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#1 15-02-2016 15:24:37

Auchterlonie
Putter
Registered: 19-10-2015
Posts: 37

Pyratone covered hickory shafts

In 1933 Wilson released a new range of "Power Gauged" irons. In the catalogue they were only offered in steel shafted versions with a variety of ferrule and pyratone options. These new irons were available from #1 through #10 and were unique in that they also offered a second niblick "#88" with a higher loft than the standard "#8". At the time Bernard Darwin lambasted the idea that a second niblick was needed in any set and that the skill of the game was being eroded (never a truer word spoken).

Anyway, I have a basic RH set of these irons with hickory shafts covered with walnut pyratone. The movement of the hickory over time has seen the pyratone crack and leave gaps where the hickory can clearly be seen underneath. A couple of the shafts also have nice bends, something I've yet to see in a steel shafted club. A magnet will not attach at any point along the shaft. The shafts are considerably thicker than a normal coated steel shaft as you would expect with a thicker hickory shaft underneath. I am awaiting the arrival from the US of a putter from the same set in a steel shafted version to compare the hosel etc.

Has anybody else come across these before?

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#2 15-02-2016 17:45:53

SFBUM
Putter
From: Chipping Norton NSW
Registered: 19-10-2015
Posts: 51
Website

Re: Pyratone covered hickory shafts

Never heard of these before.

The only other sheathed hickory shafted club that I've come across is the P. A. Vaile 'Stroke-Saver' chipper that was put out by Forgan in the 1930s . . . but it was weird all over. It had a swan neck, a rounded bottom and a square cross-section through the grip. Never seen one in the flesh - so to speak - so you'll have to make do with this.

pavaile.jpg


Gone golfing - be back at dark thirty.

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#3 15-02-2016 17:55:32

SFBUM
Putter
From: Chipping Norton NSW
Registered: 19-10-2015
Posts: 51
Website

Re: Pyratone covered hickory shafts

Found a slightly better photo, with a description.

pavaile2.jpg

This is from Chuck Furjanic's old website.


Gone golfing - be back at dark thirty.

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#4 15-02-2016 18:11:29

Auchterlonie
Putter
Registered: 19-10-2015
Posts: 37

Re: Pyratone covered hickory shafts

Gets us back to that ever unanswerable question when we talk about hickory clubs and what was and wasn't happening during the hickory period. All of the literature I have from the time shows that these clubs were never offered with a hickory shaft and yet here is a set in pristine condition with period installed hickory shafts.
I can only guess they were a special order or perhaps a set produced by Wilson for their salesmen to allow potential customers to compare steel vs hickory without knowing one set was actually hickory (who knows?).
Will post some photos when I get home.
Will be very interesting to compare the steel shafted version vs the hickory shafted.

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#5 15-02-2016 18:54:59

SFBUM
Putter
From: Chipping Norton NSW
Registered: 19-10-2015
Posts: 51
Website

Re: Pyratone covered hickory shafts

Power_Gauged.jpg


Gone golfing - be back at dark thirty.

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#6 16-02-2016 00:15:57

Auchterlonie
Putter
Registered: 19-10-2015
Posts: 37

Re: Pyratone covered hickory shafts

Yes thats them
In 1933 they released an updated model, "improvements in design and construction and refinement of finish add greatly to the efficiency and appearance of the 1933 Model Power gauged irons". It goes on to say, "they are made with chromium plated Hy-power steel shafts or walnut finished sheath covered steel shafts with black adapters". In the 1933 catalogue professionals could still buy certain iron models bored for steel or hickory and were given eight options of steel shafts, five with different sheathing options, and two options for hickory. Option 5 offers a "full Indestructo sheath (in 4 colours) and contrasting ferrule for large hoseled irons".

I'm assuming that "large hoseled irons" were those irons that were being made to suit either steel or hickory shafts depending on how the hosel was bored out and that the "Power Gauged" model must have been one of the Wilson models with the large hosel (see photo compared to normal sized Wilson hosel for steel shafted club). Still doesn't explain why sheath a hickory shaft but makes you wonder when did Wilson stop making "large hoseled" iron heads.


IMG_5319.jpg
Photo of the two different sized 1930's Wilson hosels (Walker Cup and Power Gauged) and the different thicknesses of the 2 shafts

IMG_5315.jpg
Photo showing where the sheath has moved revealing the hickory shaft below

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#7 16-02-2016 08:04:27

SFBUM
Putter
From: Chipping Norton NSW
Registered: 19-10-2015
Posts: 51
Website

Re: Pyratone covered hickory shafts

Maybe it was a vanity thing . . . some players wanting the latest and greatest but unable to afford it - it was the Depression era - so Wilson offer a cheaper (?) option while getting rid of old stock. It would be great if we could compare the prices of the two.


Gone golfing - be back at dark thirty.

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#8 16-02-2016 08:19:05

SFBUM
Putter
From: Chipping Norton NSW
Registered: 19-10-2015
Posts: 51
Website

Re: Pyratone covered hickory shafts

There's another double-page ad here: http://archive.lib.msu.edu/tic/golfd/pa … r31-40.pdf. About the sixth and seventh pages.


Gone golfing - be back at dark thirty.

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#9 16-02-2016 10:18:45

Auchterlonie
Putter
Registered: 19-10-2015
Posts: 37

Re: Pyratone covered hickory shafts

I'm sure I will have a catalogue somewhere that will give us an indication of comparative prices.
Love the ad with the #77 and #88, Wilson basically introducing the concept of a multi wedge set. As if that idea will ever catch on!

I like what you're saying about the vanity thing, could even be as simple as somebody preferring hickory shafts but not wanting to look out of place with their steel shafted buddies.

There was a full set of the Wilson Power Gauged irons that sold on US ebay in oct last year for $20. I picked up a steel shafted putter of the same set but don't know if the hosel is large or standard steel size (it's still on its way). I'd love to get hold of some large hoseled steel shafted Wilson irons and muck about boring them out and reshafting them with hickory. If doable ( would need some kind of carbide tapered bit for stainless steel) it would be like a modern day replica set using period heads.
I can sense another project.

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#10 16-02-2016 13:21:35

SFBUM
Putter
From: Chipping Norton NSW
Registered: 19-10-2015
Posts: 51
Website

Re: Pyratone covered hickory shafts

Auchterlonie wrote:

Love the ad with the #77 and #88, Wilson basically introducing the concept of a multi wedge set. As if that idea will ever catch on!

Innovators in golf - that's why my last two Saturday sets have been Wilson Staff!

I have caddied for a number of players in Major and Masters Pennants, and I could club all of them until it got to wedges. I told them all that if the shot's less than a nine iron, you have to tell me what you want!


Gone golfing - be back at dark thirty.

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