Hogan Equalizer II Wedges – Key Takeaways
- Hogan’s new Equalizer II wedges characteristic Progressive Heart of Mass, barely bigger head, and thinner prime line in comparison with the unique Equalizer.
- Non-compulsory Texas Grind sole provides excessive heel and toe aid for open face pictures and assistance on tight lies.
- Designed by legendary Hogan membership builder Ronnie McGraw.
The up to date Ben Hogan Equalizer II wedges spherical out a busy spring for Hogan. Up to now month, we’ve seen a brand new mallet, new putter end choices and final week’s recreation enchancment Edge EX irons.
To make sure, none of it has been earth-shatteringly revolutionary or significantly modern. However for an organization that went bankrupt just a little over 4 years in the past, the brand new releases are all wholesome very important indicators. As for the brand new Equalizer II wedges, they too are neither earth-shatteringly revolutionary or significantly modern.
It’s, nevertheless, a nice-looking 1025 solid wedge with sufficient CG and grind options to be fascinating. The Equalizer II can also be the ultimate piece of Hogan’s visible rebranding, as your entire lineup now options the long-lasting Hogan sunburst emblem. And for true Hogan aficionados, the identify of the membership designer – one Ronnie McGraw – is unquestionably interesting.
Relying on the way you view your golf gear, logos and designers could matter neither a jot nor a tittle. However relying on the way you view your wedges, there could also be sufficient to the Equalizer II to warrant your consideration.
Let’s take a peak, we could?
Hogan Equalizer II Wedges: A McGraw Unique
“Ronnie McGraw really designed these wedges for us,” says Hogan CEO Scott White. “He labored with Gene Sheeley at Hogan again within the previous days.”
Gene Sheeley was Ben Hogan’s private membership maker, and McGraw was employed by the unique Hogan Firm again in 1980 as Sheeley’s assistant. Over time, McGraw constructed golf equipment for Mr. Hogan himself, in addition to Hogan tour staffers, together with Tom Kite and Corridor Sutton. The truth is, Sutton’s Be the proper membership in the present day! six-iron from the 2000 Participant’s Championship was a part of a particular set of ’99 Apex irons hand-ground by McGraw.
The up to date Equalizer II is harking back to these ’99 Apex blades, to not point out the more moderen Hogan ICON blades. It includes a distinct blade-on-blade look that frees up only a contact of perimeter weighting.
“We affectionately name that the ‘racetrack’ design,” says White. “It removes some perimeter weight and permits us to maneuver it the place we want it.”
Progressive Heart of Mass
Wedge design hasn’t actually modified a lot since Gene Sarazen’s well-known sand iron from practically 90 years in the past. Yeah, there are grind evolutions and groove improvements, however the one frequent development we’re seeing is increased CG’s to advertise spin and management flight. Hogan calls it a Progressive Heart of Mass.
“It’s not significantly distinctive, but it surely does work,” says White. “If you transfer the middle of mass up the clubface, it produces a decrease present trajectory.”
McGraw’s “racetrack” design frees up just a few grams of discretionary weight. That weight is then repositioned to particular areas within the numerous lofts. The decrease lofted wedges have increased facilities of mass. As lofts get increased, the middle of mass strikes decrease.
As with the unique Equalizer, the brand new Hogan Equalizer II wedges are 1025 solid. The blade size is barely longer and the face itself is fractionally taller than the earlier fashions, which Hogan says creates a barely bigger hitting space. There’s a touch of a high-toe look to the Equalizer II, however to the delight of many and possibly the chagrin of some, Hogan didn’t go for full-face grooves.
“It’s incrementally larger, not a dramatic factor,” says White. “They do have a little bit of a excessive toe, but it surely’s not excessive. They’re nonetheless very conventional and basic wanting.”
The blade-on-blade look does present a noticeably thinner prime line in comparison with the earlier Equalizer. The offset, nevertheless, is nearly the identical.
The Texas Grind
White admits that whereas the Equalizer II grooves are essentially the most aggressive the USGA and R&A will permit, there’s no particular story to inform there.
The only grinds, nevertheless, are a special story.
The usual Equalizer II lineup options Hogan’s V-Sole, with a high-bounce vanguard and decrease bounce trailing edge. However the Equalizer II additionally options an optionally available Texas Grind.
“This can be a pet undertaking inside a pet undertaking,” says White. “We have now a whole lot of good gamers within the workplace who like to grind their very own wedges to what they like. They usually all saved touchdown on the identical design with a whole lot of heel and toe aid. So, we had Ronnie develop this for us, and it caught.”
That excessive heel and toe aid is designed to assist gamers choose pictures extra cleanly off tight lies. And for the extra imaginative wedge participant, it means that you can open the clubface approach up.
It’s truthful to ask simply what’s the enchantment of the Equalizer II wedges. First, there’s worth. It’s a stable, nice-looking solid wedge priced consistent with Hogan’s factory-direct pricing. However for historical past buffs, the thought of taking part in a wedge designed by a man who constructed golf equipment for Ben Hogan himself may simply be too cool to cross up. Certain, historical past doesn’t get the ball within the gap, however for some, it’d make the journey a bit extra enjoyable.
“Ronnie McGraw is a type of true grasp craftsmen,” says White. “He and Mike Taylor (former Hogan and Nike membership maker, now “The Man” with Artisan), guys like which can be few and much between these days.”
Hogan Equalizer II Wedge: Specs, Pricing & Availability
The brand new Ben Hogan Equalizer II wedges will probably be accessible for righties in even-numbered lofts starting from 48- as much as 62-degrees. They’ll be accessible in each nickel-chrome and Diamond Black Steel finishes. The Texas Grind choice will probably be accessible in nickel chrome solely, in 50-, 54- and 58-degree lofts.
There’s excellent news, form of, for lefties. The Equalizer II will probably be accessible in 50-, 54- and 58-degrees lofts for southpaws, in nickel chrome solely. The Texas Grind won’t be accessible in left-handed fashions.
The Equalizer II wedges might be loft adjusted up or down two levels. Loft, lie and size changes aren’t any further cost.
As a result of Hogan custom-builds all the pieces, there isn’t any inventory shaft. Hogan’s shaft providing consists of the True Mood Dynamic Gold in R-, S- and X-flex; the KBS Tour V in S- and X-flex, the KBS Tour 90 in R- and S-flex and the UST Recoil graphite in A-, R- and S-flex.
And as all the time, you will get any grip you need so long as it’s the Hogan-branded Lamkin Z5 in both customary or midsize.
The Equalizer II wedges promote for $125 in nickel-chrome and $130 in Diamond Black Steel. There’s no upcharge for graphite.
You’ll be able to organize them beginning in the present day on BenHoganGolf.com in North America and BenHoganGolf.eu in Europe. Hogan expects to start out delivery them by the top of April.
Hogan Equalizer II Wedges