How Would Modern Tour Pro’s Do Hitting Ben Hogan’s Driver?


The Hawk won what’s now called the Dean & DeLuca Invitational five times, and there’s a statue of him by the clubhouse. But we thought of a more intimate way to feel him: by blowing the dust off a couple of his drivers and a Hogan model 1-iron, and putting the odd, old sticks in the hands of PGA Tour professionals. Who, for the most part, couldn’t hit them.

“Forty-three inches, D-2, extra-stiff Apex 5 shaft,” said Mike Wright, the head professional at Shady Oaks, the keeper of the Hogan flame and of his old locker. “This one’s persimmon, this one’s laminated. Tipped. Zero bulge and roll.”

[Stewart] Cink, 44, who was among the last on tour to use a flammable club, tried to hit a hook. Did he ever; the ball veered like a drunk driver swerving five lanes left. His next two tries sliced right, over the yellow ropes and into the rough on Colonial’s adjacent fifth hole. Chris Stroud, practicing next to Cink, laughed. Then he tried the half-century old club, and laughed again, as he, too, swatted a couple hard to the starboard side.

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