50 Words or Less
The Ben Hogan Icon irons look sharp in the bag. Good feel. Performance is about what you’d expect from a blade.
Given that the company’s namesake is one of the greatest ball strikers of all time, it’s a little surprising that it took Ben Hogan Golf this long to release a blade. But now they have. The Ben Hogan Icon iron is the most old school design in the company’s line, and will be an object of desire for traditionalists.
The Ben Hogan Icon irons are very pretty. Setting them down at impact, you’ll see a very straight leading edge, a slightly compact club head, and a top line that’s thin but not razor thin. There’s a touch of offset that’s very nicely shaped.
In the bag, the Icon will have huge appeal to the fans of the Hogan brand. The blade displays both the sunburst and signature logos along with the word “ICON” in small letters near the toe. The design of the iron is actually a little busier than most with four distinct tiers.
The Icon is available in both chrome and black finishes.
Sound & Feel
Hitting the Ben Hogan Icon pure feels good. It should – it’s a forged blade. The whole point is that it rewards you for a well struck shot. But good is about as far as I can go. The feel is fairly soft, it’s solid, but it’s not transcendent. That’s not a knock – transcendent is a high bar – but Hogan’s description of these irons had me expecting a lot.
Feedback from the Icon irons is quite nice. You can locate impact precisely through your hands, but these irons won’t rattle your bones on a mishit.
Much like the feel, the performance of the Ben Hogan Icon irons is good and almost exactly what I expected. Designed for the better player, these irons have higher spin so shots can be shaped left or right and will hold a green. When hit on center, the ball speed and distance are adequate. When you miss the sweet spot, expect to lose a club of distance or more.
Hogan touts their 4 degree loft gaps as a major performance feature. While there is an appeal to that even spacing, golfers should not assume that consistent loft gaps mean consistent distance gaps. Distance is the result of ball speed, launch angle, and spin. Launch and spin are the result of not just loft but the club’s CG, the shaft, and the swing. Just as with any iron set, you should make sure it produces even distance gaps for you and your swing.
The one performance element of the Icon that I really like is the V-Sole. A V-Sole design puts high bounce at the leading edge to prevent digging and low bounce in the rest of the sole to allow for creativity and versatility. This may not seem as relevant on a thin sole like the Icon has, but I still found it beneficial. This sole gave me the turf interaction I like from a narrow sole without the fear of burying the club in the dirt.
At $770, the Ben Hogan Icon delivers a lot of value for the better player who wants a traditional blade iron. There are no surprises in this set, but that’s likely to be a good thing for the target customer.