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

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