I have been collecting persimmon woods for quite some time, only the past 5 or 6 years getting serious about it. I have had some terrific sets or drivers over the years when I dabbled in collecting (since 1992). My quest started when I found a golf shop to hang out at in Dover, DE back in 1990/1991. I would see some terrific persimmon woods come in that the store had restored by a local club craftsman. At the time I was gaming a either a Taylormade 8.5 degree metal wood or a Cleveland Classic DG43. Seeing these terrific classic persimmon woods come in made me want to find a "6 screw MacGregor persimmon." I was introduced to the club craftsman, Mike Copolla, and developed a friendship with him. He took my Cleveland Classic DG43 and put in a R/W/R insert and a TT DG X100 shaft (my swing speed at the time was just over 120mph). I found a MacGregor 1953 3 wood dried up and in pitiful condition in a used club bin over Christmas break 1990 and had Mike restore this. That became a very solid, very long fairway wood that I could depend on. I gamed that 3 wood until 2001. That 3 wood opened my world to the reality I could own some of these classics. I soon purchased a set of MacGregor 693s (1-3) but ended up trading those off a couple of years afterwards (not smart). Over the years, as I moved back to Colorado, I still aspired to collect classic persimmon sets/drivers. I once had a 1953 MacGregor 945W set (1-4) that was simply outstanding but, again, stupidly traded them off for something else. Fast forward to present day, I have built a small but nice collection of woods. The following is my top 10 (actually 11) sets and/or drivers for the collection I wish to have. The items in bold are sets/drivers I currently have. I just picked up another set of 1953 MacGregor TA 945W woods (1-4). These were only made one year so these are very hard to come by. There are 2 left to round out my collection, one is the Unicorn of collectible MacGregors. MacGregor Tommy Armour 945W EOM (1954-1955) MacGregor Tommy Armour 693 (1949-1952) MacGregor M85W (1953-1955 ) MacGregor M09 LFF (1950-1955) - I have a 1953 model MacGregor M43T (1950-1952) MacGregor Toney Penna WW Special (1954) * MacGregor Toney Penna TP Special (1954) MacGregor Tommy Armour 945W (1953) Wood Brothers Texan ( coincidentally this one was made for tour player Gene Sauers) Wood Brothers Barry Jaeckel Texan * I took down the 1952-1955 M75W set since I just sold my unrestored set. * denotes the sets/driver that I do not have in my collection. A friend of mine just purchased the Wood Brothers Barry Jaeckel Texan. It is fabulous! And I want!!!
At this point I believe my collection is complete. I will now focus on restoring what I have.
A great deal of talk about persimmon clubs is of the play in their original state or the restoration back to playing condition. I recently refinished a set of clubs for someone which included reshafting them with modern graphite shafts. I checked in with the owner to see how they are working out and he said the new shafts play great and he is really launching the ball. He mentioned the 2 wood is going so far he hasn’t even been using his driver lately. This has me thinking about the potential of persimmon woods. Since we are mostly stuck using a modern low spin ball, how can we optimize our persimmon woods to work better in the modern game. If you were to install a graphite shaft in your persimmon woods, what characteristics would you look for? High spin shaft? How about weight? How could we maximize the performance?