When the Ben Hogan brand was reborn and introduced its new products to the world in 2015, it garnered quite a bit of attention. After all, the Hogan brand was one that resonated with golf fans. When the Ft. Worth irons were unveiled, they brought back many fond memories; however, they did not exactly look like your father’s Ben Hogan irons. The brand has expanded their irons to multiple lines and finishes, but yet there still wasn’t that full-on classic Ben Hogan blade iron. That all changes today with the announcement of the new ICON irons.
These are your father’s Ben Hogan irons. I can hear my father now when he hears about this release; it will go something like this, “I have a set of those in the basement.” Honestly, he’s not wrong, and he probably has two sets of them. The styling of the ICON irons will likely strike that nostalgic chord with many. Even if you are not a golfer who only dates back to the ’90s, you only need to look at the 1999 Hogan Apex irons to see the resemblance.
Don’t think for one second that these are just a classic remake because Ben Hogan did incorporate some of their modern technology to make these blades a bit friendlier than the ones Mr. Hogan enjoyed playing so much. By looking at the back of the ICON irons, there is some visible movement of mass and center of gravity manipulation taking place. This redistribution is known to the brand as a “Progressive Center of Mass,” and is put in place to help players achieve a consistent and optimal ball flight in both length and trajectory. Similar to what we have seen lately in wedge designs, the scoring clubs have weight higher in the clubhead to help produce a lower ball flight and increased control. In contrast, the mid and long irons have weight positioned lower in the head to accomplish a higher trajectory and more spin.
Featured underneath is the V-Sole, which has become a staple of the Ben Hogan line. For those that are unfamiliar with this design, we see a high-bounce leading edge with a lower-bounce trailing edge to promote forgiveness and prevent digging. Having played clubs with a V-Sole in the past, I can tell you it certainly does help. Not only does contact feel great from the fairway, but it also helps the club cut through the rough, which helps on days when your driver is not cooperating. According to Scott White, Ben Hogan’s CEO, “Serious players can take comfort in knowing that ICON gives them the opportunity to hit their mark on every shot while feeling the satisfying pureness of flush contact.”
If you have gotten to this point, you might have already concluded that the ICON irons are created for the upper echelon of players out there. Blade irons aren’t geared towards golfers looking for a jump in distance or forgiveness. They are there for those who are looking for complete control and consistency. You won’t find a 30? 7-iron here. Instead, Ben Hogan’s loft structure sticks to their tradition, which is a consistent four-degree loft separation with the 4-iron coming in at 22? and the PW sitting at 46?. These more traditional lofts should come as no surprise to anyone considering the mold of these irons.
These ICON irons from Ben Hogan are going to be available in two different finish options, chrome, and back DBM. Chrome will maintain that classic look to them, while the DMB finish has shown to wear well on the Ft. Worth irons, but be aware that after some time, there will be some lightening up on the face and sole. Both finishes are likely to draw some double takes by your playing partners.
As has been the case with the new Ben Hogan brand, their pricing is more wallet-friendly due to their direct to consumer model. Traditionally speaking, when we see a company introduce a new set of blade irons, we are looking at price tags that jump over that $1,000 mark. With Ben Hogan, that is not the case as these come in at a price tag of $770(chrome) and $800(black) for a set of 7 irons. While the direct to consumer model could make it hard to gather some in-hand experiences, Ben Hogan does offer a risk-free demo program. Keep in mind that Ben Hogan entered into a partnership with Club Champion this year, which provides golfers another avenue when it comes to demo and fitting opportunities.
Price: $770 – Chrome
$800 – Black DBM
Pre-order: Chrome available for pre-order now and Black DBM pre-order TBD
Shafts: No-Upcharge Steel and Graphite Options
More information is available at www.benhogangolf.com