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Ben Hogan Golf rolls out second set of irons and new line of hybrids

By Steve Kaskovich
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A year after bringing the Hogan brand name back to golf clubs, the Ben Hogan Golf Equipment Co. is introducing more products at the industry's annual PGA Merchandise Show.

This week, the Fort Worth-based company is rolling out a second set of irons, called PTx, as well as a line of VKTR hybrids designed to appeal to a wider spectrum of golfers.

The new "game improvement" irons are designed to be slightly more forgiving than the Fort Worth 15 model released a year ago. And like the first Hogan irons, the PTx set is uniquely numbered by loft, starting at 32 degrees rather than the traditional 3-9 irons. Positioned at the high end of the market, the PTx irons are priced starting at $169 apiece.

Hogan says its new club design utilizes a novel "co-forging" process to provide better performance and feel than traditional cavity-back irons. The hybrids, designed to replace long irons, come with their own innovation: interchangeable weights around the perimeter of the club that allow players to customize ball flights.

Like many things at the Hogan company, the name of the new irons is borrowed from the old company, taking its initials from Power Thrust, Ben Hogan's second set of irons.

"With the PTx irons, our goal was to design the best performing clubs we could for the mid-handicap player without the constraints of cost," said Terry Koehler, the company's president and chief executive officer, in a press release.

Koehler, an industry veteran from Victoria, reconstituted the Ben Hogan golf club business in 2014 after gaining rights to the Hogan name from Perry Ellis International, which had acquired the brand in 2012 from Callaway Golf. Hogans, developed by the legendary champion golfer, were considered among the best golf clubs on the market in the 1970s and 1980s before a series of ownership changes led to the company's demise.

After acquiring the Hogan brand, Koehler said he knew he needed to be in Fort Worth, where he was able to rehire some former Hogan employees. Now Hogan clubs are once again being made in Fort Worth, at the company's facility located in the former Star-Telegram printing and distribution facility at I-35W and I-20.

 

 

 

 

During an interview at the factory last month, Koehler said the company spent 2015 slowly building out its sales organization, getting its manufacturing operation up and running and developing new products. It plans to roll out a full line of golf equipment over three or four years.

Using heads produced in China, the clubs are assembled by hand in Fort Worth to custom specifications. Koehler declined to say how many sets were shipped last year, but said that in December the plant was producing about 12 to 15 sets per day. At the end of 2015, the company had about 35 employees.

Hogan clubs, aimed at core golfers who play regularly, are being sold at more than 400 pro shops as well as PGA Tour Superstores and some Edwin Watts retail locations.

"We are trying to be the best golf club in the marketplace," Koehler said.

This article was written by Steve Kaskovich from Fort Worth Star-Telegram and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.