• Club maker Ben Hogan Golf Company files for bankruptcy
• The company laid off majority of its workers on January 3
• The brand name was acquired by Terry Koehler in mid-2014
The company, based in nine-time major champion Hogan’s hometown of Fort Worth, Texas, filed with the US Bankruptcy Court listing assets and liabilities of between $1m and $10m, according to the Dallas News.
Less than ten employees are remaining at the Ben Hogan Golf HQ after 30 workers were laid off on January 3, with a statement calling the move ‘re-tooling and right-sizing in an effort to become more nimble and profitable’.
Hogan launched the company in 1953 following his most successful season which saw him win The Masters, The Open and the US Open.
He sold it to American Machine and Foundry (AMF) in 1960 but remained as chairman and, during the 1970s and 80s, the business employed up to 500 people in Fort Worth.
In 1984, AMF was bought by Minstar who sold the Ben Hogan company in 1988 to Cosmo World. It then sold the company to independent investor, Bill Goodwin, in 1992, who subsequently moved operations out of Fort Worth to Virginia in an attempt to increase profitability.
Spalding Top-Flite acquired the company in 1997 and returned to Fort Worth before including the company’s assets in a bankruptcy sale of Spalding’s Top-Flite division to Callaway in 2003.
Callaway continued to produce the Ben Hogan line of clubs until 2008 when they were discontinued and the brand name was sold to Perry Ellis International in 2012, who started to produce a line of apparel and accessories.
In May 2014, businessman Terry Koehler approached Perry Ellis and got the rights to use Hogan’s name for another line of golf clubs.
They returned in 2015 with the ‘Fort Worth 15’ set of irons before the PTx irons were unveiled last year. The irons featured numbering by loft instead of the traditional 2-9 plus wedges. The company also manufactured TK wedges and VKTR hybrids.
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Originally published on bunkered on January 31, 2017.