Offered here is the most significant set of irons to ever grace our auction
block - or quite possibly, any auction block.
These are Ben Hogan's actual set of MacGregor irons from his magical 1953 Season
- when Hogan won all five official events that he entered, including the Masters
Tournament, U.S. Open and British Open.
And this isn't just any Ben Hogan iron set that he may have used once or twice.
These are Hogan's actual "working" set from 1953, when he not only won 3 Majors,
but was fine tuning his idea for the perfect golf club. Hogan fulfilled his
lifelong goal by forming the Ben Hogan Golf Company in late 1953.Once the Ben Hogan Golf Company was formed, Hogan, of course, never used
MacGregor clubs again. Therefore, since all of Hogan's used MacGregor clubs date
to 1953 and before, they are coveted by collectors.
The offered set is one of only three
Ben Hogan "Personal Model" MacGregor iron sets known to
exist, and the only set in private hands. Those two other sets are owned by the
USGA Museum and Merion Golf Club - the site of Hogan's 1950 U.S. Open victory.
We were most interested in the USGA Museum set, as it also dates to 1953. According to the USGA Museum, that barely-played set was used by Hogan
during his historic 1953 season. The USGA recently granted us access to their 1953
Ben Hogan set, which is displayed in the Ben Hogan Room at the USGA Museum in
Far Hills, NJ.
So what happened when we closely inspected the USGA Museum set? Well, let's just
say that we were in for the shock of our collecting lives!
It turns out that the USGA Museum set of Ben Hogan's
1953 irons is
actually a partially mixed set - it is missing the original 9 iron (Ben Hogan
"Personal Model" 1037) that matches
the rest of the set. When our own Bob Zafian brought the offered Ben Hogan irons
to the USGA Museum to compare with the Museum's set, guess what we found? YES! - the missing 9 iron from the USGA Museum set
is in our possession and is included with our set of Ben Hogan's 1953 irons.
Quite significantly, while the USGA Museum set shows little use, our irons (with
the exception of that 9 iron, which also doesn't show much use) are what we
believe to be Hogan's actual "working" clubs from one of the greatest seasons in golf
history. You want to know how Hogan came up with "the Secret"? It was by
pounding thousands of balls on the range and at the course with clubs like
these. Just inspecting these irons brings back the memory of Ben Hogan; the
well-worn irons exhibit a extreme amount of use, and underwent an extraordinary
amount of the Hawk's famous tinkering. Every amount of custom clubwork
imaginable has been performed on these clubs - the soles, heels and bounce have been ground, the
hosels bent, the lofts and lies altered, and a substantial amount of lead weight
added. Most of the grips appear to also contain the reminder wire for which
Hogan was known to use on occasion.
These Ben Hogan irons are attributed to Hogan's magical 1953 season. Six of the
seven clubs (3 iron through 8 iron) are identical Ben Hogan "No Series Number"
"Personal Model" irons exhibiting an extreme amount of use, and the seventh club
is a Ben Hogan Series 1037 "Personal Model" 9 iron exhibiting light to moderate
Ben Hogan's 1953 irons are being offered today by former PGA Tour and Champions
Tour player Jimmy
Powell. They have been Powell's most cherished possession for well over 35
years, and originally were given by Hogan to his best friend Dennis Lavender. Lavender.
Letter of Provenance from Jimmy Powell. Letter of Authenticity
from Green Jacket Auctions.
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