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When Was The Pitching Wedge Jacked Up To 48 Degrees?


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I once had a conversation with Steve Pate.  We were talking about the industry jacking up lengths and lofts.  I told him that when I started golf (1990), the pitching wedge was 48 degrees.  He told me that when he played for UCLA, the pitching wedge was 52 degrees.  I remember back in about 1994 that when Cobra released their King Cobra Oversize irons, they also released, to the best of my recollection, the first "Gap Wedge."  In my prime, my pitching wedge had an average distance of about 115 and the sand wedge 85, so this was indeed a gap, and I correctly estimated that the gap was for 52 degrees, which is the old-school pitching wedge Steve told me about.

 

For those of you guys who may remember: when did the pitching wedge bump down to 48 degrees, and who was responsible for starting that trend?

 

This is not a debate about the industry gradually strengthening lofts and lengths, as it was a popular thread I started years ago.  I am curious to when the first bump was.

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While this doesn't answer your question, my 1979-80 Titleist Tour Model irons had a 50* PW. Mizuno irons in the Eighties often had Pitching wedges with less than 50* of loft (e.g. MS-2 48*, MS-3 49*. Interestingly, the MS-7 for the US market had a 50* PW). Then the Mizuno MS-11 (released in 1988) had a 49* PW and a 52* P/S wedge as an option before dropping to a 56* SW. In other words, a gap wedge as part of the set, though I am not 100% certain that it was part of the initial release. What I can say is that lots of early Nineties Japanese iron sets features a P/S or F wedge, which is just another name for a gap wedge.

 

Finally, my Talylormade TD Tour preferred irons, which came out in 1988, have a 50* PW, and I think my Mac Muirfield 20ths (1987?) do as well. So, it may be that there wasn't so much a "jump" to a 48* PW as a shuffle back and forth.

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TA 845’s had the lofts stamped on the toe of the clubs.  You could get a gap wedge, the first set I remember with one. 60, 56, 52, 48, etc.  not sure if they were the first, but they were the first really popular iron with those specs. They dethroned the Eye 2 as the most popular iron.  Ping then released the Eye2+ with stronger lofts and the race was on. 
 

most sets prior had a 50 to 52 degree PW. With the wound ball and weaker lofts 1 and 2 irons were actually playable for decent players. 

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I know as far back as the 60s you could buy different lofted PWs from Spalding and Macgregor. Spalding had the famous 10 iron which in reality was around 46 48 * Most of their stock PWs were around 50 52*---- Macgregor had some different lofts in those days too. The famous Dual Sole wedges came in around 52* or so. The 11 iron on the FC models was around 50* or so--- On muscle backs like the VIP and Muirfields it can be tricky anywhere between 48 to 50*. This is not to be misconstrued as gospel just my own observations measuring Spalding and Macgregor clubs.

Back in the day when I played Spalding I carried the 10 iron and dropped the 9 iron because they hit the same for me. I will note I did carry the 9 iron in the famous Barn Eagle incident. Right after that dropped the 9 iron and subbed an old CF Dual Sole in its place--- That old DS I could get out of a trash can with and you could hit it off about any lie which was great playing all those "down matches" at out local muni type courses. I carried the same set up for years along with an old R-90 wore those 3 wedges slap out ---- Then I discovered Cleveland 588s and 900s and I am still gaming those type wedges. The PW in my front line set of VIPs is 48* I deloft and add loft as needed with the face position.

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9 minutes ago, BIG STU said:

I know as far back as the 60s you could buy different lofted PWs from Spalding and Macgregor. Spalding had the famous 10 iron which in reality was around 46 48 * Most of their stock PWs were around 50 52*---- Macgregor had some different lofts in those days too. The famous Dual Sole wedges came in around 52* or so. The 11 iron on the FC models was around 50* or so--- On muscle backs like the VIP and Muirfields it can be tricky anywhere between 48 to 50*. This is not to be misconstrued as gospel just my own observations measuring Spalding and Macgregor clubs.

Back in the day when I played Spalding I carried the 10 iron and dropped the 9 iron because they hit the same for me. I will note I did carry the 9 iron in the famous Barn Eagle incident. Right after that dropped the 9 iron and subbed an old CF Dual Sole in its place--- That old DS I could get out of a trash can with and you could hit it off about any lie which was great playing all those "down matches" at out local muni type courses. I carried the same set up for years along with an old R-90 wore those 3 wedges slap out ---- Then I discovered Cleveland 588s and 900s and I am still gaming those type wedges. The PW in my front line set of VIPs is 48* I deloft and add loft as needed with the face position.

I believe some of those old sets from the 60’s and 70’s just came 2-9 iron then the wedge was a custom order.  You bought a club specifically designed for pitching or sand play, or often a dual purpose wedge that was around 52 to 55 degrees. It wasn’t uncommon to see people with just one wedge in their bag back then. I mean 9 irons had almost 50 degrees in some sets, greens were generally slower and the balls liked to spin. 

Edited by dlygrisse
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Ping G410 3, 5 and 7 wood

Ping G410 5 hybrid
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Vokey 50,54,58
Odyssey Pro #1 black
Hoofer, Ecco, Bushnell
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2 minutes ago, dlygrisse said:

I believe some of those old sets from the 60’s and 70’s just came 2-9 iron then the wedge was a custom order.  You bought a club specifically designed for pitching or sand play, or often a dual purpose wedge that was around 52 to 55 degrees. It wasn’t uncommon to see people with just one wedge in their bag back then. I mean 9 irons had almost 50 degrees in some sets, greens were generally slower and the balls liked to spin. 

Yep my Hogan Precisions the 9 iron as I got it is 50* I did not find the Equalizer with that set. My Mac Bob Toski Mighty Mites ( 1953) the 9 iron indeed is 50* and the PW is like 52*----- LOL made me work this AM I had to get my notebooks out to check those 2 sets. Yep back in the day Spalding and Macgregor had order options on wedges. I know in the 80s early 90s Hogan had a boat load of wedge options. The first factory 60* I ever saw was in the late 80s I think and it was a K Grind Hogan----- I do remember back in the day some of the hustlers had like thick flanged SWs bent back to 60 or so with the leading edge ground some and of course lead taped to get the weight back up. I think I actually still have a old Northwestern I did when I first started messing with clubs some 50 years ago now. LOL I will have to go deep into the bowels of my storage building to find it but I think I still have it. I do know I still have a SO Spalding Bird on the Ball ( 66 67 ) Trouble Lover thick flanged Sand Wedge. I know for a fact it was Special Order. I found this one at a yard sale some time back---- And this is coming straight from me that is one thick flanged small faced thing. It is only 58* though but I can hit some 64* type straight up flops with that thing. Never would play it seriously though- Not versitile enoug with the bounce etc and frankly it is one butt ugly nasty little club 

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Driver--- TM M-6 Evenflow 65gm R set to 9.5

3W  TM V-Steel 15* bent to 14 NVS green Aldila 65gr R

7W TM V-steel 21* Ust Pro Force Gold 65 R

Irons 4 thru PW 1980 Macgregor VIP Hogan Apex #2 shafts

SW Cleveland 588 56* S-400 sensicore S soft tipped 2x

LW Cleveland 588 60* S-400 Sensicore S soft tipped 2x

Putter Rusty Santa Fe Bulls Eye fluted shaft

Bag Old School Titleist Mini Staff

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1 hour ago, BIG STU said:

Yep my Hogan Precisions the 9 iron as I got it is 50* I did not find the Equalizer with that set. My Mac Bob Toski Mighty Mites ( 1953) the 9 iron indeed is 50* and the PW is like 52*----- LOL made me work this AM I had to get my notebooks out to check those 2 sets. Yep back in the day Spalding and Macgregor had order options on wedges. I know in the 80s early 90s Hogan had a boat load of wedge options. The first factory 60* I ever saw was in the late 80s I think and it was a K Grind Hogan----- I do remember back in the day some of the hustlers had like thick flanged SWs bent back to 60 or so with the leading edge ground some and of course lead taped to get the weight back up. I think I actually still have a old Northwestern I did when I first started messing with clubs some 50 years ago now. LOL I will have to go deep into the bowels of my storage building to find it but I think I still have it. I do know I still have a SO Spalding Bird on the Ball ( 66 67 ) Trouble Lover thick flanged Sand Wedge. I know for a fact it was Special Order. I found this one at a yard sale some time back---- And this is coming straight from me that is one thick flanged small faced thing. It is only 58* though but I can hit some 64* type straight up flops with that thing. Never would play it seriously though- Not versitile enoug with the bounce etc and frankly it is one butt ugly nasty little club 

 

On the subject of 60* wedges, I've a Wilson Staff T.K. (Tom Kite) 60* that I think was released in 1985. Quite a bit of offset and the grind isn't one I'd choose, but it's a fun club to play when I playing persimmon and blades.

678838652_WilsonTK60*wedgeback.jpg.3efc1a174e3cb9ffe135b26ce755980c.jpg602756429_WilsonTK60*wedgesole.jpg.8beb5f5f60d60c438a135563058a7267.jpg

Wilson TK 60* wedge address.jpg

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3 hours ago, dlygrisse said:

I believe some of those old sets from the 60’s and 70’s just came 2-9 iron then the wedge was a custom order.  You bought a club specifically designed for pitching or sand play, or often a dual purpose wedge that was around 52 to 55 degrees. It wasn’t uncommon to see people with just one wedge in their bag back then. I mean 9 irons had almost 50 degrees in some sets, greens were generally slower and the balls liked to spin. 

Quite correct.  Most of us who played either MacGregor or Spalding irons would buy Wilson Dynapwer or Golfcraft Continental wedges, sometimes a Hogan like the Sure On, NOT the Sure Out.
 

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Catchy already mentioned it, but it seems like Mizuno may have been one of the first, with one of their early MS sets in the mid 80s.  I believe someone (possibly Shallowface) posted catalog images showing the specs of some of those early Mizunos. 

 

The specs I've received from Mizuno USA for the MS-11s gave 48* as the PW loft, and the MS-9/MP-9 that predated them were similar.  Wouldn't be surprised if they were different on this side of the pond than what's reported by Mr Catchy.  😉

 

The 845s came out right at the end of 1987, with their 48* PW.  The Eye2+ didn't show up until 1990 or so, not sure when the +no+ sets came out.  It's possible they were partially in response to the 845s?  <shrug>

 

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The Ever Changing Bag!  A lot of mixing and matching
Driver: Original One 11.5* (tuned down), NV75 X -or- SpeedZone 10.5*, Aldila ProtoPype 80S, <44" TBD

3w: King LTD, Aldila RIP Beta 90 X -or- TM Stage 2 Tour, Aldila NV105 X
Hybrid:  TaylorMade Stage 2 Tour 2h or 3h, NV105 S -or- RIP Alpha 105 S

Irons grab bag:  3-PW Mizuno MP37, Recoil Proto 125 F4; 3-PW Golden Ram TW276, NV105 S; 2-PW Golden Ram Vibration Matched, RIP Tour 115 R
Wedges:  Dynacraft Dual Millled 52*, SteelFiber i125 S -or- Scratch 8620 DD 53*, SteelFiber i125 S; PM Grind 19 58* -or- Wilson Staff PMP 58*, Dynamic S
Putter:  Snake Eyes Viper Tour Sv1, 34" -or- Cleveland Huntington Beach #1, 34.5" -or- Golden Ram TW Custom, 34"
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All of the iron sets I played from the late 70's to the early 2000's had a PW of 50-51*. I distinctly remember ordering my new Mizuno MP-32s in late 2005 and my guy asking me if I wanted a gap wedge. I  had no idea of what he was talking about or why I would need one. Luckily I was still playing OG eye 2 wedges and didn't want a GW.

 

FWIW:

OG Eye 2 was 50.5 with a 44* 9-iron and 57.5* SW.

 

Eye 2+ was 48.5 with a 44 9 iron and 53.5 SW.

 

Eye 2 +no+ (late '89 early '90) have the same loft and rounder sole shape as the +.

Edited by nitram
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49 minutes ago, Nard_S said:

Think the original Ping Eye 2 always had 48* PW. Mine did.

 

 

Original Eye2 specs are for a 50.5* PW

 

Edited by NRJyzr
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The Ever Changing Bag!  A lot of mixing and matching
Driver: Original One 11.5* (tuned down), NV75 X -or- SpeedZone 10.5*, Aldila ProtoPype 80S, <44" TBD

3w: King LTD, Aldila RIP Beta 90 X -or- TM Stage 2 Tour, Aldila NV105 X
Hybrid:  TaylorMade Stage 2 Tour 2h or 3h, NV105 S -or- RIP Alpha 105 S

Irons grab bag:  3-PW Mizuno MP37, Recoil Proto 125 F4; 3-PW Golden Ram TW276, NV105 S; 2-PW Golden Ram Vibration Matched, RIP Tour 115 R
Wedges:  Dynacraft Dual Millled 52*, SteelFiber i125 S -or- Scratch 8620 DD 53*, SteelFiber i125 S; PM Grind 19 58* -or- Wilson Staff PMP 58*, Dynamic S
Putter:  Snake Eyes Viper Tour Sv1, 34" -or- Cleveland Huntington Beach #1, 34.5" -or- Golden Ram TW Custom, 34"
Balls: Wilson Staff Duo Professional, TaylorMade TP5, Chrome Soft custom TruVis

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48 minutes ago, Nard_S said:

I avoid classic MB's that have 50* pw, just do, always like my #5i at 28*. Still do.

 

It's funny, I spent a decade or more playing a 50* PW, but I seem to prefer 21 to 49 for 3-PW these days, with 53/58 wedges.  Go figure.

 

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The Ever Changing Bag!  A lot of mixing and matching
Driver: Original One 11.5* (tuned down), NV75 X -or- SpeedZone 10.5*, Aldila ProtoPype 80S, <44" TBD

3w: King LTD, Aldila RIP Beta 90 X -or- TM Stage 2 Tour, Aldila NV105 X
Hybrid:  TaylorMade Stage 2 Tour 2h or 3h, NV105 S -or- RIP Alpha 105 S

Irons grab bag:  3-PW Mizuno MP37, Recoil Proto 125 F4; 3-PW Golden Ram TW276, NV105 S; 2-PW Golden Ram Vibration Matched, RIP Tour 115 R
Wedges:  Dynacraft Dual Millled 52*, SteelFiber i125 S -or- Scratch 8620 DD 53*, SteelFiber i125 S; PM Grind 19 58* -or- Wilson Staff PMP 58*, Dynamic S
Putter:  Snake Eyes Viper Tour Sv1, 34" -or- Cleveland Huntington Beach #1, 34.5" -or- Golden Ram TW Custom, 34"
Balls: Wilson Staff Duo Professional, TaylorMade TP5, Chrome Soft custom TruVis

GripMaster Roo or Kidd leather grips

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My first set of irons with a PW was my '69 Hogan 1+ set. Got those as a high school graduation present and played them my first three years in college. All through high school my irons were 2-9 and I played little pitch shots and sand shots with my 9 iron. Got my first sand wedge in college, a Sure-Out. I pretty much wore that club out practicing sand shots. I would practice until I holed 3 shots, 4 days a week. That Sure-Out helped my sand game a lot in college. A couple of years later I got a Hogan Special Sand Iron that I still have.  It  is a really good club for pitches and the sand. It plays very much like a 58 degree wedge does today. Back then when you ordered a sand wedge from Wilson, Spalding, Hogan etc. there were no "grinds" to choose from and they were all like 56 degrees. If you wanted some work done on a wedge you did yourself or you might know a club pro who could do some work on it.

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Gosh, and I thought that there was an industry standard to a PW loft.  I have a set of 1982 Golden Ram Vibration Matched irons, and that pitching wedge is certainly not 48 degrees because it does not go as far.  I'm guessing it is at least 50 degrees.

 

By the time I started playing golf 31 years ago, the standard PW loft was 48 degrees, or at least that is what I remember.

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7 hours ago, dlygrisse said:

TA 845’s had the lofts stamped on the toe of the clubs.  You could get a gap wedge, the first set I remember with one. 60, 56, 52, 48, etc.  not sure if they were the first, but they were the first really popular iron with those specs. 

I have several Titleist sets, including the original DCI Black and the DCI-B irons, both of which were released in 1994.  Both have lofts stamped on the sole of each club.  The pitching wedges are both 48 degrees.

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I would also add here that in Golf My Way, Jack specified his average distances with each club, and he stated that the pitching wedge was for up to 100 yards, and the sand wedge was for up to 85 yards.  The book was released in 1972, so no way was his pitching wedge 48 degrees; it had to be 52 degrees if the maximum distance was 100 yards.  That is my maximum distance with 52 degrees.

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My first legit set of clubs - Spalding Executives purchased in 1981 - had a 52* PW and 47* 9i. From what I can gather, those were pretty "standard" specs (within a degree or two) for the bottom end of the irons at that time.

 

Over the course of the 80's and early 90's you saw loft creep set in and PW's gradually went from somewhere around 50* to somewhere around 48-46*.

 

That loft creep is what caused the "gap wedge" to become a thing. I can still remember buying my first gap wedge, (52*) of course, back in the mid-to-late 90's. 

 

Ultimately, I think what we find is that loft creep has been going on for a long time - the golf industry just decided to lean into it hard in the last 10 or 15 years. 

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11 hours ago, EmperorPenguin said:

I once had a conversation with Steve Pate.  We were talking about the industry jacking up lengths and lofts.  I told him that when I started golf (1990), the pitching wedge was 48 degrees.  He told me that when he played for UCLA, the pitching wedge was 52 degrees.  I remember back in about 1994 that when Cobra released their King Cobra Oversize irons, they also released, to the best of my recollection, the first "Gap Wedge."  In my prime, my pitching wedge had an average distance of about 115 and the sand wedge 85, so this was indeed a gap, and I correctly estimated that the gap was for 52 degrees, which is the old-school pitching wedge Steve told me about.

 

For those of you guys who may remember: when did the pitching wedge bump down to 48 degrees, and who was responsible for starting that trend?

 

This is not a debate about the industry gradually strengthening lofts and lengths, as it was a popular thread I started years ago.  I am curious to when the first bump was.

The first one I remember we’re the King Cobra and Tommy Armour 845 irons. I think the Diawa Hi-Tracs had stronger lofts too, but not sure what the lofts were.

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Ping G425 7wd @ -1 Flat setting Graffaloy Pro Lite 3.5 Reg
Ping G425 22 hybrid @ Flat setting Aldila NVS 85 Reg
PXG Gen 3 0311XP 5-GW Mitsubishi MMT 80 Reg

Ping Tour-S Raw 56* @ 55, 60* KBS Tour 90 Wrx combo grind
Evnroll ER8 33”

 

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1 hour ago, NRJyzr said:

 

Original Eye2 specs are for a 50.5* PW

 

I'll take your word. Pretty certain mine played to 48* and highly likely they were the "+" models. Bought them off used rack. Don't remember exactly.Following set were DCI Gold's and those were caertainly 48*. Both played to same distance.

 

My 681's are 49*and you can not tell but those RAM's at 50* were noticeable even to the Fx Grind some years later. Something about the shafts or the bore depths but old MB's were very stout to flex compared to post 80's variants. My schtick has always been to keep lofts relatively the same. Been that way since 1988, I'm loosening up a bit with the VR Pro II at 47*, lol, but littles has changed.

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1 hour ago, EmperorPenguin said:

I have a set of 1982 Golden Ram Vibration Matched irons, and that pitching wedge is certainly not 48 degrees because it does not go as far.  I'm guessing it is at least 50 degrees.

 

51*, maybe 50*.  I've seen both referenced for the Vibration Matched Golden Rams, and the 80 Tour Grinds would certainly not be stronger.  🙂

 

It's hard to say which.  FG-17s were 50* PW, Palmer Standards were a 51* PW, 1* weaker for each club.  <shrug>

 

If I get around to reshafting my Vibration Matched Golden Rams, I'll be giving them the 51* PW.  Just because.  

 

Edited by NRJyzr
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The Ever Changing Bag!  A lot of mixing and matching
Driver: Original One 11.5* (tuned down), NV75 X -or- SpeedZone 10.5*, Aldila ProtoPype 80S, <44" TBD

3w: King LTD, Aldila RIP Beta 90 X -or- TM Stage 2 Tour, Aldila NV105 X
Hybrid:  TaylorMade Stage 2 Tour 2h or 3h, NV105 S -or- RIP Alpha 105 S

Irons grab bag:  3-PW Mizuno MP37, Recoil Proto 125 F4; 3-PW Golden Ram TW276, NV105 S; 2-PW Golden Ram Vibration Matched, RIP Tour 115 R
Wedges:  Dynacraft Dual Millled 52*, SteelFiber i125 S -or- Scratch 8620 DD 53*, SteelFiber i125 S; PM Grind 19 58* -or- Wilson Staff PMP 58*, Dynamic S
Putter:  Snake Eyes Viper Tour Sv1, 34" -or- Cleveland Huntington Beach #1, 34.5" -or- Golden Ram TW Custom, 34"
Balls: Wilson Staff Duo Professional, TaylorMade TP5, Chrome Soft custom TruVis

GripMaster Roo or Kidd leather grips

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11 minutes ago, Nard_S said:

I'll take your word. Pretty certain mine played to 48* and highly likely they were the "+" models. Bought them off used rack. Don't remember exactly.Following set were DCI Gold's and those were caertainly 48*. Both played to same distance.

 

My 681's are 49*and you can not tell but those RAM's at 50* were noticeable even to the Fx Grind some years later. Something about the shafts or the bore depths but old MB's were very stout to flex compared to post 80's variants. My schtick has always been to keep lofts relatively the same. Been that way since 1988, I'm loosening up a bit with the VR Pro II at 47*, lol, but littles has changed.

 

That makes me wonder if you had Eye2 +no+ irons.  They had the Eye2 square grooves that caused the ruckus with the PGA and USGA, but had the stronger lofts of the Eye2+ irons, and no + stamped in the cavity.  Fun stuff  🙂

 

Re: older Dynamics and stiffness, I have a theory...  I've noticed my Dynamic shafts in my Muirfields and 78 Tour Blades are a bit stiffer than the modern DG shafts I've used.  Somewhere in the mid-90s, there was a change in the tipping instructions for DG parallel shafts, which had the effect of softening the flex. 

 

My theory is that Dynamic shafts were softened a little bit around this time.  The reason for it could be the increasing club lengths, that saw DG shafts go from 35"-39" raw lengths to 37"-41" raw lengths.  Your average X iron would be longer than seen a decade or two prior, but with lighter clubheads in order to keep that D1-ish swingweight that seems so popular in stock iron sets.  That would have the effect of stiffening the shaft slightly.  Makes sense that they could have softened the shaft a bit to compensate, at least in part.

 

Something like that.  🙂

 

Edited by NRJyzr

The Ever Changing Bag!  A lot of mixing and matching
Driver: Original One 11.5* (tuned down), NV75 X -or- SpeedZone 10.5*, Aldila ProtoPype 80S, <44" TBD

3w: King LTD, Aldila RIP Beta 90 X -or- TM Stage 2 Tour, Aldila NV105 X
Hybrid:  TaylorMade Stage 2 Tour 2h or 3h, NV105 S -or- RIP Alpha 105 S

Irons grab bag:  3-PW Mizuno MP37, Recoil Proto 125 F4; 3-PW Golden Ram TW276, NV105 S; 2-PW Golden Ram Vibration Matched, RIP Tour 115 R
Wedges:  Dynacraft Dual Millled 52*, SteelFiber i125 S -or- Scratch 8620 DD 53*, SteelFiber i125 S; PM Grind 19 58* -or- Wilson Staff PMP 58*, Dynamic S
Putter:  Snake Eyes Viper Tour Sv1, 34" -or- Cleveland Huntington Beach #1, 34.5" -or- Golden Ram TW Custom, 34"
Balls: Wilson Staff Duo Professional, TaylorMade TP5, Chrome Soft custom TruVis

GripMaster Roo or Kidd leather grips

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5 hours ago, No_Catchy_Nickname said:

 

On the subject of 60* wedges, I've a Wilson Staff T.K. (Tom Kite) 60* that I think was released in 1985. Quite a bit of offset and the grind isn't one I'd choose, but it's a fun club to play when I playing persimmon and blades.

678838652_WilsonTK60*wedgeback.jpg.3efc1a174e3cb9ffe135b26ce755980c.jpg602756429_WilsonTK60*wedgesole.jpg.8beb5f5f60d60c438a135563058a7267.jpg

Wilson TK 60* wedge address.jpg

The store brand Wilson Harmonized has the same profile--- I have a 60 and a couple of 56*---- The 56* look just like my JPs at address and hit just as good. 

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Driver--- TM M-6 Evenflow 65gm R set to 9.5

3W  TM V-Steel 15* bent to 14 NVS green Aldila 65gr R

7W TM V-steel 21* Ust Pro Force Gold 65 R

Irons 4 thru PW 1980 Macgregor VIP Hogan Apex #2 shafts

SW Cleveland 588 56* S-400 sensicore S soft tipped 2x

LW Cleveland 588 60* S-400 Sensicore S soft tipped 2x

Putter Rusty Santa Fe Bulls Eye fluted shaft

Bag Old School Titleist Mini Staff

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7 minutes ago, NRJyzr said:

Somewhere in the mid-90s, there was a change in the tipping instructions for DG parallel shafts, which had the effect of softening the flex. 

100% agree but it's mostly anecdotal. Did read once that they re-configured or tweaked things mid 90's. So the combo of shaft specs (pre-90's seem strong to flex) and lofts at 50* for pW always kept me at arms length with real vintage stuff. I have some but bulk of collection pays homage to the 90's and early 2K, which I'm happy with.

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4 hours ago, rgk5 said:

Quite correct.  Most of us who played either MacGregor or Spalding irons would buy Wilson Dynapwer or Golfcraft Continental wedges, sometimes a Hogan like the Sure On, NOT the Sure Out.
 

I actually had a Wilson Dual Sole according to the stamping it could have been a 65 66 model but could have been a custom job. Actually I did not like the way the toe sat at address. Yeah I know I can be anal. I ended up giving it to Old School Rocker when he came to visit me a few years back. Not being a real Wilson guru I had never seen one like it before or since

Driver--- TM M-6 Evenflow 65gm R set to 9.5

3W  TM V-Steel 15* bent to 14 NVS green Aldila 65gr R

7W TM V-steel 21* Ust Pro Force Gold 65 R

Irons 4 thru PW 1980 Macgregor VIP Hogan Apex #2 shafts

SW Cleveland 588 56* S-400 sensicore S soft tipped 2x

LW Cleveland 588 60* S-400 Sensicore S soft tipped 2x

Putter Rusty Santa Fe Bulls Eye fluted shaft

Bag Old School Titleist Mini Staff

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2 hours ago, EmperorPenguin said:

I have several Titleist sets, including the original DCI Black and the DCI-B irons, both of which were released in 1994.  Both have lofts stamped on the sole of each club.  The pitching wedges are both 48 degrees.

My DCI Golds, purchased new in 1991 (the last set of irons I purchased new and I still have them) had a 48 degree PW.  

 

Both the 845s and the DCIs were designed by the same man, John Hoeflich.  The 845s were first, but as to whether or not they were the first with a 48 degree PW I can't say.  

 

I had one of those Wilson TK 60s.  I think the Ram Watson 60 degree was out a couple of years before that one.  Of course I had one of those too.

 

The first 60 degree I had was a Ralph Maltby product called "Third Wedge."  That was around 1981.  Maltby was writing articles for Golf Magazine at the time and floated the idea of a 60 degree wedge with little to no bounce around 1979.  No idea if that concept was original with him.  I suspect pros at least tried high lofted wedges long before that. 

 

Ralph was big on 60s.  The last WITB I saw on him had two 60s, one a hybrid of sorts called a Lob Slider and one more conventional.  He didn't care for gap wedges, saying it wasn't that tough to cover that distance with a 3/4 PW.

  

 

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13 hours ago, EmperorPenguin said:

I once had a conversation with Steve Pate.  We were talking about the industry jacking up lengths and lofts.  I told him that when I started golf (1990), the pitching wedge was 48 degrees.  He told me that when he played for UCLA, the pitching wedge was 52 degrees.  I remember back in about 1994 that when Cobra released their King Cobra Oversize irons, they also released, to the best of my recollection, the first "Gap Wedge."  In my prime, my pitching wedge had an average distance of about 115 and the sand wedge 85, so this was indeed a gap, and I correctly estimated that the gap was for 52 degrees, which is the old-school pitching wedge Steve told me about.

 

For those of you guys who may remember: when did the pitching wedge bump down to 48 degrees, and who was responsible for starting that trend?

 

This is not a debate about the industry gradually strengthening lofts and lengths, as it was a popular thread I started years ago.  I am curious to when the first bump was.

That Cobra PW was 43 degrees, and the Gap Wedge was 50.

 

Specs weren't as widely known then as they are now.  I remember reading about a Mizuno rep complaining that he was having a tough time competing with those Cobra irons at demo days.  Everyone hit the Cobra wedge longer than the Mizuno product, without knowing the reason why, and thought that somehow the Cobra was a superior product.

 

A concept still being used on unsuspecting consumers to this very day, despite the information being much more available. 

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1 hour ago, Shallowface said:

The first 60 degree I had was a Ralph Maltby product called "Third Wedge."  That was around 1981.  Maltby was writing articles for Golf Magazine at the time and floated the idea of a 60 degree wedge with little to no bounce around 1979.  No idea if that concept was original with him.  I suspect pros at least tried high lofted wedges long before that. 

 

 

A golf forum acquaintance from a different forum swears many of the Sand Irons of olde were indeed as much as 60*.  He has quite the collection of old wedges, many of which were 58* or 60*.

 

They definitely weren't marketed as "lob wedges" in those days.  😉

 

Edited by NRJyzr
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The Ever Changing Bag!  A lot of mixing and matching
Driver: Original One 11.5* (tuned down), NV75 X -or- SpeedZone 10.5*, Aldila ProtoPype 80S, <44" TBD

3w: King LTD, Aldila RIP Beta 90 X -or- TM Stage 2 Tour, Aldila NV105 X
Hybrid:  TaylorMade Stage 2 Tour 2h or 3h, NV105 S -or- RIP Alpha 105 S

Irons grab bag:  3-PW Mizuno MP37, Recoil Proto 125 F4; 3-PW Golden Ram TW276, NV105 S; 2-PW Golden Ram Vibration Matched, RIP Tour 115 R
Wedges:  Dynacraft Dual Millled 52*, SteelFiber i125 S -or- Scratch 8620 DD 53*, SteelFiber i125 S; PM Grind 19 58* -or- Wilson Staff PMP 58*, Dynamic S
Putter:  Snake Eyes Viper Tour Sv1, 34" -or- Cleveland Huntington Beach #1, 34.5" -or- Golden Ram TW Custom, 34"
Balls: Wilson Staff Duo Professional, TaylorMade TP5, Chrome Soft custom TruVis

GripMaster Roo or Kidd leather grips

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