Favorite Vintage Shaft

Re: Favorite Vintage Shaft

Postby lagpressure » Wed Aug 09, 2017 9:59 pm

fluffy270 wrote:Hi all,
I get along famously with the Tourney Action 1's in my FC4000 M1's, I get quite a flat boring flight from these.
Both my AT1's & PT'1's have Pro-pel 1's, which feel every bit as good but with a much higher parabolic flight, these irons also play noticably longer than my M1's but I'm not quite as accurate with them.
I also own an incomplete set of Slazenger/Gradidge Tour Model (late 50's Stainless head M85 design) with the Green band Rockets. These shafts feel amazing, but unfortunately this set is missing enough irons to be more than just an annoyance.
I've a some Apex 5's here too which I need to test out to see if they will handle the ABS build weights.

One little thing I have noticed with the Mac sets I own is that the '63 Tourney Action shaft and the '62 Propels share the same shaft pattern, though the Tourney Action is tipped more. The '58 "Copper band" Propels I own have a similar step pattern to the earlier version but with slightly longer steps.
All these macs are dowelled too.

Now what are our favourite wood shafts??


The Hogan Apex 5 shaft.
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Re: Favorite Vintage Shaft

Postby fluffy270 » Sat Aug 12, 2017 3:23 pm

Cheers Lag,
I'll keep an eye out for that Hen's tooth.
So far I have not had the best luck sourcing woods, most of the Drivers I've picked up in the past have needed the shaft replaced due to them being ridiculously soft or bent. My stock replacement shaft has been the DGX200. At this stage I'm still yet to hit a good driver with a suitable playable original shaft.
On a side note I've ample 3 & 4 woods that are very playable with their stock shafts.
Does the playability of the Propel & tourney action iron shafts translate to the Propel & Tourney Action wood shaft in any way?

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Re: Favorite Vintage Shaft

Postby eth14dev » Sun Aug 27, 2017 8:11 am

As to the original topic, so far the only line of vintage shafts I have direct experience with is the Ben Hogan Apex shaft, so can't give a definite comparitive answer, but that being said, I really do like the apex shafts.

I did have some questions regarding vintage shafts for those who who have the experience and information from back in the day. Been doing a lot of research on vintage shafts because I want to try and compare others to the Hogan Apex and find my favorite, but I can't seem to figure out, definitively the old flex systems, kick points, and what any of the special proprietary shafts entailed. I realize the best thing to do is just to try each shaft for myself (which I will do), but I wanted to get the details first, so I can prioritize which to try first, second, third, etc. I will list the questions by company. If anyone has the time to respond, it would be most appreciated. :D

Ben Hogan
While I know the Ben Hogan standard 3 (Apex,Legend,Vector), there are two shafts I could not find much information on; first is the Ben Hogan Apex D. Apparently, it is a low kick like the standard apex but a little heavier. Was it something specifically different like a different step pattern? Or was it just a slightly heavier apex similar to the TT DG system like S300,400,500 from back in the day?

Second is the TT Ben Hogan flashreaction. How does the shaft compare to contemporary shafts like Rockets, ProFit, Dynamic, Tourney, etc. Heard they had a weird stiffness rating system, what was the system? I have seen a shaft on ebay listed as "n" one time, for example? Kickpoint? To my understanding these laid the foundation for the famed Apex shaft, is this correct?

True Temper
Okay, this is the most confusing to me. There will be overlap with MacGregor. So I have been looking at the famed 1950's M85 clubs and its various iterations and variations, but I have seen (on places like ebay) and read that there seems to some different shafts types used.

For example the True Temper Tourney (that Mac used). There seems to be a silver band model and some with red bands. Furthermore, some of the shafts seem to go with a stiffness system like: e,d,c,b and others where apparently R is the stiffest.
Am I confusing two different shafts? Or did TT change the flex system lettering for Mac because they made proprietary version of the original Tourney for them? Was wondering what the kick point was for the original tourney's?

Then there is of course the rockets which had some sort of color code system, which based on some of lag's posts it seems green was X flex? Was wondering what the color codes and corresponding flexes were?

Were the old Pyratone Green, Brown, Grey sheathed steel shafts by TT? And if so is there anyway to tell the flex and kick point?

Also how does the various generations TT Dynamic standup? Like the old 1940's vs 50's vs 60's etc. Besides DG in like the 80's did the shafts go through subtle changes? Also heard that the flex labeling was also different like the aforementioned R for rigid and something about another system with "ndws" along with other four to three letter codes? Was hoping someone can straighten this out for me.

Finally, for TT, where does the ProFit come into play? Seen some of these on Wilsons and Haig's and wanted to ask what the flex system was like and they felt? To my understanding they were a mid kick. Is this correct?

Was the Tourney Action basically like a proprietary version of the old TT tourney. Similar to how TT made the "flashreaction" for Hogan which I believe (but unconfirmed as of now seemed to) eventually developed into the Apex shafts? Same kick and step overall with subtle variation from vanilla tourney?

Was also wondering what's up with Microtaper that came with the 1967 VIP by Nicklaus. I know that model clubhead is popular, but was the shaft anything special? Read the old ad off google saying it looks like a stepless, but has thousands of microsteps. What flexes did it come in? Kickpoint? Was it just a novelty thing or actually a great oneoff shaft?

Noticed that Wilson briefly used TT ProFit before going with there proprietary Wilson Staff Pro shafts. Learned one thing particular was they had a graduated step pattern through the set and played maybe a hair stiff for the marked stiffness. Were they basically a slightly step adjusted TT profit, TT Rocket, TT Dynamic, etc.? Were they actually something special or just a mass market shaft, and most serious golfers used different shafts? Wondering because variations of which seem to exist until today (2010-2017)? Also I am wondering specifically about the late 1950's to early 1960's version. Kickpoint? What stiffness rating system did they use, numbers or letters?

Similar to Wilson, noticed that the Haig Ultras, in the late 50's and early 60's, used TT ProFit then changed to their own Pro Flex. What was that shaft like? Kick point and flex ratings? Was it just a rebranded TT ProFit, TT Dynamic, etc. or something special?

I have not done any research on Spalding as of yet. Does anyone have advice on the best Steel shafts used by Spalding, whether proprietary or standard, I can use a starting point for research.

Thanks everyone.
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Re: Favorite Vintage Shaft

Postby lagpressure » Wed Aug 30, 2017 1:00 pm

Thanks for the post, I would think more specific details might be found in an old Maltby club repair book or possibly in a vintage library.

From my experience in shafts, I don't have much specific knowledge prior to the Pyratone green shafts which I think are some of the best shafts ever made. I prefer a heavier firm shaft (to a point). I haven't taken a lot of measurements on them but I do test my shafts by deflection rate rather than dead weight or frequency matching.

Both Spalding and MacGregor used green Pyratones. You can find those in the early Tommy Armour and Byron Nelson MacGregor sets of the late 1940's. MacGregor switched to uncoated steel stepped shafts in the 50's.

One of the things to remember is that most of the color coding was to define the different cutting or tipping of the shafts as they came "stock". For instance a ProPel 1 vs a ProPel 2 is nothing more than the shafts being tipped and inch or so stiffer in the #1. This would be the same for the Apex 3 vs 4. Now if you get into the Apex 5, that is a totally different shaft.... as is the Vector.

I have run into some TT shafts put in other sets that have had "R" on them, yet have been very stiff. I had heard that in some cases "R" stood for "Rigid".

I personally have not found any other vintage shafts that were significant enough departures from Pyratone, TT 1, ProPel 1, or Apex 4 to get me interested.

Now remember, most of this conversation is directed at IRON SHAFTS... with the focus on accuracy, playability and feel. I never liked the feel, lack of feedback etc of thinner walled lightweight shafts. For that reason I am not a fan of most modern shafts, however, I am sure there are some decent ones out there.

My knowledge of vintage shafts is fair, but what I can attest to is the Pyratone, TT #1, ProPel #1, Green Band Rockets (mostly in Wilson) and Apex of which I like the 4 and 5 the most. I think the Apex 5 might be the best shaft ever made IMO.
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Re: Favorite Vintage Shaft

Postby eth14dev » Wed Aug 30, 2017 7:40 pm

Hi Lag,

Thanks for the tip on the Maltby book. Will definitely look into it.
Also, the shafts you have mentioned keep coming up in discussions of vintage clubs on general here at ABS and other vintage friendly forums. Seems that most people gravitated to these shafts because how good they were and continue to be today!

Thanks for helping me get a focus on where to start. Also, the information on how certain shafts are just tipped versions of others is a great tid bit. As you have mentioned in many of the archived posts, it's often hard to tell if custom work has been done without taking apart the clubs and then having the original stock information to compare, but I suppose what you described can explain the discrepancies all over the internet regarding the older shafts where the information is not readily available at this time. I have read online one indication that the green band TT Rockets are stiff and another saying it was the black band that was s flex (x by today standards). Maybe custom jobs were involved on those indvidual sets the posters (on a different website) owned which caused discrepancies.

Another little bit of information that was helpful is that I recently learned from and old ABS archived post, that TT changed its color band systems more than a few times. For example read that the original TT Rockets had a black band for all flexes but used stars to indicate stiffness before switching to the color system later. Maybe that explains the above situation. As for the other TT shafts: not sure which systems pre-dates which. What is clear though are the Hogan and Mac G number systems that came later since more information like kickpoint and overall weight is readily available for those popular shafts. I suppose best thing to do is stick with the information that is well known for now and just try the other shafts when I get a chance, by buying songle irons as testers if they happen to have the shaft I like to try.

Especially since there is a good chance that the marked label may or may not be what online sellers indicate: such as having also seen online, people discussing how particular sets of the early 1950's MacG M85 seem to have TT Tourney shafts, but some use R for "Rigid" and others C for the stiffest. Not sure what is going on but maybe an issue with selling off old stock just as MacG acquired newly relabeled shafts from True Temper? Whatever maybe the case thanks for the help. Your post has really helped to narrow my search in terms of prioritizing.

Definitely, going to try and find some good single irons with Apex (5), Vector (4) (5), Propel Action (1) (2), Tourney Action (1) (2), to start this adventure in shafts. Got my heart set on using Hogan heads as a main set with various MacG (m85, MT step-sole) and Wilson Staff/Hagens (62 Turfriders, 62 Haig Ultras) as back up. Just need to know what shafts to stick in them, now.

Also, working on just irons for now, but to clarify, Lag, when you mentioned that you like the Hogan Apex 5 shaft the best for the woods, you meant the wood shafts and not just hardstepped Apex (5) 1 and 2 iron shafts, right?

Read an old post of yours today noting that one thing interesting was that Hogan did it right with the Apex shafts and made the progression between the woods and irons seemless instead of like most other shafts which where even the supposed X-Flex wood shafts were a bit too whippy due to the the thin walls toward the tips and having different step patterns as compared to irons. If this is the case, I really can appreciate all the more the fantastic equipment Mr. Hogan made. Seems interesting that while there was obviously a huge following in the general public for Hogan equipment, I guess it was the ballstriker and the aspiring ballstrikers that would have gotten the most out of the Hogan shafts and the associated iron and wood heads.

The fun begins!

Also any additional information in the future that others happen upon will always be appreciated. Thanks to all.
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Re: Favorite Vintage Shaft

Postby LesMurray » Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:40 am

One other shaft to put on your radar: the TT ND shafts.

I have several wood shafts from my '50s and '60s wood sets that are NDWS Tour Shaft S-flex. They are black labels. I don't see these shafts in my iron sets.

Also I have a set of Hogan Speed Slot woods that have Ben Hogan labeled TT shafts with N flex. COuld be the same shaft just re-labeled.
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Re: Favorite Vintage Shaft

Postby eth14dev » Thu Aug 31, 2017 12:32 pm

Thanks Les,

Will keep an eye out for sure for the TT ND shafts too! Thanks for the info. :)

Also, I suppose one additonal note about the shafts is if a shaft is tipped for a particular club that has a very specific design, like the Hogan Vector for example, where the kickpoint was specifically engineered to below the grip a certain distance, and butt extensions added to make up length, would that cause problematic flex and feedback (the kind we feel in out hands, during the swing and subsequently through our bodies as well) since it strays from the orignal intended design as to lets say an Apex shaft which was designed with a low kick in the first place? Read Mr. Hogan used 2" tipped Apex (5) besides that being beyond the fact thay would be stiffer than a 18 wheeler axle, I would imagine due to the type of shaft the apex was; I assume it would not negated the original design versus if he used a vector (5) with the same 2" tipped. It always fascinated me how despite certain inovations that his own company came out with, Mr. Hogan stuck with personalized versions of certain heads and shafts, throughout his life. Makes me wonder if he knew something or if his personal equipment had hidden modifications the public would not have been unaware of?

Reminds of an instance in Olympic level archery where a pro archer, a few years back, started to use what seemed to be using a bow set up that was not quite up to par in comparison to what his contract with his equipment endorsment company would have given him. Only to find out later that the equipment in question actually had experimental adustments done to it to test it in the field of competition and they slapped on a standard decal to make it seem like not a big deal. Kind of like if hypothetically Ben Hogan gave Lanny Wadkins a specially trimmed version of the apex shaft with some additonal steps here and there but stuck a standard apex (4) label on it, and unless someone was in on it or had a chance to handle the special clubs, the public would not be the wiser.

Anyways just asking about tipping and how this will effect flex, kick, and step pattern to better understand the mechanics of the shaft since I now understand that, as Lag mentioned, some shafts like the Propel (1) & (2) are the same raw shaft but tip trimmed differently. So trying to get my head around how that would affect the dynamics of the shafts. So once I get to actaully purchasing and testing these shafts, I can equate what I feel with the mechanical, intellectual knowledge properly. I know there are plenty of of athletes that can do what needs to be done based on feel, but what they are actually doing and what they think they are feeling and doing is sometimes different. Want to make sure with learning the classic swing, the intellectual and the "feel" are aligned correctly both in terms of my golfing swing technique and the equipment I will use.

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Re: Favorite Vintage Shaft

Postby mdrretired » Thu Aug 31, 2017 7:56 pm

I remember the ND shafts were offered back in the 80s and early 90s by Maltby and Golfsmith. They were advertised as "professional use" shafts with very high kick points much nearer the hands and they were not recommended for the average golfer.
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Re: Favorite Vintage Shaft

Postby lagpressure » Thu Aug 31, 2017 8:16 pm

Tipping a shaft is nothing more than cutting off a given length (say an inch) from the clubhead end of the shaft... and then adding a plug or extender on
the grip side of the shaft.

Shafts get more flexible as they narrow moving down toward the clubhead. By removing some of the "tip" we can stiffen the shaft.

Many of the shafts we discuss here are simply the same shaft, but with different cuts. Most shafts have a "last" step near the bottom, then the final length beyond that step will be uniform in diameter. However, there are some shafts made called "taper tipped" and those shafts would further narrow from the final step down to the stock bottom of the shaft. It's interesting that the taper tip creates a more rigid tip because of the "cone" like nature of the tip.

When I played on tour, I used taper tipped X100's in my Maxfli Pro Special irons. I had those irons tipped an inch and a half. So they were VERY stiff near the tip.

Now another very important thing we need to understand is that the tip flexation in any given shaft will be DIFFERENT for hitters vs swingers. A lose tipped shaft will hit LOWER Shots for hitters and higher shots for swingers. Then inversely a stiff tipped shaft will hit higher shots for hitters and lower shots for swingers. This isn't understood in the general golf community which seems to only consider "swingers".

So basically a hitter who is holding shaft flex through impact through acceleration of the mass of the clubhead will tend to deloft the clubhead... so the STIFFER the shaft, the less it will be delofted. Since swingers are timing the kick or the release of the shaft, they will get more loft from a looser shaft, and less loft from a stiffer shaft.

This has become basically lost knowledge in the contemporary generation of golfers and golf instruction as well as modern equipment design.

If you want to know what is right, Hogan had it right with his own gear. However, to varying degrees, his club designs were catered toward good players, but not necessarily striker closer to his level of excellence.
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Re: Favorite Vintage Shaft

Postby eth14dev » Fri Sep 01, 2017 8:30 am

Thanks Mdr & Lag,

For the info. Really helpful. Got a better picture of the ND shafts now, and how to consider kick point and it's relationship to stifness. I guess the point is that technique is the most vital part of club fitting. A more optimal way of getting a golf ball to fly requires certain equipment and less effecient ways require another type of equipment set up because of the dynamics at play. Makes total sense.

Great things to consider.
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