error, I learned that hitting a fade was the only way I could consistently elevate the ball without a tee. It also takes a lot of speed to get the ball in the air with this club. I’d say unless you can move a long iron close to 95-100 mph+, you’ll struggle to get the ball up with this.

  • Workability: Great! I’m not particularly skilled at shaping the ball but I felt comfortable calling on fades, draws, and relatively straight shots with this. That was impressive and fun to experience. 

  • Accuracy: As a former baseball pitcher, I’ve always understood the difference between having control vs command of pitches. Control is the ability to keep the ball in the strike zone, while command is the ability to precisely locate pitches in the zone. With this club, I felt I could control it, but not command it. I always knew the general direction the ball was going and I wasn’t worried I was going to spray it OB, but I never felt like I had so much control that I could go pin seeking or consistently target a specific part of the fairway.

  • Distance: I was disappointed by the distance I was getting out of this club. Due to the low trajectory, I was getting carry distances that were only slightly longer than my 3i and it felt like it took a lot more effort to swing due to its length and weight. I imagine total distance would be much better if playing in a place with dry and fast fairways though since the ball will run forever.

  • Forgiveness: It was very forgiving in terms of direction and very unforgiving in terms of distance. Mishits generally went straight-ish, but the distance varied wildly. In the LM data below you’ll see my carry numbers averaged 206.3 yards but ranged from 152 yards on a poor strike to 223 yards on a good one. 

  • Pressure: I never really got comfortable with this club. I think all the mishits I had on the range bled into my rounds and I just felt unsure what I was going to get every time I pulled it out. In a pressure situation, it’s not the club I would reach for yet. 

  • What factors were you pleased with? Overall, I was pleased with both how workable the club was and how consistent it was with direction, even on mishits. I also liked the low trajectory for certain scenarios - if I was playing St. Andrews, I would definitely want a club like this to hit low penetrating stingers with! Btw, check out this stinger…

  • What factors did you find lacking? I was disappointed with how severely mishits killed distance, how frequently the mishits happened, and how difficult it was to elevate from the fairway. 

On-Course / LM Performance: 10 out of 30 points

Launch Monitor: Here is the data I gathered from my Flightscope Mevo.

Hogan UiHi

Ball Speed (mph)

Club Speed (mph)

Smash

Carry Distance (yds)

Launch Angle

Spin (rpm)

Height (ft)

Hogan UiHi

140.5

95.6

1.47

217.1

13.2

3408

92

Hogan UiHi

142.1

98.9

1.44

220.1

13.2

3434

95

Hogan UiHi

138.2

103.5

1.34

211.8

13.2

3539

90

Hogan UiHi

120.9

102.8

1.18

174.7

13.5

4211

70

Hogan UiHi

111.1

99.9

1.11

152.2

12.8

4598

54

Hogan UiHi

132.7

93.5

1.42

203.7

13.3

2831

75

Hogan UiHi

140.1

100.5

1.4

212.9

13.1

3983

97

Hogan UiHi

136.8

99

1.38

209.8

13.1

3352

85

Hogan UiHi

139.1

104.2

1.34

215.2

13.2

3256

89

Hogan UiHi

140.3

101.6

1.38

209.8

13.3

4530

103

Hogan UiHi

138.5

101.2

1.37

202.9

13.1

5142

103

Hogan UiHi

141.2

104.7

1.35

217

13.1

3658

95

Hogan UiHi

124.5

98.5

1.26

185.7

13.5

2868

65

Hogan UiHi

137.9

98.9

1.4

211.2

13.1

3557

89

Hogan UiHi

131

98.3

1.33

196.9

13.1

3654

79

Hogan UiHi

135.5

-

-

207.1

13.4

3468

86

Hogan UiHi

141.4

92.5

1.53

222.8

13.4

2677

87

Hogan UiHi

142

-

-

218.7

12

3397

87

Hogan UiHi

135.5

92.1

1.47

206.3

13.5

3631

88

Hogan UiHi

140.8

93.6

1.51

219.4

13.2

3114

90

Hogan UiHi

138.2

102.5

1.35

215.7

13.3

2702

82

Hogan UiHi

140.7

104.1

1.35

207.6

13

4955

105

Average

135.9

99.3

1.4

206.3

13.2

3634.8

86.6

St Dev

7.8

4.0

0.1

16.6

0.3

686.8

12.4

With an average carry of 206.3 yards, this club was disappointingly not much longer than my 3 iron and close to 20 yards shorter than what I had been hoping for if it was going to fill the gap I have between my 3i and 3w. In addition, the variability in distance based on the club’s lack of forgiveness is brutal. Knowing a shot could carry anywhere from 150 yards to 220 yards is tough to plan around.

On-Course: Despite my inability to get comfortable with the UiHi on the range, I did have some success with it on the course. In my first round with it, I used it instead of driver on four holes and even though I didn’t strike any particularly well, it kept the ball in the fairway on all four. I also used it as a rescue club in situations when I had to hit low running balls under trees and in those scenarios, it worked well and proved to be handy as a true utility club. 

I tried using it as an approach club from about 200 yards out and in those situations, I really did not like it. It was too hard to control from the fairway, and I struggled to elevate it enough to carry greens and then stop the ball.

 

Miscellaneous: 10 out of 10 points

Nothing bad to say about the service or communication with Ben Hogan or MGS!

 

Play it or Trade it: 2 out of 20 points

There are two scenarios in which I would put this club in play:

  1. On really windy days when I want to hit low trajectory shots off the tee.

  2. If I ever travel to Europe to play lots of links style courses with fast fairways!

Outside of those, I would trade it. It has some value off the tee since I feel confident keeping the ball in the fairway with it, but unless I’m playing a course where the ball can roll forever, then I’m not convinced it offers more utility than a traditional long iron and it’s less forgiving in my opinion. 

 

Conclusion

In summary, this club has some clear pros and cons: 

On the pro side:

  • It’s beautiful! One of the best looking utility irons on the market IMO.

  • It can produce some youtube worthy stingers.

  • It’s easy to find the fairway with and even mishits go straight-ish.

  • It’s easy to work the ball with.

  • At $110, it offers excellent value compared to other utility irons on the market such as the P790 UDI ($229) and the Cobra King Utility Iron ($199). 

On the con side:

  • The low launch makes it very one dimensional. Useful off the tee in the right conditions but almost unplayable for approaches into greens.

  • On mishits, it’s very unforgiving on distance.

  • Unless you’re a really good long-iron player, mishits happen often which makes it hard to be consistent with.

I think this club can be very useful for a player who is an excellent ball striker and plays somewhere with dry conditions and/or fast fairways. Unfortunately, I don’t fall into either of those camps so it’s probably not something I will play regularly. 

Still, huge thanks to Ben Hogan Golf and MGS for the opportunity to test this club. I had a blast!

Final Score: 45 out of 100 points

 

Edited by longdrivenate
Finally got the video content to embed
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[Ben Hogan GS53 Fairway Wood (3W) ] – Official MGS Forum Review by [golfish!]

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Some days this is so me! On my best days, I am a 16 handicapper living in Southern California. I like to think I am a serious golfer (get out about once a week) but kids and family and job get in the way. My average swing speed on a driver is 91 MPH with a medium penetrating ball flight. When I really go for it I tend to slice fade heavy and sometimes ill pull left. My 8 HDCP friend calls me steady Eddie off the tee (not my real name) but my short game definitely needs some work. I have never played a 3 wood in my bag before this test and my longest club is a Callaway XR 3H. It came as a set with the XR irons I have since traded in for Mavrik irons but kept the hybrids. I mainly used the 3H as an alternate club for tee shots on dogleg holes (before I had the confidence/distance to cut corners with my driver) but recently have been hitting it well enough off the deck for long approaches. So, I walked into a Golf Galaxy thinking a 3W would be a great addition to my bag to close the gap between my 3H and my driver. I would have walked out with a PING G400 3 wood if they had it in the options I wanted but alas they did not so I went home thinking let me hit up Roger Dunn tomorrow. Good thing Golf Galaxy didn’t have the club I was looking for because the very next day I got the notification that I had been selected to test the BH GS53 3 wood!

First Impressions

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First impressions are lasting and this club makes a good one. The black and chrome has some nice red accents in the right places. I liked the little BH logo stamped on the sole of the club. The chrome is painted on and not actual chrome though. In fact, my club had some cosmetic damage on the edge between the chrome and black paint in the Speed Slot. I don’t believe it affected the performance of the club but if I were purchasing this club for myself I would definitely have asked for an exchange. The head cover is sweet with the colors of Old Glory (I am a Marine veteran so maybe a bit biased!) Sorry forgot to take pictures of it for this review and I am travelling for work so no access to it. The shaft was a Tensei Blue 70g R flex shaft that looks clean and classy with some carbon fiber weave showing through. Overall I was very impressed with the looks of the club and the unboxing experience.

Designed for accuracy first and foremost.

 

BH claims Mr. Hogan was not the longest hitter on tour but ranked among the most accurate. Just recently the MGS podcast was talking about different OEM’s and how Callaway and Taylormade are all about SPEED. BH claims that this club is not designed for you to hit bombs (insert phil gif here) though they mention Flex Face and Speed Slot for distance. Seems they are marketing this club to players looking to prioritize accuracy over distance. I had only hit a BH club once before this and it was an old forged 7I blade in the rental bin of a random range. Other than that I did not know what to expect.

Since I was already looking for a 3W to cover the gap between my 3H and driver, I was eager to test this club and get some real numbers on the course. I wanted a club that would be longer than my 3H off the deck so that I could reach short par 5’s in 2 as well as on par 4’s where I had a less than ideal drive. I never used to try to get on par 5’s in 2 but lately have been trying and realized the 3H is just too short even when I pured it. I was hoping the 3W would get me there. As a reference, if I am playing a course that is about 6500 yards, I am usually hitting a 6 or 7I into the green on a standard par 4. If this 3W could get me on the green in 2 on a par 5 and set me up for an eagle putt it would be a winner for me.

I gathered data using my JDM launch monitor, which gives swing and ball speed in m/s but strangely gives calculated carry distances in yards. I also used my Shotscope V3 with the 3W tag on my BH wood as I did not have a 3W even in my closet prior to this test.

Looks (9 out of 10 points) 

I really like the look of this 3W as it is simple and has accents in all the right places. The glossy crown isn’t too distracting and the sole has that BH stamp I thought was cool looking. The look is not too flashy like some fairway woods (looking at the Epic Flash) and looks good at address. The only reason I deducted a point was that there was no alignment aid or marker in the center of the crown. I personally prefer having something in the middle of the crown for alignment on my woods as it gives me confidence.

 

Sound & Feel (10 out of 10 points)

I give this club 10 out 10 for sound and feel. On good strikes, there was a clean and crisp sound to it that I enjoyed hearing. This is not a hollow sounding metal wood and is definitely a crisper sound to me than my Callaway Rogue driver with the CF crown which I feel has a more subdued sound at impact. Although originally I had requested a stiff shaft, I got the regular shaft and it did feel a bit whippy at first. However, as time went on and I got comfortable with the club, I did not even notice the initial whippiness and just swung full speed.

Basic Characteristics (15 out of 20 points)

Using my launch monitor on a range with a 10 minute warm up and having had the 3W in my bag for 6 weeks, I got the following data. I hit my driver (Callaway Rogue SZ 9degree) then my 3H (Callaway XR 19 degree) and lastly the 3W. I hit 10 shots one after another and removed shots where the launch monitor did not pick up the ball speed and also removed poor shots. I averaged the remaining shots.

 

CLUB

SS (MPH)

BS (MPH)

SF

Carry (YD)

D

91.4

133.2

1.45

210

3H

89.2

126.9

1.42

194

3W

88.6

125.7

1.42

193

There was no significant difference between my 3H and the 3W and overall I lost 1 yard of total carry. BUT WAIT THERE”S MORE!

Since I don’t have a current 3W gamer to compare to, I will compare to my 3H since it was (and technically still is) the longest club in my bag I would hit off the deck. I noticed that the 3W trajectory was about the same as my 3H but I chalk that up to still having an inconsistent swing on longer woods. For the most part the 3W had a fade or a push which I expected as I still have a tendency to come in either from the outside and/or with an open face so I can’t really comment on the workability of it just yet! I have to report though that the accuracy of the club on well struck hits was for the most part good. It would fade a bit for me as mentioned but on well struck hits it was not very offline. More on that in the on course performance section. Is it a forgiving club? Not sure because I know I was getting punished for mishits and I don’t believe my skill is at the level where I know exactly where I hit it on the face. I know if I chunked it, or topped it or hit it in the center! And really only the center face shots had good distance and trajectory. The club is not adjustable so not much to say there. When I needed this club to perform well off the tee, it did. I believe the majority of my tee shots with the 3W had great results that exceeded my expectations compared to my 3H. If I kept my head down and focused on coming from the inside, I would get a great high trajectory off the tee with distance that surpassed my 3H. I was definitely happy with the results off the tee and somewhat off the deck. I gave it 15 out of 20 (75% which in my book is passing but with room for improvement) because according to the launch monitor data at least there was no major difference with my 3H and most of my performance gains were off the tee which was not my main reason for wanting a 3W.

 

On-Course / LM Performance (23 out of 30 points)

The on-course performance tells a much different story than the launch monitor performance. Using Shotscope V3 to track my on-course performance using TM TP5x balls, I got the gains I was looking for…somewhat.

image.png.0d4897fc172df92e6fef09fc4decb4a5.png

Overall, the BH 3W covered the gap between my 3H and the driver. However, this data includes all shots including tee shots.

image.png.23075c26252770685ae150891f76a278.png

When looking at approaches only, the 3W actually lost 5 yards of distance compared to my 3H (H19)

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The tee shot accuracy with the 3W tells an interesting story. For a club that in my mind I tend to fade or slice, I went right only 20% with an overall accuracy of 40%.

image.png.99e813ad50d8ed0682721bca45e0554f.png

My driver accuracy slightly beats the 3W at 44%.

image.png.c540adcd53166c3e76b0a2c23c5f3142.png

My 3H accuracy is 59% so the 3W was not as accurate as my other clubs.

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100% of my approach shots with a 3W (of which I only took a few) missed short and to the right.

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For comparison, here is the same data but for my 3H.

Final Performance Thoughts:

I should have challenged myself to take more 3W shots off the deck but was obsessed over my score and for that I apologize to the MGS community. I will continue to improve my confidence with the club and hit it off the deck even if it means a dreaded short sided chip onto the green! Overall, I believe this club has potential and I just need more time to feel comfortable with it. It definitely improved my perception of Ben Hogan as a viable brand for performance clubs. For future iterations, I would include an alignment mark on the center of the crown. I hope the engineers don’t change the sound of the club in future models as for me it was pleasant. I can’t really comment on score improvement as I did not see any improvement directly related to this club nor did I really give it a chance to help but again as time goes on I hope to use it more and will be providing updates! Overall 23 points out of 30 as I am keeping consistency with the previous section of 75% as it met my expectations for the most part but not where it counted most which was off the deck.

 

Miscellaneous (9  out of 10 points)

Not much to comment on here that has not already been addressed. There was a small shipping delay but I am not placing blame on BH for that. I think they did an awesome job of packaging the club and my playing buddies comment on how nice the club looks and sounds. I deducted a point because of the cosmetic damage I described on the Speed Slot. It could have been damaged in shipping but based on the packaging it seems like it was a factory defect that should have been caught in QC. Only 1 point though because I don’t think it affects functionality in any way.  

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Play it or Trade it? (15 out of 20 points)

This is a club I would definitely consider buying if I could change the shaft flex and see if that makes a difference in my ball speed and carry distances. Maybe also if there was an alignment mark on the crown. Based on testing, I believe the club is a good choice for anyone looking for an easy to hit 3W and maybe not so concerned with distance but with accuracy. I think 40% accuracy off the tee is a pretty good number for having the club for such a short time.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the club looked, sounded and felt great and it performed well for the short amount of time I had it in my bag.  I will continue to game it and provide updates over time. I expect that the numbers will improve and I look forward to putting for my first eagle in the very near future!

Final Score: (81 out of 100 points)

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Driver : :taylormade-small: SIM2 Max D 9* Project X HZRDUS RDX Black 70g 6.0 Stiff

Woods : :benhogan-small: GS53 3 Wood 14* Mitsubish Tensei Blue 73g Regular

Hybrids: :callaway-small: XR Project X Stiff (3&4)

Irons : :callaway-small: Mavrik True Temper Elevate 95 Stiff Steel (5-PW,AW)

Wedges : File:Kirkland Signature logo.svg - Wikimedia Commons 52, 56, 60 

Putter : :taylormade-small:Spider Red

Bag : Datrek lightweight cart bag

Ball :  :taylormade-small: TP5 PIX

Rangefinder : TecTecTec ULT-X

Pushcart : Currently Testing Motocaddy M5 GPS DHC Electric Push Cart

SoCal, USA

Right handed HDCP 16.7

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Ben Hogan GS53 Fairway Wood – Official MGS Forum Review by AGutierrez7

Intro

Good morning, afternoon, or evening (depending at the time of when you read this), my name is A.J. and I am currently playing off a 15 handicap (fluctuates slightly). I do not hit the ball very far (working on a consistent strike pattern while cautiously adding speed). My short game is the best aspect of my golf game and I would describe the rest of my game as consistently inconsistent.

My current swing has a smooth tempo and is not very quick (sitting around 100 MPH driver swing speed). Here is a little gif of my swing with my 7 iron. 

612114939_SWINGGIF.gif.fa9ac34f3f2ed24942592f2707cba572.gif 

My ball flight is a cut usually (end up drawing the ball when I am swinging well), and my miss is a push fade (due to toe strike with an open face). As mentioned before, my current strengths of my game are my short game, and course management, and my weaknesses are my tee ball (struggling with my driver) and my iron game occasionally.

I currently game an ancient Condor Golf 3W (steel shaft, recently regripped) which was given to me as a hand-me-down, so I was not fit for it. I primarily use my fairway wood as a tee option (rarely for an attackable par 5), while I use my hybrid (currently gaming a 3H 18*) for those longer approaches and to escape after wayward tee shots. I sometimes take chances with aggressive lines to the hole, but only when I am feeling comfortable over the ball, and usually involves picking a line that is aggressive but offers a safe miss (conservatively aggressive I suppose). I can rarely reach par 5’s in 2 which is why I rarely use my fairway woods in those situations, and my usual club into par 4s is anywhere from a 7 iron to PW (rarely GW).

First Impressions

          1140856735_BHAddressView.jpg.252ee3f228bb0437d8668fe013079117.jpg1586186434_BHHeadcover.jpg.b351c01e8bddac7f641ae3b8f25d0fe3.jpg     

Ben Hogan claims that the GS53 is designed for accuracy first and foremost, and the face is forged. The score lines on the face are precision milled at “exact and consistent depths” to ensure bulge and roll brings the strikes toward the heel or toe are brought more on line and the trajectory of high or low strikes are tamed. Ben Hogan also claim that they are utilizing Flex Face technology to deliver a more active and responsive club face and create a larger effective hitting area; also utilizing a Speed Slot for enhanced aerodynamics and more club head speed.

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At first, I was extremely excited to my hands on this club and this is why. I think that Ben Hogan is a world class golf OEM that delivers the most elegant golf equipment. In regard to the fairway wood, it is clean looking that is appealing to the eye (shallow face, and clean at address which I prefer). I chose the shaft (Mitsubishi Tensei Blue Regular Flex) because I thought it would best fit my swing speed and it is also the same model I play in my driver (which I really like the feel of).

My goals for this fairway wood are increased consistency in a fall back tee shot option, increased distance compared to my current gamer, and increased forgiveness on poor strikes. To hopefully achieve these goals I set out to test the club by spending approximately 3 hours a week practicing golf (hitting about 30-50 total shots with the 3 wood). I did collect some data with my SC100 (not the most accurate but it serves its purpose) that measures ball speed, club head speed, and carry distance. I also played at least one round of golf a week with the GS53 in the bag and tried to maximize its uses where I could (mostly as a tee option). My main source of testing material came from qualitative comparison between my current gamer and the GS53. I tried to consciously think about feel and confidence level between the two fairway woods.

 

Grading

Looks (8 out of 10 points)

The GS53 has a player-like head shape featuring a compact, shallow face, with a minimalistic design. The graphics are clean that do not become distracting at address which I enjoy. The overall look of the club is clean and a more subtle approach that looks professional in every aspect (which I fully expect from Ben Hogan). By comparison, this fairway wood has a smaller head size than most other OEM’s offerings. I thoroughly enjoy the classic black finish that Ben Hogan went with, it fits my eye perfectly. The only downside to the appearance of the GS53 is the lack of alignment aides which I think is an important feature, which is why I took two points off in this category.

 

Sound & Feel (9 out of 10 points)

As far as sound is concerned, the GS53 sounds silky smooth when struck in the center like a really clean pop sound. You can really tell when you strike it will, and when you strike it poorly. The best comparison I could make would be like a sharp strike with a fork on a large pan, but less of a “dingy” type sound, lower frequency probably. The feel of the GS53 is smooth, like as smooth as it sounds smooth, almost buttery smooth. The consistency is also impressive when it comes to mishits, I noticed that my heel and toe strikes were not as punishing as they used to be compared to my gamer. The GS53 sounds similar to my M3 Driver which also has a smooth pop sound. I definitely think the sound and feel affect my mental game because, depending on the feedback I get from the club, I have some form of reaction to the shot before I even see the flight. When I hear the nice smooth pop sound I know I hit it well so I can expect the flight to look good, and the opposite is also true (bad sound = bad flight). I will take a point off only because no one is perfect, clubs included 😉.

Basic Characteristics (14 out of 20 points)

Now to get into the weeds of the GS53 slightly. I will begin with discussing the accuracy since that was one of Ben Hogan’s first claims. I would say that it is fairly accurate when struck well (a horrendous swing is not going to bode well), the GS53 seems to hold the intended line well with a stable ball flight. The ball flight is more mid to high, offering plenty of spin (probably too much spin I think). I personally do not have the skillset (not yet) to work the ball both ways so I cannot comment on the workability but based on the shot shapes I noticed on the course I was actually able to hit a draw (when my swing was on plane). I was getting the distance I expected out of it which I will cover in the next section. The forgiveness of the GS53 impressed me, from a consistency standpoint it did really well on keeping the ball on the planet (unless you sky it like I did once, photos to come). The club head of the GS53 is fixed so unfortunately there are no head settings to adjust, but it is pretty neutral club head so I feel like it would work for the vast majority of average golfers. I felt surprisingly comfortable over the ball with the GS53 in hand considering the short amount of time I have had with it. Overall, I was pleased with the forgiveness and possibility of workability the club possessed but found the lack of adjustability and slightly higher trajectory than I would like to be disappointing (which will reflect in the score of this section).

On-Course / LM Performance (20 out of 30 points)

I decided to test the GS53 against my current gamer (Condor Golf 3W) to see how they compared and if it would be worthwhile to make the switch. I utilized my SC100 that gives me basic data which is somewhat reliable (speed numbers can be off sometimes) to properly test the club.

1189488537_ClubStatsIMG.png.70becd9c7e4cca32c6601294f81f5c73.png 

I will note that the GS53 was a tad longer than my current gamer but I was able to produce consistent numbers more often with my current gamer. I would attribute that to comfortability with my gamer and my attempts to get used to swinging the GS53. As you can see in the numbers I provided, the GS53 performed slightly better than my current gamer, which I expected because of the gain in technology between the two. My longest shot with the GS53 measured at 203 yards (carry) while my gamer was 187 yards. So there was a decent amount of difference between my best shots with each club, which again, I expected.

I was not able to get enough on-course data as I would have liked but I will share the two shots I was able to measure and map out. I was playing at Falcon’s Fire in Kissimmee, Florida and was able to record a tee shot and a shot from the fairway of a par 5 (ignore the white lines on the images). First shot I measured was my 2nd shot on the 10th hole (par 5). I did not catch all of that one and only managed to hit it 176 yards (caught it heavy with an open face). I would probably rate the strike as 6 out of 10. The shot ended up in the bunker about 80 yard from the green, I was able to get out and walk away from that hole with a bogey.

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The second shot I measured was my tee shot on the 14th (also par 5, but with trouble right). The strike felt off on this one but was not able to tell what it was (one handed finish for whatever reason) but I did get a bit more distance out of it measuring at 203 yards. I would rate the strike as 7 out of 10, although I did end up in the middle of the fairway. This shot left me about 260 yards from the green, so I hit an iron that left me about 115 but missed the green short with the approach shot. I chipped onto the green and two putted for a bogey.

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From other shots that I failed to measure I did notice that the GS53 was able to hold greens whenever I did decide to attack the green. I did have an issue with a two-way miss, but I would attribute that to my swing more than the club. But when I was swinging well I noticed that I was able to draw the ball easily with this club which is unusual for me. I cannot truthfully comment about the club’s performance out of the rough, but I would say from fairways and tee boxes the club performed when struck well.

I believe the GS53 performed as expected for me, I did not notice any drastic changes in that part my bag, but I think in the long run I may notice some increased consistency. I think this club helped to reinforce my impression of Ben Hogan, as a classical company with tons of class. There is room for improvement in this club which I could see starting with developing a more forgiving appearing model (perhaps a deeper face, etc.) that would appeal to a bigger audience. I think that the shallow face may sway players from choosing this model over others. Ben Hogan did get the clean sole look right and I believe that they should continue with that design in future models. Overall, the Ben Hogan GS53 did not really improve my scores (well, maybe by like a stroke or two) but I think it is still too early to really determine, so I will keep an eye on my stats and see if I notice any improvement.

Miscellaneous (9 out of 10 points)

I am going to use the misc. category to touch on the overall durability of the club. The only reason I decided to do this is because I did make the grave mistake of skying a shot with this club. As soul crushing as the shot I was, I do not think the damage done truly reflected the punishment I gave this club.

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As shown above, the club held up well and I have not noticed any performance issues after that. So I would say the club passes the durability test for me. Club appears to be constructed out of quality material, so I do not foresee any durability issues in the future.

 

Play it or Trade it? (12 out of 20 points)

This was a difficult section for me to write and I think I am on the fence on whether or not to play it or trade it. The club is more than likely an upgrade from what I am currently gaming but simply because my current gamer is around 15 years old. Therefore, if I decided to play it I would expect to see increased consistency and distance. Throughout this review process I only really noticed an increase in consistency, the distances were roughly similar. I would imagine this club could help me to play my best considering the increased consistency, but only with enough time. I will take points away in this section solely because I am still unsure if it has a place in my bag. Additionally, I believe the asking price may be slightly higher than I would think but I would relate the price directly to brand name. I think that a slightly stiffer shaft may suit me better than the regular flex I went with in hindsight. I would imagine that would help to knock some spin off and give me a bit more distance. The GS53 would best fit the golfer who prefers a shallow face fairway wood that appears as player-like as possible while maintaining a solid amount of forgiveness; also the player that does not spin their fairway woods enough and wants to attack more greens with it. I believe the first statement fits me but I already spin my clubs enough, so I do not think this club fully fits me as a golfer.

Conclusion: TL;DR

The GS53 from Ben Hogan is an intriguing piece of equipment that really catches the eye. The GS53 possesses a few different technologies, including Flex Face technology. I believe the club has some room to grow and probably is not for every player, but if you enjoy a shallow face with minimalistic graphics this may be the club for you. The sound is extremely professional, and the feel matches it, while the performance may not entirely be up to standard. Ultimately, I would suggest that someone considering this club should simply go get fit and determine if their swing characteristics match the characteristics of the GS53.

Final Score: (72 out of 100 points)

P.S. Apologies for the tardiness of my review, totally my fault and no excuses but I am glad that I was able to complete this review. 

Edited by AGutierrez7
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Most Recent Testing: :benhogan-small: GS53 3 Wood 

In my  :callaway-small: 2019 X-Cart Bag :  

:taylormade-small: M3 10.5* (TENSEI Blue 6R)

:benhogan-small: GS53 3W 14*

:mizuno-small: CLK 2017 4H 22* 

:taylormade-small: M6 Irons 4-PW (KBS MAX 85g Stiff Steel Shafts, Std Length & Lie)

AW, SW: :Sub70: Forged Satin 48*, 54* 

LW::vokey-small: SM6 60*

:wilson_staff_small:  Infinite Putter Michigan Ave 34"

 image.png.7a412bf6006967dac3e5609984237cec.png  Blue 

Current Tech:

:918457628_PrecisionPro: NX7 Rangefinder

:skycaddie: LX5 GPS Smartwatch

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  • StrokerAce changed the title to 2020 Official Member Review: Ben Hogan Golf ComPany-VKTR+, UiHi and GS53 FW

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My :1590477705_SunMountain: C-130 cart bag currently includes;

Driver: :srixon-small: z565 10.5*, Miyazaki Kaula Mizu 6 S-Flex
Fairways:  :callaway-small: X-Hot 15* & 18*, Project X PXv R-Flex
Irons: :benhogan-small:Apex Plus, 4-PW, Apex S4-Flex
Wedges: :cleveland-small: CG10; 50*, 54*, 58*, Dynamic Gold W-flex 

Putter: :odyssey-small: White Hot Pro Blade #2
Grips: Golf Pride MCC-Plus 4 & Lamkin UTx
Ball: Kirkland Signature 3-Piece 

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Do you have the time?

IMG_3695.PNG.ca8e7f1eab8fadf2a1c767619dad29cc.PNG

First off, let me introduce myself. My name is Josh. I'm 45 years old and I enjoy golf (maybe a little too much.)  I'm from NE Indiana so we only get to golf between March and October.  (sometimes the weather won't cooperate enough to even let us do that)  I've been in love with the game since 2012. My golf partner, Judge Smails, and I play every weekend.  Talk about golf 24/7 and have even taken movie quotes and crafting them to fit our golf game.  We have a friendly wager for the last 3 holes where it's straight up.  Now, 9 times out of 10 he wins, but what keeps me coming out is knowing that that day is the 1 I'm going to win. For me to win, I'm going to have to squeeze every yard out of all of my clubs. 

    My current 3 Wood had been in my bag since 2016.  I use it for tight fairways or to pick up yards on my partner.  He's longer off the tee by a lot.  So I depend on my 3 wood to keep me in the match, and it does.  We're usually both putting for par.  It's not like we're playing for anything, just a bag tag that means the world to us. I have made the claim that I intend to be buried with my current 3 Wood. My current 3 Wood has been in my bag since 2016.  I admit that I wanted to test out a 3 Wood just to see if it can keep up with Woody, (that's the clubs' name.)  I truly want to thank MyGolfSpy for this opportunity.  Testing is a huge responsibility that I don't take lightly.  With that statement in mind, I believe you're going to get an honest review.  So now that you have a little insight as to who I am.  Let the review begin.

    How does one act when they know they're getting new golf equipment? Well, here's the GIF that we use.
IMG_3123.GIF.8fa8a40240ba30fbc24998723f7cbc16.GIF

One chilly November day I get home from work to see this.IMG_4381.jpg.78b1460f018435ca76a308a2c031b3fa.jpg

I rushed it inside, by this time my wife and kids aren't curious if a package shows up addressed to me. They know it's golf equipment.  This club was sent with love. Hats off to the good folks at Ben Hogan Golf. I had been looking into the Ben Hogan equipment for awhile just to see if it lives up to the standards of it's namesake.  I was not disappointed after the first glance.  

 

Looks:  (9/10)
    I found that it looks classy, almost regal. I mean even the club cover had class. THE CLUB COVER!  Maybe I'm an old soul that doesn't always need an alignment arrow on my club.  I just found it refreshingIMG_4389.jpg.fb10453dbc69b10cde739fff25fc6f90.jpg

 

 

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Sound & Feel (8/10)

I was nervous for the first few swings, as evidenced by some of the distances will show.  For that I apologize, but as I loosened up and remembered how to hit a golf club.  (It had been a month)  My distances starting improving.  The GS53 3 Wood felt pretty good.  The sound had that snap that I really enjoy hearing when the club head makes solid contact.   

 

Basic Characteristics (17 out of 20 points)

Usually, I hit a high trajectory shot. For the most part I don't get much of a roll out.  I do have a punch that I use with my 3 Wood that I use as well, but for the most part I have just the basic swing.  With that being said, I'm usually straight as an arrow.  I've actually gained distance the more I've studied my swing and read up on things to try.  I have done a side by side comparison with my current 3 Wood. I've been gaming a Mizuno JPX-EZ since 2016. It's the oldest club in my bag and also my most dependable. 

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random shots 

 

some random shots, it can be tough doing these by yourself.

 

Here's Judge Smails

 

 

I've taken this to The Golf Garage here in Fort Wayne on 3 separate occasions.  I wanted to make sure that I have all the information to make an informed review.

Before hitting the course, get some range time in so you’ve got a feel for what’s to come.  This section should be used to identify the basic characteristics that most players will notice.   If you are able to get time on a launch monitor, this would be the section to include numbers from it.

 

On-Course / LM Performance (25 out of 30 points)

This is where living in Indiana has me at a disadvantage. Due to weather I have been unable to play on the course.  I have had 4 outdoor range sessions at Bobicks and 3 indoor sessions at The Golf Garage.  I also let my golf partner, he's a spy as well, Judge Smails do a comparison test as well.  The results were interesting.  I found that I gained 13 yards with the GS53 3 Wood.  Let me say that again, 13 yards! I struggle to hit off a mat indoors. So armed with an extra 13 yards, I went to the outside range at Bobicks.  There's a tree just a little past the 175 yellow flag, I was hitting it into the top of that tree on a dead fly. I feel confident in the results that I have compiled.  The GS53 3 Woodfrom Ben Hogan outperformed my Mizuno JPX-EZ.  Even with multiple people testing it. I believe this will get me over the creek on 17 at Whispering Creek in New Haven on a consistent basis. I always use this hole as a reference, as it is my nemesis. 

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image.png.aec47c875b2b68e0b5d6db5889c78bfd.png

 

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Just to the left of that yellow flag is the tree I was playing pepper with.

IMG_4493.jpg.fa761549b978f74858dde3cdd9c24788.jpg

 

Final Performance Comments:
Overall, how did it perform? This club performed well for every conceivable test that we put it through.

How, if at all, did this product change your overall impression of Ben Hogan Golf?  To be honest, I have always held Ben Hogan Golf equipment in the highest regards.  This club did not fail.

What feature would you change or eliminate from the next generation of this model?  I know some feel comfortable with an alignment arrow.  As for me, I like the classic look. I honestly can't think of a thing on this.
What feature do you really like, and would most like to see continued or evolved in future models?
Did it help improve your scores? N/A as it's winter time and there is snow on the ground.  By how much?  Based on my results, if I gained 13 yards, I believe that going for the green in 2 on a Par 5 is now on the table, that will give me more birdie opportunities.

Miscellaneous (10 out of 10 points)

I like to personalize things.  Give it my own personal touch.  My favorite club cover, was my Cobra (from the G.I.Joe toy) emblem on a solid blue back.  It reminds me of my childhood, that cover is on my (Naturally) Cobra Hybrid.  My other was a Woody (from Toy Story) that goes on my 3 Wood, Naturally.  The Ben Hogan Club cover was love at first sight.  That being said, the GS53 3 Wood will not get a different club cover.  (Even though the thought about getting a Tin Cup "Ben Hogan, now who is he?" quote etched on it.  With his signature hat)  That being said, if this club makes the bag. The club cover stays.IMG_4383.jpg.a99a94be1aa863e12df8140349ad2f0f.jpg

I just love the classic look!

IMG_4382.jpg.a7d11ffb164d60a50e3cf570553e200d.jpg

 

Play it or Trade it? (17 out of 20 points)
I plan on playing it. It gained me 13 yards on average, and maybe just a little more confidence.  My playing partner gained 15 yards with it. It's hard to turn down extra yards.  Extra yards lead to less swings.  Less swings leads to lower scores. Lower Scores means I may win more than just 1/10 to Smails in our "Finish Strong" bag tag challenge.

 

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Conclusion:

I believe I mentioned that I planned to be buried with my current 3 Wood. Just this past season, I hauled off and smoked my 3 wood 245 yards on 18 at Chestnut to get me in prime position to be on the green in regulation.  I recorded the shot using my golf logix app. So I know what I'm capable on the course.   I believe this club with it's extra 13 yards off a simulator, with the obstacles that I face. The fear of hitting indoors, afraid others are watching and judging.  If 13 yards can be had under those conditions by me, then just imagine what it can do for you! 


Final Score: (86 out of 100 points)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by josmi15
  • Like 6

Titleist 917D2 10.5

Mizuno JPX EZ 3W, 14U

Cobra Fly-Z Hybrid 18.5

Titleist 816 H1 23

PING G30 5-PW

Cleveland RTX 3.0 50/10 V-MG

Cleveland RTX 3.0 54/14  V-FG

Cleveland RTX 3.0 58/12 V -FG

EVNROLL ER-3

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Ben Hogan GS53 Fairway Wood – Official MGS Forum Review by Goaliewales14 (Mike Wales)

Intro

Hey fellow spies!  Goalie here with another review!

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I’d like to start off by thanking MGS and Ben Hogan to allow me to take part in this review!  For those who don’t know me, my name is Mike and I’ve been golfing for 6 years.  In those 6 years, I’ve dropped to a 14 handicap and shot my first 80 this year.  I also had a 9-hole round of +1 in an outing!

This review is my first ever experience with any Ben Hogan clubs.  When signing up for this I chose the utility iron and 3 wood as my top 2.  I don’t use hybrids anymore as I typically hook them and I’m not able to move them like I want.  For the courses I play, a 3 wood is a position club off the tee.  I rarely will use it to go for a green as I’m looking for about 260-270 yards out of it.  My 20* driving iron goes about 240 and my driver about 290-300.  I would want this club to fill that gap.  I’m also looking for accuracy.  I’m using this club to find fairways when it’s too tight or to layup to a number on the shorter par 4’s. 

First Impressions

When I first unboxed this club, I was very pleasantly surprised.  I purposefully stayed off all reviews before the club arrived to make sure it was a true first impression.  The only picture I saw was the one on the Ben Hogan website.

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The headcover is a beautiful white leather with a small red line running diagonally across it.  It is a very light headcover when I compare it to the leather that I have with my PXG, but it will protect the club and look good doing it as long as you can keep that white clean. 

The Ben Hogan website describes the look as classic, and I will definitely agree with that.  Their direct quote is, “Even the classic, elegant crown is free from any cosmetic distractions and the sole has been kept clean to ensure clean turf interaction.”  I will disagree with Ben Hogan that cosmetics on the crown distract the player.  If you look at most woods, there is something drawing your eye to the center of the club to help with alignment and strike.  I believe the GS53 could benefit from something like that.  I will also state most consumers look for some sort of visual technology as a reason why this club is better than the rest.  That can even be as simple as a carbon crown.  Hogan wants clean turf interaction, but if you look at Cobra, they have the baffler technology that helps that interaction.

If you’d like to see the complete unboxing video, you view it below.

https://youtu.be/T5zUSXmVSkE

 

Grading

Looks (6 out of 10 points)

As I mentioned above, I’m really missing some visible technology, or even something as simple as an alignment mark on the crown.  You can see below that a lot of clubs in the GS53’s category all have that mark. 

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The GS53 is also smaller compared to the others in its category.  I do love that look as long as the forgiveness is there.  A lot of consumers would like a larger head to inspire that confidence.  It’s like when you look down at an iron that’s a blade vs. super game improvement.

 

Sound & Feel (4 out of 10 points)

Throughout this review I’ve mentioned that this club has no “pop” off the face.  You can hit a solid shot and have it sounds very very dull.  It almost sounds like something is wrong with the club.  One of the employees at the PGA SS hit it and wondered if the face was cracked because of how weird the sound is hitting this club.

As I mentioned in the unboxing, the GS53 felt heavier than my Taylormade SIM.  Looking up that specifications for the GS53, it comes in standard at a D4 swing weight.  Taylormade comes it at D3, Ping at D1, and Marvik Max at D3.  This is the heaviest club I’ve hit in a fairway wood.  I would wonder if using a counter-balanced shaft to help offset that swing weight would be the way to go.  I really like the stock, Tensei shaft, but D4 seemed heavy.

 

Basic Characteristics (8 out of 20 points)

When I first heard I was going to be testing the GS53 3 wood I was very curious how this club would stack up against my Taylormade SIM.  I would argue that the SIM is the #1 3 wood on the market right now.  I did dial back my SIM to match lofts with the Hogan as I wanted a fair comparison.

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In that comparison, the SIM beat the Hogan by 20 yards on average.  Top distance vs top distance, the SIM won by 30 yards!  Then when I put my SIM at its fitted setting, I gain a few more yards and accuracy.

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After seeing this discrepancy, I sought out to find a better comparison among the major OEMs.

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The GS53, again, is the bottom of the leader board when it comes to distance due to extremely high spin numbers.  To be fair, Hogan’s website states, “They were engineered to provide incredible, dependable accuracy first and foremost.”  While you can see some of the hits above are offline to the left, all of those clubs offer adjustability to help that.  You can turn it down a few degrees while opening the face.  With the GS53 there is NO adjustability.  You can see in the first chart, I struggled getting close to the target line.  Every shot kept going left.  On mishits, I did not find the GS53 near as forgiving as the others I tested against it.  If you look at the Cobra Big Tour and Mavrik Max, those clubs have the extra CC’s to help max out that forgiveness.  The GS53 still maintains that players profile.

 

On-Course / LM Performance (N/A out of 30 points)

After seeing the performance on the launch monitors, I could not take this club to the course.

 

Miscellaneous (10 out of 10 points)

The speed of the shipment was great!  It took about 2 weeks, which most manufacturers are having supply issues due to COVID, that was an extremely quick turnaround.  The box was also probably in the best shape of any golf package I’ve received.

 

Play it or Trade it? (0 out of 20 points)

I would trade it.  As I mentioned, I couldn’t even take this club to the course due to the launch monitor performance.  I’m honestly struggling to find the category of player that this club fits.  I have spoken to multiple fitters regarding this club, and they are evening struggling to find the market.  If it were to compete in the game improvement/super game improvement category, majority of those consumers will be wanting a lighter weight club.  If you go to the players category, with this club reaching 4,000+ spin, that makes this club unplayable for that category.  Without adjustability, Ben Hogan is reducing that consumer base even further.

 

Conclusion

I was very excited to try this club since I’ve never had an experience with any Ben Hogan clubs.  After hitting the GS53, I would leave it on the shelf.  I struggled with consistency due to no adjustability.  The spin numbers were off the charts for a 3 wood being above 4,000.  Those spin numbers are also keeping the GS53 from getting close to any other 3 wood in terms of distance.  I wish I could say that this club doesn’t fit me, but if you’re XYZ type of player, it would be great!  Even after seeking insight from multiple fitters, everyone seems at a lose for whom this club would be best suited for on the course.

Final Score: (28 out of 70 points)

Edited by goaliewales14
  • Like 8

Driver: PXG 0811 X Gen 2
3 Wood: Taylormade SIM
3 Utility Iron: Srixon U85
4i – AW: Taylormade P760
SW: Vokey SM7 M Grind
LW: Cleveland RTX 4 X-Low
Putter: Ping Vault Oslo

 

 

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Ben Hogan GS-53 3 Wood Official Forum Member Review

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Let me start this review by thanking MGS and Ben Hogan Golf for the opportunity to test the GS53 3 Wood with Tensei Blue XStiff shaft. As a life long Hogan fanatic, this test was like a dream come true. 

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Before I get too far, let me describe my game and and how I tested the club. I'm a long-time golfer and have made some swing changes this year bringing me into the 5 handicap zone. I have a pretty slow tempo; I'm 6'7" and have a pretty high club head speed due to my swing arc. I swing about 105-115 with the driver, depending on how cold it is or tired I am. I hit the ball high and with a small fade. I used to draw the ball, so I can go to either side. My usual miss with the 3 wood is a top/stinger from playing the ball too forward in my stance. I use it maybe once a round off of the deck, and prefer it as a backup tee club to leave me about 150yds on a par 4. I can hit par 5's in two, and my current 3 wood is a Callaway Hawkeye from '99 with a firm flex Hawkeye UL shaft. Getting the Hogan is quite the addition, my kids and cooking job don't afford much cash for new equipment, so the unboxing was pretty epic.

To test I put the Hogan against my current gamer, as well as the closest club I had in head construction and shaft, a Taylor Made 200. I used Srixon Soft Feel, Pro V1 and Maxfli Tour X in a series of 3 ball sequences when hitting from yardage on course, tracked by Shot Scope V2.  I dont have a launch monitor, but I can give you an idea of ball flight, or if it went right or left. I went to the course early in the morning and at sunset so I could just let this thing fly with 9 shots at a time from any given position. I also hit a grass range twice to hit off of the deck and a tee. 

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First Impressions

I have always found the Hogan brand to be a true player's club. They don't always make the biggest splash, but it's a storied brand founded by a great hero of the game. I love my Apex Plus Irons. They're great clubs, durable,and I have played them since I got them off of the rack in 2001. This 3 wood out of the box is gorgeous. It's like a Cadillac rolling into the driveway on Christmas, or Frank Sinatra coming out of a time warp to hand you a Rolex with a smile. I can think of no classier club in appearance. It has the look of the old Hogan navy blue persimmon woods and the silver of the shaft almost tricks your eye into thinking this is a step back in time. This club feels great, like it belongs in the swing arc. Its an ultra-classic design in a modern world which is what made me want to test this club. I have always been technique over technology, but getting a new driver from a member of this forum really rocked my world. My average off the tee went up almost 35 yards after going from a 975J to a Callaway Razr Fit, so I was thrilled to get to try a club with classic looks and modern tech. I don't like to switch clubs much, so switching fairways woods is big. This thing is awfully cute, so let's start the grading there.

 

Looks: 9 out of 10 points

The classic look and color scheme, Hogan classic ferrule, beautiful etching and sunburst logo on the sole really takes the cake. There is even a full Speed Slot revival, which gave me a real nostalgic love of this design. I wish they had just gone full throwback and included the Hogan signature on the crown. Or maybe a sunburst logo like on the GS53 driver or a red square mimicking an old wood to help line it up. It's sleek on top, but I found myself wanting to address the ball off of the heel without trying and ended up toe hitting more than I usually do. Just takes some getting used to. The biggest reason I gave this a 9 is the headcover. Its a beautiful classic head cover, white leather, total class except for this cheap looking select-a-club wheel attached to the end. It seems small, but makes something high end seem interchangeable almost like its after-market. 

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Sound and Feel:  8 out of 10 points 

This club has a great weight to it for a fairway wood. It's heavy enough that it feels like it will get the ball up and good contact is almost not felt. I felt like the blur of the club offered little feedback, and I had to rely on the feeling in the hands to get an idea of flight before tracking the ball. It has a typical steel fairway wood sound, and it honestly looked and sounded  A LOT like the TM200, but more on that later. A poor strike still flies well, and there's a fair amount of draw bias, so I found myself really firing the hips and unloading with this thing. I actually found that my off-center strikes still traveled pretty close to the distance of the pure ones, which is where I think Hogan is claiming the forgiveness. This is a small clubhead, and you get immediate feedback. 

 

Basic Characteristics: 13 out of 20 points

The first range session I brought the Hogan and my other comp clubs. The Hogan performed well. The trajectory was slightly lower, which I attribute to the modern, appropriately stiff shaft. The trajectory was comparable to my s300 steel shaft in the Taylor Made. I was able to control the ball well, and work it both ways. The face is more shallow, and I find I like a deeper face because of the type of clubs I learned to play with. This club isn't adjustable, and I found myself trying to focus on contact and consistency in my swing rather than tinkering with settings. Here is where I first started to notice the performance gap. I was hitting the Hogan about as far as both the Callaway and the Taylor Made. I hit the Callaway more consistently, and the Taylor Made I hit with a slight fade. The Hogan was flying all over. At altitude, the shots would start to curve, and many times, the ball would fall 10 yards or so off of the line it started on. I dont know if this is due to shaft torque or lack of experience with the timing on the fixed draw bias, but I was having a hard time controlling the ball. As a tee club, it was fine, but the high level spin would make this a liability trying to fire at a protected green. After getting in 50 or so swings, it was off to the course. 

 

On Course Performance 15 out of 30 points

It kills me to say 15 out of 30, but here's the deal: this club performed great for me. I was averaging 260 or so off of the tee, 235 to 250 off of the deck and the accuracy was reasonable. The problem is, that's what I'm hitting my 21 year old Callaway with stock shaft. I'm not a fan of Callaway, I like that club but I wanted to like this one more. I'll  bag it because I feel like the Hogan would make me a better player in time, but for the average golfer, this is a tough sell. To buy this club and get the performance of something that's 19.99 is a hard pill to swallow.This head is small, and there is a premium on contact and the reward is performance you could get with an aging club. At 230 yds, I was able to hit the green roughly the same amount of the time with all three clubs, between 37% and 46% of the time. I lost the most shots to trouble with the Taylor Made, and converted the most shots into Birdies with the Callaway. The Hogan performed best off of the tee, with 81.0% of the shots hitting fairway, compared to just 68.7% with the Taylor Made and 78.6% with the Callaway.  I averaged 261.5 off of the tee with the Hogan, 259.4 with the Hawkeye and 255.2 with the TM200.

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The distance averages for the comp clubs were lower because of getting bogged down in the rough,I was just a little more accurate with the Hogan. I would have expected the Hogan with the Tensei shaft and modern tech to have smacked these old clubs around, but I'm sad to say it's just about the same. I was more consistent after a while, and I'm a feel player, so it's still a good club to me, but if I was looking for big gains, this wouldn't be my club. It didn't make me worse, and I hit about 6%more fairways, so I would say it's a statistical improvement. 

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Miscellaneous: 9 out 10 points

This club was packaged beautifully and I've never had a club wrapped in plastic so that made my day. I'll take a moment to mention the face coating; it is not very durable and the club looks pretty used after about a dozen rounds. I was playing one morning after topdressing and caught a sandy ball high on the face and it got the most horrible Sky mark. The face got pretty roughed up that week, and a regular brushed type steel would hold up better. I do love the look of this club in my bag. People look at it and want to see it. I'm happy the Hogan brand is back. 

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Play it Or Trade it: 17 out of 20 points

This club performs at the same level as my current club, feels good and is definitely sexier, so I will keep it. I feel like it will make me a better player in time and I love Hogan clubs, so it's for me. If I was looking for a super tech heavy, ultra modern performance adjustable club,this would have to go. Honestly, I think I would really go for a 4 or 5 wood with these, but I will keep playing this and see how it goes. 

 

 

Conclusion:

If you want an iconic club design from potentially one of the greatest pedigrees in the game, look no further. Expect class, consistent performance and reasonable distance. If you want a forgiving game improvement club heavy on tech, you will be disappointed. I love this initial effort to get back on the map, and would recommend this club to a low to mid handicap golfer that wants classic equipment that forces and rewards solid execution of swing fundamentals. 

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Final Score: 71 out of 100 points

 

Edited by Crowev01
Final Review Posted 1/3/21
  • Like 4

Titleist 975J

Callaway Hawkeye 3 Wood

Ben Hogan CFT Hybrid, Apex Plus Irons

Cleveland 588 Wedges

Scotty Newport 2 Mid Slant Pro Platinum

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