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Tom Kite's 1950s MacGregor Armour 693T persimmon driver !


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#1 freddiec

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 10:40 AM

3 years ago I acquired a few of clubs from 2nd Swing that belonged to Tom Kite. I spoke to 2nd Swing and they assured me they came from Tom.  I bought his MacGregor 693T and since that time until recently I wondered if he actually gamed it, then  I met Tom in my hometown last summer one night while he played in the US Senior Open and I wished I remembered to ask him.  About a month ago I thought about contacting his son, which I did. He offered to show my pics to his Dad and about 10 days later he sent me a nice note saying that Tom looked at my pics and confirmed it was his which he played in and around 1984. It was Tom's gamer !!! I had thought that Tom used it at the 1984 Masters which he led with 9 holes to play and his son said that I was right.. Tom also used it at Doral in 84 and won, beating Jack Nicklaus. He probably used it later in the season when he won in Atlanta.  I also think , but not sure he used it in parts of 1982 and 83 based on a few pics I have seen. Tom also said seeing the club brought back good memories and he remember repairing the sold plate on the heel side after it somehow got bent up during travel. I also recently read an old article which said that repairing clubs in his work shop which he build with his Dad in his Austin home was a hobby of Tom's.  So the refinish that was done on this club was done by the man himself ! Tom has always been a player who intrigued me and one I've admired because he wasn't the longest player, but had a short game that nobody during his era could match.  The grain on this club is amazing, I've always been a fan of U or horseshoe grain, this has great straight grain that goes into the face. Dave Wood told me alot of players liked this grain pattern. It made for a very strong block and neck. I've hit this club a few times and its the best I've ever hit.  I'm not too surprised by that... It has what seems to be a S300 shaft, 43.5 inches long, a couple of hairs below D0 swing weight, 372 grams overall. It feels amazing

Attached Thumbnails

  • KiteTK693face.jpg
  • 16E7B550-9B14-4DE4-A3B1-8D1C9195B2AA.jpeg

Edited by freddiec, 24 June 2018 - 04:45 PM.


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#2 Sean2

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 10:42 AM

Cool story. :-)
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#3 forgedforever

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 10:43 AM

What a find and cool story!  Thanks for sharing.

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#4 tstephen

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 11:27 AM

Glad you got the 693 but 2nd Swing put the old 6 screw job to me ending early Kite's 945 driver that was the nicest I've seen.

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#5 Jiggered

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 12:24 PM

Great looking driver, and Tom's trousers in the last picture have to be the model for all aspiring vintage players.


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#6 HumbleGolfer

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 01:32 PM

Great find!  Great story!

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#7 dlygrisse

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 01:53 PM

Very cool!  Do think the refinish job brought the swingseigjt down.
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#8 freddiec

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Posted 24 June 2018 - 02:34 PM

The head doesn't have a weight on the back , so it probably wasn't a heavy head to begin with. The Tommy Armour stamp is barely viseable ; it wouldn't surprise me is he shaped the head to a certain desired weight.  Tom was sneaky long according to Venturi... Tom worked hard to gain more distance by lengthening his swing according to the telecasters.  As you know, it was common for these players in the 80s to have clubmakers work these clubs to desired specs, weights, ect.  Tom probably did a lot of that work himself.

Edited by freddiec, 24 June 2018 - 06:49 PM.


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#9 russad

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Posted 29 June 2018 - 01:08 AM

Echoing above comments, thanks so much for sharing Freddie, I think it's great how you have been able to find out about the provenance for this club.

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#10 rex235

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Posted 03 July 2018 - 04:35 PM

Freddie-

Since you asked-

Beautiful golf club!  (Aside from Jerry Heard, did any other pro play with "aged and battered woods"?)

The soleplate to this 693T appears razor thin, so it appears a lot of work has been done.

Yours almost entices me to pull out the '51 653T ....


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#11 freddiec

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Posted 03 July 2018 - 05:54 PM

Tom said that the sole plate on the heel side slightly lifted up during his travels and he repaired it himself.  After closely looking at this club and comparing it to 2 other 693's I have its obvious some custom work was done and done beautifully. The lines on this club are really great and imo the club is still as solid as any in my collection. Its a really great block, still probably as good as it was in 1984.  Like I said I'm pretty sure based on Tom's comments this club was his gamer for a few years, and probably hit 10s of 1000s of balls.  After hitting it I know now why they said the Mac Blocks from the early 1950s were the best.

Yeah, I hit it with the modern soft ball.. and it still performs like a champ.
https://www.youtube....h?v=yKAwlyPpLYw

Edited by freddiec, 03 July 2018 - 05:55 PM.


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#12 tstephen

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Posted 03 July 2018 - 08:14 PM

View Postrex235, on 03 July 2018 - 04:35 PM, said:

Freddie-

Since you asked-

Beautiful golf club!  (Aside from Jerry Heard, did any other pro play with "aged and battered woods"?)

The soleplate to this 693T appears razor thin, so it appears a lot of work has been done.

Yours almost entices me to pull out the '51 653T ....

I recall Feherty saying Christy O'Connor Jr took his gamer drivers to sand traps until he wore the soleplate thin.

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#13 tstephen

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Posted 03 July 2018 - 08:23 PM

View Postfreddiec, on 03 July 2018 - 05:54 PM, said:

Tom said that the sole plate on the heel side slightly lifted up during his travels and he repaired it himself.  After closely looking at this club and comparing it to 2 other 693's I have its obvious some custom work was done and done beautifully. The lines on this club are really great and imo the club is still as solid as any in my collection. Its a really great block, still probably as good as it was in 1984.  Like I said I'm pretty sure based on Tom's comments this club was his gamer for a few years, and probably hit 10s of 1000s of balls.  After hitting it I know now why they said the Mac Blocks from the early 1950s were the best.

Yeah, I hit it with the modern soft ball.. and it still performs like a champ.
https://www.youtube....h?v=yKAwlyPpLYw

If I said it once I'll say it a million times, the early 50's MacGregor persimmons were the greatest golf clubs ever.

I'm glad the Tiger high viewers were exposed to Toney Penna this last week with Francesco Molinari becoming the first Italian born winner on The PGA Tour in 71 years and that his great contribution came from his incredible persimmons.



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#14 tstephen

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Posted 03 July 2018 - 08:26 PM

View Postrex235, on 03 July 2018 - 04:35 PM, said:

Freddie-

Since you asked-

Beautiful golf club!  (Aside from Jerry Heard, did any other pro play with "aged and battered woods"?)

The soleplate to this 693T appears razor thin, so it appears a lot of work has been done.

Yours almost entices me to pull out the '51 653T ....

Ever see Jack's 945 he used in The '86 Masters among a few other great MacGregors played during his dominant era?  Frankenstein was less put back together.

I think Stadler had a great early 50s MacGregor that broke at Augusta maybe on 18 during the 3rd round the year he won.

Yeah - there were many players that had great early 50s Battle Torn Dorian Gray Character MacGregors.

Edited by tstephen, 03 July 2018 - 08:38 PM.


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#15 freddiec

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Posted 03 July 2018 - 08:36 PM

Tsteph, yes the 50s Macs are the best ever. I also have a M85 which I have owned for 10 years now and it also possesses the magic feel when hit well. Itís got the original shaft and grip.   Crenshaw also played a 693 around 1980, I have seen a good pic of him swinging it. Lots of great players ...


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#16 Texsport

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Posted 03 July 2018 - 08:53 PM

freddiec

I've still got that '49 or '50 MacGregor Oil Hardened Ben Hogan driver coming.

Sure hope it has that same feel!

My 693 that I played for about 10 years is really solid - I think could drive nails with that thing!

Texsport

Edited by Texsport, 06 July 2018 - 07:07 AM.

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#17 rex235

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Posted 04 July 2018 - 11:09 AM

Freddie-

... these were the irons that got the call..



Say what you want, there is something about American woods/irons from the '50s...

Edited by rex235, 04 July 2018 - 11:10 AM.


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#18 freddiec

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Posted 04 July 2018 - 06:07 PM

Ben Crenshaw in 1980..  Texas guys knew what to play..

https://www.gettyima...cense/182550178

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