The rebirth of Ben Hogan Golf Equipment (or MacGregor)

If Callaway were to sell Ben Hogan Golf to a “golfing philanthropist” (ie. some apparently foollish billionaire looking to become a millionaire ) - what would you advise to set about re-establishing the brand?

Why does the brand inspire the real loyalty in a few whilst TM seems to inspire a synthetic loyalty in so many? (Just seen that Burner 2.0 on youtube!!) … r_embedded

Would it require a massive change in society’s values to make this even possible?

Which of the current crop of players whould you want on staff?

What marketing style would you go for to re-introduce the brand …maybe “Daddy, why were you never good enough to play Hogan irons?” (see

Do young players even know about Hogan?

The shaft is a key factor in club performance and the Apex shaft was a key factor in BH success IMO…should new BH Golf team up with the most innovative shaft makers for an exclusive deal?

Hogan used innovation in his design - would the new company just be a manufacturer of the old pieces…remember how Callaway started…making replica museum pieces (wooden putters if I remember correctly)… or would it innovate?

Would it be important to forge in the US? Or in the best forging house in the world (ie.wherever)? (remember this mythical billiionaire is not wanting to lose money - he needs to sell globally - so cost of production is an issue)

Would you consider a cavity back blade in the starting line up ?- ie. a muscleback with most of the muscle removed :wink:

Would you consider a soft cast metal blade/muscleback rather than forged if it significantly improved profit and were undetectable to the best golfers in the world?

Which names would you resurrect? “Apex”…maybe just a single line of irons …no Apex 2.0, 3.0… change the design every 2 -3 years maybe…but the Apex name stays the same…the apex is always the apex after all…the purest form of their blade…it should be a challenge to the golfer to develop a game that can benefit from precision tools…

maybe have a constant design “Precision” or “Personal” which would be exact replicas of originals…for the history buffs…

maybe “powerthrust” (with numbers for each generation to reflect the more technical and innovative side of the company - the PTIII already establishes the precedent) for the younger market??

Probably agree that BH5 would not be in the running…or directors …or producers…

Well - enough dreaming for now…any thoughts??

PS assume that this is a stand alone company - not owned by a monster corp like Callaway or Spalding…always have to fight the idea that the Hogan line is just a stamped Spalding…see…

These guys could do the work…looks like they are going for a Jim Beam style atmosphere in their atmospheric style video!

Great questions. I think this idea would go hand in hand with a split in the game which would probably be the only real viable way for it to prosper. I would see that split as the required change in societal values because I couldn’t see an across the board step ‘backward’ as the first step. The main problem is that there isn’t a whole lot of fresh income to be made from quality products due the pesky inconvenience of durability and basic functionality of design. Hogan brought out new clubs when he thought he had a better idea. Now it’s seasonal like fashion which is why marketing is so ‘important’ to these people- ‘consumers’ need to be kept ‘informed’ of the latest ‘developments’, I mean fashions.
The interesting thing about the power of marketing, and it was really stepped up in the Tiger era, is that I was fully convinced that Tiger was going to take golf back to the blade or more traditional era, yet it went in the complete opposite direction- I’m not the kind of person who sees these things as accidents. Again, there’s very little you can do to a quality blade to make it better and that’s a little boring for the short attention span generation. You can’t hide magical capabilities in secret compartments of a blade- it is what it is, and you can see it all. Not a good recipe for fooling people. In fairness, I think his influence did force companies to carry some sort of blade but that’s not where the money is for them. Callaway seem to be the surprising leader in forged blade style irons, and are apparently the number one iron on tour for 13 years if the commercials are to be believed. I’m sure it’s got nothing to do with bonus pools for players :slight_smile:
I imagine that Scratch Golf is kind of like the company that you’re talking about and as far as I can tell, they cater to mostly good players and probably wealthy ones too. But by all accounts, they’re doing a great job and are to be admired. Things are always happening until they happen, so maybe we’re in the middle of that happening and people will see the draw in how Ryan Moore operates. I know if I was out there I’d go straight to the Scratch trailer on nowhere else. The music industry has gone through a similar process that golf may be going through, and the internet has opened people up to choosing the music they like instead of it being fed to them through the radio or tv which is always going to be someone else’s decision. A place like this offers people who care about the game a place to discuss it and hopefully it can expand.
If Hogan were to exist as a company now, it’s hard to pick players who could market it well, because, well for starters, I hate marketing, and secondly the point of the company or the idea would be to be truthful about the clubs and the game, so you’d need people already like that and I don’t know who they are. Off the top of my head I’d say David Duval and Geoff Ogilvy, both of these guys are always straight in interviews and aren’t really interested in playing the roll of who they’re supposed to be. But this kind of product is a lifestyle thing, and asking if it would require a cultural shift is right on as it is definitely about culture. Which is also why it probably would require a billionaire who’s looking to become a millionaire in order to get it started. But sacrifice is a tough sell these days. Which is also the point, there just isn’t a 30 minute abs for golf- there isn’t even a 30 minute abs for abs, but apparently that’s irrelevant.
It would also require, I think, big names from the games history- I reckon Jack is RIPE for the picking- he’s sick and tired of how the game is played but because his voice is so important to the survival of the game or the tour, I get the distinct impression that he is silenced or silences himself. Listening to him commentate at the Memorial every year seeing the ball destroy his course you can just hear him getting madder and madder. The last hole in particular has been ruined and I know he hates it.
I’m not sure if any of that helps, but I’m awfully fond of a sunday morning, coffee fueled rant every now and again…
Cheers, and again, great questions and wonderings!

Will Big Marketing find a way to marginalize Mr. Nicklaus and his concerns?
Has it already begun?

Thanks for joining in my little dream… I think that some of the really great shots of yesteryear are being written out of history…if there are no clips on youtube then it never happened!!!

And even when there are loads of clips of Hogan v Snead in Houston…all the young guys say is “Hogan hit a 5 iron 155 yards…Dude …how lame is that”…or something along those lines…thinking that he wa smaxing out his 5 iron for 155 yds…and so much more misunderstood…

I have never seen a clip of Seve hit that classic 250 yds from a bunker in 1983 Ryder Cup… (Nicklaus said it was the greatest shot he ever saw)

I saw a magazine try and recreate a famous Nicklaus 1 iron shot to a green to win (i forget…probably Us Open) and they got the club pro and club champion to have a go…got nowhere near…using the same clubs and an oldish ball…

There ought to be a contractual part of the post fed-ex season where the top players had to play an old course with old gear (TRGA rules) and see how they do…then when they start comparing players from different eras we get some idea of skill…get the top 50 guys with enough sponsorship money and they would turn up!! Maybe AUgusta of the old tees…or one of the other old courses where people might have some idea as to how they used to set them up…

BOM - I agree… cultural values are at the heart of it…I like your music comparison…internet allows access and minimal costs… the further the pro game (music or golf) gets detached from real life the more one might expect the internet minnows to start to take over…

but I think it might take Tiger to fail to get Nicklaus record, fail to “own” his swing like Moe or Hogan…and come out and admit failure at the age of 50…then spend the rest of his life learning golf swing again and devoting his vast wealth to producing great forged irons…:slight_smile: and forcing the USPGA senior tour to adopt TRGA rules so he can dominate again and even in better style because he is already used to the gear!

I think the fact that Hogan had 2 classic instructional books at the time - esp. Modern Fundamentals in 1957 - so that a player could buy the swing and buy the clubs…getting really close to Hogan …at least in theory.

the rebirth of Hogan company I think would have to be tied to sale of the secret to great ball striking…

And tied to the challenge that any recent course record holder had better do it with old gear or it doesn’t stand… :wink:

Thats pretty much spot on - you cant sell a new blade every 6 months and praising it as longer/more accurate - whatever your thing is - people will catch up with your bogus way too fast. So the companies went the other way, where they have more room for “technological advancements”. The reason why Callaway is the current leader in forged blade irons - they threw the most money at it for advertising. Back then when they came up with their Tour X-Prototypes they advertised them all over the place - much more than i ever saw ads for Mizuno or Titleist blades. The same goes with TM - think 2 years back - when they first came out with their “Spider putter”, you read and heard about it everywhere, those things literally flew off the shelves - you saw more and more pros running around with them as the time progressed - it was literally insane! Marketing wise they did an outstanding job milking every last penny out of this product. And they do the same for drivers and irons. If you are a manufacturer and want to compete with them, you better make sure that your marketing budget is huge, that you can produce cheap and have a short product cycle, otherwise you wont even stand a chance to get heard by the consumers. And if you dont get heard by consumers, your products wont even make the shelfs in your average pro shop. Sure you can order it - but at first you would have to know that the product exists.

I read quite a bit of user feedback about the Burner 2.0 - and i´m so suprised by it. A lot of people think they look great - that alone is a reason for them to buy the product (+ add some strong lofted clubs for the male ego golfers out there and you have a big seller). I´m sure there are many people out their who think that a clean blade looks awesome but they wouldnt play it, since they are afraid of it, so they settle for the next best thing. IMO the rumor that you have to be very good to hit blades is a storyline you will find in lots of magazines/blogs - and in almost every forum on the internet. If you ask for advice on irons and mention blades, you will ALWAYS get advice that you shouldnt touch them cuz they are too difficult and most guys on tour even consider playing them. So this makes selling blade style clubs very difficult and drives these people right in the marketshare of TM &Co (if they are casual golfers who dont care much about equipment).

BTW. Dont get fooled by the video - the excitement was staged, since it was a live webcast if i remember correctly, and it wouldnt make for a good show if the atmosphere was as dull as a recession feels like! And it remembered me a lot of Steve Ballmer of Microsoft going completly Bonkers on stage (for the IT-guys around here)

Ryan Moore would be a perfect match - but he got affiliated with Scratch, which imo is a good fit too.

Modern day golf may have forgotten what equipment&specs he played, but he is still very well known and mentioned even among younger players.

Who actually forges golf clubs in the US? Are their still forgers around? What is the trademark “Made in the USA” worth if you want to produce golf clubs? You might also look into this post regarding forging in Japan: … ng-part-1/

I thought a soft cast wouldnt work so i looked it up and found this explanation from the Mizuno website:
Mild carbon steel could be used for casting, but when it is melted its viscosity is high; it doesn’t flow into the mould as well, and so does not fill up the detailed part of the mould as efficiently. Molten stainless steel is more liquid, so you can avoid bumps or not filling a recess. But also 17-4 stainless steel, the famous one, is very strong, twice as strong as mild carbon steel that is used for forged heads. The strength is good for design flexibility - you can make thinner walls in cavity backs for example - but its hardness means it cannot be forged so well; the material cracks or breaks when it is hammered.

Hope that helped - looking forward to buy some new quality Hogan blades :wink:

Thanks guys - great info on the Miura irons and the metallurgy lesson…Project “Hogan Reborn” is nearly completing planning stages…we are literally just a few hundred million dollars away from making this a reality…

The plan:

We forge all our irons, that stuff about soft cast has put that idea in the bin.

Forge not in USA …start in Japan until we need to cut costs… I like the Kyoei staff (actors?)… … re=channel …they at least look like they work in their forge…unlike Mr Miura…

if money gets tight we go to China or Thailand…depends where the board want to have a few holidays…

The line-up will have 3 consistent members:-

  • Precision
  • Power Thrust
  • Apex

and 1 varying member from the back catalogue of irons – “Classics”

 “Precision” represents exact and unchanging replica of the original irons used by Hogan - always available (unlike other “Classics”)
 “Power Thrust” is the innovative blade design for younger golfers with sequential numbered releases (unlike the Ping I and G range…we start at 1 and add one(not 5) for each design).
 “Apex” is the classic line – subtle changes only - update cosmetics etc…these have the smallest sweetspot and come with testosterone patches…for those days when you just don’t have it…
 “Classics ” will be introduced on sporadic basis – exact replicas of old models (luckily having bought the back catalogue we have quite a few options) – brought out in limited numbers and limited duration of availability. Filling in the years when we have no innovative designs for new PT or Apex.

We do not pay players to use our clubs, they get access to the Hogan notebooks…the ones in which he wrote down the results of each practice session and what he was working on…they get Lagpressure tuition in his purpose built studio/fitting centre… and as many cigarettes as they want to smoke…

Staff pros can invest in the company though - like Ryan Moore - seems good bloke who understands his psyche well enough to do his deal with Scratch the way he did it. Winning on tour with our irons will be rewarded with something (need board meeting to decide on how they are rewarded…shares rather than cash or golden irons… shares keeps them hungry for the company)??

I also like Duvall - great acceptance speach when he won the Open - really intelligent and sensitive and modest guy.

That should do the pros…

The amateur game is so advertising driven…you guys are dead right …no matter how much we undersling the hosel…there is not alot we can do to seperate our blades from anyone elses…they all use the same metal and mostly the same forges…but we can at least do the coppper underlay (I am sucker for the TN87s) …they are very soft (not convinced they are as supernaturally soft as some say) but the copper underlay acts as defence against cheap rip-offs…when you ding the TN87s and you see the orange copper…you know you did not get ripped off :wink:

If we can’t give the amateurs who use our clubs something extra…We got to punish the other amateurs for using shovels…try humiliating the better players into dropping their shovels and show how manly their game really is with tiny sweetspots…in fact we should have a Maltby Playability Index style handicap…the bigger the shovel…you actually have your handicap cut…

eg. Play MP33 and have hcp of 6…and in all tournaments you play in it will actually be 4.5
Play Callaway Diablo and a handicap of 12…and you actually have to play off scratch…

But play new Hogan Apex …and you get your normal dose of strokes…

I may have to spend some of my billions on getting into the R+ A and influence some of the movers and shakers to make this happen…damn …and it was all progressing so well until we met our first stumbling block!! :wink:

The sales staff will all dress in suits and ties…like BH used to like them to do…

Our pro staff can have cashmere cardigans - no loud colours - and our shoes…well we all know how many spikes are going on the right foot!!

This is true, Hogan did not pay tour players to play Hogan equipment. It was understood that you were playing the best gear, and you would need the best gear to play your best golf. Money should be made on the course, not off the course… and the best way to do this was to win tournaments, not win over sponsors. Hogan had some great players for years such as Tom Kite who never received any chum money.

It’s almost a bizarre concept in today’s thinking, but I think Hogan kept a lot of integrity and respect by doing so. I can’t imagine he would be too happy with what the company has morphed into.

Project Hogan Reborn- Code name, Project Mayhem.

#1 - The first rule of Project Hogan Reborn is, you do not talk about Project Hogan Reborn.

#2 - The second rule of Project Hogan Reborn is, you DO NOT talk about Project Hogan Reborn.

#3 - If someone says stop, goes limp, taps out, the round is over.

#4 - Two guys to a group.

#5 - One shot at a time.

#6 - No shirts, no shoes, no chance.

#7 - Rounds will go on as long as they have to.

#8 - If this is your first time at a Golf Club, you have a lot to learn.

… with thanks to the good folks at Fight Club.

Golfbulldog ,

I like the thread/theme.

I found this interesting, as it explained the blade on blade design, as well as showing a picture of what “underslung” means.


Got a close look at Callaway’s Diablo irons the other day. I don’t pay much attention these days to new advertised products, but that company has to gall to have “Edge” stamped on it.

Now I realize the Edge GS series is a different animal that the Apex series, or other Hogan models…but the nerve of Callaway to pimp a Hogan trademark on their stuff makes me want to vomit! :imp: RR

Callaway using the Hogan name to sell golf clubs is a ___________________

a…reason for the huge amount of noise coming from Mr Hogan’s resting place

Nice article about MacGregor Golf when it revealed it was closing it’s doors. Great look at Johnny Miller’s US Open set and good information from many different sides of the coin.


Hogan, MacGregor, Spalding.

The name remains but the clubs are not the same.

I got a beautiful set of Tourney Custom 985’s on the doorstep. One of the nicest looking heads I have seen. It will be fun
to get working on those soon and take them out for a spin. Looks like they were owned at one time a a good player from how they have been set up and a bit worn in… I like that.

The last picture of that article show Olazabal with Don White…isn’t that the fellow at “Scratch Golf” that made Two’s new clubs? What a catch for Scratch Golf, and Two.

If you knew Da Vinci was still working, how could you let anyone else paint your picture? And heck, White’s only about 40 years sold now. We gotta get him a membership on this forum!!

That’s him…he stamped his initials (DW) on my Scratch set to show he made them custom from his own grinding work, and yes, they are a thing of beauty

I also love the pic of Johnny Millers set from the US Open he won in 1973 look at the lead tape in all the right spots

I have two sets of those Cobra irons that were designed for Norman. They look EXACTLY like that set of Miller’s… I used them when I won the 96 Players Championship by 12 strokes…a real nice set…one is stamped Greg Norman (which were sold as the public model) and the other set is a rarity…it doesn’t have Norman’s name/signature on the back…it just says Cobra…I have never seen another set like that except probably The Shark would have had them…They are a sweet looking set … Brand.aspx

Had not heard about this - looks like Hogan is now a clothing label…

Thy quit making clubs in 07 I believe. And even then, they’d been reduced to walmart clubs in terms of quality.

I knew about Callaway buying out the brand from the Spalding chaos…I knew about the fact that Callaway shelved the Hogan club manufacturing side… what I did not know about was the selling of the Hogan brand (including all its intellectual property rights) to a clothing business :frowning:

That really shocks and saddens me!

Salt into wounds… I preferred it when the brand was just frozen in “Callaway carbonite”…at least no damage was being done to the brand…but to be resurrected solely as a clothing label … although I guess Hogan was reknowned for the quality and conservative approach to dressing… I would be surprised if those values are to be seen in the brand in the future…

Only recently did I come across the “well known” Hogan wine distribution set up…

Interestingly that website still lists Callaway as the owner of the rights… but then the deal with Perry Ellis is still new…

Global corporate business, with it’s revolving door of product, does little to advance the game…but it does alot to keep it expensive (poor value) …