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1950's Macgregor Persimmon Drivers


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Need some advice.  I'd love to get my hands on a classic 1950's Macgregor M85 but they seem pretty tough to find on Ebay and they are quite pricey.  I'd really love a driver from the 1950's, from everything I have read there was something about the "old" persimmon that was used to craft those clubs.  Can anyone recommend another model, make or brand?  Maybe Tony Penna?  Thank you all!

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Most of my MacGregor's from the 50's have seen a restoration or two in their time. This set however, has managed to stay untouched for 70 years (with the exception of some electrical tape). Needless t

There is something special with the early 1950s MacGregor persimmons, especially the pro line woods.  The big 4 was always my primary focus in establishing a collection.  These are the 693, 945W, M43

Enough with the indecent images, @RobotDoctor! Some of us are trying to work here😍

Posted Images

Lots of great 1950’s persimmon clubs out there, not just Macgregor, though they are top of the list.  I do believe the persimmon wood was better at that time as it was old growth.   By the 1970’s many makers were producing more and more laminate maple heads most likely due to cost and lack of quality persimmon.

 

For the 1950’s I’d also look at Ben Hogan, Spalding, and my favorite, Stan Thompson.   Wilson mostly made laminated maple or “Strata-bloc” woods as they called it, but they also produced some fantastic persimmon woods.   I have a set of early 60’s Wilson Staff persimmon woods that will rival anything being produced at the time.

 

Just starting out I’d look for a set of 1-4 woods.   You can build confidence hitting the 3 and 4 woods as they aren’t much different than hitting a modern fairway wood.   Driver will take some practice but it’s very rewarding to hit that perfect tee shot with a persimmon driver.

The bag...

Louisville Thumper persimmon driver

Louisville Smart persimmon 3, 5 woods

Spalding Top-Flite Custom Made 2-9

Peerless Palmer PW

Spalding EVA SW

Macgregor Bobby Grace M6.4K 

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11 minutes ago, deejaid said:

Lots of great 1950’s persimmon clubs out there, not just Macgregor, though they are top of the list.  I do believe the persimmon wood was better at that time as it was old growth.   By the 1970’s many makers were producing more and more laminate maple heads most likely due to cost and lack of quality persimmon.

 

For the 1950’s I’d also look at Ben Hogan, Spalding, and my favorite, Stan Thompson.   Wilson mostly made laminated maple or “Strata-bloc” woods as they called it, but they also produced some fantastic persimmon woods.   I have a set of early 60’s Wilson Staff persimmon woods that will rival anything being produced at the time.

 

Just starting out I’d look for a set of 1-4 woods.   You can build confidence hitting the 3 and 4 woods as they aren’t much different than hitting a modern fairway wood.   Driver will take some practice but it’s very rewarding to hit that perfect tee shot with a persimmon driver.

What are signs or things to look for to ensure that the woods are true 50's persimmon and not remakes.  I grew up on wood, woods and blades in the late 1970's but I really couldn't afford the high end stuff when I was younger.  Thank you!

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19 minutes ago, jmcorr4 said:

What are signs or things to look for to ensure that the woods are true 50's persimmon and not remakes.  I grew up on wood, woods and blades in the late 1970's but I really couldn't afford the high end stuff when I was younger.  Thank you!


 

You really have to get to know the shaft offerings to date some of the clubs. Many of the remakes were being made in the early 1980’s when the classic club collecting was booming.  You’ll often see Dynamic or Dynamic Gold shafts in those.

 

Many clubs from the early to mid 1950’s used True Temper shafts with a small thin black label.  This label was also used 25 year later by Macgregor so it does get confusing.  Mid 1950’s saw the many top of the line clubs with the green True Temper Rocket shaft band.  The late 1950’s into the early 1960’s saw the True Temper Pro Fit shaft with a gold label.

 

In my general experience when you see a club with these shafts they were usually a top line professional offering.   But there are plenty of other slightly lower end clubs that were great performers.   In fact, I really like woods with the True Temper “Step Down” shaft.  I always assumed it got its name as it was a step down from their pro level shaft, but it is a great playing shaft in its own right.

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The bag...

Louisville Thumper persimmon driver

Louisville Smart persimmon 3, 5 woods

Spalding Top-Flite Custom Made 2-9

Peerless Palmer PW

Spalding EVA SW

Macgregor Bobby Grace M6.4K 

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20 minutes ago, deejaid said:


 

You really have to get to know the shaft offerings to date some of the clubs. Many of the remakes were being made in the early 1980’s when the classic club collecting was booming.  You’ll often see Dynamic or Dynamic Gold shafts in those.

 

Many clubs from the early to mid 1950’s used True Temper shafts with a small thin black label.  This label was also used 25 year later by Macgregor so it does get confusing.  Mid 1950’s saw the many top of the line clubs with the green True Temper Rocket shaft band.  The late 1950’s into the early 1960’s saw the True Temper Pro Fit shaft with a gold label.

 

In my general experience when you see a club with these shafts they were usually a top line professional offering.   But there are plenty of other slightly lower end clubs that were great performers.   In fact, I really like woods with the True Temper “Step Down” shaft.  I always assumed it got its name as it was a step down from their pro level shaft, but it is a great playing shaft in its own right.

Great information.  I have read too that the older woods had 5 screws on the sole plate vs 4.  

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22 hours ago, jmcorr4 said:

Need some advice.  I'd love to get my hands on a classic 1950's Macgregor M85 but they seem pretty tough to find on Ebay and they are quite pricey.  I'd really love a driver from the 1950's, from everything I have read there was something about the "old" persimmon that was used to craft those clubs.  Can anyone recommend another model, make or brand?  Maybe Tony Penna?  Thank you all!

 

M85Ws, more than any other of the pro line woods, seem to come up more often than others.  There has been a rash of 693s lately as well.  I picked up this M85W last March on eBay for a real decent price.  I had it restored by Dave Wood.  He said this was one of the best M85Ws he's ever seen and worked on.  He even told me if he had this the fall of 1983 this one would have made it into Ben Crenshaw's bag and been a Green Jacket winner the following spring.

 

Here are pictures as I received it, during restoration and after restoration.  I did not like the masking of the heal part of the face when I got it.  This one is a rare solid block with no lead skirt weight.  I really LOVE the finished product.  Dave restored this to Ben Crenshaw's specs of his old M85W.

M85W face natural light.jpg

M85W face.JPG

M85W crown.JPG

M85W sole.JPG

IMG_0517.jpg

IMG_4959.PNG

IMG_4767.PNG

IMG_0527.jpg

Brando face.jpg

Brando face_1.jpg

Brando crown.jpg

Brando in Colorado sole.jpg

Brando in Colorado toe.jpg

Brando in Colorado skirt.jpg

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Driver:  TaylorMade M3 9.0°, Graphite Design Tour AD DI 6S

3W:  TaylorMade M4 15°, Graphite Design Tour AD DI 7S

Hybrid:  TaylorMade Sim2 2 Iron Hybrid 17°, Mitsubishi Tensai AV Raw Blue 80 stiff

Irons:  Ben Hogan Icon 4-PW, Nippon Modus3 Tour 120 stiff

GW:  Ben Hogan 1999 Apex blade E (PW) bent to 50°, Nippon Modus3 Tour 120 stiff

SW & LW:  Scratch Golf 1018 forged 56° (bent to 54°) / 58°, Nippon Modus3 Tour 120 stiff

Putter: Byron Morgan custom Epic Day

Ball: Taylormade Tour Preferred (2016 ball)

Bag: Sun Mountain 2.5 stand bag

 

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2 minutes ago, No_Catchy_Nickname said:

Enough with the indecent images, @RobotDoctor! Some of us are trying to work here😍

 

Just wait until I get my two M43Ts back. 😄

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Driver:  TaylorMade M3 9.0°, Graphite Design Tour AD DI 6S

3W:  TaylorMade M4 15°, Graphite Design Tour AD DI 7S

Hybrid:  TaylorMade Sim2 2 Iron Hybrid 17°, Mitsubishi Tensai AV Raw Blue 80 stiff

Irons:  Ben Hogan Icon 4-PW, Nippon Modus3 Tour 120 stiff

GW:  Ben Hogan 1999 Apex blade E (PW) bent to 50°, Nippon Modus3 Tour 120 stiff

SW & LW:  Scratch Golf 1018 forged 56° (bent to 54°) / 58°, Nippon Modus3 Tour 120 stiff

Putter: Byron Morgan custom Epic Day

Ball: Taylormade Tour Preferred (2016 ball)

Bag: Sun Mountain 2.5 stand bag

 

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52 minutes ago, RobotDoctor said:

 

M85Ws, more than any other of the pro line woods, seem to come up more often than others.  There has been a rash of 693s lately as well.  I picked up this M85W last March on eBay for a real decent price.  I had it restored by Dave Wood.  He said this was one of the best M85Ws he's ever seen and worked on.  He even told me if he had this the fall of 1983 this one would have made it into Ben Crenshaw's bag and been a Green Jacket winner the following spring.

 

Here are pictures as I received it, during restoration and after restoration.  I did not like the masking of the heal part of the face when I got it.  This one is a rare solid block with no lead skirt weight.  I really LOVE the finished product.  Dave restored this to Ben Crenshaw's specs of his old M85W.

M85W face natural light.jpg

M85W face.JPG

M85W crown.JPG

M85W sole.JPG

IMG_0517.jpg

IMG_4959.PNG

IMG_4767.PNG

IMG_0527.jpg

Brando face.jpg

Brando face_1.jpg

Brando crown.jpg

Brando in Colorado sole.jpg

Brando in Colorado toe.jpg

Brando in Colorado skirt.jpg

That is so beautiful!  Fantastic!

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33 minutes ago, RobotDoctor said:

There is something special with the early 1950s MacGregor persimmons, especially the pro line woods.  The big 4 was always my primary focus in establishing a collection.  These are the 693, 945W, M43 and M85W.  I am fortunate in that I have a set of each one of these, two of which are restored (693 and M43T) with the other 2 fairway woods needing to be restored.  I am sending two of my M43Ts to Dave Wood in a couple weeks for restoration (to be restored in the Greg Norman manner).  Here are a few pictures of the big 4 woods, my 1953 M09 LFF, and a couple of my 1954 Toney Penna TP Special set.

693 set.JPG

IMG_2317.jpg

IMG_2318.jpg

IMG_2320.jpg

Enzo face.jpg

IMG_6467.JPG

IMG_6465.JPG

IMG_6479.JPG

IMG_6478.JPG

IMG_6480.JPG

M43T set_1.jpg

M43T_3.jpg

M43T_4.jpg

IMG_5110.jpg

IMG_5112.jpg

IMG_5113.jpg

IMG_7142.PNG

P1010218.JPG

P1010219.JPG

P1010220.JPG

Rare woods, fantastic restorations, and beautiful photography.  RobotDoctor you are the man!

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35 minutes ago, RobotDoctor said:

There is something special with the early 1950s MacGregor persimmons, especially the pro line woods.  The big 4 was always my primary focus in establishing a collection.  These are the 693, 945W, M43 and M85W.  I am fortunate in that I have a set of each one of these, two of which are restored (693 and M43T) with the other 2 fairway woods needing to be restored.  I am sending two of my M43Ts to Dave Wood in a couple weeks for restoration (to be restored in the Greg Norman manner).  Here are a few pictures of the big 4 woods, my 1953 M09 LFF, and a couple of my 1954 Toney Penna TP Special set.

693 set.JPG

IMG_2317.jpg

IMG_2318.jpg

IMG_2320.jpg

Enzo face.jpg

IMG_6467.JPG

IMG_6465.JPG

IMG_6479.JPG

IMG_6478.JPG

IMG_6480.JPG

M43T set_1.jpg

M43T_3.jpg

M43T_4.jpg

IMG_5110.jpg

IMG_5112.jpg

IMG_5113.jpg

IMG_7142.PNG

P1010218.JPG

P1010219.JPG

P1010220.JPG

Just awesome!!!

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1 hour ago, jmcorr4 said:

So I got this today.  I fear it is a re-make.  Can anyone confirm.  Its still very beautiful.

M85W-1.jpg

M85W-2.jpg

M85W-3.jpg

Clearly a remake.  Beyond other tell tale signs mentioned Typically the remakes also use different paint fill .  Often red for the driver #1 like this one.  Different font for MacGregor eye-o-matic Tourney (too thick/wide, and too perfect).  Same goes for the toe stamp.   Too perfect. 

Edited by golfunderpar18
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11 hours ago, golfunderpar18 said:

Clearly a remake.  Beyond other tell tale signs mentioned Typically the remakes also use different paint fill .  Often red for the driver #1 like this one.  Different font for MacGregor eye-o-matic Tourney (too thick/wide, and too perfect).  Same goes for the toe stamp.   Too perfect. 

Oh well.  Like I said still very pretty.  Was this made in the 80's?  Thank you!

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That is a very nice driver. It's a 1959 PT1W, which is the model 69 head but smaller than the 693 that preceded it. That also appears to be the original shaft, which is stiff. It is refinished, and a little over sanded on top, but overall it would be a great player. The sole plate is very clean, so I'm guessing this head didn't get too much play in original condition.

 

As driver heads go, the model 69 is the head people look for, and as years go, 1959 was toward the end of the good wood era but still in it. Many of us also really like the velocitized insert because its just plain cool. And it has a rocket ship...rocket ships are even more cool.

 

I also don't know what it is worth in that condition and refinished. I do my own work, so I look for original clubs and don't follow the refinished market closely. I bought a 1/2/3/4 set of that model in January for $35; they were in original condition and needed both some insert repair and a new sole plate, so that was a very low price. If you search sold prices on ebay  PT1W drivers, or velocitized drivers in general, you will get some good data.

 

Good find. That should be played, so find it a good home.

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2 minutes ago, Djshakes75 said:

Here's pics of the band.  Thanks for the info.  Tempted to just game it after your inspiring description. 

20210309_190049.jpg

20210309_190047.jpg

Now you're talking!  Truth be told the darn things aren't worth much to anyone but us freaks so you might as well swing it as try to get rid of it.  Regardless of the era in which it was made its a high-end piece of equipment.  I'll bet it could still help win a tournament.  😃

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3 hours ago, thepunch_out said:

Most of my MacGregor's from the 50's have seen a restoration or two in their time. This set however, has managed to stay untouched for 70 years (with the exception of some electrical tape). Needless to say, this vintage set of 693's is one of the highlights of my collection. Neck numbers are in great condition as are the faces, I'm sure these clubs never saw much play.IMG_20210304_125424466_HDR.jpg.6fd8ddc55ce091cb783dfe1bcadc0ef3.jpgIMG_20210304_125737149_HDR.jpg.961c986c8d08820de6e557fd92b221a6.jpgIMG_20210304_160358748.jpg.bbc08a4cb6c4a3e15a99085164510642.jpg2140173269_IMG_20210304_1259330372.jpg.e91bea6ba1f2f8e526f4d32f83313d27.jpg

Great original tt shafts and cord grips, +++

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On 3/2/2021 at 9:59 PM, Swingingk said:

I wouldn't feel bad or disappointed at all with your M85W - it's in really nice condition and undoubtedly will play very, very well.  A fine example indeed.  Thanks for posting the pics. 

So I took the M85 Re-make out with me to the practice tee.  Perfect wind to practice, left to right hard and a little into.  I got nice and loose, then I pulled the head cover off and starting just ripping medium high trajectory draws and fades and really nutted a couple that I swear were flying just as far as my latest Epic Speed Max LS.  Now I missed a few for sure but I'd say the majority were pretty darn good.  That muted thack sound is just the best.  That golf club makes you want to hit great shots.  So much fun!!!

 

 

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54 minutes ago, jmcorr4 said:

So I took the M85 Re-make out with me to the practice tee.  Perfect wind to practice, left to right hard and a little into.  I got nice and loose, then I pulled the head cover off and starting just ripping medium high trajectory draws and fades and really nutted a couple that I swear were flying just as far as my latest Epic Speed Max LS.  Now I missed a few for sure but I'd say the majority were pretty darn good.  That muted thack sound is just the best.  That golf club makes you want to hit great shots.  So much fun!!!

 

 

Nice!  ☺

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