Perry Ellis International, via a licensing agreement with Eidolon Brands LLC, announced today that the iconic Ben Hogan brand will begin making golf clubs again in 2015, with the brand being based in Fort Worth. Terry Koehler, president and chief executive officer of Eidolon Brands, is a lifelong Ben Hogan devotee and former director of marketing of the Ben Hogan Company. He is also the architect of the SCOR4161 product line, a line of wedges and set-match short irons. “Our acquisition of Ben Hogan in 2012 has led to an impressive increase in distribution from zero to over 4,200 doors across North America, and this spring we launched a new collection of apparel and accessories at retail,” said Oscar Feldenkreis, president and chief operating officer of Miami-based Perry Ellis. “Eidolon’s core management team, possessing over 150 years of Ben Hogan Company experience in manufacturing, sales, product development and marketing, are the ideal team to bring the Ben Hogan name back to its historic leadership position in the equipment industry,” said Feldenkreis. Koehler has assembled a research and development team based in Fort Worth, where Ben Hogan golf clubs were first produced. The new Ben Hogan clubs will be introduced in 2015 with global distribution targeted in traditional golf equipment channels, including green-grass and better golf specialty shops.
For Koehler, creating the ‘new’ Ben Hogan Company represents an opportunity to honor the legacy of two of his heroes: his father and Hogan. “My golf life began with an introduction to Mr. Hogan’s values and principles from my father,” Koehler said. “He played with Mr. Hogan before the war and considered him a true hero, so I did too. I grew up with ‘Power Golf’ and ‘Five Lessons’ as my golf textbooks, and always played Hogan irons from my very first cut-down 5- and 9-iron. To partner with Perry Ellis International and to be in a position to assemble and lead a team of equally committed Hogan disciples is an honor I could not even have imagined.” According to Koehler, an R&D team has already been working on the new BenHogan club designs, and the first offerings are targeted for introduction in 2015.
“We are studying all the things Mr. Hogan believed about golf clubs, and dissecting early Ben Hogan designs to understand his performance principles and knowledge of what a golf club should do,” explained Koehler. “There was a wealth of genius in those early clubs. Our commitment to the Ben Hogan legacy is to ensure that every product delivers unmatched precision and dedication to the art of shotmaking, providing equipment that allows golfers of all abilities the opportunity to optimize their skills.” The Ben Hogan Company was founded in late 1953, following Hogan’s unprecedented season in which he won golf’s Triple Crown. The company’s first set of irons, named “Precision”, was introduced in 1954. For over forty years, Ben Hogan irons were instrumental in hundreds of victories on all the professional tours and were favored by thousands of club professionals and top amateur golfers. The company was moved from Fort Worth in the early 1990s, only to return for a short time a few years later. No golf clubs bearing the Ben Hogan brand have been introduced to market during the past seven years.
Koehler emphasized that the “new” Ben Hogan Golf Equipment Company would be based in Fort Worth, rather than at Eidolon Brands’ headquarters further south in Victoria, Texas. “Ben Hogan and his golf company were, and always should be, Fort Worth treasures,” said Koehler. “We even recently moved our SCOR4161 production facility to Fort Worth in anticipation of returning the Ben Hogan Company to its rightful and historic place in the top tier of golf equipment brands.” – Robert Francis