Macgregor Persimmon preservation

 tlap ·  
tlaptlap Members  11WRX Points: 9Handicap: 1Posts: 11 Bunkers
Joined:  in Hickory, Persimmon and Classic Clubs #1

I am hoping to get some advice on techniques for preserving a couple sets of older Macgregors I have. They are original sets that show signs of play through the years and the sole plates and toes have areas where the finish has been rubbed down / scratched. I found a few sources that recommended applying linseed or tung oil to the heads as routine maintenance. I'm reluctant to do anything without experienced advice as I don't want to do anything that can't be "undone" (aka me **** up the clubs). :) Thoughts on routine maintenance?

Additionally, at what point are these clubs beyond routine maintenance and in need of more of a restoration / rejuvenation work? I've attached a picture to illustrate one set that I am looking at in particular.

Thank you in advance!


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Answers

  • tstephentstephen Members  1897WRX Points: 182Posts: 1,897 Platinum Tees
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    They look like 693s to me. I would probably leave them alone. Does the bottom have oil hardened with number 693 below it? Also, please add a straight on picture of the face of the driver 1.

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  • RobotDoctorRobotDoctor Senior Hacker ClubWRX  5451WRX Points: 1,155Posts: 5,451 ClubWRX
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    These are 693Ts. I remember seeing these on eBay a couple of weeks ago, or so.


    If this was my set I would find someone who is excellent at restoration (removal of screws, insert, shaft) and have them reset. Screws securing the insert and sole look to be in great shape so they can be reused. My preference would be Dave Wood but he is done for the season and he is not inexpensive. He is the best in the business. There are others here who refinish persimmon woods. If these are refinished with someone who knows what they are doing the set could look something like this:


    Posted:
    TaylorMade M3 440cc 9.5* driver, Graphite Design Tour AD DI 6S
    TaylorMade M4 15* (small), Graphite Design Tour AD DI 7S
    TaylorMade SLDR 2I Hybrid, Graphite Design Tour AD DI 8S
    Ben Hogan Icon 4-PW, Nippon Modus3 Tour 120 stiff
    Scratch Golf 50* GW, Nippon Modus3 Tour 120 stiff
    Scratch Golf 54* SW, Nippon Modus3 Tour 120 stiff
    Scratch Golf 58* LW, Nippon Modus3 Tour 120 stiff
    Byron Morgan custom Epic Day putter




  • tlaptlap Members  11WRX Points: 9Handicap: 1Posts: 11 Bunkers
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    Picture 1 is set, pictures 2 & 3 is 2 wood (only club with some damage to wood), picture 4 is driver face.

    Thank you so much for your feedback. I’m brand new to this.

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  • tlaptlap Members  11WRX Points: 9Handicap: 1Posts: 11 Bunkers
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    RobotDoc, those are gorgeous. Is that Dave’s work?

    If I’m hearing you, I shouldn’t touch these with anything myself and shouldn’t do anything (like linseed oil) to try to keep them from drying out where the finish has been scuffed, but should get them to a pro?

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  • RobotDoctorRobotDoctor Senior Hacker ClubWRX  5451WRX Points: 1,155Posts: 5,451 ClubWRX
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    Yes, this is my 693 driver that Dave did in the winter of 2018. He restored my 693 fairway woods (2-4) this spring and they should be home tomorrow. Dave, IMO, is the best of the best, no offense to anyone. Here's a 1952-1953 M09 LFF he did for me when he did the 693 driver.


    When Dave received the M09 LFF it was in horrible condition. He restored it back from the hack job someone did well before I purchased it. I had no idea what was under the sole plate when I purchased it. Here are some pictures of the LFF before restoration.



    Now for the disgusting picture. LFFs are heavy clubs because of the mass of wood. This was someone's attempt of making the driver lighter. ( IDIOT !!!!! )


    After Dave repaired the damage. Dave believed this was most likely a solid block of persimmon before someone did the hack job on it.


    I had Dave replace the shaft with a period appropriate Tourney C shaft from a reproduction 693 I had. I have hit this driver and it is very, very solid.



    My gamer driver is a Taylormade M3 440 cc 9.5 degree tour issue driver (9.9 degrees at standard setting, 1.2 degrees open and 59 degree lie). I smoked this drive about 300 yds (Colorado altitude) with a Taylormade Tour Preferred ball (2016 model, background). The LFF was 25 yards behind (foreground) with a 20 year old Titleist Tour 100 balata ball. Trajectory was lower because of the nature of the LFF but it is solid.

    Now your 693s are in pretty decent shape. Just think what Dave, or someone who knows what they're doing, will do with that set! 👍️

    Posted:
    TaylorMade M3 440cc 9.5* driver, Graphite Design Tour AD DI 6S
    TaylorMade M4 15* (small), Graphite Design Tour AD DI 7S
    TaylorMade SLDR 2I Hybrid, Graphite Design Tour AD DI 8S
    Ben Hogan Icon 4-PW, Nippon Modus3 Tour 120 stiff
    Scratch Golf 50* GW, Nippon Modus3 Tour 120 stiff
    Scratch Golf 54* SW, Nippon Modus3 Tour 120 stiff
    Scratch Golf 58* LW, Nippon Modus3 Tour 120 stiff
    Byron Morgan custom Epic Day putter




  • raggal62raggal62 Members  667WRX Points: 159Handicap: 4Posts: 667 Golden Tee
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    If your intention is to put these into play then IMO there should be at the very least some work done on them. Playing them as is will risk more deterioration. At the very minimum you should apply a couple coats of poly to seal them from moisture. Ideally, as stated above the soleplate and insert should be reset with epoxy and typically when your at that point, a full refinish would be the best bet. A skilled resto expert can help with the soleplate dings. Also the heads should be checked for looseness and reset with epoxy as needed.

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  • mocokidmocokid Members  2209WRX Points: 371Posts: 2,209 Platinum Tees
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    Get those things properly refinished ASAP !!! Then play them

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  • deejaiddeejaid Members  886WRX Points: 764Posts: 886 Golden Tee
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    Welcome tlap, great set of clubs you have there! You definitely want to do some restoration work to those clubs if you plan on playing them. Like RobotDoctor said, Dave Wood’s work is the standard by which all others are measured. He turns out restored clubs that are perfection.


    I would first ask yourself “How often will I play these clubs?” I have refinished pretty many clubs using Dave Woods techniques and the results have been fantastic. I really prefer look of the sprayed polyurethane finish that Dave uses as it is thinner than a dipped finish and doesn’t result in the “wood dipped in plastic” look. I will say that while I much prefer the look of the sprayed poly, I’m convinced that a dipped poly finish will offer better protection for clubs that will see heavy play, especially in wet conditions.


    I recently refinished a set for someone that plays his persimmon woods exclusively and often in wet conditions. As much as I wanted to make them look like jewels with a thin finish, we agreed that the dipped poly finish would hold up longer and would wear harder than the sprayed finish. Because of the amount of play these were to receive the dipped finish was the way to go. Now his clubs were more modern persimmons from Louisville so it made sense, a set like yours I’d assume won’t see as much play so I’d go with a spray finish to keep the look of originality.



    Whatever method is used remember, moisture is the enemy of wood so make sure the clubs are sealed before playing.

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    The bag...
    Ping Karsten 1,3,4,5 woods
    Arias True Zero Offset irons 4-SW
    Fernquest & Johnson San Franciscan putter
  • RobotDoctorRobotDoctor Senior Hacker ClubWRX  5451WRX Points: 1,155Posts: 5,451 ClubWRX
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    deejaid does excellent work as well. He has posted some of his work and you can see the care and skill in his woods!

    Posted:
    TaylorMade M3 440cc 9.5* driver, Graphite Design Tour AD DI 6S
    TaylorMade M4 15* (small), Graphite Design Tour AD DI 7S
    TaylorMade SLDR 2I Hybrid, Graphite Design Tour AD DI 8S
    Ben Hogan Icon 4-PW, Nippon Modus3 Tour 120 stiff
    Scratch Golf 50* GW, Nippon Modus3 Tour 120 stiff
    Scratch Golf 54* SW, Nippon Modus3 Tour 120 stiff
    Scratch Golf 58* LW, Nippon Modus3 Tour 120 stiff
    Byron Morgan custom Epic Day putter




  • deejaiddeejaid Members  886WRX Points: 764Posts: 886 Golden Tee
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    Thank you for the kind words RobotDoctor. I aspire to get to the level of perfection Dave Wood has achieved in his work. I’m thankful that he was kind enough to share is knowledge with the rest of us.



    I’m also hoping my experience in guitar building will lead to even better persimmon wood refinishes. I think I am close to having a period correct nitrocellulose lacquer finish that matches the original eggplant finish on 1950’s Macgregor woods.

    Posted:
    The bag...
    Ping Karsten 1,3,4,5 woods
    Arias True Zero Offset irons 4-SW
    Fernquest & Johnson San Franciscan putter
  • golfunderpar18golfunderpar18 Members  403WRX Points: 183Posts: 403 Greens
    Joined:  edited May 22, 2020 1:45am #12

    Dave’s work is fantastic. He works on a limited number of clubs. His finished products look better than they did originally and probably are second to none.

    Price point is out of most People’s leagues though. A set of 4 woods Would be super expensive. Might run out of space to post that number here :) .

    think you need to decide also - you want to game them? Sell them? Collect to sell later if these appreciate? I’m on a few persimmon forums and a quote from tad Moore rings out to me now - “they’re only original once”.

    ive sent 2 batches of woods to dave bass in NC for refinishing for me to game. M85, m75’s, wood brothers even.... he does a good job. One set done, one en route.

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  • LanglandsLanglands ScotlandMembers  2007WRX Points: 208Posts: 2,007 Platinum Tees
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  • LanglandsLanglands ScotlandMembers  2007WRX Points: 208Posts: 2,007 Platinum Tees
    Joined:  edited May 22, 2020 11:53am #14

    I love this thread. Thanks for all the comments and pictures.

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  • RobotDoctorRobotDoctor Senior Hacker ClubWRX  5451WRX Points: 1,155Posts: 5,451 ClubWRX
    Joined:  edited May 22, 2020 11:55pm #15

    I have not used Dave Bass but his work looks really good. A member here, deejaid,, is also doing some work following Dave Wood's tutorial. His work looks really good.


    Yes, Dave Wood's work is impeccable but the price is going to be higher than most are willing to spend. Don't ask me what I have paid because that's between Dave Wood and myself. He is fairly compensated. I use Dave as a matter of choice. I can only do a few woods at a time (so far 6 total pieces). I have a few more I would like Dave to complete (possibly 6-7 more next year). I have 4 sets of of woods that are the cornerstone sets of my collection (693, 945W, M43T and M85W). My '52/'53 M09 LFF is also a cornerstone piece. The 693 set has now been completed, the M43Ts are in terrific condition and really don't need refinishing unless I want the stain color to change (which I just might .... a little Greg Norman stain would be a great choice). I have two M85W drivers done but the fairway woods need to be done. And a pair of 945W drivers and a set of fairway woods need to be done. I am choosing Dave because of uniformity and I just love his work. That said, I may try deejaid or Dave Bass in the future. In the end my collection will center around these sets, a set of TP Special (1-4) that are completely refinished, a Wood Brothers Texan made for Gene Sauers (another Dave Wood restoration in the future), my old Cleveland Classic DG43 gamer and a custom driver made by my former clubsmith. If course I may add a driver here and there if I can convince freddiec into parting with a special driver or two. 😁

    Posted:
    Post edited by RobotDoctor on
    TaylorMade M3 440cc 9.5* driver, Graphite Design Tour AD DI 6S
    TaylorMade M4 15* (small), Graphite Design Tour AD DI 7S
    TaylorMade SLDR 2I Hybrid, Graphite Design Tour AD DI 8S
    Ben Hogan Icon 4-PW, Nippon Modus3 Tour 120 stiff
    Scratch Golf 50* GW, Nippon Modus3 Tour 120 stiff
    Scratch Golf 54* SW, Nippon Modus3 Tour 120 stiff
    Scratch Golf 58* LW, Nippon Modus3 Tour 120 stiff
    Byron Morgan custom Epic Day putter




  • golfunderpar18golfunderpar18 Members  403WRX Points: 183Posts: 403 Greens
    Joined:  edited May 22, 2020 4:09pm #16

    Totally get it. Fred told me Last week he’s trying to downsize to 10 woods only. That’s doubtful! :)

    you have some special pieces. LFF . Nice!

    The work by dave wood Sure is special.

    Great thread here.

    Posted:
  • tlaptlap Members  11WRX Points: 9Handicap: 1Posts: 11 Bunkers
    Joined:  #17

    All, thank you so much for the comments. I have learned so much and am just a sponge, soaking up all the great insights you have shared on this.

    So another question for you. I bought the 693t’s I posted above to play. Sounds like that may have been a rookie move based on some of the comments, so now I’m thinking I probably shouldn’t mess up these originals with the “occasional” poor swing and should buy another set of 693’s to take to the course.

    So here’s the question... how much and what kind of work can be done on an original set before it is considered “restored” and “not original” from a collector’s point of view?

    My view is that players who originally bought these and played these clubs also maintained their clubs and treated them like tools of the trade... they cleaned them, oiled them and even threw a fresh coat of lacquer on them occasionally. I bet a few even wrapped a shaft around a tree and had to reshaft them to play. I would have considered all that to be “original”. I guess eventually they just become vintage and then whatever you do is considered restoration? 😀

    I’m asking because I want to keep the clubs I bought “as original”, but am worried about these head continuing to dry out due to some of the wear they have in their finish... how much can I have done before I’ve had too much done?

    Hope that makes sense.

    Again, I appreciate all the great feedback.

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  • RobotDoctorRobotDoctor Senior Hacker ClubWRX  5451WRX Points: 1,155Posts: 5,451 ClubWRX
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    The main issue will be the shaft. Back in the day golf club manufactures used pitch and a bottom lock screw. There's also a screw in the back of the shaft in the neck. The bond often becomes loose and will cause cracks on the neck. The inserts can work themselves loose as well.

    If these were mine I would definitely consider restoration. They're 70 years old so to set them up for another 70 is a good thing.

    Posted:
    TaylorMade M3 440cc 9.5* driver, Graphite Design Tour AD DI 6S
    TaylorMade M4 15* (small), Graphite Design Tour AD DI 7S
    TaylorMade SLDR 2I Hybrid, Graphite Design Tour AD DI 8S
    Ben Hogan Icon 4-PW, Nippon Modus3 Tour 120 stiff
    Scratch Golf 50* GW, Nippon Modus3 Tour 120 stiff
    Scratch Golf 54* SW, Nippon Modus3 Tour 120 stiff
    Scratch Golf 58* LW, Nippon Modus3 Tour 120 stiff
    Byron Morgan custom Epic Day putter




  • Stephen8802Stephen8802 Members  65WRX Points: 112Posts: 65 Bunkers
    Joined:  #19

    "I bought the 693t’s I posted above to play. Sounds like that may have been a rookie move based on some of the comments, so now I’m thinking I probably shouldn’t mess up these originals with the “occasional” poor swing and should buy another set of 693’s to take to the course."


    We all have our own reason for owning these clubs, and mine is to play. Everything I own is either in shape to play or in line to be refinished to be in shape to play. So I don't think you made a rookie move, I think you did the right thing and should have someone refinish them and get them back on the course, occasional mishits and everything.

    I brought out a '53 Hogan 3 wood last week and hit it for the first time. I've wanted one of these since 1983 when I picked up the driver to that set and became my main club for the next 20 years. I never even saw a 3 or 4 wood in real life, let alone hit one, so I spent all those years imagining what it would feel like. I pulled it out in the 3rd hole last week and hit it dead center, then watched the ball fly out with a gentle fade like I drew it up in my head. That feel, that ball flight, that picture-perfect landing...it would be a shame to put a club in a corner and just look at it. The joy is in hitting one dead center, and there is no other feeling like it. So play them, mark them up, and have fun. For me, clubs need to see the grass to be clubs.

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  • routhwwrouthww Members  3WRX Points: 33Posts: 3 Starters
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