Monday, November 24, 2008

Gaston CC plays persimmon for a day

Have you ever wondered how you'd play if you if had to go back to the equipment that was considered state of the art back in the 1960s and '70s?

What if you had to trade in your 460cc driver for a persimmon-headed model with a head that looked about as big as a tennis ball?

The members at Gaston Country Club got a taste of it Saturday.

As part of the club's 50th anniversary celebration, members played with persimmon drivers, old-school irons and balata golf balls.

They played golf with the stuff that made Jack and Arnie famous.

And it made them appreciate the advances in golf club technology.

"Absolutely," said Walter Gray.

The long drive contest was won by a 257-yard poke by a young player who can usually hit a 3-wood that far.

That's how things have changed, in case you've forgotten.

Just finding the equipment was a challenge. An e-mail campaign rustled up enough sets of vintage irons that every foursome had a set.

Gray played with a set of 1961 Wilson Staff Dynapower Fluid Feel irons with the original grips and shafts. They're available on e-bay for $20 if you're interested.

They bought 30 dozen Titleist balls with balata covers they found on the internet and no one was in a hurry to start playing those again any time soon.

"Those balls would fall out of the sky like a shot duck," Gray said.

It was, Gray said, fun for a day.

On Sunday, though, everyone went back to their modern equipment.