Ben Hogan the golfer may have been legendary for hitting long irons, but Ben Hogan the golf equipment company knows everyday golfers need help getting lower-lofted clubs in the air. That’s why the company is offering two options for players looking to make the hardest part of their games a little easier.
While the Ben Hogan brand has been known for its classic looking irons, the new UiHi utility iron and the VKTR+ hybrids gives the company some additional levers to offer consumers while still staying within the classic mold of the company. Certainly, its latest iron set, the Icon blades, is nothing but classic. The single piece forging is built on some of the shaping of the 1999 version of the Ben Hogan Apex irons, said Scott White, president and CEO of Ben Hogan Golf.
“We saw that as the best-selling contemporary Ben Hogan blade model and we’ve tried to improve upon it,” he said.
While the Icon is for a select audience of highly skilled players, the new long iron replacement alternatives might make that set more palatable for more players. The UiHi is a three-piece hollow construction that features a forged frame, a forged maraging steel face and a tungsten weight plug in the sole to improve off-center hit stability. The VKTR+ builds on the VKTR hybrid model it replaces, offering a simpler construction with a traditional, compact, high-toe look with minimal offset.
“We call it a players hybrid,” White said of the VKTR+.
That “combo set” idea extends even more naturally to the mainstay of the current Ben Hogan lineup, the PTx Pro irons. Featuring two distinct constructions in the mid-irons and the short irons, the PTx Pro and Icon irons now will be offered with either the UiHi or VKTR+ to complete the set at the long iron position.
“What these allow us to do, and we’ve been getting asked about this for two and a half years now, is a combo set,” White said. “But I don’t like that term because you start off with vanilla and chocolate and you end up with mocha. Something just isn’t right. Either the long irons don’t look right, or the short irons look less like blades, it ends up being a Frankenstein set.
“The nice thing now is that everything in our line really starts to look like it all works together, even with the Equalizer wedges. Looks like what people expect from Ben Hogan.”
The three standard combinations for the Ben Hogan “players combo” sets includes the following:
PTx Pro (4- through 7-irons) and Icon (8-iron through pitching wedge); or
UiHi, PTx Pro (5- through 7-irons) and Icon (8-iron through pitching wedge); or
VKTR+, PTx Pro (5- through 7-irons) and Icon (8-iron through pitching wedge)
All Ben Hogan products are available through its website as part of its direct-to-consumer models. The UiHi utility irons (18, 22, 26 degrees) are listed at $110 each and the VKTR+ hybrids (18, 22, 26 degrees) are at $140 each. The Icon irons are offered at $770 in chrome and $800 in black (4-iron through pitching wedge). The players combo sets will sell at $785-$815.