Ben Hogan Golf Is Back Again
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Ben Hogan Golf Is Back Again

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Ben Hogan Golf Is Back Again

The Ben Hogan Golf Equipment Company, left for dead just over a year ago, is coming back one more time.

As MyGolfSpy first reported on Twitter, Simon Millington, owner of Las Vegas-based Golf Brands, Inc., has struck a licensing deal with Hogan brand owner Perry Ellis to resurrect Hogan. Over the past year, Millington has brought long-gone brands MacGregor, RAM and Zebra back to life. And the opportunity to take on Hogan is something he couldn’t pass up.

“I like to hunt these things down a little bit,” Millington tells MyGolfSpy. “So when they had the problems last year, I knew Perry Ellis and got straight to them, literally immediately.”

Ben Hogan Golf returns.

Millington says it took months to put the deal together as others were interested in taking over the brand as well. It all came together in late September.

“We’ve got all the old Hogan inventory,” says Millington. “There’s some inventory in China, which is current stock and a couple of new models. That gives us instant product and we’ll start working on new products over time.”

Ben Hogan Golf: Getting Back In The Game

Millington and his sons are working to create a new website and business structure before the wheels of commerce can start rolling again. He says they should be ready to roll within weeks.

“We’re getting into a busy market,” explains Millington. “We’re as good as anything and, ultimately, we have to prove that and get that message across to the consumer.”

Ben Hogan Golf returns.

As with the reborn MacGregor, RAM and Zebra brands, Hogan will again be direct-to-consumer with a pricing structure to match. The Hogan selling proposition will remain the same: premium, high-quality forged irons, metalwoods and putters at factory-direct pricing.

“We want people wowed when they get their product,” he says. “That’s the respect we want to earn. We have to earn it.”

The new Hogan will face many of the same challenges as Sub 70, Takomo and other DTC club brands. First and foremost is the preconceived notion that golf equipment that costs that much less than the “big names” can’t possibly be as good.

“We have to get the product right,” says Millington. “That’s the thing that drives us. Quality matters and then it’s about elevating the brand. But to do that we’ve got to get the product right.”

Ben Hogan Golf returns.

Millington has relationships with top independent club designers. Austie Rollinson designed the MacGregor MT-86 irons for Millington between gigs at Callaway and Titleist. And, not coincidently, the foundry in China that forges the Hogan heads also makes the heads for MacGregor.

The Up and Down History of Ben Hogan Golf

As mentioned, the latest iteration of the Ben Hogan Golf Company closed its doors on July 25 of last year. It was, coincidentally, the 25th anniversary of Ben Hogan’s death. The original company was started by Hogan himself in 1953 with its stated goal to make every club look like a piece of fine jewelry.

Ben Hogan Golf returns

Since then, the company has had a wild history of ups and downs. Hogan sold the company to AMF in 1960. It was acquired by corporate raider Irwin Jacobs in 1984 as part of his hostile takeover of AMF. Jacobs sold it to the Japanese company Cosmo World which would eventually own Pebble Beach Golf Links.

With sales booming following the release of the Hogan Edge, Cosmo sold Hogan to Virginia businessman Bill Goodwin who promptly shut down the Hogan plant in Fort Worth, Texas, and moved operations to Richmond, Va. Five years later, Goodwin sold Hogan to Spalding.

Hogan Edge

Spalding went bankrupt in 2003 and was acquired by Callaway. Callaway mothballed the brand in 2008 before selling it to Perry Ellis in 2012. Three years later, Terry Koehler would resurrect the Hogan brand back in Fort Worth but, by early 2017, the company would file for bankruptcy again.

Chicago investment firm ExWorks Capital acquired Hogan and reopened it in the summer of 2017. Hogan at the time was one of, if not the first, premium golf equipment OEMs operating exclusively in the direct-to-consumer space.

Ben Hogan Golf returns

Hogan thrived during COVID-19, operating profitably with sales growing every year. ExWorks Capital, however, filed for bankruptcy in the spring of 2022. Funding for Hogan dried up, forcing the company to shut its doors.

For good … or so it seemed.

What Does the Future Hold for Ben Hogan Golf?

Ben Hogan said the most important shot in golf is the next one. And, for some reason, the Ben Hogan Golf Equipment Company keeps getting up off the mat for one more shot.

“We are starting with this massive brand equity,” says Millington. “It’s been chipped away a bit over the years but there is this desire. People still want to have Ben Hogan. We just need to find more of them.”

Ben Hogan Golf returns.

Even in its heyday in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, Hogan was a niche brand. It was known for its premium forged blades and the innovative (for its time) Hogan Edge. Don’t expect it to be anything different under Millington. Hogan won’t threaten any of the Big Five OEMs or even the next tier of OEMs such as Mizuno, Srixon, PXG and Wilson.

As with his other resurrected brands, all Millington really needs is to sell enough Hogan clubs to make it worth his while. He doesn’t have investors to please or stockholders to cater to. He does have to keep Perry Ellis happy but that’s the cost of doing business as a licensee.

And The Bigger Question …

Does golf really need another direct-to-consumer company? Maybe more importantly, does golf need the Ben Hogan Company? Wouldn’t it be better just to let it rest in peace?

“Hogan could just die,” says Millington. “Some people will care. The real Hogan enthusiasts won’t want to see that but it won’t make a lot of difference in anybody’s life. I think it’s the same with any brand, really.”

Understand that Callaway, TaylorMade, PING, COBRA and Titleist sell in the neighborhood of 80 percent of all the premium golf equipment sold on this here planet. If everyone except for those five went out of business tomorrow, we’d still have plenty of gear to choose from.

Direct-to-consumer companies offer consumers a value-laden choice. Their equipment ranges anywhere from serviceable to exceptional, with pricing that screams value. The challenge for consumers is to accept that something that much less expensive can perform like the big names. And the fact the big names continue to dominate is a tribute in large part to branding and, to a lesser extent, big-money R&D.

And even though it can be lumped into a pile labeled “Just Another DTC Brand,” Hogan is different because, well, it’s Hogan. Hogan the man and Hogan the company mean something to golfers of a certain age. The hard part for the new Hogan is getting that mystique to mean something to enough new golfers to make the whole venture worthwhile.

Ben Hogan Golf returns.

“As long as we do a good job and keep elevating the brand, people will respect the brand and the quality it stood for,” says Millington. “And it’s our job to make that better.”

And the most important shot is the next one.

Postscript: If you want to learn more about the history of the Ben Hogan Company, check out this three-part podcast by the Society of Golf Historians. It covers the full history of the Hogan company from its birth in 1953 through its most recent rebirth.  

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John Barba

John Barba

John Barba

John is an aging, yet avid golfer, writer, 6-point-something handicapper living back home in New England after a 22-year exile in Minnesota. He loves telling stories, writing about golf and golf travel, and enjoys classic golf equipment. “The only thing a golfer needs is more daylight.” - BenHogan

John Barba

John Barba

John Barba

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      Dave

      2 months ago

      I bought a set of the Equalizer II wedges (50*, 56*, 62*) In December 2021 and love them … This will be my 53rd year playing golf & think they are likely the best I’ve ever owned.

      Reply

      Mike

      2 months ago

      Have 8 sets of Hogans started with directors in early 70s have 2 sets of ptx plus edge ex
      New driver and 3 wood 4 Hogan bags

      New clubs are amazing people love my driver
      Looking forward to more quality clubs. Wish them the best

      Reply

      Scott Williams

      5 months ago

      I am a 67 year old lifelong golfer in SE Texas. To most golfing Texans, Ben Hogan was the best golfer who ever struck a golf ball. He took that same quest for perfection that he had on the golf course to the golf club industry and made the best clubs, balls, etc. when he was running the company. I owned the Apex redline irons in the 80’s when I was a scratch golfer. In the 90’s, I played the Hogan Edge irons and loved them. Perimeter weighting in a forged head was a tremendous combination. I was more than thrilled when the company was resurrected. I bought one of the first 1000 set of irons (Ft. Worth 15) when the company reopened. I have since bought the PTX Pros, Edge EX irons and the Icon irons. They have all been excellent irons and I have scored 68 on several occasions since using the irons (albeit from the forward tees now). I strongly endorse them just recently replaced my worn wedges and bought one of the new putters.

      Reply

      HikingMike

      5 months ago

      “Their equipment ranges anywhere from serviceable to exceptional, with pricing that screams value. The challenge for consumers is to accept that something that much less expensive can perform like the big names.”

      Ok, except how do you get fitted for a DTC brand set of irons? How can you hit something before you buy it? Now that I got fitted for the first time a few years ago, I don’t think I’ll buy a new set without doing that. DTC can be a lot cheaper, but not cheap enough to make a mistake purchase. I will have some goals in mind if/when I buy new irons.

      Great article. Thank you!

      Reply

      Mike Carson

      6 months ago

      This news makes me so happy. Icons, PTX Pro combo set, baby! My money is waiting for them to release. Also, the fairway woods are the best club I have ever hit, including Drivers, woods and irons. The 16* 4w is the favorite club in my bag. It kicked my Titleist TSi2 to the curb in five on-course swings.

      Reply

      RATOUR

      6 months ago

      Great to see Ben is coming back!!!! Always looked stylish, slick , Very Rich looking .. I remember when they were one of the few that not only looked great but played like a bulldog over a bone…

      Reply

      Tige Floyd

      6 months ago

      Well, apparently the new “Ben Hogan Golf Equipment” company will not honor unfilled orders from their previous incarnation.

      Too bad. I thought favorably about Ben Hogan Golf Equipment as I sought out specifically their brand back in early 2022.

      Watch out for these snakes – you get bitten when they run from their commitments.

      Reply

      Rick Proctor

      6 months ago

      So glad to hear that the B.H. Company may get another chance. I’ve loved the Hogan brand most of my life and still own several sets, both new and old. The Apex irons, still in the box, individually wrapped, with a letter from Mr Hogan on how to take care of them will always be my favorite. I’ve been tempted many times to put them in my bag but just can’t risk damaging them. I have PXT irons and the last model of metal woods in my bag at the coast. They’re great ! I can’t wait to see what kind of product line you bring back. I’d love a new Hogan bag as mine is worn a bit.

      Reply

      Russ Siegrist

      6 months ago

      Glad to hear the Hogan brand is coming back again. I love my PTX Pro irons and VTK+ hybrids. Hope the company will expand its club selection for left-handers, so my sons can experience the quality of Hogan golf equipment.

      Reply

      Mike Chianelli

      6 months ago

      I have 8 sets of Hogan’s starting with the Director irons.
      I have 2 sets of PTX and one set of PTX pros. All are top quality. I have the Driver which is as good as any driver out today. I let a friend borrow it and he couldn’t believe how good it was.
      Hopefully they will do well and get some bags on tour

      Reply

      John Bierman

      6 months ago

      I purchased a set of Hogan Edge irons, VKTR hybrids, and carry bag in 2019. Although I moved on from the hybrids I still love my irons. I listened to all three TalkinGolf History podcasts. They were great! Glad to hear the brand is coming back.

      Reply

      Michael Moorhead

      6 months ago

      I have Hogan wedges and hybrids and love them…..glad you’re back.

      Reply

      William O'Donnell

      6 months ago

      I have 5 sets of Hogan golf irons. Some are like new. Grinds, Producers, Decades, +1 s, and Red Line. It is good to know Ben
      Hogan Golf will continue the tradition. Balls, Bags, Head Covers , very important.

      Reply

      Bgsby

      6 months ago

      its gotta be done in texas…dtc from usa…Only issue i had was with an icon order that wasnt to the spec I ordered. Everything was 1/4 to 1/2 in long….I’ll support them if they go back to made in usa.

      Reply

      Keith Singleton

      6 months ago

      I played Hogan CFTs and then BH-5s before getting Apex. Loved, LOVED, all of those clubs. I would easily order another set of Hogan irons if they play anywhere near as good as my old battle sticks.

      Reply

      Cody

      6 months ago

      For a DTC Ben Hogan was maybe the only with an actual R&D program. Your sub70s, Tokomo, etc do not R&D anything. Just order out of a catalog then add a bunch of mill lines.. Not sure this new version of Hogan will have R&D or not. They produced some pretty good stuff but they really burned a lot of people at the very end. They had pending orders paid for, then went under but kept the money.. Pretty stinky move.

      Reply

      Jason

      6 months ago

      CODY…..WE DO NOT ORDSR CLUBS OIUT OF A CATALOG…YOUR COMMENT IS INCORRECT…..FEEL FREE TO EMAIL ME AT [email protected]

      HAPPY TO WALK YOU THROUGH HOW WE DO EVERYTHING…..

      JASON SUB 70

      Reply

      Lilith A

      6 months ago

      Not a skeptic, rather a big fan of sub70 myself. Is there any way to get a youtube video showing the behind the scenes of what goes on at sub 70 from start to finish? Heck I’d be drooling over a video of the TAIII wedges getting milled as well!

      Jack Jordan

      6 months ago

      I played Hogan’s back in the 70’s As a young pro it was an honor to receive irons and woods from such a high quality company. I was proud to carry them in a Hogan Staff bag. While it has been many years since then I would be anxious to play them again….although with less stiff shafts!

      Reply

      Robert Funnell

      6 months ago

      Jack, same for me. As a young pro I received my first set of Hogan Apex in 1973 and then played Hogan irons through 2003. Anxiously waiting to see what the next round looks and feels like.

      Reply

      Greg Smith

      6 months ago

      I’ve been playing the PTxPros for 3 yrs and they are a very soft iron. I’m 64 yrs old and for me these are the best clubs I’ve ever owned and have no problem hitting the smaller blade straight even at my age…

      Reply

      John B Richardson

      6 months ago

      DARNED GOOD clubs!
      I have had three sets counting original Apex’s decades ago.
      NOW, I can get my wedges replaced when needed!!!

      This is good news for the golfing world.
      Give them a chance!

      Reply

      Flyover

      6 months ago

      will be one of the first to get a set of icons…was trying to order last June the week they closed. Yes!!

      Reply

      James

      6 months ago

      The website isn’t going to be live until November, but we can definitely take orders now if you want to beat the rush! Drop me an email [email protected] to get the ball rolling.

      Reply

      Herm Manderson

      6 months ago

      Please let me know when the Ben Hogan website is live-you guys are great!

      Reply

      James

      6 months ago

      We’re aiming for early November!

      Reply

      Peter Whitford

      6 months ago

      I had the Black Hogan Ft. Worths and wore them out. I played 1986 Hogan Redlines with a #4 Apex Red Shaft Band in the 80’s-90’s and wore out 2 sets. I am now playing a set of Hogan Redlines like I played before–bought them new from a collector and they are in my bag now but they are getting worn now and ‘maybe’ one season left. Hogans were ‘the brand’ we all played in competition golf and I hope they can give us some good blades with club numbers on them–specifically classic blades for us scratch players.

      Reply

      WYBob

      6 months ago

      Seeing the Ben Hogan brand resurrected like a phoenix from the ashes makes today a great day. I have loved Hogan irons since the late ’60s (when all I could afford as a teenager was hand-me-downs). I still have Apex sets from the ’90s through a set of Fort Worth Blacks I have kept as a backup set. If the new iteration maintains the very high-quality standards of the original Ben Hogan company I would without question give them another try. They need to carve out a niche to survive and I’d suggest offering high-quality forged irons on par with Miura and partnering with someone like Endo in Japan. When you have a brand with the reputation of Hogan, there is no need to muddle around with the quagmire of lower and mid-tier brands based on price. Be a Bentley, not a KIA.

      Reply

      Joe McManuis

      6 months ago

      To be cost effective it’s unlikely they will use Endo, however, there are other very good foundries who can produce quality heads for the “new” Ben Hogan company.

      Reply

      Douglas J. Hansen, PGA

      6 months ago

      I pray it is done in a way Mr. Hogan would approve of.

      Reply

      PJ

      6 months ago

      I have a set of PTxPro irons. Love them. did not know what I would do when they need replacing. So happy to hear that Hogan will be coming back. The product is first class.

      Reply

      Michael Bartley

      6 months ago

      Me, too, PJ!
      My previous three sets of Hogan blades had stiff shafts and I now wanted regular shafts three days after Callaway bought them out. No deal, so I started looking for another set of irons with the same feel and performance and the closest I came was the Callaway Diablo Forged irons. I never was really happy with those, so I decided I’d get the Hogans I had reshafted with Dynamic Gold shafts. The day after I got them back I was watching a golf based morning show on the golf channel and the host says “today we’re going to review the PTX Hogan irons. As soon as that portion of the show moved on to another subject, I ordered my new Hogan PTX irons and have been swinging them ever since and never regretted it. They have such incredible feel!
      Now, you tell me that Hogan brand golf equipment has been resurrected again. That’s terrific. I’m 79 and other than that one set of Callaways I had in my bag, I have never had anything but Hogan irons in my hands, and God willing, I’ll live long enough to have yet another set of them to enjoy.

      My old Hogans wore out (they were my third set of Hogans) at exactly the time Callaway bought them out. I looked everywhere for another new set

      Reply

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