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satchmodog

Are 30 year old blades still functional in this age?

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1 hour ago, billchao said:

I'm kind of curious, how would I go about getting a shaft fitting for my vintage clubs? Can I just assume that I should play the same shafts as my gamers, or would I get a different profile shaft for the blades?

Alternatively, I could just put the shafts I pulled from my gamers into them and see what happens.

Unless you have a set with aluminum shafts (which you should throw away immediately) I have never run into a problem with buying today's shafts and plugging them into older irons. I don't think shaft diameters for irons have changed much over time. 

There are some old Hogan clubs I had that had a pin in the hosel but I have become really good at removing them now. It takes some work but a punch will do the job. You don't even need to replace the punch just stick the new shaft in.

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10 minutes ago, mchepp said:

Unless you have a set with aluminum shafts (which you should throw away immediately) I have never run into a problem with buying today's shafts and plugging them into older irons. I don't think shaft diameters for irons have changed much over time. 

There are some old Hogan clubs I had that had a pin in the hosel but I have become really good at removing them now. It takes some work but a punch will do the job. You don't even need to replace the punch just stick the new shaft in.

Mine are Ben Hogan Apex 2s (Black Cameo). Thanks for the tip about the hosel pin, I never noticed that before (though to be fair I never thought about re-shafting these clubs before).

I have a set of True Temper XP 95 shafts sitting in the garage that I pulled from my CF16s. They were too light for me with the CF16s and I'm concerned they're just too light for me in general. Would hate to waste the effort to change shafts and not get a playable product. They're parallel tip anyway and there's a good chance the Hogans are .355" bore from what I've found here and there on the internet.

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On 9/30/2017 at 5:57 PM, billchao said:

Blades haven't changed much, and if you're good enough to play blades, the difference is probably negligible. 

As someone who plays modern blades (Callaway Apex MB) I will disagree with you here. There is a big difference in playability between my blades and those produced 30 years ago. While I would hardly call my clubs forgiving, they are not as harsh as the irons the OP is talking about. 

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Having read the title of this thread again, I will say that 30 year old blades can still be "functional", but they will be far from "optimal"!

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On 11/2/2017 at 9:02 PM, NM Golf said:

As someone who plays modern blades (Callaway Apex MB) I will disagree with you here. There is a big difference in playability between my blades and those produced 30 years ago. While I would hardly call my clubs forgiving, they are not as harsh as the irons the OP is talking about. 

I don't think they're much more forgiving, but some changes in design have certainly made today's blades more playable. Modern blades typically have slightly more bounce and a more rounded leading edge so they don't have the tendency to dig into the turf as much as vintage blades. It's a minor difference but it increases the margin of error just a bit. Vintage blades also tended to have the sweetspot slightly towards the hosel on the clubface.

But even within the category of vintage musclebacks, there are some that are better than others. Certain designs worked better than others so they have lasted the test of time and now are sought after by aficionados.

There's only so much they can do with the design of a true blade so the differences are going to be minor. I still think if you have the game to play modern blades, you'll probably be able to play with a vintage set, assuming you upgrade the shafts.

45 minutes ago, Buckeyebowman said:

Having read the title of this thread again, I will say that 30 year old blades can still be "functional", but they will be far from "optimal"!

This is pretty much how I feel about it. I can play golf with old blades, but I'll play better (and I'd rather play) with modern GI clubs. If money was my primary issue and I only had blades, I'd be out there playing with them, but if I can afford to buy a set of discounted previous model year clubs, I'd definitely try them out before I dismissed them.

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On 11/4/2017 at 6:57 PM, billchao said:

I don't think they're much more forgiving, but some changes in design have certainly made today's blades more playable. Modern blades typically have slightly more bounce and a more rounded leading edge so they don't have the tendency to dig into the turf as much as vintage blades. It's a minor difference but it increases the margin of error just a bit. Vintage blades also tended to have the sweetspot slightly towards the hosel on the clubface.

But even within the category of vintage musclebacks, there are some that are better than others. Certain designs worked better than others so they have lasted the test of time and now are sought after by aficionados.

There's only so much they can do with the design of a true blade so the differences are going to be minor. I still think if you have the game to play modern blades, you'll probably be able to play with a vintage set, assuming you upgrade the shafts.

This is pretty much how I feel about it. I can play golf with old blades, but I'll play better (and I'd rather play) with modern GI clubs. If money was my primary issue and I only had blades, I'd be out there playing with them, but if I can afford to buy a set of discounted previous model year clubs, I'd definitely try them out before I dismissed them.

Again, The difference is more than minor. I have actually played both types, modern blades are significantly more playable. 

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My old, old Wilson 'Strokemaster' George Archer blades are very hard to hit compared to my MP-14's. Years ago I re-shafted the Stroke masters with some Dynamic Gold stiff flex shafts. Didn't help. The miss hits are really bad. The solid hits are few. My MP-14's are about 25 years old, but I view them as current as any of the new blades. Now the Wilson Strokemaster blades are not made from comparable steel to the Mizuno's, they have a strange swing weight with the super long hosel , and they were probably not top of the line in 1969. 

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On 10/4/2017 at 1:02 PM, satchmodog said:

Interesting thoughts from all. It certainly seems to me that any new to newish club of any quality can out distance a 40 year old club. But my conclusion is not scientific at all. While I pushed my cavity backs and Perimeter weighted clubs further down range, it wasn't by much. Maybe 5 yards tops. That can still be my not swinging well enough after back surgery, who knows. But I will say this, the slice I developed once I picked up GI irons is gone with blades. But, I also have hit some balls of the end of the face with GI and had the ball go 170 yards. I tipped a few yesterday and I was lucky to get 170 feet. One went less than 60 feet. 

But I grew up on blades and personally feel they teach you golf properly. I just don't see how GI irons ever make you a better golfer. They seem to be technique band aids. By far, the most pleasant irons inswing are Hogan apex plus. They have smaller heads and seem to just rocket the ball where I want it to go. They don't punish you for mistakes as badly as these blades do but they still let you know your swing sucked. The GI clubs just don't seem to do that and I firmly believe they allowed me to build some bad habits while I was learning to swing again. I'm going to spend the rest of the fall with these 40 year old blades, remember my dad and I golfing as the 20th anniversary of his death approaches and enjoy the fact that I can still golf. 

I'd love to find a scientific way to measure the distance on these clubs vsbmy others, just for curiosity.

Hey there, I am new to this site, but agree with alot of what you say!!  I have hit newer clubs, and older ones.  I went out to the range last week and for kicks and giggles I hit a Wilson blade probably from the 80's or 70's, I think they were the Superpower blades with the small heads.  Anyway, I hit them so well I ordered a set on Ebay for 29 bucks, and cant wait ti use them.  I understand why the new clubs are awesome to use, but personally, I feel the same as you, in that I feel some sort of connection to being a young kid again playing with the old blades.  I am also cheap by nature and really dont want to spend hundreds on clubs, only to have them go 10 yards further.  Just not worth it to me.  Plus, I love the way the club sets up with the small heads when I am ready to hit!  Good post about your dad to, Thats the best stuff, nostalgia and honoring our homies!     

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About 25 years ago I had a similar issue.  I had a set of Wilson Staff blades that I played for years.  All my friends kept telling me to get something with new technology. So I got new irons and it took me a few months to get used to them.  The one thing I instantly noticed was the spin I was getting on the new clubs.  The grooves must have been really worn on the old blades. 

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1 hour ago, cristphoto said:

About 25 years ago I had a similar issue.  I had a set of Wilson Staff blades that I played for years.  All my friends kept telling me to get something with new technology. So I got new irons and it took me a few months to get used to them.  The one thing I instantly noticed was the spin I was getting on the new clubs.  The grooves must have been really worn on the old blades. 

I demoed a few new clubs the other day at Dicks Sporting Goods, and I was hitting a 7 iron 160, which is about 10 yards farther than I hit my current 1970s wilson blades.  However, I just really hate the way all the newer clubs have the bigger clubheads, and I hate the way it feels with an offset.  I really love the blades, and I noticed that when I play the blades, if I mishit it, the ball seems to stay in play far better.  I did like the Taylor made Speedbladez, but I cant see spending 400 bucks for clubs.  I am too cheap.  That being said, I really do dig the older clubs, and for me, feel is more important than a few yards.  So I got my Wilson blades in the mail three weeks ago, played twice with them and shot an 80 and an 81.  So for me, I understand what youre saying about the groves being worn out, as theres not really much you can do, other than sharpening them.  You are right with the spins off the new clubs.  After my demo it was really eye opening to see how advanced some of the new clubs are.  Lots of great ones out there.  

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