Ben Hogan GS53 Review

Learn more about our team of experts & our testing process here.

Was there any greater ball striker than Ben Hogan? Well, possibly you, depending on how well you get on with the GS53 driver… As the Ben Hogan Golf Equipment Company states, it’s a “big deal”… It’s got his name on it, but does it perform? Well, read on to find out.

Quick Jump -

The new Ben Hogan GS53 driver isn’t for the faint-hearted. As the manufacturer states, it’s been designed with the more ‘accomplished’ player in mind?

Are we ‘accomplished’? What does that mean anyway?

What Ben Hogan is getting at is that the driver has been designed with distance in mind, but it isn’t going to hold your hand to achieve it. It looks great and offers the potential for amazing performance and shot shaping off the tee…

Provided you can find the middle.

It might have been easy for good ol’ Ben Hogan, who was world-famous for hitting his driver off the middle and a long way. But will this new driver, bearing his name, work for you?

We took it down to the range, set up the launch monitor, and let rip until we’d got a screen full of lines (and wouldn’t you know, some were even straight!). The driver performed very well in some areas and not so well in others.

Anyways, we’ve made careful notes and will tell you everything that you need to know about the Ben Hogan GS53 driver.

⛳️ - How Far did Ben Hogan Hit His Driver?

Back in the day, Ben Hogan was one of the longest players on the Tour. He would regularly be able to smash a drive around 265 yards…

Doesn’t sound that long?

You’ve got to bear in mind that clubs were measured in pounds, not grams in those days. And were normally constructed from solid blocks of wood, not lightweight carbon! To be able to hit a ball 265 with that old technology is phenomenal by today’s standards…

Fortunately, the Ben Hogan GS53 driver has just a little more technology that will get the ball well on its way.

⛳️ - What’s the Difference between the Ben Hogan GS53 and the Ben Hogan GS53 Max?

It is all about the head. As you’ll see in our review, the Hogan GS53 has a slightly smaller head than most ‘standard’ drivers. The GS53 Max is a souped-up version designed to appeal to a greater number of golf players.

The Ben Hogan GS53 Max has a full 460cc head. It is around 10 percent taller than the standard Hogan GS53.

The GS53 Driver Review

So, if you’ve seen the Ben Hogan GS53, you’ll probably already know that it is super looking. But there’s more to it than just looks. Let’s roll up our sleeves, give it a grip and let rip with a few shots Hogan-style, and then we’ll come back to you with what it’s all about.

The Price of the Hogan GS53

First, let’s get this out of the way before we begin.

This is a premium driver. We don’t see the price as cheap. We see it as great value… Affordable if you will? You should be able to pick it up at about 50% of the cost of other drivers of a similar standard. Not bad.

The Ben Hogan GS53 is a real golf players driver, offered for people who don’t want to play professional players prices.

The GS53 Driver Features…

Clubhead size

On inspection, you’ll notice something specific about the Ben Hogan GS53 driver.

No, your hands haven’t grown…

The driver’s head is a little bit smaller.

Really? Yes, that’s right. If you look at the traditional drivers of, say, TaylorMade, or even the Ben Hogan GS53 Max, you’ll see a clubhead of 460cc. The maximum allowed.

With the Ben Hogan GS53, the clubhead has been reduced down to 445cc. Does it make that much difference? Not really. Is it noticeable? Yes, especially for someone used to playing with a bigger club.

Construction

The clubhead of the Hogan GS53 driver isn’t your traditional one-piece construction. It is two piece Titanium. The crown is traditionally made, the face is forged and laser welded in place.

It’s been created this way to give you more consistent speed off the face, whether you strike it from the middle or off-center. The face has variable thickness designed to keep it all lively and reduce ‘dead’ spots.

Weighting

Now just because it doesn’t have rails or weight on the outside doesn’t mean that there isn’t some clever tech hidden within.

The Ben Hogan GS53 driver has all of its weight inside. The C of G has been positioned towards the face. This gives a good launch angle and is designed to offer a penetrating ball flight, especially for golf players with a higher swing speed.

How Does the Hogan GS53 Driver Look?

Once you have whipped the headcover off, you’ll be met with something that looks extremely high quality and pretty classy. It is pretty ‘gimmick’ free. There are no sliding weights ‘go faster’ pockets or fancy tech here.

Just a shiny black minimalist sole. It is emblazoned with the big man’s name and the loft.

It’s simple, and we like it.

Adjustability

This is one area that we aren’t too sure about…

Ok, so it is adjustable. You can remove the head and alter the shaft with an adjustable hosel. This has a couple of effects.

You can raise or lower the loft by 1 degree. And you can change the lie angle by +/-2 degree.

So, what’s not to like?

Well. At the address, we found that the face angle looks ever so slightly closed. This might be unsettling for the higher handicapper. It’s also unsettling for experienced players whose ‘bad shot’ is off to the left.

While you can adjust this, it felt a little like the face angle’s baseline wasn’t neutral to start with. So, depending on your dominant shot shape, you might be able to ‘minimize’ but not ‘neutralize’.

We find that fixed internal weight is a little bit dated nowadays. Bearing in mind the other drivers that the GS53 is supposed to compete with, we think that this may be one reason it is cheaper. Golfers today are expecting to be able to fine-tune a club and alter where the weight sits. While the Ben Hogan GS53 is adjustable, it isn’t the highest-scoring in this field.

Performance

Here is an area where we feel the Hogan GS53 shines.

Modern composite drivers can sometimes feel a little ‘synthetic’ with little feedback whether you hit a good or a bad shot.

The forged face and head construction is designed to give great sound and excellent feedback.

The driver succeeds in both areas.

On winding up and giving it a fair ‘grip and rip’, the GS53 driver gives a pleasing crack that is neither tinny nor too solid. It certainly doesn’t feel ‘dead’. Off-center hits are noticeable. It doesn’t feel as forgiving as something from, say, Ping or TaylorMade. But that said, I still got a decent distance from shots that were nearer the heel or toe.

If you are looking for maximum forgiveness, this might leave you feeling a little underwhelmed. As we said, it’s a real players driver. For something with a similar price, performance, and looks, you might find the Ben Hogan GS53 Max more to your taste.

Forgiveness aside, when you catch this driver, man, does it fly? I got some great carry and roll too. The face has been engineered to reduce lateral spin (read backspin) completely but has a slight convex bulge designed to allow you to add a shape, either a draw or a fade, to your shots.

Pros and Cons of the Ben Hogan GS53 Driver

— PROS —

— CONS —

Buying Guide

Are you in the market for a new driver? It can be difficult to know what’s hot and what’s not with so much choice around. Let us give you a steer in the right direction: –

Assess your playing level

The first port of call is to be honest with yourself and ask what standard you can play to. It’s all good and well thinking you are Ben Hogan, but we double dare you to try smashing a 1-iron off the deck as he used to…

That simply isn’t going to work.

What we are getting at is, choose a club to suit your level. If you need forgiveness and a straighter flight, pick something that offers those attributes. A club is a tool, not something to aspire to.

Head Size

Head size can be crucial. It’s a fact that a bigger-headed driver is easier to hit (or less difficult to miss). They have a large sweet spot, and you are more likely to find the middle.

Twinned with this is an element of confidence. There’s a linear relationship between head size and confidence over the ball. The Ben Hogan GS53 driver has a big head, but it isn’t the biggest.

Loft

As a general rule, the higher the loft, the more you can get away with. High loft reduces side spin and will help you find the fairway. Beginners’ drivers tend to be towards the region of 12°. Those closer to 10° are better suited to more ‘accomplished players’.

With the Hogan GS53, you do have the option to transform the 10.5° version to something with a higher loft.

Lie Angle

Lie angle is another tell-tale sign of whether a driver is for a serious golfer or a high handicapper. Open faces promote a little more back spin. While this eats into your distance, it allows you to stay straighter.

Square club faces or those that appear slightly closed can prove to be challenging for the novice golfer.

Swing Speed

Drivers tend to fall into two categories. Those that work with a fast swing speed and those that help to create a fast swing speed. If you’ve read our article on graphite vs steel shafts {LINK} You’ll have seen how much swing speed can influence your game.

The Ben Hogan GS53 sits somewhere between the two. It is designed for players with a faster swing speed. But it does feature a little technology, such as the speed slot, that is designed to promote higher clubhead speed.

If you’ve got a fast swing, this could be a great driver to release a few more yards from your drive. Those golfers with slower swing speeds are probably not going to get everything out of this club that Ben Hogan intended.

⛳️ Frequently Asked Questions ️

Ah, so you are a ‘southpaw’? Well, you are in luck. According to the Ben Hogan website, their clubs are available in left-handed versions too! So no need to play backward or align your shots using a mirror! 

Ben Hogan clubs are made in the USA… They are assembled along with testing for quality in the Ben hogan company factory in Fort Worth, Texas. If you mean where they are manufactured, the driver head is produced overseas before being shipped to the US, where they are shipped directly to the consumer.

 

However, this shouldn’t put you off. Most major golf manufacturers manufacture and assemble their clubs overseas. In the case of the GS53 driver, that’s one of the reasons why it is offered at a really reasonable price!

Yes, they are. As you’ll have seen in our driver review, the GS53 looks stunning and performs well. The same can also be said of their irons… Their putters are pretty nice too! Overall the new Ben Hogan clubs are certainly something that he would be proud of.

Closing Thoughts

The new Ben Hogan GS53 driver is worth every penny. We feel a few things could be improved, but overall if you are a consistent striker with a fast swing, this could be the touch of refinement you are looking for. It’s got a great sound, excellent feel, and will hit the ball a long way…So you’ll be able to play like the original.

Your Guru Author

Matt!

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