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There are many big names manufactures in the game of golf. When you watch any golf tournament on the TV you see adverts for these names, you see players using their equipment and you even see the names brandished all over the balls being smashed around the various courses. Some of the bigger more well known names include ones such as Ping, Titleist, Nike and Callaway. There are many other big names out there that we often associate with the world of golf. One of the lesser known names though is that of Hippo.
Hippo however are still a very well established manufacturer of golfing equipment. They make clubs, bags, carts and other golfing accessories. Not seen as one of the really big names in golf and certainly not one favoured by that many top professionals, but never the less Hippo have a strong presence in the golfing market. I have used Hippo equipment on a few instances over the years, so I want to tell you a little bit about them.
My first experience of a Hippo club was when I purchased a 3 wood. This was only second hand and it didn't cost me much money, but the club was in good condition and I was told it would give me some extra distance on the course. At the time I must confess I was quite impressed with the Hippo club. However, I was new to the game of golf back then, since then I have found better clubs that give more distance and better feel. But I do still have the Hippo 3 wood and it still a decent enough club.
Hippo also make drivers. The Hex driver is their most well known and it is a mean looking thing. I have tried this driver out and must admit I really was not overly impressed. The club feels awkward somehow and I found it really difficult hitting straight shots with it. The distance it gives you is nothing overly special and overall it was not a great club at all.
Hippo also do a nice range of irons and putters. This is not a company that have just brought out one version of a club, they have several and are constantly updating their technology and trying to improve the standard of the golf clubs they produce. The golfing bags they sell are quite nice and are a little cheaper than some of the big name bags that you see. A lot of golfers take great pride in their clubs though so may not like having Hippo on the side of their golf bag.
The fact is that Hippo make decent clubs. They certainly are not market leaders in the golfing world but neither are they the worst out there. If you are a beginner then I would say that hippo clubs would be excellent for you while you are starting out. They are a reasonable price and generally are fairly easy to play with. While you won't see many big name players using these they are very popular with your average Joe down at the local club.
So overall Hippo golf clubs seem to be pretty much middle of the road. I have never picked up one of the clubs and thought, 'wow, this is good'. But at the same time I have never been overly disappointed. They are average clubs at an average price. If you want a decent set of clubs but don't want to fork out silly money then Hippo could well be the name you are looking for.
If you were to ask a golfer 'which brand of golf club offers the best value for money?', then 'HiPPO' would arguably be the most frequently heard reply. HiPPO is simply the Hi-Tech of the golfing world, producing a decent standard of products (both clubs and accessories) yet sadly never being seen as a trendy make. You see, not many tour players use the HiPPO brand, even though there have been a few notable names over the years including Ian Woosnam and John Daly.
"The power behind the player"
In terms of the company's history, HiPPO evolved from 'Howson Sports' back in 1989 - since that time a combination of technological advancement and low pricing has meant that the British company is now the largest golf manufacturer in Europe, and the fastest growing in the USA. HiPPO is simply a great make for beginner golfers - they often do package deals in the form of full sets of clubs complete with a bag at low cost. Amazon are currently offering such an deal for £169, which is well worth looking into if you're a newcomer to the sport.
The first HiPPO product that I owned was a golf bag - I bought it from Argos for only £19, and it was styled to look like the golf bags from one of the leading brands. It was only meant to be a temporary purchase until I could afford a Callaway Bag (£70+) - however, I still own the Hippo bag to this day; it's well made, light, and arguably the best bag that I've ever owned.
HiPPO Clubs are similarly impressive: the HiPPOTec Driver (designed especially for mid to high handicappers) retails at £49.99 - this may sounds a fair bit of cash to spend on what's ultimately a metal stick, until you realise that the latest drivers from the leading brands are often in excess of £200. And it's a decent club too - independent testing has shown that it hits the ball to within a few yards of the uber-pricey drivers, yet sells at a fraction of the cost. As well as their drivers, HiPPO iron sets aren't to be sniffed at - their 'ITX2' clubs for example are very forgiving (difficult to hit bad shots with), and can be picked up for under £200 - bargain!
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Overall, HiPPO is *the* value for money brand in the golfing world, offering low prices with the added bonus of reliability and general quality. It's true that the majority of HiPPO clubs are aimed at the beginner to intermediate player, but that wide bracket of individuals makes up the majority of the golfers in this country, hence the brand's popularity.
When i started golfing all those years ago, my first round consited of me hacking round with my dads old clubs, in a tatty old bag, probably looking like an absolute tramp who should have been nowhere near the golf course. The clubs were not the issue, they were old, but good quality and still in good enough nick, but what i needed, was a golf bag. I thought that this was going to be expensive and only being young, £40-£50 is a lot of money for a little lads pocket money. However, i went down to my local argos and guess what i found? A great Hippo golf bag for just £25. I bought it there and then, and it was my ally on the courses of Britain for a good 6 years.
The bag was extremely professional to look at. It was blue and black and of a good size. It had a good 2 pronged stand which allowed you to keep the bag upright, something most similar priced bags simply did not allow you to do. The bag had seperate compartments for the variety of different clubs you owned, and had 4 completely different sized pockets, so that you could keep your sandwiches, waterproofs, balls and tees, water and everything you need for 18 holes all nice and seperate and easy to reach.
It was obviously extremely durable, it was chucked in the boot of cars left, right and centre and it just kept on plugging away. The stand worked throughout the entirity of the 6 years and never looked like breaking down, neither did the zips or anything else - it was a hardy little bag, and it did its job fantastically well for the price.
Carrying wise, it had a lovely padded double strap, which meant that it was comfy and easy to carry around with you. The straps were adjustable so it was good for all ages, especially as I used it whilst i was growing up, and it really was a great servant to me.
As i said, it cost me just £25 which was great value for the product. It really was faultless and signifies what hippo stand for. Quality, at an affordable price.
Great brand that I would recommend highly to beginner and intermediate golfers.
Hippo is a brand of golf club manufacturers characterised by the driver wood being twice as big as anyone golf club manufacturer. This huge head size is touted as being a club with a bigger sweet spot and theoretically the player gets more yards for his drive.
My hippo club is the iconic one wood as used in the late nineties by John Daly and Ian Woosnam. The club is the standard length, but the head of the club is around twice the size of a normal one wood. The club set me back about £50 and when it was delivered the postman decided to post the club through the letter box, this meant that when I got home I found the head pocking out of the box and the handle going into the house. I don't know a better tip to any burglar that there was no one at home!!
Hitting the ball
The club has a large head which also makes for a rather odd swing though the air, that takes a decent hit on the driving range to get used to but once adjusted for the club is as easy to use as any other.
My club is a metal 'wood' as pretty much all the driving woods are now, it is black with the hippo insignia on the top of the club. The face of the club is grooved with four horizontal lines and has a 12% degree of angle, that's standard for club players.
So far I've managed to get used to my driver and have an approximately 80% success rate with it and can drive the ball about 220-250 yards on a good day whereas with my previous driver I was around the 200 yard mark. The club came with a club shoe with the hippo symbol prominent, for a change its easy to get on and off the club without stretching and pulling the material.
Hippo clubs in general because though I own a driver I have used others have a high specification, good finish and basically allow the player to get full value for his shots. They can't of course help you get over the flaws in your game but if you do get off a good one then you get a bit extra for the effort. Indeed, the use of a hippo pitching wedge meant that I managed to get back spin and score one of my very few birdies. Hippos as a manufacturer is one of the decent mid range golf club makers, the clubs are in the reasonable rather than extortionate range and the quality is good so you get value for your pennies.
Using the hippo and having a good day does sometimes mean I get fewer than 90 for a 5500-6000 yard course. Some days I of course score around 100+ best not to mention those days.
I have not played golf for over 9 years, but I purchased a full set of Hippo Golf Clubs (including 1 & 2 irons), including a hippo devil (7 wood) and 3 standard woods with Hippo designed head covers.
They replaced a set of clubs that I'd been adding to made by Howson (their cheaper range) which I was purchasing a club at a time from my local sports shop.
The majority of my hippo golf clubs were bought from Kays catalogue and cost me around £300+. I can't remember the exact price as it was a very long time ago. However, one thing I do remember is that I had to send them back to the manufacturer to be adjusted as my arms are longer than normal which made the lie of the clubs wrong. It was the one and only time I've done this, but they were fast and efficient, and I only paid for the cost of delivering to them (not for the return).
The irons and woods were a mid range, but they certainly looked and felt good. I was so impressed I bought other products in the range - an umbrella and cloth. The one thing I didn't buy was a golf bag - I opted for a used one from a golf club - professional which was about double the size - which I used only a few times after I'd bought it.
I certainly have never had any problems with them, unlike my 1st clubs which were a mixture of metal and hickory shafts - one of which the head fell off, and went further than the ball.
At the time Ian Woosnam was associated with the brand, and I do remember my kids getting birthday cards with him and the brand on.
It is certainly a brand that I loved, and would certainly recommend.