ClubTest 2016: Ben Hogan PTx Irons
BEN HOGAN PTx IRONS
CATEGORY: Game Improvement Irons
PRICE: $1,352, steel; $1,472, graphite
WE TESTED: 21°, 29°, 41° with KBS Tour 90 steel shafts
KEY TECHNOLOGIES: Available in every loft between 20 and 47 degrees, so you can dial in gaps for the perfect set.
PLAYABILITY: This all-star blends finesse and power; mid- to low flight lets you maneuver the ball throughout the set; sole hugs the turf and cuts through rough; a freestyler -- playful across all kinds of terrain.
ACCURACY/FORGIVENESS: Trades forgiveness for versatility, but easier to hit than expected -- the small cavity gives a little room for error; thin shots get a bit of mustard; laser-guided short irons, with the ability to work the ball into pins.
DISTANCE CONTROL: Emphasis on "control" -- won't pad your stats, but provides distance on par with what guys expect; easy to lock in, and as precise as you are; superb greenside manner, maybe the best in its class.
FEEL: Sets the bar, and surpasses many player's irons; old-fashioned forged feel -- soft, resonant thump, like slapping a mattress; full shots bound off the face; light touch around greens.
LOOK: Best in the test; thin top to bottom -- closest to a blade in the category; oozes quality, with beautiful attention to detail down to the red stripes on the ferrule.
The smallest sweet spot in its class -- not much built into these irons to improve your game, except maybe tough love; mis-hits are felt all the way up your arms; labeling by loft comes off a little geeky to some guys.
BOTTOM LINE: One of the top irons tested. The PTx recaptures the vibe and feel of the extinct Hogan Apex with modern updates that purists are sure to love. Scratch golfers up to mid-handicappers looking for a bridge into blades should give them a look.