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Jeremy Ellwood delves deep into the memory bank to serve up a selection of classic golf equipment from the past. Remember all these?
Sometimes innovation hits the mark, and sometimes less so. Much of this classic golf equipment from the past was launched to great acclaim back in the day, but not all went on to achieve greatness or immortality
Ping two-tone golf balls
These lively little numbers were scorned by better players back in the 1980s, but are now a much sought-after collectors’ item, especially if you have the right colour combo. Time to rummage in the practice ball bag and log on to ebay?
Adams Tight Lies fairway woods
These ‘upside down’ clubs quite literally turned the fairway wood world on its head back in the mid-1990s.
TaylorMade Nubbins putter
The top manufacturers have served up pretty much every material known to mankind by now in their putter face inserts, but TaylorMade remains the only brand to have offered us an insert seemingly crafted from discarded table-tennis bat rubbers.
Fat Lady Swings putter
This basic-looking mallet was much favoured by Nick Price during his PGA Tour hey-day. Hugely popular for a short period of time
The discerning choice of balata cheapskates and would-be tour pros everywhere during the 1990s. Sadly they were balata by name but not by nature.
Wilson Invex driver
This ahead-of-its-time, odd-shaped driver was used by John Daly to win the 1995 Open at St Andrews, but pretty much no-one else.
Cleveland VAS irons
Pretty much the ugliest premium-brand irons ever crafted, but a Major winner nonetheless in the hands of Corey Pavin at the 1995 US Open. Much-loved by shankers everywhere as the hosel was set back in the head.
Penfold Commando/Tornado balls
The 1980s ball of choice for anyone happy to make a significant distance versus cost trade-off. Highly playable around the greens and very popular with serious pitch and putt campaigners as a result.
MacGregor Response ZT 615 putter
This ridiculously long-bladed putter enjoyed huge sales success after Jack Nicklaus rolled back the years to win the 1986 Masters with one.
Ping Eye irons
We couldn’t miss out the godfather of perimeter-weighted cavity-backs. The Eye and then Eye 2 irons were in Ping’s range for well over a decade between them and spawned more copycat cheapie clubs than any other design before or since.
Jeremy Ellwood has worked in the golf industry since 1993 and for Golf Monthly since 2002 when he started out as equipment editor. He is now a freelance journalist writing mainly for Golf Monthly across the whole spectrum from courses and Rules to equipment and even instruction despite his own somewhat iffy swing (he knows how to do it, but just can't do it himself). He also edits The Golf Club Secretary Newsletter, has authored or co-authored three books and written for a number of national papers including The Telegraph and The Independent. He is a senior panelist for Golf Monthly's Top 100 UK & Ireland Course Rankings and has played all of the Top 100 plus 89 of the Next 100. He has played well over 900 courses worldwide in 35 countries, but put him on a links course anywhere and he will be blissfully content. On his first trip to Abu Dhabi a decade ago he foolishly asked Paul Casey what sort of a record he had around the course there. "Well, I've won it twice if that's what you mean!" came the reply...
Jezz can be contacted via Twitter - @JezzEllwoodGolf
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