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shafts for persimmon

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hello, I'm writing to ask if newer shafts are compatible with older clubs without the cost being excessive for custom labor etc. I have a set of Macgregor mt customs with a2 aluminum shafts that hit very well but they're becoming very whippy as I'm getting better.

In a way this has helped me slow my back swing but I don't know enough to tell if my distance would even change.

If I throw the head I can definitely feel it whip; is this fine or is there something to be gained by switching?

Lavc54.92.100

I attached a pic of me using a 5 wood with an 80% swing. Thanks in advance!

P.s. this shot was straight and ballooned; my drives do the same.
post #2 of 23

If you want gear that performs well, don't play persimmon woods or aluminum shafts. Simple as that. Playing them out of whimsy or because you're nostalgic is nice, but don't kid yourself. They're a huge disadvantage. Putting a nice shaft in one is a waste of a shaft and won't do much to the flight in all likelihood; you're giving up 15mph of ball speed and lots of forgiveness just by having a wooden club so I don't see the point; it would be like putting sweet tires on a model T and expecting to race it. You'd have a lousy but nice looking and sounding club even if you put a 300$ shaft in it; if you don't like big drivers you should get a modern 3 wood and use that instead.

 

If you'd like to play them for a laugh and want a better players shaft, dynamic gold wood shafts are still being made and cost about 15$. But it will require a specialized job to install so it might be cheaper to buy a new persimmon club with that shaft than to get it installed. Early metal woods might be able to be used with graphite if the tip is the same size, but persimmon isn't user friendly to work on. The dynamic gold come in s and x flex and will keep your control pretty decent, but they aren't going to go much farther. They're about the best steel shafts for woods (which isn't saying much), but they are about 50 years old in design so I don't consider them modern. 

post #3 of 23

Id say that you are probably pressing your luck trying to put a modern shaft in a persimmon head.

post #4 of 23
I will go against the grain a bit here. I very much like playing with persimmon and have played persimmon and blades about 90% of the time this summer, and score within a stroke of my handicap when doing so.
I will admit that it is less forgiving, at least with the driver, but as you increase the loft they become a little easier. Persimmon also requires a bit more care than metal heads, especially when it comes to moisture.

I grew up playing persimmon, so there is a nostalgia aspect for me. I am also old school in that I think only steel shafts should be used in persimmon, and the Dynamic or Dynamic Gold are about as good as you will do. That said, Louisville Golf and Joe Powell Golf both currently make persimmon clubs available with graphite shafts. Both companies take repair work, and would probably install any reasonable shaft in a persimmon club in good enough shape to handle it. Another source is Dave Wood, but I think he is more into restoration than reshafting, but could probably do it.

I do agree with everyone else though, that reshafting your MacGregors would not be economically feasible. You can purchase high quality brand new traditional persimmons with Dynamic Gold shafts from Louisville or Joe Powell for $175 to $225 per club. I think both will fit graphite shafts for a few dollars more. Louisville Golf makes some more modern designs in persimmon with graphite; I have not personally played those.Very nice used clubs can be found on Ebay and Craigslist for $25-$75, and often in pawn shops or antique stores. In my vintage bag now are 2 Joe Powells and a MacGregor so aquired, and in which I have a total investment of $45 including $24 of new grips.

If you look at my sig you will see I am not opposed to titanium and graphite and I have a fondness for my Callaway hybrids. I can easily hit my Callaway 3H the same distance as my Wilson Staff forged blade 1 iron with less fuss. You can buy the almost latest (3-4 year old) driver or fairway in great condition with a great shaft for probably less than it would cost to reshaft your old MacGregors.

There are days, though, when I just enjoy a simpler time knocking a ball around with the old lumber. I don't know if I will ever swear off new tech completely, but I am playing vintage more and more.
post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 
If I was playing with Bobby Jones' clubs, then I'd see your analogy with the model T. I did put modern hoosier slicks on my carbureted amx and I'd say it worked out great. a3_biggrin.gif

Regardless, thanks for the input. I'll still play the persimmons because it's what I like. I'm not looking for ball speed or forgiveness, just inquiring as my ball flight has gotten very high with the long clubs.

Thanks!
post #6 of 23
Thread Starter 
In response to dbuck, thanks for the sources!
post #7 of 23

Steel shafts are the way to go with Persimmon heads. I've got a couple of Persimmon drivers with early graphite shafts, and they don't seem to transmit the amazing feel of Persimmon on a well-struck shot that steel shafts do.

post #8 of 23

First, in regard to trying to reshaft a persimmon, there is only one reason to do so: you intend to play the club. The inherent issues in reshafting and re-boring a persimmon likely will diminish, greatly, any collectible appeal. In that regard, if you are patient and have the right tools, you can put nearly any modern shaft into an old persimmon. I would recommend a drill press (even a cheap one) and a rig that will hold the hosel at a 90 degree angle (GolfWorks, etc have various options). Tape the hosel to protect against cracking. You likely will lose a little of the hosel as you match it up to the diameter of a new ferrule. You may find it easier to trim a little off the hosel first. Again, be patient and keep the hosel taped to prevent cracking. Once you re-bore the hosel to .355 you are good to go. Some liberal use of epoxy can help fill in gaps and imperfections where the hosel and ferrule come together. Gently sand this area smooth. Again patience. Certainly pay attention to matters of swing weighting and length. If you aren't comfortable with general club building and fitting, you will end up ruining the club and your enjoyment of it.

 

I have done this several times to bring an old club into the modern game, and the results have been mostly successful (a couple of cracked necks thanks to my own impatience). Remember, if you reshaft with a non-metal shaft, you can't anchor it with a screw in the hosel (can undermine the integrity of the shaft), but I have yet to have a head come loose with any modern epoxy.

 

Second, as to the warning that such effort is fruitless, that persimmon puts you at a huge disadvantage, I disagree. Like most things golf, it is a balancing act. While I have only one persimmon in my bag these days (finally yielding to a modern driver a year ago), I don't carry it to be nostalgic; I carry it to be competitive. The great downside of persimmon is the inability to practice with it - the rock hard range balls do a number on the polyurethane and the clubface if not careful. However, the immense feedback from a solid block of wood, means you don't have to practice as much. Hitting a modern driver, I might as well shoot Novacaine into my hands. Thankfully the physics tend to balance out - it is hard to hit a really bad shot with modern driver. However, by the same token, it is hard to hit a really great golf shot with one too. That's not say you don't get good drives, but the ability to work the ball with persimmon is a wonderful art that is worth preserving. While I also like the idea of preserving these beautiful old woods, I would much rather see a persimmon in the bag than in the case, as they say.

post #9 of 23
Thread Starter 

Hello JoePete,

Thanks for your response!

 

I'm actually on the hunt now for some new woods as I've cracked the insert on the driver and shattered the 5wood.  I've been watching a lot of youtube videos on how to drill out the hosel, apply the whipping, and even the leather grips.

 

I have no intention of collecting these clubs and they are my playing clubs.  It does get old justifying these clubs when I play them and it does make me happy to find those that appreciate them.

 

If anything, the thousands I saved on my clubs buys me many more rounds of golf :D  Which at the end of the day, will probably make me better than the new clubs.

 

Regards,

Charles

post #10 of 23

Interesting to see someone actually seeking out the old persimmons, got my old complete set of irons and these woods floating for sale right now locally, might just hang onto them for nostalgic/sentimental reasons. Mine have the graphite inserts in the faces of the woods.

 

 

post #11 of 23

That's a camera effect, too: don't base your "shaft fitting" off what you see in that picture.

 

Read more here: Shaft Flex as Seen on Camera (Photos or Video) - Rolling Shutter Illusion.

post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoePete View Post
 

 

Second, as to the warning that such effort is fruitless, that persimmon puts you at a huge disadvantage, I disagree. Like most things golf, it is a balancing act. While I have only one persimmon in my bag these days (finally yielding to a modern driver a year ago), I don't carry it to be nostalgic; I carry it to be competitive. The great downside of persimmon is the inability to practice with it - the rock hard range balls do a number on the polyurethane and the clubface if not careful. However, the immense feedback from a solid block of wood, means you don't have to practice as much. Hitting a modern driver, I might as well shoot Novacaine into my hands. Thankfully the physics tend to balance out - it is hard to hit a really bad shot with modern driver. However, by the same token, it is hard to hit a really great golf shot with one too. That's not say you don't get good drives, but the ability to work the ball with persimmon is a wonderful art that is worth preserving. While I also like the idea of preserving these beautiful old woods, I would much rather see a persimmon in the bag than in the case, as they say.

I'm all for preserving them, but how is it harder to hit a great shot with a modern driver? You say yourself that they perform better, you even carry one for some reason. That notion that you need to play equipment that hinders you in order to get better makes no sense; it gives worse results even if you hit it perfectly with a persimmon. How can you score better with persimmon if titanium performs better on every kind of mishit as well as perfect shots and at every level of play?

 

It's harder to use and it performs worse in every way that affects ball flight. Even the professionals don't use persimmon woods, and they're not struggling to hit great shots. If anything, they have been able to play well on longer courses than ever before. And they can still work the ball, which has little to do with their clubs and more with their technique and ball. Maybe you think they feel better but that's your opinion and it's subject to your own preferences.

 

The only way persimmon can create more workability is if you cause gear effect. That doesn't happen on good shots and it's not the way any pro would work the ball.

post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by LuciusWooding View Post
 

I'm all for preserving them, but how is it harder to hit a great shot with a modern driver? You say yourself that they perform better, you even carry one for some reason. That notion that you need to play equipment that hinders you in order to get better makes no sense; it gives worse results even if you hit it perfectly with a persimmon. How can you score better with persimmon if titanium performs better on every kind of mishit as well as perfect shots and at every level of play?

I think your assessment that titanium performs better at every level of play is a bit of a generalization. There have been a few comparative studies that would counter such claim, famously one done by the World Scientific Congress of Golf at St. Andrews. However, in my experience, titanium does have its strengths compared to persimmon.

 

The great advantage to metal as a clubhead material is all the things a manufacturer can do to it compared to a solid block of wood. For a long time, this manifested itself in larger clubhead and clubfaces and longer clubs (because you could have lighter heads and maintain reasonable swingweight). Longer (usually by an inch to an inch and half) also means harder to hit. While off the perfect circumstance of a tee, club length is not an issue, off the fairway or an intentionally thin, into the wind, shot can be a different story. Recently we have see the addtional aspect of being able to relocate weight on the clubhead to adjust for trajectory. I suppose someone could add this feature to persimmon, but those of an old-school nature tend to prefer to adust their grip, stance or ball position for different shots rather than pull out an allen wrench ;-) Plus until the rules permit such in-round adjusting, far better to learn 50 different shots with one club than how to adjust one club 50 different ways. I digress. The oversize concept of enlarging the sweetspot on a modern clubhead also inherently shrinks feedback. For someone trying to develop consistency, whether or square hits, or those slightly, but deliberately, off center, that feedback of where did I miss and by how much is essential. Also the overize nature of a clubhead moves the center of gravity back and as a consequence the ball leaves the clubface with often greater spin and a higher trajectory. To compensate, modern drivers have very shallow loft (say 7 - 9 degrees) compared to the traditional persimmon (10 - 12 degrees). These factors too can limit the opportunity to play different shots. While the idea of bulge and roll are making somewhat of a comeback, these features are much less on modern clubhead compared to persimmon. This certainly is a major physical difference between old and new.

 

I would argue that all the things manufacturers do with metal are around the intent of increasing average driving distance. When you compare a modern club vs, one of more than three decades ago, the modern club will go farther. However, put a modern shaft in the persimmon and if you get the club to the length of the modern driver (very hard to do for given swingweight), the numbers get a lot closer. However, no matter the material, the things that benefit average distance (purely in the club's design) tend to work against the ability consistently work the ball in my experience. That is an issue no matter the material of the clubhead.

post #14 of 23
Thread Starter 

Hello,

You're absolutely correct on the shutter effect.  I went to House of Forged yesterday to buy a shaft and he put me on the swing moniter.  I was 120-123 with a steel shafted laminate club (Confidence 44" driver) and the same with my Macgregor(43" aluminum).  He let me use a XX stiff titanium and my swing speed went up to 130+ but this is where it got weird.  I hit every persimmon(or laminate) shot between 9 and 14 degrees (depending on address) with 2200-4000 spin (I do balloon shots I address like my irons). The titanium was all over the place with less ball speed.  I was 177-180 with the wooden clubs and 165-175 with the titanium despite the faster speed.  Robert(HOF owner) said the regular flex shafts simply bent more and never recovered as I came down and that's where the speed was lost.

 

So I bought a long driver to practice my hand strength with because my hips outrun my hands a lot.  Plus it'll be a nice gift for a friend of mine who's a foot taller than I.  I'll be heading back tomorrow to get a shorter shaft to put into a custom club I'm getting.

 

On the note of titanium being lighter, that's a myth.  The shaft is lighter not the head.  Every wooden club I have has a 200+/- gram head.  Therefore the swingweight would be the same as a titanium with the same grip and shaft.  The PGA I had has a lead weight in the back but it's only 10 grams and I've since given that one away.  I'm getting a louisville head made; check out their site.  Even their thumpr max driver at 250ccs is 200 grams.  The head I'm getting is a 5degree loft, 200 grams, flatter lie angle.

 

I'm not going to get into the debate on wood versus metal.  I'll simply say that I'll play the game how I like and you play it how you like.  Enjoy the game and have a beer while you're at it.

post #15 of 23

Please.  No empty beer cans on the greens. 

post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 
post #17 of 23
Thread Starter 
post #18 of 23
Thread Starter 
I was sad hitting this for the first tim; it's too nice. However, it'll crush the balls just fine. Anyone in the socal area that can swing a 2x shaft with 2" in the hosel can try it out. Thanks for the advice for those that gave it!
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