Ran across this on Manzella’s site when doing a search for how Ben Hogan set up his clubs (spurred by a comment on SITD)
Supposed to be from Tom Wishon:
I did get to meet and spend a decent amount of time that day with Gene Sheeley, who for decades was Mr. Hogan’s personal clubmaker at the Hogan factory. Gene had a separate workshop from the rest of the factory that was sort of like the “sanctum sanctorum” and I was told that few got to venture into this workshop. So that was cool. Part of that time included being able to look at, check out and measure things on Mr. Hogan’s personal playing sets that he had used over the years.
One of the things that was very interesting was that Hogan always played X flex steel shafts, tipped 2" additional for every club. Gene explained to me that he had originally done this back when he fought a hook so badly before he found his “swing secret” that the books and magazines since then have written so much about.
As he got rid of the hook and became the best ball striker on the planet, Gene said he remained with the 2" tip X shafts because he had developed the sense of feel to where he absolutely hated any shaft that he could feel bend during the swing, and especially when he released the club to impact. Even in 1987, when I think Mr Hogan was in his mid 70s and did not play very much anymore, the few times he headed out to Shady Oaks to hit balls, he still preferred hitting these X tipped 2" shafts in his clubs.
So the point is - we develop fitting parameters for shaft fitting but when a player has a very specific feel preference for the shaft, the textbook fitting techniques can get tossed out the window!
It’s been more than 20 yrs so my recollection of the small details is not that good. Among the things I do remember. . .
I was shocked to see how sharp the leading edge was on his irons, especially his wedges. Any other player would hit 80% of his shots “fat”, with this type of leading edge grind. they were also ground very flat both from face to back as well as from heel to toe.
I did not notice that the sole angles were “scoop” which is what they would have to be if they “sat 5 deg open”.
The clubs were all quite flat in lie, also the woods bored that way. And when I say woods I mean wooden woods in his bag in 1987.
Face angles of the woods were closed, my guess at least 2* shut from what I recall. Gene said despite his old propensity to hook the ball badly, this was because of Hogan’s “new swing move” .
And the clubs were HEAVY, I rememeber - both in total weight and in swingweight.
Interesting he had 5 degree open irons and woods at least 2 degrees shut!