Mac O Grady (Prime Years)

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Re: Mac O Grady (Prime Years)

Postby HB51 » Sat May 13, 2017 4:36 pm

Lag, when you say flat and very stiff, how flat and how Stiff can we go. I'm currently at 6° flat and S300. Can I go to 8° flat?. Also is there a benefit of going to extra stiff?

I'm 6 foot tall and 180, swing speed probably 107–110. Swing weights and dead weights are in line with your specs.

Thanks in advance…

HB51
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Re: Mac O Grady (Prime Years)

Postby lagpressure » Sat May 13, 2017 5:57 pm

HB51 wrote:Lag, when you say flat and very stiff, how flat and how Stiff can we go. I'm currently at 6° flat and S300. Can I go to 8° flat?. Also is there a benefit of going to extra stiff?

I'm 6 foot tall and 180, swing speed probably 107–110. Swing weights and dead weights are in line with your specs.

Thanks in advance…

HB51


I think you are flat enough. I don't ever like to feel the shaft flexing. Not waggling, not on the backswing, and certainly not on the downswing. Sure it does.... some. I want total control of the club at all times. I want the shaft super stiff so I know right where it is at all times in my swing. If I over accelerate too much coming down, I don't ever want the shaft rebounding forward before impact. I can't think of a worse sensation in the golf swing.

While I drill all the time for a late hit, and focus on post impact acceleration, reality is that I might reach maximum speed prior to impact on a less that desirable golf swing. This is where a super stiff shaft keeps the ball in the vicinity of where I want it to go and not into the next zip code.

So when I am on the golf course, I have no fear of going after a shot... even a shorter iron where I really want to put some action on it. A shorter backswing with a ton of zip on it. I don't want a loose shaft that could send the ball some other direction because I didn't wait for it through transition.

A stiff shaft will still store kinetic energy and it will flex some. I don't want a shaft feeling soft through impact... out of my control. I want it supporting the impact of the ball at any velocity I can deliver.

S300 is not enough for me. I also like a heavier shaft. Better response and feel. My opinion is that the best shafts were made from steel in the age of steel. Green banded Rocket Shafts. #1 Propels, Green Pyratone. Heavy and firm. I like lasering the ball down the fairway and into the correct part of the green.

With a proper shoulder rotation and strong forearm rotation with correct weight transfer provided by the right leg through the strike, you will hit the ball plenty far enough to play any proper golf course.
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Re: Mac O Grady (Prime Years)

Postby HB51 » Sat May 13, 2017 6:58 pm

Lag,

Thanks for the quick and thorough response. Where might one find these elusive tools of the trade. ;) (Green banded Rocket Shafts. #1 Propels, Green Pyratone).

Also, do you think there's an advantage with vintage blades vs. modern. I'm sure I know your answer, but can you explain any differences that may coincide with ABS and therefore provide advantages. (feel, offset,sole, etc). I currently use some MP33 I scraped up about a year ago. If vintage,

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Re: Mac O Grady (Prime Years)

Postby HB51 » Sat May 13, 2017 7:02 pm

oops, hit submit too quick.

if vintage, what models do you recommend?

thanks
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Re: Mac O Grady (Prime Years)

Postby lagpressure » Sun May 14, 2017 11:53 pm

We need to understand a few things here.

First, the vintage blades, the good stuff, was created to work correctly in the age of the great ball strikers. The pro at the club, back in the day, was almost always a fine player, former tour player, or just a great player who decided not to live the life of constant touring. The pro at the club was almost always the best player at the club, so even the top amateurs or club champions would play the gear recommended by the club pro. The club pro was on a professional staff ALWAYS ....and had some communication with the touring pros that were playing their brand of blades. They would visit with them when the tour was nearby, help with exhibitions and just talk shop about the blades etc. Other vendors would come by and stock the pro shop with their best stuff. The thing was that there were always two sets of clubs..... clubs for the good players and then clubs designed basically for hackers. Hackers were not as invested in the game. They didn't practice as much, they didn't feel the need to pay double for a set of fine blades. The pro would often recommend a set of hackers clubs because they were more forgiving, easier to hit etc.. with the caveat that if you can get down to a 5 with those things, come back and we'll get you set up with a real quality set.

The blade iron was crafted for the real players, quality strikers. The forged head was softer, more pliable, little or no offset because the better players knew how to release the club properly. The shafts were stiffer for better control and the flange on the bottom was thin so a good player could negotiate a vast variety of differing lies, hardpan, finessing the ball out of a divot etc.
The blades also had more mass up higher so the contact of mass was correctly centered behind the strike.... not just down low to get the ball up in the air. The good strikers already knew how to get the ball up, and the rubber balata golf balls would spin at much higher rates and would rise naturally, hold their shape in the air much better and curve all the way back down to the ground unlike the crappy rock balls of today that just fall down straight from their apex eliminating the art of proper shot shaping that set the fine strikers apart from the average. Blades gave optimal feel and feedback so the brain could keep focus on swing precision and improvement while the pure strikes really gave vibrant reward to the nervous system of the golfer. Striking a pure long iron was like golfing heroin. The pure strikers hit it in the center of the club's sweetspot almost all the time. A forgiving club was a sign of weakness and showed a lack of confidence to competitors. I never saw a great striker playing cast irons with big offset and a wide flange on the bottom. Those were clubs not designed for great strikers, but for hackers. I always knew I was going to kick their ass tee to green when I saw those kind of clubs in someone's bag. They better putt good.

In the 1980's some touring pros experimented with clubs like Ping that were cast and more forgiving, but none of them in hindsight are going down in history as great strikers. Even in that generation, the best players still used forged blades. Watson, Seve, G Norman, Faldo, Jack, Price, etc.

Now, it should be noted that the evolution of blades were refined by GREAT STRIKERS.... not white coated hackers in MIT labs.
Mehlhorn was very instrumental in shrinking the size of the iron heads from the bigger headed irons of the 1930's and 1940's. The 1950's was the beginning of the great era of player developed blades. Hogan designed great blades. The clubmakers used to work directly with the best players LISTENING TO THEM.... not the other way around. Any good player was doing a lot of his or her own clubwork. Lead taping in various places, messing with lie angles, grinding down their flanges, drilling holes etc. It was time of extreme personal customization and exploration being tweaked right out on the front lines of the game in a very hands on way.

What the great strikers knew first and foremost is that IRONS are for ACCURACY. Courses were tighter and greens were much smaller requiring much more precision than the sloppy ballstriking that has become stock procedure today. Did anyone see The Players Championship today? The winner hit 7 greens in a light breeze on Sunday? Can I vomit now or later?

So the formula for great striking was much more mass in the clubhead, shorter shafts, higher lofts and lower swing speeds.
It should be understood that a ball hit with more mass in the clubhead will go both farther and straighter than a lighter club striking the ball at the same velocity. The modern theory is to increase the velocity to a point where much higher velocities compensate for greater distance than the more mass lower velocity formulat of the past. BUT the catch is that higher velocities with less mass don't give the player the FEEL of a lower velocity and more mass strike at impact. Because golf is a game ultimately of FEEL, the old way was much better and produced much better iron players than what we see today.

So if you are serious about refining your ballstriking, and want to really challenge yourself, then you will end up gravitating toward real golf courses with narrower fairways and smaller greens... why? because it is more challenging to drive into a narrow fairway than a wide open pasture. It is more challenging to hit a postage stamp green than the modern massive green complexes that have been offered up by most contemporary designers.

Yesterday I stopped by a DEMO day, and I think there were 8 different manufactures with their tents and latest offerings. All of them were offering super upright, super light, and very over length shafts. No true forged blades, it was all hackers clubs.

I started hitting balls with my 1962 MacGregor VFQ Tommy Armour 2 iron... just lasering them out there one after another. A few of the reps took notice and just shook their heads. A couple of them tried to hit the blade with no success.. just weak little dumps out to the right at best. None of them could believe how flat it was at 6 down. None of them even had a 2 iron in any set.
One of them brought over some hybrid looking driving iron. It was basically a titanium headed fairway with a driver shaft in it that weighted probably 10 ounces. It as so upright I couldn't even look at it for more than two seconds. There was young former touring pro who came over and hit my 2 iron and could just flush it fantastically. Big strong kid with a fine swing.... built like Dustin Johnson. He loved hitting these at 6 down on the lie angle. Could not hit it left and just loved it. He told me he is going to try to bend his irons 3 degrees flatter. I asked him why he is not pursuing the tour anymore and he said it's because he can't putt. It was sad to hear that because he's right. The game is such a putting contest now that if you can't average 27 putts a round you might as well be working demo days or sitting behind the counter in the pro shop. It was really fun to watch him strike it with that kind of youthful power. My set was made so well for him. I hope he gives it another go. I did share with him a few putting ideas that I am sure would make a difference.
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Re: Mac O Grady (Prime Years)

Postby HB51 » Mon May 15, 2017 10:40 am

Thanks Lag,

Like you, I grew up in that era (I'm 52)...back then the club pro was "the man." I had a set of Hogan Apex, Titleist Forged, Spalding Top Flite...in the late 70's early 80's.

In searching for green banded Rocket Shafts. #1 Propels, Green Pyratone, I can't seem to come up with anything. Also looked for Apex 5. Any suggestions? What would be the next best thing X300, KBS 130 XStiff?

Also, if I can only find an older set with reg or stiff, do you recommend changing out the shafts to XStiff?

Thanks,

HB51

PS....I apologize for continuing this conversation on the Mac O Grady thread, please feel free to move it if necessary.
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Re: Mac O Grady (Prime Years)

Postby lagpressure » Mon May 15, 2017 5:04 pm

Late 50's Dynapower sets came with green band rockets.
Early 60's MacGregor mostly had ProPel... look for #1 shafts stock, but you could use #2 and pull and tip them an inch or so.
Late 40's Spalding and MacGregor Tommy Armour had Pyratones (Best).

You can sometimes buy a beat to hell set for pennies but the shafts are often just fine. Usually with two sets you can match up one good set of shafts with a little cleanup and attention.
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Re: Mac O Grady (Prime Years)

Postby LesMurray » Tue May 16, 2017 10:31 am

lagpressure wrote:Late 50's Dynapower sets came with green band rockets.
Early 60's MacGregor mostly had ProPel... look for #1 shafts stock, but you could use #2 and pull and tip them an inch or so.
Late 40's Spalding and MacGregor Tommy Armour had Pyratones (Best).

You can sometimes buy a beat to hell set for pennies but the shafts are often just fine. Usually with two sets you can match up one good set of shafts with a little cleanup and attention.


I have a set of '57 Staffs that I just absolutely love. And the thing that really makes that set are the Rocket Shafts. I really can't put into words the feeling of the shaft as it interacts with the ball. It has a liveliness that my other sets with more modern TT shafts just don't have. My set is all original with the leather grips, just flattened the lies some. I think they are my heaviest set without having to add any weight to them, and I believe that weight comes from the shaft itself. The 3-iron in that set has a TT Pro shaft instead of the Rocket shaft and it is about 1/2 oz lighter in proportion to the other clubs. My '58 Hogan Precisions and '71 Buttonbacks have been reshafted with X200s and they are almost a full oz lighter than the Rockets.

Probably the funnest days I have golfing are when I grab those Staffs and some old balatas and knock it around my local course. I notice very little distance loss and it is a better sensory experience.
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Re: Mac O Grady (Prime Years)

Postby k2baloo » Tue May 16, 2017 2:27 pm

My gamers also have the Green Rocket shafts. I like them a lot. They take a little getting used to.
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Re: Mac O Grady (Prime Years)

Postby lagpressure » Wed May 17, 2017 3:03 pm

The light shaft ideology is based upon the false assumption that the only mass transferred into the golf ball is only in the clubhead itself.... as if it were just dangling from a string or rope. What the science guys didn't get is that SOME players, certainly the great strikers are accelerating the clubhead into impact with a shaft that is stress loaded, holding shaft flex, and at that point the shaft is packing a significant amount of kinetic energy. This also is putting tremendous feel into the players hands. This isn't something most scientists are going to be able to wrap their heads around. It's better to have clubs designed by players, not scientists exclusively which is what is happening too much today.
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