xgolfx, on 16 December 2015 - 01:28 PM, said:
I never saw Toney Penna, or Charley Penna use any wood club that was not finished in BLACK for their personal use. They may have tested other colors , but when it was a tournament, or a "hit the hip" game, it was always black. Many inserts and shafts were used. It may surprise you ( the readers of this site) to know how little you know about the persimmon era clubs. The emphasis of almost everyone who posts on this site,with few exceptions, is on the importance of the material in the club head . A cavalier attitude of most posters for the shaft is in direct contrast to the designer's concept. TONEY PENNA FELT THAT THE SHAFT WAS NINETY PERCENT OF THE CLUB. THE GRIP AND HEAD WERE ONLY TEN PERCENT. The beginning of a set for personal use was weighing shafts of the proper flex. I have seen him go through dozens to select four for a wood set. With irons, it may have been a hundred to find ten. When the readers on this site change shafts ( and invariably lengthen the clubs) , they have altered (by 90%) the designer's intent. The club is further ruined by sanding off the crown, altering the face, removing the bulge and roll,and changing the color.
My aversion to refinished clubs is a result of my respect for the design and the knowledge that altering to remove the scratches ruins the club. I presume that this will not make most readers happy,but I don't GAS.
That's weird. I have a few clubs that were used by seriously good players (professionals, one British Amateur champion and so on) and they are all black, a few original, but others have clearly been painted. You definitely can't miss them behind the ball and the contrast of the inserts and definition of the leading edge definitely stand out. Interesting. Always seemed so workman-like and this kind of makes sense.
It does not surprise me to know how little I know about this era. I started playing golf when Burners, Big Berthas and the like were around. Grouville senior still used persimmon for years, but I wasn't interested as a teenager. That is why I, and I am sure many others, value your insights. This is one of my main sources of information and I appreciate the time people here have taken to give me advice and so on.
Sanding crowns? Guilty! Have definitely overdone this before, but working on it. Try and steer clear of altering the face. Shafts though are a big deal to me as I want to play them. If I can't find something stiff enough, it is just taking up space in the garage. If I reshaft something it is only because it would otherwise be useless to me and I know it is pretty much a lottery that I am going to get it even close to right in terms of weight, balance and so on.
Am I a sucker for nice grain? Yes. As I said, I had zero appreciation for any of this for the first twenty years of my golfing life. The natural, organic look is such a strong contrast to what clubs look like today, difficult not to be attracted by this, I am afraid.
I will continue with my amateur attempts to restore clubs, many of which would otherwise be doomed and probably wouldn't be used to hit a ball ever again. There is no way, not a chance, I will ever understand all the elements of design and craftsmanship that went into the top end clubs. No way. It is 2015, I have two kids and work in a bank. However, keeping as much original as I can, I'd like to think the proof is in the pudding as I now have clubs that work. For me at least!
Can't remember exactly, but did your uncle design the velocitized woods? I found a tatty old velocitized driver with a good shaft, which I regripped, refinished, got it to the weight I wanted and used it to shoot level from the back tees around Loch Lomond. For all the times I have broken par, this is one round I will remember all my life. Have never hit the ball off the tee like that. Guys in the bar were asking to see the driver that evening. Fifty odd years after it was made, people are asking about it. I'd like to think all the guys responsible for designing it would be happy about that. Made me far happier than shooting 68 with a big titanium driver would have done (although I did, somehow, manage to lose money).
My restoration attempts might be sacrilege to you, but I have a huge amount of respect for all the work that went into the clubs and am just trying to give them another life many years after their prime. And many I get my hands on have been refinished before I have had the chance, so have sloppily re-etched crown stamps, garish colours, thick toffee-apple varnish and so on. I do not have the skill or knowledge to do them complete justice, but will always be trying my best.
Please do not stop dropping in this sort of information.