Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Vintage Irons Suggestions - Part III

In this look at suggesting vintage irons I will take a look into the Wilson Staff line. As far as vintage irons go, Wilson Staff is probably the last company still going somewhat strong with their irons as their high profile player is Padraig Harrington.

I was asked about forgings and a test done awhile ago where they did a 'blind test' having golfers hit forged and cast irons and see if they could tell the difference and they wound up not being able to tell the difference.

Awhile ago Scratch Golf CEO, Ari Techner, stated that the issue with that test is that they used the same type of steel. However, most forged irons are made from a different type of steel and Scratch Golf has the patent on the softest steel in the golf equipment industry.

I think Mizuno makes a really soft feeling iron, but the other forged irons (excluding Scratch and Miura) have a noticeably less softer feel IMO. That being said, the vintage irons tend to have a softer feel like the Mizuno's. My guess is that they probably used a softer steel and there were probably no real patents and OEM's just used the best steel that they could find and afford to use.

Unlike MacGregor, Wilson Staff had a very steady line of quality clubs. Come the 1980's they tried to get into the cast and Game Improvement irons and didn't really succeed. But now they are sticking more to the forged line of clubs.

WS has 4 lines of irons that are some of my all time favorites.

1959 Dynapower

I've seen these and swung these clubs. The clubface is very 'short' and probably have less grooves than your normal blade. I've heard that these are very heavy, getting into the E-0 range swingweight. When I swung them they felt heavy, but I thought they were probably about a D-5 swingweight or so.

1969 Dynapower

These irons start to look more like today's irons and I'm sure that many of today's irons are modeled after these irons. Very round heads.

1971 Buttonbacks

These may be my favorites of the Wilson Staff line of clubs. (bottom iron)

These irons have a bit more of a squared edge and feel as good as it gets when hit flush.

1981 Tour Blade

The Tour blade has a smaller sole on the club, more like 1960's Hogan irons. Really great club if you can get it in good condition.

Next up, Spalding irons


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