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


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On 12/23/2020 at 1:25 PM, kardboard.kid said:

Thanks to all for your thoughts and prayers. My father was laid to rest last friday. After the Christmas holidays I will begin working with the review. I did finish the frame and netting on my indoor range.

 


Sent from my SM-A102U using MyGolfSpy mobile app
 

 

Sorry for your loss. Looks like you were able to spend precious moments with him before his passing.

On 12/24/2020 at 8:58 AM, AGutierrez7 said:

Little update on how my 3W testing is going:

I have been struggling with my swing a little bit as of late so it has been hard to give this club a fair test but when I strike it well, it has performed well. The sound off the club face sounds good to me, a very clean "pop" sound. I am also getting consistent distance with it so that's nice to note. I will try to get some numbers with it to see if my eye matches the quantitative data. So far so good when my swing is on, and a bit of a struggle with it when I am off. I'll keep you guys posted!

Same. I agree with the sound it has a nice pop off the face on well struck hits.

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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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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 😎  

Posted Images

As the testing comes to a close, just wanted to provide a quick update. Definitely hitting it much better off the tee and off the deck (at least off a range mat). 

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Downhill tee shot with 260 to the creek. Hit a great 3W to leave me with a gap wedge into the green. Came up short and 3 putted for a double xP. Putting was definitely off this day. Also the weather was relatively cold for SoCal (50F BRRR lol) and raining so balls were definitely not going as far. I think normally I hit a 3H to this distance here.

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Tried to go for this par 5 in two. Again I think the colder air and rain reduced distance as I remember I hit this shot as pure as I think I could. At least I saved par.

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Next day, different course, much better weather. Downhill tee shot and I chunked it a bit. Still got good distance leaving a gap wedge into the green. 3 putted for a bogey xP.

Before writing up the final review, I will be taking a range session and recording club head speed and ball speed with calculated carry using my launch monitor (a JDM unit from a company called Yupiteru) to get some hard data to include in the test data. 

 

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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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Finishing up my review now. Should be up in the next few days. I've got two more rounds coming up. One tomorrow at Southern Dunes and one on Sunday at Dinosaur Mountain. Looking forward to getting a few more shots with the UiHi on some beautiful designs. 

I had a second go on the launch monitor and some of the things that I have been working on with the UiHi have began to produce some progress. Makes for a little more interesting review, as initially I just didn't get along with the UiHi very well. 

Here's some snippets from my last round on my home course. There's 3 holes where I have hit the UiHi off the tee every round and I've yet to shoot worse than par on these holes. Not perfect strikes by any means. I dont think any of these carried more than 170 but ran out pretty good and stayed away from trouble, setting up PW, 8 iron, and 9 iron into the greens. I've been known to make a mess off these shorter par 4s trying to place the ball perfectly. Learning to love 'ugly' pars.

 

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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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Today embarks day 1 of 6 courses in 6 days. Round 1 Pumpkin Ridge GhostCreek. [emoji317]


Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

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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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Finishing up my review for tomorrow .. just need to get the pictures together and finish up the writing .. I kind of got used to the club just would need to make some tweets 

:ping-small: G400 SFT 10. KBS TD 50 Category 3 shaft 

:cobra-small: King Speedzone Black Yellow Fairway 3 wood Tensei AV Blue 65 

: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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My review is up for the GS53 3WOOD


Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

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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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My final review of the VKTR+ 3 hybrid has been posted on page 1 (link). If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask as I'd love to provide additional feedback for anyone curious. 

I'll probably be posting an update to my review towards the end of the month as I will be taking a trip to Florida in 2 weeks where I hope to get in several more rounds of golf since the timing of this test didn't work out very well with the weather here in Chicago.

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On 12/31/2020 at 9:20 AM, twyatt700 said:

Today embarks day 1 of 6 courses in 6 days. Round 1 Pumpkin Ridge GhostCreek. emoji317.png


Sent from my iPhone using MyGolfSpy

Enjoy! I'm definitely envious as I shovel my driveway here with golf being officially over for the season....😢

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On 10/30/2020 at 8:20 AM, goaliewales14 said:

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.

1256080253_1st3WHeadtoHead.jpg.png.f9d37cf1aa66ead1b841837700c70f02.png

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.

675110310_SIM3W12-5.png.b3ad90c44b3ee78b8f058236ca6bf8c2.png

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

1593514201_Hittingdata12-20.png.55703507dc921354bda8c8e40056187a.png

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)

Interesting. I thought this would be a nice complement to my GS53 driver. Would love to give it a test 

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In my bag:

Driver:  :Hogan: Ben Hogan GS53 10.5* Stiff Mitsubishi tensei blue Stiff

3 Wood: :Sub70: 939 x 15 deg. UST Proforce Black V2 7F4 stiff

Hybrid:  :Sub70: 939x Hybrid UST 680 recoil shaft stiff

Irons: :Sub70: 699 irons 4-PW  KBS tour 90 v Stiff 

52 Deg:cleveland-small: 588 RTX 2.0

56 deg: :cleveland-small: Reg 588 tour action

60 Deg: :cleveland-small: 588 RTX 2.0

Putter:bettinardi-small: Studio Stock #3 (Winn 1.32 Pro x grip)

Rangefinder: :CaddyTek: Caddytek V2

 

Check out my MyGolfSpy 2020 Forum Official Tester: Ben Hogan GS53 Driver

 

 

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Final review is up .. I originally had this almost complete and I closed my browser out before I saved and ended up having to rewrite it. 

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:ping-small: G400 SFT 10. KBS TD 50 Category 3 shaft 

:cobra-small: King Speedzone Black Yellow Fairway 3 wood Tensei AV Blue 65 

: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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Weather is looking good this week in Atlanta finally and I'm going to try to get one more range session before writing my final review. Played on Sunday but never was in a position or distance to use the hybrid.

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:cobra-small: RadSpeed 10.5, Motore X F1 60 X-Stiff

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

:taylormade-small: M6, 4H 22.0

: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

:taylormade-small: Spider Mini

:titelist-small: Pro-V1 X

:Arccos: Smart Sensors

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On 10/30/2020 at 9:14 AM, longdrivenate said:

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. 

IMG_6290.jpg.27868ba9f17fe6a151202d30f96b4a21.jpg

IMG_6291.jpg.1c67caf1daca7b3b6cb2a0c5f92e0b3d.jpg

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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

 

Any chance you might be able to post a link or something to those videos? Not sure if I'm the only one, but they aren't showing up properly. I love a good stinger, I wanna see!! 😉

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Right Handed

Driver (9°): :cobra-small: Speedzone (HZRDUS Smoke Green 70g X-Stiff shaft)

FW (15°): :callaway-logo-1: X2 Hot (Aldila Tour Green 75 Tx Stiff shaft)

3/Driving Iron (18°): :Hogan: UiHi Iron (KBS Tour V 110g shaft)

OR

Hybrid (18°): :tour-edge: Exotics EXS Pro (Evenflow Black 6.5) (2020 MGS Official Review here)

Irons (PW-4)  post-76102-0-38507100-1525284411_thumb.jpg TS-1's (KBS $-Taper 120g Stiff shafts)

Wedges (50°, 54° & 58°) post-76102-0-38507100-1525284411_thumb.jpg TSW Forged (Dynamic Gold S300)

Putter: :EVNROLL: ER2B (2019 MGS Official Review here)

Ball: :Snell: MTB-Black OR MAXFLI Tour OR TP5X

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4 hours ago, ncwoz said:

Any chance you might be able to post a link or something to those videos? Not sure if I'm the only one, but they aren't showing up properly. I love a good stinger, I wanna see!! 😉

Sure thing! This one is not a stinger but has good audio quality so you can hear what the club sounds like. And here is the stinger with tracer line from my Rapsodo. 

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@longdrivenate - Do you think your utility iron performance would have improved with a graphite shaft?  If you look at most utility irons (my Srixon U85 included) they all have graphite, or some sort of hybrid shaft.  

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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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2 hours ago, longdrivenate said:

Sure thing! This one is not a stinger but has good audio quality so you can hear what the club sounds like. And here is the stinger with tracer line from my Rapsodo. 

Whew!! That was looooooow. 😍

  • Like 2

Right Handed

Driver (9°): :cobra-small: Speedzone (HZRDUS Smoke Green 70g X-Stiff shaft)

FW (15°): :callaway-logo-1: X2 Hot (Aldila Tour Green 75 Tx Stiff shaft)

3/Driving Iron (18°): :Hogan: UiHi Iron (KBS Tour V 110g shaft)

OR

Hybrid (18°): :tour-edge: Exotics EXS Pro (Evenflow Black 6.5) (2020 MGS Official Review here)

Irons (PW-4)  post-76102-0-38507100-1525284411_thumb.jpg TS-1's (KBS $-Taper 120g Stiff shafts)

Wedges (50°, 54° & 58°) post-76102-0-38507100-1525284411_thumb.jpg TSW Forged (Dynamic Gold S300)

Putter: :EVNROLL: ER2B (2019 MGS Official Review here)

Ball: :Snell: MTB-Black OR MAXFLI Tour OR TP5X

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So, I'm well behind the 8ball with this review. putting aside all the family stuff, I am now into "review mode" I read the first reviews, and I will have to agree. It appears the 3I will not be a high flight risk.

I do spend a great amount of time in the woods, so low ball flight might be just what the doctor ordered. We shall see.

Sent from my SM-A102U using MyGolfSpy mobile app

  • Like 2

: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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On 10/30/2020 at 6:20 AM, goaliewales14 said:

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

Intro

Hey fellow spies!  Goalie here with another review!

1371881865_RyannandI.jpg.ef132bed34ab85d758b4fe32a3bda94b.jpg

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.

1955883476_ClubwithHeadcover.jpg.654b90a2ee8b76f8161830b80e96705b.jpg

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. 

20201220_153233-2.jpg.8ed128bbdb3fca080e7684e89c4d77d9.jpg

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.

1256080253_1st3WHeadtoHead.jpg.png.f9d37cf1aa66ead1b841837700c70f02.png

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.

675110310_SIM3W12-5.png.b3ad90c44b3ee78b8f058236ca6bf8c2.png

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

1593514201_Hittingdata12-20.png.55703507dc921354bda8c8e40056187a.png

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)

Its kind of trippin that you felt couldn’t play it at least a round or two. All based on a few range sessions you didn’t like? I mean, play it and then decide. That’s sorta the deal if you sign up to be a tester, right? Test it! If it costs you some strokes that you’re worried about, then don’t post your score... then torch the club in your review with exactly what happened...

I dunno man...

 

  • Like 5

:callaway-small: MavriK Sub Zero 9* on EvenFlow RipTide 6.0 50g

:cobra-small: Speedzone 3-wood on Tensi blue S

:cobra-small: F8 5/6 wood on Aldila NxT GEN MLT R

:Hogan: Combo iron set -8,9,per Icon 5,6,7 PtxPro 4-UiHi on Recoil 780 ES f4 Stiff shafts (best clubs ever)

:benhogan-small: Equalizer 50°, 54°, 60° wedges on Recoil 780 f4

 :EVNROLL: ER3 34”

:titelist-small: ProV1x

:callaway-small: .Org 14 cart bag

Adidas Tour 360 shoes

 

 

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22 hours ago, goaliewales14 said:

@longdrivenate - Do you think your utility iron performance would have improved with a graphite shaft?  If you look at most utility irons (my Srixon U85 included) they all have graphite, or some sort of hybrid shaft.  

@goaliewales14 Good question! Possibly. I didn't talk much in the review about the weight of the club but I did notice that it takes quite a bit of effort to swing. I was noticeably tired after 10-15 swings of it in a way that I don't usually experience when swinging irons. I just chalked that up to it being longer, and therefore heavier, but I hadn't considered how a lighter, graphite shaft might offset that.

Edited by longdrivenate
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12 hours ago, Sluggo42 said:

Its kind of trippin that you felt couldn’t play it at least a round or two. All based on a few range sessions you didn’t like? I mean, play it and then decide. That’s sorta the deal if you sign up to be a tester, right? Test it! If it costs you some strokes that you’re worried about, then don’t post your score... then torch the club in your review with exactly what happened...

I dunno man...

 

I understand where you're coming from and that's why I reached out to the Mods personally regarding how to approach this review after my range sessions.  I have no problem shooting horrific scores on courses, but with it being high's of mid 30's, the courses are closed.  My approach with this review, as with the all of the reviews I've done, is to provide an update after a few months with the club.  It allows me to take a step back and find a better approach.  I can find those weird warm weather days when I can sneak on.  Then I can also have more buddies hit it when we're out having fun rounds.

With not getting on the course, that's why I spent texting buddies within the golf industry who are independent fitters trying to find the proper market to help redirect this review.  If I was able to find a really good comparison, then they could have helped me with a demo club to take on the course when they open back up and put them head-to-head.  Each one of them hit this club and were as lost as I was on how to play it.  No one never expected to see up to a 30 yard drop off in performance from my SIM.  I also couldn't believe that my U85 could keep up with Hogan stride for stride as a 20* club.

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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6 hours ago, goaliewales14 said:

I understand where you're coming from and that's why I reached out to the Mods personally regarding how to approach this review after my range sessions.  I have no problem shooting horrific scores on courses, but with it being high's of mid 30's, the courses are closed.  My approach with this review, as with the all of the reviews I've done, is to provide an update after a few months with the club.  It allows me to take a step back and find a better approach.  I can find those weird warm weather days when I can sneak on.  Then I can also have more buddies hit it when we're out having fun rounds.

With not getting on the course, that's why I spent texting buddies within the golf industry who are independent fitters trying to find the proper market to help redirect this review.  If I was able to find a really good comparison, then they could have helped me with a demo club to take on the course when they open back up and put them head-to-head.  Each one of them hit this club and were as lost as I was on how to play it.  No one never expected to see up to a 30 yard drop off in performance from my SIM.  I also couldn't believe that my U85 could keep up with Hogan stride for stride as a 20* club.

I wonder how much might be attributed to a poor shaft fit. I suppose that in and of itself might be a lesson learned if folks are interested in this club to try and get fit to it before. This is definitely my biggest hesitation in fully trusting DTC clubs, not being able to get them fit makes it a bit of a crap shoot. And not having a ton of shaft options doesn't help a ton either. Luckily the purchases I have made haven't bit me in the butt, but I'm sure at some point it may.

  • Like 1

Right Handed

Driver (9°): :cobra-small: Speedzone (HZRDUS Smoke Green 70g X-Stiff shaft)

FW (15°): :callaway-logo-1: X2 Hot (Aldila Tour Green 75 Tx Stiff shaft)

3/Driving Iron (18°): :Hogan: UiHi Iron (KBS Tour V 110g shaft)

OR

Hybrid (18°): :tour-edge: Exotics EXS Pro (Evenflow Black 6.5) (2020 MGS Official Review here)

Irons (PW-4)  post-76102-0-38507100-1525284411_thumb.jpg TS-1's (KBS $-Taper 120g Stiff shafts)

Wedges (50°, 54° & 58°) post-76102-0-38507100-1525284411_thumb.jpg TSW Forged (Dynamic Gold S300)

Putter: :EVNROLL: ER2B (2019 MGS Official Review here)

Ball: :Snell: MTB-Black OR MAXFLI Tour OR TP5X

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