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Wood heads(real wood)

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

So, if persimmon was used a lot because it was a hard, dense wood, why was there always a plastic insert in the hitting area? Why not just make a plastic club? Of course this a moot point today, but...

post #2 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willie Malay View Post

So, if persimmon was used a lot because it was a hard, dense wood, why was there always a plastic insert in the hitting area? Why not just make a plastic club? Of course this a moot point today, but...

I think you are mistaken.  I don't remember persimmon woods having any plastic on them.  I actually have some in my garage (been meaning to start a thread on them - how to refurbish, care for, etc) and the only extra part I can picture is the metal plate screwed into the bottom.

post #3 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Willie Malay View Post

So, if persimmon was used a lot because it was a hard, dense wood, why was there always a plastic insert in the hitting area? Why not just make a plastic club? Of course this a moot point today, but...

I think you are mistaken.  I don't remember persimmon woods having any plastic on them.  I actually have some in my garage (been meaning to start a thread on them - how to refurbish, care for, etc) and the only extra part I can picture is the metal plate screwed into the bottom.

Then you have some reeeealllly old persimmons.

 

The insert was replaceable. It wasn't always plastic (could be metal or some type of resin) but it was always easier to get it swapped out. A head made entirely of the insert material would look and feel like garbage. I know because I've hit some. Spalding among others had those in some of their starter sets. The heads last forever (relatively speaking) but aren't worth playing even out of curiosity.

post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by sean_miller View Post

Then you have some reeeealllly old persimmons.

 

The insert was replaceable. It wasn't always plastic (could be metal or some type of resin) but it was always easier to get it swapped out. A head made entirely of the insert material would look and feel like garbage. I know because I've hit some. Spalding among others had those in some of their starter sets. The heads last forever (relatively speaking) but aren't worth playing even out of curiosity.

OK, my bad ... sounds like I am mistaken.  The ones I am thinking of are my dads old clubs, and he bought them used in 1971 or 72.  I do not know how old they were prior to his purchase, but will try and find out.  They are Powerbilt Citations.

 

I am waiting for him to bring me the irons as well, and then I will take a bunch of photos and post them all together.

post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by sean_miller View Post

Then you have some reeeealllly old persimmons.

 

The insert was replaceable. It wasn't always plastic (could be metal or some type of resin) but it was always easier to get it swapped out. A head made entirely of the insert material would look and feel like garbage. I know because I've hit some. Spalding among others had those in some of their starter sets. The heads last forever (relatively speaking) but aren't worth playing even out of curiosity.

 

I have some old persimmons that don't even have an insert.    They belonged to my Grandfather and the best guess is, he bought them in the 20's or 30's..

post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by teamroper60 View Post

 

I have some old persimmons that don't even have an insert.    They belonged to my Grandfather and the best guess is, he bought them in the 20's or 30's..

I also have some persimmon woods that don't have an insert. However, it's probably because they were just cheap, seeing as how they can't be older than 40-50 years old.

post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

OK, my bad ... sounds like I am mistaken.  The ones I am thinking of are my dads old clubs, and he bought them used in 1971 or 72.  I do not know how old they were prior to his purchase, but will try and find out.  They are Powerbilt Citations.

I am waiting for him to bring me the irons as well, and then I will take a bunch of photos and post them all together.

Powerbuilr citations musclebacks will separate the men from the boys.
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by onesome View Post

Powerbuilr citations musclebacks will separate the men from the boys.

Yeah, no kidding.  I could never hit those when I was younger.  Before they bought me my own clubs, I used my moms clubs (Patty Berg signatures, maybe Wilson, I don't remember).

 

I'm hoping he still has the irons in the garage because I'd like to take them to the range and see if I can actually hit them now.

post #9 of 14

Read my post about the Ginty I found in my old cart bag of wooden clubs.  A superb club maybe the easiest and best club I've ever hit and I shite you not.  thanks
 

post #10 of 14

just speculating but I imagine the insert was to increase the lifespan

post #11 of 14

The earliest persimmon drivers did not have inserts, if you see drivers from the 20's and 30's they don't have them.  My guess is after WWII, when industry was picking up and recreation became big in the US, you see drivers with a resin insert.  If you see the drivers that Hogan, Nelson and Snead used you will see the resin insert, Jones and Sarazen used drivers without inserts.  The inserts were even harder than the wood, so as expected, more distance and longer life for a woods.  If you find or have persimmon woods without an insert, they were probably made prior to WWII,

post #12 of 14

Inserts were added to preserve the durability of the club face. Otherwise, the wood would get deformed after repeated use. Most of the earliest inserts were made of a material called "cycolac", and were held in place with screws. Later, some of these were glued in. Some of the inserts were very ornate and fancy, which added to the visual appeal of the club. I have a few persimmon clubs with fiberglass and metal inserts as well. One MacGregor VIP Nicklaus driver has a persimmon head, metal face insert, and graphite shaft - pretty "advanced" technology for its' time!

post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Willie Malay View Post

So, if persimmon was used a lot because it was a hard, dense wood, why was there always a plastic insert in the hitting area? Why not just make a plastic club? Of course this a moot point today, but...

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Golfingdad View Post

I think you are mistaken.  I don't remember persimmon woods having any plastic on them.  I actually have some in my garage (been meaning to start a thread on them - how to refurbish, care for, etc) and the only extra part I can picture is the metal plate screwed into the bottom.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sean_miller View Post

Then you have some reeeealllly old persimmons.

So I went home and checked out the old persimmon woods I have, and just wanted confirm that Willie, you and Sean are both correct, and it was I who was mistaken.  These woods (like I said, from around 1970 or so) most definitely have an insert of some kind.  I never looked that closely and just thought the hitting area was painted red.  My bad!c2_beer.gif

post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by lumpuckeroo View Post

If you find or have persimmon woods without an insert, they were probably made prior to WWII,

 

I know that is the case with the persimmon woods I have.   When my Grandmother gave them to me, she said she didn't remember the exact year, but he got them a few years after they married.   They were married in 1921. 

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