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Apoc81

How many have tried real Persimmon golf clubs?

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They got four sets of handmade persimmons from a small club maker, and they are up for sale at the clubhouse. I would love to hit some, but not for $600. 

 

How are they to hit? How much harder than say a modern 3I or 3H. I imagine the difference must be ridiculous, but I never, ever got a chance to play them. Saw  some of the old guys play em when I was younger, but I was a kid. By the time I was in my mid-late teens, I was playing Eye 2's, which weren't even the best tech at the time, But I loved those clubs. Incidentally they are the only Ping Iron I ever liked up to the i200's, which is what I really wanted this year. I hit em really well, but in canadian dollars they were just too much.($1400 f'in dollars with tax) (totally off topic)

Edited by Apoc81

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EBAY. Usually less than $10 per head. Some refurbished, new grips e.t.c.  Buy them, experiment, then if not to your liking, make a display of them. I have a set of Ben Hogan Speed slots and also a Palmer Persimmon Driver that I play around with once in awhile.  Smaller heads, which I prefer anyway, smaller sweet spot, probably troublesome for today's golfers who have not had the experience. Love the "Crrrack" sound of a well struck Persimmon though. Easier to "work" the ball and if you do have a mis-hit, it usually won't go as far off the fairway. 

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I had a set made for me back in the day. The driver head was smaller than a present day 5 wood! But I could hit them.

Of course I was young and strong back then, and had precision, and vision, and clubhead speed, and all kinds of goodies!

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Please be warned that a lot of people who reply to your question will never have hit a persimmon club but will be referring to laminated woods, thinking that persimmon is a generic term for wood. Just sayin' :-)

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Tried?  I played them for the first 20 years that I played this silly game!

Sorry though, they don't come close to comparing to modern clubs.  At almost 60 years old, I now hit the ball further and more consistently than I did at 30.  Anyone who says different is either lying or age related dementia has finally kicked in...

;-) 

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7 minutes ago, David in FL said:

Tried?  I played them for the first 20 years that I played this silly game!

Sorry though, they don't come close to comparing to modern clubs.  At almost 60 years old, I now hit the ball further and more consistently than I did at 30.  Anyone who says different is either lying or age related dementia has finally kicked in...

;-) 

Oh, I had no illusions on their overall performance, was just wondering if pklaying them felt different, did you have to swing differently, was there a lot of flex in the shaft? Sweet spot, stuff like that. 

9 minutes ago, Shorty said:

Please be warned that a lot of people who reply to your question will never have hit a persimmon club but will be referring to laminated woods, thinking that persimmon is a generic term for wood. Just sayin' :-)

Ya, i'm speaking strictly real persimmon. 

 

21 minutes ago, Hacker James said:

EBAY. Usually less than $10 per head. Some refurbished, new grips e.t.c.  Buy them, experiment, then if not to your liking, make a display of them. I have a set of Ben Hogan Speed slots and also a Palmer Persimmon Driver that I play around with once in awhile.  Smaller heads, which I prefer anyway, smaller sweet spot, probably troublesome for today's golfers who have not had the experience. Love the "Crrrack" sound of a well struck Persimmon though. Easier to "work" the ball and if you do have a mis-hit, it usually won't go as far off the fairway. 

I may pick some up then. Those clubs though, so beautiful. Brand new old Persimmons. I need to take a picture at the pro-shop Tuesday when I play. 

 

It's something I maybe wanna do once a year. Just get out and chase it around like they did. Hell, I wish I could even get new period accurate balls to see the difference there too. 

Edited by Apoc81

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2 minutes ago, David in FL said:

Tried?  I played them for the first 20 years that I played this silly game!

Sorry though, they don't come close to comparing to modern clubs.  At almost 60 years old, I now hit the ball further and more consistently than I did at 30.  Anyone who says different is either lying or age related dementia has finally kicked in...

;-) 

Read more  

Uhhhhhh, not necessarily so! Back in the day I was as strong as an ox and could launch the ball a country mile!

You say you are close to 60. At that age I still hit the ball pretty well. I'm now 64 and in just the last couple of years I've noticed a significant decrease in clubhead speed. I've also noticed that I'm losing muscle mass.

The other day I walked into the local Marc's store, and there a scale on your way in where you can weigh yourself without having to put in a quarter. I used to weigh 180 soaking wet. I stepped on that scaled and weighed 172 fully clothed! I'm getting "stringy", and I just don't have the appetite that I used to.

Just wait and see. Father Time is undefeated!

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Thanks for the reminders. I had beautiful persimmons that I had refinished/refurbished after I quit playing them...driver, 3 and a 4/5 (4 wood on a 5 wood shaft), a 2 wood that I loved because the head was larger than my driver and it had a brass back weight, and an old Spalding 2 wood with a shallow face and  half-metal plate sole for weight and  that was inscribed "Spalding & Sons 1918". 

The latter was a head only and I had it reshafted, and played it to my advantage a few times.

I couldn't bring myself to hit them, so I recently gave them to a friend who collects them. He kindly returned the favor by giving me his JPX Fli-Hi 3 and 4 hybrids that I can't hit either.

-Marv

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27 minutes ago, Buckeyebowman said:

Uhhhhhh, not necessarily so! Back in the day I was as strong as an ox and could launch the ball a country mile!

You say you are close to 60. At that age I still hit the ball pretty well. I'm now 64 and in just the last couple of years I've noticed a significant decrease in clubhead speed. I've also noticed that I'm losing muscle mass.

The other day I walked into the local Marc's store, and there a scale on your way in where you can weigh yourself without having to put in a quarter. I used to weigh 180 soaking wet. I stepped on that scaled and weighed 172 fully clothed! I'm getting "stringy", and I just don't have the appetite that I used to.

Just wait and see. Father Time is undefeated!

A country mile was shorter back then....  If you think you hit those persimmons better "back in the day", than you could hit a modern club, let's call it 10 years ago, then I stick to my original statement.  Either option, your choice! :-D 

Jack Nicklaus's average drive was in the 275 yard range.  I'm old, and a relatively short hitter for my handicap, and can still roll one out there 260ish every now and then.  The miracle of modern technology!  

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58 minutes ago, Hacker James said:

EBAY. Usually less than $10 per head. Some refurbished, new grips e.t.c.  Buy them, experiment, then if not to your liking, make a display of them. I have a set of Ben Hogan Speed slots and also a Palmer Persimmon Driver that I play around with once in awhile.  Smaller heads, which I prefer anyway, smaller sweet spot, probably troublesome for today's golfers who have not had the experience. Love the "Crrrack" sound of a well struck Persimmon though. Easier to "work" the ball and if you do have a mis-hit, it usually won't go as far off the fairway. 

That "crack" is the most beautiful sound in golf. @iacas won't agree with you @Hacker James, but I agree with you, mis-hits won't be as far off the fairway. Unless you find a Hogan with absolutely zero bulge and roll. 

I believe it or not am trying to find a legit "persimmon" wood set myself. I've only really found maple laminate on eBay for a bargain... At least for under $100.

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1 hour ago, onthehunt526 said:

That "crack" is the most beautiful sound in golf. @iacas won't agree with you @Hacker James, but I agree with you, mis-hits won't be as far off the fairway. Unless you find a Hogan with absolutely zero bulge and roll. 

I believe it or not am trying to find a legit "persimmon" wood set myself. I've only really found maple laminate on eBay for a bargain... At least for under $100.

Yes, I've had both Persimmon and Maple Laminate. My early days were mostly MacGregors, Spalding, irons were muscle backs, blades, mostly forged. As far as anyone "agreeing" with me, is a moot point and of no concern. I know from personal experience, others may have had different experiences/alternative facts.  The driver used by Ben Hogan and recently hit by a few modern day players, was intentionally shaved or sanded flat as I recall reading recently. Most of the players who tried it, could not hit it effectively.  I am also pretty sure that some of those on ebay and described as persimmon are not as was pointed out. Easy enough to determine upon examination of the face. The newest real "oil cured" Persimmon head was given me by  Titleist  and had never been hit (head only).  I sold it to a chap in the U.K.  It is also hard to find somebody who will do a rewind on a  wooden club, lost art as it were.  I have done it a couple of times, but that was years ago. FWIW, there is nothing really wrong with a laminated head and in some ways, easier to maintain a consistent quality control in production. This would be a debatable topic however.

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I played with persimmon-headed woods from 1964-1994 (I was a late adopter of metal woods).

For several years I had a set of R-flex Wilson Staffs (1-2-3-4 woods).

In 1975 or so, I had a custom driver (tall face) that was super, and 3W and 4W from Sounder, a small club maker down in Florida.

Then from 1982-1994, I played with MacGregor MT 1-3-4 woods (matched my MT irons I got in 1974).

Bulge_Roll.jpg.43e3a63998c9d4e3ef61ccffeb865998.jpgYou could really tell if you hit a wooden driver "on the screws." The ball would take off line drive for about 50 yards, and then gently rise to peak height. Also, once you really got warmed up, you could jump on a drive or two on a par 5 or long par 4 and get extra distance. If I try to jump on a metalwood driver, it doesn't usually fare too well.

Compared to metal woods, persimmon heads also had a bit more horizontal bulge, arcing from heel to toe on the clubface. This created gear effect, which would help spin toe and heel hits back toward center.

One daring shot you could try with a persimmon 3W was the toe hook. You lined up the ball on the toe. stance closed, and hoped you caught the ball on the toe and - using gear effect from the bulge - hit a super hot draw. On hard summer turf, it could roll out about 260 yards. BUT, if you didn't catch it quite right, you got either a pop up or a smother hook.

With a persimmon driver I could get about 230 carry, with varying degrees of roll-out. With metal woods, especially the drivers, I get better distance than persimmon despite the fact I'm quite a bit older now. A lot of it has to do with shaft. In persimmon days, you had about six shafts to choose from... Now, you  have hundreds in the graphite.

Edited by WUTiger

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Just out of curiosity after reading some of the above posts, I went on to EBAY for a looksee. There were a few actual persimmon heads for around $10 a few more from $25 - $60, certainly well below the one hundred buck level and even sets of 4-5 heads under $50. Then of course there are those that are a lot more. 

5934cf7d7dcc3_palmerclub.jpg.2e107a6ecc3d1b3e0c47adc4afde7a36.jpg here is the Palmer I bought on ebay some time back. I do not recall the exact price, but it was not that much. 

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I've got a set -- they're the ones I learned on and played with through my tweens into mid-teens.  Hogans...still got 'em in my storage room.  Always loved the feel of hitting one pure w/one.  I have the 1,3,4 & 5 woods.  (Same as in pic, though these aren't mine).

hoganwoods.jpg

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1 hour ago, BamaWade said:

I've got a set -- they're the ones I learned on and played with through my tweens into mid-teens.  Hogans...still got 'em in my storage room.  Always loved the feel of hitting one pure w/one.  I have the 1,3,4 & 5 woods.  (Same as in pic, though these aren't mine).

hoganwoods.jpg

Again - these are maple laminate. Not Persimmon.

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8 hours ago, Hacker James said:

Those appear to be laminates.

 

7 hours ago, Shorty said:

Again - these are maple laminate. Not Persimmon.

Well crap.  Shows what I know.  :8) 

I know I've hit a true persimmon at some point.  Metal heads were becoming more common in the mid 80s when I started playing, but many of my friends and their parents still had older clubs.  I remember a couple looking similar to the one in @Hacker James's post. 

I do know they're Hogan "Lady Princess" clubs (etched in more prominently on the irons), which somehow I never caught any flak for back then.  These days...may be a different story!

hoganirons.jpg

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My grandpa (an avid golfer) passed away recently and while going through his belongings I found an old set of Doug ford clubs. 2i-9 SW 3 wood 5 wood 1 wood. I got a bucket of balls went outback to his old mini driving range about 175 yards long, 30-50 yards wide and let them rip. Hit every club atleast twice. Before I say what happened I will say they are not persimmon! irons are old super small blades forged i'm sure but the woods were actually wood not sure what kind but also had a metal plate on the bottom that wrapped up about half the face. Now the results! Irons seemed like good shots however very little room for error very easy to push left or right but still relatively straight shots. Not a very high shot I'd say low-mid trajectory. Not nearly as far or high as my new modern 716's. Let me discuss the woods lol can sum them up pretty quickly. Can't get them in the air! When I did get them in the air they were beautiful shots not nearly as much distance again. I would say I could only hit the driver maybe 205-210 (again I only had about 175 so after that I'm guessing). But, the feel was something I can't explain was an absolutely beautiful feel coming off the club. That was my experience with the oldest set of clubs I have ever used then again I'm only 25 so hopefully I can try many more in the years to come!

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