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  1. Based on the color, I'd put that at 1977, model 320. The three pin with large center pin design was available in the mid '70s, but '75 and '76 came in black. I don't know the loft.
  2. I couldn't agree with you more. I absolutely love my Honmas and can't believe I didn't have one of these when I was a good golfer. Beautifully made, perfectly finished, cool inserts, and they feel like heaven when you hit them in the screws. I also think the shafts are the best I've ever hit and wished I could get a box of them. My Tour driver doesn't look like it has been hit, but it wasn't stored as well as it should have been, so the poly is a bit rough, especially on the sole. That's ok with me though, I won't feel so bad hitting it. I had an LB Tour until recently, but gave that to a friend. The LB Tour was very close to the standard Tour, just a hair bigger. They both are spectacular clubs. Here is my current stash of Honmas, most unhit. The 7 on the left are R shafts and probably will be re-homed next year, but the rest are either S-1 or S-2 and I plan to play then all. The only exception is the M-43, which is such a pretty head that I'm going to keep it even though its an R-1 shaft.
  3. If you decide you like the heads but not the shafts, they are easier to reshaft than you think. I re-shafted a set of Bullet Backs that I found with aluminum shafts and all it took was a hand reamer from Golfworks a donor set. As an added bonus, I paid $20 for a set of Cleveland TA3s at a local thrift, used those shafts for my bullet backs, then sold the Cleveland heads on eBay for $25.
  4. I think this is a fascinating topic. I agree with you definitions, and would add a third category, second tier pro line. They are listed in the back of Kaplan as either mid grade or low grade shafts, and come with names like Souchak, Demaret, and Nelson instead of Armour, MT, and Penna. I also agree with your assessment of Facebook answers...those folks can be rude. To make it worse, many of the people with rude responses really don't know what they are talking about. That seems to be the FaceBook way across the board, opinion is worth as much as knowledge or fact. My take is mostly traditional; I have so much pro line persimmon, and so little room for more, that I leave store line behind when I see it at thrifts. They can be decent heads, but I just think there is too much top-level stuff available to buy the store line clubs. Where I differ is that I like second tier pro line stuff much more than most of my fellow collectors. I have found some great looking heads with names other than the big ones. My Souchak and Demaret fairway woods are model 40 heads and look great. The drivers on those sets have great shapes that I'm happy to have. If I could only have one or two sets, I'd pick the classics, but I can have as much as I can fit in my office and basement, and it turns out I really enjoy my second-tier clubs. I'm not crazy about the shafts, but those I can replace. The other category that is interesting to me, beyond classic Macs, are 80s/90s brands, especially the ones I couldn't afford when I was a kid; for me, that includes clubs like Honma, Cleveland, and Palmer Peerless. Pro level clubs, but not 693 level clubs. Except I like them just as much, hit them just as well (if not better), and can find them for pennies on the dollar, refinish them in half the time, and have beautiful clubs that stroke the ball long and straight. But, to answer your question, buy and play what makes you happy. Collecting and playing persimmon is an irrational hobby. If we had more sense than romance, we would be buying and collecting the most technologically advanced clubs we can find. I go nuts when I find a Byron Nelson and I'm as happy as when I find a 693. I love my Coors ceramic putters, or my IronMasters, even if they aren't Geo. Lowes or DBAPs. And the day I found my set of Souchaks I was as happy as the day I found my first Velocitized. If you want to make money, stick with the big names; if you want to have fun and enjoy your clubs, buy what ever makes you smile.
  5. That's a jackpot! My two favorite modern drivers to hit are my Peerless and Clevelands. Both made beautiful clubs and play as well or better than any of my Mac classics. Those Mizunos look fabulous also...I have just started to pick up Japanese persimmon in the last year and I can't believe it took me this long. You should enjoy all of those clubs. That's a nice little haul.
  6. I know that guy too and that’s an excellent idea. I have three heads from that batch, an RC 69, a Byron Nelson, and a TC15 3 wood. They are not just new old stock, they are tour van heads and they are spectacular.
  7. I tried to be fair, I left the candles for someone else.
  8. Ad said "Free candles and golf clubs" and the body said "if no one picks these up, they go in the trash tomorrow." Original cord grips, shaft bands intact, neck numbers...they didn't go in the trash. I was out of the house at 5:30 AM, back home at 7:20, clubs in hand. And, it just so happens I picked up a driver from the same year two weeks ago. Two bonus drivers as well. Not a bad start to the day.
  9. That's exactly what I was thinking about doing. Terminate the crack, makes sure the hole goes down to the shaft cavity, plug the hole with a small dowel at the surface, and force the epoxy up the hole and into the crack. I'll probably terminate in on both ends. I've never widened the crack more, but I'll try. In this case, I think I'll be ready to force some epoxy in from the top if it doesn't come up through the crack. I have another M43, plus two great M33s, so I really have nothing to lose. I just need the weather to hold long enough to get my 653 off the bench and get this done as well. When I'm dealing with cracks, I do a few things to reduce the sanding. I tape both sides of the crack as close as I can without covering the crack, then I wait a half hour for the epoxy to set but not be rock hard and run a razor blade over the excess. Most of it will come off, then I sand what is left the next day. This crack is low and will show, but I like my clubs a little worn and damaged, just like me.
  10. To refinish or not to refinish, that has been the question on one of mine too. I was leaning toward no, but now you two have me thinking. Maybe I can get it refinished before its too cold to dip; it may not be solid enough to save, but it is it worth a try? I found two sets within about 10 days a while ago. They both had problems, but not on the same clubs; I have one solid set by mixing and matching, but the question has been what do I do with the leftovers? I'll have to scrap one of the 3 woods because it is too far gone, but looking at your pics has me thinking that maybe the lesser driver is worth a shot, maybe this weekend. Its a no back weight block, which had me excited, but there is a crack on the front that makes it suspect to hold up. After you two got me looking at M43s this week, I think I'm willing to jam this thing full of epoxy, hope it squeezes through, give it a full makeover, and then hit it next spring and see what happens. Worst case scenario is that it breaks and then I strip it for parts and refinish the good set. Best case scenario is I have another player. The top crack doesn't bother me, it seems pretty standard and epoxy should sure that up. Its that little one underneath that concerns me...I don't know if it goes down to the shaft hole and will get filled with epoxy when the shaft pushes it into the upper crack. I think I might start with less viscous West Systems epoxy that is more likely to squeeze into cracks, then follow quickly with some normal shaft epoxy and see what oozes out of the surface. What do you think, any chance it will hold up to a full swing?
  11. Hand sanding. I focused on sanding away from the letters as much as possible. I sanded up and down to get out the scratches, then front to back to finish. 5 grits, starting at 150 and ending at 800. I wasn’t surprised I could get most of the sole scratches out, but was completely surprised the back edge came out ok. I thought that damage was too deep in the wood, but it was mostly finish and a little surface. I was also surprised at the grain; the finish scratches were so bad I didn’t see the nice grain until I stripped. It Just goes to show you, if a club is cheap enough, it’s worth a try to bring it back. This was $5, so well worth the effort. If my meager skills are enough, most of us could get a clubs like this back in play.
  12. I have a soft spot in my heart for mistreated clubs that can be salvaged. I like nothing more than a club that looked like it was beyond repair but, with all its cosmetic faults, can be played again. I've posted my first Powell before in its as-found state, but I was able to get the last dip on it this weekend before the temperature plummeted and I just need to grip it and whip it now. This club was done and ready for the trash heap when I picked it up and decided to see what some sand paper and a new coat or two would do. The shaft had been crammed with lead to make it a practice club, it had been banged mercilessly on the deck, and one of the screws was gone and filled with black epoxy; it just made me sad. I made plenty of mistakes on this, which annoys me to no end, but it is a club worth saving that will be played again in 2022, and that is more satisfying than some of the never-struck clubs I own. I really hope this plays well and become a steady presence in my bag. I stripped it, sanded it, glued in a screw head, put in a new shaft, and gave it a custom Varathane color of 1.5 Honey to 1 Kona ( I wanted a chocolate brown with golden highlights to combine my tastes with the original finish). It still has some of the original flaws plus a couple I gave it by mistake, but its done, and as much as any club I've owned, its all mine. I just can't wait to hit this.
  13. I was just looking at those M43s and was thinking they are a great example of a great club. I never thought about M43/33s in my youth, but now they are as good as 693s to me. A very kind man passed on an M33 driver to me recently, a really lovely club, and I was able to find an unmodified 693 also; side my side, they look like the same club. Your example of that club is really as good as it gets.
  14. I've been looking for a set of 693s since the early 80s. I cobbled together a collection of fairway woods over the years, but the driver eluded me. Thanks to some generous help from my friend Brewski_golfs, this showed up yesterday. I've been waiting for this for a long time, it really is nice to finally have it in my possession. It is the club I've been looking for.
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