Ben Hogan Company

Jeff Sheets Golf,Club Design,Club Development,Ben Hogan,Hogan,Spalding,Apex
Jeff Sheets Golf,Club Design,Club Development,Ben Hogan,Hogan,Spalding,Apex

Model: Apex Blades (’99)
Material: Billet Forged 1030 Carbon Steel with Nickel/Chrome Plating
Introduction: 1999


This iron is one of my all time favorite designs. I had always admired Mr. Hogan’s company and had my dream job drop into my lap when Spalding purchased the Ben Hogan Company in 1997. My biggest challenge in designing the next generation of Hogan products: Do NOT design a Top-Flite club with “Hogan” stamped on it. This next club I designed must be an authentic Hogan in every aspect. I was ready to pursue this project only after doing much homework, studying every Hogan design I could find and by interviewing past Hogan Company employees. In my research of studying Mr. Hogan’s design characteristics I ended up creating the infamous Hogan iron chart using a 1-megapixel digital camera and black fabric backdrop as I photographed every iron on my credenza “photo studio”. I had two big assets available to me in the execution of the new Hogan Apex irons. The first was my CAD operator Charles Lovett who had a keen eye for blades after he had been hired away from Mizuno. The second was my prototyping contractor Tom Stites, an ex-Hogan R&D staffer who would convert our CAD files to hittable specimens. The ’99 Apex is the epitome of a Hogan forged iron design. It was the first Hogan iron to be forged by Endo Manufacturing in Japan. Stite’s group, Impact Engineering, did such a fine job on the final prototypes that we were able to laser scan them for creating the forging dies.

Jeff Sheets Golf,Club Design,Club Development,Ben Hogan,Hogan,Spalding,Apex

Model: Apex Plus Irons
Material: Billet Forged 1030 Carbon Steel with Nickel/Chrome Plating
Introduction: 2000


I had originally been asked to produce more of a game improvement version of the Apex Plus iron by Spalding upper management. While it turned out to be a fine product in its own right it did not appeal to our R&D group or the team of ex-Hoganites we were working with in Ft. Worth, Texas. Fortunately I was able to convince our managing director that a serious players’ game forgiveness version needed to hit the market before a game improvement version did. I left the company just as we were wrapping up design, development and testing of the Apex Plus irons. The model was overwhelmingly received by the Hogan faithful but we had a challenge getting them to perform up to expectation with the Apex shafts. Forged by Endo Manufacturing in Japan.

Jeff Sheets Golf,Club Design,Club Development,Ben Hogan,Hogan,Spalding,Apex

Model: Special Wedges
Material: Billet Forged 1030 Carbon Steel with Nickel/Chrome Plating
Introduction: 1999


When I first began working on the Hogan Special Wedges I was presented a set of prototypes that Tom Stites had produced at Impact Engineering. While each model was classic yet unique in its own right the wedges tended to split into two different sets based on their face profiles. We managed to get them blended together into an offering of seven different lofts exclusive of the forever popular Sure Out. This family was truly a beautiful set from their styling, engineering, manufacturing and finishing. Forged at Endo Manufacturing in Nigata, Japan.