Ben Hogan WITB

For the aficionados of club history, what did Ben Hogan have in the bag during his prime - late forties and early fifties?



Late 40’s, two testes
Early 50’s, one teste.

As a guess…


I recently read Jody Vasquez’s book Afternoons With Mr. Hogan where he outlines Hogan’s specs that he measured off of his clubs - they are not that radical. I know Lag mentioned somewhere that his irons were 8* flat, but I would like to know where he got those numbers from. They were not that flat (at least the set Jody measured when Hogan was older), but they are fairly close to one another. Swingweight was measured at D-1 for all irons except the SW, which was D-4. Driver and 3-wood were D-2.5. Static weights were not listed. Let the debate about the validity of these numbers begin, I suppose lol

Irons Lie Length

2 58.5 39
3 59 38.5
4 59 38
5 59 37.5
6 60.5 37
7 60 36.5
8 61 36
9 61 35.5
PW1 63 35.5
PW2 63 35.5
SW 65 35
Driver 55 43.25
3-wood 55 42.25

Tom Wishon who is a world renowned club designer, was in the backroom at the Hogan factory and had access to the “Hogan sanctorum” and took close note of Hogan’s gear, held the clubs, and wrote a letter to us here a couple years ago.

I trust Wishon’s account more than a guy who shagged balls for Hogan… sorry…

Wishon said Hogan’s various iron sets throughout his playing career were set up with 2 " tipped X shafts…
Tom told us that in conversations with Gene Sheely (Ben’s designer) that he developed his swing around a feel that had no room for feeling any shaft flex in the swing. Hogan hated feeling the shaft bending… therefore XX STIFF. He used the tipped X’s even into his mid 70’s when he would on occasion go out for a hit.

He had a razor sharp leading edge grind, and the irons were grinded or scooped to sit 5 degrees open. This would be consistent with other accounts of Hogan having a rib in his grips at 5 O Clock. Hogan played and swung persimmon till the day he died, and the persimmons were bored out flat. Tom said his gear was about 8 degrees flat.

Wishon also noted that his irons were very heavy, in both swing weight and dead or overall weight.

I personally held Moe’s clubs, and they also were HEAVY… Paul here has held Moe’s clubs also and says that Moe swung 1 pound golf clubs. Moe hated light gear as did Hogan. I raise my hand too.

Paul is going to try and contact George Knudson’s son, who may be able to shed some light on how George had his gear set up. Hopefully he might have a few of George’s sets still laying around somewhere that we can learn something from.

As far as Vasquez, well, he may have seen Ben testing out a consumer set, and claimed that that was the set Ben was hitting… I don’t know… but like I said… I trust Wishon more than a caddyshack story as far as properly assessing gear.

Now the question is … do we overtime become what we swing? If you drive a Ferrari everyday on a sloping curving track, you will certainly become a different driver than if you were to only drive a Volkwagon Beetle on straight flat roads daily.

If we are what we eat, then we are what we swing also.

There is no doubt that you will evolve from the gear you play.



regarding the caddy v designer debate, its interesting given the current argument regarding the ebay listing of the ‘Tiger Slam’ titleists. :confused:


To clarify, I was not saying that I did not believe your numbers (if it came across that way, I apologize), but I merely was saying that here’s a guy’s numbers who claims to have measured his clubs personally and seems to conflict with everything that is being discussed on here about hogan’s clubs. Obviously, I doubt that Ben’s clubs swung lighter than the off-the-rack standard of today’s clubs. I just thought that these were interesting numbers to post.


I think in the interview or conversation with John Henrick I posted, he talked about how they would put lead tape under the grips to offset the swing weights or lower the swing weights due to the increased weight in the clubhead.

I think this is a very powerful concept that has all but been forgotten in the modern age. The goal back then was to increase the head weight, but decrease the feel of the added weight by butt weighting.

I’ll probably put together a setup like that soon, so I can speak about the concept with more clarity from an inside the cockpit perspective.

To play devils advocate for a second…

WHY would Hogan himself, who was an astute perfectionist once dumping an entire inventory of clubs because they didn’t meet his specs, spec his own production clubs with his nane on them inline with rest of industry in regards to pretty much standard loft/lies at the time?

One would think Hogan, if he used real flat gear, would frown upon the move to upright trends and the flat lies would be in his equipment as he would think it was how he learned and he wants people who buy his equipment to develop the same.

I can’t find actual specs for 70’s Hogan equipment, but I suspect they would be much closer to upright than to Lags personal specs?

I have a set of the first Hogan model from the 50’s (Precisions) and the lie angles I think are standard for that period (I’m guessing 2 degrees flat).
But the fact that the shafts were much shorter changes the effective lie angle. They are closer to lag’s specs than you’d probably think.

I also think that Hogan realised that even though he himself had some peculiar demands when it came down to his own equipment, it would not be realistic to enforce that upon his customers.
And maybe he didn’t want everybody to know his flat lies secret :laughing:

Wishon said that all of Hogan’s shafts were tipped 2". Did this necessitate that he bore out all of his irons to accept the tip diameter?

Not necessary if they were parallel tipped… but if they were taper tipped, then they would have to be bored out.
The nice thing about having a step pattern in your shafts is that you can tell by eye how they are set up.

Here are some quotes from Tom Wishon

Cool excerpt, Lag. My comment was made with the assumption that they would have been taper tips, because weren’t parallel tips pretty rare (or nonexistent) back then?

I don’t know the exact year parallel tips were introduced, but it’s a good question.


Are you reshafting your classic blades with parallel tip shafts?

AFAIK, all the hogan irons from that era accepted taper tip shafts. You will have to bore out the hosels a tiny bit in most cases due to the tapering (duh :laughing: ) of the shaft tip. At least this was the case with the hogan irons ('67 percussions) I reshafted last year.

Yes, I am putting in parallel tips and re boring. It’s a top of work, but taper tips are a nightmare to work with when
reshafting. I don’t mind playing them or how they feel with a bit higher flex point, but as a hitter, shaft flex issues,
frequency matching, spining, and all that stuff is not really necessary. Swingers however can benefit from paying
attention to that stuff.

As long as the shaft is firm enough to handle a heavy head, then I’m good to go. I agree with Hogan, I don’t like to feel
the shaft flexing at all during the swing. It does some of course, but I don’t like to feel it moving around. I also don’t like
soft grips. I don’t want any slop between my fingers and the steel of the shaft. That’s another poor trend in golf. Cushy grips.
It’s important that the firmness in your grip aid in resisting any twisting of the clubface due to off center hits. If your grips are soft, the shaft can twist ever so slightly. Bad engineering.

I figured that must’ve been the case. What are you using to bore out the hosel? Do you have a drill press?


Hi lagpressure.
PLEASE can you explain to me what parallel tips and reboring means. And what is the difference beween swing weight and the other weight?
Another thing, can’t one measure the lie angles of hogans clubs using video of his swing and v1 software?