The way I see it, is we can break golf equipment into a number of eras: Hickory, from say 1875-1930's Pyratone, From 1930's to late 1940's, The shafts were new and novel but the heads looked the same as the hickory era (to me) Classic/Golden Age 1950-1979, really the 50's were the decade of the beautiful MacGregor woods and saw irons like Top Flites and Dynapowers and Precisions. This era at large also provided the VIP irons, Anser putters, X-31's, the Hogan Apex I and II, etc. 1980-1995 (Name it what you will): The Ping Eye 2's in 1982 and the beginning of the game improvement scene, as well as the first metal-woods. Persimmon had only a few years left, but some of the finest forged blades ever produced came out of this era. 88 Redlines, FG-17's, Muifield 20's, Titleist Tour Model, your favorite iron design I didn't mention, etc. 1996-Now (also, my lifetime) (Conveniently in that 25 years span): Big Bertha, Oversized drivers, Pro-V1, etc. The super GI and the Forged Player's cavity. Can be divided into a pre-/post-adjustable era.
This is of course subject to debate. What do you think of my eras? Should there be more divisions? Is 1950-79 covering too wide a range of various clubs?