About a month ago the Ben Hogan company fired all of their employees. They wouldnt say they were going out of business and instead told everyone they were reorganizing. They were going to rehire people as contractors and continue operations
Well today Hogan had to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Chapter 11 isnt a liquidation but it certainly isnt a good thing. The company owes quite a bit of money. The biggest creditor on the books right now is Perry Ellis International. Thats right, the clothing company. The club company was licensing the Ben Hogan name from Perry Ellis. Perry Ellis bought the name from Callaway who initially bought the Hogan brand when it went under the first time.
I think the Hogan brand was trying to do something incredibly hard. They introduced their clubs at a weird price point. They were not as premium as something like PXG but they were more expensive than a Taylormade or Titleist set. That put them at a weird price point that the market didnt seem to like. Im sure quite a few people decided to go with another company just based on price alone.
I think another problem the company ran into was the fact they released a blade as their first offering. No matter how much you technology you build into a blade iron people are going to believe it is hard to hit. People wont grab it to give it a swing. They expanded their line to a cavity back iron this past year. More people were willing to give them a chance. That leads me to what was their biggest short coming.
Hogan was really hoping golfers wanted a fully customizable set of irons. The clubs were offered in lofts not numbers. This allowed you to buy a 23* iron and a 29* iron as your next iron. You can set everything exactly how you wanted. Doing that though required a player to truly get fit for their clubs. This would usually add even more cost into an already expensive club purchase. This also made clubs very hard to find. You couldnt just walk into Golf Galaxy and purchase these off the rack. They were not designed to be bought that way. They allowed you to go through a fitting on their website to figure out what set makeup would work the best for you but if you are spending $1300 for a set of irons you want to swing them. You want to feel them.
I was chosen as a reviewer for some PTx irons last year. They are amazing clubs. They are very high quality. I would gladly put them up against anything else on the market. I am sad to see Hogan go. The old Hogan brand produced quality clubs. The newest Hogan brand did the same. Its always a sad day to see a quality golf club business file for bankruptcy but sometimes thats just how it goes