Custom Wilson Staff Tour Blades

About a year ago, I discovered this forum, and have greatly enjoyed the discussion about new acquisitions and the various unusual club finds that people have made. Until now, I haven't had much to contribute. However, I recently stumbled onto an unusual set of late 70's Wilson Staff Tour Blades, and wonder if I could enlist your collective wisdom to learn more about them.



The clubs in question appear to have been made from 78-80 forgings, and have the traditional Staff Tour Blade stampings. In addition, they are stamped with the name "Walker Inman, Jr." as well as what I believe to be a custom grind code (G-353).



A quick google search suggests that Mr. Inman competed in a number of PGA tour events in the 50's and 60's, and was a long-time club pro at Scioto CC. I am curious to find out if these irons were part of a limited run of irons (perhaps for club members?), or a set that may have been made specifically for Mr. Inman. Any insight that the group might have would be greatly appreciated.



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Comments

  • rex235rex235 ClubWRX Posts: 3,985 ClubWRX
    dmumf-





    "I am curious to find out if these irons were part of a limited run of irons (perhaps for club members?), or a set that may have been made specifically for Mr. Inman. "





    They are most likely the latter, and their custom grind designation code G-353, was specific to Walker Inman Jr. Note this grind has a higher and more pronounced square toe. Other photos would help.



    Walker Inman Jr's signature stamp in the back pad is the clincher. Viewed similar "signature" stamped irons for Johnny Miller, Sam and JC Snead in the '70s when they were Wilson staffers.



    Sadly Wilson "made the corporate decision" to close access to their custom department in 2014, which supposedly consisted of cataloging their personal custom grinds for nearly all the PGA and LPGA Tour Staff Professionals, and Club Professionals in Wilsons history- Men and Women.



    These Wilson custom grinds were inventoried in a series of 3 ring binders, and supposedly were in the hands of longtime Wilson Golf clubmaker and master grinder Robert Mendralla Sr, who left this world last year.



    The existence of the 3 ring binders was confirmed in an email received from a former Wilson staff employee now retired and living in AZ. They also provided names of other custom grinders for Wilson.



    It has been speculated that his son, Robert Mendralla Jr., is now in possession of these binders.



    Nonetheless, Great set!
  • fluffy265fluffy265 Members Posts: 645 ✭✭
    edited Dec 30, 2017 #3
    I've got another one here that I stumbled upon a couple of months back. This was being sold as a commemorative set. I thought that it looked more like the work of the custom dept.



    What the pic doesn't show are the plain black ferrules black sole plugs & Brunswick precision fcm 6.0's ( which is what I believe Betsy played).

    I did not purchase these as they were a little rich for my taste, and the last thing this Mac' boy needs is the makings of a Wilson addiction!



    I am Curious to hear what you all think.



    J



    Post edited by Unknown User on
    Yamaha W-602
    '58 MT PT1 2W
    H&B Super Citation 4W
    '63 MT FC4000 M1's
    Tad Moore "47 Rookie"
  • SteveNZSteveNZ Members Posts: 632 ✭✭
    Were they on TradeMe?
  • fluffy265fluffy265 Members Posts: 645 ✭✭
    SteveNZ wrote:


    Were they on TradeMe?




    Yep, I think it was about 4 or 5 months ago.
    Yamaha W-602
    '58 MT PT1 2W
    H&B Super Citation 4W
    '63 MT FC4000 M1's
    Tad Moore "47 Rookie"
  • elwhippyelwhippy Members Posts: 3,111 ✭✭
    Turnberry 86. Four US players in a group. Floyd, Kite, Pate and A N other....four sets of Staff irons. All different heads. Kite's were squared off, Floyd's more rounded and a deeper blade. Stunning clubs.
  • freddiecfreddiec Members Posts: 4,268 ✭✭
    edited Dec 24, 2017 #7
    Great post. Original poster, I think those were from 1980-81, nice looking custom set... Betsy King was a major winner on the LPGA tour. I played that same 1985 model in high school and loved them. A year ago I acquired a 1 thru PW set made for Bernhard Langer long time Wilson Staffer.
  • rex235rex235 ClubWRX Posts: 3,985 ClubWRX
    Freddie-



    Remember to get BL to sign that 1 iron...



    Fluffy-



    It is most likely the work of the Custom Dept, with "BETSY KING" stamping and the N-320 custom iron code.



    Also- Betsy King was a National Champion along with Beth Daniel at Furman, winning the AIAW Team title by 1 shot over Tulsa. Tulsa's Nancy Lopez won the Individual crown, besting champion and future LPGA winner Barbara Barrow in a four hole playoff.
  • dmumfdmumf Members Posts: 8
    Thanks to all for your responses.



    Rex235 in particular, thank you for the detailed information about the custom shop, and what may have become of their records. Per your interest in additional photos, I have added a few to this post. As you can see from the photos, the top line is very thin. Additionally, the leading edge seems to be a good bit more beveled than a standard set.



    Nice to see the other examples of Wilson's custom work through the years. FreddieC, that Langer set is awfully nice looking. I am curious to hear how you managed to find them.
  • rex235rex235 ClubWRX Posts: 3,985 ClubWRX
    Dmumf-



    Thanks for the added photos- Love the squared toe, and thin top line of your set.



    Wilson made a number of custom golf clubs, both the persimmon woods and forged blade irons. Nothing like Freddie getting a custom ground iron set of a Masters Champion.



    Someone out there has a treasure trove of Wilson stuff.



    No, it is not me. Just have a few LH irons...
  • teevonsteevons Members Posts: 2,194 ✭✭
    edited Dec 28, 2017 #11
    Here are a few Custom sets I have, 2 have X100 shafts other Stiff W/S

    I like the button back with no button except for PW which is a fill PW!!
    009.JPG 128.7K
    008.JPG 116.5K
    013.JPG 125.3K
    014.JPG 105.7K
  • persimmonmanpersimmonman Members Posts: 63 ✭✭
    The buttonless “buttonbacks” have gorgeous lines. I’ve got set K441 as a back up. Also gaming a 1958 SW custom reissue N551. Would really be cool if the build number catalog binders ever came to light.
  • rex235rex235 ClubWRX Posts: 3,985 ClubWRX
    edited Dec 30, 2017 #13
    Persimmon-



    +1



    LH 1962 Wilson Sam Snead Signature 1 iron...



    While it is sufficient at this point to know these 3 ring binders existed at Wilson, others might want to know more.



    Good Luck.
  • BIG STUBIG STU Members Posts: 11,277 ✭✭
    fluffy265 wrote:


    I've got another one here that I stumbled upon a couple of months back. This was being sold as a commemorative set. I thought that it looked more like the work of the custom dept.



    What the pic doesn't show are the plain black ferrules black sole plugs & Brunswick precision fcm 6.0's ( which is what I believe Betsy played).

    I did not purchase these as they were a little rich for my taste, and the last thing this Mac' boy needs is the makings of a Wilson addiction!



    I am Curious to here what you all think.



    J



    I know about the thing of "a Mac Man getting a Wilson addiction" I am a Mac man starting to get a Hogan addiction. The culprits on here will remain nameless even one of them lives near Chicago image/taunt.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':taunt:' />
  • GolfNutRiblickGolfNutRiblick Members Posts: 306 ✭✭
    Hogan guy here getting a serious Mac addiction.
  • fluffy265fluffy265 Members Posts: 645 ✭✭
    BIG STU wrote:

    fluffy265 wrote:


    I've got another one here that I stumbled upon a couple of months back. This was being sold as a commemorative set. I thought that it looked more like the work of the custom dept.



    What the pic doesn't show are the plain black ferrules black sole plugs & Brunswick precision fcm 6.0's ( which is what I believe Betsy played).

    I did not purchase these as they were a little rich for my taste, and the last thing this Mac' boy needs is the makings of a Wilson addiction!



    I am Curious to here what you all think.



    J



    I know about the thing of "a Mac Man getting a Wilson addiction" I am a Mac man starting to get a Hogan addiction. The culprits on here will remain nameless even one of them lives near Chicago image/taunt.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':taunt:' />




    Mind you Stu, I do need to thank you for getting me to put that Fluid Feel Tour blade SW in my bag, That has been working out really Nice.



    Cheers!



    J
    Yamaha W-602
    '58 MT PT1 2W
    H&B Super Citation 4W
    '63 MT FC4000 M1's
    Tad Moore "47 Rookie"
  • freddiecfreddiec Members Posts: 4,268 ✭✭
    The K441s looks amazing ! Like the shape ..
  • rex235rex235 ClubWRX Posts: 3,985 ClubWRX
    edited Dec 30, 2017 #18
    Freddie-



    Perhaps the '71 Wilson Staff Custom ground K441 PW and SW never left the players bag....
  • BIG STUBIG STU Members Posts: 11,277 ✭✭
    fluffy265 wrote:

    BIG STU wrote:

    fluffy265 wrote:


    I've got another one here that I stumbled upon a couple of months back. This was being sold as a commemorative set. I thought that it looked more like the work of the custom dept.



    What the pic doesn't show are the plain black ferrules black sole plugs & Brunswick precision fcm 6.0's ( which is what I believe Betsy played).

    I did not purchase these as they were a little rich for my taste, and the last thing this Mac' boy needs is the makings of a Wilson addiction!



    I am Curious to here what you all think.



    J



    I know about the thing of "a Mac Man getting a Wilson addiction" I am a Mac man starting to get a Hogan addiction. The culprits on here will remain nameless even one of them lives near Chicago image/taunt.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':taunt:' />




    Mind you Stu, I do need to thank you for getting me to put that Fluid Feel Tour blade SW in my bag, That has been working out really Nice.



    Cheers!



    J
    Hey you are welcome anything I can do to help a fellow classic club ho image/taunt.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':taunt:' />
  • TexsportTexsport Members Posts: 2,340 ✭✭
    edited Dec 31, 2017 #20
    Here are a couple Wilson Staff clubs I treasure - Sam Snead and Ray Floyd wedges.



    Post edited by Unknown User on
    Mizuno GT180 10.5*/Graphite Design Tour AD IZ 5 X
    Tour Edge Exotics CB F2 PRO 15.5* Limited/Speeder 757 EVO 7.1X (Gene Sauers club)
    Titleist 915 18*/Fubuki K 80X
    Titleist 913 Hybrid 21*/Tour Blue 105X (Matt Jones' club) (OR) TM Burner 4-iron/Aldila RIP 115 Tour S
    Wilson Staff V4 5 and 6/Aerotech Fibersteel 110 S
    MacGregor PRO M 7-PM/Aldila RIP 115 Tour S
    Edel 50*/KBS 610 S
    Scratch JMO Grind Don White 56*/DG X-100
    Cobra Trusty Rusty Tour 64*/DG S-200
    The Cure CX2 putter
  • rex235rex235 ClubWRX Posts: 3,985 ClubWRX
    Tex-



    L-438..



    Now we know what one of Sam Snead's custom iron grind numbers was..



    Thank you.



    Wait... Andy Beans Wilson Staff Dynapower SW is the best feeling one? What model year?
  • TexsportTexsport Members Posts: 2,340 ✭✭
    edited Dec 31, 2017 #22
    I should say, best playing DynaPower.



    It's heavy and has a very stiff shaft.



    I'll post a pic.



    Texsport
    Post edited by Unknown User on
    Mizuno GT180 10.5*/Graphite Design Tour AD IZ 5 X
    Tour Edge Exotics CB F2 PRO 15.5* Limited/Speeder 757 EVO 7.1X (Gene Sauers club)
    Titleist 915 18*/Fubuki K 80X
    Titleist 913 Hybrid 21*/Tour Blue 105X (Matt Jones' club) (OR) TM Burner 4-iron/Aldila RIP 115 Tour S
    Wilson Staff V4 5 and 6/Aerotech Fibersteel 110 S
    MacGregor PRO M 7-PM/Aldila RIP 115 Tour S
    Edel 50*/KBS 610 S
    Scratch JMO Grind Don White 56*/DG X-100
    Cobra Trusty Rusty Tour 64*/DG S-200
    The Cure CX2 putter
  • freddiecfreddiec Members Posts: 4,268 ✭✭
    edited Dec 31, 2017 #23
    Texsport , have you hit the Snead PW? Same model as my Langer. Awesome !
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • TexsportTexsport Members Posts: 2,340 ✭✭
    freddiec wrote:


    Texsport , have you hit the Snead PW? Same model as my Langer. Awesome !




    freddiec - never hit it because when I bought it from Sam's son, it still had some dirt in the grooves - figured I'd just leave it like that.



    A popular model among all time greats - something special!



    Texsport
    Mizuno GT180 10.5*/Graphite Design Tour AD IZ 5 X
    Tour Edge Exotics CB F2 PRO 15.5* Limited/Speeder 757 EVO 7.1X (Gene Sauers club)
    Titleist 915 18*/Fubuki K 80X
    Titleist 913 Hybrid 21*/Tour Blue 105X (Matt Jones' club) (OR) TM Burner 4-iron/Aldila RIP 115 Tour S
    Wilson Staff V4 5 and 6/Aerotech Fibersteel 110 S
    MacGregor PRO M 7-PM/Aldila RIP 115 Tour S
    Edel 50*/KBS 610 S
    Scratch JMO Grind Don White 56*/DG X-100
    Cobra Trusty Rusty Tour 64*/DG S-200
    The Cure CX2 putter
  • freddiecfreddiec Members Posts: 4,268 ✭✭
    edited Dec 31, 2017 #25
    Here are comparison pics (Bernhard Langer Staffs) to Sam Snead's 1985 Staff PW. According to Larry Bobka, Wilson clubmaker at the time Bernhard liked "full offset" on his irons, which made it pretty tough to accomplish.
  • TexsportTexsport Members Posts: 2,340 ✭✭
    All the custom Bernard Langer, MacGregor wedges I got from Dave Wood have distinct offset also.



    Texsport
    Mizuno GT180 10.5*/Graphite Design Tour AD IZ 5 X
    Tour Edge Exotics CB F2 PRO 15.5* Limited/Speeder 757 EVO 7.1X (Gene Sauers club)
    Titleist 915 18*/Fubuki K 80X
    Titleist 913 Hybrid 21*/Tour Blue 105X (Matt Jones' club) (OR) TM Burner 4-iron/Aldila RIP 115 Tour S
    Wilson Staff V4 5 and 6/Aerotech Fibersteel 110 S
    MacGregor PRO M 7-PM/Aldila RIP 115 Tour S
    Edel 50*/KBS 610 S
    Scratch JMO Grind Don White 56*/DG X-100
    Cobra Trusty Rusty Tour 64*/DG S-200
    The Cure CX2 putter
  • rex235rex235 ClubWRX Posts: 3,985 ClubWRX
    edited Jan 2, 2018 #27
    Freddie/Tex-



    Absolutely great photos.



    There are a few LH W/S custom iron sets among the trove-



    Don liked both the design of the clubs, as well as the grind....
    Post edited by Unknown User on
  • SwingingkSwingingk ClubWRX Posts: 579 ClubWRX
    This is so cool. You guys never cease to amaze me. The Wilson custom shop sure was busy over the years. Just from casual observation it seems there's more custom ground Staff irons around than all the other makers combined. Maybe it just appears that way due to to obvious number stampings. Great stuff fellows!
  • TexsportTexsport Members Posts: 2,340 ✭✭
    edited Jan 1, 2018 #29
    Back when Wilson and MacGregor were the clear leaders in the market, they furnished custom clubs to leading club pros as well as Tour pros. In fact, many of the club pros played Tour events regularly - before the advent of the "all exempt" Tour and big T V and sponsor money were involved.



    My original DynaPower SW and PW were custom clubs for club pros. The PW looks like a SW bent to PW loft with extra hosel offset.



    Ill try to find that club - I played it for years.



    Texsport
    Mizuno GT180 10.5*/Graphite Design Tour AD IZ 5 X
    Tour Edge Exotics CB F2 PRO 15.5* Limited/Speeder 757 EVO 7.1X (Gene Sauers club)
    Titleist 915 18*/Fubuki K 80X
    Titleist 913 Hybrid 21*/Tour Blue 105X (Matt Jones' club) (OR) TM Burner 4-iron/Aldila RIP 115 Tour S
    Wilson Staff V4 5 and 6/Aerotech Fibersteel 110 S
    MacGregor PRO M 7-PM/Aldila RIP 115 Tour S
    Edel 50*/KBS 610 S
    Scratch JMO Grind Don White 56*/DG X-100
    Cobra Trusty Rusty Tour 64*/DG S-200
    The Cure CX2 putter
  • golfmj228golfmj228 GolfMJ Members Posts: 401 ✭✭
    Texsport, I’m curious if you have a mini-museum at home with all the great clubs you have in that collection? My wife omplains with just the “non-special” sticks I’ve collected 😄
  • rex235rex235 ClubWRX Posts: 3,985 ClubWRX
    edited Jan 2, 2018 #31
    mj-



    All I can write is....



    Texsport was kind enough to send me photos of his LH Wood Brothers Clubs... image/taunt.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':taunt:' />
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