I usually reserve golf press releases for the Hooked On Golf Blog sister site HogWire.biz. I get so many press releases submitted it is quite stunning. I decided to build the HOGWire site just as a golf newswire. That said, I have a special place in my golf heart for Ben Hogan irons. As many of you probably already know, I’m still gaming a set of 2002 Ben Hogan Apex Edge Pro’s. I’ve had those in the bag for two club championships, 2nd in the city amateur, and countless $2.00 nassau victories.
This PR below is “special” enough to warrant a mention here. I’m excited to see the Ben Hogan name back in the game, so to speak. I have a now 10+ year golf business relationship with Terry Koehler, President and CEO of Ben Hogan golf. Terry is a pioneer in golf club design. I’ve reviewed his Eidolon wedges and SCOR wedges in years past. I’ve had at least two of Terry’s club designs in my gamer bag ever since 2006. No other club or club designer can claim that honor.
With that all said, I’m excited to hear this news about the new Ben Hogan Golf irons and wedges. I’m hoping, as such a loyalist of the brand, and one who has had such a great relationship with Terry, to be one of the first to review these. I’m working on that.
These clubs employ a concept I’ve lobbied for a few years now, putting the loft numbers on the clubs rather than an arbitrary number like “8.” Golf companies have juiced up clubs so much, an 8-iron is no longer an 8-iron.
The last great reason I’m anxious to get my hands on these Hogans? The model number of the wedges: TK-15. As in “Tony Korologos – 15.” Yes, I’m sure that’s why they came up with that naming convention.
Ben Hogan Golf Press Release Below
Ben Hogan Golf Equipment Company is pleased to announce that we are now taking orders for the new Ft. Worth 15 irons and TK 15 wedges – allowing golfers to once again become a “Hogan Player.”
“Everybody is well aware of the stories of how committed Mr. Hogan was to producing high quality golf equipment,” said Terry Koehler, President/CEO of Ben Hogan Golf Equipment Company. “We continue this commitment today. We also understand that while golfers are extremely excited about new products, buying a set of premium irons and wedges is a large purchase, so we want to assure them that we will stand behind our products to provide them with the best experience possible.”
“We encourage every consumer to go through our revolutionary HoganFit™ online analysis and fitting system,” said Koehler. Unlike anything in the industry, the HoganFit™ online analysis and fitting system provides golfers with their own unique loft matrix, aligning precision gapping throughout the set.
“The HoganFit™ system was created to give golfers a way to determine their own unique and perfect loft matrix that will optimize their precision and distance control,” added Koehler. “With 44 loft options available, only Ben Hogan Golf Equipment Company will provide the most accurately custom-matched set of irons in golf. It’s the only way to bring precision back to iron and wedge play.”
Why is your brand new shiny pitching wedge as long as your old 8-iron? Because it IS an 8-iron.
Hot off the presses is the announcement that TaylorMade just came out with a new set of irons. Kind of a bummer really. I hadn’t even taken off the plastic off the set I bought yesterday and now they’re already obsolete, due to these new LONGER ones which came out today. Now the question is, do I buy the new ones from today knowing that tomorrow’s model will be even better and longer? I poke fun, but that’s the sad state of the golf equipment industry.
Comparing mid 1990’s iron specs to the new TaylorMade Aeroburner 2015 irons.
Golf marketing has completely bastardized the equipment world. Marketers will go to great “lengths” to sell clubs. Most of the manufacturers and their marketing firms are guilty of falling into the trap of promising more and more distance, not just TaylorMade. Marketing will continue this practice so long as the consumer believes he/she will gain more distance.
Take a look at the photo above. It compares iron specifications up to the mid 1990’s with the new TaylorMade “Aeroburner” irons.
Some golfers seem to be aware that the lofts are getting stronger year after year, but most don’t seem to notice shaft length. In the photo above look at the old pitching wedge as an example. The 1990’s model PW was 52 degrees, and had a 35 inch shaft. The Aeroburner 2015 pitching wedge is 43 degrees! NINE degrees stronger. But that’s not all. Look at the shaft length. The new PW is the same length as what an 8-iron used to be.
A good friend of mine was so excited when he bought his RocketBalls irons a while back. “I hit my 7-iron as far as my old 5-iron,” he excitedly told me. Once I explained that his new 7-iron and old 5-iron were the almost the same specs he wasn’t as excited. In fact, he was mad.
Name Irons By Lofts/Lengths
The new Ben Hogan has started doing this a bit, though I’ve had this concept in my mind for years. Either the numbers representing irons should have a fixed area in the spec table, or the numbers should be removed from the club and replaced with the loft and shaft length. That way when comparing clubs, one could only claim to be longer against other clubs with the same specs.
“Hand me the 46!”
So, the TaylorMade 5-iron above would be called a “22” for 22 degrees in loft. Perhaps add a 38.75 to the name: 22-38.75. The closest club in the 1990’s chart above would be between a 2-3-iron, but the shaft length closer to a 1-iron.
Limit Loft/Length Ranges for Iron Numbers
As an alternative there should be limits as to what numbers can be put on what clubs should be put in place. In another 5-10 years at the pace we are on, a pitching wedge will be 20 degrees, and we will all be hitting them 200+ yards.
It would be a good idea to have rules in place stating something like “A 7-iron is a club which features a loft between (pick your numbers) 34-37 degrees and would include a shaft length between (once again, pick your numbers) 36-37 inches.”
Why the Gap Wedge Appeared and Why We Will Need More of Them
Of course, neither of my ideas above will happen. So irons will get stronger and stronger. The distance between a lob wedge, usually a 60 degree club, and a pitching wedge will increase. That’s why the “gap” wedge was invented. The gap wedge filled the growing gap between pitching wedges and sand wedges and gave golf club manufacturers another club to sell.
We are going to need another gap wedge. Let’s call it a gap gap wedge.
“The club I regrip the most is my ball retriever. Is that bad? ” ~Tony Korologos
I don’t change putter grips often but they do wear out once in a while, usually due to putting in and taking out of the golf bag. Sometimes the grips just seem to die a slimy death, when the materials give way to the elements.
I’m going to be testing a new putter grip from Portugal, made of cork leather from Cork Tree. It’s a bit fatter than my old grip, but that’s fine by me. It will help prevent the wrists from breaking and hopefully promote an even better (I am proud of my putting) stroke.
I’ll be getting the grip put on today and as soon as weather permits start putting this baby into action. Stay tuned for my full review of the Cork Tree putting grip soon. More info is below in the press release.
Cork Tree Press Release
FROM CORK TREE – THE BEST KEPT SECRET IN PUTTER GRIP TECHNOLOGY NOW AVAILABLE
SAO BRAS DE ALPORTEL, PORTUGAL – There’s a brand-new golf grip material quickly gaining popularity. The Cork Tree has debuted four new putter grips made of cork leather.
Why cork? It’s proven to be the perfect complement to leather in a grip. Cork leather putter grips provide an overall user experience that cannot be achieved with any other putter grip material known to man.Cork is 100% natural, feels soft in the hands, and improves its playability well beyond other materials when a golfer’s hands are hot or sweaty — as well as in humid playing conditions.
“That means the grip won’t slip in your hands — regardless of how moist your hands are,” says company co-founder Marc Boggia, a British PGA member. “That lets you confidently putt away without any tension in your hands and arms, promoting a more fluid stroke. Once you try it, I know you’ll agree that it feels amazing. Plus, it cleans very easily — dirt wipes away with a wet cloth.”
Cork Tree putter grips are designed and used by Championship winning Tour professionals who make their living from playing golf. There are currently more than twenty PGA Tour players using Cork Treecork leather putter grips including the winner of the recent Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa. A multiple major winner on the PGA Tour is also using the Cork Tree putter grip.
Cork’s honeycomb cell structure is key. Each cell is a 14-sided polyhedron filled with air, making it an extremely strong and flexible membrane that’s waterproof and airtight. Cork bark is about 89% air, giving it a low density. But when it’s compressed, air isn’t squeezed out, because the cell membranes won’t release it. So it returns to its original shape when the compression is removed.
The four initial putter grips include the Midsize ($39.95), Feather Light ($39.95), Parallel ($39.95) and Tour ($39.95) models. They’re all extremely durable, absorb any impact vibration and are impermeable to water.
About Cork Tree
The Cork Tree — the world’s first company to produce golf products in cork leather — was co-founded by Nuno Nascimento and Marc Boggia. From an early age, Nascimento went with his grandfather to the Portuguese familycork oak forest learning all the tricks that nature presents. He studied and tested treesto find the best cork bark, and then transformed it into cork products suitable for commercialization.
The Cork Tree mission is to maximize performance, increase confidence and ultimately improve putting statistics for every golfer using the Cork Tree putter grip. Cork Tree also strives to be a contributor to a more eco-friendly world and cork leather offers this while adding functionality, durability and quality.
Today, the Nascimento family continues to sell cork bark to the cork stopper industry from its own 500 hectares cork plantation. Conscious of its hereditary property, The Cork Tree family continues to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in developing, protecting and maintenance of the properties. Beyond cleaning and fertilizing the cork oak forest, the plantation continues to grow with some 40,000 new corktrees being planted in the past eight years.
Boggia, an Englishman, has been a member of the British PGA since 1981. He’s a golf course owner, partner and creator of Asia’s largest indoor golf teaching facilities, managing director of a made-for-TV golf tournament, distributor of golf product and head instructor of the John Jacobs’ Golf Schools. As a youngster, he practiced, played and competed near the very cork forest that’s now become the source of raw material that fuels his business venture.
The Cork Tree’s golf bag was awarded the first place award at the Golf Europe 2013 show in the golf bag category and lead to the launch of the cork putter grips.
See all products from The Cork Tree at www.corkputtergrips.com
What’s In The Bag/WITB Week Continues! So fun…
Previous WITB Week Posts:
The Truth About What’s In The Bag Photos/Articles
Why Is This Boring? What Does WITB Really Mean?
What’s In My Bag? Thanks for asking…
I field many requests asking what’s in my personal bag. Because I review so many clubs throughout a given season, my bag changes often. There are positions in my bag which are very solid, and it is doubtful that a new club will replace them. That does not mean a particular club will not be given the opportunity to oust a starter from the gamer lineup. The most solid position is the putter. Mine is hand-made by Grant Mackay in Dornoch, Scotland. I’m in the middle of reviewing an entire set of irons, a new wedge, and a new driver. Therefore my WITB is in a test mode. I’ll post both versions of my WITB below, the first being my 2014 gamer set. This is a valid WITB because of the WRX watermark. Don’t be fooled by imposters. Real WITB photos must have a watermark, since they’re such valuable assets and one must protect them from theft or misuse.
WITB – Tony Korologos 2014 River Oaks Club Champion
The Gamer Bag Above Features
The Current WITB with test clubs includes the following below:
Photos of Current Test Gear – Reviews coming soon…
Mizuno MP-T5 Wedge
Mizuno JPX850 Forged Irons
Powerbilt Air Force One Driver
New ZStar Golf Balls for 2015
Bridgestone Golf e7 Flower Pattern Dimple Highlighted
FootJoy Hyperflex Golf Shoe
My short game needs all the help it can get. Last night I had a Ouija board in action, summoning my short game demons in hopes of exercising them. That was before the shaman came over and burned some sagebrush and did an out-of-body gig. If those procedures don’t work, perhaps this new Mizuno wedge is the ticket…
Mizuno MP-T5 Wedge
In for review here at Hooked On Golf Blog is the new, and very sharp looking Mizuno MP-5T wedge. The flavor du jour is a 56 degree with 10 degrees of bounce. That’s perfect for my setup, and great for the sand.
I’ll be testing soon. Stay tuned for a detailed review, not a fly-by like other websites do…
I have a few more photos of this wedge in the Hooked On Golf Blog Mizuno MP-T5 photo gallery.