Vintage Golf

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Crow

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I've been looking a lot on YouTube re Mike Austin and his teachings etc. He made his name in the days of balata balls apparently, and I am myself not too sure what they are.Are they the small ones (Dunlop 65?) that had a lot of elastic windings and a middle little sack with a white liquid in it.
I remember as a kid we would open up some golf balls we found to get at the white liquid, just for the fun of it?
Did they go as far as modern balls?
Mike's a fascinating guy, I love watching his stuff too.

Balata was the covering to the ball, it was a natural latex/rubber from a tree that gave great feel but was prone to cutting, hence the smiley face balls that were common back in the day. There's another thing from the past we don't see any more, a bit like the sound of steel spikes. :)

Wound balls were indeed the ones with a long length of elastic wound around a core, they had various coverings and manufacturers often had their own names for them, unlike now when it tends to be urethane or surlyn.

They didn't go as far as modern solid core balls. The Pro V1/Bridgestone balls revolutionised distance, adding 10 or 20 yards to drives depending on who you listen to. ;)
 

Swinglowandslow

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Mike's a fascinating guy, I love watching his stuff too.

Balata was the covering to the ball, it was a natural latex/rubber from a tree that gave great feel but was prone to cutting, hence the smiley face balls that were common back in the day. There's another thing from the past we don't see any more, a bit like the sound of steel spikes. :)

Wound balls were indeed the ones with a long length of elastic wound around a core, they had various coverings and manufacturers often had their own names for them, unlike now when it tends to be urethane or surlyn.

They didn't go as far as modern solid core balls. The Pro V1/Bridgestone balls revolutionised distance, adding 10 or 20 yards to drives depending on who you listen to. ;)
Thanks. I'm still playing my Jack Nicklaus Muirfield blades, and now , virus permitting, I can't wait to try them with a bit of Mike Austin influence😀
 
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Crow

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I've been itching to open this ebay parcel for days, isolation period over and I got it unwrapped today.

A very unusual John Letters bag shown with a matching shoe bag I bought previously from anther seller, I'm not sure if it might be a ladies bag but I don't care anyway, I love the look.
The shoe bag even has a John Letters brush and spike cleaner in it.

1587033951809.png 1587034004653.png 1587034051211.png
 

Blue in Munich

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I've been itching to open this ebay parcel for days, isolation period over and I got it unwrapped today.

A very unusual John Letters bag shown with a matching shoe bag I bought previously from anther seller, I'm not sure if it might be a ladies bag but I don't care anyway, I love the look.
The shoe bag even has a John Letters brush and spike cleaner in it.

View attachment 29982 View attachment 29983 View attachment 29984
That should be a 2 shot penalty for taking it anywhere near a course!! :sick::sick:
 

harpo_72

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Mike's a fascinating guy, I love watching his stuff too.

Balata was the covering to the ball, it was a natural latex/rubber from a tree that gave great feel but was prone to cutting, hence the smiley face balls that were common back in the day. There's another thing from the past we don't see any more, a bit like the sound of steel spikes. :)

Wound balls were indeed the ones with a long length of elastic wound around a core, they had various coverings and manufacturers often had their own names for them, unlike now when it tends to be urethane or surlyn.

They didn't go as far as modern solid core balls. The Pro V1/Bridgestone balls revolutionised distance, adding 10 or 20 yards to drives depending on who you listen to. ;)
I cannot find any source or supplier for a vintage ball, do you just play a modern ball?
 
Thread starter #410

Crow

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I cannot find any source or supplier for a vintage ball, do you just play a modern ball?
In general play I use a modern soft ball, Callaway Supersoft, Wilson DX2 soft or equivalent. For qualifying comps it has to be a modern ball to comply with the rules.

If I'm playing with other vintage enthusiasts we'll often start the round with an old ball, Dunlop 65 or similar, and hopefully complete the round with it.

Unfortunately nobody makes balata covered wound balls any more and the very small number of people who play old clubs means that there's not the market for anyone to start making them.

Unused originals can still be found but the consistency is very variable having been stored for 20 or 30 odd years but a good one is perfectly playable. At the last meet we had before Coronavirus back in February at a windy Thorpeness, one guy shot a gross 74 (par 70) with a Dunlop 65 1.62" and old woods and blades.

ebay is your friend for balls and occasionally a bargain will crop up, prices below are typical:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/12-Dunlo...622952?hash=item2f1e3aa5e8:g:iBoAAOSwJGlbS6J9

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Vintage-...965309?hash=item2ae767ca3d:g:3oUAAOSwqNdeqCmP

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Mixed-Se...348826?hash=item23d232051a:g:aBAAAOSwC7NeW-Q4
 
Thread starter #411

Crow

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I won a set of 1930s clubs on ebay last week, the first I've bought since the lockdown began and yet my wife still gave me a dirty look.
They were delivered yesterday and the woods are better than I expected but I’m unlikely to play them much, the driver seemed really long but was actually 43.5”, long for the time I suppose.

The irons which were my main target are very nice. Ben Sayers, Parex, numbers 1 to 8, a bit of rust and dirt in places when I unwrapped them but I’ve given them a quick clean and they’ve come up a treat. True Temper Pyratone shafts and original grips with a nice end cap still intact on all clubs.

Pics below:
- As delivered
- Backs after clean
- Faces after clean
- Soles
- Grips
1591995101119.png 1591995182597.png 1591995236979.png 1591995277363.png 1591995306595.png
 
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Thread starter #412

Crow

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It's been a while since I posted anything from the old golf magazines so here's a couple from Golf World October 1987.

First is a great picture from a swing sequence of one of my favourite golfers, Laura Davies, her impact position is just superb, you can almost feel the power.

1591981646128.png

Second up is an electric trolley, hard to believe that such a Heath-Robinson contraption would be for sale in 1987.

1591981732707.png
 

Tashyboy

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I won a set of 1930s clubs on ebay last week, the first I've bought since the lockdown began and yet my wife still gave me a dirty look.
They were delivered yesterday and the woods are better than I expected but I’m unlikely to play them much, the driver seemed really long but was actually 43.5”, long for the time I suppose.

The irons which were my main target are very nice. Ben Sayers, Parex, numbers 1 to 8, a bit of rust and dirt in places when I unwrapped them but I’ve given them a quick clean and they’ve come up a treat. True Temper Pyratone shafts and original grips with a nice end cap still intact on all clubs.

Pics below:
- As delivered
- Backs after clean
- Faces after clean
- Soles
- Grips

Crow, from a value point of view. Would it ever be worth getting clubs refurbed.
 
Thread starter #416

Crow

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Sorry, I was thinking about some of the vintage clubs that you have.
Oh, right.
I don't have any clubs that are desirable enough that they'd show a return in value if I paid someone to do a professional restoration.
I do my own restorations and am gradually learning the old skills as I go along.

Usually it's just a clean up of the iron heads with a brass brush head and scraping away the thickest rust, I see that the pictures for the Ben Sayers clubs in post #411 have disappeared for some reason so I'll put them back to show what I mean.


I've started doing a few wood restorations too as these are generally in poor shape and hitting them will cause further problems, latest example below.


A 1950s Forgan "deLuxe" model 2 wood, as received from good old ebay.

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Sole plate and insert removed.

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Sole plate and insert reattached and sanded down ready for staining.

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Stained, varnished and re-whipped.

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Still worth bugger all but I can play it now without fear of it deteriorating any further. :)
.
 
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Thread starter #418

Crow

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Played a Pro-Shop friendly competition today, first competition at the club since lockdown.

The clubs were all Slazenger Johnny Miller. Woods and irons were Johnny Miller JM63, the set was supposedly to celebrate his final round 63 in the 1973 US Open, although for some reason they weren’t released until 1982… at least that seems to be the case in the UK, do any of our American members recognise this set and if so was it released closer to 1973 in the US?

The irons are based on the MacGregors that he used on that day, no such claims are made for the woods I hope!

The putter isn’t based on the one he used (a bullseye) but is a flanged blade.
Unfortunately, my golf bore not the faintest resemblance to Miller’s but I still enjoyed the round and hit a few shots to bring me back next time.
I’ve got two more rounds with this set to try and make a decent score before it goes back in the cupboard for a while, I won’t be using the same putter though, I just couldn’t get on with it today, think I’ll try my recently acquired Gibson “Eskit”.

1592153694908.png 1592153718532.png 1592153738843.png
 

Tashyboy

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Crow I don’t know what your like for balls or if you collect free ones, but. Next door neighbour collared me on Saturday. Asked me if I want any balls. I won’t use any of these. Do you want any.If not, they can go in the garage for another X number of years
 

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Thread starter #420

Crow

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Crow I don’t know what your like for balls or if you collect free ones, but. Next door neighbour collared me on Saturday. Asked me if I want any balls. I won’t use any of these. Do you want any.If not, they can go in the garage for another X number of years
Hi Tash, Thanks for the offer, I try and play unused balls when I'm playing old ones as any that have been used will have spent a while out in the open and being bashed around by other players!

Even new old stock balls can be rubbish when you get them out the packet!

I can't make out many of the names in the pictures but the only one I can see that looks like it would be worth playing is the Penfold Gary Player, that would be a balata ball, probably 1.62" size and looks in decent condition.
Top Flites and Pinnacles like those you have are notorious for being very hard on old woods!
 
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