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1952 to 1972 MacGregor Forged Iron Sets

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I happen to know more than I should about MacGregor forged irons of the 1950's, 1960's and 1970's.

I probably own 18 sets of these vintage beauties.

If you have questions about this era of golf,  I may be able to help get some answers.

I have studied and still use as a reference the Jim Kaplan MacGregor and Wilson golf history catalogs.

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My first set of irons, hand me downs from my dad, were VIP’s.  Probably late 50’s...

Fond memories.

In Racine, Wisconsin back then!  :beer:

Edited by David in FL

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I believe that the first VIP's come on to the market was in about 1968 after Jack Nicklaus was signed by MacGregor and had a few wins under his belt.

Dayton Ohio sure does have history and not only with MacGregor.

I have a few pre-1920's hickory shafted Dayton Ohio stamped clubs.

Hickory shafts for nearly all of the club manufactures back in that era got there shafts from a MacGregor curing barn in Dayton.

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Just buffed up, lengthened a half inch and regripped a set of MT Tourney. Going to take them out today

6CCA43DD-2A27-4DFD-AF98-66E1D50BB596.jpeg

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Those M75's are real classics. 

I have a few sets on M85's. One copper faced Colokroms and one set of Rec. M85's. I live the wing back look.

About the only difference was the M75's probably came original with T. T. V Chrome shafts and the M85's

with T. T. Tourney shafts. Heads are the same. 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

2i > PW iron set: 1950-54 MacGregor Tourney - REC. M85 forged w/ T. T. Tourney regular flex shafts,

Pro Only Crown Cord grips. Pat. #163961. SN# M2217.

2i > 9i iron set: 1956-57 MacGregor Colokrom - Tourney M85, forged blades with copper faces T. T. Tourney 

regular flex shafts. Pat. 163961. SN# 5B094R

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11 hours ago, tinker said:

Just buffed up, lengthened a half inch and regripped a set of MT Tourney. Going to take them out today

I took up golf in the early 80's. My first set was like those. Knocked down a flag stick or two. I have no idea where I got them. The faces were rusted in the groove area, and my good golfer friends said that was a good thing. Thanks @GAA for bringing back the memories. Best, -Marv

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@GAA

Can you tell me the exact name and model number for these MT irons?

Online they are generically describe at "MT blades."

Below are pictures of the MacGregor MT irons. I played them from 1974-1994. (I borrowed pix from an online ad, as my MTs are off-site in storage. ) They likely were manufactured circa 1971, according to bit on horizontal picture.  Note: The set's most lofted club was labeled 10 iron, instead of PW. (It didn't quite have the bounce help you get from a modern PW). 

image.png.8d1ac16ce5069090420676eb389a50af.png

The set had MacGregor Tourney Lite #1 (stiff) steel shafts, and felt just a touch livelier than the Dynamic Golds of the era.

image.png.e794f300d515880fc7e1387f50af560a.png

I bought them in Spring 1974 from the pro at the country club where I had been a caddy. (price: $130 total!). He was a MacGregor guy. 

I've kept the MT irons, and some MT woods and a SW I bought later, in a more-or-less period bag.

(I'm missing the original 7 iron - head flew into a lake circa 1979 - and would like to replace it.)

The MTs were great in summers when I could play five or six times a month, but weren't very user-friendly if I only played sparsely. (Uhh, they were blades...)

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The MT 1969's through the mid-70's have dozens of models with dozens of different lettering and numbering.

They are considered as forged muscle back blades. Many MT's in that ear were Step-Soles" or "Slit-Soles".

The black outlined block letters in the stock photo are 1970-71 models. The M/T's with white block letters were 1972's.

I have both MT by MacGregor & M/T by MacGregor of these sets wit a2 Medium flex. 2i > 10i & 11 utility wedge.

I also have split-sole MT sets, MT TR1A's, MT R2MT's and MT TR9's. (Different letters and numbers only really indicated what kind of shaft flex and rubber or leather grip)

I will look to see if I have a loose MT 7 iron. But I don't think so.

A little after these MT's was a very cool muscle back Ben Crenshaw - The Texan. Other than two rounds that I just had to play, they are still virtually new.

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On 3/20/2019 at 4:43 PM, GAA said:

They are considered as forged muscle back blades. Many MT's in that ear were Step-Soles" or "Slit-Soles".

I have a slit-sole SW from another model year.

On 3/20/2019 at 4:43 PM, GAA said:

I will look to see if I have a loose MT 7 iron. But I don't think so.

If by chance you do, I'm interested!

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Sorry, I check loose irons for MT's and TM Tourneys and I really only have 2 irons and wedges. No 7 irons.

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Interesting! Back in the day I played a course called Wicked Woods in Geauga Co, in NE Ohio. Mounted high on the wall above the door leaving the clubhouse was a glass fronted, walnut presentation case containing a full set of golf clubs. Reading the brass plaquard, which my younger eyes could still do, it read "Presented to Jack Nicklaus on the occasion of his third Masters victory by the MacGregor Golf Co."! 

I have no idea how the owner of the course came to be in possession of these clubs, but I can tell you this. They gleamed like jewels behind that glass! From the chromed heads to the leather wrapped grips.Unfortunately, you can't see them any more. That owner is a couple generations in the past. Just late last year, the current owners sold the place to the Geauga Co. parks district. It is a unique piece of property. Very spectacular for a golf course. but we are "overbuilt" for golf, and this was one of the casualties. I think it went down because it was so difficult to play. 

 

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On ‎3‎/‎13‎/‎2019 at 2:46 PM, GAA said:

I happen to know more than I should about MacGregor forged irons of the 1950's, 1960's and 1970's.

I probably own 18 sets of these vintage beauties.

If you have questions about this era of golf,  I may be able to help get some answers.

I have studied and still use as a reference the Jim Kaplan MacGregor and Wilson golf history catalogs.

I have a set of MacGregor irons that I bought in the '70's.  They are called "Tourney Custom" and stamped below that name is "the 985".  Any info on them would be appreciated.

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I believe the Tourney Custom  The 985's were put out a few years after the 1969 MacGregor Tommy Armour 985's.

Probably 1972-73. The TA 985's were very popular irons as were the persimmons woods.

They probable have all red cursive script on the back side of the blade. Nice forged iron blades.

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2 hours ago, GAA said:

I believe the Tourney Custom  The 985's were put out a few years after the 1969 MacGregor Tommy Armour 985's.

Probably 1972-73. The TA 985's were very popular irons as were the persimmons woods.

They probable have all red cursive script on the back side of the blade. Nice forged iron blades.

Yes, red cursive for "Tourney Custom".  Black for "The 985".  I'm guessing about '74 or '75 is when I bought them.

They are really nice clubs and served me well for about 15 years until I replaced them with MacGregor JNP's around '90 or '91.

Thanks GAA

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I still have a set of '69 MacGregor Tommy Armour Tourney 985 irons, a set of '64 MacGregor Tommy Armour Tourney Iron Master 234's and a set of late 70's PGA Tommy Armour Silver Scot Collector Reg, No. 709's.

All very similar thick bottom / thin top blades that are surprisingly forgiving.

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I will say one thing about those old forgings. They would give you an education! My first set of "better" irons were muscleback player's blades that were so ridiculously small compared to today's irons! Hit them near the toe or heel and you would get a harsh lesson. Hit them in the middle and it felt so sweet and pure! 

I've posted on another thread the idea that the older style of clubs may have taught us to be better golfers. Today's clubs are built to compensate for swing faults, the old stuff wasn't! You learned to hit them properly or you suffered. 

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I had heard, and I am not sure where, that Rickie Fowler practices with 1950's - 1960's style blades when he struggles with ball striking. If that is true, then it makes perfect sense.

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