Serious Jack Nicklaus question, 1-iron @ Pebble

dcopp7dcopp7 Members Posts: 1,033 ✭✭

How could Jack, famous for being a big hitter, only hit a 1-iron 215 yards? I carry a 23° 5 iron and can hit it 210. I don't get it. So his 5 iron was his 170yd club??? Tell me your thoughts.

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Comments

  • Steele47Steele47 Members Posts: 1,422 ✭✭

    @tatertot said:

    @dcopp7 said:
    How could Jack, famous for being a big hitter, only hit a 1-iron 215 yards? I carry a 23° 5 iron and can hit it 210. I don't get it. So his 5 iron was his 170yd club??? Tell me your thoughts.

    Have you ever actually played golf, you know, outside in like, the "weather" and where there are "hills" and "wind", with equipment from the 1970s?

    LOL

  • tstephentstephen Members Posts: 1,842 ✭✭

    At 43 Jack demonstrating driver past champions clinic PGA Championship hit 5 perfect normal drives then his last drive showing the crowd how he could go another 30 plus yards hit a drive that would have been 1st or 2nd in The National Long Drive contest that immediately followed. At 58 he had his club head speed measured for first time at 118mph and I don't know if that was pre/post his hip surgery. The last time I saw him in person at 64 in the Toshiba Classic on 4-5 holes he was as long as Purtzer or Fergus when they were the 2 longest on that tour. Yes, Jack was ALWAYS the longest but I hope I'm a lot longer when I'm 79.

  • ShilgyShilgy PhoenixMembers Posts: 11,684 ✭✭

    @dcopp7 said:
    How could Jack, famous for being a big hitter, only hit a 1-iron 215 yards? I carry a 23° 5 iron and can hit it 210. I don't get it. So his 5 iron was his 170yd club??? Tell me your thoughts.

    Well, for starters, you say you "can" hit your 5 iron 210. Jack "knew" he would hit his 1 iron 215... In the cold damp Pebble air.... into a breeze....with the US Open on the line.

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  • daleheaddalehead Members Posts: 1,530 ✭✭

    Come back and ask this question again when you’ve hit a wound balata golf ball with a muscle back blade one iron with a 1970’s steel shaft.

  • tstephentstephen Members Posts: 1,842 ✭✭

    Same swing in 1972(I was watching Jack in person that week but my parents were on the 17th tee watching Jack on Sunday) with Dustin's M4 4 iron today 90 degree day Phoenix Open 17th hole would probably make the green on that par 4.

  • tstephentstephen Members Posts: 1,842 ✭✭

    Furthermore on Jack's 25th Anniversary playing the tour show he & Greg Norman both said they hit 5 irons during different British Opens that went further than any shot they ever hit playing on tour. I would like to know if dcopp7 carries his 5 iron 210. I am almost 60 and I have 2 5 irons in my bag with my 21.5 degree M4 that I carry 200-205 on a shot monitor. Jack at almost 60 would gave easily been 2 clubs longer than me.

  • Steele47Steele47 Members Posts: 1,422 ✭✭

    I followed Nicklaus in 2002 for 9 holes when he was in Las Vegas officially opening up Bears Best. He was doing a sort obligatory 'walk thru' the course, mic'd up etc.. with a crowd of around 150 following. Was pretty cool.

    I believe he was born in 1940 so he was just 61, 62 and I'm pretty sure this was after his hip surgery. I remember they had him hit a persimmon MacGregor driver off the first tee which made him a little nervous but he nailed it and then they put that driver on display in the clubhouse. Anyway, what really stands out remembering that day was what he did on the 2nd hole, a par 5 of around 540ish. He hit his regular driver off that tee (larger head titanium I'm guessing) and then hit the shot that killed me. For his 2nd shot he had around 250 in I'm guessing. I remember him hitting a fairway wood prob a 3 wood. What absolutely floored me was he was able to hit that fairway wood (metal actually) high enough to stop it on the green. That course had only been open about 4 months prior to that day and the greens were still very much on the firm side. I'd seen him play a few times prior at the Hope Classic back in the 70s,80s but that shot in Vegas is the one I'll always remember.

  • dcopp7dcopp7 Members Posts: 1,033 ✭✭

    So you are saying it was conditions based then? I'll buy that I suppose. It must've been hella windy that day.

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  • Hawkeye77Hawkeye77 Countdown to The Open Championship! IowaClubWRX Posts: 18,075 ClubWRX
    edited Jun 26, 2019 11:56am #12

    @dcopp7 said:
    So you are saying it was conditions based then? I'll buy that I suppose. It must've been hella windy that day.

    "I suppose"?

    Under those conditions you'd hit that 5 iron of yours 130 yards dead right off your hosel and be hiding behind your staff bag.

    Golf - "conditions based" - who knew?

    And yes, if you can access this site you could have easily found the video of that shot online - trees blowing hard in the background, wind in off the ocean, cool conditions, ball/spin involved - one of the greatest shots in major championship history.

    But hey, bro, I prolly hit my 5i 210 - LOL.

  • smashdnsmashdn Let's cut them trees down. Members Posts: 1,146 ✭✭

    Digest or GolfWeek or one of them had an article on it some years back. I don't remember all the details about his discussing that shot but I do remember him speaking of how he flighted the ball down to keep it low. Not just on that particular shot but whenever he needed to. Paraphrasing but it was along the lines of, "I hit it one or two grooves lower on the face." So there's that.

  • DcohenourDcohenour Members Posts: 613 ✭✭

    I believe that the shot demonstrates how creative Jack was under those conditions. No doubt he could have hit a variety of shots into that green on that day. But he chose that one, with the Open on the line, which was probably the most important variable in that scenario. Best to just appreciate the shot without trying to over think it. There have been amazing shots hit by millions of golfers that are memorable to that person and given their skill level are just as awesome as Jack's 1 iron on that day. It's what keeps us coming back for the next round.

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  • No_Catchy_NicknameNo_Catchy_Nickname Kyushu,_JapanMembers Posts: 5,376 ✭✭

    I've not much to add here except that 1-iron distance is enhanced by run, especially when we're talking about a 1-iron blade.
    If he had 215 to the pin, he carried that shot about 212 yards and was stopped by the pin. Now, if that had been a 1i off the tee, it would have run out on the fairway to, I would guess, around 225 yards at least. Now a 225 1-iron (blade) into a stiff wind with a balata ball is nothing to be sneezed at.
    The US Open on the line is just icing on the cake!

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  • mocokidmocokid Members Posts: 1,827 ✭✭

    also today's lads absolutely swing all out on most full shots, back in the day Jack and others did NOT. They saved it when they needed it. I'm not going to argue about today's ball, equipment, etc. BUT, the way today's players swing and work out, careers are going to be shorter, no way a body can stand up to that lashing. my $0.02.

  • dlygrissedlygrisse KansasMembers Posts: 13,312 ✭✭

    Described as gale force winds. He flew it about 217, hole measured 218. Ever hit an old MacGregor balata ball with the linear dimple pattern into 30 mph winds? LOL. Jack's irons were butter knives compared to today's, shafts about an inch shorter in relation to todays, and heavier, with long hosels, the sweet spot the heel.
    If you can find an old balata, not the last gen with the modern dimples, but the old standard dimple pattern, try playing a few holes in the wind with it, it makes a proV1 feel like a Top (rock) Flite.

    When I first started playing the game in the 1980's, you still came across equipment that was similar, even though the metal woods and Eye 2's were coming on the scene, it was a different game. The ball spun so much more, and curved a LOT more. You had to learn to take spin off the ball into the wind, if not your really had to pure it, which is what Jack did there...


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  • dlygrissedlygrisse KansasMembers Posts: 13,312 ✭✭

    @No_Catchy_Nickname said:
    I've not much to add here except that 1-iron distance is enhanced by run, especially when we're talking about a 1-iron blade.
    If he had 215 to the pin, he carried that shot about 212 yards and was stopped by the pin. Now, if that had been a 1i off the tee, it would have run out on the fairway to, I would guess, around 225 yards at least. Now a 225 1-iron (blade) into a stiff wind with a balata ball is nothing to be sneezed at.
    The US Open on the line is just icing on the cake!

    Jack's standard 1 iron swing probably carried 230 to 240-ish. Jack worked his way around the course very methodically, always trying to play soft shots into the greens that just sat down. I remember seeing him hit 5 irons 150,,, with a 3/4 swing, and launching them 50 yards farther when needed. Watch those old Shell's matches, a 7 iron wa a 150 club for the pros at sea level.


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  • resnorresnor Members Posts: 463 ✭✭
    edited Jun 26, 2019 2:46pm #20

    Yeah, I was going to say, just because he hit it 215 doesn't mean he could ONLY hit it 215. I've read stories of the old pros hitting every club from driver to their wedge, to the flag on par 3s, just to practice hitting different shots with every club. The 1 iron probably gave him the desired ball flight, he probably wasn't trying to hit it his "normal" 1 iron distance.

  • farmerfarmer Members Posts: 7,961 ✭✭

    I like Shilgy's distinction between "can hit" and "would hit". I will add "could hit" in those conditions, with that ball and those clubs. If you've never played them, you just can't imagine what they were like.

  • DcohenourDcohenour Members Posts: 613 ✭✭

    That's what I meant about Jack being creative. Today's pros just don't seem that creative to me. Case in point: Patrick Reed gets frustrated and breaks his wedge over his knee because he messed up two shots. I am sitting there looking at these guys and yelling at the tv that they could hit a bump and run. Haven't they read Ray Floyd's book From 60 yard in?? Answer: No. They only know to use a wedge into the green for every distance. Why not a 7 iron from that close? Or a 9? Not too creative, imo. No, let's get mad and break the club. Dumb.

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  • dcopp7dcopp7 Members Posts: 1,033 ✭✭

    Reed is a **** though too

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  • smashdnsmashdn Let's cut them trees down. Members Posts: 1,146 ✭✭

    Finished my range session yesterday hitting my odd numbered irons all 100 yards. I had forgotten doing that until re-reading this thread. I bet Jack had a 150 yard one iron shot in his bag if the situation called for it.

  • JiggeredJiggered Midlands UKMembers Posts: 481 ✭✭

    Has anybody mentioned how lofts have changed?

    Your 21.5 degree 5 iron compares closer to a 2 or 3 iron back in the 1970s, which were typically 20 amd 24 degrees respectively.
    A 1 iron was typically 17 degrees.
    And a 5 iron 32 degrees, so a 7 iron by today's lofts.

    Not forgetting that shaft lengths were also shorter than the same number club today. (But not if comparing based on lofts, ie 1970s 5 iron length the same as today's 7 iron length)

    It's not all about the score.
  • baloobaloo A Person WisconsinMembers Posts: 1,085 ✭✭
    edited Jun 26, 2019 6:54pm #26

    Go hit a vintage 1 iron into the wind with a balata ball and see how far it goes.

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  • DcohenourDcohenour Members Posts: 613 ✭✭

    @baloo said:
    Go hit a vintage 1 iron into the wind with a balata ball and see how far it goes.

    I know how far mine would go. The question is, which direction? Bystanders beware...

    OGA #1972-2018
  • SteveNZSteveNZ Members Posts: 641 ✭✭
    edited Jun 26, 2019 10:35pm #28

    @dlygrisse said:

    Described as gale force winds. He flew it about 217, hole measured 218. Ever hit an old MacGregor balata ball with the linear dimple pattern into 30 mph winds? LOL. Jack's irons were butter knives compared to today's, shafts about an inch shorter in relation to todays, and heavier, with long hosels, the sweet spot the heel.
    If you can find an old balata, not the last gen with the modern dimples, but the old standard dimple pattern, try playing a few holes in the wind with it, it makes a proV1 feel like a Top (rock) Flite.

    When I first started playing the game in the 1980's, you still came across equipment that was similar, even though the metal woods and Eye 2's were coming on the scene, it was a different game. The ball spun so much more, and curved a LOT more. You had to learn to take spin off the ball into the wind, if not your really had to pure it, which is what Jack did there...

    And that MacGregor ball was pretty crappy too - there's an article on the internet about it somewhere. Even Jack didn't like using it much. That's a great video, but it almost understates how great a shot it was - the applause almost sounds polite!

    I know there's Craig Wood's shot at the Masters and all, but you can make a pretty good case that this is the best shot ever hit in a major.

    EDIT - link to story about MacGregor balls - https://golfweek.com/2009/11/25/looking-back-macgregors-golf-balls/

    Post edited by SteveNZ on
  • Nomad GolferNomad Golfer Members Posts: 822 ✭✭
    edited Jun 27, 2019 1:15am #29

    hmmmmm, let me see, 215 into a wind so what club would I choose, perhaps a #1 iron to keep the ball low?. I played Persimmon and blades in the 70's with a rubber-wound ball and was lucky to hit that far with a 50mph tail wind using a #1 wood. Mind you a #1 wood then would be about a #4 wood today.

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  • RobotDoctorRobotDoctor Senior Hacker ClubWRX Posts: 4,671 ClubWRX

    @Shilgy said:

    @dcopp7 said:
    How could Jack, famous for being a big hitter, only hit a 1-iron 215 yards? I carry a 23° 5 iron and can hit it 210. I don't get it. So his 5 iron was his 170yd club??? Tell me your thoughts.

    Well, for starters, you say you "can" hit your 5 iron 210. Jack "knew" he would hit his 1 iron 215... In the cold damp Pebble air.... into a breeze....with the US Open on the line.

    More than a breeze. It was more like a light gale.

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  • RobotDoctorRobotDoctor Senior Hacker ClubWRX Posts: 4,671 ClubWRX

    There is such a huge difference between today's equipment compared to the equipment of 40-50 years ago. For that matter, 60 years ago. Equipment between the 1950's and 1960's were pretty much comparable. The balls today go much farther. Irons are stronger loft. Shafts are better, now flighted. "Woods" today are made of Titanium/Carbon Fiber/what other high tech widget added and are paired with an ultra high tech and light weight golf shaft. Back in the day the most sought after woods are the MacGregor pro line from the early 1950s. Here is my 1953 MacGregor M09 LFF (White/Red/White insert and from the stance) and my 1950 MacGregor 693. Just for nostalgia's sake. :)

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