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Remembering golf’s forgotten big brands

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In the world of sports, many brands have come and gone throughout history. What’s different in golf is that although companies disappear, they leave behind a lot of memories tied to great moments in the history of the game. From great shots to great designs, these objects continue to find life, much in the same way classic golf courses are the measure to modern design.

The only comparison to other sports would be the wooden bat used in professional baseball. Although its design has shifted throughout the years, the basic design has remained relatively unchanged. If you want to play the game with one of those old wooden bats you can, in the same way so many people enjoy using persimmon and classic forged clubs to this day.

MacGregor

It’s hard to imagine some of the best players to ever play the game without a signature green and white MacGregor bag close by. Some of the biggest names in history used MacGregor in their prime, including Jack Nicklaus, who at one point was also the majority owner of the company in the late ’80s.

MacGregor attempted a “relaunch” in the late ’90s with an updated tour roster that included Aaron Baddeley, but after slumping sales and sets of clubs that failed to take off, assets were eventually liquidated in North America. The brand still lives on in the UK and Japan but not with the same presence it once had.

Ram

The Ram brand usually conjures up one name above them all: Tom Watson. But during the late ’70s and ’80s, they had several players on staff.

They were most well known for a couple of clubs first being the Forged Tour Grind Irons, and secondly, the ladies 3-wood used by Fred Couples, which coincidentally came from Tom Watson’s wife’s set. Like MacGregor, the Ram name lives on mostly as an entry-level brand for beginner golfers sold as package sets, but if you ever find a set of tour grinds in nice shape, snap them up!

Founders Club

Founders Club was started by Gary Adams, the same man known for both inventing the original metal wood and as one of the founders of TaylorMade. Founders Club had a pretty stacked tour staff in the early ’90s, which included Lanny Wadkins and Lee Janzen among others and was well known for “The Judge” driver and forged CB irons. Their list of former club builders and engineers is strong, and include the likes of Jeff Sheets and famous wedge designer Bob Vokey.

Lynx

Image: Golfbidder

What’s crazy about Lynx, is it’s hard to pinpoint what went wrong for the up and coming brand. They had 2 U.S. Open wins thanks to Ernie Els in the ’90s along with having Fred Couples on staff—one of the game’s most popular figures.

Eventually, the brand was sold to Golfsmith, which created new designs and offered Lynx as their premium component line to club builders. In a weird coincidence, the lead designer at Golfsmith at the time was Jeff Sheets and in the mid-2000s they cranked out some exceptional designs.

Like others on this list, Lynx is on their way to making a comeback after being relaunched as a premium mid-level priced brand in the UK with distribution coming back to North America too.

Walter Hagen – Haig Ultra

The Walter Hagen Haig Ultra brand was the premium line from Wilson Staff, and one of their biggest moments came when Ben Crenshaw won the Masters with their irons. It’s easy to see the pedigree from classic Wilson Staff irons like the FG17 in the lines of the Haig.

Eventually, the brand lost its luster, and the Walter Hagen name was sold off to be used to sell entry-level products through big-box retail chains. But the history still lingers, and if you can find a set of Haig Ultras in good shape, you’ll know you’re are holding what was at the time a very premium product.

 

Any other brands you think should be on this list? Let us know, GolfWRXers!

 

 

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Ryan Barath is part of the Digital Content Creation Team for GolfWRX. He hosts the "On Spec" Podcast on the GolfWRX Radio Network which focuses on discussing everything golf, including gear, technology, fitting, and course architecture. He is a club-fitter & master club builder with more than 17 years of experience working with golfers of all skill levels, including PGA Tour players. He is the former Build Shop Manager & Social Media Coordinator for Modern Golf. He now works independently from his home shop and is a member of advisory panels to a select number of golf equipment manufacturers. You can find Ryan on Twitter and Instagram where he's always willing to chat golf, and share his passion for club building, course architecture and wedge grinding.

78 Comments

78 Comments

  1. Mike

    May 13, 2020 at 11:02 pm

    First Flight

  2. Mike

    May 5, 2020 at 1:56 pm

    Northwestern is a brand that jumps out. I remember having Northwestern persimmon woods when I was a kid. The 7 wood was still one of the best fairway woods I ever hit.

  3. Gerald Teigrob

    Apr 29, 2020 at 11:53 am

    Lest we forget..the Adams A7 irons and the Adams Redlines are still clubs I wish TaylorMade wouldn’t have removed from their most wanted list. I still have my A7s and am looking to see how the Redlines fare now. Thanks, TM for buying out my first favorite brand name and forgetting those of us who were brand loyal to them! Just for the same of ego! I am quite disappointed with TM in that!

  4. Madeline Morgan

    Apr 23, 2020 at 3:56 pm

    Confidence MP Mader blades, Orlimar persimmon woods

  5. JB

    Apr 19, 2020 at 3:47 pm

    Dunlop Maxfli Australian Blades – still have mine 2-PW

  6. Andres

    Apr 19, 2020 at 12:30 pm

    Slazenger 60s thru mid 80s… Seve, Johnny Miller, and Co. Somewhere along the line it all went downhill.

  7. Noel

    Apr 19, 2020 at 6:41 am

    Daiwa. IBF won the British Open back in the day.

  8. Acemandrake

    Apr 18, 2020 at 8:30 pm

    George Izett (Philadelphia, mostly known for woods)

  9. David

    Apr 18, 2020 at 5:46 am

    From the UK we had a few brands including HIPPO and HOWSON i remember from the mid to lates 90’s that sadly slipped away. They were good clubs imo. I still have and play my Howson Derby irons as seen in my Whats in the bag pic (in the forum)

    • Bruce

      Apr 18, 2020 at 1:33 pm

      Greg Norman and Spalding. Tour Edition ball, the spinniest ball ever.

  10. Jerry Weir

    Apr 17, 2020 at 10:24 pm

    Browning made some great forged irons also.

  11. Tom

    Apr 17, 2020 at 7:38 pm

    How about the Sounder irons such as the SB4 (I think) that was the Seve Ballesteros model? Friend of mine had a set stolen from his unlocked trunk while watching an NFL game, years ago.

  12. Casey Harvey

    Apr 17, 2020 at 6:03 pm

    Anything you could buy out of the Austad’s catalog back in the 1980’s.

  13. Whack About

    Apr 17, 2020 at 6:01 pm

    My vote for Peerless irons here…

  14. Tom

    Apr 17, 2020 at 5:26 pm

    Does anyone remember Sounder irons? They had a SB4 or similar that was supposedly the Seve Ballesteros model that he might have used in Europe. Funny that some pros who played on different tours, seemed to have different club contracts in different parts of the world. I wonder how that went if they had to change clubs when traveling?

  15. Mark

    Apr 17, 2020 at 3:13 pm

    Haig Ultra- Model 66435 Woods
    Haig Ultra- Model 390 irons
    Console Sand Iron
    L’il David Slingers Utility Iron
    John Letters Master Model MK4 Irons
    MacGregor Tourney Custom “the985” Irons
    Toney Penna Woods & Irons
    Shakespeare Sigma IV Irons & Woods

  16. Greenberg Joseph

    Apr 17, 2020 at 2:16 pm

    Forgot to mention Nick Price regular tour career killers:Atrigon, Goldwin

  17. Joe Greenberg

    Apr 17, 2020 at 2:05 pm

    Palmer out of Tennessee created some truly innovative irons. Nike’s Tom Stites and his (Artisan) shapers deserve mention. Maxfli’s Aussie blades are every bit the match for Miura’s. Ram’s Zebra putter another huge product.
    My esoteric favorites (not just because i consulted with them): Javelin Blue with incredible concentrically wound graphite shafts, Mac Hunter Auld Classic beautiful irons and Heather Wedge, Profound Putters our of Norway of all places.
    Continental should get a lot of credit for introducing landmark graphite/fiber shafts promoted by Gary Player in the early ‘60’s.
    I grew up playing McGregor Tommy Armour’s (and pro i worked for “Harry Pezzulo’s; staff pros got their name stamped on Armour irons and persimmons). Hogan, Nicklaus did too (only mention this as the only thing i have in common with them).

  18. Duke

    Apr 17, 2020 at 1:46 pm

    You’ve got to be kiddin me. Hardly a mention of the Wilson Staff Dynapowers of the 60’s. Played by Arnie and perhaps the best ever swinger of a golf club, Mickey Wright! Wilson Staff Dynapower with the Turf Rider Sole stamped on the bottom was what she used. I still have my 1965 Staff irons from high school. Had them rechromed in the 80’s at Golfsmith and they still look great! And the 72 button back irons were gorgeous!

    • Thomas A

      Apr 21, 2020 at 9:48 am

      Wilson is still around, so not really relevant to this conversation.

  19. Biglicka

    Apr 17, 2020 at 1:20 pm

    This is waaaay back, but George Izett made some fine woods. Sam Snead played an Izett driver for many years.

  20. Jim Rayburn

    Apr 17, 2020 at 12:58 pm

    I remember in the 50’s and 60’s living near a pro shop that had Golfcraft Continental irons and woods. It seems like our pro was on the Golfcraft staff and they had white wood for driver and fairway woods. I played Powerbilt Citations for many years, woods and irons. My first set of clubs were Powerbilt Countess irons. Women’s version of the Citations. My favorite set though were the beryllium copper citation irons that came out in the 70’s sometime.. I also remember buying from my club pro, his Spaulding Top Flight tour irons. All of these were some of my favorites. Other popular clubs back then were the Wilson Staff “dura feel” irons, maxfli, ram, (which could have been the next generation Golfcraft???),

    We might as well comment on the balls while we’re here. Acusnet club special, Spaulding dot, Wilson staff, maxfli, 50-60 years ago but like it was yesterday! Golf is a great game!

  21. Greg B.

    Apr 17, 2020 at 12:34 pm

    I was a junkie for lost brands. MacGregor, Wilson, Daiwa, Hogan were all in my bag at various points. If you avoided the retail-level stuff and bought their higher-end lines they all made good clubs. I loved my MacGregor M565 and Hogan Edge irons. I also liked the last (early to mid-90s) Wilson Gooseneck channel-back irons. I miss MacGregor in particular, I thought Greg Norman was their savior but the 2008 economic downturn sunk them.

  22. Rich Jurewicz

    Apr 17, 2020 at 12:09 pm

    My first clubs back in the mid-60s was a set of Kroydon Bob Rosburg irons.

  23. Jim K

    Apr 17, 2020 at 12:07 pm

    I started playing with a set of Confidence irons and woods that I bought through mail order after seeing them in a magazine ad. From there I moved on to Hogan Apex Irons, which I absolutely loved. Wish I could remember what I did with them.

  24. NormW

    Apr 17, 2020 at 11:10 am

    My first irons, 1964, was a short-set of Billy Caspers, then I graduated to Haig Ultras in 1966

  25. Steve

    Apr 17, 2020 at 10:17 am

    Wow – what a walk down memory lane. Not sure if it is mentioned in the thread, but anyone recall the Royal Golf ball with the hexagonal dimples? They were quite the rage for awhile. One last point: with all the modern day talk about “how hard the game is” to explain why golf leveled or dropped off in popularity, it is worth remembering that in the golf heyday of the 60s and 70s, we all played with the clubs featured in this article that had a sweet spot the size of a teardrop. And nobody complained as they took up the game in record numbers. Just sayin….

  26. Tom

    Apr 16, 2020 at 6:31 pm

    Palmer Peerless – great with the hosel weights and the gripless driver. Nicklaus clubs. Snake Eyes wedges were sweet.

    • Imafitter

      Apr 17, 2020 at 4:03 pm

      I have a set of Palmer Tour Oversize PHD’s with the burgundy graphite Arnold Palmer Extreme firm shafts…beautiful clubs!

      • Gary kestle

        May 9, 2020 at 12:08 am

        I still have a set of Palmer “The Standard ” forged irons from the 70s along with some of the other sets mentioned here.

    • Bill Griffith

      Apr 18, 2020 at 8:58 pm

      Still have a Snake Eyes pw laying around. Awesome clubs.

      • Tom54

        Apr 18, 2020 at 10:53 pm

        I too have an old snake eyes 11 iron. Pretty sure those babies were $200 back then which was an absurd price even by today’s models

  27. Kevin

    Apr 16, 2020 at 5:38 pm

    It will be interesting to see if in 40 years the companies we know today (Taylor Made-Callaway-Cobra-Ping) will be companies of the past. Unfortunately I will be dead.

    • Mower

      Apr 16, 2020 at 8:27 pm

      Don’t talk like that. Just remember to have them upload your consciousness into the mainframe.

      • chip75

        Apr 17, 2020 at 6:45 pm

        I look forward to the, “I’ve gained 25 yards since I died!” commercials from Better Off Dead Golf™.

        Maxfli and Slazenger are our notables in the UK, but the latter is basically for Seve.

  28. Richard J Johnson

    Apr 16, 2020 at 3:24 pm

    Got a old vinyl bag with a set of Muirfields in my office, together with M85, M75 drivers, 3 wood and my old Toney Pennas. Owned/played, Maxfli Aussie blades, Lynx, Swilken, Letters, Ram, Wilsons, Spaldings, several sets of Hogans and the Bridgestone J’s blades. Gamers are Hogan TK15, backups Mizuno MP-32. Have a handmade Peter Broadbent Keyhole driver at home as well.

  29. Tim. P

    Apr 16, 2020 at 11:27 am

    Accform, a lot Canadian pro’ played these clubs in the 90’s

    • Bruce

      Apr 18, 2020 at 1:35 pm

      Accuform were great irons but their money came from their patented bunker rakes. When that patent expired that source of income was gone.

  30. ArchieBunker

    Apr 16, 2020 at 10:41 am

    Great article. Just about every one of those classic brands back then were Made in the USA and yet, still affordable. Besides the top shelf lines, many companies made less expensive clubs for the department stores. If you couldn’t afford Wilson Staff, you could always get K-28’s or Sam Snead Blue Ridge at your local store.

  31. G daddy

    Apr 16, 2020 at 10:32 am

    Dunlop/Maxfli was a huge brand – they were divided up and while still around as a brand in Japan (through Sumitomo/Srixon) and as a house brand for Dicks – this was a dominant company in 60’s 70’s 80’s. Balls were huge – Blue Max, DDH, etc.. But also irons especially the Australian Blades that Sevs used amongst many others.

  32. Thomas A

    Apr 16, 2020 at 10:03 am

    Back around 2012 Golfsmith owned the MacGregor name and was still making forged VIP irons. They ended up being $300 on sale and I am still kicking myself for not buying them. I understand that they were very quality irons, regardless of the perception of the Golfsmith link. Anyone have more information on that?

  33. burk

    Apr 16, 2020 at 5:39 am

    Tony Penna

    Pederson

    two unbelievable wood and irons) companies

  34. Craig

    Apr 15, 2020 at 11:20 pm

    What about Spaulding. Were a big name in the 70/80’s, Greg Norman among others on the big red and white bag. Tour Edition were one of the first non-balata tour balls. Still around but not as a premium brand, now a big big brand.

    • Sundancekid

      Apr 16, 2020 at 11:44 am

      Tour Edition balls, indeed. When Callaway bought Spaulding for $125 million in 2003, they then owned all the Spaulding patents. One of the first things Callaway did was sue Titleist: this saga went back and forth court rulings etc. Like one big match play event: Callaway goes one up and then Titleist squares the match…i think they are going extra holes now still.

    • James

      Apr 16, 2020 at 2:01 pm

      His Spalding irons were forged by MacGregor’s Don White.

      • Shallowface

        Apr 18, 2020 at 9:15 am

        I don’t think that’s correct about the Spalding irons, as Spalding had its own custom department at that time. But it’s true for the Greg Norman Cobra irons.

  35. Steve

    Apr 15, 2020 at 11:11 pm

    Wilson spent a long time in the basement. Dunlop & John Letters had a lot of majors. I just polished up some Spalding custom mades which, honestly, are the hardest clubs to hit I’ve ever come across. Wilson 1200lt were my first set which I picked up for $30, and they’re actually very good clubs. Passed them along.

  36. Matt

    Apr 15, 2020 at 10:09 pm

    I remember being a little kid in the early 1990s and looking at my dad’s bag it was an old alagotor green leather thing made by wilson staff and inside he played a set of haig ultra blades 1 iron included. Early on I was mesmerized by something not sure what it was…later on in my early teens 2000s I took them out to the club and used them. Holy shit did I learn quick to take my time and focus or else the tingling sensation up my elbow would almost cripple me. A learned how to play them for abit but man even the victory corded grips ate my hands up….my dad passed away a couple years ago and one of the last things he said to me was a real man played a won hitting this son…it was his 1 iron and walked over to me and touched it up to my cheek and said one day it will be yours. Lol once in a while I’ll toss it in the hoofer and me and my buddies will try and hit it I swear no.one can hit it off the fairway higher then 6 feet off the ground and it might go 180 yards for us with the roll out.

  37. BD57

    Apr 15, 2020 at 9:35 pm

    The “bird on ball” Top Flite irons in the early 70’s were pretty nice.

    • Tom54

      Apr 17, 2020 at 8:39 pm

      BD 57 yes those top flite irons were sweet. I had a set. My very first set were Wilson X-31s back in the early 70s. Paid $176 back then brand new

  38. Danny Bentley

    Apr 15, 2020 at 8:53 pm

    First Flight . A great brand from the 60s.

  39. ChipNRun

    Apr 15, 2020 at 8:08 pm

    From 1974 to 1994 I played the MacGregor MT forged (flatsole) irons, 2i-10i plus split-sole SW. In 1984 I added MacG MT 1-3-4 woods.
    In years when I could play 6 times a month, I could shoot in the mid-80s. In years when I could only play twice a month, I rarely broke 90 and had trouble keeping my irons in control.
    One thing I miss is the ability to hit a low shot with long irons if needed.
    When I got refitted in 1994, the clubsmith encouraged me to keep the MT set as a history piece. I’m glad I did. Just retired recently, I want to get a period MacGregor bag and headcovers to hold the set. MacG green and white would look so cool…

  40. Robert

    Apr 15, 2020 at 7:29 pm

    Started playing golf in 1957 in Northeast. Recollections from early sixties have each spring new sets of Spaulding Top Flight, MacGregor Tourney, Wilson Staff on the pro shop walls. Had to get them in pro shops only back them. Occasionally there would be a new set of Hogan irons. Some of the better players liked to play MacGregor irons with Hogan woods. Best set of irons I ever saw in the early 60’s was a set of Hogan Power Thrust irons. Saw them in a pro shop at a course I only had the chance to play on once.
    Set of irons 2-PW back then was $110.

  41. TacklingDummy

    Apr 15, 2020 at 5:15 pm

    Nostalgic iron sets. Nice. My first real set that was brand new was a set of MacGregor blades when I was 10. I doubt I could hit them now. Lol.

    The next generation of irons were great with innovation of cavity backs. Played the Lynx Parallaxes, Titleist DCI Black Dot, and Taylormade Burner Tour. The Taylormade Burner Tour irons were great.

  42. Geoff

    Apr 15, 2020 at 4:10 pm

    How about Northwestern? They kind of ruled the low priced club market for long time selling out of Sears and K-Mart along big box stores.

    • Bill Griffith

      Apr 18, 2020 at 9:04 pm

      My first set of clubs in the 90’s. Think I still have them laying around somewhere. Great call!

  43. MICHAEL WINTER

    Apr 15, 2020 at 3:54 pm

    Confidence irons

  44. dat

    Apr 15, 2020 at 3:33 pm

    Nike

  45. geohogan

    Apr 15, 2020 at 3:19 pm

    Bought my first set of irons, Golden Ram in 1968 about three years before Tom Watson turned pro. loved those clubs.

  46. billyg

    Apr 15, 2020 at 2:38 pm

    These lines aren’t forgotten. They are a part of the designs today and in the future..definitely a part of most every golfer’s journey. Thanks for this article. Interesting how reading about these clubs reminds me of how some of them felt when hit, especially the Haigs.

  47. Sundancekid

    Apr 15, 2020 at 1:58 pm

    Orlimar – pre Tri Metal.

    Orlimar was a fantastic persimmon club company run by Lou Ortiz ( Jesse’s father) in Oakland CA and later Hayward CA Players like Venturi, Miller, Seve, etc had these woods at one time…however, this was a pay to play type arrangement. Many of the clubs listed were made in the USA and in the early to mid 80’s Orlimar began making their Forged iron in Japan. In fact, they went into a shared cost tooling agreement with a start up at the time: Taylormade. The company that was producing these was KYOEI (this has been confirmed by them). So began a design that many companies took advantage of the tooling and then ground for their own: Cleveland, Spaulding, Founders 200 are three BRANDS that did so. The VEGA VM02 is this head design. With Cleveland at the time they were making woods. KZG ZO blades as well. Just a solid muscle back that has stood the test of time: design by Lou Ortiz. Early 90’s players on the PGA tour played these. Then Golf Channel came about and now yo uhave 10 brands spending $100 million a piece to convince players that what is on tour is what is good. Right now you can buy the same head design from ENDO but you wont see them in the bag of a Top 100 player: contracts are too lucrative today.

    I hold at least 8 sets of these and have put every shaft combo in them. In fact I have a set that Tommy Aaron used while playing in the Masters and have video of him in the 90’s hitting a shot in a Master round.

    I have abet with a friend that this head design will make it back into one of the these 10 brands: specifically Taylormade or Titleist. You can pick up a set on Ebay for under $200 MINT. I bought a BRAND NEW set with Rifle shafts for $99. If you are a tournamnet player, just send them into the USGA….not all are conforming any longer.

    So, perhaps a long winded way to say: ORLIMAR

  48. Fred Kantrowitz

    Apr 15, 2020 at 12:52 pm

    Please dont forgetSpaulding and Faultless Golf companies.

  49. Jason

    Apr 15, 2020 at 11:55 am

    Tommy Armour, Maxfli, and Spaulding.

  50. Dennis

    Apr 15, 2020 at 11:45 am

    Not real big on tour but Powerbilt irons and woods were very popular in the 70’s

    • Shallowface

      Apr 15, 2020 at 2:02 pm

      I’d say they were pretty big. Miller Barber, Gay Brewer, Charles Coody, Bobby Nichols and Fuzzy Zoeller all won major championships playing Powerbilt clubs.

    • PopUp

      Apr 15, 2020 at 2:05 pm

      I’d say they were pretty big. Miller Barber, Gay Brewer, Charles Coody, Bobby Nichols and Fuzzy Zoeller all won major championships playing Powerbilt clubs.

    • 15th Club

      Apr 15, 2020 at 3:07 pm

      Great comment about Power Bilt. Indeed, for some of the time that he was under contract to Faultless, Lee Trevino played with a set of Power Bilt Scotch Blade irons; slathered in lead tape and with “Faultless” stamped into the soft lead.

  51. BingHogan

    Apr 15, 2020 at 11:29 am

    Still have my Haigs, Hogan PC’s.

    Once in a great while I get the the Haigs out at the range.
    A couple of young Pro’s next to me smoking irons off the deck a few years ago.

    Being a shy person, I asked them if they could show me how to hit the 2 iron. Finally they handed it back and said “How the #**# did you play with these irons!? Very Well, Actually! You just had to be perfect! Then showed them the marks on the 7 iron…

    The loft on the wedge is 50*, that helps. Now I think a new PW is 40 or less and about one inch longer.

    It’s all relative…

  52. e

    Apr 15, 2020 at 11:17 am

    sonartec

  53. 15th Club

    Apr 15, 2020 at 11:08 am

    LOL. I was going to put “Wilson” and “Spalding” on the list right behind MacGregor. And then I remembered that they aren’t dead yet.

    The one other that should be remembered is Hillerich & Bradsby’s “Faultless” brand. How many majors were won with Faultless clubs? A hall of fame career for sure, if somebody looked at every PGA tour win, and every major championship that was won with Faultless clubs. Start with Lee Trevino.

    • Shallowface

      Apr 16, 2020 at 7:08 am

      H&B did not own Faultless. Trevino certainly never used Faultless golf balls and I doubt if he ever used any of their clubs. Another poster said Trevino used H&B irons with Faultless stamped into lead tape, and that may have been the case. Trevino used Ram irons as well even when under contract to someone else.
      Tom Weiskopf, a long time MacGregor staffer, used Powerbilt short irons in his set. He said there was no telling how many more majors Nicklaus would have won if he had done the same thing because MacGregor short irons were so bad.
      Watching the 1975 Masters last weekend we had Nicklaus, Weiskopf, Miller and Watson, all MacGregor staffers at the time, and MacGregor management couldn’t figure out how to capitalize on such an event. Hard to imagine how management could botch an opportunity like that.

      • Sundancekid

        Apr 16, 2020 at 12:29 pm

        Was a story in the ’70’s of Trevino putting Faultless on a Titleist ball. Faultless balls were the GO GO balls of the day!

  54. Ray

    Apr 15, 2020 at 10:43 am

    All the clubs I grew up with are gone. Hogan, McGregor, Wilson, Spalding. Ping only company that has with stood decades.

    • Sam

      Apr 15, 2020 at 3:35 pm

      Wilson won the US Open last year, they ain’t gone!

      • Chris

        Apr 16, 2020 at 5:56 pm

        He’s been quarantined for quite some time.

    • Jerry Weir

      Apr 17, 2020 at 10:26 pm

      Hogan brand was relaunched in 2015 after the brand was bought from Callaway. The new Ben Hogan Golf company makes excellent equipment. Really excellent equipment. Probably some of the most underrated equipment out there.

  55. WILLIAM REIMAN

    Apr 15, 2020 at 10:25 am

    Heck, I played with half those clubs in my 20’s.

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Equipment

GolfWRX Classifieds (08/05/20): Titleist TS4, Byron putter, Nike tour driver

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At GolfWRX, we love golf equipment plain and simple.

We are a community of like-minded individuals that all experience and express our enjoyment for the game in many ways. It’s that sense of community that drives day-to-day interactions in the forums on topics that range from best driver to what marker you use to mark your ball, it even allows us to share another thing – the equipment itself.

One of the best ways to enjoy equipment is to experiment and whether you are looking to buy-sell-or trade (as the name suggests) you can find almost anything in the GolfWRX BST Forum. From one-off custom Scotty Cameron Circle T putters, to iron sets, wedges, and barely hit drivers, you can find it all in our constantly updated marketplace.

These are some of the latest cool finds from the GolfWRX BST, and if you are curious about the rules to participate in the BST Forum you can check them out here: GolfWRX BST Rules

Member Golfr19 – Titleist TS4 almost new

Low Spin bomber… It’s shafted with a HZRDUS T1100 Prototype/Handcrafted 6.5 75g shaft and a genuine Titleist SureFit adapter. If you play in a lot of wind, this might really help!

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Titleist TS4

Member ngjg21 – Byron Morgan DH89

Although he might not be a household name Byron Morgan has been producing great putters for a long time, and here is your chance to pick one up for a great price.

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Byron DH89

Member joe2282 – Nike VR Tour driver head

One of the great classic fixed hosel Nike drivers, the VR Tour. This head is in great shape and ready for your mid-2000’s “retro” bag!

To see the full listing and additional pictures check out the link here: Nike VR Tour head

Remember that you can always browse the GolfWRX Classifieds any time here in our forums: GolfWRX Classifieds

 

 

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Equipment

All-new Titleist Tour Speed golf ball builds on EXP•01 lineage

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When you are the maker of the number 1 ball in golf, it could be easy to become complacent, but the engineers at Titleist aren’t known for resting on their laurels. Instead, they are constantly looking for ways to innovate and provide performance benefits to golfers across categories, and today Titleist introduces the all-new Titleist Tour Speed golf ball.

Titleist Tour Speed golf ball: The details

Although the Tour Speed is new, many golfers might be familiar with the prototype ball that lead to the Tour Speed becoming a full-blown release—the EXP•01. It was through that extensive testing process, conducted on a scale that Titleist had never done before, that the team—including designers and engineers—had the opportunity to get valuable feedback from golfers of all skill levels. It was that direct feedback, along with controlled player testing, conducted at Titleist’s Manchester Lane R&D facility that lead to the final product.

“Every new Titleist golf ball must exceed our stringent machine and player testing targets in order to advance from the R&D phase,”  -Scott Cooper, Titleist Golf Ball R&D’s lead implementation engineer for Tour Speed.

Although the EXP•01 was released only 10 months ago, the Tour Speed has been years on the making as Titleist worked on producing a new proprietary thermoplastic urethane cover to produce the fastest ball in its market segment.

Not only is the cover material different, but the process to create the new ball involved a 4,300 square foot expansion of the Titleist Ball Plant 2, which demonstrates a huge commitment to the new Retractable Pin injection molding process and a belief in the product.

“Our golf ball scientists and engineers have gone to extraordinary lengths in the development of Tour Speed – testing numerous core formulations and aerodynamic patterns, while formulating and analyzing hundreds of TPU cover blends – to deliver on that promise. We have made every investment necessary in these new technologies, including a significant expansion of our manufacturing facility and process.” – Michael Mahoney, Vice President, Titleist Golf Ball Marketing.

Let’s talk about that performance

The Titleist Tour Speed is a three-piece thermoplastic urethane (TPU) covered ball designed to deliver distance and greater green stopping power. Titleist still believes that a cast urethane cover like those found on the Pro-V1 series offers the absolute best short game control and performance, but TPU allows them to combine enhanced distance with precise scoring control. The TPU formula used in the cover is proprietary and was formulated from scratch by Titleist’s internal team of R&D chemists to enhance distance while still maintaining feel.

The last piece of the cover puzzle is the new 346 quadrilateral dipyramid dimple design that provides a lower, more penetrating flight, so the ball is less affected by the wind.

Underneath the TPU cover sits a what Titleist calls its fastest ionomer casing layer ever, designed to create maximum speed leading to more distance.

Availability and price

The Titleist Tour Speed will be available in the U.S. at Titleist accounts beginning Friday, August 7, and they will be priced at $39.99 a dozen.

 

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Equipment

The Callaway ball plant: A legacy rooted in innovation

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A little over two years ago, I had the opportunity to visit the Callaway golf ball plant in Chicopee, Massachusetts (GolfWRX behind the scenes at the Callaway ball plant). It gave me the chance to take a deep dive into the history of not just the physical structure that is the plant but a look into the people and the machines that work to produce Callaway’s tour line of golf balls.

The one thing that stood out during that visit beyond the massive scale of the operation was the people and the pride they have in producing something in the United States for golfers to enjoy.

Chicopee & Spalding Manufacturing History

The ball plant and surrounding area where it is located is rich in manufacturing history dating back to the American revolutionary war, and the facade of the historical red brick building in Chicopee has remained mostly unchanged since it was the original Spalding manufacturing plant dating all the way back to the late 1800s. It was during this time in history when the plant produced baseballs, gloves, footballs, basketballs, tennis rackets, persimmon woods, irons—and of course golf balls, starting in 1896.

A lot of innovations relating to various sports have occurred inside of these walls and the funny thing is, Callaway’s marketing slogan for Chrome Soft— “The ball that changed the ball” could apply to a multitude of sports including:

  • Baseball – since Spalding developed the first Major League ball to become the official baseball of the National League in 1876.
  • Football – with Spalding creating the first American football with a material and workmanship guarantee in 1887.
  • Basketball – since Dr. James Naismith (Canadian—just wanted to get that in there—Go Raptors!) had the Spalding company develop the official basketball in 1894.

It is now 2020, and in the same building where all of these sporting innovations have taken place, an innovation of a new kind is underway because the ball plant has undergone multiple renovations and upgrades since 2018. Callaway has invested over $50 million in capital upgrades in order to increase quality control—and the ability to manufacture the newest Chrome Soft and Chrome Soft X balls to the highest level.

Investment in innovation

Although the plant has always operated to the highest possible level of quality control when it comes to balls, Callaway has admitted that, before 2018, there were some small holes in the production process that prevented them from reaching their potential as far as production standards go. The biggest consistency issues revolved around polymer compound mixing and the centeredness of the cores in dual-core golf balls. These weren’t wide-sweeping issues but they were enough of a problem, Callaway knew they needed to be addressed as quickly as possible, especially if they wanted to continue to innovate in the competitive golf ball market.

In an effort to not just be equal to the competition but to surpass them, the initial investment was in state-of-the-art machines that could take and process 3D X-Ray to measure ball construction and the core centeredness of every single ball. It is during this automated process, that if any ball shows an issue, then it is removed from the final stages of production and will never find its way into a golfer’s bag.

The biggest investment though came in the form of an all-new synthetic polymer mixer allowing Callaway engineers and plant staff to monitor parts of the process with a level of precision that they never could before. Now, if it wasn’t obvious by the pictures, this is not the type of machine that you can just pick up at a local “golf ball plant supply store”— these types of mixers are multiple stories high and offer the same type of precision you would find in the medical industry.

When it comes to the unassuming red brick building, it’s what’s inside that counts. And speaking of “inside,” Callaway engineers are now able to precisely control all of the compounds that go into producing golf ball cores. With the state-of-the-art mixer now in place on the factory floor, from the very start of production through to the final packaging, every Callaway ball is manufactured to the highest level of quality available in the industry.

The state of the art mixer now in place on the factory floor means that from the very start of production through to the final packaging, every Callaway ball is manufactured to the highest level of quality available in the industry.

Technology on the inside and outside

The other part of the plant that continues to see large investments is the Truvis and Triple Track printing area. As we touched on in the original piece, what was perceived by many to at first be a bit of a gimmick, including some of Callaway’s own employees, has proven to be an absolute slam dunk. The pentagon pattern provides a tangible benefit by creating an optical illusion that makes the ball look bigger and also gives visual feedback for short game shots and putting. If you haven’t tried chipping around a green with a Truvis ball, I highly suggest it—you can actually see how much difference in spin you create hitting various shots.

What started as a toe-dip with one machine has turned into an area of the plant with more than a dozen, with Callaway also producing Truvis balls with custom colors and logos.

What followed Truvis was the development of Callaway Triple Track, which is three high-resolution parallel lines printed onto the golf ball to help with alignment. It would not have been possible to print this alignment tool without the machines that were developed to precisely print the Truvis patterns. Triple Track has been so popular and effective for golfers that this year, Callaway even introduced the alignment tool onto a number of their Stroke Lab putter models.

Odyssey Stroke Lab 2-Ball with Triple Track

If history is any indication, this investment will continue to push golf ball innovation for Callaway, as well as continue to build on the strong legacy of proud American manufacturing in Chicopee, Massachusetts. To take an inside look inside of the newly renovated plant, as well as get a deeper understanding of the history and the people behind Callaway golf balls, check out their mini-documentary below.

The Ball that Changed a Town

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