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If anyone thinks the persimmon driver and blades are not playable as the new golf clubs, think again. Maybe it's the golfer not the golf clubs.


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#1 wkuo3

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Posted 30 August 2018 - 03:13 PM

It affirmed many of us whom knew this already but, it's amazing D.J. could "carry " these distance off the old golf club.
Love it when he said that he could have hit it a bit harder but was afraid of breaking the persimmon......

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#2 Johnnypenso

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Posted 31 August 2018 - 10:39 AM

Amazing? The physics behind driver distances haven't changed.  AoA + swing speed, assuming a relatively straight path and squarish clubface at impact determines distance, all else the same.  Jack had many drives 300+ with balata balls because he swung hard.  Jacks clubhead speed in his prime with a modern driver would probably be as high as anyone on tour if he was going for it.   Here's one at age 44 in a skins game:

https://youtu.be/6B5WHNuCSpo?t=1640

The real mystery here is why people think that swinging the club hard and straight would produce any different result in 1960 vs. 2018.

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#3 RobotDoctor

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Posted 02 September 2018 - 09:48 PM

What DJ did was outstanding but he did use a modern golf ball. That's a double edged sword. The modern balls aren't high spinning balls like Balata and travel longer.  The flip side is higher spinning balls work better with Persimmon Woods.  My gut feeling is DJ would be very long back in the days of Persimmon/Balata but not as long as today because of the advancement of clubs and balls.
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#4 freddiec

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Posted 03 September 2018 - 09:55 AM

DJ would have been as long as anybody back in the day with anything... he has pure talent.

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#5 wrmiller

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Posted 08 September 2018 - 11:13 AM

Back in the mid 80s I thought everything 300 yds or shorter was a par 3. While I didn't hit (or hold) many greens at that yardage, I was oftentimes close enough for a smooth up-and-down. :)

What I've noticed over the years is that the continual tech advances allowed me to keep fairly constant distances with various clubs over about a 30 year period.

Old man Time is catching up with me now though. I need a bit of tailwind and a really, really good strike to get close to 300 any more. And that's at 5000' altitude. :D

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#6 dcopp7

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Posted 10 September 2018 - 05:54 AM

View Postfreddiec, on 03 September 2018 - 09:55 AM, said:

DJ would have been as long as anybody back in the day with anything... he has pure talent.
not to mention ridiculous wrist action too
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#7 Gautama

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Posted 25 September 2018 - 11:50 PM

View PostJohnnypenso, on 31 August 2018 - 10:39 AM, said:

Amazing? The physics behind driver distances haven't changed.  AoA + swing speed, assuming a relatively straight path and squarish clubface at impact determines distance, all else the same.  

This is such a good point.  When all is said and done the basic physics are rigid plane meets compressible sphere...not much is going to change on the club side of that equation.

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#8 Opinder

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 12:22 AM

Only experienced golfer or young who grows up play with blade irons. Period.

I doubt it 2018 new beginners playing wood permission and blade iron So!

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#9 HoldenCornfield

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 07:58 AM

View PostJohnnypenso, on 31 August 2018 - 10:39 AM, said:

The real mystery here is why people think that swinging the club hard and straight would produce any different result in 1960 vs. 2018.

I'd like to solve the puzzle, Pat: Coefficient of Restitution, aka the trampoline effect. Persimmon woods and early metals had a CoR of approx 0.78, modern titanium approaches the legal limit of 0.83.

From Tom Wishon:
"Coefficient of restitution is a measurement of the energy loss or retention when two objects collide. The COR measurement is always expressed as a number between 0.000 (meaning all energy is lost in the collision) and 1.000 (which means a perfect, elastic collision in which all energy is transferred from one object to the other).

To give a frame of reference for performance, with a driver the difference in carry distance between a head with a COR of 0.820 and another head with a COR of 0.830 would be 4.2 yards for a swing speed of 100 mph. It is true that as swing speed increases, the distance difference is greater. And likewise, as swing speed decreases the distance difference for each increment of the COR measurement is less. This is one of the reasons why the USGA rule which limits the COR of a clubhead has the effect of penalizing the slower swing speed golfer much more than the high swing speed player."

Extrapolating from that, a golfer with swing speed of 100 will hit a modern trampoline face driver approx 21 yards further [(0.83-.78)*4.2] than a persimmon, all else being equal (and a tour pro, with a speed between 110-125 will pickup even more).

Of course, not all else is equal between persimmon drivers from back in the day and today's drivers. Wishon has also said, if I recall correctly, that every 1/2" of shaft length is worth 1 more mph of swing speed. So a modern length driver of 44.5" is worth an extra 3 mph, or 7.5 - 9.0 yards, over a standard 43" persimmon driver.

Then there's the difference in shaft weight. Again, deferring to Tom Wishon's research, he has said that for every 25 grams of weight you can reduce from the club you'll pickup another 1 mph. So the difference between a modern 55 gram driver shaft vs a 125 gram steel shaft in the old persimmon is worth another 7.5 - 9.0 yards.

So add it up and there should be somewhere in the neighborhood of 35-45 yards of extra carry conferred by the modern driver over a classic steel shafted persimmon for a tour level player. Note, from my experience I will say that the lower spin, lower ball flight of the persimmon does result in more roll than a modern, and mitigates a bit of the difference in carry yardage.

And if you look at PGA tour average driving distance over the decades, its gone from 257 yards in the persimmon era of the early 80's to 295 now, an increase of 38 yards.
And if you play persimmon, you're my friend

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#10 Johnnypenso

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 08:59 AM

View PostHoldenCornfield, on 26 September 2018 - 07:58 AM, said:

View PostJohnnypenso, on 31 August 2018 - 10:39 AM, said:

The real mystery here is why people think that swinging the club hard and straight would produce any different result in 1960 vs. 2018.

I'd like to solve the puzzle, Pat: Coefficient of Restitution, aka the trampoline effect. Persimmon woods and early metals had a CoR of approx 0.78, modern titanium approaches the legal limit of 0.83.

From Tom Wishon:
"Coefficient of restitution is a measurement of the energy loss or retention when two objects collide. The COR measurement is always expressed as a number between 0.000 (meaning all energy is lost in the collision) and 1.000 (which means a perfect, elastic collision in which all energy is transferred from one object to the other).

To give a frame of reference for performance, with a driver the difference in carry distance between a head with a COR of 0.820 and another head with a COR of 0.830 would be 4.2 yards for a swing speed of 100 mph. It is true that as swing speed increases, the distance difference is greater. And likewise, as swing speed decreases the distance difference for each increment of the COR measurement is less. This is one of the reasons why the USGA rule which limits the COR of a clubhead has the effect of penalizing the slower swing speed golfer much more than the high swing speed player."

Extrapolating from that, a golfer with swing speed of 100 will hit a modern trampoline face driver approx 21 yards further [(0.83-.78)*4.2] than a persimmon, all else being equal (and a tour pro, with a speed between 110-125 will pickup even more).

Of course, not all else is equal between persimmon drivers from back in the day and today's drivers. Wishon has also said, if I recall correctly, that every 1/2" of shaft length is worth 1 more mph of swing speed. So a modern length driver of 44.5" is worth an extra 3 mph, or 7.5 - 9.0 yards, over a standard 43" persimmon driver.

Then there's the difference in shaft weight. Again, deferring to Tom Wishon's research, he has said that for every 25 grams of weight you can reduce from the club you'll pickup another 1 mph. So the difference between a modern 55 gram driver shaft vs a 125 gram steel shaft in the old persimmon is worth another 7.5 - 9.0 yards.

So add it up and there should be somewhere in the neighborhood of 35-45 yards of extra carry conferred by the modern driver over a classic steel shafted persimmon for a tour level player. Note, from my experience I will say that the lower spin, lower ball flight of the persimmon does result in more roll than a modern, and mitigates a bit of the difference in carry yardage.

And if you look at PGA tour average driving distance over the decades, its gone from 257 yards in the persimmon era of the early 80's to 295 now, an increase of 38 yards.
Good analysis.  I though persimmon gave higher spin numbers for the pros though.  I remember standing behind Greg Norman in the 80's as he teed off on the Par 5 14th at Glen Abbey and his ball took off like a fighter jet.  Relatively straight trajectory for 100 yards and then up, up and away the rest of the way.


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#11 unrepentant 60s kid

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 09:13 AM

The beauty of persimmon, or even laminated maple, over metalwoods is fit.

When you buy them new, you can specify the exact loft, lie angle, and face angle that you want, and you can hit your swingweight at any length.
Only Wishon and Henry-Griffitts, to my knowledge, offer that in metal.

The disadvantage is that not a lot of graphite shafts are designed with wood in mind.
And the companies that make steel shafts don't make them for woods anymore.
Even old standby True Temper from what I see on their website.

As for blades, you have to hit a lot of curves--shaped shots--out on the course to justify blades.
The "sweet spot" is the diameter of a pencil eraser and too close to the heel.

Then again, if you enjoy the game more playing with blades, there's nothing wrong with that.
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#12 HoldenCornfield

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Posted 27 September 2018 - 06:59 AM

View PostJohnnypenso, on 26 September 2018 - 08:59 AM, said:

Good analysis.  I though persimmon gave higher spin numbers for the pros though.  I remember standing behind Greg Norman in the 80's as he teed off on the Par 5 14th at Glen Abbey and his ball took off like a fighter jet.  Relatively straight trajectory for 100 yards and then up, up and away the rest of the way.

I think that was true for the old balata balls, but I've never experienced it hitting today's balls with persimmons.
And if you play persimmon, you're my friend

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#13 wkuo3

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Posted 27 September 2018 - 07:35 AM

View Postunrepentant 60s kid, on 26 September 2018 - 09:13 AM, said:

The beauty of persimmon, or even laminated maple, over metalwoods is fit.

When you buy them new, you can specify the exact loft, lie angle, and face angle that you want, and you can hit your swingweight at any length.
Only Wishon and Henry-Griffitts, to my knowledge, offer that in metal.

The disadvantage is that not a lot of graphite shafts are designed with wood in mind.
And the companies that make steel shafts don't make them for woods anymore.
Even old standby True Temper from what I see on their website.

As for blades, you have to hit a lot of curves--shaped shots--out on the course to justify blades.
The "sweet spot" is the diameter of a pencil eraser and too close to the heel.

Then again, if you enjoy the game more playing with blades, there's nothing wrong with that.

Yes, however, most the persimmon drivers retail as the std spec from the factory.  Custom made, yes there were a few but most were bought off the shelf same as today.
Matter of the fact, the persimmon heads had more variance in weight and size than the metal woods.  Hence , the hand select phrase was frequently advertised.  All because the density of the material ( wood ) is different from tree to tree and through the curing process.

So the modern drivers have a tighter tolerance in spec and more features for adjustment.  We human are working towards our wish list if there is a continuation of interest of the subject matter. The improvement towards our dream is called progression.

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#14 birly-shirly

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Posted 27 September 2018 - 12:31 PM

View Postwkuo3, on 27 September 2018 - 07:35 AM, said:

View Postunrepentant 60s kid, on 26 September 2018 - 09:13 AM, said:

The beauty of persimmon, or even laminated maple, over metalwoods is fit.

When you buy them new, you can specify the exact loft, lie angle, and face angle that you want, and you can hit your swingweight at any length.
Only Wishon and Henry-Griffitts, to my knowledge, offer that in metal.

The disadvantage is that not a lot of graphite shafts are designed with wood in mind.
And the companies that make steel shafts don't make them for woods anymore.
Even old standby True Temper from what I see on their website.

As for blades, you have to hit a lot of curves--shaped shots--out on the course to justify blades.
The "sweet spot" is the diameter of a pencil eraser and too close to the heel.

Then again, if you enjoy the game more playing with blades, there's nothing wrong with that.

Yes, however, most the persimmon drivers retail as the std spec from the factory.  Custom made, yes there were a few but most were bought off the shelf same as today.
Matter of the fact, the persimmon heads had more variance in weight and size than the metal woods.  Hence , the hand select phrase was frequently advertised.  All because the density of the material ( wood ) is different from tree to tree and through the curing process.

So the modern drivers have a tighter tolerance in spec and more features for adjustment.  We human are working towards our wish list if there is a continuation of interest of the subject matter. The improvement towards our dream is called progression.

I like my TM R1 precisely because it offers both loft and face angle adjustment. I thought the Nike Covert did a good job on that too. They're not "full custom" but not a bad alternative, IMO and I always thought it was ironic that Tom Wishon should become so closely associated with criticism of those designs.

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#15 wkuo3

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Posted 27 September 2018 - 02:10 PM

View Postbirly-shirly, on 27 September 2018 - 12:31 PM, said:

View Postwkuo3, on 27 September 2018 - 07:35 AM, said:

View Postunrepentant 60s kid, on 26 September 2018 - 09:13 AM, said:

The beauty of persimmon, or even laminated maple, over metalwoods is fit.

When you buy them new, you can specify the exact loft, lie angle, and face angle that you want, and you can hit your swingweight at any length.
Only Wishon and Henry-Griffitts, to my knowledge, offer that in metal.

The disadvantage is that not a lot of graphite shafts are designed with wood in mind.
And the companies that make steel shafts don't make them for woods anymore.
Even old standby True Temper from what I see on their website.

As for blades, you have to hit a lot of curves--shaped shots--out on the course to justify blades.
The "sweet spot" is the diameter of a pencil eraser and too close to the heel.

Then again, if you enjoy the game more playing with blades, there's nothing wrong with that.

Yes, however, most the persimmon drivers retail as the std spec from the factory.  Custom made, yes there were a few but most were bought off the shelf same as today.
Matter of the fact, the persimmon heads had more variance in weight and size than the metal woods.  Hence , the hand select phrase was frequently advertised.  All because the density of the material ( wood ) is different from tree to tree and through the curing process.

So the modern drivers have a tighter tolerance in spec and more features for adjustment.  We human are working towards our wish list if there is a continuation of interest of the subject matter. The improvement towards our dream is called progression.

I like my TM R1 precisely because it offers both loft and face angle adjustment. I thought the Nike Covert did a good job on that too. They're not "full custom" but not a bad alternative, IMO and I always thought it was ironic that Tom Wishon should become so closely associated with criticism of those designs.

At the very least, the adjustment features offered hope for the golfers whom like to tinker.  Hence why they sell well because the features offered a seemingly simple solution to a game we loved.
Wishon had hung on to his business as long as he could.  The industry had changed since the TM came out with the reverse cone design then accelerated the product cycle.  Not a friendly environment for the guys didn't have a mass financial backing.
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#16 baloo

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Posted 27 September 2018 - 02:46 PM

^ Wishon Golf is still around... He did outsource the distribution to Diamond golf in Europe. But my understanding is that was because he's now semi-retired. The company never went under as you seem to be claiming. In fact, he just a few days ago replied to a question I asked him on his site about a new driver design he's working on.
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#17 wkuo3

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Posted 27 September 2018 - 09:09 PM

View Postbaloo, on 27 September 2018 - 02:46 PM, said:

^ Wishon Golf is still around... He did outsource the distribution to Diamond golf in Europe. But my understanding is that was because he's now semi-retired. The company never went under as you seem to be claiming. In fact, he just a few days ago replied to a question I asked him on his site about a new driver design he's working on.

Did I say Wishon Golf went under ?  Heavens, I hope not !

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#18 baloo

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Posted 27 September 2018 - 11:20 PM

View Postwkuo3, on 27 September 2018 - 09:09 PM, said:

View Postbaloo, on 27 September 2018 - 02:46 PM, said:

^ Wishon Golf is still around... He did outsource the distribution to Diamond golf in Europe. But my understanding is that was because he's now semi-retired. The company never went under as you seem to be claiming. In fact, he just a few days ago replied to a question I asked him on his site about a new driver design he's working on.

Did I say Wishon Golf went under ?  Heavens, I hope not !

You said, "Wishon had hung on to his business as long as he could." Not sure what you meant, but certainly sounds like you're saying Wishon lost his company, went under, or something along those lines.
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#19 wkuo3

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Posted 28 September 2018 - 07:26 AM

View Postbaloo, on 27 September 2018 - 11:20 PM, said:

View Postwkuo3, on 27 September 2018 - 09:09 PM, said:

View Postbaloo, on 27 September 2018 - 02:46 PM, said:

^ Wishon Golf is still around... He did outsource the distribution to Diamond golf in Europe. But my understanding is that was because he's now semi-retired. The company never went under as you seem to be claiming. In fact, he just a few days ago replied to a question I asked him on his site about a new driver design he's working on.

Did I say Wishon Golf went under ?  Heavens, I hope not !

You said, "Wishon had hung on to his business as long as he could." Not sure what you meant, but certainly sounds like you're saying Wishon lost his company, went under, or something along those lines.


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#20 sdandrea

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Posted 28 September 2018 - 08:13 AM

View Postwrmiller, on 08 September 2018 - 11:13 AM, said:

Back in the mid 80s I thought everything 300 yds or shorter was a par 3. While I didn't hit (or hold) many greens at that yardage, I was oftentimes close enough for a smooth up-and-down. :)

What I've noticed over the years is that the continual tech advances allowed me to keep fairly constant distances with various clubs over about a 30 year period.

Old man Time is catching up with me now though. I need a bit of tailwind and a really, really good strike to get close to 300 any more. And that's at 5000' altitude. :D

Old Man Time is undefeated. 😉

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#21 baloo

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Posted 28 September 2018 - 09:59 AM

View Postwkuo3, on 28 September 2018 - 07:26 AM, said:

View Postbaloo, on 27 September 2018 - 11:20 PM, said:

View Postwkuo3, on 27 September 2018 - 09:09 PM, said:

View Postbaloo, on 27 September 2018 - 02:46 PM, said:

^ Wishon Golf is still around... He did outsource the distribution to Diamond golf in Europe. But my understanding is that was because he's now semi-retired. The company never went under as you seem to be claiming. In fact, he just a few days ago replied to a question I asked him on his site about a new driver design he's working on.

Did I say Wishon Golf went under ?  Heavens, I hope not !

You said, "Wishon had hung on to his business as long as he could." Not sure what you meant, but certainly sounds like you're saying Wishon lost his company, went under, or something along those lines.


http://www.golfwrx.c...shon-golf-sold/

Correct, Diamond golf runs the show now. He still does actively work on designs and is a technical advisor, just not full-time. I realize you never said the company died, just that he gave it up. I guess what I meant is I disagree with the sentiment that "he hung on as long as he could". Tom always framed the decision to sell as a step for him to move towards semi-retirement. Maybe he financially had to, I don't know.

I'm excited for a player's driver he's been designing that should come out next spring. Smaller head by same bendable hosel that the 919 offers.

He said, ""Big changes are coming to Wishon Golf... Mary-Ellen and I have made the difficult but joyful decision to ease down on our workload and move towards a form of semi-retirement.
We have decided that, as of October 1st, 2016, we will be handing over the rights to the Wishon Golf brand to Diamond Golf International, based in England. "

Driver, 3W, 4W - Macgregor Custom Tourney
2-10 - 1954 Spalding Synchro Dyned
SW - Wilson Staff
Putter - Bullseye
Ball - Pro Plus

YT Channel - https://www.youtube....PlayVintageGolf

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#22 birly-shirly

birly-shirly

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Posted 28 September 2018 - 11:44 AM

Wow. So much of the golf equipment world is centred on the other side of the Atlantic from me, and I'd totally missed that move.

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