Most golfers shouldn’t carry a long iron in their bag. For every sicko like me that still games 3- and 4-irons, there should be 50 more people whose longest iron has a 5 or 6 on the sole.
Ben Hogan Golf is looking to offer golfers more options under their direct-to-consumer model to get those long irons out of golfers’ bags, introducing the UiHi utility irons and the VKTR+ hybrids.
Both products, available through the company’s website, are available in 18-, 22- and 26- degree options. Effectively, those are 2-, 3- and 4-iron lofts in the modern makeup of a bag, but they’re designed to replace the 3-, 4- and 5-irons.
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The UiHi utility iron, which retails for a reasonable $110, has a hollow-body design that’s larger and easier to hit while still offering the look of an iron. The forged construction features a face insert onto a body with a deep vacity and a low-and-back center of gravity to give golfers the confidence they can hoist these lower-lofted clubs in the air to find fairways and get home on long approach shots.
The VKTR+ hybrid, which goes for $140, is a variation on the original VKTR, featuring a high toe designed to encourage golfers to swing the club more like an iron than a wood. The hybrid features a bulge-and-roll face shape to help with mishits, while a variable-thickness face offers maximum ball speeds across the hitting zone. In an effort to appeal to better players, the hybrid features minimal graphics and little offset.
Of course, as more golfers ditch long irons, equipment makers are offering combo sets to encourage players to have one brand — though not necessarily a single line — to span their hybrids, utility irons and irons. Ben Hogan is packaging these clubs with either the Icon blades or the PTx Pro irons to make so-dubbed player’s combo sets, which will begin with a 22-degree utility iron or hybrid.