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The New Callaway Apex Irons

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Late in 2003, Callaway purchased Ben Hogan Golf. At one time Hogan golf was known for making some of the best forged irons in the world and today - Callaway doesn’t even have a Ben Hogan department inside their company.

 

I was never a real fan of Callaway irons until recently when I played a round with the X Hot product.  After I played the round, my comment to my playing partner was that these clubs reminded me of the Hogan clubs that I have played for so many years.

 

Now there is a new Callaway product, a new Apex iron.....

 

http://www.callawaygolf.com/global/en-us/golf-equipment/golf-clubs/irons/apex-irons.html

 

 

For the fans of Ben Hogan irons:  What do you think?

post #2 of 14
Not bad looking, but I think some will like the Apex Pros better

Hogan fans won't care for the Apex
post #3 of 14

I think the look is great, nice to see them moving away from the bulky, colorful style they're known for.

post #4 of 14

Callaway kept the Apex name and some key patents when it sold the rest of the Hogan brand to Perry Ellis.  The new Callaway Apex doesn't share much in common with the Hogan versions but it is a nice looking club.

 

It's about time Callaway paid tribute to the Hogan legacy with a premium club versus some of the crap that they sold under the name in the past. 

post #5 of 14
It is a moot point, but I would have preferred that Callaway license the name Ben Hogan to Perry Ellis for the production of clothing only, and retained control of the name and use it for equipment.

There is a market for quality forged cavities and blades, as evidenced by Titleist and Mizuno. I don't know who developed them, but the last iteration of true Hogan irons was the Apex, Apex plus, and Apex Edge which were blades, forged cavity, and "slotted" forged cavity. They were nice looking clubs.I would have liked Callaway to further develop those and sell them as Ben Hogan.

I don't know what this says about those clubs, but they sold in the premium line, around $800-1000 depending on set composition, and can now be bought on the used market in good shape for $100-175.

I like Callaway and their products and have a couple in my bag. I think they are a quality company and do what they do quite well. I do not mean to comment on their new Apex product in a negative way, as I have only seen pics on the internet. It is sad that the Ben Hogan brand has been degenerated to its present state.
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbuck View Post

It is a moot point, but I would have preferred that Callaway license the name Ben Hogan to Perry Ellis for the production of clothing only, and retained control of the name and use it for equipment.

There is a market for quality forged cavities and blades, as evidenced by Titleist and Mizuno. I don't know who developed them, but the last iteration of true Hogan irons was the Apex, Apex plus, and Apex Edge which were blades, forged cavity, and "slotted" forged cavity. They were nice looking clubs.I would have liked Callaway to further develop those and sell them as Ben Hogan.

I don't know what this says about those clubs, but they sold in the premium line, around $800-1000 depending on set composition, and can now be bought on the used market in good shape for $100-175.

I like Callaway and their products and have a couple in my bag. I think they are a quality company and do what they do quite well. I do not mean to comment on their new Apex product in a negative way, as I have only seen pics on the internet. It is sad that the Ben Hogan brand has been degenerated to its present state.

 

At the same time,  this is the Callaway Golf Company not the Ben Hogan Golf Company...

 

Two brands are difficult to push. I don't blame them. It's costs a lot of money to push a brand, much less two ...

post #7 of 14

Seems that looking at the specs even these irons have the same strong lofts that my burner pluses have. I would have expected lofts closer to traditional blades. Actually, I've been spending some time recently looking for iron sets with lofts that are more traditional and it's been hard to find any outside of the more expensive pro/tour models.

post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Desmond View Post

At the same time,  this is the Callaway Golf Company not the Ben Hogan Golf Company...

Two brands are difficult to push. I don't blame them. It's costs a lot of money to push a brand, much less two ...

True and good point, but they should be able to achieve economies and it would have expanded their base somewhat. Perhaps not push a separate brand so much as a model line under the Callaway brand, but still using "Hogan Apex" for instance with the traditional design. Of course, branding/naming and actual production of product is two different things.On the other hand others have tried and then rethought i.e. Titleist/Cobra.
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Desmond View Post
 

 

At the same time,  this is the Callaway Golf Company not the Ben Hogan Golf Company...

 

Two brands are difficult to push. I don't blame them. It's costs a lot of money to push a brand, much less two ...

 

I understand it's all under the Callaway brand but they already are effect pushing multiple lines; X-Hot, Razor Fit Extreme and OptiForce.  They could have branded the higher handicap players clubs under the Callaway name and the lower cap products under the Hogan name.

post #10 of 14

Sorry to join in conversation so late, but as a long-time player of Hogan Apex irons (since '71), I feel that golfers everywhere lost a little something special when the brand ended.  I've tried and played every major manufacturer's forged blades over the years and nothing, including premier Japanese brands, comes close to the feel and playability of those old Apex irons.  My game today doesn't justify or warrant a forged blade, so I'm not personally destraught at Callaway's decision to resurrect a name into an iron with no real linkage to the past product.

 

I agree with some others here that it would be nice if Callaway did produce something that was a legitimate heir to the Apex line, but I also feel it wouldn't matter....it wouldn't work.  Callaway doesn't really make a forged iron worth very much today, so just making another forged iron and putting the Apex name to it, wouldn't serve the player hoping to capture, or re-capture, the quality of the Hogan Apex irons.  When the Hogan Company lost direct input and feedback from Mr. Hogan, it lost the soul of what made a Hogan Apex iron a Hogan Apex iron.  

 

Today's top quality forged blades are very good...I didn't mean to imply earlier that they are not.  It's just that I've never found anything that felt as good in my hands or gave me the "ball off face" feel and control as my old Apex irons (although the MP32's were pretty close).  I'm sure there's a little bit of nostalgia in there somewhere, but I don't believe its totally that.  They were just great clubs, and I always felt more connected to the shot than just merely making a swing.  

 

Regarding the statement that it's the Callaway company and not the Hogan company, that is indeed true.  But I don't recall seeing Mr. Callaway's name on the US Open trophy either.  

post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by timberland50 View Post
 

Sorry to join in conversation so late, but as a long-time player of Hogan Apex irons (since '71), I feel that golfers everywhere lost a little something special when the brand ended.

I concur with your assessment about Hogan irons. I bought my first real set of irons in 1975. I was determined to get a set of Wilson Staff irons, but bought a set of Hogan's when they had a set with shafts that were one inch longer than standard in stock. (I am 6'3".)  Fifteen years later, in 1990, I bought Hogan's first perimeter weighted forged irons, the Hogan Edge, and played those for another fifteen years. In fact, the Hogan Edges still come out in November for my winter golfing until the birds start singing in April.

 

As a post script:  I finally did buy a set of Wilson Staff irons on eBay for $100, the Ci7 model, and was going to make them my winter irons, but they just didn't have the feel or overall performance of the Hogan Edge, so the Edge's are still my backup set of irons.

post #12 of 14

I hit these almost everyday at work ( i work at a golf stores)...they feel so great, to me they don't feel like forged, they feel soft. I have been hitting them a lot. I am getting more yrds on these than the Titleist 714 CB or AP2. I'm getting more yrds with these than all of the mizuno's as well. They looks nice, simple, sleek. I am going to probably purchase these soon.

post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbuck View Post


True and good point, but they should be able to achieve economies and it would have expanded their base somewhat. Perhaps not push a separate brand so much as a model line under the Callaway brand, but still using "Hogan Apex" for instance with the traditional design. Of course, branding/naming and actual production of product is two different things.On the other hand others have tried and then rethought i.e. Titleist/Cobra.

I do like the look of the new callaway apex.

 

Some of you may also be missing the fact at the time that callaway began stripping parts, pieces and personal that were not contributing to profitability, one of which was The Hogan company. Callaway was sinking and pissing away money in the form of lost revenue and market share. In Callaway's hey day they were a 1.4 billion dollar company, now they are about half the size. They lost market share due some poor acquisitions, their ball business, over inventoried of older clubs and a poor marketing use of names like razor and diablo etc.  Callaway was not healthy at all and scaled back to clubs as a necessity. With the exception of taylormade/adidas/adams  & maybe Ping there are very few club companies making $$ today in a flat to down market. Many other of these companies had to sell themselves or merge  they too would be in trouble. Now in order to stay afloat they need to make new different  innovative product every 9 months and hope they sell it.  TM has done a remarkable job over the years, but now its beginning to catch up, they effectively are selling against themselves at times.

 

Now as far as Hogan is concerned, the name has merit. But in todays market do you think those orange puma hat wearing wanna bies are thinking of Hogan when it comes to golf or forged irons?

I didn't think so.

post #14 of 14

I had been watching the new Apex irons early release testing and then the advertising with growing enthusiasm.  Man, they looked sweet in the pictures, and not having been a long-time Hogan Apex fan I wasn't offended by the name.  Last Friday I made the trek to the Edwin Watts store up the road a bit with the aim of finally getting my hands on the clubs and giving them a try. 

 

Honestly, I'm not sure what it is about them in the "flesh" but as I handled them all the excitement just faded away.  In the end, I stuck them back on the rack and walked out without even giving one a swing.  They sure looked... nicer... in the pictures.  Didn't see the Pro version, but my game isn't such that I need those anyhow.

 

Just one perspective, of course, and what makes a golf club look okay to one person and not to another is a mystery the club makers would all like to solve I'm sure.  And this from a guy that plays G20s which are not generally noted for their good looks.

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