7-iron Shootout - Hogan Magnum vs. Hogan Apex II


This is the first entry of a my new Blog Category: 7-Iron Shootout. Since many of my second shots are 7 or 5 irons, I figure that the 7 iron from a set of clubs would be a good litmus test of how I would like that set of clubs and how it would perform for me. Therefore, in this series I'll compare 7 irons from various sets of clubs in my collection to see how they stack up for me. This information may prove helpful to other golfers when researching used golf equipment. Of course, many, but not all, of my used golf clubs are available for sale at Brian's Britesidegolf eBay Golf Club Shop!

Today's column matches up the Ben Hogan ApexII 7 iron and the Hogan Magnum 7 iron.

The look: As you can see in the photos above, the Apex II irons were produced by Hogan from 1979 to 1983. They are a classic set of blades with very thin heads bearing a nice Ben Hogan signature on the back and a silhouette of his head in profile. The Magnums were produced from 1986 to 1988 and seem to be a forerunner of the hybrid-style irons with very broad soles and deep cavity backs.

The feel: I've always liked the feel of a big, heavy iron in my hands. They seem to inspire confidence in a golfer of questionable talent (like myself) and make you feel like the ball is actually going to go somehwere when you hit it. In this respect I would have to give the nod to the Magnums.

The test: My swing was actually in pretty good form this morning when I hit the driving range with these two clubs and this is what I discovered: Both clubs were about equal in distance, producing shots of about 145 to 150 yards when properly struck. To my surprise, the Apex II blades did produce the longest shots on really purely struck hits, about 155 yards.

The Magnum shots tended to drift to the left, while the Apex II II shots tended to drift slightly right in comparison. When I really concentrated on my swing, I was able to produce a draw with the Apex II, while virtually everything I hit with the Magnums went left to varying degrees. This would seem to say that a good golfer could probably work the ball better with the Apex II's.

On mis-hits, the magnums produced shots that went way left. Not snap hooks, but shots that were pulled a good 25-30 yards left of target, but still with reasonable distance. Mis-hits with the Apex II's were less predictable. Some were short, hooking shanks and some were nasty hard slicing disasters, while a few were pull shots similar to the Magnum mistakes. I would conclude that the Magnums were the more forgiving clubs.

Both clubs produced nice, high flying shots when properly struck and gave that good , satisfying "on the screws" feeling.

I think in the hands of a talented low-handicapper the Apex II's would probably be the club of choice, while the Magnums might be the better choice for the golfer out for fun and just trying to keep the ball in play.

Thanks for visiting and come back soon!

Brian Cleary

BritesideGolf.com is a site dedicated to the belief that you don't have to break the bank to play good golf and enjoy your time on the golf course

Click here to go to Brian’s BritesideGolf Club Shop on eBay

You can contact me anytime at via email at brian@britesidegolf.com

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A couple of 51-year-olds play a quick nine holes



I recently had the opportunity to purchase a complete set of Wilson Dyna-Powered Staff Model golf clubs. It included 1, 2, 3, and 4 woods and 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, PW and SW and the blade type Wilson Augusta putter. It even came with the original cloth and leather bag.

A little research and I discovered that this set was roughly a 1957 model , which is also the year I was born. I got to thinking that someday, since I play a different set of irons every time I play anyway, I should work this set into the rotation. Well, today it happened. My son and I went to our "home" course , Riviera Country Club in Holly Hill, Florida for a late afternoon 9 holes, and I packed my vintage Wilson set into the car as my weapons of choice for the day.

It was an interesting trip back in time for me, offering a glimpse of the tools that golfers who were playing 50 years ago had available for their use. It was also interesting to compare how my score with these clubs would stack up against my score when armed with more modern equipment. I expected my score to be a little higher with the old clubs and I expected my distance, especially off the tee would suffer with the older gear. Both of these expectations came true, but overall I was a little surprised at how well the clubs and I performed together.

On the first hole, a short par five, I hit the old wooden driver 225 yards into the left rough. This would be a consistent theme of the nine holes, as I hit only one fairway, and pulled all the par 4 and 5 tee shots to the left. Not really a draw, just a high, soaring drive that went a little left. My second shot was a five iron to about 40 yards out. A pitching wedge landed just left of the green and a chip and putt gave me a par.

On the second hole, a 147 yard par three, my 6 iron landed about 10 feet to the left of the flag and I two putted for a par. I was now even through 2 holes.

On the third hole I hit a 2-wood directly into the late afternoon sun. It felt good and sounded good, only I never saw it and never found the ball. In retrospect, I should have looked down the left side of the fairway, but force of habit made me search on the right. This was before I realized that I tended to pull these clubs. Still, even with the penalty stroke, I managed a bogey.

Things then started to stray. M tee shot on the fourth went left (again) and found water. A surprisingly strong and straight 5-iron found the back bunker and sloppy sand play made a complete mess of that hole.

I finished out the round hitting only one fairway, with every single other wood veering left off the tees. Poorly struck tee shots on the two remaining par threes (this course has 3 of them on the front nine) left me with a mediocre score of 49 for nine holes. Still, I took only 19 putts on the nine holes, with two three-putts and one one-putt. Nor great, but not as bad as I expected from the skinny Wilson Augusta blade.

The irons and the would felt kind of stiff and dead compared to today's more springy clubs, and although the distance was somewhat less that I was used to, just adding a club or two to the distances compensated nicely. I really enjoyed the classic "golf shot" sound of the woods (click here) and like the classy look of the chrome and leather of the irons. I also found it refreshing to use the bare minimum in putter design. It was just me, the hole, the ball and one thin piece of metal on the greens. Unlike many of today's clubs, these irons, when mis-hit, did not nudge the ball back in its intended direction. If you don't hit these clubs squarely, you find yourself digging through the weeds not very far from where you just struck the ball.

All in all it was great fun, and gave me a whole new appreciation of the golfers of yesterday and the clubs of today, and was an experiment I'd highly recommend to everyone.

BritesideGolf.com is a site dedicated to the belief that you don't have to break the bank to play good golf and enjoy your time on the golf course

Click here to go to Brian’s BritesideGolf Club Shop on eBay

You can contact me anytime at via email at brian@britesidegolf.com

Be sure to make BritesideGolf.com a regular stop in your online golf journey!

About BritesideGolf.com - Privacy Policy