Since We've Been Talking About Mr. Hogan...
Over the past few months, we've had a lot of discussion about the state of technology in the golf equipment marketplace and I enjoy reading your responses and take on where things are going... or not going.
It is most interesting to me that the major brands continue to try to convince us that they can totally re-invent irons, drivers, hybrids — whatever — every four to six months, offering another "breakthrough" that is going to deliver 'x' more yards on every shot. We talked about some of that pixie dust last week.
Also last week, we talked about the very first Ben Hogan irons, a set simply called "Precision." Those were introduced to market in 1954 and began a long history of the finest irons in the game for many years. Mr. Hogan was personally very involved in every set of Ben Hogan irons until the company moved to Virginia in the early 1990s. The last Ben Hogan Apex iron in which Mr. Hogan was instrumental was the 1992 version.
But I digress. What struck me as very funny lately is to look at the "new" offering from a major brand. Look at this picture of the original 1954 Hogan Precision Irons and see what 60 years of 'high technology' has done to the evolution of irons:
Doesn't this bear a striking resemblance to one of the newest hyped irons on the market from a major brand?
I'm not saying that we haven't evolved iron-making technology a long way since 1954, because we have. Manufacturing processes, metallurgy, finishing skills... it is all much better. But just maybe Mr. Hogan was decades ahead of his time with this original Precision design, if the biggest brand in golf thought it was worth copying that closely.
I'm just sayin'...
The Wedge Guy is sponsored by SCOR Golf, where Terry Koehler is President/CEO. He encourages you to submit your questions or topics to be considered for his columns on Tuesdays and Fridays. Each submission automatically enters you to win a SCOR4161 wedge to be given away monthly. Click the button below to submit your question or topic today.
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Good luck getting that answer, slimpks. I know you've been asking that same question for awhile. Seems to be falling on deaf ears.
Are the irons you're alluding to, Terry, TaylorMade Tour Preferred Muscle-Backs? 60 years of high technology may not have done a whole lot for pure musclebacks, but it surely has for game-improvement irons and even non-mb players irons.
Him seemingly backing out of his offer in that thread slimpks linked might cost him some sales.
I'm not a fan of people not being able to keep their word. I am buying 2 wedges in the next month and was leaning towards score. But if he can't keep his word how do I know SCOR golf can keep their word about much? I'm now pretty sure I'm just going to stick with clevland as I like the wedge I have now.
Lets see if losing sales fall on deff ears too. Usually that makes people listen.
or deaf ears
Having worked in some businesses that make various materials, I can certainly understand that the shape / design of clubs may not have changed much in years but using different materials / alloys could have a dramatic change in club performance.
For once his 'column' doesn't say we all need new wedges. I'm shocked.
Yup the taylormade tour preferred look like that hogan club and they look pretty.
To be fair, there are rules that govern size and shape of golf clubs, no? What are the size/shape limitations? Obviously there were some weird or exciting designs that later became "illegal," right? I don't really know anything about it but I recall uncles and others talking about it back through the '70s.
Duke of Hazards says:
If TM is copying that classic Hogan design, they're not the first to do it. MacGregor did it in the 70's and Mizuno did it in the 80's (TN-87, MP-29).
I agree with GolfSmith, I'm a huge fan of the look of the cutaway on the tip of the muscle. I think it's probably my favorite design.
@SpaceMaNy0 . . . Ya, maybe I'm out of line, but The Wedge Guy has so much golf knowledge to offer, wish I did not so often feel like I was being SOLD. If TWG simply gave us his thoughts, without an agenda, might we not think, "Hey, this guy's got a lot on the ball. Bet his product is good too." That's the basis of this "native" content we're fed all the time, right? I don't mind being led down the garden path, but c'mon man, big OEMs are not ipso facto evil - and small ones are not all Mother Teresa. Big & small, they all want to sell us stuff.
@windowsurfer...you hit the nail on the head.
I'll admit, SCOR may have some interesting design differences that might be good for some people's games. But to imply that top wedge makers like Cleveland and Vokey/Titleist, (or as is often said in SCOR marketing "the two top brand wedges,") can't hold a candle to them, simply based on a robotic machine's testing, is just plain misleading. Machines don't hit wedge shots on the golf course, golfers do. Golfers of differing abilities.
It's okay to take credit when credit is due. SCOR has done some good things with club design that may certainly help a variety of golfers out there. They should be proud they have made it to the big stage. Congrats to them on the Silver rating in Golf Digest again. But, IMO, to constantly imply to us that Titleist and Cleveland wedges are not as good is a mistake. It just suggests to me that they think we aren't very knowledgeable. That we're a bunch of uninformed sheep. An easy mark. Well, that approach insults me.
To be fair if I owned a company that I really believed in and wrote about a topic it involved weekly. I would sound very salesey too
For the record I thinks slimpks1850 should win.
Haa, Terry is that you? Someone has to win.
Good g.. people. If you don't like that Terry pushes his wedges in his own column, just quit clicking the link.
@mschad, Amen! Since when did it become bad form to believe in yourself, your method and your products?
I apologize for the mistake that has kept the winner from being announced. We will do that this next week, I promise. aAnd we will add a second prize of a matched set of three as an apology. Watch for the winners announcement on Monday. It just fell through the cracks with all that we have going on here. It's crazy in SCOR world. As for the comments about mainstream "wedges", I'm just reporting what we find. I won't say anyone's "wedges" are bad, just that "wedges" in general are not very forgiving of impacts up and down the face. That's simple fact, and our research indicates that 75% of golfers -- of all skill levels -- report that their most common wedge miss is short. We witness that on the professional tours as well. That's a function of the thin upper face on "wedges" - period. What we make are not "wedges", but a set of precision scoring clubs for the high lofts. They are as different from "wedges" as hybrids are from 2-irons.
To continue, in this column I try to share my observations and visions about the tools of the game and the way we play it. It is hard for me to separate that content from what we do here at SCOR, because it drives our entire effort. If that offends, I apologize to any so offended. I also invite you to all send me topics that you would like me to opine on, and there is a link just below for that purpose. I'm listening . . .
Dave Hohnke says:
When We/(I) create a better club and it has proven potential and success on tour, Why in the world would we succumb to to the idea that we need to make a better product the very next year? There are only two products I want to have in my garage; a Paganni and a GT-40. Do you think a new Chevy will outperform either one? When you make the best product in the world you don't need to be tweaking it. gimme a call and get me a grip MH 812-336-3283
Dave Hohnke says:
I forgot to mention my mindset about everything in life; Buy the best and never look back, or question it's integrity. If I am making the best product in the world why would I even consider trying to improve it unless it wasn't what I promoted it as???? MH
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