50 Words or Less
The Ben Hogan VKTR+ is a compact, iron-replacement hybrid. High spin. Moderate forgiveness.
After a few fits and starts, Ben Hogan Golf has found a nice place for itself as a direct-to-consumer brand that provides quality clubs at more affordable prices. Having established that it can make quality irons, the company has branched out into woods and hybrids. For this review, I tested the VKTR+ hybrid to see if it has the same high quality as Hogan’s irons.
My first glance at the Ben Hogan VKTR+ hybrid got me very excited. I prefer compact hybrids, and the VKTR+ is certainly one of the smaller ones you’ll find. I also liked the clean, gloss back crown and the tall, square face. However, as I looked more closely, the shape of the heel really started to bother me. The VKTR+ doesn’t have a nice, smooth, transition from the neck to the club head – it’s more like they glued a rectangle on the end of the shaft. Is that a little overstated? Sure. But I remain surprised that a company that puts a lot of emphasis on appearance and shape (and rightly so) fumbled this aspect so badly.
Sound & Feel
Hitting a shot with the Ben Hogan VKTR+ hybrid produces a fairly quiet, slightly metallic “click.” This is well within the bounds of conventional hybrid sounds. What’s unusual is the way impact feels. The ball feels very light on the club face. It doesn’t feel fast, more like the ball lacks substance. This feel isn’t necessarily good or bad, just unique.
I found that the feedback through the hands was quite good, but heard virtually no difference between good and bad strikes.
One thing that I often note in my hybrid reviews is that the hybrid category is now home to several types of clubs. There are pure distance hybrids that are more fairway wood replacements than iron replacements. There are still hybrids that try to do a little of everything. In the group of true iron replacements, you’ll find the Ben Hogan VKTR+ hybrid.
The thing that really stood out to me in my testing was how high spin the VKTR+ is. I tested the 4-iron replacement at 22* and was seeing spin numbers closer to my 6 iron than my 4 iron. This is not objectively good or bad, but it is important to know. High spin makes a club more “workable,” but that comes with the potential for hooks and slices. High spin will let you hold a green easily, but, for most players, it’s also going to reduce its distance.
When hit on center, the VKTR+ is capable of producing very nice ball speed. It’s not in the elite category with the pure distance hybrids, but there’s enough speed to handle long approaches. That said, this is a club that wants to be hit well. While it’s certainly more forgiving than any long iron, ball speed will fall off precipitously when impact moves toward the heel or toe.
At $140, the Ben Hogan VKTR+ hybrid is definitely attractive from a value perspective. Though you won’t find these clubs at your local shop, you can try them through Ben Hogan’s demo program or get fit for them at Club Champion. Given the unique performance of this club, trying before you buy is definitely recommended.