Reports of the Death of Ben Hogan Company May Be Exaggerated
By: Ed Travis
“Reports of our death have been greatly exaggerated,” Ben Hogan Golf Equipment Company President and CEO Scott Walker stated in a press release announcing a company restructuring. The voluntary action aimed at cutting costs and streamlining operations has included the layoff of most of the company’s 30 employees according to a copyrighted story in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram by Steve Kaskovich.
The original Ben Hogan Company was started by Ben Hogan in 1953 to manufacture clubs to his exacting specifications and quickly gained the reputation as the ultimate “player’s irons.” Hogan died in 1997 at the age of 84 having sold his interest in the manufacturer some years earlier.
Walker continued in the press release, “While our organization does not look the same today as it did in 2016, we are confident that the changes we are making will make us a stronger and a better company in the future.”
The release stated that at present Ben Hogan has not declared bankruptcy nor have any lenders foreclosed on outstanding debt.
In 2015 the iconic Ben Hogan brand was reintroduced at the PGA Merchandise Show with a new iron model, the Ft. Worth 15, by the new Ben Hogan Golf Equipment Company LLC after having been off the market since 2008 with Terry Koehler as president and CEO.
Previous Hogan executives negotiated a licensing agreement for the name with clothier Perry Ellis, who had purchased the brand from Callaway Golf in 2012. Perry Ellis continues to produce and market apparel under the Ben Hogan name. Scott Walker became President and CEO of the Hogan Company, when he replaced Terry Koehler in August 2016.
Three different iron models, one wedge and one hybrid are currently available in the Hogan catalog.
A check of vendors scheduled to exhibit at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando starting January 24, did not show the Ben Hogan Golf Equipment Company as having contracted booth space, but meeting room space off the main floor has been reserved.