Feed on
Posts
Comments

On October 5, 1953, Ben Hogan composed a letter indicating his intention to bring a personally designed set of precision gear to the golfing public.  His goals were clear: best performance, best feel when contacting the ball, best visual appeal, perfect overall weight, perfect swing weight, perfect balance throughout the set.  To achieve these goals, he found it acceptable to charge a premium and to take his time optimizing and refining the design.  Also of note is what Hogan left unsaid; neither forgiveness nor distance were mentioned within the scope of Hogan’s project.  If only the very best ballstrikers were designing gear today instead of cashing checks to endorse a carousel of revolving gear.

I’ve transcribed the text of the letter below the image. Enjoy!

*Credit to internet golfing hero “golfbulldog” for sourcing this image (obviously it appears to have originated from a Hogan advertisement but his post is where I first saw it).

“Oct. 5, 1953

Dear Pro:

I am writing you for several reasons, one of which is to confirm the rumor that I am going into the business of manufacturing golf clubs.  Another is to tell you what kind of clubs I will produce and to ask for your cooperation and support.

After having spent many, many, months with engineers, metallurgists, and design experts to determine the best performing, the best feel for contacting the golf ball, and with the best eye appeal, I believe I have the finest golf clubs ever made.  Experienced machinists have designed and made the most complex and intricate tools to produce these precision clubs.  These clubs shall be as near perfect as modern day tools and instruments can perform.  Also, each club shall have the perfect over-all weight and swing weight to produce the ultra in a balanced set.  All of this, of course, will be accomplished on the most sensitive scale.

Because of such rigid specifications employed, and the precision methods used, these clubs will take a little longer to make and naturally will cost a fraction more.  I believe, however, that the golfing public will pay a little more and wait a little while for such a set of jewels.  I expect to begin shipments in early spring.

I want to assure you that if you are not completely satisfied with the appearance and quality of my clubs that you may return them for credit after inspection.

Thanking you for your cooperation and support, and with all good wishes and kindest personal regards, I am

Sincerely,

Ben Hogan”

3 Responses to “A Letter From Mr. Hogan”

  1. Avatar of Blade Junkie Blade Junkie says:

    Dammit – that just makes me want to own a set. First thing I did after reading that was go to eBay and type “Hogan Precision” in the search box … what a beautiful blade … sigh …

  2. Avatar of freddiec freddiec says:

    Good point about how the “professsional” players used to design the clubs players wanted to play (Penna, Nicklaus, Hogan, D.Graham, ect). Thats not the case anymore, they are incentivized in other says ($). Nicklaus designed irons in the 80s and I know Nick Faldo helped design the MP29, or atleast had a good part in it. Who was the last player who designed a great iron?? Anybody know. Now everything is “Tour inspired”. Whatever that means.

  3. [...] We recently payed respect to the founding of the Ben Hogan Golf Company in 1953 and I believe these clubs to have been produced right around the time of his introductory letter.  Prior to the first commercial release of Hogan Precision irons (the long hoseled “crescents” from 1954-1955), a  small number of prototype irons and woods were stamped “Experimental” and delivered to Mr. Hogan himself for a test drive.  The purpose of these early prototypes was to give Mr. Hogan a chance to evaluate the shape, feel, and quality of the gear he was soon to put his name on.  PGT member and Hogan aficionado drewspin linked these clubs to the following passage in James Dodson’s biography, Ben Hogan: An American Life. The excerpt is taken during a press conference held July 21, 1953 on Hogan’s return trip from his British Open victory at Carnoustie: [...]

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.