A couple of 51-year-olds play a quick nine holes

I recently had the opportunity to purchase a complete set of Wilson Dyna-Powered Staff Model golf clubs. It included 1, 2, 3, and 4 woods and 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, PW and SW and the blade type Wilson Augusta putter. It even came with the original cloth and leather bag.

A little research and I discovered that this set was roughly a 1957 model , which is also the year I was born. I got to thinking that someday, since I play a different set of irons every time I play anyway, I should work this set into the rotation. Well, today it happened. My son and I went to our "home" course , Riviera Country Club in Holly Hill, Florida for a late afternoon 9 holes, and I packed my vintage Wilson set into the car as my weapons of choice for the day.

It was an interesting trip back in time for me, offering a glimpse of the tools that golfers who were playing 50 years ago had available for their use. It was also interesting to compare how my score with these clubs would stack up against my score when armed with more modern equipment. I expected my score to be a little higher with the old clubs and I expected my distance, especially off the tee would suffer with the older gear. Both of these expectations came true, but overall I was a little surprised at how well the clubs and I performed together.

On the first hole, a short par five, I hit the old wooden driver 225 yards into the left rough. This would be a consistent theme of the nine holes, as I hit only one fairway, and pulled all the par 4 and 5 tee shots to the left. Not really a draw, just a high, soaring drive that went a little left. My second shot was a five iron to about 40 yards out. A pitching wedge landed just left of the green and a chip and putt gave me a par.

On the second hole, a 147 yard par three, my 6 iron landed about 10 feet to the left of the flag and I two putted for a par. I was now even through 2 holes.

On the third hole I hit a 2-wood directly into the late afternoon sun. It felt good and sounded good, only I never saw it and never found the ball. In retrospect, I should have looked down the left side of the fairway, but force of habit made me search on the right. This was before I realized that I tended to pull these clubs. Still, even with the penalty stroke, I managed a bogey.

Things then started to stray. M tee shot on the fourth went left (again) and found water. A surprisingly strong and straight 5-iron found the back bunker and sloppy sand play made a complete mess of that hole.

I finished out the round hitting only one fairway, with every single other wood veering left off the tees. Poorly struck tee shots on the two remaining par threes (this course has 3 of them on the front nine) left me with a mediocre score of 49 for nine holes. Still, I took only 19 putts on the nine holes, with two three-putts and one one-putt. Nor great, but not as bad as I expected from the skinny Wilson Augusta blade.

The irons and the would felt kind of stiff and dead compared to today's more springy clubs, and although the distance was somewhat less that I was used to, just adding a club or two to the distances compensated nicely. I really enjoyed the classic "golf shot" sound of the woods (click here) and like the classy look of the chrome and leather of the irons. I also found it refreshing to use the bare minimum in putter design. It was just me, the hole, the ball and one thin piece of metal on the greens. Unlike many of today's clubs, these irons, when mis-hit, did not nudge the ball back in its intended direction. If you don't hit these clubs squarely, you find yourself digging through the weeds not very far from where you just struck the ball.

All in all it was great fun, and gave me a whole new appreciation of the golfers of yesterday and the clubs of today, and was an experiment I'd highly recommend to everyone.

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